Advice needed on dog food for 12 year old Border Collie

My Border Collie is 12 years and 4 months. She is still quite active (runs with frisbee, short walks and longer walks). She has been on Orijen Senior kibble for 2.5 years and we add a small amount of Applaws tinned wet food (mostly to encourage her to eat). She has no intolerances that we know of and her health is good for her age. Earlier on this year there was some concern about her blood albumin level but a follow up blood test last month showed this level had gone in the right direction. She has a heart murmur but the vet said not to change her exercise habits for now. A few months ago she began leaking urine when sleeping, she is now on Propalin syrup twice a day and this has helped a lot.

Her stool consistency has been much better on Orijen Senior. She is fed twice a day, she has never been a big eater so we usually just give her a good amount in the bowl and she eats what she needs. She occasionally finishes her evening meal but rarely eats all of her breakfast. Recently we have been adding some water to her food and she seems to like that. She is a good drinker. We try not to give her many treats (she used to sometimes have diarrhoea after eating them) although she now gets a small one every evening with her bedtime dose of syrup. It is rare that she gets more treats than that.

The reason we are considering a change in food is that she has lost a little weight recently and I’ve read that Orijen Senior is likely to aid weight loss. Also, we want to make sure she is getting appropriate food and that we are doing the best to give her as long a life as possible. I tried to read up about different foods but am really at a loss about exactly what I should be looking for in a food considering her age. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Hello and welcome to the forum. I can’t help thinking that it isn’t the food itself which is causing your dogs weight loss if she has been on it for 2.5 years and the loss is a recent thing. Is there any way you could monitor her intake to see if she has a decreased appetite and is eating less. Perhaps put out the recommended daily amount and see how much she eats in relation to that. If she is eating less, it could be worth checking that there is nothing physically wrong. If all is well then maybe a change would improve her appetite.
You are lucky that she has no allergies as that gives you a lot more choice. You can use the dog food directory to put in your requirements.

*Go to the home page

*On the top right hand side you will see the quick search tool

*Enter the details for your dog and available budget

*Click on go to full dog food directory and look to the left hand side of the directory to filter your options further.

*Press go and the search should come up with suitable foods for you to look at.

It is hard to give any specific advice as different dogs do well on different foods. If some moisture helps with her appetite then one of the cold pressed foods may help as they soften down well with water added.


Hello Nyixie and welcome to the forum!

Some great advice already from Tinyplanets.

Her weight loss may be due to a decrease in appetite - interestingly the Propalin summary of product characteristics (SPC) noted "In the course of field clinical trials, loose stools, liquid diarrhoea, decrease in appetite, …were reported in some dogs. " The document can be downloaded from here:

Something else which may be worthwhile checking with the manufacturer, is whether the Orijen recipe has been recently changed, and is another possible explanation, coinciding with her weight loss.


I have previously compared Orijen Adult Dog v Orijen Senior when they were 80/20 … from memory there was a negligible difference, only 0.2% difference in one of the ingredients i think ( i havent seen the figures now that orijen is switching/switched to 85/15) … unlike some other foods Orijen dont go for a low energy version for seniors and both come out at 38% protein so the senior variant shouldnt be causing the weight loss unless it has something to do with the recent recipe change.


Thanks all, definitely some things to think about here.

Tinyplanets, I don’t think there is anything physically wrong since she has had quite a few tests in the last few months. The vet actually didn’t comment on her weight loss, it isn’t a lot but I’m conscious that I don’t want her getting too thin. I think you’re right that a change may help her appetite. I’m possibly projecting from a human point of view that the same meal for 2.5 years would put me off a bit! Thanks for the help in using the search feature. I’ll look in to cold pressed food too.

Meg, you make a great point that I hadn’t considered. Thinking about it now, I noticed the weight loss about 2 weeks after she started the Propalin syrup. We’ve recently decreased the dose from 3x daily to twice daily so it is possible this will improve a bit.

Warfieldwolf, I didn’t realise that Orijen were changing their recipes. I read that the fat content of the original Orijen Senior possibly wasn’t high enough for an older dog that isn’t overweight but will look at the new recipe.

Thanks again everyone.

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