I’ll admit it – I’m quite a fan of boxers.
How could you not be? What other breed boasts such a cute little face and tenuous relationship with gravity? You’d have a hard time finding another breed with such a sweet, playful and loving personality.
They’re one of a kind dogs, and they deserve a food that suits them perfectly. Fortunately, there are several commercial dog foods that will help keep your boxer healthy and happy for years to come.
Best Dog Food For Boxers: Quick Picks
- PICK #1: Orijen Regional Red Dog Food Boasts an insanely high protein count of 38% and just 20% carbs. Includes angus beef, wild boar, bison, romney lamb, and yorkshire pork as the first five ingredients, and the list goes on!
- PICK #2: Nulo Adult Salmon & Peas A high-protein recipe featuring salmon, turkey meal, and chicken meal as first three ingredients and leaving out common allergens like egg and chicken protein as well as including no grains, corn, wheat gluten, or soy.
- PICK #3: Wellness CORE Grain-Free First three ingredients are turkey, turkey meal, and chicken meal. Includes salmon oil and flaxseed for omega fatty acids and is fortified with probiotics. No soy, grains, or artificial additives.
Signs of a Good Dog Food: What to Look For
Boxers (and all other breeds, for that matter), benefit from high-quality foods – as the saying goes, you are what you eat. So, before we discuss some of the most important considerations for selecting a food for your boxer, let’s discuss some of the characteristics you should look for in any dog food.
- The very best foods often include nutritional additives. Vitamin- and mineral-fortified foods are great because they may help reduce the chances of your dog developing nutritional deficiencies, but other supplements – including antioxidants, probiotics and omega-fatty acids are also valuable additions to your pup’s food.
- Look for foods that are made in countries with strict quality-control standards. Foods made in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or Wester Europe are generally subject to more stringent production methods than those manufactured in Asia, and are not as likely to contain toxic substances or adulterants.
- Select foods that list a whole protein as the first ingredient. Technically speaking, your dog is an opportunistic omnivore, but like people hovering around a barbeque in the summertime, they want meat. Fruits and vegetables are also important, but they should be listed farther down the ingredient list.
- Avoid foods that contain unidentified meat-meals or byproducts. Contrary to popular belief, meat-meals and meat byproducts are not necessarily problematic and they can make valuable supplemental protein sources. However, you need to be aware which animal provided the raw materials for the meal or byproduct.
- Try to avoid foods with added unnecessary additives, such as dyes. Your dog may able to see a little bit of color, but he certainly doesn’t care what color his food his. He just cares how it smells and tastes – manufacturers color the food to appeal to owners. Dyes are not only unnecessary, they may trigger food allergies.
Boxer-Specific Dietary Concerns
Boxers are largely a healthy breed, but they do experience a few health challenges. Accordingly, it is wise to keep these health concerns in mind when selecting a good food for your boxer.
Some of the most common and important health problems of boxers include:
- Food Allergies – Any dog can develop a food allergy, but boxers do so more often than many other breeds. To help reduce the chances of this happening, try to limit the ingredients you offer to your pup and only select high-quality foods, that lack artificial flavors and colors.
- Heart Problems – Boxers suffer from a variety of heart-related health problems, including aortic/subaortic stenosis and cardiomyopathy. While these are genetic factors that are largely out of your control, it is wise to look for foods containing the amino acid L-carnitine to support heart health.
- Bloat – Boxers are one of the breeds that is at the highest risk of suffering from bloat. Try to encourage your boxer to eat his food slowly and look for a kibble that encourages them to chew, rather than just swallow, their food (some dogs chew larger kibble better than small, but the opposite tendency can also occur). Always keep your boxer calm for at least one-half hour after meals. Consider feeding your boxer with a Kong toy. Kongs toys contain a whole which can be filled with your dog’s meal and then frozen, forcing your gobbling beast to slow down and take his time eating.
- Joint Issues – By virtue of both their genetic makeup and their propensity for rambunctious play, boxers frequently develop problems with their joints. It may be valuable, in light of these facts, to look for foods containing chondroitin and glucosamine, which may help support joint health.
Best Dog Food for Boxers: Our Top Picks
Each of the following foods should provide the nutrition and calories your boxer needs to stay healthy and happy. Keep in mind that each dog is an individual, so you must be ready to experiment with several different products before determining the best food for your pet.
1. Orijen Regional Red Dog Food
High-protein low-glycemic food with organ meats
Nutritious energy-dense food with raw ingredients rich in multi-animal proteins.
About: Orijen Regional Red Dog Food is a high-protein, low-glycemic dog food designed to provide dogs with a nutritious, energy-dense food.
Most of the meat contained in the recipe is fresh or raw, which ensures better nutritional content and a fantastic taste that boxers and other dogs love.
- Made with a variety of different protein sources, including beef, pork, lamb, bison and herring
- Includes organ meats to help mimic the diet of wild canids
- Contains a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables, including pears, spinach, greens, carrots and blueberries
- 38% Protein / 20% Carbohydrate content helps keep your dog at a healthy body weight
Boxer owners who value fresh- or raw-meats for their dog will be hard pressed to find a better alternative than Orijen Regional Red Dog Food. Most owners who’ve tried the food report that their dog loves it, and that their coat, energy level and stools all improve shortly after switching.
Orijen Regional Red Dog Food is at the pricey end of the dog food spectrum, but for owners who want the types of fresh and raw proteins included in this recipe, there aren’t many better options available.
Fresh angus beef meat (11%), fresh wild boar meat (4%), fresh plains bison meat (4%), fresh or raw romney lamb meat (4%), fresh yorkshire pork meat (4%)...,
fresh beef liver (4%), fresh beef tripe (4%), fresh whole pilchard (4%), fresh whole eggs (4%), fresh wild boar liver (4%), lamb (dehydrated, 4%), beef (dehydrated, 4%), whole herring (dehydrated, 4%), mutton (dehydrated, 4%), pork (dehydrated, 4%), fresh lamb liver (3.5%), fresh lamb tripe (3.5%), whole sardine (dehydrated, 3%), fresh pork liver (3%), whole red lentils, whole green lentils, whole green peas, lentil fiber, whole chickpeas, whole yellow peas, whole pinto beans, beef fat (1%), pork fat (1%), herring oil (1%), beef cartilage (dehydrated, 1%), beef liver (freeze-dried), beef tripe (freeze-dried), lamb liver (freeze-dried), lamb tripe (freeze-dried), fresh whole pumpkin, fresh whole butternut squash, fresh whole zucchini, fresh whole parsnips, fresh carrots, fresh whole red delicious apples, fresh whole Bartlett pears, fresh kale, fresh spinach, fresh beet greens, fresh turnip greens, brown kelp, whole cranberries, whole blueberries, whole saskatoon berries, chicory root, turmeric root, milk thistle, burdock root, lavender, marshmallow root, rosehips, Enterococcus faecium.
2. Nulo Adult Salmon & Peas
Low-carb, high-protein quality kibble
High-protein grain-free formula made from 80% animal-based proteins with probiotics.
About: Nulo Adult Salmon & Peas is a quality kibble with a low-carb, high-protein composition. It contains 30% protein with 80% of those proteins coming from animal proteins.
- Deboned salmon, turkey meal, and fish meal are first ingredients
- 80% of proteins in this formula come from animal proteins ( as opposed to plant proteins)
- No grains, corn, wheat gluten, soy, artificial additives, colors, or flavors.
- No egg or chicken protein, ideal for dogs who don’t digest those ingredients well.
- Includes probiotics as well as Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids
Deboned Salmon, Turkey Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Whole Peas, Sweet Potato...,
Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols & Citric Acid), Chickpeas, Deboned Turkey, Lentils, Pea Fiber, Natural Flavor, Yeast Culture, Dried Chicory Root, Dried Blueberries, Dried Apples, Dried Tomatoes, Dried Carrots, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Iron Proteinate, Niacin, Copper Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of Vitamin B1), Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of Vitamin B6), Sodium Selenite, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Dried Bacillus coagulans Fermentation Product, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.
This high-protein, low-carb food leaves out common allergy-triggering ingredients, which can be a nice plus for Boxers.
A fairly pricey food – no surprise considering the high protein and low carb composition.
3. Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Grain-free, high-protein kibble
This kibble is crafted with natural and protein-rich ingredients, plus its fortified with salmon oil, flaxseed, and probiotics for healthy digestion.
About: Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Dog Food provides a balanced diet that is rich in lean proteins, vegetables and fruits. The boxer-friendly dog food recipe is completely soy- and grain-free, and fortified with a number of important vitamins, minerals and omega-fatty acids.
- Formulated with salmon oil and flaxseed to provide plenty of omega fatty acids
- Protein-rich recipe provides plenty of calories without resorting to fillers, gluten or grains
- Contains no unnecessary additives, including artificial colors, artificial flavors or preservatives
- Fortified with probiotics to help ensure digestibility
- Made in the USA
Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Dog Food is a highly rated food that has all the nutritious ingredients a healthy boxer needs. Most customers report that their dog loves the food and most mention improved digestion, coat quality and energy level (although this may not always be a good thing with boxers!) It’s also very reasonably priced for a premium dog food.
There are very few obvious problems with Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Dog Food, although a small number of customers reported that their dog didn’t love the taste. However, this is always a possibility when trying a new food.
Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas, Potatoes...,
Dried Ground Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato Pomace, Chicken Liver, Natural Chicken Flavor, Flaxseed, Salmon Oil, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Broccoli, Spinach, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Beta-Carotene, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Biotin, Folic Acid], Minerals [Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate], Choline Chloride, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Taurine, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract.
4. Taste of the Wild High Prairie
Buffalo-based dog food that’s grain-free
Features buffalo, lamb, and chicken protein with no soy or grains.
About: Taste of the Wild High Prairie is a reasonably priced, meat-based dog food that includes no grains or soy. Made with several nutritious proteins, including buffalo, lamb and chicken, it is designed to mimic the diet of wild canines.
- Contains several antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, blueberries and raspberries
- Made with real, roasted meats for maximum mouth-watering flavor
- 100% grain-free recipe derives most of its carbohydrates from sweat potatoes, peas and potatoes
- Fortified with probiotics to help ensure proper digestion
A great ingredient list featuring buffalo, lamb meal, and chicken meal as the first three ingredients, along with no grains and complex carbohydrates.
Not much bad to say about this formula, outside of somewhat fairly high price point.
Buffalo, lamb meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, peas...,
potatoes, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), egg product, roasted bison, roasted venison, beef, natural flavor, tomato pomace, potato protein, pea protein, ocean fish meal, salt, choline chloride, taurine, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.
5. Royal Canin Boxer Formula
Uniquely designed kibble made to help support cardiac function
About: Royal Canin’s Boxer Formula is specifically designed for the nutritional needs of boxers. According to the manufacturer’s claims, this boxer-specific recipe helps burn fat and stave off the cardiac problems that often afflict boxers.
- Designed for boxers over 15 months of age
- Protein and fat levels specifically formulated to keep your boxer healthy and happy
- Uniquely designed kibble pieces are engineered specifically for the unusual jaws of boxers
- Includes chondroitin and glucosamine to support joint health
Royal Canin Boxer Formula is one of the only commercial foods designed specifically for your boxer’s needs. It not only attempts to address the cardiac problems boxers often suffer by including a unique blend of antioxidants and vitamins, it is made in a shape that encourages boxers to chew. This may help to prevent bloat, which is also a common problem of boxers.
Royal Canin Boxer Dog Food is rather expensive and it contains a number of potential allergens, such as chicken by-product and wheat. The ingredient list is also quite low-quality, with meat not appearing until very far down the list.
Brown rice, brewers rice, chicken by-product meal, chicken fat, oat groats...,
wheat gluten, pork meal, natural flavors, dried plain beet pulp, fish oil, vegetable oil, sodium silico aluminate, powdered cellulose, calcium carbonate, dried tomato pomace, coconut oil, potassium chloride, sodium tripolyphosphate, potassium citrate, salt, taurine, hydrolyzed yeast, vitamins [DL-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), inositol, niacin supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), D-calcium pantothenate, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin A acetate, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], choline chloride, L-tyrosine, glucosamine hydrochloride, L-carnitine, marigold extract (Tagetes erecta L.), DL-methionine, L-lysine, trace minerals [zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, copper proteinate], tea, chondroitin sulfate, rosemary extract, preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid.
6. Eukanuba Breed Specific Boxer Dog Food
Lean, taurine-inclusive recipe
Chicken-based food designed specifically for boxers.
About: Eukanuba Breed Specific Boxer Dry Dog Food is formulated to provide the type of nutrition that every boxer needs. It is a lean, animal-based recipe that contains supplements that will help support the health of your boxer’s heart.
- Contains L-carnitine and natural taurine which will help protect your boxer’s heart and keep him healthy
- Chicken-based protein is easy for your boxer to digest and delicious
- Fortified with omega-3 fatty acids for a shiny, healthy coat
- Contains chondroitin and glucosamine to help protect your boxer’s joints
- Made in the USA
This Eukanuba Boxer dog food is a reasonably priced option in the breed-specific category that is packed with lean protein and all of the supplements necessary to keep your pup healthy. As an added bonus, the food includes the 3D DENTADEFENSE system, which will reduce tartar buildup as you feed your pup.
Eukanuba’s Breed Specific formula derives most of its carbohydrate content from corn, which causes some dogs to suffer from itchy skin. It also contains chicken by-product, which is far from ideal.
Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal (Natural source of Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine), Corn Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Ground Whole Grain Barley...,
Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Flavor, Brewers Rice, Fish Meal, Dried Egg Product, Potassium Chloride, Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Salt, Flax Meal, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Fructooligosaccharides, Calcium Carbonate, Brewers Dried Yeast, Choline Chloride, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate), DL-Methionine, Vitamins (Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement (source of vitamin B2), Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Vitamin E Supplement, Beta-Carotene, L-Carnitine, Citric Acid, Rosemary Extract
Are you a proud mom or dad to a boxer? What food have you found suits your pup best? Let us know in the comments below. And if you’re looking for more boxer-worthy gear, make sure to also check out our guide to the best dog beds for boxers!