Friendly, affectionate, and cute-looking, there’s so much to love about the Boxer dog.
When your heart is set on a Boxer, you want to ensure that puppy grows into a healthy and active dog, to enjoy many future years together.
Key to this is giving the puppy the best start you can in life by feeding them the best food for a boxer puppy.
Quick look: Top 5 Best Foods for Boxer Puppies
Unfortunately, the downside of Boxer ownership is that the breed is linked to a number of potentially serious health problems.
Many of these are hereditary and may be programed into the pup before they were born.
However, the good news is that a good start in life and feeding a quality diet can reduce the chances of some of those diseases breaking through and making your dog sick.
Chose the best food brand for a Boxer puppy and you invest in their long term health.
So what difference does good nutrition make?
For an example, Boxers are prone to osteochondrosis dessicans (OCD).
This is a condition of growing dogs that can cause damaged joints which then leads to premature arthritis.
Even young dogs can be stricken with sore joints that mean they aren’t able to run and play and get up to all that delightful Boxerish mischief.
This is where feeding a good diet to an actively growing puppy has a hugely important part to play.
Believe it or not ‘over nutrition’ or providing too much of a good thing can ‘force’ the joints and make bones grow faster than nature intended.
This means the bones grow too fast and outstrip the blood supply that nourishes them.
This leads to poor quality cartilage lining the joint, which is then prone to chipping and flaking and the first steps in a rocky downhill road to joint pain.
Other such conditions where food plays a bit part is things like colitis, which is an inflammatory condition of the bowel.
Then there are things like heart disease, which although good nutrition alone cannot prevent, it does go a long way to promoting a healthy heart and good function.
So if we were lucky enough to be the proud pet parent of a Boxer puppy, what would we feed to increase our chance of raising a happy healthy adult?
Let’s take a look.
Let’s think about nutrition in human terms for a short time.
Imagine you feed your kid on nothing but burgers, chips, and processed foods.
This is setting them up to fail, with an increased chance of obesity from all those saturated fats, not to mention the colorings, flavorings, and preservatives in the processed food which is linked to behavioral problems, let alone health ones.
This is a similar case for our four-legged friends.
As a pet parent you are solely responsible for what goes into the puppy's bowl, so you need make sure it’s good wholesome food that is as close to the diet that nature intended as possible.
Enter “Taste of the Wild”.
This company uses produces foods containing natural ingredients rather than chemical ones.
They also steer clear of foods that dogs wouldn’t naturally eat, which also happen to be what a lot of other companies add in as cheap fillers.
Taste of the Wild know that dogs, although omnivores, thrive when it’s meat that makes up the majority of the recipe.
Hence they score top marks for having a named meat at the top of the ingredients list.
In this puppy food it happens to be buffalo and lamb (although there’s also a pacific fish flavor recipe.)
The carbohydrate is supplied by sweet potato and is gluten free.
This may not be the cheapest puppy food on the market, but boy is it easy to understand where the price tag comes from.
For those truly devoted to doing the best by their growing pup then Taste of the Wild is hard to beat.
Indeed, pet parents who regularly feed the diet can’t sing its praised loud enough, citing glossy coats, firm poops, and energy filled pups as the evidence.
So if you like the sound of a thriving pup, at the very least check this food out.
Our second choice is made with the sensitive stomach of the Boxer in mind.
It is an unfortunate fact that Boxers are prone to a form of ulcerative colitis which results in long term diarrhea that may be bloody, weight loss, and ill thrift.
Recently it has been discovered that a bacteria that colonizes the bowel wall is responsible, and a long course of a particular antibiotic may be helpful.
However, much better is not to get a sick dog in the first instance.
Good gastro-intestinal health means feeding a diet that doesn’t irritate or inflame the lining of the gut, plus it promotes a healthy immune system to fight off problematic bacteria.
This is where Merrick grain free food comes in as a best food brand for Boxer puppy.
Merrick is grain free, with the puppy getting carbohydrate energy from potato, sweet potato, and peas.
This is relevant because wheat, and in particular gluten allergy, is linked to food sensitivity, intolerance, and even allergy.
All of those irritate the bowel lining, causing inflammation, and providing a portal for bacteria to mount an attack.
It goes without saying that the recipe is balanced to provide everything the puppy needs, plus its rich in glucosamine and chondroitin.
The latter are both nutraceuticals that have a nourishing effect on the cartilage that lines the joint, hence promoting good joint health right from the get-go.
The food is such good quality that pups with gassy tummies show a marked improvement and produce solid poops.
It promotes silky glossy coats, and pups chow down with enthusiasm that turned their noses up at other premium foods.
In short, a quality diet that will give your Boxer pup a great start in life.
It’s not a perfect world, which can often mean we need to compromise.
Whilst feeding a diet made up of natural ingredients and high in pure meat is the ideal, it comes with a price tag attached.
A Boxer puppy is an energetic animals and when they need plenty of calories to fuel their play that can make a top-notch food unrealistic to feed financially in the long term.
With an eye on the pocketbook, a best dry food for Boxer puppy is this Iams Proactive Health kibble.
Iams have a great reputation as an established manufacturer of quality pet foods at realistic prices, and this is no exception.
We’ve chosen the large breed formulation as this provides the correct balance of calcium and other minerals, to promote healthy bones.
Remember how we said too much of a good thing can make growth happen to fast?
Well, this is the perfect Goldilocks diet as it’s not too low nor too high in calcium, but supplies sufficient nutrients for the bones to grow big and strong in a healthy way.
This Iams food also contains added Omega 3 to aid good brain function and learning, so there’s no excuse (other than being a Boxer!) for not being an obedience maestro.
It is also fortified with antioxidants which have well recognized properties for creating a healthy immune system.
This food was scoffed down and greeted with enthusiasm across the board.
The first ingredient is chicken, which is great news.
However, the extremely competitive price is possible because meat meal is used (perfectly fine to feed but the composition of the meal can vary between batches) and does use corn, and is therefore not gluten free.
Our suggestion would be to give this food a go, taking care to mix pup’s existing food with the Iams to transition him over.
If the pup produces nice formed poops – bingo – you’re both good to go.
When looking for a good food for a Boxer puppy, how about choosing a food that’s designed for the breed.
As part of their breed specific foods Royal Canin have produced a product tailored to meet the needs of the Boxer dog.
This food contains a minimum of 28% protein and antioxidants for healthy muscles (for all that bouncing, running, and chasing a oxer has to get up to as part of their job description.)
In addition to the food being easy to digest, it looks after gastrointestinal health by containing prebiotics which promote a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut.
With an eye to the heart problems linked to the Boxer breed, it does no harm to feed a diet rich in substances, such as L carnitine, which nourish the heart muscle.
Plus it’s rich in antioxidants vitamins C and E, taurine and lutein which build a strong immune system.
And you guessed it, the balance of minerals is optimized so bones don’t grow too fast or lack vital building blocks.
The other nice thing about the Royal Canin Boxer puppy food is the kibble shape.
It’s a kind of wiggly wave shape which makes it easier for the puppy to grasp, especially with that adorably flat face.
We found that some Boxer puppies that had struggled to keep their weight up thrived on this Royal Canin food.
A mix of the kibble shape and formulation meant they found it tasty, easy to eat, and gentle on the digestion, adding up to strong lean muscles rather than a scrawny pup.
Another bonus is that it has obvious benefits for the human noise.
Boxers are a breed prone to flatulence (they tend to swallow a lot of air because of those flat faces) but feeding this Royal Canin diet a number of owners noticed a pleasant improvement in the atmosphere with a reduction in the amount of gas passed by their pup.
Has to be good!
Last, but definitely not least is this Natural Balance diet from their limited ingredients range (LID- Limited ingredients diet.)
The idea behind this is to use a limited range of natural ingredients to provide optimal nutrition.
By being picky about what’s included, they hope to reduce or exclude foods that are linked to sensitivity or allergic reactions.
This means growing a healthy digestive tract from a young age, when it is especially vulnerable.
Natural Balance comes in two flavors; lamb and rice, and duck and potato.
For anyone who has ever put a dog with food allergies on a hypoallergenic diet this will ring a lot of bells.
This is because these ingredients are considered less likely to trigger allergies than others such as wheat, soy, or beef.
Plus the limited ingredients expose the digestive tract to fewer potential allergens and so nurse it along during that vital development phase.
This makes the diet healthy and well balanced, but without adding in things that could give the gut a hard time.
It’s also reassuring to know that each batch of puppy food is subject to rigorous quality control and safety testing, so nothing leaving the factory without it being 100% top notch.
And finally, characterful as Boxers are, the breed is linked to health problems.
Finding the best food for a Boxer puppy is key to giving them a great chance to grow into a healthy dog with many active years ahead of them.
When selecting a food look for a diet suitable for larger breeds and that pays special attention to digestive and heart health.
It’s wise to look for wholesome ingredients with known benefits for nourishing the digestive tract, as this promotes strong bowel health in those all-important early months.
Remember, build a solid foundation with good nutrition from the early days, and help your Boxer dog grow into a healthy adult so you can enjoy each other’s company for many years to come.
Dr Sarah Robinson attended veterinary school at Oklahoma State University receiving a D.V.M. in 2008. Sarah’s longtime interest is to help people to better communicate with their pet companions, and in doing so, to help them to strengthen their relationships with their dogs and cats. Sarah has published numerous articles on canine feeding in pet related magazines, veterinary journals and leading natural health web sites.