6 Best Boxer Dog Foods Plus Top Brands for Puppies and Seniors

Our Picks for the Best Dog Food for Boxers

The Boxer is a muscular breed known for his square muzzle, strong jaws, and powerful build. Though he may look intimidating to some, he is actually a silly, sweet, and people-oriented breed.

One of the most popular dog breeds in America, the Boxer was developed during the 19th century but didn’t become popular in the U.S. until the 1940s when American soldiers brought their dogs home from war. These dogs came to be used as guard dogs and show dogs in addition to becoming popular as a family companion. Today, the Boxer consistently ranks among the top 10 breeds in the U.S. according to AKC registration statistics.

The Boxer is a large-breed dog that stands 21 to 25 inches tall and weighs between 50 and 70 pounds. This is a high-energy breed that requires a great deal of daily exercise. Though they remain active, the Boxer is unfortunately prone to a number of serious health problems which may contribute to his relatively short lifespan that averages 8 to 10 years. Providing your dog with a high-quality diet may help to maximize his lifespan.

Keep reading to learn more about your Boxer’s dietary requirements and to see our top 15 picks for the best dog food for Boxers.

Understanding a Boxer’s Diet Requirements

All dogs have the same basic requirements for protein, fat, and fiber in their diets. Protein and fat should both come from high-quality animal sources because your dog’s body is evolved to digest animal products more efficiently than plant products. Good sources of protein include meat, poultry, and fish because they are also complete proteins which means they contain all 10 essential amino acids.

Fat provides your dog with a concentrated source of energy which is important for growing puppies. Too much fat, however, can cause overgrowth which might increase your dog’s risk for joint problems. Carbohydrates provide energy, fiber, and essential nutrients. Because the Boxer is prone to allergies, you should consider grain-free options like starchy vegetables, beans, and legumes. If your dog isn’t sensitive to grains, whole-grain carbohydrates are a healthy option.

  • Puppy Boxers Diet – As a puppy, your Boxer needs a minimum of 22% protein and 8% fat in his diet to fuel his growth and development. As a large breed puppy, however, you need to control calories to prevent overgrowth which might predispose your Boxer to musculoskeletal issues in adulthood.
  • Adult Boxers Diet – When your Boxer reaches his full size, he’ll need a large-breed adult dog food that provides at least 18% protein and 5% fat. Keep the protein level on the higher end and the fat content low- to moderate to prevent obesity.
  • Senior Boxers Diet – As your Boxer gets older, his metabolism will slow down so he’ll need fewer calories and less fat in his diet. Protein is important to maintain lean muscle mass and joint-supporting nutrients are beneficial as well.

A good dog food will meet your dog’s basic requirements for protein, fat, and carbohydrates but your Boxer can also benefit from fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy supplements. Fresh fruits and veggies provide natural sources for key nutrients and they are more biologically valuable than synthetic supplements. Chelated minerals are mineral supplements that have been chemically bound to protein molecules which increases their absorption. Your dog can also benefit from prebiotics and probiotics for healthy digestion, and glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support.

Special Dietary Considerations for Boxers

The Boxer is a large-breed dog which means that he is automatically at a higher risk for certain health problems such as gastric torsion and musculoskeletal issues. This breed in particular is also prone to a variety of other diseases which can limit his already-short lifespan.

Here is a quick list of the health problems to which the Boxer may be prone:

  • Allergies
  • Aortic Stenosis
  • Boxer Cardiomyopathy
  • Cancer
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Demodectic Mange
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Gastric Torsion
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism

Let’s take a closer look at some of these health problems.

Many of the health problems to which the Boxer is prone can be divided into categories such as heart problems, musculoskeletal issues, and cancers. Some of the cancers to which the breed seems particularly prone include mast cell tumors, lymphoma, and brain tumors. Boxers that have a lot of white coloration may also be prone to skin cancer if they get frequent sunburn.

The Boxer is affected by a variety of heart problems, many of which are inherited. Aortic stenosis or subaortic stenosis is a heart defect in which the aorta narrows below the aortic valve, causing the heart to work too hard to deliver oxygenated blood throughout the body. This condition can cause mild effects like fainting or severe effects like sudden death. Boxer cardiomyopathy is an inherited condition characterized by erratic heart rhythms which can cause weakness, collapse, or sudden death. Degenerative myelopathy is a neurologic dysfunction that is also typically inherited.

The musculoskeletal issues most common in the Boxer breed are elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia. Elbow dysplasia is an abnormality of the elbow joint which can lead to inflammation and joint damage while hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint that causes the femoral head to slip in and out of place. Both of these are common in large breeds and may be benefited by higher levels of glucosamine and chondroitin in the diet. Another large-breed health problem is gastric torsion or bloat which causes the stomach to fill with air and twist on its axis, cutting of blood supply to the body. It happens when the dog eats too much at once, eats too fast, or exercises too soon after eating.

In addition to these health problems, the Boxer also has a higher risk for allergies than other breeds – this includes both food allergies and skin allergies. Some of the most common food ingredients that cause allergies are low-quality grains and fillers like corn, wheat, and soy as well as common proteins like chicken, beef, and pork. Feeding your dog a grain-free or limited ingredient diet may reduce the risk for triggering these allergies.

Boxer Feeding Chart

Your Boxer’s nutritional needs will change over the course of his life, so you need to pay attention to what you are feeding him and how much. As a puppy, your Boxer needs plenty of protein to grow strong muscles and a steady stream of energy to fuel his metabolism. He also needs controlled levels of calcium and phosphorus to prevent overgrowth that might increase his risk for musculoskeletal issues in adulthood. A large-breed puppy recipe will provide the right balance of nutrients for your Boxer, and you should pay attention to the feeding recommendations on the bag.

As an adult, your Boxer needs plenty of protein to maintain lean muscle mass with controlled calories to prevent obesity. He can also benefit from joint-supporting nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin as well as probiotics for digestion. Feed your dog two meals a day and choose a large-breed adult recipe to ensure that he gets the right balance of nutrients. When he reaches 5 or 6 years old, you may need to switch to a senior large-breed recipe or scale back his daily portion to prevent obesity as he slows down.

The Best Dog Food for Boxers: Our Top 15 Picks for 2019

Now that you have a better understanding of your Boxer’s nutritional needs, you’re ready to start shopping for dog food! Remember, the best Boxer food will be formulated for large breeds and made with high-quality proteins, healthy fats, and digestible carbohydrates. He can also benefit from joint-supporting nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin as well as probiotics for healthy digestion. Here are our top 15 picks:

FirstMate Grain-Free Pacific Ocean Fish Meal LID Large-Breed Recipe

Overall Best Food for Boxers: If you’re looking for a quality source of nutrition for your Boxer that won’t trigger food allergies, try this FirstMate Grain-Free Pacific Ocean Fish Meal LID Large-Breed Recipe. It features wild herring as a single source of novel protein in a recipe made with a limited number of ingredients. This recipe is grain-free, focusing on digestible carbohydrates like potatoes for carbohydrate energy and fiber. It contains chelated minerals to ensure optimal nutrient absorption as well as supplemental glucosamine for joint support. Overall, it contains 25% protein and 12% fat which is an ideal ratio for large-breed dogs.

  • Pros: Single source of novel protein, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, rich in essential fatty acids, limited number of main ingredients, chelated minerals, glucosamine for joint support
  • Cons: May be too high in fiber for some dogs, expensive to feed as a staple diet

American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Large-Breed Adult Recipe

Most Affordable Food: You don’t have to spend a fortune to provide your Boxer with a high-quality diet. This American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Large-Breed Adult Recipe is formulated to meet the unique nutritional needs of large-breed dogs and it is a grain-free recipe which is good for allergy-prone dogs like your Boxer. This recipe features salmon as the main source of protein which is also a rich source of omega fatty acids. It contains grain-free carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and peas with other fresh vegetables and fruits to provide natural sources for key nutrients. This recipe also contains beneficial supplements like chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption.

  • Pros: High-quality sources of animal protein, rich in essential fatty acids, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, chelated minerals, no artificial additives
  • Cons: main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil)

Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Food

Most Popular Food: When you aren’t sure what to feed your Boxer, you can go with a popular choice like this Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Food. This recipe features a single source of animal protein and grain-free carbohydrates, so there is a low risk for triggering food allergies and sensitivities. This recipe contains real lamb as the first ingredient, followed by whole-food ingredients like sweet potatoes, lentils, and salmon oil. It is rich in omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat with fresh fruits and vegetables as natural sources for vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

  • Pros: Novel source of animal protein, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables, rich in omega fatty acids, chelated minerals, prebiotics and probiotics
  • Cons: Main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil)

NomNomNow Fresh Food Delivery

Super Premium Food: If you want to ensure that your Boxer gets premium-quality nutrition and that you can customize his diet, try NomNomNow. NomNomNow is a fresh dog food delivery service that sends fresh, custom meals right to your door on a monthly basis. Signing up takes just a few minutes and all you have to do is type in some basic information about your dog. From there, you can select your recipe from the collection and they will automatically be customized according to your dog’s nutrient and calorie needs. Every recipe is made with the freshest natural ingredients to guarantee the highest quality nutrition and plenty of natural flavor.

  • Pros: Made with the freshest ingredients, custom meals for your dog, delivered fresh to your door, perfectly portioned pouches, automatic shipments
  • Cons: Limited number of recipe options, very expensive to feed, delivery restrictions in some areas

Blue Buffalo Basics Grain-Free LID Lamb & Potato Large Breed Recipe

Best Food for Boxers with Allergies: If your Boxer suffers from food allergies, you should consider a limited ingredient diet made with a novel source of protein. This Blue Buffalo Basics Grain-Free LID Lamb & Potato Large Breed Recipe is a simple but nutritious recipe made with deboned lamb and grain-free carbohydrates like potatoes and peas. It contains natural sources for glucosamine and chondroitin and is rich in omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. This recipe is uniquely formulated for large breeds and has a low risk for triggering food allergies. Plus, it is supplemented with prebiotics and probiotics to ensure healthy digestion.

  • Pros: Balanced for large breeds, limited number of ingredients, deboned lamb as first ingredient, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin, probiotics
  • Cons: Contains some plant protein (pea protein), main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil)

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Chicken & Turkey Large Breed Recipe

Best Food for Boxers with Sensitive Stomachs: For dogs with sensitive stomachs, high-quality ingredients and digestibility is key. This Wellness CORE Grain-Free Chicken & Turkey Large Breed Recipe is a good choice because it is grain-free which reduces the risk for food sensitivities and it is supplemented to ensure digestibility. This recipe features deboned chicken and chicken meal as the top two ingredients which, in addition to being lean sources of protein, are also natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support. There are grain-free carbohydrates like potatoes and peas with healthy fats from chicken fat. You’ll also see fresh fruits and vegetables which provide natural sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants with chelated minerals to ensure nutritional balance.

  • Pros: High-quality ingredients, protein-rich chicken as main ingredient, grain-free carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables, chelated minerals, prebiotics and probiotics, glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Cons: May be too high in fiber for some dogs, some dogs are sensitive to chicken ingredients

3 more Top Rated (5 Star) Boxer Adult Foods

Holistic Select Grain-Free Chicken Meal & Lentils Large & Giant Breed Recipe

Formulated for large breeds, this Holistic Select Grain-Free Chicken Meal & Lentils Large & Giant Breed Recipe could be an excellent choice for your Boxer. It is grain-free to ensure digestibility for dogs with allergies, featuring chicken meal as a lean source of protein. It is also rich in glucosamine and chondroitin as well as calcium and phosphorus for strong bones and joints.

Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Large Breed Adult Recipe

For high-quality nutrition that approximates your dog’s ancestral diet, try this Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Large Breed Adult Recipe. This formula features high-protein kibble mixed with freeze-dried raw pieces in a highly digestible grain-free recipe. It contains deboned chicken as the first ingredient with salmon oil for omega fatty acids and added glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support.

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Grain-Free Lamb & Sweet Potato Large Breed Recipe

If your Boxer suffers from food allergies, a limited ingredient diet like this Nutro Wholesome Essentials Grain-Free Lamb & Sweet Potato Large Breed Recipe could be a good choice. It features real lamb as a single source of novel protein with grain-free carbohydrates like chickpeas and potatoes. It also contains plenty of essential fatty acids with chelated minerals to ensure nutritional balance.

3 More Top Rated (5 Star) Boxer Puppy Foods

Holistic Select Lamb Meal Large & Giant Breed Puppy Recipe

To provide your Boxer with a nutritious recipe to fuel his growth and development, this Holistic Select Lamb Meal Large & Giant Breed Puppy Recipe is a good option. Formulated specifically for large and giant breeds, this recipe provides an ideal balance of protein and fat to prevent overgrowth. It features lamb meal as the primary source of protein with digestible whole-grain carbohydrates like brown rice and oatmeal. It is also rich in omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.

Now Fresh Grain-Free Large Breed Puppy Recipe

Formulated for large-breed puppies, this Now Fresh Grain-Free Large Breed Puppy Recipe is a great choice for your Boxer. It features 100% fresh turkey, salmon, and duck with plenty of omega fatty acids and other healthy ingredients. It contains added taurine for heart and eye development as well as prebiotics and probiotics for healthy digestion. It also contains antioxidants for healthy immunity.

Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Puppy Recipe

Though not specifically formulated for large breeds, this Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Puppy Recipe could be a good choice for your Boxer puppy. It features lean proteins like turkey and turkey meal with salmon for a rich source of omega fatty acids. It contains plenty of digestible grain-free carbohydrates as well as dried fruits and vegetables for nutritional support.

2 More Picks for Senior Boxer Foods

Blue Buffalo Basics Healthy Weight Turkey & Potato Adult Recipe

For senior Boxers with food allergies, this Blue Buffalo Basics Healthy Weight Turkey & Potato Adult Recipe may be a good choice. Not only is it made with a limited number of ingredients, but it is chicken-free and highly digestible. This recipe features lean turkey for protein with whole grains for digestible carbohydrates. It also contains plenty of omega fatty acids as well as glucosamine and chondroitin.

Solid Gold Fit & Fabulous Chicken, Sweet Potato & Green Bean Weight Control Recipe

If you’re concerned about your Boxer gaining weight as he gets older, try this Solid Gold Fit & Fabulous Chicken, Sweet Potato & Green Bean Weight Control Recipe. This recipe may not be formulated specifically for large breeds, but it contains ample protein to support lean muscle mass with low fat to control calories. It is also a holistic recipe made with all-natural ingredients to ensure digestibility and to reduce the risk for triggering food allergies and sensitivities.

Our FAQ and Boxer Feeding Guide

In addition to choosing a healthy and high-quality diet for your Boxer, you also need to think about the practical aspects of feeding him and keeping his food fresh. Your dog’s food will start to lose some of its nutritional value as soon as the bag is opened, and the food is exposed to air. Fortunately, dog food bags are treated to preserve the food, so all you have to do is put the whole bag in an airtight container and store it in a cool and dry place. Try to avoid just pouring the entire bag into a new container because you’ll lose the benefits of the bag.

In terms of choosing a dog food bowl, keep in mind that each meal will contain 1 to 1 ½ cups of food, so you’ll need a fairly large bowl. You should also consider durability – stainless steel and ceramic are durable options, though ceramic might break if your dog tips it over. Stainless steel is easy to clean and it doesn’t scratch, so it won’t harbor bacteria. No matter what material you choose, make sure to clean the bowl often for your dog’s safety.

And now, here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about feeding a Boxer:

How much food should I feed my Boxer? – The exact amount of food you give your Boxer each day will depend on his age, weight, and activity level as well as the calorie content of the dog food you choose. Generally speaking, however, you’ll be feeding your Boxer 2 to 3 cups of a high-quality large-breed dog food to ensure that he gets the right balance of protein, fat, and other nutrients. Refer to the feeding instructions on the package according to his age and weight then divide that amount into two daily meals.

How many times a day should I feed my Boxer? – The Boxer is a large-breed dog, so two meals a day is recommended. As a puppy, however, he may need three meals to sustain his growth and development – at least until he reaches about 75% of his adult size or reaches 6 to 8 months of age. From there, you may want to reduce to two meals a day to prevent the kind of overgrowth that might increase your dog’s risk for joint problems or obesity. As an adult and a senior dog, two daily meals is best – one in the morning and one in the evening.

What kind of food do Boxers eat? – The best dog food for any dog is made from high-quality, natural ingredients and formulated to meet his nutritional needs. Fresh food is a great option for Boxers because they have some unique dietary requirements. As a breed prone to food allergies, the quality of your dog’s diet matters – he also needs a diet rich in lean protein with controlled fat content to prevent obesity. Fresh food offers excellent digestibility as well. If you can’t afford fresh food for your dog, a high-quality limited ingredient diet might reduce the risk for food allergies or a dehydrated or freeze-dried food can approximate the nutritional quality of fresh food with the convenience of dry food.

What vegetables are good in a Boxer food? – Fresh vegetables provide your dog with dietary fiber as well as natural sources for vitamins and minerals. As such, they are a valuable addition to any high-quality dog food. Here are some of the best vegetables for Boxers:

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potato
  • Zucchini

Providing your dog with fresh vegetables as a healthy snack is a good idea even if the dog food you choose contains fresh vegetables. Just make sure that the vegetables you choose are safe for dogs to eat and that you clean them well before feeding. You should also feed small amounts to avoid upsetting your dog’s stomach from an overload of fiber.

Do Boxers need grain-free dog food? – There is a great deal of controversy surrounding the long-term safety of grain-free diets for dogs. The concern is that it may increase the risk for heart conditions like cardiomyopathy – a condition to which the Boxer is already prone. This brings about a unique challenge because Boxers are also prone to food allergies and grains are a common culprit. Considering that there is no conclusive evidence as of yet, however, you might still consider a grain-free diet if your dog suffers from food allergies or sensitivities.

A Final Word

Now that you know the basics about your Boxer’s nutritional needs, you’re ready to start shopping for the best Boxer food. Remember to look for a product that is formulated for large breeds and made with high-quality proteins, healthy fats, and digestible carbohydrates. He can also benefit from joint-supporting nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin as well as probiotics for healthy digestion.

If you’re still not sure where to start in choosing the best Boxer dog food, try one of our top 15 picks reviewed above!

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