You love your pet; so naturally, you want to give him the best dog food for boxers. You bought him his own fluffy bed and a flashy new collar with a matching leash, but what about his diet? With the overwhelming varieties of dog food available today, how do you know which one will be the healthiest choice for your boxer?
But how can you possibly figure out which dog food will be the best for your furry friend? It doesn’t have to be a difficult decision. In order to make the right choice, you just need to familiarize yourself with a few things, including the health needs of boxers, as well as some basic information about common dog food ingredients and nutrition. Here is a guide that will help you navigate the dog food aisle.
- Brief Review of Top 4 Best dog food for Boxers on the Market
- Boxer Dog Food Buying Guide
- Making a Healthy Choice for Your Boxer
Brief Review of Top 4 Best dog food for Boxers on the Market
1. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredients Diets Sweet Potato & Fish Formula Dry Dog Food
The concept of limited ingredients diets is a new one for most dog owners. Boxers are more prone to food allergies than many breeds, and this type of diet can be a great choice for that reason. With fewer sources of protein and carbohydrates than most dog foods, this food is less likely to contain something that will aggravate your boxer’s digestive tract or skin. While some boxers have ailments that require antibiotics and steroids to resolve, many boxers just need the right diet to help them overcome health issues. A limited ingredients diet is often the solution for a variety of boxer ailments and worrisome symptoms.
A short ingredients list can still offer all the nutritional quality of a dog food with a long list of components. The best thing about this offering from Natural Balance Limited Ingredient is that it’s grain free, and contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. You may be thinking that sweet potatoes are a strange choice for dog food; but sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber, and they are rich in potassium and vitamins.
Boxers are an energetic breed, and it takes a lot of exercise to keep your boxer healthy and stimulated. Active dogs require plenty of protein to ensure that their muscles are strong, and experts report that your boxer needs dog food that contains 25% – 35% protein for optimal health. Protein content is typically the most important consideration you should have when comparing dog foods for your boxer. The protein source in this dog food is salmon, which will definitely give your boxer healthy skin and a shiny coat. The problem is that the total protein is only 21%, and that is not enough for a boxer’s high energy habits.
2. Royal Canin Boxer Adult Dog Food
Unlike most dog foods on the market, this one is formulated specifically for boxers. Even the shape and size of the kibble are produced with boxers in mind. A distinctive trait of the boxer breed is a short muzzle and an underbite, and this dog food is designed to be easy for a boxer to pick up and grasp. In addition, the unique wave shape of the kibble means that your boxer will take longer to chew his food, and longer chewing times are better for digestion. Boxers are prone to bloat, a dangerous and potentially fatal condition that occurs when a dog’s stomach overfills with food, gas, and/or water. The dangers inherent in bloat happen when the expanded stomach puts pressure on other organs, and in some cases, when the stomach literally rotates out of its normal position. As this dog food is designed to make your boxer slow down when eating, it could deter the likelihood of bloat.
Royal Canin’s special attention to the needs of boxers does not end with kibble appearance. This dog food is specially formulated to protect the heart health of boxers, a breed which can have problems with cardiac sensitivity. The nutritional content of this dog food includes taurine, EPA, and DHA, all of which are important nutrients for your boxer’s heart health. The protein content is not as impressive as some of the other nutritional components of this food though. Totaling 24%, the protein in this dog food falls below the minimum protein needs of active boxers.
Unfortunately, you will find that the worst contents of this dog food are ingredients one and two on the ingredients list. Not only does this dog food contain grain, but brown rice and brewers rice are the main ingredients. You never want to overload your boxer with carbohydrates, and it’s hard to understand why such a pricey dog food would contain so much rice. The major problem with too many carbohydrates in a dog’s diet is that they can lead to obesity. What’s worse than obesity in dogs? Diabetes, which is ultimately the fate of many obese dogs. Unfortunately, the substandard main ingredients of Royal Canin Boxer Adult Dog Food make it an unhealthy choice for your boxer.
3. Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food
If you want to offer your boxer premium dog food with a taste he will love, Taste of the Wild is a choice to consider. The quality meats in this dog food are roasted, and your boxer will appreciate the pleasing flavor of the roasting process. Your budget will also appreciate this dog food as the price is surprisingly low for a food containing no grains.
As with all boxer food options, you want to look at the total protein content. This dog food contains 28%, which is well within the acceptable range for an active, healthy boxer. Taste of the Wild attempts to replicate the diet of wild dogs, the ancestors of your boxer. Dogs have evolved as omnivores, but their carnivore origins mean their diets should be more meat-based than plant-based. Nevertheless, plant source ingredients are still important components of a balanced and healthy boxer diet. Including an impressive assortment of fruits and vegetables, this dog food is rich in the antioxidants that your boxer needs to support a healthy immune system. Probiotics are a bonus of this ingredients list, and will help to ensure that your boxer suffers from none of the digestive problems that afflict boxers without healthy diets.
Overall, Taste of the Wild is a dog food that is sure to please you and your boxer. Many dog foods in this price range include cheap fillers that serve no nutritional value for your pet. Fillers are the canine equivalent of junk food; they taste fine, but they are not healthy. Free of grains and packed full of flavorful proteins and healthy fats, Taste of the Wild is a great choice for boxer owners who cannot afford higher priced fare.
Read Full Review to decide to choose Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food for your Pet
4. Orijen Adult Dog Food
The first thing you will notice when you open a bag of Orijen Adult Dog Food is the unique packaging. This dog food is contained inside a foil lined bag, which preserves the food’s freshness by resisting the transfer of oxygen. But Orijen’s emphasis on freshness is not limited to its packaging. This dog food is prepared using specialized flash freezing and freeze drying techniques to protect the quality of its ingredients, as well as the quality of its taste and nutrition. The fish and poultry used to make this dog food all originate in Canada and are used whole, meaning the dog food contains nutrient-rich organs, including livers and hearts. In addition, the whole food ingredients include cartilage and bone marrow as opposed to synthetic supplement additives.
Orijen’s ingredients are of the highest quality you will find in any dog food on the market. 90% of the ingredients are meat, and all that meat can only mean one thing for your boxer: protein! The protein content of this dog food totals 38%, which is among the highest you can achieve without making your dog’s food in your own kitchen. If you are concerned about the higher price of this dog food, remember that the extra you spend on dog food will be saved when your boxer needs fewer trips to the vet.
A known favorite of boxer owners, Orijen is the healthiest choice you can make for most dogs. High protein and healthy sources of carbohydrates will give your boxer the lean muscle mass he needs to support his high level of energy. And all this nutrition does not compromise the taste of this dog food. The meat-intensive ingredients list will give your dog the flavor that he craves. Fans of this dog food rave about its freshness and long shelf life, as well as the healing properties of its nutritional contents.
Boxer Dog Food Buying Guide
One look down the boxer dog food aisle can be mind-boggling! With so many choices, how do you decide which one is best for your faithful friend? Here are the criteria you should consider:
1. The Age of Your Boxer
Your boxer’s diet and nutritional needs vary during the stages of life. Some foods claim that they are good for dogs of all ages, but puppies require a different diet than senior dogs and nursing mothers. Boxer puppies should eat puppy food until they reach about 18 months of age, and then you can safely switch to adult dog food. The most important thing to remember when changing your boxer’s diet is that you need to introduce new foods gradually. Sudden changes in diet can cause stomach upset and unpleasant side effects.
2. Your Boxer’s Weight
Adult dog foods are good for adult dogs, right? Usually, but not always. If your boxer buddy has a weight problem, then you need to choose a dog food, portion sizes, and a feeding schedule that will help him shed his excess pounds. Failure to help your dog lose weight could lead to debilitating diseases, lower quality of life, and a shorter lifespan. The best dog foods for obese dogs have a few differences from regular adult dog foods; they have higher protein, lower fat, and fewer calories.
3. How Active is Your Dog?
The more active your boxer, the more protein he requires. Dog foods with total protein contents on the lower end of the recommended range for boxers are fine if your dog is less active. Conversely, look for a dog food with protein totals on the high end of the range if your boxer is an exercise fanatic. Chicken and lamb are high quality sources of digestible protein for your dog, whereas grains are not digestible sources of protein.
4. Quality of Ingredients
Look at the dog food ingredients list. Does it start with the name of an animal you recognize, such as chicken? Great! But what if the animal named is followed by the word by-product? Is the main ingredient chicken byproduct? Not so great. Meat by-products are a decent source of protein, but they are nowhere close to the quality of the original ingredient. Meat meal, which is dried, powdered meat used in dog food, can be a good ingredient if it is “pure” meat meal. But you better watch out for bone meal and by-product meal, because that stuff won’t sufficiently fulfill your boxer’s nutritional needs.
Is the best dog food for boxers the one that costs the most? Not always. Ingredients are more important than price, but quality dog foods are not cheap. You may be tempted to choose a dog food because you have a coupon, but that could be a mistake for you and your boxer. After you figure out which dog food is the healthiest choice for your boxer, you need to buy that food exclusively as dietary changes are hard on your boxer’s digestive tract. Your boxer will be healthier if you take the responsibility to ensure that you have an adequate dog food budget to consistently buy quality dog food as opposed to choosing a food based on price.
6. Recommended Feeding Guidelines
You probably think that your dog’s food portion size will be the same regardless of which type of dog food you feed, but you could be wrong. Consider how widely the nutrition and calories can vary by portion depending on what type of food you choose to eat. Two slices of pepperoni pizza may fill you up, but they could have far more calories with much less nutritional value than a healthier choice. The same logic applies to your boxer and his food. If you choose a dog food with substandard ingredients and fillers, it will take a larger portion of the food to achieve the same nutrition levels as a premium dog food.
7. Shelf Life
You’ve probably noticed that when you buy a large bag of dog food, the price per pound is less than that of a smaller bag. Certainly buying your dog food in bulk can save you money in the long run, but you need to consider the freshness and shelf life of the food you are purchasing. Will the dog food bag keep the food fresh? What is the expiration or guaranteed freshness date? And if you choose to buy a large supply, do you have the space to store it? Do you have an air-tight container you can keep it in for freshness? Just as you prefer to eat food when it is fresh, your boxer will appreciate your offering him food that is not old or stale.
8. Manufacturer’s Guarantee
Premium dog foods can be expensive, and you don’t want to waste your hard-earned money on a dog food just to find out that your boxer hates it or it makes him sick. You may be surprised to learn that many manufacturers offer money-back guarantees for their products. The terms of the guarantees vary widely by manufacturer, but you should be able to find guarantee information on the dog food bag and/or the manufacturer’s website. Most dog food guarantees are relatively simple: if you and your dog are not happy with the food, return the unused portion with your original purchase receipt and UPC for a refund of your purchase price or product replacement. Buying a dog food with a good guarantee gives you the assurance of knowing that you are not risking your money if the food doesn’t meet your expectations.