The boxer dogs’ distinct square head, fierce loyalty, and exuberant personality make their perpetual ranking in the top dog breeds understandable. While they originate from powerful hunters, boxers are loving and devoted pets, making them an ideal choice for a family. If you are the proud owner you likely want to ensure you are providing them with the best dog food for boxers possible for their specific health needs. Keep reading to learn about the boxer’s nutritional requirements, and what dog foods we recommend.
- 1 Boxer-specific dietary concerns
- 2 Our top overall pick for best dog food for boxers:
- 3 Our second pick for best dog food for boxers:
- 4 Our third pick for best dog food for boxers:
- 5 Our top pick for best puppy dog food for boxers:
- 6 Our top pick for best senior dog food for boxers:
- 7 Boxers: How much food do they need?
Boxer-specific dietary concerns
boxer dogs are extremely athletic, but prone to several heart conditions, canine hip dysplasia, allergies, and bloat, which is important when choosing an appropriate dog food. In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that they were investigating reports of certain pet foods labeled “grain-free” causing canine dilated cardiomyopathy. Since boxers are prone to this condition, you should consult your veterinarian before feeding your boxer these foods. In general, the best dog food for boxers is a product that contains high-quality, natural ingredients. When purchasing dog food for your boxer, read the ingredient labels closely, and choose products boasting these specific qualities:
- Natural ingredients — A high quality animal protein should be the first ingredient listed. Dog food for boxers should have limited carbohydrates, and those included should be from healthy sources. No artificial additives, byproducts, or fillers should be used.
- High protein — Adult dogs require 18 percent protein for maintenance purposes, and the boxer’s high energy means they should eat a high protein diet. Animal protein sources are preferable to plant proteins.
- Healthy fats — Active boxers also require more than the recommended 5 percent fat content in their diet and also limit fats. Your boxer’s food should contain omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, in moderation.
- Vitamins and minerals — Your boxer’s food should contain a complete and balanced vitamin and mineral profile.
Here are the top foods that receive our approval as the best dog food for boxers.
Our top overall pick for best dog food for boxers:
We chose this adult dry dog food as the best dog food for boxers, because the food contains only natural, wholesome ingredients, including chicken, brown rice, chicken fat, and chicken meal. No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives are included. This food is an excellent source of high-quality protein and fat and offers your boxer great nutrition.
The first listed ingredient in this adult dry dog food is boneless chicken, which provides high-quality animal protein to keep your boxer fit and muscular. The food provides 26 percent protein and 12 percent fat, to satisfy your boxer’s high energy requirements.
WHAT WE LIKE: This adult dry dog food has a great ingredient list, beginning with high-quality animal protein. The food is high in protein and contains no soy, wheat, or corn.
WHAT WE DON’T LIKE: This dry dog food is on the pricey side, and some dogs stopped eating the product after several days.
Our second pick for best dog food for boxers:
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula uses real meat, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to provide excellent nutrition for your active boxer. They also supplement this adult dry dog food with brown rice, chicken meal, and lamb meal. Antioxidant-rich ingredients enhance a precise blend of nutrients for immune system health.
The first listed ingredient in this adult dry dog food is boneless lamb, which provides high-quality protein for maintaining healthy muscles. Blue Buffalo provides 22 percent crude protein and 14 percent fat, to support your boxer’s active life.
WHAT WE LIKE: The first ingredient in Blue Buffalo is a high-quality animal protein that does not commonly cause food allergies. This dry dog food is high in protein and contains no soy, wheat, or corn.
WHAT WE DON’T LIKE: Some dog owners found that this Blue Buffalo adult dry dog food had a strong, unpleasant smell. The eighth ingredient listed is chicken fat, which may upset some dog owners who are purchasing the lamb recipe to avoid a chicken allergy.
Our third pick for best dog food for boxers:
Royal Canin Boxer Formula is a breed-specific boxer adult dog food specifically designed for boxers older than 15 months. Certain ingredients, including L-carnitine and natural taurine, are included in this Royal Canin product because boxers are prone to certain heart conditions.
This specific boxer food provides 24 percent protein and 18 percent fat, to help your boxer maintain muscle mass. Chicken fat and brown rice you’ll also find in this product.
WHAT WE LIKE: This breed-specific boxer adult food is one of the few on the market exclusively designed for boxers, to help mitigate potential heart issues.
WHAT WE DON’T LIKE: The ingredient list includes many poor quality ingredients, including chicken by-product meal. Animal protein is not mentioned until far into the list. The kibble is too large for many dogs to easily eat.
Our top pick for best puppy dog food for boxers:
This puppy food contains wholesome ingredients, starting with boneless chicken, to help your boxer puppy develop strong, lean muscles. This large-breed puppy food is formulated to prevent excessive growth, which can lead to skeletal disorders, such as hip dysplasia. Glucosamine and chondroitin are included, to support your puppy’s joints and overall health.
Until they are 18 to 24 months old, boxer puppies require a minimum of 22 percent protein and 8 percent fat. This puppy food provides 26 percent protein and 13 percent fat, formulated with chicken, brown rice, and chicken meal, to ensure your boxer puppy can play all day.
WHAT WE LIKE: The first ingredient in this puppy food is boneless chicken, a high-quality animal protein, with chicken fat used to enhance the product’s palatability.
WHAT WE DON’T LIKE: In some dog food reviews, puppy owners complained that this product caused diarrhea, so do not feed this product to boxer puppies who have a sensitive stomach.
Our top pick for best senior dog food for boxers:
This mature adult dry dog food contains real chicken and turkey, to maintain your senior boxer’s lean muscle. Glucosamine and chondroitin are also included for optimal joint health. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids promote healthy skin and a nice coat.
This mature dry dog food offers 23 percent protein and 12 percent fat. The ingredients, including chicken, turkey, chicken meal, turkey meal, and brown rice, ensure your mature boxer gets the nutrients they need.
WHAT WE LIKE: Chicken and turkey are the first two ingredients in this mature adult dog food. According to dog food reviews, most boxers find the product extremely palatable.
WHAT WE DON’T LIKE: This dry dog food is not a good choice if your senior boxer is overweight.
How to switch your boxer puppy to an adult food
Anytime you make a food change, you run the risk of upsetting your boxer’s gastrointestinal system, and causing diarrhea. But, this does not mean that you are stuck feeding the same diet for your dog’s entire life. The key is to make any diet change gradually, to let your puppy’s system get used to the new food. An ideal transition period would look like this:
- Days 1 to 2 — Feed your boxer three-quarters of the amount of their old food, and one-quarter new food.
- 3rd to 4th days — Feed one-half each of the new and the old foods.
- Days 5 to 7 — Feed three-quarters of the new food and one-quarter old food.
- Days 7 to 10 — Continue transitioning until your boxer is eating 100 percent of the new food.
If at any point your boxer experiences vomiting, diarrhea, gas, or other side effects, move back a step in the transition plan, and then progress again once they have stabilized. If signs persist, contact your veterinarian.
Boxers: How much food do they need?
Regardless of which dog food you choose for your boxer, ensure you keep them healthy by feeding them the correct amount. Each product should have a feeding guide labeled on the bag. You will need your boxer’s accurate weight to correctly calculate how much food they require. Other factors include your boxer’s age and daily activity level. Feeding too little food could result in your boxer receiving inadequate nutrition, and too much food could result in obesity. Consult your veterinarian with any questions or concerns about your boxer’s diet.
Feeding your boxer: FAQs
Question: How do I know whether the food I am feeding my boxer is good-quality?
Answer: Ensure that the first ingredient is a high-quality meat protein, and limit the number of carbohydrates in your boxer’s diet. Their food should have at least 18 percent protein, healthy fats, and a complete and balanced vitamin and mineral profile.
Question: How can I tell if my boxer is overweight or underweight?
Answer: You can use a body condition chart to help you assess your boxer’s weight. However, your veterinarian is the best resource to help you determine whether your boxer should lose or gain weight to remain in top health.
Question: How can I reduce my boxer’s hip dysplasia risk?
Answer: Many large dog breeds, including boxers, are genetically predisposed to developing hip dysplasia. Although you cannot change your dog’s genetic makeup, you can minimize their risk by feeding them appropriately throughout their life. Feeding a growing boxer excess calcium encourages faster bone growth, which can lead to hip dysplasia. Choose a puppy food formulated specifically for large breed dogs to prevent over supplementing critical nutrients. After your boxer has reached maturity, keep them at a healthy weight, to avoid excess strain on their joints.