How Much Should a Border Collie Eat: Expert Feeding Guide

Border Collies are one of the more popular breed of dog, known for their high energy levels and intelligence.

However, when it comes to feeding these dogs, many people are unsure of how much food they should be giving them.

In this article, we’ll look to provide a comprehensive answer the question how much should a Border Collie eat, taking into account their age, weight, and level of activity.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your Border Collie is getting the right amount of food to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.

How Much Should a Border Collie Eat

Understanding the Border Collie’s Nutritional Needs

As a highly active breed, Border Collies require a well-balanced diet to maintain their health and energy levels.

Proper nutrition is essential for their growth, development, and overall wellbeing.

Here are some key factors to consider when feeding your Border Collie:

The Basics

Firstly, it is important to note that Border Collies have a small stomach, and therefore should be fed according to their needs and health benefits.

  • Adult Border Collies should be given 2-3 cups of food, twice per day,
  • Puppies should be given 0.5-1 cup of food, twice per day.

However, the exact amount of food a Border Collie needs will vary depending on their weight, age, and level of exercise.

Energetic Needs

Border Collies are highly energetic and require a diet that can keep up with their active lifestyle.

When it comes to the specifics, the American Kennel Club, estimates that an adult Border Collie weighing between 30 and 55 pounds would be consuming between 694 and 1,092 calories per day.

Of course, this depends on each individual dog. It’ll be more if your dog is more active, less if it’s less active, but generally speaking, will be around these numbers.


Border Collies need a balanced diet that includes protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.

  • Protein is essential for muscle development, and sources such as chicken, fish, and beef provide the necessary amino acids for healthy growth and maintenance.
  • Fats are needed as an energy source. These can be fatty fish like salmon, or oils.
  • Carbohydrates provide energy and fiber for digestive health. .

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals play a crucial role in your Border Collie’s health too.

They support their immune system, help maintain healthy bones and teeth, and aid in overall growth and development.

A well-balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can provide your Border Collie with the necessary vitamins and minerals.

Immune System

A healthy immune system is essential for your Border Collie’s overall health.

A well-balanced diet that includes antioxidants, such as those found in blueberries and spinach, can help support their immune system.

Feeding Formula

When it comes to feeding your Border Collie, there is no one-size-fits-all formula.

The amount of food your Border Collie needs will depend on their age, weight, and activity level.

Generally speaking, 2-3 cups of quality kibble twice per day, is a good starting point for feeding your adult Border Collie

In conclusion, a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals is essential for your Border Collie’s overall health and wellbeing.

By understanding their nutritional needs and feeding them a balanced diet, you can help ensure that your Border Collie stays healthy and happy for years to come.

Feeding Puppies vs Adults

Feeding Border Collie Puppies

Feeding a Border Collie puppy is different from feeding an adult Border Collie.

Puppies need more calories and nutrients to support their growth and development in the beginning, so it’s essential to feed them a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs.

According to the Border Collie feeding chart, a puppy needs to be fed 0.5-1 cups of dog food twice per day.

To be 100% sure, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian. He or she will help you determine the right amount of food.

When feeding Border Collie puppies, it is also crucial to feed them several small meals throughout the day instead of one or two large meals.

This helps prevent digestive issues and ensures that the puppy receives a steady supply of nutrients.

Feeding Adult Border Collies

Adult Border Collies have different nutritional needs than puppies, of course.

They require fewer calories and nutrients to maintain their weight and overall health.

According to the Border Collie feeding chart, an adult Border Collie needs to be fed 2-3 cups of dog food twice per day which of course depends on the dog’s size, breed, and activity level.

When feeding adult Border Collies, it’s important to choose a high-quality dog food that is appropriate for their age and activity level and to also feed them at regular intervals to help discipline them around food, (a pretty sensitive subject).

In summary, feeding Border Collie puppies and adult Border Collies requires different approaches.

  • Puppies need more calories and nutrients to support their growth and development,
  • Adult Border Collies require fewer calories to maintain their weight and overall health. 

Remember to always ask a vet, for advice on specific feeding strategies.

Determining the Right Amount of Food

Feeding your Border Collie the right amount of food is important for their overall health and well-being.

You don’t want to be too extremist.

Overfeeding can lead to obesity, while underfeeding can result in malnutrition and other health issues.

When it comes to specific food for Border Collies, there are many options available, including dry dog food, and wet dog food.

We’ve gone over the best food for non working Border Collies in this article here in case you need more information.

When it comes to the specific amounts, the amount of food your Border Collie needs depends on their weight and stage of life.

As we mentioned before, you’d want to feed your Border Collie:

  • 0.5-1 cups of food twice per day if they’re a puppy.
  • 2-3 cups of food twice per day if they’re an adult, depending on their activity levels.

It’s important to note that feeding charts should only be used as a guide and not as a strict rule. Every Border Collie is different, and their food intake may vary depending on their individual needs.

In addition to their regular meals, treats can also be given to Border Collies.

However, it’s important to limit the number of treats and ensure they are healthy and nutritious. Overfeeding treats can lead to weight gain and other health issues.

In summary, determining the right amount of food for your Border Collie requires considering their weight, age, activity level, and type of food. 

Providing a balanced diet with high-quality dog food and limiting treats can help ensure your Border Collie maintains a healthy weight and receives proper nutrition.

How Much Should a Border Collie Eat 2

Feeding Schedule and Routine

Feeding your Border Collie on a regular schedule is essential for maintaining their health and well-being.

Here are some guidelines to follow when creating a feeding schedule and routine for your Border Collie:

Feeding Frequency

Puppies require more frequent feedings than adult dogs.

For the first few weeks of their lives, puppies should be fed every 2-3 hours.

As they grow, you can gradually reduce the frequency of their meals.

By the time they are six months old, they should be eating two meals a day.

Adult Border Collies should be fed twice a day, ideally at the same time each day.

This will help regulate their digestive system and prevent overeating.

Effect of Lifestyle and Activity Level on Diet

A Border Collie’s diet should be tailored to their lifestyle and activity level.

So it comes to reason, that a highly active dog with a lot of exercise will require more calories than a more sedentary dog.

As we mentioned before, According to the AKC, a standard Border Collie weighing between 30-55lbs typically needs around 700-1,000 calories per day to maintain normal activity levels.

For example, a working Border Collie that spends most of the day herding sheep or participating in dog sports will require significantly more calories than a dog that spends most of their day lounging on the couch.

Adjusting their food intake accordingly is something you’ll need to figure out on the go. If a dog’s activity level decreases, their food intake should also decrease to prevent weight gain and potential health issues.

Understanding Food Types and Quality

When it comes to feeding your Border Collie, understanding the differences between the types of food available and their quality, is pretty important.

Here, we will discuss dry food vs wet food and commercial food vs raw food.

Dry Food vs Wet Food

Dry food, also known as kibble, is the most commonly used type of dog food. It’s convenient and has a long shelf life.

Wet food, on the other hand, is more expensive and has a shorter shelf life. However, wet food is a good option if you want to have a bit more control over the ingredients.

Both types of food can be nutritionally balanced, but it is important to check the ingredients and nutritional content.

Dry food tends to have higher carbohydrate content, while wet food has higher protein content. 

Commercial Food vs Raw Food

Commercial dog food is formulated to meet the nutritional needs of dogs and is convenient to use.

Raw food, on the other hand, is a controversial option that involves feeding dogs uncooked meat, bones, and vegetables.

While raw food can provide some health benefits, it also carries some risk of bacterial contamination and nutrient imbalances.

Not all commercial dog food is created equal though. Some brands use low-quality ingredients and fillers, while others use high-quality ingredients and are nutritionally balanced.

Look for a food that lists meat as the first ingredient and does not contain artificial preservatives or colors.

How Much Should a Border Collie Eat 3

Other Considerations

When choosing a food for your Border Collie, consider their digestive system and any specific dietary needs they may have.

Some dogs may be sensitive to certain ingredients, such as grains or chicken, and may require a specialized diet.

In general, a high-quality food that contains a balance of protein, fats, vegetables, and fiber is best for your Border Collie.

Potential Health Issues Related to Diet

As you may have noticed from this article, a Border Collie’s diet is a crucial part of their overall health and wellbeing.

Feeding them the right amount of food and providing a balanced diet can help prevent potential health issues.

Here are some potential health issues related to diet that Border Collie owners should be aware of:

Stomach Problems

Border Collies can be prone to stomach problems such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

These issues can be caused by overeating, eating too quickly, or consuming food that is not suitable for their digestive system.

To prevent these issues, simply feed your Border Collie a high-quality diet that is easy to digest and to avoid overfeeding them.

If there is anything your dog seems to not be able to digest correctly, try not giving it to it.


Obesity is a common health issue in dogs, including Border Collies.

Obesity can lead to other health issues such as joint problems, heart disease, and diabetes.

To prevent obesity, it is important to feed your Border Collie the recommended amount of food and to provide regular exercise.


While diet alone cannot prevent cancer, studies have shown that a healthy diet can reduce the risk of cancer in dogs.

Feeding your Border Collie a diet that is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals can help support their immune system and reduce the risk of cancer.

Senior Dogs

As Border Collies age, their dietary needs change.

Senior dogs require fewer calories and may need a diet that is lower in fat and higher in fiber.

Feeding your senior Border Collie a diet that is tailored to their specific needs can help prevent health issues and improve their quality of life.

Dealing with Feeding Difficulties

Feeding difficulties can be a frustrating experience for pet owners.

If your border collie is not eating or is a picky eater, it can be challenging to ensure that they are getting the right amount of food and nutrients they need to stay healthy.

Here are some tips to help you deal with feeding difficulties:

Not Eating or Underfeeding

If your border collie is not eating or is underfeeding, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue like nausea, indigestion or even depression.

It’s essential to take your dog to the vet to rule out any medical conditions.

If your dog is healthy, try to make mealtime more appealing by adding a small amount of wet food or broth to their kibble.

You can also try changing the brand or type of food you’re feeding them!

Picky Eater

Some border collies can be picky eaters, which can make it challenging to ensure they’re getting the right amount of nutrients.

If your dog is a picky eater, the solution might be to try to feed them at the same time every day and remove any uneaten food after 20 minutes.

You can also try feeding them smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day as a strategy.

Always Hungry

If your border collie is always hungry, it could be a sign that they’re not getting enough calories of nutrients.

Make sure you’re feeding them the recommended amount of food for their age, weight, and activity level.

You can also try feeding them high-fiber foods like sweet potatoes or green beans to help them feel fuller for longer, as long as these don’t bloat your dog.

Consulting with a Vet

When it comes to feeding your Border Collie, in any way shape or form, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian with whatever question you might have.

  • A vet can provide you with personalized advice based on your dog’s age, weight, activity level, and overall health.
  • They can even recommend the amount of water your Border Collie should be drinking.
  • If you notice that your Border Collie is gaining weight, your vet can help you adjust their diet. They can help you create a feeding plan that will help your dog lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way.
  • If your dog is not eating, they can help diagnose any potential issues it may be having.
  • Maybe your dog has an uncommon metabolism. Some dogs have a faster metabolism than others, which means they may need to eat more frequently or in smaller portions throughout the day. Your vet can help you determine the best feeding schedule for your dog based on their individual needs.

All in all, when selecting dog food for your Border Collie, consulting with a vet is essential.

Your vet can provide you with personalized advice on water intake, weight gain, metabolism, and food selection to ensure that your dog is getting the nutrition they need to stay healthy and happy.

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