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The name Collie is actually given to several different breeds, though is most commonly refers to the Rough Collie, or the Long-Haired Collie. This breed is medium to large in size and it is one of the original Collie breeds developed for herding in Scotland. The Collie comes in both a smooth-coated and rough-coated variety and it is similar in appearance to a larger Shetland Sheepdog. Collies exhibit a sable and white coloration with some black thrown into the mix. Many Collies have a white blaze on the face with a thick double coat.
Not only are Collies an excellent herding breed, but their intelligence lends them well to a variety of other dog sports. These dogs respond very well to training and they are generally a calm and gentle breed as well. The Collie gets along well with children and other animals, though they can be a little shy around strangers. To ensure that your Collie remains in good health you should feed him a diet specially formulated to provide for his nutritional needs. Below you will learn the basics about the nutritional needs for Collies – you will also learn about some special considerations to keep in mind when feeding your dog. You will also receive recommendations for three top-quality commercial dog food products that would be ideal for your Australian Shepherd.
Nutritional Needs for Collies
The Collie a medium- to large-sized dog that is known for its intelligence and herding ability. These dogs generally stand between 22 and 26 inches tall, weighing between 55 and 105 pounds at maturity. The Collie is easily identified by its thick double coat and long snout, though it has many other great features. In fact, the Collie is consistently ranked among the top 35 dog breeds according to AKC registration statistics. One of the most important things you need to remember about the Collie is that it is a smart and active breed. This being the case, the Collie needs plenty of mental and physical stimulation on a daily basis. In order to fuel your Collie’s activity level and size, make sure to feed him a medium- or large-breed specific dog food that meets his nutritional needs.
Like all living things, Collies require a balance of protein, fat and carbohydrate in their diet. Protein is the most important nutritional consideration for dogs and it should come from high-quality, animal-based sources like fresh meat and fish. Meat meals are another good source of protein for dogs because they have already been cooked down to a moisture level around 10%, compared to the 80% moisture level in fresh meat – this makes them a more highly concentrated source of protein. After protein, fat is the next most important nutritional consideration for dogs because it is a very concentrated source of energy. This is particularly important for active breeds like the Collie because they have fast metabolisms and high energy needs. Fats should also come from animal-based sources like chicken fat and salmon oil instead of plant sources like canola oil or flaxseed.
After protein and fat, carbohydrates are next on the list of dietary requirements for Collies. Carbohydrate provide your dog with vitamins and minerals as well as dietary fiber to promote healthy digestion. Look for a product that uses high-quality, digestible proteins like whole oats or brown rice. If you prefer to feed your dog a gluten- or grain-free diet, sweet potato and tapioca starch are good alternatives. You might also want to look for a product that includes valuable supplements like probiotics for healthy digestion and chelated minerals for increased nutrient absorption. Active dogs like the Collie may also benefit from glucosamine and chondroitin supplements to support their healthy bones and joints.
Special Considerations for Feeding Collies
In addition to making sure that your Collie’s general nutritional needs are met, you should also think about his activity level. The Collie was developed as a herding breed and, as such, it is a fairly active breed that may benefit from an active or working breed dog food formula. These formulas are usually higher in protein and fat to provide for the dog’s increased energy needs. If you plan to train your Collie for herding or other dog sports, an active breed formula may be the way to go. If you keep your Collie primarily as a pet, however, you might not want to give him the extra calories of an active formula because it could lead to unhealthy weight gain.
Another thing you need to be wary of with your Collie is the risk for food allergies. Food allergies can affect dogs of any breed or age, though Collies have a higher risk for food allergies than many breeds. If you suspect that your Collie is suffering from a food allergy you should switch him to a Limited Ingredient Diet (LID) made with a novel source of protein for a period of 12 weeks or until all signs of the allergy have disappeared. After that you can either continue to feed him the LID or introduce potential allergens one at a time until you identify the culprit. Once you do, simply remove that ingredient from your Collie’s diet permanently.
Top-Recommended Foods for Collies
If you need some help in finding the right food for your Collie, consider one of the commercial dog food brands discussed below. Be careful when considering a breed-specific formula for your dog – do not just assume that the formula will meet your dog’s needs without evaluating the product for yourself. Consider the ingredients list to make sure the product is of high-quality before offering it to your dog.
1. Nutro High Endurance Adult Dog Food
The Nutro Natural Choice pet food company is known for using only the highest-quality ingredients in their formulas and for putting all of their products through rigorous quality checks. This company offers a variety of different products for both dogs and cats, including formulas that are specially designed for puppies, adults, and senior dogs as well as breed-specific and working breed formulas. If you are training your Collie for herding or other dog sports, he may benefit from an active breed formula like the Nutro High Endurance Adult Dog Food formula. This formula is made with chicken meal and whole brown rice as the top two ingredients with other notable ingredients like whole grain oatmeal, fish oil, and chicken fat. This dog food contains 30% protein for enhanced muscle recovery and 20% fat for balanced energy levels. It is also supplemented with antioxidants, probiotics, and chelated minerals.
2. Natural Balance Original Ultra Chicken, Chicken Meal, Duck Meal Formula
The Natural Balance pet food company was founded in order to provide pets and their human companions with “food for a lifetime”. This company produces high-quality pet foods that are based on sound scientific principles and nutritional truths. Natural Balance offers a variety of different product lines including the Wild Pursuit line of natural diets made with freeze-dried pieces, the Fat Dogs line of low-calorie foods, and the Ultra Premium line of complete health formulas. The Natural Balance Original Ultra Chicken, Chicken Meal, Duck Meal Formula is a great choice for your Collie because it is made with high-quality ingredients in a balanced formula. This dog food contains chicken, brown rice, and oats as the top three ingredients followed by chicken meal and other meat meals for additional protein. This formula is designed to support your dog’s whole-body health, supporting his energy needs as well as his nutritional needs.
3. Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain-Free Chicken Recipe
The Blue Buffalo pet food company is known for using the best ingredients and for providing a wide variety of options for pet owners. Blue Buffalo offers four different lines of dog food products – the Life Protection line, the Freedom line of grain-free foods, the Basics line of Limited Ingredient Diets, and the Wilderness line. The Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain-Free Chicken Recipe is a great choice for your Collie because it is loaded with the protein your dog needs to maintain a healthy bodyweight – it is also supplemented with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for beautiful skin and coat. This formula is made with deboned chicken, chicken meal, and tapioca starch as the top three ingredients and it also contains chicken fat, turkey meal, and flaxseed. This Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain-Free Chicken Recipe is made with LifeSource Bits which contain a proprietary blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals – plus, it is supplemented with chondroitin and glucosamine for bone and joint health.
The Collie is a beautiful and intelligent breed that does very well as a family pet. Whether you keep your Collie as a companion animal or train him for herding and other dog sports, feeding him the right diet is a must. If you need help choosing a dog food for your Collie, consider one of the top-rated brands discussed above.