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The 5 Best Dog Foods For Border Terriers

Dog Food Nutrition November 2, 2019
border terrier


The 5 Best Dog Foods For Border Terriers

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border terrier

Border Terriers are medium-sized active dogs that can weigh anywhere between 12-16 lb, depending upon their age, size, and gender.

These intelligent dogs can live for as long as 15 years and are usually 13-16 inches tall.

Since they are muscular and spend a large span of their life running around, and are extremely active and have a natural instinct to hunt.

Therefore, they require a high-protein based diet. Keep reading to learn more about the Best Dog Food For Border Terriers.

Our criteria

When choosing the best dog foods for Border Terriers, we try to follow the recommendations of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association. We look for foods that meet the following criteria as much as possible:

  • Foods that are AAFCO-approved, preferably with food trials.
  • We prefer companies that invest in nutritional research and testing.
  • We like companies that employ staffs of veterinary nutritionists to develop their formulas.
  • We like companies that have good quality control.

We are also concerned about the recent warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration relating to a possible link between grain free dog foods and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs. This FDA investigation is ongoing. It has also been expanded to include exotic meats used in dog foods.

Some of the dog foods we recommend are not the most popular foods today. However, we think they are the best dog foods for Border Terriers. They are nutritious, produced with superior quality control measures, and backed by nutritional research and science.

Keep reading to learn more about your Border Terrier’s unique nutritional needs and to receive some tips for picking the best dog food to meet those needs.

Quick Look At Our Top Picks For Best Dog Food For Border Terriers:


Best Overall

Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Adult Recipe
  • Plenty of essential fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
  • Made with deboned turkey and oatmeal
  • Optimized to support ideal body weight in small breeds

Best Premium

Ollie Dog Food Healthy Turkey Feast Recipe
  • Novel source of lean animal protein (turkey)
  • Higher in protein and calories than other recipes
  • Digestible carbohydrates and plenty of fiber
50% Off Your First Order

Best for Puppies

Canidae All Life Stages Dry Dog Food
  • Premium-quality ingredients
  • Keeps puppies hydrated
  • Softens hard stools for improves digestion

Best for Overweight Dogs

Nom Nom Tasty Turkey Fare Recipe
  • Higher in protein and calories with moderate fat
  • Novel source of lean animal protein
  • Omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
50% Off First Order

Best for Seniors

Fromm Family Foods Gold Nutritionals Dog Food
  • Salmon oil for healthy digestion
  • Highly digestible and rich in essential fatty acids
  • Affordable

Best Overall: Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Adult Recipe

Nutritional info:

  • Protein: 25% Min
  • Fat: 15% Min
  • Fiber: 4.5% Max
  • Calories – 3518 Kcal/kg or 329 Kcal/cup


  • Made with deboned turkey and oatmeal
  • Optimized to support ideal body weight in small breeds
  • Plenty of essential fatty acids for healthy skin and coat


  • Some dogs are sensitive to chicken ingredients
  • Not a grain-free recipe

If you’re looking for a healthy, high-quality diet for your small breed dog try this Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Adult Recipe. Made with deboned turkey and oatmeal, it is protein-rich and highly digestible.

It features three animal proteins for high energy and strong muscles, plus plenty of healthy fats for beautiful skin and coat. It is also optimized to support your dog’s ideal body weight.

Best for Skin Allergies: Ollie Dog Food Healthy Turkey Feast Recipe

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 44% Min
  • Fat – 28% Min
  • Fiber – 8% Max
  • Moisture– 75% Max
  • Calories : 1,390 kcal/kg


  • Higher in protein and calories than other recipes
  • Novel source of lean animal protein (turkey)
  • Digestible carbohydrates and plenty of fiber


  • Might be too high in fiber for some dogs
  • Grain-free recipe

The Border Terrier is a small and highly active breed that needs a high-protein diet to maintain lean muscle mass with plenty of calories and fat for energy.

Ollie pet food is made with human-grade ingredients to deliver superior nutritional quality and there are several recipes to choose from with different calorie content and nutrient ratios. All of them are portioned according to your dog’s needs and delivered right to your door.

We like Ollie’s Healthy Turkey Feast recipe for the Border Terrier breed because it is higher in calories and fat than some of Ollie’s recipes, making it an energy-dense diet for this active breed.

It is also made with a novel source of protein to reduce the risk for food allergies and doesn’t contain any grains.

Best for Puppies: Canidae All Life Stages Dry Dog Food for Puppies, Adults & Seniors

Nutritional info:

  • Protein: 24% Min
  • Fat: 14.50% Min
  • Fiber: 4% Max
  • Calories: 3600 Kcal/kg or 468 Kcal/cup.


  • Premium-quality ingredients
  • Keeps puppies hydrated
  • Softens hard stools for improves digestion


  • Multiple recent complaints about faulty packaging
  • Customers report that picky puppies might dislike the flavor

Other than being made for adults and senior Border Terriers, this dog food by Canidae is also perfect for puppies.

It is made with a careful amalgamation of chicken meal, turkey meal, and lamb meal. The food also contains salmon oil, omega- 3 and omega- 6 fatty acids, and flaxseeds.

These ingredients strengthen the digestive system of puppies and also immune them against different infections.

It is completely free of chicken by-products, soy, corn, and wheat. Hence, it is a safe option for puppies with an upset stomach. Moreover, this dog food keeps puppies hydrated.

Best Weight Management Dog Food: Nom Nom Tasty Turkey Fare Recipe

Nutritional info:

  • Protein: 33% Min
  • Fat: 16.5% Min
  • Fiber: 3% Max
  • Calories: 1,372 kcal/kg


  • Novel source of lean animal protein
  • Higher in protein and calories with moderate fat
  • Omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat


  • Some dogs of this breed are allergic to grains
  • May be more expensive to feed than dry food

Active dogs like the Border Terrier may need a more calorie-dense diet than larger breeds but the quality of their diet is still important.

Nom Nom is a great option because it is fresh pet food made from premium-quality ingredients, portioned according to your dog’s unique calorie requirements. All you have to do is fill out a profile online and you’ll receive monthly deliveries right to your door.

We like Nom Nom’s Tasty Turkey Fare recipe for the Border Terrier breed because it is more calorie-dense than other recipes but is made with a novel source of protein to prevent food allergies and control your dog’s weight.

Because it is a fresh food product, it is also high in moisture to support your dog’s hydration and digestion. It also retains more of its original nutritional integrity because it hasn’t been cooked at high temperatures.

It contains digestible carbohydrates like brown rice for energy and fiber as well as omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.

Best for Senior: Fromm Family Foods Gold Nutritionals Dog Food

Nutritional info:

  • Protein: 23% Min
  • Fat: 11% Min
  • Fiber: 5.5% Max
  • Calories: 3475 Kcal/kg or 368 Kcal/cup


  • Rich in animal protein
  • Moderate healthy fat content
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin for joints
  • Affordable


  • Some dogs do not like the taste

Fromm Family Foods Gold Nutritional Dog Food is a perfect option for senior Border Terriers. This food derives all its protein from deboned chicken, deboned duck, lamb, and dry eggs. It contains chicken meals, chicken fat, chicken broth, and chicken liver.

This recipe contains salmon oil and dried vegetables including potatoes, carrots, and pomace.

It is formulated specifically for small breeds and it also contains glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support and contains a proprietary blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for healthy nutrition.

Understanding the Nutritional Needs of Border Terriers Dogs

Your Border Terriers needs a high-quality diet made with the ideal blend of animal proteins, fats, and digestible carbohydrates.

Animal protein should be the first ingredient with at least 18% but ideally around 25% crude protein.

You should also look for healthy acid fats and a minimum of 5-6% crude fat, but ideally 14% to 22%.

In addition to protein and fat, your Border Terrier can benefit from digestible carbohydrates like whole grains, starchy vegetables, beans, and legumes.

These foods provide energy as well as dietary fiber and essential nutrients.

Vitamins and minerals can come from natural sources like fruits and veggies, or synthetic supplements.

Other beneficial supplements include probiotics for healthy digestion and prebiotic fibers as well as chelated minerals to ensure optimal absorption of nutrients.

Border Terrier Dietary Needs

Border Terriers have specific dietary needs depending upon how fat they are and what their age is. Like all dogs, they are always in the need of a high-protein diet so that their muscles can stay strong and lean.

They also require a good amount of probiotics and vitamins to take care of the allergies that they have, if any.

Moreover, the needs of pregnant or nursing Border Terriers are completely different from the needs of others.

As a good owner, you have to keep a record of all these factors. It is only then that you’ll be able to meet the dietary requirement of your pet.

Since there’s so much to keep in mind, a reference guide that can give you an idea of how much nutrition your dog needs will be highly beneficial.

How Much Should You Feed Your Border Terrier?

When your Border Terrier dog is a puppy, you should feed it four small meals per day for the first three months then reduce to three meals per day.

Keep in mind that Border Terrier puppies burn through energy very quickly when they are growing, so you may need to adjust your feeding schedule if your puppy isn’t growing at the proper rate.

In terms of how much to feed it, refer to the feeding recommendations on the package because every recipe is different in terms of calories.

Check the package every two weeks or so and make adjustments according to your puppy’s age and weight. You can also check with your veterinarian to make sure your puppy is growing properly.

  • 5-Kg Border Terriers require 150 grams food/day.
  • 6-Kg Border Terriers require 160 grams food/day.
  • 7-Kg Border Terriers require 170 grams food/day.
  • 8-Kg Border Terriers require 180 grams food/day.
  • 9-Kg Border Terriers require 190 grams food/day.
  • 10-Kg Border Terriers require 200 grams food/day.

Protein Intake

While dogs are not obligate carnivores, like cats, they still require plenty of protein in their daily diet, and meat protein is preferable to plant protein.

Your adult dog needs a minimum of 18 percent protein for daily maintenance.

Pregnant/nursing Border Terriers and puppies need a minimum of 22 percent protein.

Most dog foods today have higher protein percentages than these figures. This doesn’t mean that your dog needs enormous protein percentages.

Fat Intake

Fat is essential to your dog’s diet. It provides energy; fatty acids that are essential for your dog’s skin, coat, and for the development of organs; and they make food taste more appealing to your dog.

We suggest a fat percentage of about 10-17 percent for most dogs such as Border Terrier.

If your dog is overweight and needs to lose weight, you can aim for the lower end of this spectrum but don’t cut fat out of your dog’s diet drastically or try to make him lose weight quickly.

Fiber Intake

Fibers are in general quite useful for all dog breeds. You should feed your Border Terrier with food that contains insoluble fibers and prebiotic fibers.

Fibers soften hard stools and they also improve digestion. The only precaution is that excessive fiber intake can make stools hard and lead to stomach upset.

Carbs Intake

Carbohydrates aren’t enemies. All that’s needed is the ability to distinguish between good and bad carbs.

They provide your dog with energy, fiber, and nutrients. Simple sugars and starches keep your dog’s brain functioning.

If your dog is overweight or beginning to gain weight, it would be wise to put the pet on a weight-loss diet that contains easily digestible carbs.

Feeding A Border Terrier By Age

Regardless that Border Terriers are considered friendly family pets, these are farm pets that like to dig holes in the mud.

No matter if puppies or adults, all Border Terriers are physically active.

However, puppies are usually more lively and that’s why they need twice more food than adults. They require a diet shift from mother’s milk to something extra after a couple of months.

Puppies over 6 months have teeth strong enough to chew soft and small kibbles.

  • 8-12 Weeks – Puppies of this age need to eat 4 times a day.
  • 13-23 Weeks – Puppies of this age should be fed not more than three times a day.
  • Above 23 Weeks – Once your puppy is 23-weeks old, feed it just twice a day.

Border Terrier Food Allergies

Mostly hypoallergenic, Border Terriers have a highly sensitive stomach. They can react negatively to a lot of food ingredients. This explains why dog owners are so picky while choosing food for their pets.

  • Grain And Corns
  • Soy products
  • Animal By-products
  • Soy-wheat
  • Potatoes
  • Gluten

These are the most common culprits leading to health issues like:

  • Vomiting
  • Loose Motions
  • Fever
  • Stiff joints
  • Diarrhea

Hypoallergenic Food Diet For Border Terriers

Border Terriers have sensitive skin and stomach. In other terms, they are hypoallergenic.

It means that these dogs can catch diseases, infections, and allergies way too easily.

The best way to keep your dog safe is by giving it a limited-ingredient diet.

The best hypoallergenic diet for Border Terriersa diet that derives protein from a single source. It’s also recommended to focus on a low-fat diet if your dog shows signs of, or already has a food allergy.

Border Terrier Food-Related Health Issues

Border Terriers are quite easily affected by eating disorders. They can easily become obese.

The health issues that we have listed below might be caused by food allergies or Vitamin deficiency.

  • Hip Dysplasia – This bone degeneration disease is caused by calcium deficiency. It leads to arthritis, cartilage stiffness, and joint pain.
  • Stomach Upset – Stomach upset can be caused by grains and corns. It results in vomiting, hard stools, constipation, and cramps.
  • Itching – In the absence of Vitamin E, Border Terriers can develop an itchy flaky skin, dull coat, and weak immunity. It also results in low-to-severe hair fall.
  • Bad Breath – Dogs with a weak immune system catch bacterial infections easily. These bacteria can lead to diarrhea and bad breath. Dogs need enough Vitamin C and antioxidants to prevent bad breath.
  • Obesity – Mostly caused by overeating, obesity in Border Terriers can also be an outcome of underlying health conditions like diabetes. Since diabetic dogs have poor metabolism, they easily gain weight.

These are the most common health disorders that Border Terriers suffer due to food allergy and deficiency. Despite a cause of concern, sometimes owners neglect these issues until they turn fatal.

Related Articles:

Border Terriers Dog Names

Best Dog Food For Boston Terriers


Amy Brown is a lifelong animal enthusiast who enjoys writing about dogs and rescuing them. She writes for various pet related websites, including her own,
  1. Avatar

    jerry koch

    the vet said that my border terrier who is 10yrs. old,needs a low protein diet.what food should I get?

  2. Carlotta Cooper

    Carlotta Cooper

    Hi Jerry, Thanks for your question. It's not unusual for older dogs to sometimes need a diet that is lower in protein, especially if they have any kidney or urinary tract issues. So many dog foods today are very high in protein that it's not always easy to find a good low protein food. Royal Canin, Hill's, and Purina Pro Plan all have veterinary diets (which require a prescription) if your dog needs a low protein diet for a health problem. If your vet was speaking generally about low protein diets, there are some weight management and senior dog foods that have less protein such as CANIDAE All Life Stages Less Active Formula Dry Dog Food and Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food. Dave's Pet Food also has a formula with restricted amount of protein and phosphorus. It's supposed to be good for dogs with kidney disease. I hope these suggestions help. Carlotta

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