Border Collie puppies are highly energetic, intelligent, medium sized shepherding dogs. They are working breeds that do best fed on high fat, high protein foods with lower or limited carbohydrates. 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.
When you bring home a Border Collie puppy, stick with the breeder’s chosen brand of food. 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.
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.
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.
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.
How Much To Feed A Border Collie Puppy
Begin by feeding your puppy according to the packaging of their food. You’ll probably find it has daily amounts written on the side, which you’ll need to divide by the number of times you’ll be feeding each day. You can adjust these amounts by a small handful a day up or down, depending on whether you feel your puppy is looking a bit slim or chubby.
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.
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.
How Often To Feed Them
Puppies should be fed more often than adults. We feed our working dogs four meals a day as puppies, but we separate their kibble out into five portions each morning. This is because one is set aside to be used as training treats. If you don’t use this up during the day, you can add it to their bowl at dinner time.
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!