Best Food for Rough Collies With Sensitivities

by Stuart | Last Updated:   August 13, 2018

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Collies are one of the friendliest dogs out there, especially when it comes to families and kids. They’re loyal and stay by their parent’s side no matter what.

The Collie is native to Northern England and Scotland, originally bred as a herding dog to help out with farms and grasslands. Eventually, they became adored due to their looks and demeanor.

So when this precious dog is dealing with a sensitive stomach, their parents become very concerned. And when it comes to sensitive stomachs in dogs, their food is usually the first place to look when trying to find improvement.

Here are some of the best foods for Rough Collies with sensitivities:

  1. Victor Classic – Professional, Dry Dog Food
  2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
  3. ACANA Singles Limited Ingredient
  4. Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Ocean
  5. Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Sensitive Systems
  6. Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach
  7. Hill’s Science Diet, Sensitive Stomach & Skin

For these reasons, the foods listed in the post are considered the higher quality and maybe a bit more money than you’re used to spending on food.

Preventative health practices rather than reactive are typically best. And just like with humans, one of the best preventative health practices for dogs is through proper nutrition and an active lifestyle.

Spending a little more on food now can often save you money in vet bills down the road.

In this post, we look at some excellent dog food choices for rough collies. This post also offers some choices for rough collies that have food allergies or sensitive stomach issues so keep reading to check those out.

rough collie sensitive stomach

Best Food Collies With A Sensitive Stomach

Alright, let’s take a closer look at some of the best dog foods for Rough Collies dealing with sensitivities and a sensitive stomach.

We’ve also included a premium option which can be a good choice for pet parents who feel they have “tried everything”. Fresh, homemade dog food can be one of the easiest ways to eliminate sensitivities in dogs, but it can also be expensive. 

1. Victor Classic – Professional, Dry Dog Food

Victor classic has gained a reputation for being a high-quality premium dog food that many breeders and trainers trust. It offers a nutrient-dense recipe to deliver your rough collie what it needs throughout the day.

Victor Classic

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  • Nutrient-dense recipe made with premium-quality beef, chicken and pork meals
  • Excellent for dogs of All Life Stages, including growing puppies and pregnant and lactating females
  • Fortified with vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, protein and amino acids
  • Formulated with our scientifically advanced, proven VICTOR Core ingredients to promote healthy immune and digestive systems.
  • Ideal for dogs with allergies to other meat proteins. Made from gluten free grains.

As an Amazon associate we earn from qualifying purchases, thanks for supporting our work!

What’s great about Victor Classic is that it comes at a fairly inexpensive price. For this reason, it’s often the first “premium” dog food that I recommend to pet parents. If your rough collie does well with Victor Classic there is no need to spend more.

Be sure to always consult with your veterinarian when making any major dietary switches and follow whatever directions your vet and/or dog food manufacturer recommends when transitioning to a new food.

There are some reviews from other pet parents, like this one (opens new Amazon tab), stating that their Collie is doing very well on this food.

2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula

This Blue Buffalo formula is meant for adult dogs as it contains the essential proteins and carbohydrates to meet their energy needs. It also contains omega 3 & 6 fatty acids which are vital for your rough collie’s coat.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection

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  • Features real meat as the first ingredient. High-quality protein from real chicken helps your dog build and maintain healthy muscles. Plus they contain wholesome whole grains, garden veggies and fruit.
  • Contains essential proteins and carbohydrates to help meet the energy needs of adult dogs, and features omega 3 & 6 fatty acids to promote a shiny coat and healthy skin.
  • Contains BLUE’s exclusive LifeSource Bits – a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals carefully selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists, to support immune system health, life stage requirements, and a healthy oxidative balance.

In a lot of Blue Buffalo’s foods, like this one, you can find their exclusive LifeSource Bits:

a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals carefully selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists, to support immune system health, life stage requirements, and a healthy oxidative balance.

This food costs a little more than your average dog food but it may be worth the upfront investment for your rough collie. Many pet parents are reviewing this food as being a choice that both they and their rough collie are happy with.

3. ACANA Singles Limited Ingredient

This is where things get “fancy”. ACANA has a great reputation for offering pet parents a high-quality dog food option. This higher quality, however, comes at a price.

ACANA Singles

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  • Limited-ingredient, nutrient-dense and high in protein, nourishing dogs completely with whole grass-fed lamb and delicious Red Delicious apples
  • Uses meat, organs, cartilage, and bone, delivering the nutrients dogs need naturally
  • Fresh Regional Ingredients are supplied by people we know and trust, from regional farms, ranches, and waters, and delivered to our kitchen fresh or raw
  • Grain-free, with no gluten, potato, or tapioca, common in today’s pet foods, ACANA dog food is crafted from whole, quality animal ingredients for a Biologically Appropriate diet that nourishes dogs according to their natural, biological needs

If you’re on a budget, and you should never feel guilt around this if you are, then I wouldn’t recommend starting with this food. However, if spending more each month on your dog’s food won’t mean going into debt then this limited ingredient dog food can be an excellent choice for your rough collie.

With almost 60% of this food being made up of fresh meat, it’s easy to see why the cost is higher. ACANA strives to offer your doggie a biologically appropriate food that meets their evolutionary needs. 

One pet parent gave a review stating that this food helped relieve their collie’s food allergies and that they had no issue transitioning over.

It’s important to note that since this food is made up of mostly whole ingredients your rough collie’s portions at each meal will likely be smaller than what they are used to.

If you’re still interested in exploring other options I have put together a list that is focused on rough collie’s that have food allergies or sensitive stomachs.

Now, having said that, some of these dog foods may still be a great option even if your rough collie doesn’t present with any of those issues. The end of this post offers more information around food allergies so you can keep reading if you’re interested.

4. Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Ocean

If you’re looking for food that has a good chance of relieving your Rough Collie’s sensitive stomach then you should consider the Wellness Core dog food.

Wellness Core

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  • Optimal protein levels and calorie content to help support the higher energy needs of small breed dogs
  • High quality proteins and wholesome grains are expertly balanced to deliver a complete diet packed with the nutrients small breed dogs needs to thrive; no meat byproducts, fillers, or artificial preservatives
  • Supported by omega fatty acids, antioxidants, glucosamine, probiotics and taurine for a healthy heart

In case your Rough Collie is one of the very rare populations of dogs that has a grain allergy this food is grain-free.

It contains Whitefish as its first ingredient and the remaining protein sources come from fish.

At about $35 a month, this food is starting to get on the pricier side. There is a good chance, however, that it will help your Rough Collie’s symptoms within a short amount of time.

Few foods can avoid so many common food allergens while still maintaining fairly high nutritional integrity.

The Wellness Core Ocean dog food avoids many of the common dog food allergens in commercial dog foods.

In fact, the reviews for this dog food are full of anecdotal stories from pet parents stating this food relieved many of their doggie’s allergies once they switched to it.

This food, unfortunately, has a very strong smell to it.

If a fishy smell causes you to feel queasy then you may find this food unbearable to handle.

Just to be on the safe side I recommend storing it in a sealed container and outside of any main room (if possible).

Additionally, not every pet parent and their doggie find relief with this food. Some pet parents review this food as having made their dog sick causing an upset stomach.

The Wellness Core Ocean dog food may be the quickest way to eliminate many of the common food allergens found in most dog food.

If you’re Rough Collie’s allergies are getting bad then transitioning them to this food, even if temporarily, may help reduce their symptoms.

But, as always, consult your veterinarian before making any major dietary changes. I’m sure they’ll have a good reason if they advise against this food as it’s already vet recommended.

5. Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Sensitive Systems

This food is a great option for pet parents on a budget and contains mostly salmon as its protein.

Purina ONE

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  • Purina ONE Natural, Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food, SmartBlend Sensitive Systems Formula
  • Sensitive skin dog food features real salmon as the #1 ingredient
  • Salmon dog food recipe is easily digestible for dogs with sensitive systems

If you’re trying to pinpoint a particular protein your Rough Collie is allergic or sensitive to, then this food is a good place to start.

This dog food has a focus on easier to digest nutrition. It contains salmon (as the first ingredient) and is an omega-rich dog food which can help improve a doggie’s skin and coat.

Other vitamins and minerals found within this food aim to improve a dog’s immune system which may help with defence against allergens.

At roughly $17 a month for a 35 lbs. doggie, this food is an excellent choice for pet parents on a budget.

The main protein source is fish. If you are working with a Rough Collie that has chicken or beef allergy then this food will help.

Don’t feel bad about the low price, Purina is a well-established pet food company and often sold out of veterinarian’s offices.

A lot of pet parents report this food as helping their dog with a sensitive stomach. Due to the higher amounts of omega fatty acids, this food is also being praised for making dog coats shinier.

While the first ingredient is Salmon, this dog food does contain some chicken. If chicken is suspected as a food allergen for your Rough Collie then this product may not work.

This food was once free of all chicken, but it now appears further down the list of ingredients.

This is the best option for those on a budget. In fact, it’s a great option for those not on a budget as well.

If you suspect your Rough Collie is reacting to certain foods, then Purina ONE SmartBlend may be a suitable food in helping manage their symptoms.

6. Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach

Think of this one as a slightly better version than #1, and at less than $10 extra per month for this food the Purina Pro Plan may be worth considering for a few reasons.

Purina Pro Plan

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  • Purina Pro Plan High Protein, Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Dog Food, Salmon & Rice Formula
  • Real salmon is the #1 ingredient
  • Prebiotic fiber promotes digestive health to support your dog’s total well-being
  • Contains no corn, wheat or soy

The first ingredient is salmon and there is no:

  • wheat
  • soy
  • corn
  • artificial colours
  • artificial flavours
  • no poultry-by-product meal

At roughly $24 a month for a 35 lbs. doggie, this food is an excellent choice for pet parents on a budget.

Many pet parents have reviewed this food as responsible for relieving their doggie’s skin allergies. It can also improve a doggie’s coat making it appear shinier.

A lot of pet parents report success with this food and their dog that has allergies.

It contains a prebiotic fibre that promotes digestive health.

It does not contain any corn, wheat or soy which can help when trying to determine a specific food allergy.

While shipping dog food is normally fine, there has been an unusually high amount of complaints about this particular food.

A lot of the complaints from pet parents focus on spoiled or damaged food which may indicate warehousing issues.

If you suspect your Rough Collie is dealing with a food allergy, especially to something like chicken, then this food is an excellent choice.

If you’re looking for something with even fewer ingredients then keep reading.

7. Hill’s Science Diet, Sensitive Stomach & Skin

This food has been designed to promote better digestive health in dogs while also nourishing their skin.

Hill’s Science

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  • This adult dry dog food promotes digestive health while nourishing skin
  • A source of prebiotic fiber to support a balanced gut microbiome in your grown dog
  • This dog food is formulated to be highly digestible for optimal nutrient absorption and easier stool pick up

Hill’s Science foods are highly recommended by veterinarian’s. While this food isn’t perfect for all dog’s it can be an excellent food for some dog’s experiencing symptoms from the food they are eating.

While this food is not geared towards eliminating certain protein sources it does aim to improve digestion. It contains a source of prebiotic fibres that help to balance the gut microbiome in dogs.

The Hill’s Science Diet is formulated to be highly digestible to help dogs better absorb the nutrients from the food they eat. It also contains higher amounts of Vitamin E and Omega 6 fatty acids to help keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy.

This one is a little on the pricier side considering what it contains. However, this food is designed for sensitivities rather than allergies.

As I discussed earlier, food allergies in dogs are rare, and grain allergies are very rare.

If you don’t actually know for sure if your Rough Collie has a food allergy, this food may be a good waste to change up and clean up their diet.

It contains a source of prebiotic fibre to support a balanced gut microbiome in your grown dog. This food is also designed to be highly digestible, something the food your Rough Collie is currently eating may lack.

If you are specifically trying to avoid eggs, chicken and/or grains then this food will not work.

Some pet parents have experienced this food making their doggie’s allergies even worse. Whether it’s diarrhea or more itching, some dogs, unfortunately, do not do well on this food.

This is the reality for dog food, unfortunately, but it can be more disappointing when it comes to a higher quality and commercial dog food.

If you’re not actually sure if your Rough Collie has a food allergy (i.e., you and your vet have not done extensive testing), then this food may be worth trying for your Rough Collie.

It won’t completely change up what your Rough Collie is likely already eating. It will clean up what they’re eating and promote better digestion.

These two things combined may improve your Rough Collie’s current symptoms like itching or poor quality stool.

Premium Dog Food For Rough Collies

I want to make it very clear that premium dog food does not necessarily mean better dog food.

Premium becomes a suitable option when you have a doggie that has unwanted symptoms that don’t seem to be improving.

Premium dog food is often for those pet parents that have already tried “everything”.

If your Husky truly has an allergy then trying out dog food like Ollie may be beneficial. First, Ollie contains very few ingredients and contains a single protein source.

Fresh Dog Food

Ollie Dog Food

Ollie & NomNom

  • The easiest way to feed your pup fresh food
  • Meals specifically formulated for YOUR dog’s age, weight, breed, and allergies
  • Meals arrive on a flexible, regular schedule
  • Use the feeding guide to give your dog their customized portion and ensure they’re getting the right amount of food

This makes it very easy to identify what your Husky is allergic/sensitive to.

Ollie is a dog food company that makes fresh, healthy and limited ingredient dog food that gets shipped right to your door.

And utilizing a service like Ollie when you’re struggling with a potentially serious condition can save you both money and peace of mind.

Allergy Immune Supplement

In case you feel that none of the recommended foods in this post is a good fit for your doggie, or you feel that you may not need to completely switch their food, then you can always try a particular supplement.

Zesty Paws

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  • Boost the Immune System – Zesty Paws Aller-Immune Bites are grain-free soft chews that support immune, histamine, and digestive health for dogs with skin, seasonal, and environmental allergy issues
  • Enhanced with EpiCor – At 80 mg per chew, EpiCor contains vitamins, protein, fibre, and antioxidants that are clinically proven to support the body’s natural immune defences to keep your dog healthy
  • Prebiotic & Probiotic Complex – These supplements feature a powerful Prebiotic and five strains of Probiotics for 250 million CFU of healthy bacteria that supports pet digestion and immune health

This supplement is enhanced with EpiCor. At 80 mg per chew, EpiCor provides vitamins, protein, fibre and antioxidants that are clinically proven to support the body’s natural defences to balance the immune system and keep your dog feeling healthy.

What’s great about this supplement is that allergy medication for dogs, like Apoquel, can sometimes run as high as $150 a month whereas this supplement will be a fraction of that cost.

Just don’t expect these to work overnight. Some pet parents had to wait two-three weeks before their doggie’s symptoms improved.

In any case, if your doggie is exhibiting symptoms like itching and scratching these may be worth considering.

What Is a Food Allergy for Dogs?

A sensitivity in dogs often indicates some sort of allergic reaction. In this post, I’m focusing on the possibility of food causing that reaction and looking at some helpful options.

If your Rough Collie has a food allergy it means their immune system is misidentifying a protein from their food as an “invader” rather than a food item which causes an immune response.

Think of it like a “glitch in the matrix”.

If this is the case for your Rough Collie then this “invader” will end up causing itchy skin or ear and skin infections. It can also cause vomiting or diarrhea (gastrointestinal signs) for some dogs.

The thing is, food allergies aren’t the only causes for these symptoms and many of the other causes are much more common than food allergies.

Some common causes of gastrointestinal signs in dogs:

  • parasites
  • viruses
  • bacterial infections
  • pancreatitis
  • eating something they shouldn’t have

So consider whether you have the right evidence supporting your Rough Collie’s food allergy. There’s a lot of marketing hype in the dog food world which can cause pet-parents to become worried and start searching for the new “right” product.

How to Know if Your Pet Has a Food Allergy

How to Diagnose a Food Allergy in Dogs

Not only are food allergies rare in dogs there is no easy test for finding food allergies in dogs.

The most effective way pet parents can find out if their doggie has a food allergy is to work with their vet in monitoring their dog’s new strict diet.

The diet needs to be one that your pet has never been fed before. This can include foods with proteins that are hydrolyzed (where the proteins are broken down into very small pieces that can hide from the immune system) or ones that are purified to remove the parts that are likely to cause allergies.

This new diet needs to then be strictly adhered to for at least a month, but sometimes longer.

If your doggie’s signs dramatically improve during the trial then the last step is to reintroduce their old food to confirm it was in fact an ingredient in the old food.

Which Foods Cause the Most Allergies in Dogs?

The most commonly reported food allergies in dogs are:

  • chicken
  • beef
  • dairy
  • egg

Keep in mind, however, these are the foods that dogs are exposed to most.

What about grains? Well, despite marketing dog food hype, most dogs are allergic to animal proteins if they have a food allergy.

Grain allergies in dogs are very rare.

There Is No TRUE or BEST “Allergy Diet”

Despite what marketing would want you to believe, there is no “one size fits all” diet when it comes to your Rough Collie and allergies.

The closest thing to a “hypoallergenic” diet that dog food companies can offer are hydrolyzed diets.

Hydrolyzed just means the proteins are broken down into very small pieces that can hide from the immune system.

Final Thoughts

As always, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian when making any major changes to your doggie’s diet. I’ve done my best to create a concise list for pet parents as there are just too many options on the market which can quickly cause confusion and doubt. 

And remember, all doggies are different. What one rough collie does well on maybe the worst option for another. Unfortunately, us pet parents have to go through a trial and error sometimes when switching dog foods. 

If you suspect your Rough Collie has sensitive and/or allergies then make sure you, well, make sure! Too many pet parents fall into a spiral of worry.

Your Rough Collie may have recently developed an allergy or sensitivity to the food their eating and, if that’s the case, I hope this post has helped narrow down some new food choices.

Stuart loves blogging about his hobbies and passions. Sir Doggie is a place for him to share what he learns while being a pet parent. Click here to read more.
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