As health science has evolved, we know so much more about human anatomy, physiology, nutrition, and what it takes to thrive. The same is true for dogs as well. Just as different humans with different body types and health tendencies ideally should eat diets that are specifically tailored to meet their needs, so should dogs.
Dogs have been carefully bred by humans over thousands of years to produce certain physical and personality traits; they’ve been molded from wild wolves that ate whatever they could find, into gentler wolves who protected humans in exchange for their leftovers.
That early evolution branched out as human groups went their separate ways and took their dogs with them, producing a very genetically diverse species as a whole, but with pockets of less gene diversity within each dog breed that results in both strengths and weaknesses.
For Boxers, certain health concerns like “Boxer cardiomyopathy”, as well as positive traits like being highly active, dictate the sort of diet they should have.
Table: Our recommended products to feed your boxer
|ROYAL CANIN BREED HEALTH NUTRITION Boxer Adult dry dog food, 30-Pound||Royal Canin||30-Pound|
|EUKANUBA Breed Specific Adult Boxer Dog Food 30 Pounds||Eukanuba||30 lbs.|
|Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, Original Turkey & Chicken, 26-Pound Bag||Wellness Core®||26-Pound Bag|
|CANIDAE All Life Stages Large Breed Adult Dog Food Made With Duck Meal, Brown Rice & Lentils, 30 lbs||CANIDAE||30-Pound|
|BLUE Life Protection Formula Adult Large Breed Chicken and Brown Rice Dry Dog Food 30-lb||Blue Buffalo||30 lb|
What to look for before buying
To understand what makes the best dog foods for Boxers, we have to understand their positive physical and personality traits, as well as their inherent health concerns. Though the Boxer originated as the result of purposeful crossbreeding between the now extinct Bullenbeisser and the Old English Bulldog circa in the late 1870s, today’s Boxer is, for all intents and purposes, a purebred dog.
And while purebreds have very purpose-driven specific traits that can be very desirable and positive for both dog and pet parent, purebred dogs are more vulnerable to diseases like cancer and breed-specific health problems, such as “Boxer cardiomyopathy”, which is arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, a serious heart condition.
Cancer is the leading cause of Boxer deaths, followed by old age. Much of this is inherited, as so many canine cancers are, but since Boxers are prone to cancerous mutations, common sense says that it’s important to stay away from poor quality dog foods that come from no-name companies with low-quality standards.
There have been issues in the past of dangerous chemicals making their way into the dog food supply. This scary problem is way less likely to happen when you purchase dog food from a well-known brand, and that’s good advice no matter which dog breed you’re shopping for.
Boxers are very active dogs, so the best dog food for Boxers is going to be higher in calories than some other breed-specific dog foods. This high-calorie diet is a good thing for Boxers because they burn so many calories off while exercising. They need that many calories just to maintain health and muscle mass.
And on the note of muscles, it’s crucial that the largest chunk of a Boxer’s diet be made up of lean animal-based protein. Remember that Boxers are prone to heart problems, and the heart is a muscle, so it requires a lot of protein to keep it pumping in good order. And because Boxers are so active, they also need that extra protein for overall body and muscle health. Opt for a Boxer dog food blend that has lean protein as one of its primary ingredients.
Allergies are a big concern with boxers, and diet plays a huge role in that. Many Boxer-specific dog foods will keep this health issue in mind, but it’s important for you, the pet parent, not to play fast and loose and constantly switch up dog food brands—even good ones. When you find the dog food you want to try with your Boxer, it’s a good idea to stick with it if your Boxer tolerates it well, because of the allergy issue.
Boxers also have sensitive stomachs and can be prone to things like ulcerative colitis, a tendency to be more susceptible to E. coli infections, and more. Avoid dog foods with harsh ingredients or low-quality brands. Stick with Boxer-specific foods from reputable brands, because they’ll take your Boxer’s current or potential stomach issues into consideration when formulating their product.
Finally, since Boxers are extremely active and athletic, but prone to hip dysplasia, it’s always a bonus when the Boxer formula you’re looking at contains bone and joint benefits.
1. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Boxer Adult Dry Dog Food
Royal Canin’s Adult Boxer dog food is guaranteed to have a minimum of 24% protein per serving so that your adult boxer can maintain their high level of activity and muscle mass at the same time.
L-carnitine is an amino acid with cardiac benefits, which can help protect your Boxer’s heart from boxer-specific cardiac issues. Also, L-carnitine, because it’s a building block of protein, can aid in overall muscular health as well.
Taurine is a conditional amino acid that promotes heart health while also acting as an antioxidant, protecting your Boxer’s body at the cellular level.
EPA and DHA
EPA and DHA are omega-3 fatty acids, which is the type of fatty acid that both American humans and dogs are often lacking in, because of the lack of omega-3s in our diets in general. Omega-3 is crucial in balancing out one of the other fatty acids, omega-6, which is a fatty acid that is in overabundance in the American diet, canine and human, thanks to the propensity for corn and corn products in our food.
The proper balance of omega-3 and omega-6 has been associated with better heart health as well as reduced inflammation, thus it has both cardiac and joint benefits; also, these omega-3s work to decrease inflammation in your Boxer’s body, which can be an issue with joint issues or ulcerative colitis.
Antioxidants prevent oxidation of your cells, which is a form of cellular damage. Preventing cell damage can prevent the issues that stem from it, such as cancer or inflammation, which promotes overall body health.
2. Eukanuba Breed Specific Adult Dry Dog Food for Boxers
3D DENTADEFENCE System
3D DENTADEFENC System is Eukanuba’s tartar reduction technology which is touted to be able to reduce your dog’s tartar in 28 days. This is good for all dogs, but it’s especially good for Boxers because teeth and gum health is very closely related to cardiac health—just as it is in humans.
Animal-based protein is crucial in the diet of any dog, but because of the Boxer’s heavy protein needs, it’s especially crucial in Boxer-formulated food to build muscle and promote heart health.
L-carnitine and taurine
The amino acids L-carnitine and taurine are an important part of a Boxer’s diet, because of their energy boosting properties as well as their healthy heart benefits.
Glucosamine and chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin are naturally found in the body’s cartilage, and are often taken together in supplement form or added to foods, like this Eukanuba Boxer dog food. It’s believed that they ease joint pain and can work to repair joints, which is ideal for an active dog like a Boxer.
Omega-3 and Omega-6
The essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6 work together to reduce inflammation that can lead to cancer or autoimmune diseases while also promoting heart health like reducing the chance of blood clots, etc.
However, in order to get best results, it’s important that the right balance of omega-3 and omega-6 is achieved, which is likely why and how Eukanuba chose their omega ratio in their Boxer blend.
3. Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food
The trend towards grain free dog food is becoming more and more common, and it’s pretty easy to understand why. For thousands of years, humans fed their dogs scraps from their own meals, which, until the agricultural revolution in the Neolithic era, primarily consisted of meat and fish, and smaller amounts of gathered food.
And because dogs are active—particularly working dogs like Boxers—it’s important they get enough protein, and a grain-heavy diet can sometimes cut into their protein intake.
Wellness CORE’s large breed-specific dog food uses lean animal proteins like turkey, fish and chicken to meet your Boxer’s protein needs; their large breed blend contains about 80% more real meat than large breed formulas that contain grain, according to Wellness CORE’s product info.
If your Boxer is allergy prone, Wellness CORE recommends slowly introducing their food to ensure that your dog can adapt.
Probiotics, Prebiotics, Fiber
Because Boxers can have issues with gut health, ranging from autoimmune, like ulcerative colitis, to infection susceptibility like the E. coli issue, it’s important that their diet take steps to address gut problems head on, hopefully before they ever occur.
Probiotics are good bacteria that are found in foods or supplements. These good gut bacteria are crucial to fighting bad gut bacteria like E. coli, which is naturally found in the guts of both humans and their canine companions.
Because probiotics are living organisms, they need food just like we do. Fiber and prebiotics (a special type of plant fiber), act as a food source for the probiotics, allowing them to grow and multiply.
The antioxidants found in Wellness CORE’s large breed dog food are fruit and vegetable-based, so that your dog can easily absorb their whole-body health benefits.
4. CANIDAE Life Stages Dry Dog Food Large Breed Adult Formula
Duck meal is the main ingredient in CANIDAE’s large breed adult dog food. The reason it’s a good choice because it’s high in protein, and it’s also a natural source of important supplemental nutrients like glucosamine, chondroitin and L-carnitine.
Chicken provides a lean animal-based protein, while lentils, brown rice and peas are healthy plant-based proteins to round out the 21% protein per serving your Boxer gets from CANIDAE’s food.
Probiotics can work to sooth and even prevent the gut issues that can occur with Boxers, which makes them an important part of a Boxer’s diet.
Vitamins and minerals
Calcium provides support for healthy bones and joints while antioxidant vitamins protect your Boxer’s cells.
Omega fatty acids
CANIDAE’s large adult dog food contains a mixture of omega-3s and omega-6s to ensure your dog gets their immune and cardiac benefits.
5. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Adult Dog Food Large Breed Chicken and Brown Rice
Glucosamine and chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin are important building blocks of cartilage, which is why they’re a crucial supplement for both dogs and humans alike who suffer from joint pain or other joint health issues.
Because Boxers are more likely to get hip dysplasia than other breeds, they’re in extra need of glucosamine and chondroitin—and that need is only doubled because of their high level of activity.
Real, quality, deboned chicken is the main source of protein in Blue Buffalo’s large breed formula. Backed up with protein-rich brown rice and the protein-building block/amino acid L-carnitine, this large breed formula is designed to meet your Boxer’s high demand for quality protein.
Immune system benefits
Antioxidants, chelated minerals and vitamins work together to improve your Boxer’s immune system. A healthier immune system makes your dog less likely to develop cancer or autoimmune disorders like ulcerative colitis.
Omega-3s and Omega-6s
Omegas 3 and 6 work well together, especially when they’re properly balanced. Their health benefits range reducing inflammation, protecting heart health and improving the luster of your Boxer’s coat.
The Best Puppy Food for Boxers
Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Boxer Puppy Dry Dog Food
The wave-shaped kibble in Royal Canin’s Boxer formulas has been specifically designed with the structure of a Boxer’s muscle and jaw in mind, to ensure that your growing puppy is able to get all the nutrient he or she needs in this crucial stage of development.
Helps your Boxer puppy build up their lean muscle mass
Protein is crucial to all Boxers, but Boxer puppies are in particular need for this vital nutrient. Because they’re still growing, their bodies are literally being build. What’s put into their bodies at this stage could affect them in the long run, which is why adequate protein at this stage is so important. This blend contains L-carnitine and 28% minimum protein to help your puppy grow strong.
A healthy gut starts early in life for dogs just as it does for humans. The right balance of intestinal flora is key to keeping your Boxer’s tummy happy. Remember, Boxers are prone to digestive issues, ranging from the less serious like bloating to the more serious like a tendency to get E. coli, so it’s essential your Boxer pup gets a healthy dose of probiotics in every meal so that his or her defense against disease starts early in life.
Vitamins E, C and lutein serve as antioxidants to boost your Boxer puppy’s immune system, so they’re more able to fight off infections and less likely to develop and autoimmune disorder. They also reduce inflammation and improve energy.
Lutein also benefits eyesight, which is important for any growing animal, Boxer puppies included. Another important lutein benefit is its ability to ward off cancer, which is essential for all Boxers.
The amino acid taurine is essential for heart health. In humans, it’s used as a supplement to help with congestive heart failure. Because Boxers are especially prone to cardiac issues, it’s best to think about heart health early and get them started with important heart-improving nutrients.
Your Boxer has a Sensitive Stomach? This food will help!
Royal Canin Maxi Nutrition Sensitive Digestion Dry Dog Food
Royal Cainin’s Maxi Nutrition Sensitive Digestion dog food uses chicken as its primary protein source, which is an ideal choice for Boxers, who are allergy prone and need commonly tolerated foods. The protein count in this formula is minimum of 26% which makes it one of the higher protein foods out there; this alone makes it a great choice for Boxers.
Mannan-oligosaccharides, MOS for short, promote digestive health by giving your Boxer’s good gut bacteria an excellent food source to feed off of so it can multiply and overtake any bad bacteria invaders. MOS also improves the very structure of your dog’s digestive tract itself, which is ideal for Boxers—especially those who suffer from damaging intestinal issues like ulcerative colitis.
Good digestion is important to the overall wellbeing of your Boxer, just as it’s important to you, which is why it’s important to choose a food specifically designed for sensitive digestion if your Boxer has digestive disorders or allergies.
B vitamins are an important nutrient in general. But because Boxers are a very active dog breed, they need to make the most of their calories, which is why a healthy dose of B vitamin’s is a great addition to their diet.
Because Boxers with stomach issues may feel run down or drained from tummy complaints, the B vitamins may also give them that extra little boost they need to simply feel better.
Fiber is crucial for gut health in two different ways. Most importantly for Boxers, it’s an important food source for the probiotics they ingest as well as the healthy bacteria currently inside them; when good bacteria are fed, they thrive and multiply and fend off bad bacteria.
The second reason fiber is important is because it improves the quality of your Boxer’s stool. Nobody likes talking about poop, but if your Boxer has digestive issues, the look of their stool can be an indicator of how severe their stomach issues are.
One of the fibers in this formula is psyllium husk, which is a great fiber for tender tummies, because it creates a gel-like substance in the bowel, both bulking up stool and making it easier to pass, which will make your Boxer’s gut a lot healthier in the long run.
Fish oil is a great anti-inflammatory and major source of healthy omega-3’s. Because some digestive issues are autoimmune in nature, inflammation can be a major concern with Boxers. The anti-inflammatory properties of fish oil can help with this issue.
Because of all these great features we recommend you this product as the best dog foods for boxers with sensitive stomachs.
What to Feed your Boxer with Skin Allergies
Because of all its great features we recommend you these two products as the best dog foods for boxers with skin allergies.
Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Dry Dog Food
No artificial flavors or preservatives
Allergies can be an issue with Boxers, so the less they’re exposed to, the better. Artificial flavors and preservatives are unnecessary and can be rough on sensitive stomachs, which is why Hill’s Science Diet’s blend is a great choice for Boxers.
Joint issues can be a problem in highly active dogs like Boxers, which is why glucosamine and chondroitin are an important part of the Boxer diet, as they improve mobility and protect joints.
Due to the health concerns that are common with Boxers, it’s important to feed them trusted, high quality food. Hill’s Science Diet tests their food to ensure it’s safe and effective.
Hill’s Science Diet offers a 100% moneyback guarantee if you or your dog isn’t satisfied with their product.
Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Texas Beef
70% meat protein
Real, deboned Texas beef is the number one ingredient in Merrick’s grain-free high protein blend. Lamb meal is mixed in as a lean protein source for the ultimate protein kick your Boxer needs for healthy muscle mass.
30% fresh produce
Sweet potatoes, peas and white potatoes make up the rest of the main ingredients in Merrick’s food. These are typically low-allergen foods, which makes it a great choice if your dog is grain-allergic and needs a healthy alternative.
Grain free blends not only allow your dog to get more protein, they’re great for Boxers with allergies.
Promotes healthy joints
Omegas 3 and 6 and glucosamine and chondroitin work together to form a powerhouse team to knock down inflammation and improve your Boxer’s joint health.