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An important part of being a Border Collie puppy owner is to ensure they are healthy, which applies to both what and how much you feed them. As your Border Collie puppy grows, they may just always seem hungry, and it’s hard to know if you should just keep feeding them.
Puppies can be tricky to feed since they have different caloric requirements than adult dogs, and how much and how often they should eat can and will change as they grow older. In this article, we will explore how much you should be feeding your Border Collie puppy, so that even when they are acting hungry, you’ll be able to ensure they are getting the calories and food they need.
Border Collie Puppy is Hungry Despite Calorie Intake
The advice under this heading relates to if you know your BC puppy is getting enough calories in a day and is still hungry. To better understand BC puppy calorie intake, we’ve gone into more detail further down in the article.
If your Border Collie puppy is still intensely hungry, even though they are being fed an appropriate amount of food and maintaining a good weight, it can be frustrating. Hungry puppies often cause trouble by stealing food off of counters and begging for extra treats!
Sometimes, your Border Collie puppy may act hungry even if they’ve eaten an appropriate amount of calories, simply because their stomach doesn’t feel full.
If you’re feeding your Border Collie high-quality food, they will often require less kibble overall, which can make their stomach feel empty.
There are a variety of fillers you can add to your Border Collie puppy’s food that can make them feel more full after a meal, without adding extra and unnecessary calories to their diet.
The most common filler is green beans. However, other vegetables (such as carrots or peas) can also be a yummy snack for your Border Collie puppy to help them feel full without adding too many other calories.
You can also help your Border Collie puppy from feeling hungry by feeding them on a set schedule throughout the day. When they can predict that they will eat several times throughout the day, instead of whenever they ask for food, they may be more inclined to settle down between meals instead of begging.
How Often Should You Feed a Border Collie Puppy?
Most puppies should be fed 3 times a day – morning, noon, and night. Or, if your work schedule does not allow for a lunchtime meal, you can feed your puppy before work, after work, and later in the evening as well.
Until your Border Collie is 6-months-old, you should strive for this three-times-a-day feeding schedule.
Feeding throughout the day when your puppy is doing the majority of their growing – before they are 6-months-old – ensures they have adequate calories throughout the day and can eat what they need without overeating at any given meal.
As your Border Collie grows older, they can switch to eating meals twice a day instead. Occasionally, someone may feed their adult Border Collie once a day, but most Border Collies do best when offered meals twice daily for their adult life.
How Much Should You Feed a Border Collie Puppy?
The short answer is that you should feed your Border Collie puppy enough food that they can grow and maintain a healthy weight, without being over or underweight. The long answer involves looking at the calories in your dog’s brand of food, and how many calories they need, in addition to looking at their body condition.
It’s also important that whenever you look at the guidelines for the amount to feed your puppy, that you take into account that Border Collies are working dogs. As such, they require a slightly higher calorie intake than other breeds. The amount they require will also be directly related to how much activity they are doing in a day.
Whilst it’s important to not over-exercise a puppy, a Border Collie puppy is likely to be a bundle of energy when they aren’t sleeping, which means more calories are required. For more information on how much exercise a Border Collie should have in a day, read our post: Exercising Your Border Collie Puppy
For some tables on how much you need to feed your puppy, read our comprehensive post: My Puppy is Always Hungry, where we get a bit more granular on the details.
Calculating the appropriate amount of food to feed your Border Collie puppy is the best place to start when feeding them, but you can also simply examine their body condition to determine if they are at an appropriate weight, too.
Body condition is most often examined in dogs by feeling their ribcage, to determine if there is too much or not enough fat covering their ribs.
You can get a feeling for this by using your own hand, before feeling your dog’s ribs.
If you make a fist with one hand and run the fingers of your other hand over the knuckles of your fist, you should feel deep valleys between the knuckles. This is what the ribcage of an underweight dog feels like.
You should be able to feel your dog’s ribs, but there should be slight padding, along with muscles between the ribs, rather than deep indentations.
Instead, your dog’s ribs should feel like your knuckles when your hand is flat and relaxed. You’re able to feel your knuckles, just as you should feel your dog’s ribs, but without deep indentations between each rib.
If your Border Collie’s ribcage feels like the palm of your relaxed hand, though, they are overweight. When trying to feel towards your knuckles from the palm of your hand, it’s difficult to feel any bones without pressing.
If your Border Collie puppy starts to become too skinny, feed more. If your Border Collie puppy starts to gain weight, it’s time to feed less.
Your Border Collie’s veterinarian can also help advise you on their weight and appropriate foods and feeding amounts.
Your Border Collie puppy might also be excessively hungry due to a health problem, especially if they seem to struggle to gain weight or maintain a healthy weight. If your Border Collie puppy is excessively hungry, especially if you notice other signs or symptoms of illness, it’s important to visit the veterinarian.
One problem that can result in a dog feeling hungrier than normal is diabetes. When a dog has diabetes, their body fails to use glucose properly as energy. This can result in your Border Collie puppy feeling hungrier and thirstier than usual.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or IBD, can also cause a dog to feel extra hungry. When a dog has IBD, they often don’t absorb nutrients from their food properly, which can make them hungrier even as they lose weight.
IBD and diabetes are not common in puppies, though. It’s not impossible for a dog to be born with diabetes or IBD, but they often present themselves later in life.
However, puppies are especially prone to intestinal parasites, which can greatly affect your dog’s hunger and appetite.
Many puppies are born with worms, which is why it’s important that breeders deworm their puppies on a regular schedule, such as at two, four, six, and eight weeks of age.
Left untreated, or if your puppy picks up a new case of intestinal parasites, they can cause your puppy to lose a lot of nutrients they need.
The intestinal parasites live in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract, feeding off of a variety of nutrients in your puppy’s body.
This makes it hard for your puppy to eat enough to feed themselves because so much is going to feed the parasites.
You won’t always see parasites in your dog’s stool unless you look under a microscope, which is why a stool sample is helpful to your dog’s veterinarian in diagnosing them with parasites.
Some of the intestinal worms that live in puppies only regularly shed their eggs, while the adults rarely are seen in the stool unless there is an excessively large infestation.
If your Border Collie is getting enough calories, and is still hungry, then bulk up their food with low-calorie foods such as peas. If they aren’t getting enough calories, then up their intake. And always stick to a routine mealtime, to give your BC puppy an understanding of when food is coming.
As for treats, remember that these too go towards their daily recommended calorie intake.
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