Feeding A Border Collie Puppy
If you need information about feeding a Border Collie puppy, you’re in the right spot!
We’re going to look at what you need to know about feeding a Border Collie puppy.
Should you feed kibble? Wet food? Go homemade?
Bringing up a Border Collie puppy with a good diet positively affects her health and temperament.
Remember, each dog and down owner is an individual. You’ll have to figure out what works for your dog, which may not be what you expect!
Swapping A Border Collie Puppy Food Brands
When you bring home a Border Collie puppy, you may want to switch her food to a brand of your choice.
Breeders and veterinarians agree it’s best to do this when your dog is living with you for about a month.
After all, this can be a scary transition time. It’s possibly your puppy’s first time away from her litter-mates and parents, and she’s just getting used to life with you.
Give your Border Collie puppy some adjustment time first so the transition may be easier. Plan your switch over the course of about a week.
For the first day or two, feed about 75 percent of the old food and 25 percent of the new. For the 3rd and 4th days, feed around 50/50 of each. And then for the 5th and 6th days, go 75/25.
By the 7th day, your dog should be fully adjusted to your choice of food. This easing process can help ease any digestive issues your dog may be experiencing.
Look for signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, gas, weight loss, and lack of appetite.
Dogs can be allergic to certain foods, and their gut bacteria can be disrupted by a new diet. If yours isn’t adjusting to the new food, you may wish to transition back to the old.
You can try again later with different diets if you think it’s best. But consult a vet if the signs continue.
Border Collie Puppy Diets
Today, the market features so many different types of dog foods, you have many choices! And diet is important – it impacts your Border Collie puppy’s growth, future health, and happiness.
So you need just the right amount of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, carbohydrates, fats, and other elements to give your Border Collie puppy every advantage. Puppies need extra nutrients, such as calcium. They also need about twice the amount of calories per pound of body weight than adults.
And working dogs, like Border Collies, need slightly different ratios of proteins and fats in their diets. Border Collies are highly energetic and intelligent medium-sized shepherding dogs. They’re often listed among the smartest breeds, and they have exceptional ability for working.
They tend to be fairly healthy dogs, but they are predisposed to certain conditions such as hip dysplasia and Collie eye anomaly. These problems, while genetic, can be somewhat influenced by nutrition at a young age.
Many vets prefer high-quality commercial diets. You can often find that a good protein is first on the ingredients list. Good diets will omit ingredients such as “by-products,” “meal” or “derivatives.”
Border Collies, as a medium breed, don’t necessarily need a size-specific dog food, but will thrive on most good-quality dog foods. They may benefit from higher-fat diets if they work and perform high-intensity activities on a daily basis.
But if your dog is just a “weekend” athlete, increasing the daily share of food should be enough to give them the extra energy needed. However, your Border Collie puppy needs dog food designed for puppies, like this one:
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice features real meat and wholesome ingredients. It’s specially formulated with fatty acids DHA and ARA for cognitive function and retinal health. And it has glucosamine and chondroitin for joint and mobility support.
How Feeding Changes As A Border Collie Puppy Gets Older
As your Border Collie puppy gets older, her nutritional requirements and caloric needs will change.
Your adult dog food will have less protein and calcium, less of certain minerals, and probably fewer omega-3 fatty acids. Less fat, too.
Once your canine pal reaches about 80 percent of the expected adult size, you can switch to an adult dog food – that’s about 12 months old for Border Collies.
What To Feed A Border Collie Puppy
A Border Collie Puppy will do just fine on a diet that includes high quality nutrition suitable for her size and stage of life.
Whether that’s kibble or wet food, or commercial or homemade, is up to you. Only you know what will work the best for your dog and your family!
Border Collies are such amazing companions, they deserve the best. So let’s look at your options.
Feeding A Border Collie Puppy Kibble
Commercial dry kibble is a very popular choice for dog owners because you’ll find plenty of nutritionally complete options at a reasonable price point.
Just make sure that you start off with a puppy formula. Check that the brand you choose offers complete and balanced nutrition.
Look for several good, meat-based protein sources in the first five ingredients listed on the package.
One advantage of kibble is that it helps mechanically clean puppies’ teeth, thanks to its texture.
Feeding A Border Collie Puppy Wet Food
Both dry and canned dog food options are digestible and full of nutrition. Veterinarians recommend choosing one based on your preferences, budget, and lifestyle.
Just know that not all wet foods offer the same level of complete nutrition you’d get from kibble. Make sure to read labels and to supplement if needed.
However, canned foods are a good choice for dogs that need better hydration, or those that are recovering from an illness. If they don’t have much appetite, wet food may tempt them.
Many owners combine wet and dry for optimum nutrition and flavor, and less budget pressure.
Feeding A Border Collie Puppy Raw (BARF)
Raw food diets such as BARF (Bones and Raw Feeding) are popular, and some breeders and veterinarians recommend them. They are palatable and natural, providing certain benefits in terms of nutrition, energy levels, and skin health.
However, you should know the science regarding raw diets is still mostly negative. This may be a matter of science needing to study raw diets more. But for the moment, most researchers, many vets, and the FDA all agree that raw diets may be dangerous.
This is mainly because raw diets tend to be unbalanced, and the bacteria in raw meat can be easily passed to dogs and their humans.
Studies have shown that up to 60 percent of raw and homemade diets had major nutritional imbalances for dogs, and that 80 percent of raw chicken diets tested positive for salmonella. If you decide that this is the right diet for your dog, make sure to allow some transition time.
Also, do your research so that you understand how to store and handle meat properly. This includes how long to leave it out, where to feed, how to clean areas where meat has been handled, and thawing issues.
Know what nutrition your dog needs at different life stages and how raw foods can get you there.
Make sure your dog gets regular checkups so you can adjust nutrient levels if needed.
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Feeding Your Border Collie Puppy A Homemade Diet
The difference between a raw diet and a homemade diet is that homemade diets can include cooked meats and vegetables.
Some foods provide more, better nutrition when cooked, and some provide more when raw. So in some ways this diet is more flexible than the raw diet.
Like raw diets, homemade diets can be more natural and palatable.
However, some of the same issues must be addressed, especially with regards to balancing nutrition for your puppy.
Don’t just feed your dog the same things you’re eating.
Get guidance from experts, such as your veterinarian, to make sure your dog is getting the right nutrition for her life stage and size. And make sure to bring her back for regular checkups.
How Much Should I Feed My Border Collie Puppy?
Feeding amounts for dogs vary based on factors such as breed, lifestyle, and body condition.
Border Collies are especially active dogs who love to work, so take that into account.
The National Research Council of the National Academies says that a 20 lb. puppy of the breed needs about 733 calories per day, while an active adult Border Collie of 40 lbs. needs about 1109 calories a day.
Your vet can tell you exactly how much you should be feeding your Border Collie puppy.
Puppies should be fed more often than adults. Start with 4-6 well-spaced meals per day, then reduce that 2-3 small meals per day at 6 months.
As your puppy grows up, start feeding 1-2 meals a day. Make portions a bit larger as you reduce the frequency.
Don’t overfeed! Studies show that dogs whose diets were responsibly restricted early on experienced longer lifespans and later onset of problems such as osteoarthritis.
Is My Border Collie Puppy The Right Weight?
You don’t want your new Border Collie puppy to be either overweight or underweight. Both conditions are detrimental to your dog’s health.
Weigh your dog regularly and compare numbers to a Border Collie growth chart provided by your vet or a breeder. This can help you adjust food amounts as needed.
Information about your puppy’s parents can provide height and weight milestones for your own dog, if you can access that.
One thing to do is to check out your dog’s ribs. In an overweight dog, you can’t see them. In an underweight dog, you’ll see too much.
Look for a mix of flesh and bone when you feel your dog’s ribs.
Watch for signs of exhaustion in your puppy, or difficulties in turning around to groom the backside.
Also be aware of gas and bowel movement issues. All of these symptoms can denote an unhealthy weight.
My Border Collie Puppy Is Still Hungry
Some puppies want to eat even after you provide the correct portion of food.
Don’t give more, no matter how cute she is when she whimpers at you! If you do, you risk overfeeding your dog, and experiencing problems from obesity.
Instead, try other ways of making them feel full faster. A slow-feeder bowl can make it a little more difficult to eat everything in a couple of gulps, for example.
A treat ball, a puzzle feeder, or other toys can provide plenty of entertainment while they slow down your dog’s feeding.
If you worry you’re not feeding the right amount, consult your veterinarian.
My Border Collie Puppy Won’t Eat
Sometimes puppies will turn up their noses at food, especially when stressed.
So if you’ve just gotten one, and she won’t eat, she might be showing signs of anxiety at the new move.
But if your puppy refuses to eat for more than a couple of meals, and if you also see signs of sickness such as diarrhea or vomiting, go see a vet!
How Long Is A Border Collie Considered A Puppy?
Border Collies are considered to be adults after about a year.
They may still be growing after that time, but at 12 months you can start feeding your Border Collie puppy adult food.
Feeding A Border Collie Puppy
Need help? Turn to your veterinarian to help you select a type of food. Your vet can recommend the best puppy food for Border Collie puppies based on knowledge of the most current research.
Tell us about your Border Collie Puppy!
References and Resources
Riverside Drive Animal Care Center, “How To Tell If Your Dog Is Overweight“.
Fawler, D. et al (2008). “Diet restriction and aging in the dog: major observations over two decades“. British Journal of Nutrition, 99(4).
Joffe, J. J. and Schlesinger, D. P. (2011). “Raw food diets in companion animals: A critical review“. The Canadian Veterinary Journal, 52(1).
Fleeman, L. M. and Owens, E. (2007). “Applied Animal Nutrition in McGowan, C, Goff, L. & Stubbs, N (eds.) Animal Physiotherapy“. Assessment, Treatment and Rehabilitation. Blackwell Publishing.
Weese, J. S. et al (2005). “Bacteriological evaluation of commercial canine and feline raw diets“. The Canadian Veterinary Journal, 46(6).
The National Academies (2006). “Your Dog’s Nutritional Needs: A Science-Based Guide for Pet Owners“. Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats.