A happy pet is a wonderful thing, and the cheerful, energetic Boxer is a popular choice thanks to its charming temperament and gorgeous looks. Of course, you want to give your pet the best of everything, and feeding is the first basic area to look at. Let’s look at the breed and show you how to evaluate foods in order to find the best dog food for boxers.
Boxers are classified as medium to large breed dogs and are considered to be working dogs. They are very energetic and playful and as such need to have their nutritional intake monitored. Boxers are also very muscular dogs. Because of their strong musculature and high energy levels, they require a high calorie intake on a daily basis and a high quality best dog food for boxers.
You will be bombarded with all kinds of marketing bumph from dog food manufacturers, so your search for the best dog food for boxers means knowing how to evaluate dog food ingredients impartially. With the information provided below, we are sure we will make your task a little easier.
Where do Boxers come From?
The Boxer’s ancestors are believed to have been a breed called the Bullenbeiser, now extinct, which was a dog of Mastiff descent. Bullenbeisers had been used for centuries as a hunting dogs, particularly for hunting larger game like bears, wild boar and deer. Eventually, Bullenbeisers were used on farms as guard dogs and to herd cattle. The descendants of these dogs were interbred with English Bulldogs to create the modern Boxer.
What Should Be In The Best Dog Food For Boxers?
When shopping for the best dog food for boxers, consider the following requirements.
Calories: Because of their high energy output, boxers need a high intake of good quality calories. This calorie intake comes particularly from a reliable source of quality protein. The best dog food for boxers must also be properly balanced, with the correct proportions of protein, fat and fibre.
Protein: Protein is the most important consideration in any dog’s diet, especially for large, active dogs. The best dog food for boxers will have a good quality protein at the top of the ingredient list. This signifies that protein makes up the highest proportion of that dog food. Protein ensures strong, lean muscles and sufficiently high energy levels.
Fats: Fat is just as essential in your Boxer’s diet, but doesn’t have to be as high a proportion as protein. About 15% fat, which is average for most dog foods, is adequate. Fat provides extra energy and is good for their hearts and coats.
Carbs: The more complex the carbs the slower the energy release. Complex carbs also help the dog to feel full and makes bowel movements regular. Sweet potato, flaxseed and peas are good examples of complex carbs. A lot of dogs, particularly Boxers, are prone to allergies from grain such as wheat and corn. These ingredients should be avoided.
The other stuff: Vitamins and minerals are essential for optimal health and ideally pre and/or probiotics should be included in the dog food recipe.
We have reviewed 5 Dog foods for you
1. Merrick Grain Free Boxer Dry Dog Food – Buffalo Flavor
All of a sudden, after reading the list of ingredients, you realize that you are in a different ballpark. This is hands down the best dog food for Boxers available on the market.
Protein: This recipe is packed with named, single source, quality protein. Deboned buffalo, chicken meal, salmon meal, turkey meal, dried egg product, deboned salmon, deboned chicken, deboned turkey; the list seem to go on and on. In fact ingredients 1, 2, 4, 7, 10, 11 12 and 13 are all excellent sources of high quality protein.
The only quibble I would have (small as it might be), would be that there are too many different kinds of protein. If your dog doesn’t thrive on the food, you would have no idea which source of protein might be disagreeing with him.
But boy, this recipe sure has enough protein for your energetic and mischievous Boxer: 38% on average, which clearly marks this formula as above average protein content.
Carbs: Carbs are ably supplied by sweet potato, peas and potato. All are considered excellent sources of complex carbohydrates and dietary fibre and are gluten free.
Fats: There is an abundance of fat sources in this Boxers dog food. Chicken fat, salmon meal and flaxseed are excellent sources of essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Other points to ponder
More than adequate sources of essential vitamins and minerals have been added. The minerals have been bonded to the amino acids to facilitate their absorption in the digestive tract.
There are dried fermentation products in abundance. These provide vital enzymes to assist in the breakdown of proteins and carbs.
The addition of natural pork and chicken flavour can only make this recipe more attractive to our canine friends.
Alfalfa is not considered of great nutritional value for the dog, besides the resultant fibre. Alfalfa is normally used in horse feed. However, a little roughage will be great for your pet’s digestive system.
- Packed full of quality protein
- Grain free
- Pre and probiotics
- Added vitamins and minerals
- Fruit and meat flavour added for taste
- High quality dog food for Boxers
- More expensive than the average dog food for Boxers
- Alfalfa added
2. Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food Turkey, Brown Rice and Venison Flavour
This dog food for Boxers seems to be a strange mixture of good ingredients and not so good ingredients, so let’s go through them.
- Protein is well represented by turkey, turkey meal, chicken meal, and venison. However, with all these sources of protein, the protein content is a surprisingly average at 26%.
- Carbohydrates are supplied by brown rice, ground rice, beet pulp, soya bean meal, whole grain corn and corn gluten meal. The brown rice and ground rice we’ll buy as sources of quality, gluten free carbs. The same goes for peas, but this ingredient is rather far down on the list.
- Boxers are also prone to bloat and the presence of all this grain might very well exacerbate this condition. The presence of these grains could also trigger food intolerance and/or food allergies.
- Fats are well represented by chicken fat and flaxseed which are excellent sources of essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
- There are added fruit and vegetables to supply valuable anti-oxidants.
- All essential vitamins and minerals are added.
- Good quality sources of named protein.
- Added vitamins and minerals
- Essential fatty acids are present
- Has added gluten, soya meal and whole corn.
3. EUKANUBA Breed Specific Adult Dry Dog Food For Boxers
Let’s look at the 3 main ingredients present in this recipe.
Protein: The chief protein source is chicken, chicken by-product meal, fish meal and dried egg product. Chicken is an acceptable source of protein, and it is used in a great many dog foods for Boxers. However, there is a danger that chicken won’t be good for your pet. There have been cases of food intolerance and even a food-driven allergic reaction.
Having said that, any animal or fish meal is considered a meat concentrate. This eliminates wastage through water loss, and is higher in protein content than the original meat.
Carbs: We are somewhat troubled by the predominance of corn meal and ground sorghum. Both are known to cause food intolerances in many dogs and are of minimal nutritional value to the dog. The cynical amongst us would think that these two predominant ingredients are merely there as fillers.
Barley is a quality carbohydrate packed with fibre and nutrients. Flaxseed is also considered an acceptable source of fibre and fatty acids. Beet pulp also adds some carb value, although it is quite low down on the list so there’s not very much of it.
Fats: The only quality fat present is chicken fat which is made by rendering chicken by-products. It is rich in linoleic acid which is a good source of omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are supplied by fish meal and fish oil. There is a possibility that fish meal has been preserved with ethoxyquin, which is commonly used to preserve fish. This would have been added to the fish meal before dispatch to the manufacturer. This means that the manufacturer doesn’t have to list it as an ingredient.
Of Further Interest: Fructooligosaccharide, an artificial sweetener, has been added as a prebiotic, which assists in maintaining internal flora. Brewer’s yeast is high in plant based protein and other nutrients.
- Contains prebiotics
- Essential vitamins and minerals are present
- Minerals are chelated (chemically bound to amino acids)
- Reasonably priced
- Predominance of chicken
- Excess grain in the form of corn and sorghum.
- No probiotics
- No added fruit or vegetables.
4. ROYAL CANIN BREED HEALTH NUTRITION Boxer Adult dry dog food
At first glance, the list of ingredients in this Boxers dog food did not leave us with a great deal of enthusiasm.
Here are our reasons why:
- Chicken by-product meal, the principal source of protein in this formula, leaves much to be desired. As discussed in the previous review, the source of the meal could be suspect. Usually it is the waste from commercial operations that is ground into a meal and could include beaks and chicken feet, amongst other things.
- The first two ingredients are brown rice and brewer’s rice, which to me would signify a plant predominant dog food. There is nothing wrong with brown rice and brewer’s rice as quality carbohydrates which are easily digestible, and a good supply of fibre. My problem is that they are too high on the ingredient list.
- Pork meal, which is a good source of protein, is seventh on the list, far too low. Again, you don’t know what has gone into the meal.
- Wheat gluten as the six ingredient is also questionable. Gluten has been linked to food intolerances and food allergies.
- As your boxer can suffer from bloat, the predominance of grain in this recipe is troubling.
- In the recipe’s favour, chicken fat and fish oil are good sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
- Vegetable oil would supply plant based fatty acids, but they are not as easily absorbed as animal based fatty acids.
- The presence of powdered cellulose and tomato pomace are also questionable.
- I don’t see any added fruit and vegetable which would not only enhance flavour, but supply valuable anti-oxidants.
- A protein content of 24% is a little low for your active boxer
- There appears to be an adequate supply of essential vitamins and minerals, but we can see no trace of pre and probiotics.
- Added vitamins and minerals
- Good sources of essential fatty acids
- No named, single source, quality protein
- Excess of carbohydrates and the addition of wheat gluten
- Low protein content (24%) for active dogs
- No pre or probiotics
5. Royal Canin Dry Dog Food, Boxer 26 Formula
After frantic searching we failed to find a complete list of ingredients for this speciality dog food for Boxers. Royal Canin makes a number of breed-specific dog foods, but we could find precious little information about this 26 Formula recipe, even on the Royal Canin website. We reviewed the other breed specific formula from Royal Canin in the first review in this blog, and if that is anything to go by, we don’t hold out much hope for being able to say many positive things about this recipe. We found one source of a limited ingredient list, so we will attempt to give a fair review for this formula.
The Essential Ingredients
Like the other Royal Canin recipe for Boxers already reviewed, the principal source of protein appears to be chicken. Whether it is named chicken or chicken by-product meal is not obvious. The protein content is given as 24%, which we don’t consider sufficient for very active dogs.
Again as in the previously reviewed Royal Canin recipe this one also relies on brown rice and rice with the addition of oatmeal. Rice is an acceptable source of gluten-free carbohydrates and is relatively easily digested if cooked.
Chicken fat appears to be the chief source of fat in this formula. As previously mentioned chicken fat is rich in linoleic acid which is a rich source of omega-6 fatty acids. The fat content is fairly high at 18%. L-carnitine, which assists in the burning of fat efficiently to retain lean muscles, has also been added.
There are added vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. These all assist in maintaining a healthy heart throughout your dog’s lifespan.
This formula also contains MOS which assists in the creation of antibodies that help the dog’s immune system.
Like every dog food for Boxers, there are consumers that swear by this formula, and those that wouldn’t go near it.
- Specifically designed for heart maintenance
- No preservatives
- Average protein content
- Grains present
- Very expensive
Best Dog Food For Boxers In Conclusion
We seem to have a rather mixed bag of dog food for boxers in this set of reviews. We suggest you go through the reviews above to acquaint yourself with our opinion of what would constitute the best dog food for boxers. Don’t forget that, because your boxer is typically an active dog, the protein content of your chosen dog food should be above average. Going through the reviews will give you clues that will help you to evaluate other dog food brands easily.
Boxers are really special pets, and we hope that you and your boxer will share many happy years together. The best dog food for Boxers will help your pet give you is very best, so it’s worth hunting down the one that your dog likes best.