Boxers are medium-sized dogs that are well recognized for their muscled appearance, tight-fitting coat, naturally floppy ears, somewhat droopy eyes, and a rather amusing squashed face. They are specially bred as guard dogs and for bull-baiting. Their energy levels are almost second to none. It is because of this unique combination of high energy, muscled appearance, and high social attention needs that Boxers require a diet that’s designed specifically for them. If you’re interested in learning what constitutes the best dog food for Boxers, then read on.
A Quick Overview of Our Favorites
The 9 Top-Rated Foods for Boxers
- Brand: Taste of the Wild
- First 5 Ingredients: Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
- Primary Protein Source: Buffalo, Lamb & Chicken
- Calories: 370 kcal/cup
- Flavor: Buffalo
- Life Stage: Adult
There’s no denying the fact that the Canine Formula of Taste of the Wild is simply one of the best chows you could ever give to your pet Boxer. It’s got the right combination of proteins and fats plus sufficient amounts of gut-friendly probiotic species to make this one of the best dog food for boxers. Our only lament is that it includes sweet potatoes and peas in its first 5 ingredients. While we don’t necessarily have any problems with the inclusion of such carbohydrates into the TOTW formulation, our only concern is that this takes away a substantial portion of the proteins sourced from animals. Don’t get us wrong but sweet potatoes and peas are excellent sources of usable energy which is perfect for the highly energetic Boxer.
At the very least, it doesn’t include any cereal grain in its formulation, making it one of the best dog food for Boxers with sensitive stomachs. The TOTW also includes a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, tomatoes, yucca, and raspberries. It also has a 1:9 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids which is far from the ideal, but at least not like the 1:15 that is found in human food. The TOTW Canine Formula comes in as the most trusted brand and best dry dog food for Boxers. Taste of the Wild High Prairie is one of 7 dog food recipes mentioned in our Taste of The Wild Dog Food Review.
Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Potatoes, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Egg Product, Roasted Bison, Roasted Venison, Beef, Natural Flavor, Tomato Pomace, Potato Protein, Pea Protein, Ocean Fish Meal, Salt, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, Tomatoes, Blueberries, Raspberries, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D Supplement, Folic Acid. Contains A Source Of Live (Viable), Naturally Occurring Microorganisms.
- Plenty of vitamins and minerals
- Includes omega fatty acids
- Rich in proteins
- Brand: Only Natural Pet
- First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes
- Primary Protein Source: Turkey
- Calories: 417 kcal/cup
- Flavor: Original
- Life Stage: Adult
Wellness has always been known for creating truly amazing nutritional products for today’s pets. Its CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food formulation shows a much better calorie and protein profile than the TOTW Canine Formula. It provides 421 kilocalories for every cup of the dry kibble, accounting for at least 34 percent in protein. Like the TOTW Canine Formula, the Wellness CORE is largely taken as one of the best dog food for boxers with sensitive stomachs since it also doesn’t contain any cereal grains which might cause stomach upsets.
While it did include chicken meal as one of its first 5 ingredients, the remainder of the top ingredients of Wellness CORE includes turkey meat and meal plus the addition of potatoes and peas. Again these ingredients are known to be less allergenic than chicken which also means that your Boxer should have a friendlier tummy. If that doesn’t work, then we’re pretty sure the 80 million CFUs of probiotic microorganisms that are included for every pound of the dry kibble will do the trick. What is really amazing about Wellness CORE, making it as an exceptional Boxer dog food, is its calorie density. A cup of dry kibbles gives your pooch 421 calories, enough to propel it through its very active lifestyle. It also features two of the most important substances that can help maintain the integrity of your dog’s joints. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Deboned Turkey is one of 5 dog food recipes included in our review of the Wellness Core product line.
Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal (source of Glucosamine), Chicken Meal (source of Chondroitin Sulfate), Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes, Lentils, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato Pomace, Ground Flaxseed, Natural Chicken Flavor, Salmon Oil, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Choline Chloride, Chicory Root Extract, Spinach, Broccoli, Carrots, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Kale, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.
- Hypoallergenic dog food
- Great for dogs with sensitive skin
- Uses turkey meal
- Includes chicken fat
- Brand: Whole Earth Farms
- Allergens: Chicken, Carrots, Beets
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Rice, Barley, Pork Meal
- Primary Proteins: Chicken
- Type: Dry food
- Calories: 372 kcal/cup
- Flavor: Chicken and Rice
- Life Stage: Adult
Whole Earth Farms presents this chicken and rice recipe with healthy grains, which they developed alongside their veterinarian and nutrition experts. The omega fatty acids contained within this recipe will deliver a boost to your dog’s skin and coat, making them look shinier and healthier. Beyond that, the dry food includes field-grown vegetables, which offer enough fiber to keep your dog regular. There are also no unnecessary fillers like corn or soy, so you can be sure that your dog is eating quality food with a good protein source. This is a grain-based product, so while it isn’t suitable for dogs with grain allergies, it’s perfect for any Boxer that doesn’t have stomach issues when they consume grain.
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Rice, Barley, Pork Meal, Canola Meal, Chicken Fat, Whole Grain Sorghum, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Apples, Carrots, Dried Beet Pulp, Dried Yeast, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Riboflavin Supplement, Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Choline Chloride, Minerals (Iron Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide), Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Citric Acid for freshness, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product. 2C86090.
- Lots of vitamins and minerals
- Omega fatty acids for skin and coat health
- Antioxidants for a healthy immune system
- Contains chicken and pork meal
- Brand: Eukanuba
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Corn Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Ground Whole Grain Barley, Chicken By-Product Meal
- Primary Protein Source: Chicken
- Calories: 30 lbs
- Flavor: Chicken
- Life Stage: Adult 1+
Featuring a unique tartar-fighting system called 3D Dentadefense System, the Breed Specific Boxer Adult Dry Dog Food from Eukanuba doesn’t only look after the muscle development of your pooch, but also the health of its dentition and oral cavity. This is something that is quite extraordinary since everyone knows the relationship between overall health and the status of canine dentition. It’s got heart-healthy nutrients, too, to augment the calories and proteins it provides. Unfortunately, we find its protein and calorie content to be lower than most of the Boxer dog food products we have in this list.
It also includes corn meal in its list of first 5 ingredients. We all know what this means. Corn may not be fully digested by your pooch, leading to stomach upsets if not food allergies. Speaking of food allergies, its principal animal-based protein is still chicken. Members of the scientific community have already said that chicken remains one of the most allergenic foods in the planet. It makes up for this inclusion by adding ground whole barley and ground whole sorghum, both of which can have fascinating health benefits to the energetic pooch. The addition of fish oils, glucosamine, and chondroitin may be looked at as an effort to draw one’s attention from the low protein-calorie composition of the Eukanuba Boxer.
Chicken, Corn Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Ground Whole Grain Barley, Chicken By-Product Meal (Natural source of Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine), Chicken Flavor, Dried Beet Pulp, Fish Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Dried Egg Product, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Flax Meal, Fructooligosaccharides, Calcium Carbonate, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate), Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, Dried Chicken Cartilage (Natural source of Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine), Vitamins (Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement (source of vitamin B2), Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Brewers Dried Yeast, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Carnitine, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract
- Brand: Royal Canin
- First 5 Ingredients: Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Chicken Fat, Chicken By-Product Meal, Oat Groats
- Primary Protein Source: Chicken
- Calories: 335 kcal/cup
- Flavor: Chicken
- Life Stage: Adult
If you’re concerned about giving your pooch too much protein or too much calories or both, then you’d find comfort in the Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Boxer Adult Dry Dog Food. It has the lowest amounts of proteins and calories in this list of the best food for Boxers. However, don’t ever think that just because it is the lowest in the lot doesn’t automatically mean that it is not optimized for Boxers everywhere. On the contrary, you can rely on the scientific competence of Royal Canin in coming up with the best dry dog food for boxers, optimizing the best proportion of proteins, fats, and calories to make sure your pooch gets what it truly needs.
So, if Royal Canin’s formulation is optimized for Boxers, then why aren’t a lot of people singing praises for it? The answer lies in its first 5 ingredients with brown rice and brewer’s rice topping the list, well ahead of chicken byproduct meal and chicken fat. It also contains oat groats and wheat gluten. You know how some folks shy away from anything that contains the word ‘gluten’. Nevertheless, it does come with chondroitin and glucosamine, too, for optimal health of your Boxer’s joints.
For more information on the brand, check out our Royal Canin Dog Food Review.
Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Chicken Fat, Chicken By-Product Meal, Oat Groats, Wheat Gluten, Pork Meal, Natural Flavors, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Powdered Cellulose, Fish Oil, Vegetable Oil, Sodium Silico Aluminate, Calcium Carbonate, Dried Tomato Pomace, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins [Dl-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (Source Of Vitamin E), Niacin Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source Of Vitamin C), D-Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin A Acetate, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement], Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Potassium Citrate, Hydrolyzed Yeast, Choline Chloride, Salt, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Taurine, Dl-Methionine, L-Carnitine, L-Lysine, Marigold Extract (Tagetes Erecta L.), Trace Minerals [Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Copper Proteinate], L-Tyrosine, Monosodium Phosphate, Magnesium Oxide, Green Tea Extract, Chondroitin Sulfate, Rosemary Extract, Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols And Citric Acid.
- Low calories
- Household brand name
- Optimized for Boxers
- Not very high in protein
- Common allergen protein source
- Brand: Orijen
- First 5 Ingredients: Beef, Wild Boar, Goat, Lamb, Lamb Liver
- Primary Protein Source: Beef
- Calories: 463 kcal/cup
- Flavor: Beef, Boar, Goat, Meat
- Life Stage: Adult
Orijen may not be as popular as Taste of the Wild or Wellness or any of the other big name brands of dog food, but it sure is gaining popularity among those who espouse biologically appropriate dog food. Its Regional Red formulation is a classic example of what ancestral dogs eat in the wild, something that Boxers and all other be-muscled breeds today can benefit from. The first 5 ingredients of the Regional Red are all animal proteins such as Angus beef, wild boar, bison, Romney lamb, and pork, all of which are sourced fresh and packed immediately. There are also beef liver and tripe, eggs, mutton, and whole pilchard, sardines, and herring.
It doesn’t include cereal grains making it one of the best dog food for Boxers with sensitive stomachs. It has the highest proportion of proteins and calories in this list, making it truly a great Boxer dog food since protein is needed for muscle development and calories are important for energy. The Regional Red also contains a probiotic organism and glucosamine and chondroitin for healthier digestion and joints, respectively. The only issue with Orijen is that, owing to the premium quality ingredients it puts into every formulation, it is rather expensive. But, if you do have the money to give your pet the best Boxer dog food then this is it.
Read our in-depth Orijen Dog Food Review.
Beef, Wild Boar, Goat, Lamb, Lamb Liver, Beef Liver, Beef Tripe, Wild Boar Liver, Mutton, Whole Mackerel, Pork, Goat Meal, Beef Meal, Lamb Meal, Mackerel Meal, Whole Red Lentils, Whole Pinto Beans, Beef Kidney, Pork Liver, Herring Meal, Mutton Meal, Whole Green Peas, Whole Green Lentils, Whole Navy Beans, Whole Chickpeas, Natural Pork Flavor, Beef Fat, Pollock Oil, Pork Kidney, Lentil Fiber, Pea Starch, Whole Yellow Peas, Lamb Tripe, Wild Boar Heart, Dried Kelp, Whole Pumpkin, Whole Butternut Squash, Collard Greens, Whole Apples, Whole Pear, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Freeze-Dried Beef, Freeze-Dried Lamb, Dried Chicory Root, Turmeric, Sarsaparilla Root, Althea Root, Rosehips, Juniper Berries, Citric Acid (Preservative), Rosemary Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product.
- 85% premium animal ingredients
- Biologically appropriate for dogs
- Packed with essential vitamins and minerals
- Contains meat meals
- Brand: Crave
- Allergens: Chicken, Peas, Lentils, Beets.
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Split Peas, Lentils, Pork Meal
- Primary Proteins: Chicken
- Calories: 449 kcal/cup
- Flavor: Chicken
- Type: Dry food
- Life Stage: Adult
Want your dog to have a protein-rich meal without the messiness of feeding them a raw diet? Crave’s High-Protein Chicken recipe is grain-free and is suitable for dogs of all sizes that want a tasty chicken-flavored chow. The downside is that this isn’t specifically a Boxer dog food, but it does have the right nutrients to keep your canine healthy and give them the energy they need to play. It doesn’t have any special ingredients, just a wealth of vitamins and minerals to keep your dog in tip-top shape. This recipe from Crave is an excellent source of protein (where real chicken is the first ingredient), which benefits large and active dog breeds immensely.
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Split Peas, Lentils, Pork Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Pea Starch, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Citric Acid (preservative), Mixed Tocopherols (preservative), DL-Methionine, Salt, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), D-Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.
- Real chicken as primary protein source
- Includes vitamin supplements
- High protein
- Uses meat meals
- Common allergens
- Brand: American Journey
- Allergens: Chicken, Peas, Sweet Potatoes, Beets, Carrots
- First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas, Sweet Potatoes
- Primary Proteins: Salmon
- Calories: 390 kcal/cup
- Flavor: Salmon and Sweet Potato
- Type: Dry food
- Life Stage: Adult
Finally, a dry food for this list that doesn’t include chicken meat! This recipe from American Journey is perfect if your dog doesn’t do well on chicken recipes because it only uses chicken meal as a source of the joint supplements Glucosamine and Chondroitin, and chicken fat (which is preserved with mixed tocopherols). Provided that your pup isn’t allergic to chicken entirely, this could be the best solution for them to get the protein they need without risking their health. In addition, it contains several ingredients with antioxidant properties – such as blueberries. It does have added salt, though, which isn’t ideal but shouldn’t negatively affect your dog as long as they aren’t getting excess sodium elsewhere in their diet.
Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal (a source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Turkey Meal, Peas, Sweet Potatoes, Chickpeas, Pea Protein, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Menhaden Fish Meal, Blueberries, Carrots, Salt, Salmon Oil, Dried Bacillus coagulans Fermentation Product, Dried Kelp, Fructooligosaccharides, Vitamin E Supplement, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Niacin Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Selenite, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Copper Proteinate, Riboflavin Supplement, Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.
- Contains glucosamine
- Salmon oil for better skin
- Includes DHA for healthy eyes and brain
- Uses chicken and turkey meal
- Added salt
- Brand: Purina
- Allergens: Chicken, Rice, Corn, Egg
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Poultry By-product Meal
- Primary Proteins: Chicken
- Calories: 407 kcal/cup
- Flavor: Chicken and Rice
- Type: Dry food
- Life Stage: Adult
At the time of writing, there are two versions of this product in circulation. The old version, known as Purina Pro Plan FOCUS, and this new version. For the purposes of this guide, we’ll be talking about the new version. It should be noted that there are very few differences between the two versions. This dry dog food from Purina is an excellent example of a standard store-brought kibble. It has simple ingredients, it’s inexpensive, and it will be fine for your dog as long as they don’t have a sensitive stomach. To aid digestion, Purina’s product contains live probiotics, which can change your dog’s bathroom habits for a few days while they can used to the new food. After that, you’ll see that your dog benefits from the optimized nutrition in this dog food, including the Glucosamine sourced from poultry by-product meal. Glucosamine is one of the supplements that is needed to support your dog’s joints, so it’s always a good idea to include it in their diet.
New: Chicken, Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Poultry By-product Meal (Source Of Glucosamine), Whole Grain Wheat, Barley, Beef Fat Preserved With Mixed-tocopherols, Corn Germ Meal, Fish Meal (Source Of Glucosamine), Dried Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Fish Oil, Wheat Bran, Calcium Carbonate, Soybean Oil, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Mono And Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Citrate, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B-7)], Choline Chloride, Minerals [Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], Glucosamine Hydrochloride, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (Vitamin C), Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Garlic Oil. L445119
- Formulated for large breeds
- Trusted household name
- Promotes muscle conditioning when combined with proper exercise
- Uses corn gluten meal
- Uses poultry by-product meal
Best Dog Food for Boxers: Buying Guide & FAQs
Coming up with your very own selection of the best Boxer dog food is never going to be easy. However, we believe that with this dog food for Boxers buying guide we prepared for you, you will be more empowered into choosing the right doggie chow for your Boxer.
How Much Food Do I Feed My Boxer?
Knowing how much to feed your Boxer is equally important to know what dog food will suit it best. Unfortunately, there are no fast and hard rules that you can adhere to when giving your pooch its daily chow. Your Boxer’s age, stage of development, any existing medical or health condition, and even level of activity can play an important role in deciding how much to feed it.
Generally, lactating bitches and pregnant dams require more calories as well as nutrients to support the growing litter and puppies, respectively. As such, they will need to feed more. Puppies will require more protein, too, as they need this for optimum building and development of tissues. Elder dogs will not benefit that much from too many calories and protein as their level of activity usually starts to decline and their kidneys may no longer be that efficient in managing proteins.
While dog food manufacturers have their recommendations on how much you can feed your Boxer, do understand that this is typically based on the general population and not on the specific case of your pooch. Given that the recommendations are based on a statistically sound generalization, only your veterinarian can help you determine the actual amount of dog food to give to your Boxer. This can only be done after carefully assessing the health status including activity levels and developmental stage of your dog.
Nevertheless, to give you an idea of how much food to give to your Boxer, here are some general guidelines. Please do keep in mind that these may not reflect the actual requirement of your pooch so you better talk it over with your vet.
Puppies 2 to 6 Months Old
Puppies in this stage should have the following dietary compositions:
- 35 to 45 percent animal-based proteins
- 25 to 35 percent grain-free carbohydrates
Boxer puppies younger than 3 months old should eat 4 times a day. Until they reach the 6th month of their lives, their feeding can be reduced to three times per day. Ideally, puppies in this stage require about 320 grams of food per day, divided into either 4 or 3 meals, depending on the age. As such, for younger puppies, you will be giving them about 80 grams of food per meal while for 3-6-month-old pups will require 100 grams of food per meal.
Puppies 6 Months to 1-Year-Old
Consider this stage as the transition period between puppy feeding and adult dog feeding. Here, you will try to determine if your Boxer pup can already manage to feed only twice a day. You’d still have to observe the same 300 grams per day guideline though. So that means you’d be giving about 150 grams per meal. If your pooch happens to show distress because of the change in the frequency of its meals, then you can revert back to the thrice-daily meals. Slowly, introduce the twice-daily meal concept. If there’s one thing you have to guard against, that is bloating as Boxers are known to be quite predisposed to it.
By the time your Boxer reaches adult age, it is already ready for a more stable twice-daily meal. If your pooch weighs about 50 to 75 pounds, experts recommend feeding it 4 to 5 cups of dry kibbles every day, split into two meals. If you happen to have a Boxer that is more on the heavy side, say between 75 and 100 pounds, then get ready to feed it 5 to 6 cups every day or about 2.5 to 3 cups per meal.
It is equally important to time the feeding. As much as possible make sure to allow at least 2 hours for your Boxer to fully digest its meal before taking out for its exercise or even before going to bed. It is also not wise to give your pooch table scraps as these are inherently high in calories which can lead to increased incidence of stomach upsets as well as bloating. We’ll have more of the foods to avoid giving to your Boxer towards the latter section of this article.
You may also like our article on Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs.
What Kind of Diet is Best for Boxers?
Determining the best diet for Boxers requires an understanding of their unique physiology and temperament as a breed of dog. These are very energetic, very athletic dogs that require strong and powerful muscles as well as very flexible joints so they can move at ease. They are guard dogs, too, requiring a heightened sense of awareness of their surroundings but without causing alarm on its family. That said, we can take a look at the kind of diet that is best for boxers.
High Protein Diet
It is without question that dogs are dependent on proteins for various cellular and histological processes. Muscles require proteins for optimum development. And while minerals such as potassium and calcium can play a role in the initiation of muscle contraction, it is protein molecules that provide the all-important building blocks for the synthesis or formation of individual muscle cells. It is for this reason that dog food rich in proteins constitutes the best diet for Boxers.
To optimize the tissue-building properties of proteins, they must be sourced from animals, not from plants. The reason is quite simple. While the building blocks of proteins can be found in both animal and plant sources, many essential amino acids can only be found in meats or animal-based protein sources. As such, it is imperative that the very first ingredients in a product’s table must be animal-based proteins. This is of course in addition to the fact that animal proteins are more easily digestible than their plant counterparts. And one of the truly unique characteristics of Boxers is their proneness to bloating and stomach upsets.
Check out our review of High Protein Dog Food.
Moderate to a High-Calorie Diet
Calories should never be equated with carbohydrates alone as both fats and proteins also contain calories. However, what we would like to have is for your Boxer to get its calories for energy purposes from carbohydrates and not from proteins. If it gets its energy from proteins, then there wouldn’t be any protein left for the development of the muscles and other organs of the body. Let us just say that carbohydrates provide your Boxer with the energy it needs to play all day while saving proteins for more important tissue-building and immunologic purposes. Now, the amount of calories needed by your pet Boxer is dependent on its level of activity. While it is true that Boxers are highly energetic, poor pet parenting can somehow turn these otherwise active pooches into lazy dogs. If you give these types of Boxers too many calories, they will be storing the excess as fat, leading to overweight or obesity. Giving too few calories will favor the use of proteins as an energy source. We don’t want this to happen, of course.
Take a look at our review of Dog Food for Weight Gain.
Low to the Moderate Fat Content
Fat is important in a dog’s diet, especially a Boxer since this can be an excellent source of concentrated energy. Here’s the thing, you should always strive to check the fat and carbohydrate content of the dog food you buy. If it has already sufficient amounts of carbohydrates, then you can lower down the fat content. You don’t want your pooch growing obese.
Diet Rich in Joint-Friendly Substances
Boxers are very active pooches. As such they require the full range of motion of their joints. It is for this reason that they, too, can benefit from glucosamine and chondroitin.
Diet Rich in Gut-Friendly Organisms
One of the major health issues of Boxers is bloating. To help minimize the incidence of bloating and stomach upsets while also improving overall digestive functioning, it is sometimes important to look for dog food that contains probiotic microorganisms.
Special Nutritional Needs for Boxers
We already discussed above the best type of diet for Boxers. This has to be high-quality high protein, low to moderate fat, moderate to high calories, and substantial amounts of joint- and gut-friendly substances. Of course, these are not the only things your pooch requires. Here are some special nutritional needs of this type of dog.
This mineral is perhaps the single most important substance needed to maintain the integrity of bones, keeping them strong and resilient against fractures. It’s also important in muscle contraction both in skeletal muscles and the muscles of the heart. Supplying Boxers with sufficient amounts of calcium in their diets help ensure optimum health. Remember, these dogs are very active and, thus require efficient oxygenation to all the tissues. This is made possible by the more efficient contraction of the heart, pumping more blood through the body. Additionally, skeletal muscle contraction is enhanced and the integrity of the bones is maintained.
L-carnitine is an amino acid that is well-known for its use in weight loss. It is primarily responsible for the transportation of fatty acids for energy utilization in the mitochondria of cells. Another function of L-carnitine is in the synthesis of nitric oxide which can help improve overall blood flow by dilating the blood vessels.
This substance is typically found in the brain, the heart, the retina of the eyes, and platelets. Boxers need taurine for optimum brain development as well as healthy functioning of the heart, allowing them to be as active as they please.
What Food to Avoid Feeding Your Boxer
Boxers are prone to bloat as well as the development of stomach upsets. In some cases, they may tend to be overweight, too, especially if given high fat, high-calorie foods such as human foods. That is why we have listed herein some of the foods that you should avoid feeding your Boxer.
Caffeine – Caffeine is a natural stimulant that can adversely affect the capacity of the Boxer’s heart to pump at a much normal rate.
Candies and gums – These food items are typically laced with artificial sweeteners that can lead to a significant drop in blood sugar, causing liver failure and possible seizures.
Fat trimmings – These can cause bloating as well as problems in your dog’s pancreas.
Garlic and onion – These mainstream kitchen spices are known to produce anemia in dogs. You don’t want your Boxer to be less energetic and less active.
Chocolates – In general, all dogs are not supposed to be given chocolates, especially dark ones because of the level of theobromine that these contain. Additionally, caffeine is also present in certain amounts.
Yeast dough – This can lead to substantial bloating as the dough can expand inside your Boxer’s stomach.
Devoted, loyal, friendly, and confident. These are just some of the apt descriptions of boxers. These dogs are also fearless, energetic, playful, cheerful, and even very brave. If you want your Boxer to lead its life to the fullest, then choosing the right kind of dog food for this breed of dog is a must.
- What Should I Feed My Dog?, RSPCA Australia
- Ten Things You Need To Know About The Boxer Dog Before You Buy One, Pets4Homes
Frequently Asked Questions
Boxer puppies grow slowly, which can be the reason why people believe they don’t eat enough. The truth is that they don’t eat as much as puppies from other breeds, and there can be a lot of underlying causes that put them off their food. Your pup may not like their kibble, or they may not have a clear feeding schedule. Lack of exercise can also be a factor. Try changing your dog’s food first and seek out veterinary advice if there are no changes.
Ideally, you should wait until your Boxer puppy is at least 15 months old. Boxers grow slowly and don’t reach adulthood until between 15 and 24 months of age. To avoid giving your pup the wrong nutrition, you should certainly wait until they are 15 months old, or chat to your vet about your concerns and work with them to find the best point to start feeding your Boxer adult dog food. Do be sure to feed your dog the appropriate dog food for their breed and type, or you could be hurting their growth.
Yes, even as puppies, you should be feeding your Boxer the appropriate large breed dog food. Large breed dog food stops larger dogs from growing too fast, which can put pressure on their bones and joints and cause issues later on. With large breed food, your Boxer gets the nutrition they need and can naturally grow into their adult and senior body.
Slow and steady wins the race in this case! With any animal, you should start introducing a new food product by combining it with their current food product and slowly switching the ratio around. For example, start by adding a quarter of the new food to three-quarters of the old food and mixing them up. After a few days, do half and half, then three-quarters to a quarter, and finally a full bowl of new food. It can take a couple of weeks for a switch to be complete.
If, after the switch has been completed for a few days, your dog is still having stomach issues, it’s likely that there’s something in the new food that doesn’t agree with them.
Many Boxer dogs do have sensitive stomachs. Some have food allergies or intolerances, while others have health conditions such as gastric dilation, colitis, and more. It’s important to identify any food triggers that your dog may have – these are foods that obviously cause stomach upset or distress, such as bloating or diarrhea. Once you’ve identified any triggers, keep these foods away from your dog and consider switching to a food made for Boxers with sensitive stomachs. For example, a product made just for Boxer dogs will likely work better than an all-around large breed dog food.
A raw diet can be helpful for Boxers because you can better control what goes into your dog’s body. You’ll avoid nasty filler ingredients and meat meals in dog food, and a raw diet has shown positive impacts on dogs like Boxers in the past. Raw meat, and other raw-diet appropriate food, can be an optimal diet for the large breed Boxer dog. If you decide to feed your dog a raw diet, remember to give them time to transition over from whatever kibble you’ve been feeding them.