Feeding Boxer Dogs - Puppies & Adults
Who'd have guessed that a dog breed developed in 19th century Germany to bait Bulls would become the loyal, energetic, clownish, loveable, loyal companion Boxer dog we all love just generations later? And, I'll go out on a limb to say I bet those early Boxers ate dog food with less additives and fillers than found in today's formulas. That is of course, unless you're armed with information on sourcing the best possible modern foods for feeding Boxer dogs!
Boxer Dog Nutritional Needs
Your Boxer will mature to a medium/large size dog breed between 50 to 70 pounds that is slim, tapered and muscular when fed a breed appropriate diet. Adult Boxer dogs require 1,100 to 2,400 calories of good quality dog food per day depending on age and activity, with an averagely active adult dog somewhere midrange.
Being a muscular breed that is highly active, Boxers require quality protein in food at a slightly higher level than many less active breeds. A quality kibble formula like the Recommended Dog Food Brands in this section with 30% protein will nourish and maintain their muscular build.
You may find that most commonly available dog food has protein levels around 25% which isn't quite potent enough for this breed. Credence should be given to invest in a quality kibble dog food with high protein and caloric value or go with a Raw Dog Diet, especially for active Boxers.
This breed is prone to bloat, (Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus), so grain free kibble and raw diets are a great option for feeding Boxer dogs. Grain free kibble formulas use alternative plant based protein and carbohydrate sources such as sweet potatoes, beans & lentils.
While grains and cereal based foods alone have not been scientifically linked to bloat, it is widely agreed that high carbohydrate feeds formulated with grains like corn, wheat, oats & rice can cause excess gas in a dog's stomach which promotes bloat.
Carbohydrate and fat levels are less a concern when feeding Boxer dogs, yet Boxers are know to put on extra weight rather easily. Low carbohydrate diets should be fed to overweight dogs and the breed ideally should be slim, stocky and muscular.
To learn how we choose quality kibble formulas, or for help selecting your own, visit our Feeding Dry Dog Food section. For a great alternative to kibble and food we highly recommend for Boxer dogs, visit our Raw Feeding Dogs section.
As with any medium to large breed dog, providing a food that includes supplements adds additional insurance towards good health. To maintain your Boxer's joint health, foods containing chondroitin and glucosamine are awesome. If your kibble doesn't include these compounds, they can be supplemented separately with a product such a Cosequin.
For a shiny coat and to promote skin health, foods with Omega-6 fatty acids are wonderful. For control of inflammation or arthritis pain in older Boxer dogs, support the heart, kidneys and stabilize overall mood, Omega-3 fatty acids are great to see on an ingredients panel. Just like Cosequin however, Omegas can be fed separately and as needed by simply squeezing a gel capsule over your Boxer's meal.
In summary, feeding Boxer dogs about 2.5 to 3 cups of quality kibble per day in two servings is a good starting point. Amount fed may go up or down based on your dog's size, weight, age and overall daily activity. If you feed a calorie dense high protein grain free kibble such as ORIJEN, you'll be feeding slightly less.
Feeding Boxer Dog Puppies
Quality formulated all life stages food and several small meals a day for a Boxer dog puppy.
Your Boxer puppy will grow rapidly through the first six to eight months. Similar to any medium or large breed puppy that is susceptible to bone growth issues like hip dysplasia, feeding a quality all life stages, large breed puppy formula, or Raw Dog Food diet will help regulate growth.
Young dogs can be sensitive to elevated protein so choose a food with moderate protein and fat levels and also, a calcium to phosphorus ratio as close to 1/1 as possible.
Boxer puppies can eat! Two to three regulated servings per day is recommended, do not free freed. There's an unwritten rule in among Boxer enthusiasts to feed at least twice as much food daily that your puppy would eat as an adult, (In multiple regulated servings).
Begin by following feeding guidelines per the label provided on your chosen Kibble Dog Food Formula. Increase or decrease the amount fed by assessing your Boxer's body weight and energy as he or she grows.
From age 6 to 8 months on, the rapid growth phase should cease and while still technically a puppy, your Boxer can be transitioned to an adult diet. This includes higher protein foods yet many who were already feeing an all life stages formula can continue with the same. As always with both puppies and adult Boxers, keep an eye on your dog's weight. You should always see a trace of the last rib with this breed and they should appear slim, yet muscular. Adjust amount fed per serving accordingly to maintain that perfect Boxer appearance.
And lastly, with all dog breeds that are prone to bloat, feeding Boxer dogs several small meals a day is a safer bet than free feeding, or one HUGE serving!
Don't forget to check out our Feeding Dry Dog Food articles which focus on selecting a quality kibble for your Boxer dog. And, if there's another mid-size dog in your pack, Feeding Medium Size Dogs provides access to a library of breed specific feeding guides.
Additional Boxer Dog Feeding Info
All the best to you and your Boxer! For help choosing kibble dog food for your Boxer Dog plus additional info about raw feeding, visit our Homepage for quick banner access to the major sections of our website!