Boxers are well-behaved, loving and energetic dogs with a long-lasting puppy-like attitude. They love company and are extremely loyal. Boxers commonly are of a medium-large size with a muscular build, an underbite, a square skull/muzzle and short fur.
Their specific and unique build makes them an extremely cute and increasingly popular breed of dog, but also unfortunately, cases them to be prone to a variety of possible health issues.
To ensure your Boxer stays healthy, you must keep up a grooming regiment and look out for symptoms of common diseases. In addition, applying for pet insurance for your dog wouldn’t hurt as well.
About the Breed
Boxers are working dogs that originated from Germany. As mentioned, they are known to be muscular dogs with square heads and muzzle, with an underbite that resembles that of a bulldog.
Boxers usually have brownish-auburn colored short fur and they may or may not have white spots or black stripes.
They have extremely high energy and require a lot of it, as they take a lot longer to mature. As a matter of fact, their puppy stage lasts longer than other breeds. Boxers are extremely affectionate and like to be around their owners often.
Find out the difference between a boxer and a pitbull.
They are okay on their own, but may become destructive inside the house if they are left alone for too long. They were not made to live outdoors, so that is not a solution either for leaving them alone. If you have a Boxer, you will need to be home as often as possible.
They are known to drool a lot and though their fur is short, they still shed. They are generally very intelligent, loyal and excitable dogs who need to be trained.
Usual Health Concerns
While Boxers are growing in popularity, they are like any dog - prone to a specific range of diseases. If you are looking at getting a Boxer or you already have one, it is important to be aware of the possibilities of diseases and the symptoms that go along with them.
In addition, enrolling in a pet insurance policy will also provide you with peace of mind, knowing that you will be able to bring your Boxer to the vet if any health concerns arise.
Specifically in Boxers, it is known as Boxer Cardiomyopathy and it causes their hearts to beat too quickly and erratically.
You will not typically see symptoms of Cardiomyopathy and this is why it is important that you bring your dog for its checkups to make sure you pick up on any trace of heart disease.
Boxers are unfortunately prone to cancer specifically cell tumors, lymphoma and brain tumors. Cancer is actually the most common health issue in Boxers. Because of this, you must look out for any symptoms to assure the best possible outcome. That said, symptoms include:
- Bumps or lumps
- Weight loss
- Decreased energy levels
- Swelling in the mouth
If you notice any of these symptoms or anything that seems out of place over a period of time, make sure you visit a vet to get your Boxer checked out.
Like many large dogs, Boxers are at risk for issues with their hips. There are many reasons for this to develop and there are fortunately treatments available.
Due to the facial structure of Boxers, they are prone to eye disease. There are many different variations of eye diseases, but generally, look out for anything that seems out of place. This includes redness, swelling, sensitivity and increased blinking.
To prevent any type of eye disease, make sure you keep up with an eye routine, wiping away any discharge that can build up.
This is an illness that Boxers may suffer from, which results in low thyroid hormone levels. Common symptoms include hair loss and weight gain. This disease is controllable with medication, but it is unfortunately not curable.
Skin diseases can form in Boxers for a multitude of reasons. Boxers are prone to allergies, which may lead to itchy or scaly skin. Any bacteria that form on the skin can also lead to a range of skin diseases.
This is why it is important to ensure that your Boxer stays clean because of its short coat.
As mentioned, Boxers have short coats, which means they don’t require much grooming. They are somewhat independent when it comes to staying clean. Like cats, they will often clean themselves.
Boxers do shed a decent amount though, so brushing their fur weekly with a rough bristle brush is recommended. As their hair is short and they stay pretty clean, they do not need to bathe as often as some other breeds, but they still require the occasional bath.
Use a canine intended shampoo and clean your Boxer off in the bath, specifically focusing on the darker fur where bacteria is more likely to grow. Afterwards, make sure to run a cotton swab through your dog’s wrinkles to make sure they will fully dry.
To take care of your Boxer’s nails, just make sure you have them trimmed every month or so. Depending on the natural wear on its nails, it may require to get them trimmed more or less than that.
Keep an eye on your pet and if you hear its nails when it walks on your floors. It is important to get your Boxer used to cleansing routines like trimming its nails or taking baths when it is younger. Otherwise, it will be difficult to achieve as it ages.
Other important grooming routines for Boxers is cleaning the eyes, ears and teeth. All dogs should have their teeth brushed, though many owners do not do this.
Using a toothpaste intended for dogs, you should brush its teeth once a day - if possible - to get rid of plaque. This ensures that your dog’s teeth stay strong and healthy. It is recommended that your dog also gets professional teeth cleaning once a year as well.
Similarly, ear care is the same for any dog with floppy ears. To ensure that your Boxer does not develop any ear infections, it is recommended that you clean them out once a week or so. Lastly, with Boxers, it is important you keep an eye on their eyes.
They tend to excrete discharge, which you will have to wipe. In addition, you must make sure their eyes are normal, otherwise, bring them to your vet.
As you may already know, the Boxer is a really energetic breed and is always up to play and have a fun time. It enjoys spending most of its time outdoors running, fetching and playing stimulating games.
Your Boxer will tend to act out when you don’t give it enough attention. In fact, it might even start exhibiting behavior like excessive barking, scratching, digging and so on.
What sets the Boxer apart is its strong and sturdy build and although this is one of its distinguishing features, it is also the reason why it requires so much exercise. Beware of depriving your dog of proper exercise, as this might weaken its muscle tone over time.
The Boxer requires structured and directed play-time as well as plenty of attention from you, the owner. It’s definitely not a good idea to get a Boxer if you don’t have much time to invest in it, as it requires quite a bit of time and attention.
Another important factor to keep in mind when taking your Boxer out for a walk is the weather. Overall, you want to avoid playing with him or her outside when there’s extreme weather, because it won’t be able to enjoy it as much as an early morning or late afternoon walk.
Its short nozzle and compressed skull makes it uncomfortable for it to breathe when it’s hot and humid outside. As a result, you may want to keep physical activity to an absolute minimum on hot days. Additionally, its thin coat reacts similarly to extreme cold.
In fact, if your Boxer’s coat has white marks on it, then you may want to apply some sunscreen on its torso and its face every time before going out on a warm morning or evening walk. However, make sure to avoid getting the sunscreen on the eye area, as that may hurt its eyes.
When it comes to duration, 45 to 60 minutes a day is recommended to keep your Boxer fit, healthy and happy. If you are able to, it will definitely appreciate exercising twice a day and you can use this time to strengthen the bond you share with your dog.
That said, it’s important to keep exercise light and less frequent for younger puppies, as overextending their abilities will most likely lead to bone damage.
In fact, it’s often recommended to not take your dog for walks in public spaces until it has had a third set of shots, as you want to keep him or her away from dogs until it’s old enough to have had its crucial shots done first.
When walking your dog, always make sure that it is either beside or behind you and always maintain your superiority as the ‘pack leader.’ In other words, be the one leading your dog and not the other way around.
Boxers enjoy several canine sports like frisbee, agility as well as tracking and you are even able to invent or adopt other high-energy activities to enjoy with your pup. This is because exercise is a very important aspect of keeping your Boxer happy.
Before you go shopping for dog food, consider your Boxer’s unique nutritional needs. For example, thanks to having a slower metabolism than smaller breeds, the Boxer requires less fat in its diet.
In addition, protein is a must to help facilitate proper growth in puppies and it helps older dogs to develop healthy lean muscle as well. Coming back to fat, an adult boxer weighing about 50 pounds only needs 1,350 calories on average.
However, if your four-legged friend weighs a little more at 70 pounds, then it will require about 1,680 calories per day. In general, puppies tend to consume more calories than older dogs because they need the nutrients in order to grow.
But that doesn't mean you should overfeed your dog because then, it will end up with too much energy. Plus, overfed dogs tend to develop musculoskeletal problems later on in life from experiencing rapid growth. Ideally, you want your dog to grow at a steady and natural pace.
That means feeding it a formula that is specific to his or her age and size. Adjust its diet accordingly as well if it develops health issues like diabetes, arthritis, or allergies later on.
In fact, the Boxer is often plagued with allergies that require a grain-free or Limited Ingredient Diet and there are plenty of brands that cater specifically to this type of diet. That said, here’s a rough guide as to what you should check for when shopping for dog food.
As mentioned above, protein is an essential requirement in any dog’s diet and Boxers are no different. That said, the Boxer has a very muscular physical structure when compared to other dogs, so they require a bit more protein than other breeds.
Preferably, you should only give your dog lean protein such as turkey, fish, lean chicken and lamb.
Fat is an equally vital component of ensuring that your Boxer maintains good health. However, don’t overdo it, because too much fat can lead to overweight issues.
Essential Vitamins and Minerals
Some of the most important vitamins and minerals that you shouldn’t compromise on include Vitamin A and E, which contribute to good ear and eye health. These also provide your pet with beneficial antioxidants as well as fat-burning and anti-aging properties.
You must also make sure that your Boxer receives ample doses of Vitamins B12, C, D, phosphorus, calcium (healthy bones and teeth), potassium and iron.
Keep in mind that some carbs are healthier than others. You want to source their carbs from healthy sources like flaxseed, sweet potatoes, green peas and the like. Avoid corn and wheat, as it may cause allergic reactions.
Never leave your dog without water and be sure to replenish its water bowl frequently. In addition, carry some with you when taking him or her for walks to keep it hydrated at all times.
Ingredients to Avoid
Stay away from dog food that contains harmful ingredients like fillers, by-products, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.
As any pet owner knows, it’s incredibly important to train your dog properly from a young age. After all, you don’t want it getting out of control while you’re in public.
The good news is that it’s fairly easy to train a Boxer into a disciplined and well-mannered buddy. Here are some tips to help you along:
Identify Its Unique Personality
You need to learn about the Boxer’s unique personality traits. Generally, the Boxer is a very loyal and compassionate dog and although it might get suspicious of strangers, it does it out of protectiveness of its owner.
Also, you should wait for at least three weeks before you start training your pup. Start with simple, straightforward commands that will serve as the foundation stage for later training.
Socialization is a Must
You must socialize your pup from an early age to bring out that gregariousness that is a distinct trait of this particular breed. Socialize it with other humans and make sure to play engaging games with him or her, as Boxers don’t really like being alone.
Be the Alpha Dog
It’s important to establish dominance over your dog early on, especially when going through leash training. It should be able to recognize you as the ‘alpha’ or the leader, as this’ll make it easier to control it when you’re taking it out for a walk.
Reward Good Behavior
Enact positive reinforcement by your dog treats every time he or she follows the rules you’ve given and use a stern voice to correct misbehavior.
Teach It the Basics
During its training, you should at least get him or her to learn basic tricks such as sitting, standing, rolling, etc. This helps to facilitate proper mental development.
- The Boxer can actually be a really good herd dog.
- The Boxer is descended from the Molosser breed, which originated in ancient Greece.
- It is one of the first dog breeds to be utilized in police training in Germany.
- Contrary to popular belief, not all white Boxer dogs are deaf and only 12 to 14% experience deafness.
- The Boxer is one of the most popular breeds in America.
- It’s a really versatile breed that’s good at tracking, agility and obedience.
- Boxers have been known to snore because of their short muzzles.
- This breed has an average lifespan of 10 years.
Boxer Treatment Insurance
A Boxer might be your dream pet, but you have to be ready to face the health risks they are prone to. If you have had a dog before, you might be aware about how expensive treatment can get. For instance, treating your Boxer’s Cardiomyopathy can get as high as $20,000.
The same actually goes for treating Canine Cancer. The lowest price for both is around $5,000, which is still relatively expensive and not many can afford it. However, don’t be disheartened because there is still a way for you to own a Boxer while not breaking the bank.
Having a pet insurance policy for your dog will aid you financially. By just paying a pet insurance company monthly, you will be able to breathe easy, knowing that you will be able to fully help your dog.
However, some companies don’t include pre-existing conditions in their policy and this is why you need to enroll your Boxer while it is still young. If you enroll it when it is already a senior, it might already have many illnesses, which will cost your more as a result.
The Boxer is a wonderful dog that’s known for its loyalty, outgoing personality and love of people and socializing.
Often, the best way to keep your Boxer happy is to play with it as much as possible, taking it out for walks and playing sports and games that are engaging and challenging.
However, if you want to have it around for a long time, then be sure to invest in good dog food that’s packed with lean protein, essential vitamins and minerals as well as light carbohydrates. In addition, invest in a good pet insurance too to help you with medical treatment if needed.
Overall, the Boxer breed is a great family dog and a marvelous companion to have around. However, in order to enjoy more stress free days with your beloved pet, then enrolling it in a pet insurance policy is definitely the way to go.
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