I don’t know about you, but my dogs eat better than I do. I’m always looking for the most nutritious food for them.
I didn’t realize just how important dog food was until we were forced to use supermarket branded food when we ran out on a holiday weekend.
The behavior change in our two dogs was incredible. On the lower grade supermarket food, they had a big boost of energy soon after eating and then crashed after an hour or two.
It turned out that the supermarket food was full of E numbers. It was essentially like feeding two 5-year-olds a bowl of sweets for breakfast.
Since that exhausting weekend, I’ve been hyper-conscious of what they eat. We look for food that will give them the energy they need throughout the day rather than one manic burst.
If you own boxer dogs, you’ll know that they are high energy, playful bundles of joy. They love a bit of rough and tumble and nice long walks. To maintain these energy levels, boxers need high-quality food.
We’ll get into some of the special requirements boxers have in the buyer’s guide. You’ll also find a breakdown of some of the contents of dog food in this section.
Before that though, let’s dig into some of the best foods for boxer dogs.
Got a hungry pup on your hands? Here’s our top pick:
OUR TOP PICK
Looking at the first 3 listed ingredients we see deboned chicken, chicken meal, and brown rice. It’s great to see named meats and meals in the top position.
Chicken does lose about 70% of its volume when cooked so the chicken meal is where most of the protein comes from.
This is exactly what we want to see from quality dog food. Meal supporting real meat.
Brown rice is easy to digest but is a filler ingredient. This means that it is of little or no nutritional value.
It’s common to find these in dog foods because they help the dog feel full and bulk out the weight of the food. Ultimately though they are empty calories.
As far as fillers go, brown rice isn’t too bad. It is at least real food and not stuffed with artificial ingredients. However, we would have preferred to see it lower on the list of ingredients.
This food is packed with vitamins and minerals that support healthy systems in your dog. In particular, it has a pretty high calcium content which supports your dog’s bones. This is particularly important for highly active boxer dogs.
In terms of pricing, Blue Buffalo is fairly average. The cost per ounce is similar to other dog foods of this quality.
It will cost you more than cheap supermarket food but the benefits do outweigh the cost.
- Real chicken and chicken meal as primary ingredients.
- Packed with fruit and vegetables.
- A high percentage of vitamins and minerals.
- Available in adult, senior, and puppy.
- 24% protein content.
- Made in the USA.
- Some fillers.
- Chicken can cause allergic reactions in some dogs.
At first glance, you might think this dog food does not contain chicken. Some dogs and boxers are prone to this, are allergic to chicken and poultry.
The bison and venison flavor would appear to remove the potential for allergic reactions and sounds pretty dang tasty!
However, roasted bison and roasted venison are the ninth and tenth ingredients respectively. The first ingredient is buffalo followed by lamb meal and chicken meal.
It might not be the meat advertised, but there is no doubt that this food is full of meat.
In the first position, we have buffalo, supported by lamb and chicken meals. This means that if your dog has a chicken allergy, you don’t want to use this food.
These meats are followed up by sweet potato, peas, and potatoes.
This is a grain-free dog food which is why it uses potatoes and legumes as the source of carbohydrates.
Sweet potatoes in particular are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants. They also don’t contain any grain allergens.
In comparison to other grain-free foods, Taste of the Wild uses much better ingredients.
They have made a conscious effort to select healthy, digestible foods that provide the carb and energy requirements for a healthy dog.
Fruit, veg, and mineral extracts provide a wide range of nutrients that help promote healthy coats, immune systems, and digestion.
One thing we’re not overjoyed about is the inclusion of ‘ocean fish meal.’
Normally, seeing fish in the ingredients is great as it’s a brilliant source of fatty acids that support and promote healthy brains.
However, ‘ocean fish’ is a very non-specific label. It means that we can’t ascertain just how much omega-3 is present.
Overall, the biggest boon with this dog food is the phenomenal protein content. If you want a lean, muscular dog, you’ll be very happy with Taste of the Wild dog food.
- 32% protein content.
- 18% fat content.
- Includes a wide variety of fresh meat and meat meals.
- Grain-free recipe is great for allergy-prone dogs.
- Made in the USA.
- Seems to appease fussy eaters.
- Contains chicken products which can be an allergen for some dogs.
- Contains canola oil which is sometimes sourced from GM crops.
Let’s get one thing out of the way first, this stuff is expensive! It’s sold in 5lb bags that cost about the same as 30lb bags of other brands. With that in mind, it has a lot to live up to!
The first thing to note is that this food does not contain any chicken products. This is excellent news if your dog has a chicken allergy.
The first ingredient is deboned lamb followed by oatmeal, brown rice, turkey meal, and lamb meal. This is an excellent starting line-up! The fresh meat in pole position is what we want to see.
Oatmeal is a great ingredient to see in dog food. It is free of allergens but has a lot of fiber and b-vitamins.
It provides a lot of the carbohydrate content of the food along with brown rice. However, it’s fiber and vitamin content make it much less of a filler ingredient than rice.
The turkey and lamb meals support fresh meat and provide a good amount of protein. We would have liked to see the meal higher on the list of ingredients, but as the food has a decent amount of protein, it’s not so bad.
There are a lot of different fruits and vegetables in this food, though most are dried. This is probably to extend the lifespan of the food.
Dried fruits and vegetables retain most of their nutritional value except for vitamin C which is often lost or reduced. Luckily, dogs can produce vitamin C within their bodies so this isn’t an issue.
- Lamb is the first ingredient.
- No chicken products.
- All-natural ingredients.
- Plenty of fruit and vegetables.
- 25% protein content.
- 18% fat content.
- Uses oatmeal instead of cornmeal.
- Contains canola oil which is often sourced from GM crops.
- Contains sunflower oil which is of less nutritional value to dogs.
Is there a meatier meat than bison?
This dog food has bison as its top ingredient. It is supported by ocean fish meal giving it an overall 22% protein and 9% fat content. This is the perfect balance for boxer dogs.
Ocean fish meal is a vague label that suggests that it uses a variety of different fish. This makes it harder to calculate the actual omega-3 contribution as different fish provide different amounts of omega-3.
This food also includes 20 superfoods that provide fiber and antioxidants which encourage digestion and healthy growth.
These superfoods are a range of vegetables that are easy on your dog’s gut but hardworking in the immune system, digestive tract, and the skin and coat.
What we like about this food is that it supports and promotes healthy skin and fur. Boxers are notorious for having issues with their skin.
These skin conditions can make them quite stinky, so any food that can alleviate that is very much appreciated.
There are lots of reviews from happy users that mention how much of an improvement this dog food had on their pooches’ skin.
Another thing that’s great about this food is that it is a high-quality food that includes grain. This is not always easy to find.
Despite that less than 1% of dogs have a grain allergy, there seems to be an increase in the amount of grain-free dog foods.
99% of dogs are more than capable of digesting grains and get a lot of nutritional value from grains.
We are pleased that Solid Gold uses grains in this food, especially considering some recent studies that suggest that grain-free dog food can increase the risk of heart disease.
- Bison meat is the primary ingredient.
- 22% protein content.
- 9% fat content.
- Packed with superfoods to promote healthy systems, skin, and coat.
- Includes healthy whole grains for high fiber content.
- Uses natural flavors and preservatives.
- Unspecified fish meal.
- Contains canola oil which is often sourced from GM crops.
- Fairly expensive.
Starting with the ingredients, Eukanuba proudly boasts chicken as the first ingredient.
This is wonderful but, as mentioned elsewhere, once cooked, fresh meat loses around 70% of its mass. This is why fresh meat must be supported by other high-quality ingredients.
Unfortunately, the second, third, and fourth ingredients are a bit dubious. Cornmeal is the second ingredient which is quite disappointing.
Cornmeal is a filler and has limited nutritional value to dogs. It does provide energy throughout the day because it is a carbohydrate. However, it can produce higher blood sugar spikes than other carbs like brown rice.
Following cornmeal, we have sorghum which is another grain filler. It has a better impact on blood sugar levels than cornmeal and other grains.
It is also a gluten-free grain. This makes it a great ingredient for allergenic dogs. Though this is a bit useless in Eukanuba dog food as they use gluten products throughout.
The fourth ingredient, and perhaps the one with the most concerns, is chicken by-product meal.
We like to see meal high on the ingredient list because it is a much better source of protein than fresh meat. In a supporting role, meal is wonderful.
However, the use of chicken by-product meal is not the same as chicken meal. Byproducts are the offcuts from the meat industry.
It can contain feet, beaks, and undeveloped eggs. It’s not ideal and we’d dread to find it in our food, but it does have a huge protein content.
There are a lot of good things in this dog food, however. It has a lot of fish oil and flaxseed meal.
Both of these are excellent sources of omega-3 which is key to a healthy coat and brain.
Chicken fat is also placed prominently in the ingredients. It might not sound appealing, but it is a high-quality ingredient that has a lot of nutrients vital for healthy dogs.
Overall, this food is still much better than the bog-standard dog foods. It might not stand up to some of the other foods listed here, but it is a healthy choice and the cheapest of our selection.
- Chicken is the first ingredient.
- Rich in omega-3 and other fatty acids.
- 28% protein content.
- 18% fat content.
- Great value for money.
- Good vitamin and mineral content.
- Cornmeal features prominently.
- Uses chicken by-product meal.
- Chicken can cause allergies in some dogs.
Best Dog Food For Boxer Dogs Buying Guide
As is the case with most purebred dogs, boxers are more prone to suffering from certain health conditions, so it matters what you put in that large dog feeder. Some of these can be managed and alleviated with high-quality or allergen-free foods.
It’s important to remember that you should always seek veterinary advice if you think your dog is suffering from any medical condition. The foods that we have recommended are not condition-specific but they might be able to help with some conditions.
The most common medical condition that affects boxer dogs is allergies. They are susceptible to soy, wheat, yeast, and corn allergies. Chicken and beef can also be quite tricky for some boxers.
These allergies can make choosing foods quite difficult. You’ll need to check the ingredients list closely to make sure they are free of allergens.
If your dog does have allergies, you’ll want to stay clear of artificial colorings and flavorings. These tend to cause flare-ups.
Boxers are also more prone to heart disease than some other breeds. This means that it is incredibly important to make sure they have a well-balanced diet.
Grain-free foods can work wonders for sensitive stomachs and allergies. However, some recent studies suggest grain-free foods rich in legumes and potatoes can increase the risk of heart disease.
Dog Food Ingredients
We’ve talked a lot about high-quality food, but what does that actually mean?
There are certain things that you should look out for in high-quality foods. The first is the animal proteins. This should be at the top of the list and should be named.
So, if turkey meat or pork meat is at the top of the list then you know it is actual meat from that animal.
If you just see ‘meat’ listed, then it indicates that the meat is of dubious quality and origin. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t tell you exactly what meat is in the food unless they’re trying to hide something.
The same rings true of meals like chicken meal or pork meal. You want to see a named animal in front of the word meal. If you see meat meal leave it well alone.
Meal is ground up animal bits and while it doesn’t sound appealing, it is an excellent source of proteins. Fresh meat contains a lot of water so ideally, you want to see meal as support for fresh meat.
The next thing you want to look out for is whole foods and vegetables. We’re trying to avoid derivatives as they don’t have the same complex nutrients, vitamins, and minerals as whole foods.
Derivatives are essentially foods that are cooked or processed in some way. So tomato puree is derived from tomatoes and rice bran is from rice.
One or two derivatives are ok but we don’t want to see them at the top of the ingredient list.
Some of the things you want to avoid include meat by-products. These will be listed as ‘chicken by-products,’ for example.
They tend to be the things that are not generally consumed by the mainstream market.
Try to avoid ‘generic fats.’ Generic fats come from anywhere. They could be used animal fats from restaurants or even roadkill fats. You just don’t know.
The final things you want to avoid are any sweeteners and artificial flavors, preservatives, and colorings.
Your dog doesn’t care what color their food is and the flavor of the meat should be enough to entice them. These artificial elements are not good for your dog and don’t need to be in there.
Boxer Dietary Requirements
Boxers are active dogs and they need their food to support their lifestyle. You want to look for foods that are high in animal proteins as these will be the best source of energy for your dog.
Adult boxers need about 18% protein in each meal while puppies need 22%. Try to get as close to this as possible with your food.
You also want to try and ensure that the fat content is around 5% and that it comes from animals rather than plant fats. These fats will give your dog the energy they need to bounce around all day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do boxer dogs fart a lot?
It’s a fair question to ask as we’re talking about what goes into their mouth. It’s natural to wonder what comes out the other end.
Boxer dogs are pretty flatulent. They often rank highly in lists of farty dogs. Sometimes coming first!
Part of this flatulence is because they have shortened snouts. Because of this, they tend to gulp in a lot of air when they’re eating and drinking.
This air needs to find its way out somehow. Unfortunately, it tends to come out as a stinky ball of gas.
On average, a boxer dog can fart between 5-10 times a day. Sometimes they will be noisy but scentless. Other times, they will be silent but deadly.
What you feed your boxer has an impact on the number and quality of boxer farts. Low grade or rotten foods will increase the number of smelly farts.
The ingredients in low-quality food tend to be more difficult for dogs to digest. This leads to gas being created.
Do boxer dogs eat a lot?
Boxer dogs are late bloomers. They tend to mature more slowly than other breeds, sometimes not fully reaching adulthood until around 2 years of age.
This extended growth period means that they need more food in their earlier years.
So, on average your boxer will need 3 cups of food up until around about 2 years of age. As an adult, they can go down to 2 cups of food.
You can split this across feeds. Go for 1 cup per feed. This ensures that they get the right amount of energy throughout the day.
The extra cup of food for puppies and young boxer dogs is to facilitate their growth and development.
Once a dog reaches adulthood, they use less energy on growth and development, so they need less food.
In comparison to dogs of a similar size, adult boxers are about average for the amount of food they eat. The difference is in the length of their puppy years.
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