Best Dog Food For Boxers – 2 Breeds Make 1 Great Dog
I WANT the Best Dog Food for Boxers!! Dakota reviews the Best Dog Food for Boxers for nutritional quality, taste, cost, and dog opinions around the world.
You love your Boxer. And, you just want to feed them the best food for them. But, what does that mean? Dakota’s various friends have such different traits. And, many of those traits requires a unique nutritional footprint.
But, don’t worry!
Once you read this article, you will be able to shop with confidence that you will know what to look for to meet all of your Boxer’s nutritional, energy, and taste needs. And, at the same time without breaking your budget.
I will dig deep into the traits that Boxers exhibit, their habits, and what allergies to watch out for. With this information, I will share several top dog food choices I found that check all the boxes for meeting your Boxer’s nutritional needs.
Do You Want The BEST Dog Food For Boxers?
The Boxer Breed – Just Another Pretty Face?
They are much, much more.
Come on… Look at that mug!
Where Did the Boxer Originate?
The first thing you want to know about a breed in order to truly understand a breed is to understand where the breed come from.
Here’s the deal:
The Boxer breed originated in Munich, Germany where George Alt bred a female Bullenbeisser (descended from Mastiffs) named Flora with a male of unknown origin. The result was a puppy named Lechner’s Box, a fawn and white colored male.
So, the origins of the Boxer start with the Mastiff. Mastiffs are strong very large canines. They show love and affection for their owners.
However, the Mastiff breed is very large. In fact, many avoid owning a Mastiff if they have small children just because they are so large they might accidentally harm a very small child.
Not because of their temperament. But, just because the sheer size being around a small vulnerable child.
Why is this important?
George Alt wanted to take Flora with Mastiff heritage, and breed it with a smaller male to create a dog that has the affectionate and loving temperament of the Mastiff, but that isn’t so large as to sit on your child and accidentally crush them.
By using Flora, this allowed the smaller female Mastiff to mate with a smaller sire to create the mix George was looking for.
The resulting male puppy Lechner’s Box is considered by some to be the head sire of the Boxer lineage.
Why does this matter?
Well, now that we know more about where the Boxer comes from, we are starting to understand some of the traits that will go into picking the Best Dog Food for Boxers. So, now I can use many of the Mastiff traits as input, but just in a smaller package.
What A Bunch Of Bull… Dog
This wasn’t the end of the formation of the Boxer breed.
The English Bulldog brought size of the breed down even more.
But, there was a catch!
Unfortunately, the English Bulldog brought with it some less desired traits like drooling. Drooling is a hallmark trait of the Boxer. So, you can probably blame Tom for this trait. And, most certainly much of the Boxer’s face can also be traced back to Tom.
Flocki’s sister was bred with a grandson of Lechner’s Box to produce Meta von der Passage.
While Lechner’s Box might be considered to be the Father of the Boxer, Meta von der Passage is considered by many to be the Mother of the Boxer breed.
Why is that?
Almost all of the great sire lines of the Boxer breed can be traced back to Meta von der Passage.
This add another piece to the Boxer puzzle. Meta von der Passage brings many Bulldog traits to the table. Heavy drooling is one of those traits and something to consider while picking the Best Dog Food for Boxers.
Bull-Baiting… Not My Sweet Boxer!
With the introduction of the Bulldog into the breed, some very strange and brutal history was introduce into the Boxer.
The sport was very popular in the 1600’s and 1700’s during the reign of Queen Anne. It consisted of a bull being tied to a rope in a pit.
The rope typically gave the bull about 30 feet of give. And, the dog was trained to bait the bull.
A successful bait was when the dog was able to bite the bull on the snout and hang on.
This was a wagering sport where bets were placed on the success of the dog, if injury would occur to the dog, how long it would take, etc.
The main dogs used for Bull-baiting were Bulldogs and Pit Bulls.
If you see your Boxer lowering themselves in an aggressive posture, this could be the remains of training that was bred into them via the Bulldog from during these times!
Another Bulldog trait to add to the mix. With this bred in aggression, strength and muscular structure, the Best Dog Food for Boxers needs enough protein to support the Boxer’s athletic and physical body.
The Boxer’s Military Background
The Boxer breed grew from the late 1800 into the early 1900’s. As the breed became more popular, it became more famous for some of it’s traits.
When World War I broke out, the US military looked to take advantage of those traits.
Some of the traits thought to be valuable to the military included:
- Guard instincts
Having these traits, Boxers were enlisted into the military, serving as messenger dogs, carrying packs, and acting as attack and guard dogs. One of their best talents was the ability to track down the enemy and restrain them. Even today, police take advantage of this trait.
Why is this important?
Bred to run, restrain, and pin down assailants requires that the Best Dog Food for Boxers include enough calories to keep this well oiled Boxer machine moving.
Your Boxer’s Dietary Needs
Now that we’ve established some of the traits that have been bred into the Boxer, we can look at those traits and see if any of them have specific nutritional needs.
Your typical Boxer will have somewhat substantial food needs at their size.
While a typical Boxer isn’t huge like a Mastiff, it’s larger than your average bear (at least that’s what Yogi would say!).
Ok, Yogi always says that. But, most Boxers are really smaller than your average bear, and are considered by most to be a medium size animal.
Female Boxers weigh in between 55 and 64 pounds (but, never ask a female about her weight). Males tip the scales to around 60 to 71 pounds.
The Best Dog Food for Boxers needs to have a proper size kibble. Too small can lead to choking. Too large can still work, but can make eating a frustrating activity for your Boxer.
How Do I Properly Fuel My Boxer’s Muscles?
Many of the traits your Boxer exhibits revolve around high activity. Most Boxer’s are very lean and are basically a bundle of muscles.
This typically means your Boxer is a fine tuned athlete.
So, you should feed him like you would a a human athlete. Right?
Canines in general metabolize food differently than humans. So, dogs burn fat as their primary endurance fuel. Whereby, humans burn mostly glycogen.
So, if you are a runner, you don’t want to share your human running diet with your canine companion.
Then, what should you do?
We already talked about strength and agility as Boxer traits. Courage and guard instincts also partly play into your Boxer’s highly fit body.
So, here’s the deal:
You need to feed your Boxer food and/or supplements that will maintain their healthy muscle mass. Their diet needs to feed all of those muscles to keep them fit and fueled.
To maintain energy, fat content is important. If your dog is active for a sustained 20 minutes a few days a week, the target dog food should have 15% or so fat. If your dog is much more active, then you need to go higher. Up to 20% for a dog that is running for longer distances.
Another important ingredient to look for is protein. While protein is important for every dog’s diet, the Boxer needs protein to maintain their muscle mass. A good number to look for is 25% protein in your dog food.
High quality lean chicken, turkey, lamb and fish are great sources of protein to look for on the ingredient list. Make sure these are towards the top of your selection for Best Dog Food for Boxers. Or, even better at the very top to ensure the percentage of these proteins remains high.
Is My Boxer Susceptible To Allergies?
The Boxer breed does have some sensitivities to certain foods.
If your Boxer is showing these types of symptoms, food allergies is a good place to start looking for solutions:
- Loss of fur
- Weight loss
- Respiratory issues
- Choking sounds
Corn and wheat are big offenders that you should avoid if possible. These types of grains can lead to digestive tract issue.
Always see your veterinarian for issues like this. But, talk to them about how to change your pet food to isolate for ingredients that might be the root cause of the health issue.
Give Your Boxer A Job
The temperament of your Boxer is most likely gentle, loving and well behaved. But, on occasion even the best pet can get bored and misbehave.
Giving your Boxer buddy a job can sometimes be what they need.
Dakota is a high energy dog with similar needs as a Boxer. Some jobs we give her are:
- Fetch the paper in the morning
- Close the door (after going outside)
- Shut the cat up (fun to watch)
- Put up her Frisbee
- Bark at people walking past the house (only when they are in the yard)
Dakota does all of these and is SO happy when she gets to do them. She seems to understand the In The Yard concept. But, it’s SO difficult to stop barking when they are Right Over There!
One thing to watch out for…
When choosing a job, avoid any job that involves hot environments for any extended length of time. Boxers are typically not very tolerant to becoming overheated.
You may need to train your Boxer for some jobs. But, the Boxer breed is a very smart breed. So, having them learn a job shouldn’t be too difficult.
With a little persistence, love and positive reinforcement with rewards, your Boxer should be able to learn a job. And, they will be very happy to do it.
A great resource for training your dog with positive reinforcement is this short video from the folks at Howdini:
Even More About Boxers
While researching this beautiful breed, we came across some other resources that we thought were worth passing along.
One resource we found particularly fun was from the folks at Your Dog Advisor.
If you like lists (we do), 11 Things You Should Know about the Boxer is loaded with several fun facts about Boxers. It was a fun read and I learned where Boxers became somewhat famous having two extremely famous Hollywood owners (you’ll have to read to find out!).
My Best Dog Food For Boxers
Now that we know your Boxer a little better, we can use this information to pick out food and/or vitamins that are ideal for them.
Here is my list of Boxer traits and how these traits affect my choice of dog food:
- Medium Size: medium size kibble
- Working Dog: higher calorie food
- Powerful Muscles: higher protein food
- Excessive Drooling: low scent dog food
- Smart Dog: food high in Omega-3
Here are the dog foods we find that are the best at meeting all of your Boxer’s nutritional needs.
First up is Eukanuba Premium Performance Adult dry dog food. I found this food to be the best at meeting your Boxer’s needs.
The ratio of protein at 30% to fat at 20% works well with your Boxer’s daily activity. This will serve your Boxer well as they maintain their high energy pace through the day.
From a protein standpoint, the first ingredients are Chicken By-Product Meal, which is a high quality protein. Chicken By-Product Meal is a great source Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine which provide valuable nutrients for joint health.
The product boasts a ThermoEdge feature that helps to maintain a lower body temperature for your Boxer even during intense activities.
That’s not all…
Being a dry dog food, Eukanuba starts off ahead of the game from a drool perspective (dry dog food typically has less smell than soft or wet dog food). But, there wasn’t a lot of other anecdotal evidence that gives this dog food an advantage in this department.
From a joint health point of view, this Eukanuba dog food promotes healthy joint motion with the ingredients glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and EPA.
Eukanuba is an ideal dog food for your Boxer. It covers all of the traits we look for in some way, and exceeds what I look for in many other categories.
Next, I found that Royal Canin provides a product that is specifically designed for the Boxer breed.
How well does it fit the Boxer’s nutritional needs?
The size of the kibble is Adult Size. What this means is that the food is large enough to encourage the Boxer to chew the kibble instead of just swallowing it whole.
Why is this important?
Chewing the food keeps your Boxer safe from choking that sometimes can happen with smaller kibble.
This dog food measures 18% crude fat and 3895 kcal of metabolizable energy to keep your Boxer well fueled for their high energy needs.
From a protein standpoint, Royal Canin Boxer dry dog food clocks in at 24% crude protein. This is slightly lower than we typically want for the Boxer breed. It does have chicken by-product meal, chicken fat, and pork meal fairly high on the ingredient list. And, Royal Canin brags about this food being enriched with L-Carnitine.
But, there’s a catch…
The top two ingredients are brown rice and brewers rice. While these are not bad ingredients, our preference would be to see more animal proteins showing up at the top of the ingredient list.
This negative for protein is actually a positive for drooling. A dry dog food doesn’t trigger drooling as much as a dog food that looks and smells like actual animal protein. One reviewer describes the smell as “clean and fresh”.
Fish oil is on the ingredient list and provides omega-3 brain food.
This isn’t a 100% perfect match for all of what we would like in the best dog food for boxers. However, it does check most of the boxes. And, it does add some additional positive features like an antioxidant complex that is beneficial to supporting cellular health and nutrients like taurine, EPA & DHA that help support healthy cardiac function.
As you probably already know, Purina is a longstanding and respected leader in dog food.
So, it’s no surprise to find them on our Best Dog Food For Boxers list.
How does this Purina Pro Plan SPORT Grain Free Performance 30/20 Chicken & Egg Formula Dry Dog Food stack up for the Boxer breed?
The first thing you should know about this dog food is that it is over the top for protein and energy statistics. This means that if your Boxer isn’t on the high end of energy needs, then this might not be the dog food for your sweetie.
Crude Protein is 30%, Crude Fat is 20%, and metabolized energy comes in at 4303 kcal/kg.
So, if your Boxer isn’t always on the move, then the calorie content is high enough to cause weight gain. But, if your Boxer simply can’t be slowed down, then this food will keep your Boxer well fueled.
On the physical health side of things, this Purina offering includes EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid, and glucosamine. These all help to keep your Boxer’s joints moving and in good health.
This high energy replenishment dog food will keep your Boxer on the go.
Addition: Boxer Dog Food Supplement
During our research we found a great supplement to a Boxer’s diet. We started to leave this out of our list because it targets smaller dogs. But, it’s such a great product, we decided to leave it in as a supplement.
As a supplement, it features so many of the things we are looking for in the best Boxer dog food. And, since the packaging for this dog food suggests to use it as a supplement for large dogs, it seemed appropriate to leave it in.
SUPPLEMENT: Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Dog Food
Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Dog Food is just about the perfect supplement for your Boxer’s diet.
We’ve reviewed Stella & Chewy’s before as a top soft food. But, we include this dog food here because it gives you some control over your Boxer’s drooling.
Being freeze-dried, the smell is somewhat muted.
One suggested way to serve this food is by reconstituting it with water.
However, you can also just serve it as is to have some control over how much smell is released.
Less smell, less drool…
Stella & Chewy’s has several flavors. We are featuring the grass-fed Venison version that is packaged as patties. Each patty packs 4755 kcal/kg to boost your Boxer’s energy needs.
The first NINE ingredients for the Venison product are all high quality proteins from venison or lamb.
The freeze dried crude protein content is a very high 45%, with the crude fat coming in at 30% (good for a high energy dog).
Use this energy calculator to enter your Boxer’s weight and activity level to see how how many patties your Boxer needs (use the 4755 kcal/kg number).
All of Stella & Chewy’s dog foods are grain free , so they don’t contribute to your Boxer’s allergies. They are also gluten free.
Wrap Up: Best Dog Food For Boxers
As I looked through the early heritage of the Boxer, the origins of many of the traits of the Boxer breed became apparent.
From Mastiffs to Bulldogs, the Boxer was a unique blend of these well know breeds. The result is a very muscular high energy, smart, medium size guard dog with a loving demeanor (and unfortunately a drooling problem). Loyalty to the family runs strong in this breed.
Using these traits, it became very apparent that some brands of dog food are better for you Boxer than others.
Do You Want The BEST Dog Food For Boxers?
Using these strong Boxer breed traits, I researched and found what I believe are The Best Dog Food For Boxers. I hope you find my research useful and it can help you to pick a great food that will keep your Boxer healthy, flush with energy, yet not needing too many wet wipes!