How to Choose the Best Dog Food For Boxers
Selecting the proper dog food for boxers can be a bit daunting if you’re not prepared. If you are, the requirements are quite simple and easy to satisfy. Here are some elements to look out for.
- Meat (not grain or meat by-product) should be the first listed ingredient. While pups do need a variety, including fruits and veggies, meals that start with protein are key for their health.
- Avoid dog foods in general that contain meat by-products. While not as dangerous as once thought, not knowing which animal meat is the by-product could mean your little friend isn’t getting optimized protein for their body chemistry.
- Purchase dog foods made in countries with strict quality control standards. This matters more than most people realize. This will ensure accidental toxins are less likely to find their way into the mixture. Which countries qualify? The United States, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
- Look for dog foods with nutrition-rich additives. Vitamins and minerals help your boxer stay healthy, while also adding in powerful antioxidants and fats for the best possible energy and muscle maintenance.
- Avoid dog food with artificial additives. Dyes can trigger a dog’s food allergy and serve no flavor or nutritional purpose.
What Things to Consider when Buying Food for Boxers
Related: Best Dog Food for Large Dogs
Dogs of any breed have health concerns specific to them. Boxers are no exception to the rule, and these goofy giants have conditions that can be monitored with proper diet. Selecting dog foods that keep these issues in mind, or how to help such concerns, is always the way to go.
Nutritional Needs of Boxers
Proteins – A wide array can cause stomach issues but selecting one or two will keep them loving their food. Best proteins for boxer dogs include chicken, turkey, veal, beef, eggs, and lima beans. At least 20% of the ingredients should be animal proteins.
Carbohydrates – Quality carbs, not corn or soy, are suitable for your dog and should be in Boxers food. Keep an eye out for sweet potatoes, peas, and oats. Lower quality carbs can lead to allergies and digestion issues.
Fats – Fatty Acids and Omega 3’s keep your boxers skin healthy and coat shiny. Also, small amounts of healthy fats such as plant oil, salmon oil, and chicken fat keep a boxer’s energy levels up.
Vitamins and Minerals – Look for dog foods with Calcium, taurine, L-carnitine for joint and heart health.
Fiber – Fiber in dog food should come primarily from vegetables. Fiber helps keep your pup’s bathroom habits healthy.
Life Stage of Boxer Dog
Puppy – From birth until two years old, your little friend is a puppy. They will have an abundance of energy and burn through it rapidly. A best puppy formulated food can keep them from burning out. Boxers also might seem “skinny” at this stage, but it is normal and nothing to worry about if you are feeding correctly.
Adult – Your boxer is an “adult” at two years old. This means they’ll be at their adult height and weight. Puppy energy and attitude begin to shift. Now is when you’d take them off puppy food if you were indeed giving it to them.
Senior – Boxers are considered to be seniors when they turn seven to eight. This will vary based on each dog’s health. However, introducing senior-formulated food at this point is a reliable way to keep them healthy.
Boxer Health Conditions and Special Dietary Needs
Bone & Joint Health – Thanks to their size and excitable nature, joint issues are common in boxers. Whether this occurs from bouncing around in excitement or just old age, finding a dog food for Boxers with chondroitin and glucosamine add-ins will help keep them from injury.
Healthy Skin & Coat – Boxers can develop an array of skin issues, from allergic reactions to acne to simply a dull coat. Look for omega-3 and other fatty acids to help with this.
Digestive Health – Boxers are at high risk for bloat. Boxers not only need to eat slowly (with encouragement from you) but chew properly. This can be easier to control with larger bits of kibble, as long as you help keep them calm, so they don’t scarf it down faster than someone saved from a deserted island.
Food Allergies – Food Allergies are more common in boxers. To help with this, go for dog foods with fewer ingredients and as few artificial ingredients as possible.
Weight Management – Boxers are no exception to weight issues. Overweight boxers experience more pressure on their joints, so it’s essential to feed them the proper amount and ensure the dog food has healthy ingredients.
How much to feed boxer puppy?
Feeding your boxer puppy sets the stage for proper diet and nutrition throughout their life. Generally speaking, puppies require fifty-five calories of food per pound of body weight.
Puppies burn more energy, and therefore food, requiring a different feeding schedule than when they are adults. Always refer to the feeding guidelines on the food bag, but there are general rules.
Puppies should be fed twice a day. From when they start solids until six months, feed them four cups per day. It’s important to portion those cups out into multiple meals. Boxers eat quickly, even when you try to control it, and can suffer from bloat.
Once they turn six months, if they are a healthy weight, you can slowly begin to feed them less. Boxer Puppies still have crazy high energy levels and will scarf large amounts of food if you let them. Begin to create a feeding schedule with your pup, so they know when to expect meals. This helps with portion control later in life.
While you can often make a generalization on cups to feed your boxer, use this chart for exact nutritional measurement based on their weight.
- Weight 5 pounds = about 275 calories
- Weight 10 pounds = about 550 calories
- Weight 15 pounds = about 825 calories
- Weight 20 pounds = about 1,100 calories
- Weight 25 pounds = about 1,375 calories
- Weight 30 pounds = about 1,650 calories
How much to feed an adult boxer dog?
Once a boxer is two, they’re typically at their ideal height and weight. Ideally, they need forty calories of food for every pound of body weight. Caloric count to cup ratio information can be found on the food bag.
This means it’s not only time to switch the puppy food to adult dog food, but to change how you feed them as well. Though dependant on size, it can be safe to give your adult boxer three cups of dog food a day.
For exact guidelines, please use your dog’s weight.
- Weight 50 pounds = 1,250 to 1,750 calories
- Weight 55 pounds = 1,375 to 1,925 calories
- Weight 60 pounds = 1,500 to 2,100 calories
- Weight 65 pounds = 1,625 to 2,275 calories
- Weight 70 pounds = 1,750 to 2,450 calories
- Weight 75 pounds = 1,875 to 2,650 calories
How much to feed a senior boxer?
As with puppies and adults, bloat is still a concern in the advanced stage of a boxer’s life. A few, small meals a day remains the top method for feeding these dogs while basing it on their overall body weight in pounds.
Unlike some senior breeds, Boxer’s do not see a real decrease in their energy levels as they age. As such, their food needs to continue to provide high levels of protein. Unless kidney issues are present, high protein chicken meat is best to avoid skin issues.
Dogs can often lose weight as they age, and this should not be cause for alarm unless rapid. See the chart above to measure weight and caloric intake. As with all other stages, caloric count information to cup ratio can be found on the dog food bag.
How can I best monitor my boxer’s eating habits to avoid bloat?
Bloat is life-threating and can occur when a boxer (or other large breeds) eats too quickly. To avoid this, lots of smaller meals and controlled eating with a watchful eye are needed.
Place out a cup of dog food and leave it down for thirty minutes at a time. Even if your boxer is still hungry, don’t lay more out until at least an hour has passed. Instead, consider healthy treats that can tide them over until the next small meal.
When should boxers switch from puppy food to dog food?
Boxers are considered adults when they turn two. This is the recommended time to change from puppy to adult food.
Never swap your dog’s food outright. Start by reducing the amount of puppy food and mixing in adult dog food, whether it’s kibble or wet. This prevents their stomachs from growing upset by the change in ingredients and also masks the different smells, so you don’t have any trouble getting your furry one to eat.
What snacks are safe for boxers?
If you are sticking to commercial treats, you should look for the same ingredients and warning signs as in the overall food. If you’re going the “human food” route, stick to fruits and veggies to help keep their weight at a healthy level.
Blueberries, eggs, peanut butter, and carrots make for healthy treats in moderation and can be used for positive rewards in training, too.
For more information, please see more information about Best dry food for boxers