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Best Dog Food For Boxers

This is our review of the best dog food for Boxers in 2020.

We all love Boxers for their squishy faces and energetic personalities.

But did you know this breed is also renowned for its musculature? These dogs need high-protein diets that provide adequate amino acids to support healthy muscle mass.

I always had a hard time wrangling these happy and muscular balls of energy as a veterinary technician.

And now, I’ve applied my experience to researching the best dog foods for boxers so you can make the best selection for your furry friend.

If you’re looking for a high-protein diet for your boxer, Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dog Food is the best overall choice.

But every four-legged family member is different. So I’ve also reviewed the best dog foods for Boxers in every category.

Let’s get started.

Our Best Dog Foods For Boxers

10 Best Dog Foods For Boxers

All dog foods included on this list meet the standard AAFCO nutrient profile guidelines for dogs. [1] Always consult with your veterinarian before making changes to your dog’s diet.

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dog Food

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain Free
  • First 5 Ingredients: Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
  • Key feature: High protein diet formula based on buffalo meat
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Crude Protein, 18% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 370 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, High Protein
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Overall

Taste of the Wild dog food features multiple animal sources of high-quality protein as their primary ingredients. This formula offers boxers an excellent 32% protein content from buffalo, lamb, and chicken.

A high protein diet is essential for boxers. This breed is known for its prominent musculature. Adequate protein content provides your pup the amino acids he needs to maintain healthy muscle mass. [2]

This grain-free dog food provides digestible carbohydrates from whole fruits and vegetables. These ingredients also boost the vitamin and antioxidant levels in this formula to support overall health.

Dogs with allergies and gluten sensitivities can safely eat this gluten-free dog food. Boxers often suffer from food sensitivities and digestive conditions, like bloat.

This formula contains a specific canine-strain of probiotics to support gut health. Good bacteria from probiotics help break down food to limit the risk of gas accumulating in the stomach and causing bloat. [3]

Many owners recommend this dog food for keeping muscle mass on energetic Boxers. But you may notice that your dog has more frequent bowel movements on this diet.




 Royal Canin Boxer Puppy Dog Food

Royal Canin Boxer Puppy Food
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken By-Product Meal, Brewers Rice, Oat Groats, Brown Rice, Chicken Fat
  • Key feature: Specialized nutrition for Boxer puppies
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 28% Crude Protein, 16% Crude Fat, 3.7% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 360 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Breed-Specific
  • Life Stage: Growth
  • Best for: Boxer Puppies

Breed-specific formulas aim to meet the individual needs of different dog breeds.

Growing boxer puppies need individualized nutrition that supports muscle development. A balanced ratio of nutrients is also essential for long-term bone health.

Boxer puppies grow to nearly 70 times their birth weight in their first 15 months. Muscle growth receives support from an ideal 28% protein content and L-Carnitine. L-Carnitine is an amino acid that promotes the development of lean muscle. [4]

Your Boxer puppy has a unique jaw and short muzzle that can make eating difficult. Wave-shaped kibble in this dog food is designed exclusively for Boxers. This shape helps your pup grasp his food and encourages chewing.

Most owners believe this kibble helps slow down their dog’s eating, which helps prevent bloat. But, this recipe also includes several ingredients that cause common allergies.




American Journey Grain-Free Dog Food 

American Journey Grain Free Senior
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
  • Key feature: High-protein diet suitable for older dogs
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 30% Crude Protein, 11% Crude Fat, 7% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 355 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, High-Protein
  • Life Stage: Senior
  • Best for: Senior Boxers

Older Boxers generally need significantly more protein than other aging dogs. This high-protein formula offers a 30% crude protein content. It also features deboned chicken as the first ingredient.

Higher protein content is vital to prevent muscles from breaking down in senior dogs.

A lifetime of energetic playing can cause wear and tear on your pup’s joints as he ages. The best senior dog foods include glucosamine to help protect joint cartilage. [5]

In this formula, chicken meal provides a natural source of this chondroprotective nutrient.

Coconut oil is another unique ingredient in this senior dog food. This superfood is high in medium-chain triglycerides, which can support brain health in aging dogs.

A higher fiber content of 7% helps regulate the sensitive digestive tracts of elderly pups. Fiber nourishes the good gut bacteria that help break down food.

Boxer owners noted improvements in energy and mobility in senior dogs who ate this dog food. But some buyers believed that this diet made their dog stink.




Diamond Naturals All Life Stages Dog Food

Diamond Naturals Chicken Rice All Life Stages
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, Chicken Fat
  • Key feature: Budget-friendly formula with premium ingredients
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 16% Crude Fat, 2.5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 368 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
  • Life Stage: All life stages
  • Best for: Budget Boxer Food

Cage-free chicken provides a premium source of this formula’s 26% crude protein content.

Many budget-foods use meat by-products as the first ingredient. But those competitors do not offer enough protein to support Boxers and other muscular breeds.

Other whole food ingredients include real fruits and vegetables. These food items are high in antioxidants like vitamin C, which help protect tissue from oxidative stress. [6]

Salmon oil acts as a source of omega fatty acids that support coat health. I fed my dog Diamond Naturals and noticed that her coat became much shinier.

This formula is suitable for sensitive dogs who may react to diets that contain corn, wheat, or soy. A probiotic content of over 80 billion CFU also helps boost nutrient absorption and regulate digestion.

Budget-conscious dog owners recommend this dog food as an affordable alternative to premium brands. But some picky eaters may not like the taste.




Wellness Core Grain-Free Dog Food

Wellness Core Grain Free Turkey
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes
  • Key feature: High-protein, grain-free dog food with whole food ingredients
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 34% Crude Protein, 16% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 317 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, High-Protein
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Premium Boxer Food

This high-protein and grain-free formula is exceptionally suitable for Boxers.

An impressive 34% protein content from deboned chicken supports healthy muscles. And grain-free dog foods generally help reduce the risks of bloat.

Added taurine ensures that this grain-free formula is safe for heart health. This amino acid helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure to improve cardiac function. [7]

Nutrient-dense ingredients like spinach, blueberries, and kale help provide a balanced diet by increasing vitamin content.

The recipe does not use any fillers that could compromise your dog’s health or increase calories in a high-protein formula.

Natural sources of glucosamine and omega-3 fatty acids also help reduce inflammation and ease joint pain.

Most owners feeding this dog food see an improvement in the overall health of their dogs. It is also generally palatable for fussy eaters.




Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
  • First 5 Ingredients: Beef, Lamb Broth, Beef Broth, Vegetable Broth, Lamb Liver
  • Key feature: Grain-free wet food with real beef as the first ingredient
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 8% Crude Protein, 3.5% Crude Fat, 1% Crude Fiber, 82% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 322 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, Chicken-Free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Wet Food for Boxers

This wet dog food features several sources of high-quality animal protein. Beef, lamb, and venison provide a high crude protein concentration, making this formula ideal for Boxers.

The crude protein percentage of this product appears low due to the high 82% moisture content. But this is still a high-protein formula ideal for active dog breeds.

Boxer owners who struggle to find dog food for their picky pets recommend this formula. Wet food is generally more appealing to fussy eaters.

This recipe also includes lamb liver and other organ meats. These nutrient-dense ingredients provide excellent sources of Vitamin A. [8] Adequate levels of vitamin A help keep your pup’s eyes healthy.

Added taurine and complex carbohydrates sources ensure that this grain-free formula is safe for dogs with high energy needs.




Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dog Food

Natural Balance LID Grain Free Lamb
  • First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Pea Protein, Lamb Meal, Chickpeas, Peas
  • Key feature: Limited-ingredient diet for sensitive stomachs
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Crude Protein, 14% Crude Fat, 4.5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 338 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: High-Protein, Limited-Ingredient, Grain-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Sensitive Digestion, Chicken-Free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Boxers with Allergies

Limited ingredient dog foods help manage allergic reactions by eliminating common allergens from your pet’s diet.

This formula features an authentic limited-ingredient recipe that uses only one protein source and two primary carbohydrate sources. [9]

Not every limited-ingredient diet is suitable for breeds with high energy needs. This dog food features Lamb as the primary protein ingredient, providing 32% crude protein. A high-protein content limits muscle breakdown in Boxers.

The simple recipe does not include common stomach irritants such as corn, wheat, and soy. It is also chicken-free and grain-free. Peas and chickpeas are digestible carbohydrates that can meet your dog’s energy requirements without grain.

Most owners find that this diet helps manage their Boxer’s allergies. If your dog still experiences allergic reactions to this dog food, switch him to another brand with different ingredients.




Purina One Smartblend Digestive Health Dog Food

Purina One Smartblend Digestive Health
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Wheat
  • Key feature: Digestive health formula with probiotics
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 25% Crude Protein, 16% Crude Fat, 3% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 384 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Sensitive Digestion
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Boxers with Digestive Issues

Boxers who have sensitive stomachs or a history of bloat need to eat specialized diets. The exclusive recipe of this formula supports digestive health with probiotics.

The probiotic blend included in this dog food introduces good bacteria into your dog’s gut. The bacteria helps efficiently break down your dog’s food. [10]

This helps regulate food movement through the digestive system, limiting the risk of overextending the stomach and causing bloat.

This digestive health formula is well-suited to boxers because of the high 25% protein content.

Chicken is the first ingredient, and this recipe does not use any artificial preservatives. But, it may not be suitable for pets with corn sensitivities.

Boxer owners report that their dogs have less gas and firmer stools when fed this diet.




Blue Buffalo Jolly Joints Mobility Support Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Jolly Joints Mobility Support
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Barley
  • Key feature: Mobility formula with chondroprotective ingredients
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 15% Crude Fat, 7% Crude Fiber, 9% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 395 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, Noy Soy
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Boxers with Joint Problems

Energetic breeds can develop joint problems when their active lifestyle stresses their joints. This dog food features a formula specifically designed to help improve mobility in dogs.

A high concentration of glucosamine and chondroitin play a key role in easing joint discomfort. These chondroprotective ingredients provide the building blocks necessary for healthy cartilage. [11]

The shrimp meal in this recipe is a natural source of these nutrients.

Additional joint support comes from fish oil. This healthy fat provides high levels of EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid with anti-inflammatory properties. Reducing inflammation helps ease discomfort caused by irritated joints.

Real chicken is the first ingredient, providing a 26% crude protein content.

Whole-grain sources of carbohydrates like oatmeal give your dog energy without excess calories. Weight gain could place additional stress on your pup’s joints and encourage arthritic changes.

Boxer owners often prefer this dog food to other mobility formulas because it excludes fillers, corn, wheat, and soy.




Eukanuba Breed-Specific Boxer Adult Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Meal, Whole Grain Sorghum, Ground Whole Grain Barley
  • Key feature: Breed-specific formula that supports muscle health
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 25% Crude Protein, 16% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 348 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: High-Protein
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Supporting Muscle Health in Boxers

This dog food supports your Boxer’s muscle health with multiple high-quality, animal-based proteins. The high-protein formula features a 26% crude protein content from real chicken.

The breed-specific formula tailors its nutritional content to the unique needs of Boxers. The most crucial aspect of your boxer’s diet is lean animal-protein to help build skeletal muscles.

Inadequate protein content could make it difficult for these dogs to maintain their condition.

Additional L-Carnitine helps promote the development of lean muscles. [12] And this recipe also includes high levels of taurine to support heart health.

Vitamin E also helps boost your boxer’s immune system. And natural sources of glucosamine ease joint discomfort.

Owners who feed this dog food noticed an overall improvement in their Boxer’s body condition. But the recipe does include by-products that may upset sensitive stomachs.




boxer puppy on the floor

Guide to Buying Dog Food for Boxers

These muscular dogs with squishy faces have unique needs that must be met by their diet. Understanding how to select a high-quality dog food will help your Boxer friend live his best life.

Nutritional Requirements

A proper diet for Boxers begins with a balanced ratio of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

Most dogs have similar macronutrient needs, but some breeds have more specific requirements.

High Protein

Protein is an essential aspect of any dog’s diet, but some breeds need higher amounts of this macronutrient. Appropriate Boxer diets use dog food that provides 25% or more crude protein.

Boxers are active dogs with a robust and muscular build. Protein provides amino acids,  the building blocks for muscle development. So a high protein diet can help your boxer maintain the characteristic muscle mass of this breed.

Protein from animal sources is best for building muscle. This is because many essential amino acids only reside in meat. [13] Choose a dog food for your boxer that features real meat as one of the primary ingredients.

Low to Moderate Fat Content

Fat can provide significant amounts of concentrated energy in the canine diet. Boxers are active dogs that can safely consume more fat than other breeds. But too many calories from fat can lead to weight gain. 

Dog obesity is associated with several troublesome health conditions, like diabetes. [14] Aim for a dietary fat content of around 15%.

The best dog foods provide fat from fish oil and other sources of omega fatty acids. These healthy fats are essential for coat, brain, and heart health.

Moderate Carbohydrates

Digestible carbohydrates from whole-grain ingredients provide an excellent source of energy for active boxers. But, some Boxers have sensitive stomachs that may react to refined carbohydrates from corn or wheat.

These boxers may benefit from a grain-free diet that reduces the risks of bloat. Useful grain-free formulas provide complex carbohydrates for energy from fruits and vegetables.

Boxers can thrive on grain-inclusive and grain-free diets. Just be sure to select a formula that provides enough energy from whole-food ingredients.

Vitamins and Minerals

Any dog food you consider should meet AAFCO’s nutrient profile guidelines for dogs. These guidelines illustrate the appropriate daily requirements of vitamins and minerals for dogs.

Vitamins like vitamin E can act as antioxidants and boost the immune system. And essential minerals are critical for normal bone development.

Deficiencies in your pup’s diet can cause developmental disorders that impact him throughout his lifetime.

Calcium

Calcium is the most critical mineral for bone health. Boxers are dense dogs that need strong bones to support their muscle mass.

This mineral plays a vital role in bone formation. Deficiencies could make your boxer prone to fractures while playing. Ensuring that your dog food meets your pup’s calcium requirements will help him stay active as he ages.

L-Carnitine

L-Carnitine is a well-known amino acid often used for weight loss. But this nutrient also plays a critical role in lean muscle development.

Boxers need adequate sources of L-Carnitine in their diet to support muscle development.

This amino acid promotes the synthesis of nitric oxide, which improves blood circulation. Without proper blood flow, boxers cannot convert the protein from their diet into muscle.

Taurine

Taurine is another essential nutrient for dogs. This substance is critical for brain development and cardiac functioning.

Heart health is especially crucial for Boxers because their activity levels need a robust cardiovascular system. They are also predisposed to certain heart conditions.

Taurine deficient diets may cause an increased incidence of heart conditions in dogs. Taurine-deficiency is often associated with grain-free diets. If you choose to feed grain-free, make sure your dog food contains adequate amounts of this amino acid.

How to Choose Dog Food For Boxers

After you’ve determined that a dog food meets your Boxer’s nutrient requirements, you need to consider his individual needs. Boxers need different diets depending on their activity level and age.

Caloric Requirements

Boxers do best on moderate to high-calorie diets. They need more calories than other breeds because their food must supply enough energy for their activity and muscle development.

The amount of calories your furry friend needs depends on his activity level and age. This breed is naturally energetic. But some owners may not exercise their Boxers that often.

Good Boxer food should provide over 300kcal/cup. The amount you feed will depend on your pet’s age and lifestyle.

Age

Puppies will require more protein than mature Boxers to support their growth. Their food should be split into four meals per day to maximize nutrient absorption.

Adult boxers only need their food divided into two meals per day.

Here is a table demonstrating how much Boxers should eat during certain life stages.

Age and WeightDaily Food Amount
Puppies (2 – 6 Months)320 Grams
Puppies (6- 12 Months)300 Grams
Adults (50 – 75 Pounds)4 – 5 Cups
Adults (75 – 100 Pounds)5 – 6 Cups

Monitor your dog’s condition as he ages and adjust as necessary to avoid obesity. Senior dogs can gain weight quickly and may need reduced amounts.

boxer dog

Dry or Wet Food?

Boxers have a brachycephalic jaw and short muzzle. This conformation can make it difficult for these breeds to eat large kibble.

Many breed-specific dog foods for Boxers have unique kibble shapes designed for short-muzzled dogs. But, canned food is often easier to eat.

If your pup has difficulty chewing kibble, consider feeding him wet food instead. The moist texture is more manageable for Boxers to grasp and chew.

Health Issues and Diet

Although Boxers have a reputation as a healthy breed, they still suffer from specific health problems. Talk to your veterinarian about the best diet for your dog’s health conditions.

Food Allergies

Boxers frequently develop food allergies that can upset their stomach. Allergens in food trigger an allergic reaction where your dog’s immune system attacks itself.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for canine allergies. But limited ingredient diets can help manage this condition by eliminating common allergens. 

If your Boxer suffers from allergies, select a dog food with a single protein source. The best foods for allergy-prone pups meet their nutritional requirements without using corn, soy, gluten, by-products, or other common allergens.

Heart Problems

Aortic stenosis and cardiomyopathy are common conditions that impact cardiac function in boxers. Sadly, you cannot entirely prevent these genetic conditions with diet alone.

But, heart-healthy ingredients like omega-3 fatty acids, taurine, and L-carnitine can all help support your boxer’s heart health.

Bloat

Boxers have a deep chest cavity. This makes them a breed with one of the highest risks of suffering from bloat. This condition occurs when your puppy’s stomach enlarges due to food or gas.

An enlarged stomach can cause gastric torsion. This issue can be fatal when that torsion cuts off blood supply. [15] I have helped treat Boxers with bloat as a veterinary technician. It can be incredibly scary.

Look for dog food that encourages your dog to eat slowly and chew his food thoroughly. Probiotics can also help regulate your dog’s digestive tract and prevent excessive gas buildup.

Joint Issues

This energetic breed loves to play. But too much wear and tear can make your pup’s joints painful.

Managing your dog’s weight to prevent excess stress on his joints is critical for preventing joint conditions. Be sure to feed your pet an appropriate diet with the correct amount of calories.

Formulas that provide glucosamine can also help manage joint discomfort. This ingredient is a building block of healthy joint cartilage.

Our Verdict

Your wrinkly-nosed bundle of energy needs the right nutrition to support his active life.

Boxers are muscular dogs that thrive on high-protein diets. I found that Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dog Food is the best overall dog food for Boxers.

This unique breed is incredibly loyal and playful. All Boxers deserve food that helps them feel their best.

Work with your veterinarian to create the best diet for your special canine companion.

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