6 Best Dog Food For Rough Collies In 2022

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Rough Collies are medium to large-sized, active dogs that were originally bred for herding purposes. They are highly energetic and are friendly companions in the family.

After spending days researching Rough Collie nutrition, I compared the various dog foods available in the market to find out which are the most suitable for Rough Collies. Based on my research, the Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food is the best dog food for Rough Collies overall.

Diamond Naturals formulates its kibbles with probiotics and superfoods to ensure complete nutrition for dogs. Their meat is also sourced from pasture-raised animals to ensure its quality.

However, each Rough Collie is unique, and the needs will differ depending on their circumstances. That’s why I have selected a list of the best dog food for Rough Collies to keep you informed of the possible varieties your Rough Collie may benefit from.

List Comparison

  1. Best dog food for Rough Collies overall: Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food
  2. Best dog food for Rough Collie puppies: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food
  3. Best dog food for Rough Collie seniors: Canidae Pure Limited Ingredient Senior Recipe (Grain Free)
  4. Best dog food for weight maintenance in Rough Collies: Solid Gold Holistic Weight Control Dog Food
  5. Best dog food with dental cleaning properties for Rough Collies: Hill’s Science Diet Dental Health Dog Food
  6. Best grain-free dog food for Rough Collies: Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Dry Dog Food

1. Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food

  • Key feature: Formulated with probiotics and superfoods for better digestion and complete nutrition for adult dogs
  • First 5 ingredients: Lamb meal, Whole grain brown rice, Oatmeal, Cracked pearled barley, Ground white rice
  • Caloric content: 3550 kcal/kg
  • Guaranteed analysis: Min 23% protein, Min 14% fats, Max 4.5% fiber
  • Best for: Adult Rough Collies in general

Diamond Naturals dry dog food is packed with many different superfoods to provide complete nutrition for your Rough Collie’s everyday needs. The primary choice of meat, lamb, is also pasture-raised to ensure its quality.

The kibbles contain 23% protein, which falls within the recommended range for Rough Collies. It also has 14% fats and approximately 3550 kcal/kg caloric content, which will be able to support your dog’s daily metabolism.

Owners have mentioned that this is a cheaper and good-quality alternative to other more popular brands out in the market. They also liked how the packaging is climate-pledge friendly to reduce the impact on Earth.

However, reviewers mentioned fluctuations in price and quality at times. Therefore, before ordering, you may want to check the pricing and scrutinize every bag of dog food you order before feeding to your Rough Collie.

2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food

  • Key feature: Small-sized kibbles packed with real meat, whole grains, and various fruits and vegetables specially tailored for puppies
  • First 5 ingredients: Varies depending on the flavor
  • Caloric content: 3,686 kcals/kg
  • Guaranteed analysis: Min 27% crude protein, Min 16% crude fat, Max 5% crude fiber
  • Best for: Rough Collie puppies

Blue Buffalo puppy formula offers two different meat flavors (chicken and lamb), so puppies that are allergic to a flavor can still benefit from the other.

This brand of puppy food provides at least 27% protein and 16% fat, which is the recommended amount for Rough Collie puppies. They also provide higher calories than adult formulas to support a puppy’s active lifestyle.

Generally, many owners reported that switching to this food had led to better skin and bowel health. Owners with dogs with food allergies and sensitive stomachs also found this limited ingredient diet suitable for them.

Reviewers pointed out that a particular batch of dog food had manufacturing defects a few years back. While there hasn’t been any in the recent two years, you might want to keep this in mind and investigate kibbles that you suspect are not the usual formula.

3. Canidae Pure Limited Ingredient Senior Recipe (Grain Free)

  • Key feature: Limited ingredient and grain-free kibbles for dogs with probiotics and antioxidants for healthy digestion and immunity
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken meal, Turkey meal, Sweet potatoes, Garbanzo beans
  • Caloric content: 3,300 kcal/kg
  • Guaranteed analysis: Min 28% protein, Min 10% fats, Max 5% fiber
  • Best for: Senior Rough Collies

The Canidae Pure Senior Recipe features 9 main ingredients and is grain-free. The carbohydrates come from sweet potatoes, so senior Rough Collies can have an easier time digesting them.

This brand of senior food provides at least 28% protein and 10% fat, providing slightly more nutrients than optimal. This allows a buffer for more active senior Rough Collies, which may need more than the average senior.

Many owners who tried out this food on their senior dogs have stated that their dogs’ digestion improved with healthier stools. Dogs with pancreatitis are also thriving on this food.

However, a few owners have also reported that their picky dogs disliked this brand of kibbles and refused to eat it. Some owners also said that the kibbles are too small for medium and large-sized dogs (Rough Collies are considered medium-sized dogs).

4. Solid Gold Holistic Weight Control Dog Food

  • Key feature: Low-fat and low-calorie dog food suitable for dogs of all life stages
  • First 5 ingredients: Varies depending on the flavor
  • Caloric content: 3,155 kcal/kg
  • Guaranteed analysis: Min 26% protein, Min 6.5% fats, Max 10% fiber
  • Best for: Rough Collies requiring weight maintenance

Solid Gold weight control dog food offers both whole grains and grain-free options, catering to all Rough Collies. The kibbles are formulated with carefully selected superfoods, probiotics, and omega fatty acids to ensure ample nutrients without putting on weight.

The kibbles contain 26% protein and 6.5% fats, suitable for Rough Collies of all life stages. At 3,155 kcal/kg, a few hundred lesser than the average caloric content, your Rough Collie is sure to slim down and maintain a healthy weight.

Owners with overweight dogs reviewed that their plump dogs slimmed down after switching to this food without any side effects. Senior dogs significantly benefitted from the low-fat content in this kibble.

Chicken is present in both flavors available, so dogs that are allergic to chicken will have to source for other weight management dog food.

5. Hill’s Science Diet Dental Health Dog Food

  • Key feature: Formula crafted by reputable veterinarians specially for dogs’ dental health
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Whole grain wheat, Powdered cellulose, Brown rice, chicken Fat
  • Caloric content: 3,448 kcal/kg
  • Guaranteed analysis: Min 25% protein, Min 16% fats, Max 9.9% fiber
  • Best for: Rough Collies that need additional dental care

Hill’s Science Diet dental health dog food is specially formulated to care for your Rough Collie’s oral health. The kibbles are crunchy and of significant size so that your Rough Collie’s teeth rub against them as it chews the kibbles.

The kibbles contain 25% protein and 16% fats, making them suitable for Rough Collies in all life stages. However, as Rough Collie puppies are less likely to have oral health issues, it is better to feed them the puppy formula. It also has slightly lesser calories (3,488 vs. 3,550 kcal/kg) than the top-recommended food, making it ideal for Rough Collies that are less active.

Owners whose dogs have oral health issues had tried out this dog food and mentioned that they have whiter and healthier teeth. The kibbles may be large for smaller breeds, but it is ideal for medium to large breeds like Rough Collies.

Unfortunately, there is no grain-free option for this brand that caters to dental health as well. If your Rough Collie is allergic to grains, you will have to search for other alternative brands.

6. Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Dry Dog Food

  • Key feature: Grain-free option for dogs that are allergic to grains
  • First 5 ingredients: Varies depending on the flavor
  • Caloric content: 3,550 kcal/kg
  • Guaranteed analysis: Min 27% protein, Min 12% fats, Max 4.5% fiber
  • Best for: Rough Collies that are allergic to grains or have sensitive stomachs

Nature’s Recipe dog food provides carbohydrates using sweet potatoes and pumpkins. There are a total of three flavors available – chicken, lamb, and salmon – offering your Rough Collie a choice.

The kibbles contain 27% protein, which is slightly higher than the recommended amount because it compensates for the lesser amount of fats at 12%. While Rough Collie puppies will benefit more from the recommended Blue Buffalo puppy food, if they are allergic to grains, they can consume this instead.

Owners with dogs who are allergic to grain or have sensitive stomachs reviewed that this formula worked for their dogs. A specific owner even mentioned that this formula has helped to improve his dog’s arthritis issues!

However, some owners have also reported finding wooden skewers in the bags. While they are rare, they are also large enough that they are easily identifiable. Nevertheless, do be on alert for such additions if you purchase this food.

Rough Collies’ Dietary Requirements

Rough collies are very active dogs that will need high-quality protein to build strong muscles to support their active lifestyle. However, it’s not the more, the merrier when it comes to nutrition – there is an optimal range.


While the dog food served should have a minimum of 18% crude protein, veterinarians suggest that adult Rough Collies will thrive with 22-25% proteins. On the other hand, Rough Collie puppies will need more protein – about 25-29% for healthy growth.

Good protein sources include fish, fowl, and grassland animals like cows and buffalos.

Some commercial dog food may contain more than the suggested amount (25% for adults and 29% for puppies) of crude protein. However, Rough Collies can only digest and absorb a certain amount of protein at one time.

If excessive amounts of proteins are provided, the surplus will be stored as fat, which can be detrimental to your Rough Collie’s health.


Fats are condensed sources of energy that are essential for everyone.

For Rough Collies, animal-based fats are more suitable than plant-based fats. Some examples of good fat sources include chicken fat and salmon oil. Alternative fat sources include plant-based fats like flaxseed, which are also beneficial for your Rough Collie in smaller amounts.

Avoid vaguely listed fats such as animal fat or vegetable oil as they could be from any possible source that may not be suitable for Rough Collies.

Adult Rough Collies will need at least 5% crude fats, while puppies will need slightly more at 8% in their diet.


Carbohydrates provide energy, fiber, and most of the essential nutrients that your Rough Collie will need. Therefore, the choice of ingredient sources for carbohydrates should be considered when selecting quality dog food.

Grains such as brown rice and whole oats are good carbohydrate sources.

Rough Collies can be prone to food allergies, and grains, the most common source of carbohydrates, are one of the most common food allergens.

If your dog is allergic to grains, you can opt for a grain-free diet. Tapioca and sweet potatoes are the two common healthy substitutes while providing the necessary carbohydrates for your Rough Collie.

Common Health Issues In Rough Collies

Collies, in general, are initially bred for herding purposes and are usually very energetic. As such, they also have a great appetite. If your Rough Collie is more inactive, moves abnormally, or eats less food than usual, you should be alert.

Listed below are some of the health issues Rough Collies can have.

Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD)

OCD is the short form for “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder,” which most people are familiar with.

However, in Rough Collies’ health, OCD stands for osteochondritis dissecans. This means that the Rough Collie’s bones grew too fast for their cartilage to keep up and will need veterinary and surgical information to correct.

If this condition is left undiagnosed and untreated, it will cause a lifetime of pain in the Rough Collie.

Fortunately, OCD in Rough Collies is preventable through careful puppy-rearing. One crucial aspect is the choice of puppy food provided.

Feeding Rough Collie puppies the right amount of quality food will ensure that they receive optimal growth nutrients. Overfeeding, underfeeding, or feeding an unsuitable food will result in nutrient imbalance, leading to OCD.

Hip Dysplasia

Rough Collies are also susceptible to hip dysplasia, whereby the hip joint loosen, causing dysfunction and pain. If this condition worsens, it will lead to other related issues such as arthritis, muscle atrophy, and limited mobility [1].

While hip dysplasia affects primarily large and giant breeds, highly active dogs like Rough Collies are also at greater risk of developing it.

Hip dysplasia can be treated by medical treatment or surgery. Complementary treatment includes therapy sessions and weight management through careful diet planning.

Therefore, choosing high-quality dog food that helps in weight management will likely prevent or slow down the progress of this disease.

Dental Diseases

Dental diseases are a common chronic problem, especially for Rough Collies. It usually starts with tartar build-up in the teeth and leads to other more severe issues.

The most effective way to reduce dental disease chances is to frequently send your Rough Collie to the veterinarian for teeth-cleaning sessions.

Keeping your Rough Collie on a dry kibble diet can also help to reduce tartar build-up.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Feeding Rough Collies

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions that Rough Collie owners have known to ask.

If you have a question not listed here, you can always contact us, and we will give you a reply.

When should I switch from puppy to adult food?

Rough Collies should reach maturity at 18 months old, with an approximate weight range of 40 to 65 lbs (18 to 29 kg).

If you feel unsure when to switch, it is best to start changing the diet after your Rough Collie puppy is over 18 months old. This is because puppy meals have more proteins and fats to support a puppy’s growth, and an early transition to adult dog food might result in inadequate nutrition provided.

How much should I feed my Rough Collie?

How much you feed your Rough Collie depends on the brand of food you choose to provide and your Rough Collie’s weight.

While there is no hard and fast rule to follow, here is a general outline that you can base off:

  • Active Rough Collies – 900 to 1000 calories
  • Inactive/Senior Rough Collies – 700 to 800 calories
  • Rough Collie puppies – 250 to 500 calories

You may notice that the range for Rough Collie puppies is larger than adult and senior Rough Collies. This is because puppies grow fast and will require increasing amounts of calories to support their growth.

If you have a Rough Collie puppy, we strongly recommend you to seek advice from the veterinarian as he will have a better idea of how much nutrition your puppy needs at the different growth stages.

Are most Rough Collies allergic to grains?

As of now, there are no scientific studies that can confirm that majority of the Rough Collie population are allergic to grains.

However, grain is one of the common culprits in dog food allergy cases. If you suspect that your Rough Collie’s allergic reaction is due to a particular food, you may want to switch to a grain-free food to see if your dog gets better.

Our Verdict

Rough Collies are medium to large-sized, active dogs that require nutritious food to maintain optimal health. Access to quality food is vital to them due to their common health issues.

We strongly believe that the Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food is the best dog food for Rough Collies in general as it provides well-rounded nutrition without overloading the dog.

Nevertheless, every Rough Collie is unique. Do evaluate your Rough Collie’s needs before selecting dog food for it, and always consult a veterinarian’s opinion when you are in doubt.