Every dog breed is different – there are all types of dogs out there, each with different nutritional requirements in order for them to be happy and healthy.
That explains why there are so many different choices of dog food in the store. However, you might wonder which food you have to pick when it comes to your Boxer.
You want your Boxer to be fed with the best dog food for their breed, so before you pick out any old bag of food, let’s take a look at what you need to be looking for.
Choosing the Right Dog Food
The Boxer is one of the most active dogs out there, with a big build that needs lots of energy. In order to keep them going, it’s important to get the right dog food. Before you choose then, keep these considerations in mind.
Your Boxer’s Age
Like with many dogs, your Boxer’s diet will change depending on its age. Puppies need a different diet than senior dogs or nursing mothers, so be sure to feed him or her puppy food until it’s 18 months old before you switch to adult food.
Regardless of the age of your boxer though, always remember to introduce any new food gradually to avoid upset stomachs.
The Boxer Lifestyle
Take a look at how active your dog is. The more your dog runs around, the more protein he or she will need for energy. If it’s less active, you are able to get away with foods that are on the lower range of protein. But usually, you’ll need higher amounts of protein with a Boxer.
Chicken and lamb are some of the best forms of proteins you are able to find when it comes to maintaining your Boxer’s energy level. Avoid grains though, since they are not digestible.
Whenever you pick up a bag of food, take a look at the ingredients list. Check to see if it starts with an ingredient you are able to easily recognize, like chicken. Your dog will function better on fresher ingredients that are of higher quality.
Those ingredients will usually taste better too, compared to by-products. Your Boxer will thank you!
You want your dog to eat healthy, but if your Boxer doesn’t like the taste, it won’t eat the food anyway. To ensure your pup’s health, you’ll want to be sure your Boxer actually likes the food in the first place.
You can’t check taste based on the ingredients, but you are able to try a product to see if your dog likes it and change it to another one with similar ingredients if it refuses to eat.
A Boxer’s Diet
There’s a lot that goes into just choosing the right dog food for any breed, including the Boxer. These dogs are active, energetic and always need more energy to help them run around and play.
Choosing the right diet can also solve health concerns you may have, like joint issues, bloat, food allergies and heart problems. If you want your dog to remain healthy, it all comes down to choosing the right ingredients.
Boxers are much more active compared to other dog breeds. They love to play around, be energetic and need at least half an hour of exercise every day. If you want them to continue to play around then the best food for your Boxer is high in protein.
Protein will help build lean muscles while providing a lasting source of energy for your pooch. An ideal diet should have at least 30% protein. You’ll want to choose lean, animal-based protein that will replenish stamina and improve overall muscle health.
Additional protein will also help with bone growth and tissue repair, but the source of the protein does matter. Beef and other by-products have lower protein levels, so focus on lean chicken, duck, tuna, lamb and turkey.
Beyond proteins, take a look at the fat content of the food. Fat will ensure that your dog has the energy and calories to burn off while helping it maintain a shiny coat. Don’t feed it an excessive amount of fat though, so look for about 15%. This is the average in most dog foods anyway.
Your dog may need protein, but you shouldn’t overlook the importance of carbs or other nutritional building blocks either. Carbs will provide your dog with an immediate source of energy, while ingredients like taurine, L-Carnitine and DHA will help your dog’s heart.
Calcium is a good one to look for too, since it will keep your Boxer’s joints and bones healthy. In terms of carbs, look for flax seeds, sweet potatoes, brown rice and so on.
Be careful that they don’t overwhelm the diet, but you do want some carbs included since they take longer to break down. Your dog will also receive fiber from these carbs, helping it maintain a healthy weight.
Boxers are actually more prone to allergies than other breeds, with very sensitive stomachs and an ability to develop allergies easily. Even if you have two Boxers, you may find yourself needing to provide them each with different food if one has different allergies.
This is because allergies can develop environmentally or can be food-induced.
You’ll know best about which foods work for your dog, but always be sure to select the food carefully and avoid foods like peas and grains. Grains like wheat, soy, corn and yeast are notorious for causing problems in your pooch, giving it stomach pains and skin problems.
Meats like beef, chicken, pork and lamb can also cause problems, depending on your pup. If you’re concerned about your dog’s food causing allergies, look for some skin issues or recurring stomach pains.
Even if your Boxer’s food is grain-free but the protein source doesn’t agree with your dog, try switching to another protein source to see if your dog improves. You may even consider switching to a fish-based diet.
Switching Dog Foods
If you’re switching to a new dog food for your Boxer, you always want to introduce it slowly to avoid problems with allergens. Not all Boxers suffer from the same food issues after all and may respond differently to different ingredients.
Always start by incorporating about a fourth of the new food into your old food’s diet. If you don’t see anything wrong, increase the amount to a half, three quarters and finally, only feed your dog the new food.
How the Right Food Helps with Their Health
Although they are a strong breed, Boxers are still susceptible to some issues with their health. Fortunately, by regulating its nutrient intake, you are able to help your dog live a happy and healthy life, keeping uncomfortable symptoms under control.
Sometimes, Boxers may experience problems with an underactive thyroid gland, which leads to decreased levels of hormones in their body.
This condition is also known as hypothyroidism and the most common symptoms involve low energy, lethargy and poor quality of the dog’s coat. In addition, as the thyroid hormone regulates metabolism, one of the symptoms may be sudden weight gain as well.
If your dog has hypothyroidism, consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible about a special diet that will help improve the condition and ease the symptoms at the same time, combined with a corresponding therapy.
It is important to avoid all kinds of processed foods to prevent the buildup of toxins. The iodine intake should be increased as well, either through giving your dog adequate supplements, or through a balanced nutrition, which contains fish, kelp, or seaweed.
As they are similar to most of the large breed dogs, Boxers also often suffer from problems with their bones and joints. You are able to help your pet by giving and maintaining a healthy and balanced diet to control its weight and relieve stress on joints.
The key nutrients that can help rebuild damaged bones, cartilage and relieve joint pain are calcium, chondroitin and glucosamine.
Heart Conditions in Boxers
Heart problems in Boxers are usually hereditary, but nutritional deficiency may be one of the causes for cardiomyopathy too. Symptoms include an irregular heartbeat, weakness, fainting, coughing, short breath and an accumulation of fluid.
This condition may be prevented by adequate nutrition, which features three key nutrients: Taurine, L-carnitine and Omega-3 fatty acids. They are found in foods such as salmon, tuna, beef, lamb and pork.
However, as most of the dogs are happy with a 0.3% omega-3 daily intake, your Boxer will need at least 1 or 2% of it to stay healthy.
How Much to Feed Your Boxer?
How much food your dog needs to eat depends on its age and health. In general, young dogs need more food to successfully go through all development stages, until they reach adulthood.
That point on, you need to develop a nutritional plan that will provide your Boxer with an optimal weight and stick to it. As different types of dog food have different calorie levels, the portions may also vary. It’s important to note that different breeds have different needs. Boxers and Pit Bulls are often compared to each other but have very different needs.
However, in general, a healthy meal for a well-proportioned Boxer will contain 1 to 2 cups of food. That said, you should never determine the amount of food based only on its breed and general recommendations written on labels.
These may be thought of as general guidelines, but the amount of food your dog needs ultimately depends on its weight and Body Condition Score or BCS. BCS is a measurement that veterinarians use to develop a dietary plan that is compatible with your dog’s individual needs.
It divides dogs in five general categories based on their weight and appearance – very thin, slim, perfect, overweight and obese. Very thin and slim dogs are those with visible ribs, prominent hip bones and no or very little palpable fat.
Unsurprisingly, these dogs are prone to many serious health problems. If your Boxer is underweight, you need to increase its calorie intake and limit its exercise to a very minimum until it reaches the ideal weight.
If your dog is well-proportioned and has a slight tummy tuck, with moderate covering of fat over its ribs and spine, it means it receives optimal balance of nutrition and activity and you should keep it that way.
Overweight dogs have noticeable fat over their shoulders, lower back and base of the tail. If your dog has excess weight, it will put additional strain on its spine, hips and joints and may even cause serious conditions such as hip dysplasia.
This is why you need to limit its calorie intake, increase the activity level and create a safe weight loss program for your pet, along with the expert help from a veterinarian.
How Often Should You Feed Them?
The number of meals your Boxer should have depends mostly on its age. That being said, general recommendation is to avoid free feeding and not to allow your dog to eat whenever it desires. This is sometimes called grazing.
Furthermore, if your dog eats too fast or is active right after the meal, it might get bloated, which is not at all a naive thing. That is why you should always try to divide his or her meals in 2 or 3 sittings.
2 to 6 Months Old
Your puppy should eat 3 meals a day. You might find the most convenient time to serve them the same time you eat your own breakfast, lunch and dinner.
6 Months to 1 Year
During this time, your Boxer is still considered a puppy and should eat 2 meals a day – 1 in the morning and 1 in the early evening.
2 Years Old
Upon reaching a two-year mark, your Boxer becomes an adult. That said, even though many other dog breeds do well with just one daily meal, you need to continue with the two-meal routine to avoid bloating and indigestion problems.
However, the meals should not be the same size. If your Boxer stays alone most of the day, give him or her a nutritional breakfast and cut back on dinner.
Overview of the Top Dog Foods for Boxers
|Royal Canin BREED HEALTH NUTRITION Boxer Adult dry dog food, 30-Pound|
|Royal Canin BREED HEALTH NUTRITION Boxer Puppy dry dog food, 30-Pound|
Andys top choice
|Eukanuba Breed Specific Adult Boxer Dog Food 30 Pounds|
|Royal Canin SIZE HEALTH NUTRITION MEDIUM Adult dry dog food, 30-Pound|
|Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Canned Dog Food, Sweet Potato & Venison Formula, 13-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12)|
|CANIDAE Under the Sun Grain Free Dog Food with Lamb, 4 lbs|
|Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Natural Dry Dog Food, Grain Free, Beef, Potato, Bison, 11 lbs|
|Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Wild Game Duck, Turkey, Boar & Rabbit, 12-Pound Bag|
|Rachael Ray Nutrish PEAK Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Open Range with Beef, Venison & Lamb, 23 lbs|
|Orijen Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog Food, 5 lb|
Boxers are active muscular dogs and the most important thing is that they are well-fed with lots of protein. That said, this dog food is protein-rich and is said to satisfy their daily necessities for this element. However, although strong, they are prone to heart issues.
This brand is adjusted to that as well, giving them all the important ingredients to keep their ticker healthy and well-functioning, all while tasting great.
- Boxer jaw adapted kibbles
- Filled with antioxidants to help health preservation on a cellular level
- Appropriate amount of proteins, which is helpful for active dogs and will not make them overweight
- Some Boxer owners aren’t satisfied with the ingredients
- A bit pricey
- A few reports of bags delivered damaged
If your Boxer is still a pup, you will probably have to adjust its diet even further. Royal Canin offers this dog food product, claiming it to be over 28% proteins.
Since these dogs are a muscular breed, a still-developing Boxer puppy will certainly benefit from stronger nutrition, which should aid its proper muscle growth.
Their immune system also needs help in establishing all the necessary defenses, so a mix of antioxidants and vitamins will certainly be of use for the littles one’s growth.
- Prebiotics in it support digestive system development
- Picky eaters tend to love it
- No digestive issues
- Some reports of soft stools
- A few comments saying the food easily got moldy and the dog was sick
- Several picky eaters who liked it at first, soon got bored with it
The creators of this food are aware of the importance of protein for muscular breeds such as Boxers. This is why they enriched their product with animal-origin proteins, making the optimum food for an active and strong Boxer.
A Boxer’s heart also needs special attention and nutrition in order to avoid potential illnesses. Feeding them this food rich in L-carnitine and natural taurine should mean a lot for keeping their heart healthy.
- Dentadefense system reduces tartar and plaque on the dog’s teeth
- Ingredients preserve healthy joints and hips
- No problems in digestion
- Some owners are dissatisfied about the ingredients
- Dogs may refuse to eat it
- Many find it a bit expensive
Beside Boxer-specific food, Royal Canin makes size-specific foods as well i.e. foods for different-sized breeds. Since Boxers are medium-sized, this would be the appropriate product for them.
Especially when it comes to their fragile immune system, this food contains Vitamins C and E, which will boost their defenses against any potential health hazards.
But these aren’t enough for strong health – antioxidants and prebiotics are also there to give your Boxer’s immune system that extra kick against all threats.
- Fatty acids and minerals for healthy skin
- Antioxidants and prebiotics keep the intestines healthy
- Kibbles’ form adjusted to medium breeds’ jaws
- Reports of sickness and diarrhea
- Some dogs find it too hard
- A few owners are dissatisfied with the ingredients
Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Canned Dog Food, Sweet Potato & Venison Formula, 13-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12)
Boxers are known to have sensitive intestines as well as a tendency towards allergic reactions to certain foods. This line of dog food, Limited Ingredients Diets, aims at reducing the number of potentially harmful ingredients to a dog’s wellbeing.
In other words, this formula keeps only those certain, necessary ingredients to make your Boxer feel good and satiated.
Since the manufacturer dodges tricky foods, it is obvious they will also avoid clearly problematic ingredients such as preservatives and additives, making this formula even safer for the delicate stomach of your pup.
- No grains that can irritate your dog’s stomach
- Balanced nutrients for adult dogs
- Gives your dog an extra shot of energy
- A number of complaints regarding the shipment and management of cans
- Potential increase in bathroom visits
- A few reports of diarrhea
Grains, soy and wheat are the major allergens for Boxers and a number of other breeds. This is why it is important to avoid these foods in order to steer clear of potential health problems.
This dog food brand is quite good when it comes to the choice of the ingredients, as they are suitable for allergy-prone dogs.
In addition, the kibbles contain only safe, nutritious and healthy elements – fruit, vegetables and lamb proteins. The owners couldn’t be happier with their dogs’ reactions to this food.
- No allergic reactions
- Appropriate-sized kibbles
- Finicky eaters like it
- Some complaints about packages arriving damaged
- A number of reported reactions like sickness and diarrhea
- A slight increase in bathroom visits
Another allergen for Boxers is usually chicken. In order to avoid any reactions to this meat, the simplest way to do it is not to give your pet any of it, either pure or within kibbles.
These Rachel Ray’s kibbles are great for dogs of tender stomachs since it contains no chicken or any other potential trouble-causer such as grains, artificial preservatives, or colors. Just pure safe ingredients that will nourish your dog and keep it happy.
- Dogs love the flavor
- Acceptable price for most pet owners
- A good substitute for medicine nutrition
- May cause skin rashes
- Too hard kibbles
- Might result in hair loss
This food has everything necessary for the nutrition of a Boxer. The proteins in it are plentiful and should help your dog develop. Other nutrients are there to support the healthy functioning of your dog’s body as well.
Everything picked out for this dog food is great and nourishes as well as improves the overall health of your Boxer while avoiding the potentially harmful ingredients.
- Quality meats
- No by-products
- Reports of vomiting and diarrhea
- Reduced fats might not sit well with your dog
- Some problems with the delivery
Rachael Ray Nutrish PEAK Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Open Range with Beef, Venison & Lamb, 23 lbs
Meat is the main ingredient in this formula and it helps maintain the normal functioning of your dog’s muscles since it has a higher amount of protein than some other foods. There are a few types of meat in it, but none is among the common allergens for Boxers.
This is “the fancy version” of Rachel Ray’s regular blends, so the content is chosen accordingly.
- Picky eaters are thrilled about it
- Shiny coat
- Doesn’t cause any food reactions
- Somewhat pricey for some owners
- Some dogs refuse to eat it
- May cause sickness
Although dogs in general shouldn’t eat some plants, such as grains, they do need a varied nutrition. This brand includes all the necessary elements like meat proteins as well as veggies and avoids all the ingredients that dogs may be sensitive to.
The most important ingredient – meat – is not only good quality, it’s human-level good. As a result, you are able to relax knowing you are feeding your dog only what you’d choose for yourself.
- Good effects on the coat
- Dogs finicky about their food won’t refuse it
- Helps getting rid of allergies
- A bit pricey
- Reports of diarrhea
- Potential allergic reactions
Boxers are large dogs that need a good, nutritionally-balanced diet to stay strong and healthy.
As they are prone to some food-related conditions, you have to be careful to feed them with only the best quality ingredients and avoid most common allergens. To reiterate, these come in the form of grains and some meats.
If you have any questions about choosing the best dog food for Boxers, please feel free to write in the comment section below the article.