Black and white Border Collie sitting under trees

What is the Best Dog Food for my Border Collie?


This article is written by Pet Circle's qualified veterinarian, Dr Katelyn Bailey, BVSc (Hons)

Border Collies are intelligent, high-energy dogs that make excellent companions. As a working breed they need plenty of exercise and enrichment to keep their minds busy, and thrive on a premium quality diet that is formulated to meet their energy needs, maintain their luxurious coat, provide joint support and support their immune system.

While there are many important decisions to be made as a pet parent, what you feed your dog is one of the most crucial. Diet can impact your pet's energy levels, longevity and overall health- for better or worse.

Over the years, good nutrition has become more of a priority for pet parents, and these days there are an overwhelming number of options available. To make things a little simpler we have compiled below a list of the best foods suitable for Border Collies.

Four factors to consider when choosing a food for your Border Collie:
  1. Complete and balanced: The first important thing to check is that the diet is complete and balanced for your dog's size and stage of life. Confirming that it meets AAFCO or FEDIAF pet food guidelines is crucial in ensuring that your dog receives all the nutrients they require in the correct ratios.
  2. Health conditions: If your Border Collie has any diagnosed health conditions, your treating veterinarian should be your first port of call when it comes to dietary advice. Nutrition can play a huge part in the management of many health issues. There may be prescription diets available to help manage your dog's condition (these would need to be recommended directly by your vet). There are also a range of non-prescription, therapeutic options available to help prevent certain conditions, or support your Border Collie's specific needs.
  3. Age: Dogs of different ages have very different nutritional requirements. Border Collie puppies require energy-dense food which meets their ongoing growth rates, while senior Border Collies are often less active and have a slower metabolism which means that they require fewer calories and less fat, but an easily digestible diet, to help them maintain good body condition.
  4. Quality:The quality of the ingredients and the digestibility of the nutrients they provide should be a key factor in choosing a food. Premium foods are designed to be highly digestible (which means smaller, firmer stools) and do not change ingredients batch to batch like grocery type brands, which means less tummy upsets. They also tend to contain higher levels of added beneficial nutrients, such as omega fatty acids for joint and coat health, and some are backed by testing to ensure they deliver the results they promise. Learning how to read pet food labels and understanding the ingredients in your dog's food are crucial parts of knowing what is the best food for them.


  1. Best Overall: Eukanuba Adult Medium Breed
  2. Runner Up: Pro Plan Adult Medium Breed Essential Health
  3. Best Natural Diet: Black Hawk Adult Lamb and Rice
  4. Best Puppy Food: Royal Canin Medium Puppy
  5. Best Natural Puppy Food: Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Smoked Salmon Puppy
  6. Best for Working Border Collies: Advance Active Adult
  7. Best for Senior Border Collies: Pro Plan Adult 7 Plus Medium And Large Breed Bright Mind
  8. Best for Health Support:Hill's Science Diet Adult Healthy Mobility

How We Review Our Products

Our Pet Circle Vet Squad comprises 30 vets with over 120 years of collective, independent veterinary expertise. Our Vet team use their health and husbandry knowledge, along with their own personal and clinical experiences to evaluate each product and provide detailed, informative reviews, free of any commercial bias. We then collate this information into our 'best of' recommendations.

Top Foods for Border Collies in Australia

Best Overall: Eukanuba Adult Medium Breed


  • Contains omega fatty acids to support skin and coat health, plus beet pulp and prebiotic fibres for healthy digestion.
  • Includes glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support
  • Uniquely shaped kibble to help reduce tartar build-up
  • Formulated with DHA and antioxidants for brain health
  • Available in multiple bag sizes
  • Made in Australia


  • Poultry based diet that may not be suitable for dogs with food allergies or intolerances
  • Not suitable for senior dogs over 7 years of age

Eukanuba is known for its range of premium diets made from high-quality ingredients and backed by decades of scientific research. It's a highly reputable brand that is used and recommended by many veterinarians, breeders and owners.

Eukanuba Adult Medium Breed is specially formulated for adult medium breed dogs between the age of 1 and 7 years. It's full of healthy, nutritious ingredients that support all areas of general health including dental, skin, coat, immune, digestion and joint support. You can rest assured that it is perfectly matched to your Border Collie's nutritional requirements- and as an added bonus, it's Australian-made!

This food is available in 3kg, 7.5kg and 15kg bag sizes. Its unique blend of nutrients make it our top pick for healthy adult Border Collies.

What our customers say: "This is undoubtedly the best dry dog food I have ever purchased for my beautiful girl Luna. Her coat has never looked better, she's filled with energy and she is not barking for more food. Totally wonderful product that I highly recommend purchasing for your/man's best friend."

What our vets say: "Eukanuba Adult Medium Breed is a great quality product that meets the nutritional needs of dogs like Border Collies. This diet is formulated with high quality chicken protein to support lean muscles, as well as the addition of glucosamine and chondroitin to support healthy joints. It also promotes digestive health through a blend of natural fibres and prebiotics, and contains the optimal energy levels to suit your Border Collie's active lifestyle!" - Dr Jacqui Victor

Shop Eukanuba Adult Medium Breed

Runner Up: Pro Plan Adult Medium Breed Essential Health


  • Fortified with live probiotics to support immune and digestive health
  • Contains vitamin A and omega fatty acids for skin and coat health, as well as glucosamine for joint support
  • Includes antioxidants to boost immune defence
  • Made in Australia


  • Poultry-based, so may not be the best option for dogs with a chicken allergy or intolerance
  • Only available in 2 bag sizes

Pro Plan Adult Medium Breed Essential Health is another fantastic dry food option tailored specifically for adult medium breed dogs like Border Collies. It's made up of carefully selected ingredients that are scientifically proven to support digestive, skin, coat, joint and immune health. It's made in Australia and has recently upgraded its ingredients list, with a new, enhanced formula to deliver improved digestibility and support optimal nutrient absorption.

This dry food is available in both 3kg and 15kg bags.

What our customers say: "2 out of 3 of our dogs are on this food, great shiny coats, bright eyes and plenty of energy. Highly recommend."

What our vets say: "I like the Pro Plan Adult Medium Breed Essential Health because it offers balanced nutrition tailored to medium-sized adult dogs. It provides a well-rounded diet to support muscle maintenance, joint health, digestion, skin and coat care, immune function, and dental health" - Dr Nicole Du Plessis

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Best Natural Diet: Black Hawk Adult Lamb and Rice


  • Lamb-based kibble which provides some tasty flavour variety
  • Includes glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support
  • Contains omega fatty acids from emu oil for skin and coat health, and prebiotics for digestive support
  • Natural, holistic nutrition with alternative flavours and a grain-free version also available
  • Available in a range of bag sizes
  • Made in Australia


  • Though it is lamb-based, it does still contain fish and chicken, so would not be suitable for dogs with allergies to these proteins
  • Not formulated specifically for medium breeds

Full of wholesome, functional natural ingredients with known beneficial properties, Black Hawk Adult Lamb and Rice is an excellent option for your Border Collie. While not specifically formulated for medium breed dogs like most of the other options on this list, it very importantly still contains glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support.

It's Australian made and offers multiple bag sizes ranging from 3kg to 20kg, suitable for any household and storage need. Black Hawk also makes a range of grain-free wet food which is an excellent accompaniment to this kibble.

What our customers say: "We have ordered Lamb and Rice for my dog Tilly and she has had no problems with this food. She appears to really enjoy it. Her coat is shiny and she is in very good health. I like that it is a high quality Australian made product that is also great value."

What our vets say: "Black Hawk Adult Lamb and Rice is a premium, natural and Australian made food that is perfect for active dogs like Border Collies. This variety provides a high protein and increased fat content to supply all the energy your active dog needs. The addition of emu oil is also great for supporting their coat and joint health" - Dr Josepha Cox

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Best Puppy Food: Royal Canin Medium Puppy


  • Premium food formulated to support the development of medium breed puppies up until 12 months of age
  • Contains ingredients tailored for puppy health and growth such as antioxidants for a stronger immune system, omega fatty acids for brain development, and specific nutrient ratios for bone and joint development
  • Highly digestible ingredients, optimal levels of fibre and prebiotics to support puppies' more fragile digestive systems
  • Available in a range of bag sizes


  • Poultry-based, so may not be the best option for dogs with a chicken allergy or intolerance
  • Not made in Australia

Royal Canin provides premium, tailored, research-backed nutrition for pets of all ages, sizes and health statuses. Their Medium Puppy formula is the perfect option for Border Collie puppies, with a carefully selected ratio of protein and fibre to promote optimal growth, and added nutrients to ensure your pup will thrive.

This kibble is available in a range of bag sizes, from 4kg to 30kg, to suit any need. An accompanying wet food is also available, which will provide your pup with some taste and texture variety.

What our customers say: "I recently got my first puppy and at first we didn't know much about dog food. We researched about dog food and came to a decision that Royal Canin was the best option for our new pooch. He really loves the food and never refuses to eat it. His coat is shiny, he's at the perfect weight, he doesn't get sick as the food has all the supplements and added nutrients that he needs.. it's exactly what I look for when I'm looking for good dog food. The price is a bit higher than other food but it's worth it. ."

What our vets say: "I like to recommend feeding Royal Canin Medium Puppy for Border Collies, and this is what I fed my dog when he was a puppy. It is formulated for medium breed puppies, having a high energy content for their short growth period. It has highly digestible protein and prebiotics which support their digestive health and help produce small and easy to pick up stools. I also liked the size of the adapted kibble as it was big enough for him to chew it, but not too big that he didn't want to chew it!" - Dr Angie Armstrong

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Best Natural Puppy Food: Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Formula with Smoked Salmon


  • Contains only salmon and fish as the protein sources, so great option for pups with a chicken allergy or sensitivity
  • Salmon and fish are a natural source of omega fatty acids for skin, coat and brain health
  • Highly digestible, with a focus on immunity-boosting ingredients
  • Available in multiple bag sizes
  • Smaller kibble size, ideal for little puppy mouths


  • Not formulated specifically for medium breed puppies- suited for pups of all sizes as well as pregnant and lactating female dogs
  • Not made in Australia

Taste of the Wild make very high quality, natural grain free diets, with a focus on whole foods and digestive support. The Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Smoked Salmon Puppy food is another great choice for your Border Collie puppy. This food in particular is an excellent option for pups with food allergies or intolerances as it contains only salmon and fish as the protein sources, and none of the proteins that commonly contribute to food allergies. Full of natural, wholesome ingredients, it has been carefully formulated to boost immunity and support skin, coat, joint and brain health during your pup's critical time of growth.

Boosted with salmon oil, and containing fresh salmon, smoked salmon as well as salmon meal, this food is hgh in omega fatty acids for optimal brain and vision support in growing puppies. This food comes in 2kg, 5.6kg and 12.2kg bag sizes.

What our customers say: "Love this brand of dog food. Made with premium ingredients I know my puppy is getting the best. He loves it and I will always buy taste of the wild!"

What our vets say: "The Taste of the Wild Smoked Salmon Puppy diet is a great alternative flavour option for puppies that is free from the common food allergens. It's always my go to for puppies with sensitive stomachs or food allergies, because of the use of salmon and fish, probiotics and high omega fatty acid content to support skin and joints." - Dr Brittany Ward

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Best for Working or Active Border Collies: Advance Active Adult


  • High energy, high protein formula to meet the needs of active or working adult dogs
  • Contains omega fatty acids and zinc for a healthier skin and coat
  • Fermentable prebiotic fibre promotes healthier digestion
  • Includes green lipped mussel powder, a potent natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin, for joint support
  • Specifically designed to help reduce dental tartar formation for better oral health
  • Made in Australia


  • Not formulated specifically for medium breed dogs
  • Only available in larger bags- smallest bag is 13kg
  • Contains chicken, so not suitable for dogs with chicken allergy or intolerance

Advance Active Adult is perfectly formulated to meet the needs of highly active and/or working Border Collies. These dogs require a premium, high-energy food in order to function at their best. Prioritising joint support is also critical to help protect overworked joints, and may delay the onset of arthritis. Advance Active contains green-lipped mussel, an excellent source of both glucosamine and chondroitin, to support joint and cartilage health. It also includes all the other benefits you would expect from a premium brand, such as high digestibility and tailored skin and coat support.

This high quality, Australian-made food is available in 13kg and 17kg bag sizes.

What our customers say: "Advance Active is a great food for our very active dogs and they love it also. The shine on their coats is a sign of inner health and I have no hesitation in recommending this product to all that enquire about how shiny and healthy the coats look. Active is a complete food and I have all confidence that it has all required to make our dogs enjoy a happy and 'active' full life."

What our vets say: "Border Collies are known for their intelligence and high level of energy. For breeds like this who are often very active or working dogs, a diet like the Advance Active Adult is one of my best bets. It's a premium highly digestible diet that's higher in energy and protein levels to better fuel your best friend for their everyday activities. It's also formulated with additional ingredients like prebiotic fibers for healthy digestion, green lipped mussel for joint health, and omega 3 and 6 for healthy skin and coat." - Dr Antonella Viriña

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Best for Senior Border Collies: Pro Plan Adult 7 Plus Medium And Large Breed Bright Mind


  • Contains a unique blend of brain-supporting nutrients, including MCT oils, which are proven to promote mental alertness and sharpness and improve cognitive function
  • Includes omega fatty acids for coat and skin health, as well as glucosamine and other targeted nutrients for joint support and improved mobility
  • High in antioxidants to support a healthy immune system for healthy ageing
  • Formulated to reduce tartar formation
  • Made in Australia


  • Contains chicken, so may not be suitable for dogs with a chicken allergy or sensitivity
  • Available in 12kg bag only
  • Larger kibble size may be difficult for some senior dogs to manage

A common age-related change affecting many older dogs is gradual cognitive decline. This unique formula is proven to boost cognitive function, and is packed full of brain-supporting nutrients like arginine, DHA & EPA, vitamin E & C and B vitamins. This helps to improve alertness, energy and vitality. Many owners report increased mental alertness and sharpness in their senior dogs that had been showing signs of canine cognitive dysfunction before starting on this food.

Of course, this Australian-made kibble also has everything else your senior Border Collie needs such as joint and coat support, premium nutrition and immune-boosting components. Together this makes it an ideal choice, and our top pick for senior dogs.

It is available in a 12kg bag size.

What our customers say: "Great product, our senior mixed breed was struggling with alertness and wanting to sleep all day and going off her food. Since switching to Pro Plan Bright Mind she is engaging in play with the other dogs, has a brighter expression and hasn't missed a meal."

What our vets say: "I routinely recommend Pro Plan Adult 7 Plus Bright Mind to support the needs of ageing dogs, even those without any obvious signs of cognitive decline. Senior pets have unique nutritional needs. Providing them with quality, tailored nutrition can make such a difference in their health and wellbeing." - Dr. Susan Nguyen

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Best for Health Support: Hill's Science Diet Adult Healthy Mobility


  • Formulated specifically for joint support- contains EPA from fish oil which helps keep joint cartilage healthy, as well as calcium for strong bones and L-carnitine for maintaining lean muscles
  • Also contains natural sources of glucosamine & chondroitin, both of which are building blocks of healthy cartilage
  • Includes unique blend of antioxidants for immune support
  • Suitable for both adult and senior dogs


  • Not suitable for puppies less than 12 months of age/li>
  • Not formulated for a specific breed size
  • Only available in larger bag size
  • Not made in Australia

Hill's Science Diet Adult Healthy Mobility is an excellent non-prescription option for dogs with mild stiffness or arthritis, or for those at risk of developing joint issues in the future. This may include dogs that have pre-existing problems such as hip dysplasia or cruciate disease, or highly active or working dogs. It's packed with ingredients to promote stronger, healthier joints and support the immune system.

Please note that this diet is generally only suited for mild mobility issues. For more severe cases, there are prescription joint care foods available that would need to be recommended by your pet's treating veterinarian. See our article on Arthritis Care for Dogs for more information on managing joint conditions.

This food is available in 12kg and 24kg bag sizes.

What our customers say: "This product has been fantastic for our 2 older dogs (both 10 yrs old). One of them had a bit of a limp 12 months ago & our vet suggested this product & it has really helped. We are also happy to pay extra for these better brands that we know are good for them."

What our vets say: "Hill's Healthy Mobility diet is a great way to support your dog's joint health whether they have mild, early stage arthritis or are predisposed to joint issues. About 1 in 5 dogs (20%) over the age of 1 suffer from osteoarthritis, and more recent studies have suggested this number may be even higher. This food is formulated specifically for joint health and to improve mobility in dogs. Joint support can be started as early as possible, providing benefits and preventative care long before symptoms appear" - Dr Michelle Wong

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What to look for in a Border Collie food

When looking for a diet for your Border Collie, you want to make sure you are meeting their nutritional requirements and energy needs while also providing prevention from their common health problems.

High quality protein source

With their active natures and high intelligence, Border Collies require high-quality, highly digestible nutrients to meet their needs. Premium diets use protein that is easily digested and assimilated into the body, meaning the maximum amount of protein is absorbed and transported to where it's needed as fast as possible.

Ingredients for common health conditions

Border Collies can be prone to a number of health conditions, as such, the ideal diet should reflect this and include ingredients to help prevent these health problems. Some examples are:

  • Joint support: green lipped mussel, glucosamine, chondroitin, cartilage, green tea extract, omega fatty acids
  • Skin sensitivities and coat maintenance: Omega fatty acids, zinc, vitamin E, linoleic acid
  • Sensitive digestion: fibre (pumpkin, beet pulp, psyllium husk, elm bark, etc), probiotics, prebiotics, inulin

How much do Border Collies need to eat?

It is recommended to feed adult Border Collies twice daily. The actual amount of food required depends on your dog's activity level, body condition score and the energy content of the food they are eating. The feeding guidelines on the food packaging provide a great starting point, and our Vet Squad are available 7 days a week if you have any questions about your Border Collie's nutritional needs.

Further Reading

Border Collie Breed Guide

How to Spot a Good Pet Food

Australian-made Pet Products

How Much Should You Feed Your Pet?

What Are The Best Pet Treats?