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Boxers are lovely dogs, with a breed that is full of character and personality. Many people who get a boxer once simply fall in love with the breed and decide to get more of the same breed later on. Who could blame them? Boxers are lovable pups that are simply a joy to be around. These large dogs have a very distinct appearance, plenty of energy, and a ton of smarts. The aforementioned qualities are truly only some of the things that make people fall in love with this breed and want more of them – and truly for good reason. In today’s article, we’ll help you pick out the best dog food for boxer puppies, in case you’ve just started your love affair with this smart breed.
|High Prairie Puppy Food - Taste of The Wild|
|Boxer Puppy - Royal Canin Dry Dog Food|
|Large Breed Kibble, Grain Free – Wellness Core|
If you’re here, chances are you have a boxer puppy – or you’re about to come into possession of one. If you’re going to be caring for an adorable, loving boxer pup, we applaud you for doing the research necessary. Knowing the best dog food for boxer puppies enables you to make the right choices and give your pup the best possible nutrition they could have. Starting your pup off with good nutrition will set them up for a lifetime of good health. Because of this, it is truly important to start with the right dog food early on.
Like many other breeds, boxers have their own specific quirks and needs. They also have specific health conditions that you’d need to address, some of which their diet can help with.
So if you’re ready to get started, let’s start talking about kibble!
All About Boxers
If you’re going to be adopting a boxer pup without any idea what to expect, you’re in for a treat! Before we start talking about the best dog food for boxer puppies, first we want to talk about the different traits of boxers and what makes them unique. We will also be talking about their potential health concerns (the ones you’ll have to watch out for in the future) as well as how to care for their needs in this regard. Boxers are an amazing breed, and we’re sure that once we’re done talking about them, you’ll certainly agree.
Boxers are considered a large breed, with males ranging from 65 to 80 pounds and females ranging from 50 to 65 pounds in weight. They can get up to 24 inches tall at withers, while females will average 22 inches. One of the main distinguishing features of a boxer is the brachycephalic face (the squashed appearance of their snout, akin to pugs and bulldogs). They also have naturally floppy ears, as well as droopy eyes. They may look sad sometimes, but chances are, they aren’t at all!
This breed features a short coat, so you won’t have to worry about grooming them much as they are pretty low maintenance. Their coats can come in fawn or brindle, and with or without black mask and/or white flashing. They look pretty stocky and muscular, and are generally powerful.
Boxers are very smart and also full of energy. These playful dogs adore staying busy and engaged, so prepare accordingly! They’re loyal pets that love your company, and they actually make fantastic guard dogs for this reason. Luckily, despite their large size and tendency to be natural guard dogs, boxers don’t really bark much. So if your pup begins barking, it’s usually for a reason – investigate! Rather than barking, boxers may be vocal instead, making some growling noises as their attempt to communicate with you. It’s a charming aspect of their personality you will come to love if your pup does it too.
Because boxers are so high energy, you’ll need to give them at least forty minutes of exercise a day. Missing exercise may cause your pup to become restless and destructive – something you surely won’t want in your pooch. However, boxers are a versatile breed, capable of adjusting to large homes or smaller ones as long as they are afforded the right amount of exercise.
Boxers do need some special considerations when it comes to their health. For example, they are pretty prone to heat stroke, so keep them indoors during hot weather. Also do what you can to cool them down even indoors. They’re also prone to getting cold due to their short coats. However, they’re relatively easy to care for and are low maintenance as long as you give them regular baths (once weekly is usually enough depending on how dirty they are). Regular brushing will help with the moderate shedding their coat does.
Boxers can sometimes drool quite excessively. Some may snort and some may also snore due to the nature of their snout. Be aware of this! Also, because boxers have their short snouts, they may struggle to breathe on occasion. As a result, they’re sometimes not allowed on flights, due to air carrier regulations. If you intend to travel by plane with your dog, please do your research ahead of time. Otherwise, you may need to make alternative arrangements for their transport.
To ensure your pup is in great health as much as possible, do try to bring them to the vet regularly. Doing this will allow the vet to check for any of the usual health conditions that may affect large dog breeds and boxers in general. And of course, stay up to date on vaccinations!
Things to Remember About Boxer Diet
As with any other dog, you have to remember to feed the right dog food for your pooch’s life stage. Puppies must have puppy food, specialized for boxer puppies in order to ensure they get the right nutrition. Young adult dogs usually can either eat puppy food or adult dog food. However, you may find better success when feeding them a dog food that is made for all life stages. Adults can eat adult kibble, but you can choose to give them a special diet if they need it. Elders often have special diets as well.
Understanding Dog Food Ingredients Lists
When choosing the best dog food for boxer puppies, you don’t always have to look for boxer-specific foods. Sometimes, you might find some hidden gems in lesser known brands. It’s usually best to avoid the bigger brands because they may have questionable ingredients. But how do you know whether a brand of kibble is good quality or not? The best way to know is by learning how to read dog food labels. If you’re new to trying to read ingredients lists, it’s completely understandable if they look like gibberish to you. However, we are here to help you understand most everything on your dog food’s label so you can choose the right one for your pooch.
So, if you want to be able to pick the best dog food for boxer puppies – and the best dog food in general, read on.
Reminder: The ingredients list is usually printed in a way where the most abundant ingredient is first. For example, in a recipe that has a lot of ingredient A, some of B, and a minute amount of ingredient G, it would be printed like this:
Ingredients: A, B, ……, G
And if there was only a tiny amount of ingredient A, a lot of ingredient G, and a moderate amount of ingredient B, it would be printed like this:
Ingredients: G, B, ……., A
Therefore, when you read a list of ingredients, be aware that the first few are the ingredients in most abundance. Ingredients all the way at the bottom of the list are likely only included in trace amounts.
When it comes to looking at an ingredients list for a brand of kibble, one of the first things you should be looking at is the source of protein. Protein should be the ingredient in most abundance in any dog food, dry or wet. Fact is, our beloved pooches need tons of protein. For boxers, it’s no different. The best dog food for boxer puppies will have plenty of protein. Make sure that the list of ingredients has protein sources as the first 1-5 listed ingredients, to ensure there are a lot of proteins included in the recipe.
Protein helps to supply the body with amino acids which help to build skin, hair, nails, tendons, muscles, cartilage, and ligaments. Protein also plays a big role when it comes to the production of hormones.
Dogs are often best fed with meat or as carnivores, as this allows them to get all of their nutrition from their diet. Therefore, it’s important to look at the kind of proteins used in the dog food as well. Unless your vet tells you to avoid a certain type of meat, or all meat altogether, do what you can to feed your pup protein sourced from animal meat.
Not All Sources of Protein are Created Equal
Remember when you are purchasing dog food that not all sources of protein are created equal. For canines, it’s best to use animal meat. In fact, it’s even better if different animal meats are combined. Dogs will receive incomplete nutrition if fed single-source proteins, particularly if only plant-based proteins are given. That’s not to say that plant-based protein is bad for your dog. As long as they’re not sensitive to the ingredients, it’s okay to INCLUDE plant-based proteins along with a mostly animal-meat based diet. Please don’t rely solely on plant-based proteins for your pup. It may work for you as a human, but dogs simply need more nutrition.
Meat sources will appear on your ingredients list in a few different ways.
Understanding Protein Labeling
- Chicken, Beef, Pork, Turkey, Lamb, Other Meal – When labeled as meal, chicken meal for example, that means that it’s a more concentrated portion of chicken. The same goes for turkey meal – it’s a more concentrated portion of turkey. This means for the same amount of chicken/turkey/whatever, more grams of protein are made available. Meal is likely the best possible source of protein, considering it simply has more. If the label only says “meat meal”, you may want to inquire as to what types of meat are used, just to be sure.
- Chicken, Beef, Pork, Turkey, Lamb, Other – When labeled as is, it simply means that the formula makes use of that certain type of meat in the recipe. This is not bad and is in fact usually great as long as the meat is listed first on the label. Single animal meat sources are okay, but not ideal. It’s better to look for dog food that uses 2 different kinds of animal meats for better nutrition.
- Chicken, Beef, Pork, Turkey, Lamb, Other Byproduct – Byproducts basically mean the leftovers from meat processing for human consumption. Therefore, byproducts include parts of animals that are not fit for humans to eat. This may include beaks, chicken feet and claws, and so on. It may sound gross, but your dogs literally won’t be able to tell the difference. However, byproducts often do not offer as much protein or as high quality protein as the above two options. When given the choice, try to avoid byproduct-based dog foods.
Needless to say, the best dog food for boxer puppies will involve one to two animal protein sources. Byproduct is best avoided. Plant based is okay, SUPPLEMENTARY to an animal meat-based diet.
Just like humans, our canine friends also need carbs to function. However, their needs are not the same as ours – in fact, carbs take a backseat to protein when it comes to dog nutrition. Regardless, carbs should still be included in your pup’s diet. Carbs, which are also categorized under fibers and sugars, will provide your pup with energy, then bulk.
Starches are comprised of different types of sugar, like fructose and glucose. As your pup digests his food, the sugars are converted into usable energy. Fiber helps your pooch to move their bowels more easily, but most fiber sources also provide other benefits.
Carbs come from grains and plants, but remember that some dogs may be sensitive to grains. Dogs that have grain sensitivities will suffer from digestive issues and skin problems such as itching and rashes. If your pup is sensitive to grain, you may have to shift them to a dog food that doesn’t use grains as the main source of carbs. There are plenty of options out there that make use of vegetables or roots as carb sources, and those are perfectly good too.
Things to Remember About Carbs in Dog Food
Dog’s don’t actually NEED carbohydrates – fact is, you can get by only feeding your dog proteins and fats. In fact, doing this will save you a ton of money, while also directly benefiting your dog’s health. Indeed, dogs will thrive on such a diet, considering they are carnivores. However, due to money constraints, we choose to add carbs in order to lessen the cost of dog food, since protein and fat sources do tend to be more expensive. Carbs do also help to bulk up your pooch, and provide them with extra energy, so those are pretty nice benefits.
When you read a dog food ingredients list, chances are you’ll see protein sources first, then carb sources immediately after. You’ll see grains, or plants, or root vegetables. You may also see things like “cellulose”, “wheat middlings” or “wheat mill run”. Know that those are fillers which provide little to no nutritional value and serve no other purpose other than to bulk the food up and make it look like there’s more. Cellulose is usually taken from saw dust. Whead mill run or wheat middlings are byproducts of milling processes, and are referred to by the grain industry as “floor sweepings”. These waste products are often indicative of the poor quality of a dog food. Unless there are a ton of other redeeming ingredients, then the best dog food for boxer puppies will not include any byproducts or fillers.
Inferior Ingredients to Watch Out For
Avoid dog food with the following ingredients:
- Corn cobs
- Peanut Hulls
- Rice Hulls
- Oat Hulls
- Cottonseed Hulls
- Soybean Hulls
- Almond Shells
- Brewer’s Rice
- Powdered Cellulose
- Grain Fragments
- Fermentation Waste
Just read those names and you’ll immediately understand why they’re usually indicative of bad dog food quality! The best dog food for boxer puppies shouldn’t involve any of those, but one may be excusable if everything else on the label is high quality.
After proteins, the next most important thing in your dog’s diet is fat. Fat can be found in the same sources of protein, such as meats, fish, poultry and so on. They’re also found in (plant) oils like vegetable oil, coconut oil, and flax seed oil. The fact is, despite all of the bad press that fats get, they actually fulfill a ton of vital functions in the body. Fat helps to maintain the temperature of the body. It can help in controlling inflammation as well. Tons of other benefits are also provided by fat, which is the primary form that stored energy takes in the body. Fat provides two times the amount of energy as proteins or carbs.
Fats are also where Omega 3 and Omega 6 come from. These two fatty acids are important for the maintenance of coat and skin for your pooch. And of course, let’s not forget about the benefits of Omega 3 in cardiovascular health.
When looking for the best dog food for boxer puppies, make sure that a good source of fat is included. Look for the presence of Omega 3 and Omega 6. Ensure that the fat is made available in balanced amounts.
Vitamins + Minerals
Just like us humans, dogs need an abundance of vitamins and minerals, too! Vitamins play a major role in promoting the growth of bone, producing energy, and providing oxidant protection. They even help with blood clotting too. Minerals, on the other hand, help with nerve transmission as well as muscle contractions. They also provide skeletal support.
Look for vitamins A, B-complex, C, D, E, and also vitamin K.
Best Dog Food for Boxer Puppies
As your boxer puppy grows, they need the right amount of nutrition to get them through. Look for dog food with the following values:
- Protein at 22 to 30 percent
- Fat at 9 – 15 percent
- Ca:Ph (Calcium to phosphorus) ratio anywhere from 1:1 up to 1:3. Calcium should be available at 3 grams per 1000 calories.
Once you’ve settled on a brand of kibble, remember that you should follow a regular feeding schedule. Ask your veterinarian for their instructions, or you can always follow the guidelines on the label.
Ensure that any dog food you select is complete and balanced. Most companies will label their product as such if they provide all the nutrition that your pooch needs. Also, if you’re transitioning from a different type/brand of dog food, make sure that you transition slowly so as to avoid digestive stress.
With all of that said, let’s get to our recommendations, shall we?
Product Name: High Prairie Puppy Food - Taste of The Wild
Product Description: Our favorite and our best recommendation is Taste of The Wild’s offering, the High Prairie kibble for puppies. This option is fantastic if you’re looking for a grain-free option for those puppies that simply cannot tolerate grain. Although not a very popular brand, you’ll soon see why this kibble is high quality.
Here’s a quick look at its features:
- Uses real meat as the first ingredient, which is a great sign of quality.
- Has no grains in its formula, making it fantastic for puppies that are intolerant of grain or suffer from grain allergies.
- Includes essential minerals as well as the necessary vitamins in the formula.
This kibble makes use of a different kind of meat – you won’t see poultry or the usual pork or beef here. Instead, Taste of the Wild used venison and bison. In point of fact, they’ve made use of bison that was pasture-raised.
This dry kibble makes use of lean protein which is highly digestible, so your puppy will suffer fewer problems in the long run. As we have mentioned, there are no grains included in this recipe, which means puppies with digestive issues will not suffer here. The best part is, if you read the ingredients list, you will notice that this kibble makes use of only real ingredients which offer benefits. Indeed, there are no fillers to be found here, only real ingredients that provide nutrition to your precious puppy.
Taste of the Wild have made sure to make this kibble even more digestion friendly by including probiotics – 80 mil live and active cultures which promote a healthier digestive and immune system. Furthermore, they’ve also included DHA from salmon oil which can help the development of the brain and the eyes. Antioxidants are plenty from veggies, legumes and fruits.
- Has 28% protein
- Contains 17% fat
- No grains
- Comes in many sizes of bags (5 lb, 14 lb, 28 lb) depending on your needs
- Has tomato pomace as well as legumes, which are sometimes found to be controversial ingredients in dog food
Boxer Puppy - Royal Canin Dry Dog Food
Royal Canin is a brand well known for their variety of products that cater specifically to different dog breeds. The company has also made sure to make kibble specifically for boxer puppies, in order to provide them with the complete, balanced nutrition that they need. Here are some quick facts about Royal Canin’s offering:
- The kibble shape and size is specially designed to make it easier for boxer puppies to chew. Size and shape is made to be more easily accommodated by the pup’s short snout.
- Helps support your boxer puppy’s growth by aiding in the development of strong muscles.
The company knows that boxers are an athletic and active breed. As a result, they need a special diet that can accommodate their needs by maintaining their overall health. They’ve begun by making sure the kibble is sized properly to allow the puppies to eat more easily, considering their shorter snouts.
In this recipe/formula you will find a combination of vitamins and antioxidants to help boost your puppy’s natural health defenses. The combo will also help your pup to develop a stronger immune system all around.
A balanced amount of protein is supplemented by L-Carnitine to ensure proper development of of strong muscles. This comination will also help in keeping your pup’s body fat percentage lower.
This kibble is good for feeding your boxer puppy until around 15 months old. After this, you can transition them to adult dog food. You may also transition them earlier, around the 12 month mark if you wish.
Pros and Cons of Boxer Puppy Royal Canin Dry Dog Food
Large Breed Kibble, Grain Free – Wellness Core
When choosing the best dog food for boxer puppies, one thing you should immediately consider is the size of dog for which the food is formulated. It’s important to look for puppy food for large breeds when it comes to boxers. Large breed food is formulated to help your puppy gradually grow instead of growing quickly in one spurt. A quick growth spurt can be harmful to your dog’s health, so slowing the growth down to a steady pace is ideal.
Wellness Core also made sure to include many different ingredients to offer a ton of benefits to your pup. Here’s a quick look at this kibble:
- First ingredient on the list is animal protein, which is fantastic and is a signal of its overall quality.
- Has all the essential nutrients your pup could ever need.
- Ideal and specially formulated for puppies of larger dog breeds.
The first ingredient listed on the label is deboned chicken, which is quite a great source of fatty acids and protein. It’s lean, and it’s easy to digest too. The only downside is that some dogs can be sensitive to poultry, which then results in allergies and negative reactions. If you notice these in your pup, you may want to consider a different kibble instead. However, this kibble is also grain-free, which means it’s digestion friendly for pups that suffer from grain sensitivities.
In this recipe, you’ll find a combo of superfoods rich in nutrients which help to supply your puppy with the nutrition they need. Other ingredients are added to help with bone development, muscle development, and immune system support. Although not specifically formulated for boxer puppies, this kibble still makes a fantastic contender for the best.
Pros and Cons of Large Breed Kibble, Grain Free – Wellness Core
Getting the best dog food for boxer puppies will ensure that you set your pup up for good health for the rest of their life. We hope that by giving you all of the information you could possibly need, you will now be able to see for yourself what makes a good kibble! Take your time and read the ingredients list and you should be able to decide the right diet for your pup.
Just ensure that you follow vet’s orders (if any) and that you follow a proper schedule for feeding, and you should be golden! Remember that the suggestions we have included here are merely that: suggestions. If you feel like you want to look for/at other brands, feel free! After all, you now know how to ascertain quality.
Good luck with shopping for your pup’s kibble!