The Best Dog Food For A Boxer

Selecting The Best Dog Food For Boxers: A Practical Guide

Boxers are a favorite of many, not just in the US, but across the world. I’m a huge fan of this German-bred breed as well and like many doggy parents, I cherish their exceptional energy levels, muscled appearance, and the fact that they are animated, loyal, playful, and ever happy.

Because they have special nutritional needs, I set out to gather important information and identify commercial dog foods designed to keep them healthy, strong, and happy for many years to come.

What Type of Diet is Appropriate for Boxers?

Obviously, the best dog food for any dog breed is the type that’s composed of high-quality ingredients, rich in nutrients, minerals, and vitamins and less likely to spark off their allergies. It’s no different for boxers.

Given that they are energetic and athletic dogs, there’s no doubt that they require flexible joints as well as powerful and strong muscles in order to move with ease.

With that in mind, this is the type of diet suitable for your boxer.

Diets Comprising High-Quality Protein (18%-35%)

In order to develop and function optimally, muscles require proteins. Animal-based proteins are actually better partly because of their tissue-building and easily-digestible properties. 

Chicken, beef, fish, lamp, and meat meals are some of the best sources of proteins to watch out for i.e. if your dog isn’t allergic to either. When deciding what food to buy for your boxer, make sure that such proteins are listed as the first ingredients.

Diets Containing Moderate To High Calories

Apart from carbs, proteins and fats also pack calories. However, it’s best if your boxer gets the calories it needs for energy purposes from carbohydrates. This is to allow the proteins to perform their role of muscle and organ development optimally rather than having to split its roles.

The energy obtained from carbohydrates is exactly what your boxer needs to stay active and healthy all the time.  Ensure they get the right amount because giving them too much or too less could lead to unwanted outcomes.

Diets Composed of Low To Moderate Fats (9-20%)

Fats are essential contents that a dog’s diet needs. They play various significant roles. First, fats are a good source of concentrated energy. They ensure that your pooch has additional energy plus calories to burn off.

Fats also make the dog’s food to taste and smell good and aid in the maintenance of a soft and shiny coat.

A diet with lower fat content and a sufficient amount of carbs is key in helping your dog not to become overweight.

Other compounds to watch out for when determining what dog food is best for boxers include:

  • Calcium – Supplying your boxer with a diet rich in calcium will ensure that their bones remain strong and healthy.
  • L-carnitine – This amino acid plays a major role in weight management and is known to improve the blood flow in dogs
  • Taurine – Boxers need this compound for better functioning of their heat and optimum brain development.

In general, the best meal for your boxer should be the type that can provide a complete and balanced nutrition. This means the meal should at least contain proteins, fats, and fiber, in addition to nutritional additives.

What Foods Should I Avoid Feeding My Boxer?

There are a number of health conditions that boxers are prone to and which largely influence what foods they should and shouldn’t eat. Some of the health issues include:

On their website, Canna-Pet gives an extensive look at boxer health issues and problems. To keep your boxer safe from these conditions, have your vet run a couple of tests (The American Kennel Club has a list of recommended health tests for this particular breed) and suggest the proper diets to feed her based on her health profile.

That aside, here are a few foods you should never feed your boxer:

  • Candies and gums – contain artificial sweeteners responsible for liver failure and seizures in dogs
  • Chocolates – Chocolates contain theobromine, a dangerous compound when exposed to dogs.
  • Caffeine – It’s a natural stimulant that can lead to heart problems in dogs among other serious problems.
  • Fat trimmings – They can lead to bloating
  • Garlic and onions - These two are linked to anemia in dogs and can make your dog inactive and less energetic

Also avoid foods with artificial flavorings, colors, by-products and allergy triggers.

How Much Food Should I Feed My Boxer?

Your boxer’s stage of development, age, existing health conditions, and activity level all play a significant role in determining how much food to feed them.

In general, pups will have to be fed more proteins as they require that to build and develop their tissues. Pregnant or lactating boxers will require more calories and a sufficient supply of nutrients in order to take good care of the growing puppies. Senior/older boxers won’t require too many proteins and calories because their activity levels begin to decline as they age and some of their body organs, like kidneys, become less effective at managing proteins.

Even though dog food manufacturers will specify how much of their food you should feed your boxer, it’s best to consult with your vet first as their dietary recommendations are more specific to the individual needs of your pooch.

What Is the Best Dog Food for Boxers?

After putting into consideration everything we’ve talked about so far, here’s what I was able to identify as the appropriate meal for your boxer:

1. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Ocean Formula (Original Turkey & Chicken)

I truly appreciate Wellness Core products for the reason that the brand’s food mostly come packed with high-quality ingredients and are always rich in nutritional content.

Wellness Core Grain-Free Formula (original turkey and chicken flavor) is an easily boxer-friendly diet, thanks to the lean proteins, fruits, vegetables and the fact that it’s completely grain-and-soy-free.

Pros

  • Better calorie density. A cup of this formula’s dry kibble supplies your dog with 421 calories, which, as I realized later, would have been enough to maintain keep my boxer active when what I fed couldn’t.
  • No artificial colors, flavors, wheat, soy, corn, meat by-products, or preservatives.
  • Omega fatty acids from salmon oil and flaxseed help to maintain a healthy skin and shiny coat and healthy thyroid and cardiac function.
  • Contains an appropriate amount of protein (about 34%) sourced from quality sources i.e. deboned turkey, turkey meal, chicken meal, and other items. This is great for optimum muscle development.
  • Since most boxers are prone to stomach upsets, the absence of cereal grains makes the formula a suitable option for them.
  • Comes packed with glucosamine and chondroitin for better joint and bone health and taurine to support the health of the dog’s heart.
  • Has a proportional distribution of nutritional content: proteins (34% min), fats (16%min) and fiber (4%max). This helps the body to function optimally.
  • Formulated with pro-biotics to assist in digestibility
  • It’s rich in calcium which helps to keep the bones strong and healthier.
  • The food is reasonably priced considering that it’s from a premium dog food brand.

Cons

  • Contains tomato pomace and flaxseed, both controversial ingredients that could expose your pooch to hormonal problems.
  • Some pet parents claim their dogs don’t like the formula’s taste.

One thing that makes Royal Canin’s Boxer formula special is that the food is made to meet the dietary requirements of a normal and healthy boxer aged over 15 months.

According to the manufacturer, the formula is a result of their own unique knowledge about dog foods and breeds coupled with the practical and rich experience of breeders.

Pros

  • Since boxers have a short muzzle, thicker upper a lip, and their teeth are arranged in a straight line on their lower jaw, the boxer formula comes in a wave-shaped kibble to allow for easy chewing and increased digestibility.
  • Contains a proper amount of protein content (24% min.), which enables the boxer adult to maintain their muscle mass.
  • Comes enriched with L-carnitine for weight management and better blood flow
  • Since this breed is prone to cardiac sensitivity, the formula comes packed with taurine, DHA, and EPA, all of which help to support and maintain healthy cardiac function. 
  • Contains MOS, a substance that aids in the building of antibodies
  • Contains proportionate amounts of proteins - 24 %(min.), fats -18 %( min.) and fiber 4.1 %( max.), thus enabling your dog to maintain normal activity levels and health status.
  • The food contains chelated minerals which aid in better food absorption
  • It comprises an exclusive antioxidant complex for better cellular health.
  • The food is inexpensive, thus an excellent choice for pet parents not willing to spend a lot on dog food

Cons

  • Contains grains making it unsuitable for boxers with grain allergies.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness grain-free duck formula comes packed with a great dose of proteins (34%), recommended fat content (15%), fiber (6%), and high-quality carbs (from potatoes) and essential minerals like taurine and L-carnitine, all of which make it an excellent choice for the highly-energetic boxer breed.

Besides being grain-free property, the formula is rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, which are qualities I would have considered first when my boxer reacted badly to grains and other foods, forcing me to limit what she ate.

Pros

  • No wheat, soy, corn, chicken, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • Formulated with deboned duck, chicken meal, menhaden fish meal, peas to provide the high-quality protein needed for the building and optimal development of muscles.
  • Comes loaded with calcium and glucosamine to support the health of your boxer’s joints and hips
  • Being grain-free makes the formula an excellent choice for boxers with grain allergies. Rather than utilizing grains as a source of carbs, the formula uses peas, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.
  • Contains essential proteins and carbs that help the boxer to meet its energy requirements.
  • Both L-carnitine and taurine help to support the boxer’s cardiac functions
  • The recipe contains kelp, which is a good source of iodine and helpful in maintaining the dog’s thyroid function
  • Thanks to the fish content and flaxseed, the diet is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which are known to promote a healthy skin and coat,
  • The mineral supplements, antioxidants, and extra vitamins, most of which comes from the Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource bits, help to maintain the health of the boxer’s immune system while ensuring nutrients are absorbed properly.

Cons

  • Has limited protein sources
  • Lacks chondroitin, making it less balanced than its counterparts
  • Contains chicken meal, a potential allergen.
  • Contains controversial ingredients like flaxseed and dried tomato pomace.

If your boxer has a sensitive stomach or is more prone to food allergies, this sweet potato and fish formula from Natural Balance’s L.I.D line of diets is an option you may want to consider.

What really hooked me to this particular formula is the uncommon meat sources, which as I came to find out later, would have been usefull when my adult boxer used to react awfully to diets formulated with chicken or beef.

With the uncommon meat sources, your boxer may show little to no reactions than they would when feeding on a diet formulated with typical meat sources.

Pros

  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
  • Because it’s a limited ingredient formula (no grains, berries or fruits), your boxer is less exposed to potential allergens that could trigger bad reactions
  • Contains salmon oil, which provides the essential amino acids required to maintain strong and healthy muscle tone as well as a healthy and shiny coat.
  • Some boxer owners report that they’ve had success switching from this formula to another Natural Balance L.I.D formula, especially when their dog begins to react badly to the formula.
  • The grain-free carbs and premium proteins help the boxer to maintain digestive health.
  • Comprises high-quality carbs, like sweet potatoes, that help to improve digestibility
  • Provides complete and balanced nutrition for adult boxers, thanks to the proportionate distribution of nutrients (Protein -21%, fat-10% and fiber- 5%)

Cons

  • Some pet parents say the formula makes their boxers to start smelling like cat pee.
  • Contains flaxseed, a controversial compound linked to hormonal problems
  • Not a suitable choice for those not looking to spent a lot on their boxer’s diet.
Orijen Original Dry Dog Food

Besides their consistency in making quality products (zero recalls), Orijen’s commitment to transparency and pet advocacy is part of the reason I’ve joined many other pet parents who have confidence in their Original Dry Dog Food.

This diet is formulated to meet the dietary needs of dog breeds like boxers who evidently need healthier and strong joints and bones, a healthy weight and immune system, and nutrients that help them to stay active and energetic.

Pros

  • Made without grains thus eliminating a potential allergen
  • Contains no rendered poultry meals. Most of the meat is from air-dried turkey and deboned chicken, both of which provide a concentrated source of nutritious animal-based protein that is used in building and developing the muscles.
  • The high protein content (38%) and fat content (18%) make the diet an excellent choice for active and high-energy dogs like boxers.
  • The oxidants obtained from the cranberries, blueberries and leafy greens help to keep the boxer’s immune system healthy.
  • The formula contains mackerel, an ingredient with high levels of protein and omega-3 fatty acids that helps to keep the boxer’s skin and coat healthy. Addition of fish (herring oil) to the formula gives it extra omega-3 fatty acids.
  • The formula is high in chondroitin (1200mg/kg) and glucosamine (1400mg/kg) to ensure joints and bones stay strong and healthy and conditions like arthritis or hip dysplasia are kept away.
  • Contain fresh whole eggs, which besides being complete proteins, have a high biological value and better digestibility.
  • The recipe contains vegetables and whole fruits, meaning the diet is rich in minerals and essential vitamins.
  • Leas, lentils, chickpeas, navy beans are just but few of the legumes included in this diet. Their high levels of fiber aid in the boxer’s digestion and weight management.
  • The flavor contained in the food is sourced from natural ingredients like freeze-dried liver

Cons

  • Contains chicken, a potential allergen
  • Comprises relatively high-fat content (18%)
  • It’s way too expensive

Conclusion

Evidently, each of these five best dog food for boxers comes loaded with most of the nutritional content your lovely boxer needs to stay healthy and active. There’s one meal, however, that seems to tick nearly all the boxes, and that’s Wellness CORE Grain-Free Ocean Formula (Original Turkey & Chicken).

Apart from having high levels of proteins, moderate fat content, and the right amount of fiber, this formula comprises of better calorie density and comes packed with essential minerals and vitamins, including calcium, glucosamine, and chondroitin, all of which enable it to provide 100% complete and balanced nutrition to boxers.

Another thing that sets this meal apart from the other four is that it’s reasonably priced, considering that Wellness Natural is a premium dog food brand.

Lastly, unlike the other formulas, the only downside of this meal is a few controversial ingredients, which your boxer may or may not react to.

Do you have any additional info as to what kind of dog food is best for boxers? I’d be glad if you share it with the rest of us in the comment section below