As the science of health has evolved, we know a lot 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 should ideally eat diets that are specifically tailored to their needs, so should dogs.
Dogs have been carefully bred by humans for thousands of years to produce certain physical and personality traits; they have been molded from feral wolves that ate whatever they could find into gentler wolves that protected humans in exchange for their scraps.
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 lesser genetic diversity within each dog breed resulting in both strengths and weaknesses.
For boxers, certain health issues such as “Boxer Cardiomyopathy”, as well as positive traits such as being very active, dictate the type of diet they should have.
TABLE: OUR RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS TO FEED YOUR BOXER
Product Brand Size our rating
ROYAL CANIN BREED HEALTH NUTRITION Boxer Adult Dry Dog Food, 30 lbs. Royal Canin 30 lbs.
EUKANUBA Breed Specific Adult Boxer Dog Food 30 lbs Eukanuba 30 lbs.
Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, original turkey and chicken, 26 lb. bag Wellness CORE® 26 lb. bag
CANIDAE All Life Stages Adult Large Breed Dog Food made with duck meal, brown rice and lentils, 30 lbs. CANIDAE 30 lbs.
BLUE Life Protection Formula Adult Large Breed Chicken and Brown Rice Dry Dog Food 30 lb Blue Buffalo 30 lbs.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR BEFORE YOU BUY
To understand what makes the best dog foods for Boxers, we must understand their positive physical and personality traits, as well as their inherent health concerns. Although the Boxer originated as a result of intentional crossbreeding between the now-extinct Bullenbeisser and the Old English Bulldog around the late 1870s, today’s Boxer is, for all intents and purposes, a purebred dog.
And while purebred dogs have specific, very purpose-oriented traits that can be very desirable and positive for both the dog and the pet owner, purebred dogs are more vulnerable to diseases such as 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 death in boxers, followed by old age. Much of this is inherited, like many canine cancers, but since boxers are prone to cancerous mutations, common sense says it is important to stay away from poor quality dog foods that come from no-name companies with low quality standards.
There have been problems in the past of dangerous chemicals making their way into the dog food supply. This scary problem is much less likely to occur when you buy dog food from a well-known brand, and that’s good advice no matter what breed of dog you’re buying.
Boxers are very active dogs, so the best dog food will be higher in calories than other breed-specific dog foods. This high calorie diet is good for boxers because they burn a lot of calories while exercising. They need that many calories just to maintain health and muscle mass.
And when it comes to muscle, it is crucial that the majority of a Boxer’s diet be made up of lean, animal-based proteins. 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 well. And because boxers are so active, they also need that extra protein for overall body and muscle health. Opt for a Boxer dog food mix that has lean protein as one of its main ingredients.
Allergies are a big concern for Boxers, and diet plays a big role in that. Many Boxer-specific dog foods will take this health concern into account, but it is important for you, the pet parent, not to play fast and switch dog food brands constantly, even the good ones. When you find the dog food you want to try with your Boxer, it is a good idea to stick with it if your Boxer tolerates it well, due to the allergy problem.
Boxers also have sensitive stomachs and may 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 to Boxer-specific foods from reputable brands, as they will take into account your Boxer’s current or potential stomach issues when formulating their product.
Finally, since Boxers are extremely active and athletic, but prone to hip dysplasia, it is always an advantage when the Boxer formula you are looking at contains bone and joint benefits.
- ROYAL CANIN BREED HEALTH NUTRITION BOXER ADULT DRY DOG FOOD
Royal Canin Adult Boxer dog food is guaranteed to have a minimum of 24% protein per serving so your adult Boxer can maintain its 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 heart problems. In addition, L-carnitine, because it is a building block of protein, can also aid in overall muscle health.
Taurine is a conditional amino acid that promotes heart health while 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 American humans and dogs often lack, due to the lack of omega-3s in our diets in general. Omega-3 is crucial to balance one of the other fatty acids, omega-6, which is a fatty acid that is abundant 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 and less inflammation, so it has benefits for both the heart and joints; In addition, these omega-3s work to decrease inflammation in your Boxer’s body, which can be a problem with joint problems or ulcerative colitis.
Antioxidants prevent oxidation of cells, which is a form of cell damage. Preventing cell damage can prevent the problems that result from it, such as cancer or inflammation, which promotes overall body health.
- EUKANUBA BREED SPECIFIC ADULT DRY DOG FOOD FOR BOXERS
3D DENTADEFENCE SYSTEM
3D DENTADEFENSE System is Eukanuba’s tartar reduction technology that 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 tooth and gum health is closely related to heart health, just as it is in humans.
Animal-source protein is crucial in any dog’s diet, but because of the Boxer’s high protein needs, it is especially crucial in Boxer-formulated foods 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, due to their energetic properties as well as their heart-healthy benefits.
GLUCOSAMINE AND CHONDROITIN
Glucosamine and chondroitin are found naturally in the body’s cartilage and are often taken together in supplement form or added to food, such as this Eukanuba Boxer dog food. They are believed to relieve joint pain and can work to repair joints, which is ideal for an active dog like a Boxer.
OMEGA-3 AND OMEGA-6
Omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids work together to reduce inflammation that can lead to cancer or autoimmune disease, while also promoting heart health, such as reducing the chance of blood clots, etc.
However, for best results, it is important to get the right balance of omega-3 and omega-6, which is probably why and how Eukanuba chose their omega ratio in their Boxer mix.
- WELLNESS CORE NATURAL GRAIN FREE DRY DOG FOOD.
The trend toward 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 leftovers from their own meals, which, until the agricultural revolution in the Neolithic era, consisted mainly of meat and fish, and smaller amounts of gathered food.
And because dogs are active, particularly working dogs such as Boxers, it is important that they get enough protein, and a diet rich in grains can sometimes reduce their protein intake.
CORE’s large breed-specific dog food programs use lean animal proteins such as turkey, fish and chicken to meet your Boxer’s protein needs; their large breed blend contains approximately 80% more real meat than large breed formulas containing grains, according to Wellness CORE product information.
If your Boxer is prone to allergies, Wellness CORE recommends slowly introducing their food to make sure your dog can adapt.
PROBIOTICS, PREBIOTICS, FIBER
Because Boxers can have issues with gut health, ranging from autoimmune, such as ulcerative colitis, to susceptibility to infections such as the E. coli problem, it’s important that their diet takes steps to address gut issues head-on, hopefully before they occur.
Probiotics are good bacteria found in foods or supplements. These good gut bacteria are crucial in combating bad gut bacteria such as E. coli, which is naturally found in the intestines of 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 probiotics, allowing them to grow and multiply.
The antioxidants found in Wellness CORE large breed dog food are fruit and vegetable based, so your dog can easily absorb their whole body health benefits.
- CANIDAE LIFE STAGES DRY DOG FOOD FORMULA FOR LARGE BREED ADULT DOGS
canidae life stages
Duck meal is the main ingredient in CANIDAE large breed adult dog food. The reason it is a good choice is because it is high in protein and is also a natural source of important supplemental nutrients such as glucosamine, chondroitin and L-carnitine.
Chicken provides lean animal-based protein, while lentils, brown rice and peas are healthy plant-based proteins that round out the 21% protein per serving that your Boxer gets from CANIDAE foods.
Probiotics can work to soothe and even prevent intestinal problems that can occur with Boxers, making them an important part of the Boxer 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 blend of omega-3 and omega-6 to ensure your dog gets its immune and heart benefits.
- BLUE BUFFALO LIFE PROTECTION DRY DOG FOOD FOR LARGE BREED ADULT DOGS CHICKEN AND BROWN RICE
blue buffalo life protection
GLUCOSAMINE AND CHONDROITIN
Glucosamine and chondroitin are important components of cartilage, making them a crucial supplement for both dogs and humans suffering from joint pain or other joint health problems.
Because boxers are more likely to develop hip dysplasia than other breeds, they need additional glucosamine and chondroitin, and that need is only doubled due to their high activity level.
RICH IN PROTEIN
Real, quality, boneless chicken is the primary source of protein in Blue Buffalo’s large breed formula. Backed with protein-rich brown rice and the protein/amino acid building block 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 enhance your Boxer’s immune system. A healthier immune system makes your dog less likely to develop cancer or autoimmune disorders such as ulcerative colitis.
OMEGA-3 AND OMEGA-6
Omega-3s and omega-6s work well together, especially when they are well balanced. Their health benefits range from reducing inflammation, protecting heart health and improving the shine of your Boxer’s coat.
THE BEST PUPPY FOOD FOR BOXERS
ROYAL CANIN BREED HEALTH NUTRITION BOXER PUPPY DRY DOG FOOD
royal canin boxer puppy
The wave-shaped kibble in Royal Canin’s Boxer formulas has been specifically designed with a Boxer’s muscle and jaw structure in mind, to ensure that your growing puppy can get all the nutrients it needs at this crucial stage of development.
HELPS YOUR BOXER PUPPY BUILD LEAN MUSCLE MASS
Protein is crucial for all Boxers, but Boxer puppies have a particular need for this vital nutrient. Because they are still growing, their bodies are literally being built. What is 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 at least 28% 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 problems, ranging from the less serious, such as bloat, to the more serious, such as a tendency to contract E. coli, so it’s essential that your Boxer puppy gets a healthy dose of probiotics at every meal so that his defense against disease begins early in life.
Vitamins E, C and lutein serve as antioxidants to boost your Boxer puppy’s immune system, so they are better able to fight infection and less likely to develop an autoimmune disorder. They also reduce inflammation and improve energy.
Lutein also benefits eyesight, which is important for any growing animal, including Boxer puppies. Another important benefit of lutein is its ability to prevent cancer, which is essential for all Boxers.
The amino acid taurine is essential for heart health. In humans, it is used as a supplement to help with congestive heart failure. Because boxers are especially prone to heart problems, it is best to think about heart health early and start with important heart-enhancing nutrients.
YOUR BOXER HAS A SENSITIVE STOMACH? THIS FOOD WILL HELP YOU!
ROYAL CANIN MAXI NUTRITION SENSITIVE DIGESTION DRY FOOD FOR DOGS
Royal canin sensitive digestion
HIGH IN PROTEIN
Royal Cainin’s Maxi Nutrition Sensitive Digestion dog food uses chicken as its main source of protein, which is an ideal choice for boxers, who are prone to allergies and need commonly tolerated foods. The protein count in this formula is a minimum of 26%, making it one of the most protein-rich foods available; this alone makes it an excellent 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 on so they can multiply and outcompete any invading bad bacteria. MOS also improves the very structure of your dog’s digestive tract, which is ideal for Boxers, especially those suffering from harmful intestinal problems such as ulcerative colitis.
Good digestion is important for your BOXER’s overall well-being, just as it is important for you, so it’s important to choose a food designed specifically 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 breed of dog, they need to make the most of their calories, which is why a healthy dose of vitamin B is a great addition to their diet.
Because Boxers with stomach problems can feel drained or exhausted due to stomach upset, B vitamins can also give them that little extra boost they need to simply feel better.
Fiber is crucial for gut health in two different ways. Most importantly for boxers, it is 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 defend against bad bacteria.
The second reason fiber is important is because it improves the quality of your Boxer’s stool. No one likes to talk about poop, but if your Boxer has digestive problems, the appearance of his stool can be an indicator of the severity of his stomach problems.
One of the fibers in this formula is psyllium husk, which is a great fiber for sensitive stomachs because it creates a gel-like substance in the intestine that increases stool bulk and makes it easier to pass, which will make your Boxer’s gut much healthier in the long run.
Fish oil is a great anti-inflammatory and an important source of healthy omega-3s. Because some digestive problems are autoimmune in nature, inflammation can be a major concern with Boxers. The anti-inflammatory properties of fish oil can help with this problem.
Because of all these excellent features, we recommend this product as the best dog food for boxers with sensitive stomachs.
WHAT TO FEED YOUR BOXER WITH SKIN ALLERGIES
Because of all their great features we recommend you these two products as the best dog food for boxers with skin allergies.
HILL’S SCIENCE DIET DRY FOOD FOR LARGE BREED DOGS
Hill’s Science Diet Dry food for large breed dogs
WITHOUT ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS OR PRESERVATIVES.
Allergies can be a problem with boxers, so the less exposure the better. Artificial flavors and preservatives are unnecessary and can be harsh on sensitive stomachs, which is why Hill’s Science Diet blend is an excellent choice for boxers.
Joint problems can be a problem in very 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.
Because of the health problems that are common with Boxers, it is important to feed them reliable, high-quality foods. Hill’s Science Diet tests its foods to ensure they are safe and effective.
MONEY BACK GUARANTEE
Hill’s Science Diet offers a 100% money back guarantee if you or your dog are not satisfied with your product.
MERRICK GRAIN-FREE DRY DOG FOOD TEXAS BEEF
Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Texas Beef
70% BEEF PROTEIN
Real, boneless Texas beef is the number one ingredient in Merrick’s high-protein, grain-free blend. Lamb meal is blended in as a lean protein source for the maximum protein intake 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 generally low allergen foods, making them an excellent choice if your dog is allergic to grains and needs a healthy alternative.
Grain-free mixes not only allow your dog to get more protein, but they’re also great for boxers with allergies.
PROMOTES HEALTHY JOINTS.
Omegas 3 and 6 and glucosamine and chondroitin work together to form a powerful team to knock down inflammation and improve your Boxer’s joint health.