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 dog food for boxers.
What Should Dog Food For Boxers Contain?
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. Boxer's dog food must also be properly balanced, with the correct proportions of protein, fat and fiber.
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.
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.
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, flax seed 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.
Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are essential for optimal health and ideally pre and/or probiotics should be included in the dog food recipe.
Joint-Friendly & Gut Friendly Substances
It is important with dog food for boxers that the food also has joint-friendly and gut-friendly ingredients. Joint-friendly includes ingredients like glucosamine, which is essential for joint health and to prevent the development of hip dysplasia.
Gut-friendly food means ingredients that are easier to digest, which is normally simple ingredients without fillers. Boxers often experience allergies, including wheat, corn, and soy. Using dog food without these ingredients is better for your dog’s digestion and can help prevent allergic reactions.
Boxers & Gas Problems
Boxers are at a greater risk of developing bloat. This is also called gastric dilation, which is where the dog’s stomach becomes so filled with gas that it can put undue pressure against a dog’s diaphragm, which will make it hard to breathe. In the case of boxers, gas is most often caused by an inability to digest food that is given.
Normally, this is because a diet contains too much fat or has some ingredients that your dog might be allergic too. Gas is more than foul smelling air when it comes to boxers and should be treated with caution.
Dog Food For Boxer Puppies vs Adults
It is always tempting to feed your boxer puppy food that is made for adults, especially if you already have an adult boxer in your home. Puppies, much like human children, have different nutritional needs than adult boxers do.
Puppy diets need to be high in calories as well as high in protein. This is because puppies burn a lot of energy through play and activity and their growing bodies require a lot of calories ensure proper growth and development.
Best dog food for Boxer puppies also takes into account their future needs, including hip and bone health, setting them on a good path for adult health. Adult food cannot do this for them.
Best Dog Food For Boxers (Puppies & Adults)
1. Merrick Grain Free
2. Royal Canin Boxer
3. Purina Pro Plan Puppy
4. Hill's Science Diet
Sensitive Stomach Boxers
5. Blue Buffalo Wilderness
6. Rachael Ray Nutrish
7. Eukanuba Boxer
1. Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Best Dog Food For Boxers (Editor's Choice)
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 food for Boxers available on the market.
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 are ably supplied by sweet potato, peas and potato. All are considered excellent sources of complex carbohydrates and dietary fibre and are gluten free.
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
- Not budget friendly
2. Royal Canin Boxer Breed Health
It is important to keep your boxer’s weight down at a healthy level through the promotion of muscle building and low body fat. The Royal Canin breed-specific food is made with ingredients that promote a healthy weight for your boxer. The primary ingredients in this food are brown rice, brewers rice, chicken fat, chicken by-product meal, and oats. The combination makes for a nice, lightweight food to keep your dog moving.
Boxers should not be overweight not just due to the pressure it will put on their joints and bones, but also because boxers have a higher risk for heart issues as they get older. Keeping them on a low-fat diet can help keep their weight down at a healthy level while maintaining their energy level.
This food does not contain a lot of fats. The main sources of fats are fish oil and vegetable oil. Fish oil is a great source of the omega fatty acids, which will help with brain and eye health as well as promoting good cardiac health. Some of the fat content also comes from the chicken fat and the pork meal, both of which supply animal fats that are easily digestible for boxers.
Vitamins and Minerals
The Royal Canin food is full of good vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Vitamin B-12, as well as folic acid and other important minerals. All of these nutrients are put in to help your dog develop a healthy muscle to fat ratio while taking into account the specific health needs of boxers.
- Made specifically for the needs of boxers
- Promotes cardiac health
- Helps build powerful muscles and low body fat
- Kibble design for boxer muzzles
- High levels of EPA and DHA
- Contains animal by-product meal
3. Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy
Best Dog Food For Boxer Puppy
When it comes to the best food for Boxer puppies, we recommend the Purina Pro Plan Focus for puppies. The primary ingredient in this food is chicken, which is a lean meat, full of protein. You will also find that this food contains brewer’s rice, poultry by-product meal, and dried egg product. This will help make the food both high in protein and fibre, making it easier to digest the high levels of protein.
This is considered a chicken and rice formula, both of which are good on the digestive system in puppies. This food should be attractive to eat and easy to digest. On the downside, it does have corn gluten meal, which can be a common allergen. Watch out for any signs of allergies in your puppy.
Ratio-wise, this food is 28 percent crude protein, 18 percent crude fat, and 3 percent crude fibre.
The fats in this food come from animal fat preserves, fish oil, and garlic oil. The animal fat preserves help bring up the caloric content of this food, which is important for the growth of Boxer puppies. The fish oil is full of DHA, which is important for brain and eye development. Finally, the garlic oil is full of anti-oxidant properties and will also help with brain development in your puppy.
Vitamins and Minerals
Purina Pro contains Vitamin A, Vitamin E, DHA, and calcium, all of which will help with both bone and brain growth for your puppy.
- First ingredient listed is real chicken
- Good balance between protein and fibre for digestion
- High levels of DHA for brain growth
- Nice balance of fats to keep up calories healthily
- Full of antioxidants to boost immune system
- Not breed or large dog specific
4. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach
Best Dog Food For Boxers With Gas And Sensitive Stomach
No one wants their boxer to experience gas and stomach discomfort, which is why we suggest Science Diet Sensitive Stomach and Skin. The main ingredients in this food are brewers rice, chicken meal, whole grain sorghum, cracked pearled barley, and pea protein. This means that there is less protein content in this food, but that is a solution for boxers who are having trouble digesting their food.
Often when dogs suffer from gas, it is an indication that they are not able to digest their food properly. The best solution for this is to eliminate possible irritants from their food, helping to ease their troubles. The food also smells and tastes good to dogs, so you should have no trouble getting your dog to eat it.
The most important fats contained within this food is the Omega-6 fatty acids, which is what will help calm any skin irritation that you boxer might be experiencing. It also contains pork fat, which adds calories to the food while acting as a good source of protein.
Vitamins and Minerals
This food is full of a lot of good vitamins and minerals that can help your boxer get all of the nutrients that he needs. This includes Vitamin E, which is great for your dog’s skin. It also has Vitamin C, niacin, thiamine, Vitamin A, and Vitamin B-12. It is especially important that your dog get all of the nutrition that he needs if he has not been digesting his food very well.
- Made with all-natural ingredients
- Contains prebiotic fibre for gut microbiome balance
- Full of Vitamin E
- Highly digestible
- Has Omega-6 fatty acids for skin and coat
- Lower in protein than other foods
5. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein
Blue Buffalo Wilderness is also a great choice to maintain the overall health of your boxer.
This food is packed full of salmon, which is a low-fat and high protein meat that will help a boxer maintain a healthy weight for a long life. The best thing about this food, however, is that it is made from completely natural ingredients, containing no fillers or grains.
The first ingredient in this food is deboned salmon, followed by chicken meal, peas, pea protein, Menhaden fish meal, and chicken fat. The combination of ingredients is made to build a low-fat, high-protein diet for your boxer, which is important for their overall health and, more specifically, their cardiac health.
Since the meats contained within this food are very lean, the source of fats comes from the Menhaden fish meal, which has Omega-3 fatty acids. These are important for both brain and eye health as well as helping your boxer maintain a healthy weight.
Omega-3s are also good for heart health, which is something that you have to keep in mind with your boxer. It also contains chicken fat, which is a good source of fats and protein.
Vitamins and Minerals
The chicken meal within the food is a natural source of glucosamine, which is so important for maintaining joint health, especially for large breeds like boxers.
You also will see this food is full of Vitamin B-3, Vitamin B-5, Vitamin B-7, Vitamin A, Vitamin D-3, and Vitamin B-12. There are also many other healthy vitamins included to give your Boxer a nutrient-rich diet to carry him through his life.
- Grain-free dog food
- Packed full of salmon
- Contains a blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
- Completely natural ingredients
- No by-products or fillers
- None found
6. Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural
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.
7. EUKANUBA Breed Specific Boxer Food
Let’s look at the 3 main ingredients present in this recipe.
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.
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.
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)
- Excess grain in the form of corn and sorghum.
- No probiotics
What Food To Avoid Feeding Your Boxer
In addition to looking at what you should feed your boxer, you should also be thinking about what not to feed your boxer. Like many breeds, boxers are especially prone to allergies. Common food allergies for boxers are corn, wheat, and soy.
Therefore, it is advisable to avoid any foods that contain these ingredients as well as any added colors or flavours which might have an allergen hidden within. Some dogs are also allergic to proteins, such as beef and chicken, so if the food that you are using contains these, proceed with caution just to make sure it isn’t harming your boxer.
You should also aim to feed your boxer lean meats and low fats. While they are a playful breed, boxers should not overeat or consume too many calories in a day. This is because extra weight will put extra pressure on their joints and bones, limiting their mobility and energy.
Additionally, boxers also have a risk of developing heart problems, so leaner foods and more exercise can help manage it. It is nearly impossible to count calories for a dog, but just watch how much you are feeding your dog and adjust based on how much weight he has gained.
Boxer Diet And Nutrition Requirements
The average boxer can consume anywhere between 1,500 to 2,500 calories a day. Of course that is a 1,000 calorie difference, but just like humans, it really depends on the dog himself. Weight-wise, boxers are healthy at a weight between 55 to 70 pounds.
You can try to follow the feeding guidelines that are on the label, but it is better to observe how your dog is looking. If you can clearly see his waist, his weight should be about right.
As far as nutrition goes, boxers need a good amount of protein, because they are a muscular breed. The ideal food would have between 20 and 30 percent of lean proteins, avoiding by-products and fillers. Your boxer still needs fat, however. Healthy fat choices for boxers are fish oil, chicken fat, and flaxseed oil. Your boxer will also need healthy carbs, such as sweet potatoes and chickpeas.
Your dog also needs to have adequate calcium, L-carnitine, taurine, and glucosamine to ensure that his bones and his heart are staying health. Cheaper dog foods usually have only trace amounts of good vitamins and lack real nutritional value. Even though the food is easier on your wallet, it might not be easy on your boxer.
Boxer-Specific Dietary Concerns
Boxers are more prone to allergies than other breeds. The most common allergies are corn, wheat, and soy, but beef and chicken can even be a concern. Signs of allergic reaction includes itching, chewing his own fur, sores, and gastric discomfort. Read the ingredients on all of the dog food to be sure that it does not contain any potential allergens, but if you notice a reaction, check in with your veterinarian.
Boxers are also prone to developing cardiomyopathy. The most common indicator for his is an irregular heartbeat, but fainting and even sudden heart failure can happen. To avoid this, you should look for foods that contain L-carnitine, taurine, and even DHA, all of which can help support heart health. You will also need to make sure your dog does not have access to chocolate or caffeine, both of which can harm your dog’s heart.
Bloating is a common concern for boxers. This is typically caused from stomach upset or obesity. It can easily be caused by the ingestion of human food rather than dog food. To avoid bloating, stick with low fat, low calorie food. Do not give your dog any animal fat trimmings as you are guaranteed to see bloat, which will eventually cause damage to the pancreas. Yeast can also lead to bloating and should be avoided.
Medium and large dog breeds are often prone to joint issues, due to the added weight and pressure on their joints. Boxers also experience joint concerns and need to eat foods that contain glucosamine to support the joints. Boxers should also not be allowed to gain weight excessively in order to keep any extra weight off of their vulnerable joints. Because they are such an active breed, they need to be pain free with their joints and keep moving.
Wet Or Dry Food For Boxers?
When it comes to choosing wet or dry food for your boxer, there is no universal answer for any dog. As a rule, dry food is a better choice to help maintain weight and also help keep their teeth well maintained. Yet, dry food often requires some carbs or fillers in order to get the dry texture.
Meanwhile, wet food has more pure ingredients and can be easier for boxers to digest. This is because they are less likely to contain any wheat or corn products that are often found in dry food. Wet food also is higher in fat and can be more harmful to a dog’s teeth. Wet food is also normally more expensive than dry food, which can be draining on the bank account.
The choice between wet or dry depends mostly on your individual dog and his health situation. It is a good idea to discuss this with your vet.
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.
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 our 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. High quality 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.