Fat Boxer Dog? Choose A Top 5 Food For Boxers (2020 Review)
Boxers are a great, playful breed. It’s not uncommon to look the back window and see your boxer hard at work running around with your kids. They’re also super muscular dogs with stocky frames. When you add all that up, it means the best dog food for boxers is usually something that has lots of great protein from lots of great sources.
Plus, boxers are big dogs, and they’re prone to lots of the health problems big dogs suffer from. Some of those (listed below) can’t be cured completely, but you can definitely supplement your pup’s diet to improve those areas of their health overall. So check out our list and our reviews at the bottom to figure out which dog food is best for your boxer.
Quick Picks: Top 5 Choices
**Below, you'll find our expert's science-backed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Chewy.
Boxer Diet & Nutrition Needs
**Please note: these estimates are based on an average weight for this breed. Every dog is different. Please talk to your vet before making changes to your dog's diet.
Most of the time, when we do calorie estimates, we try to pick a feasibly average weight for both a male and a female. It’s a little tough with the boxer breed, though, since males typically weigh a lot more than females.
For this breed, dude dogs weight anywhere from 66 to 70 pounds, while bitches weigh more in the 55-60 pound range. So, we wanted to point out that the above calorie estimates were calculated based on a 68-pound male dog. The caloric requirements of a lady boxer will be a bit lower.
The most important thing to keep in mind when feeding a boxer (well, one of the most important things, anyway) is that they usually need more protein than most dogs.
First, boxers are usually an active breed, so lots of good protein can help them sustain that energy. Also, boxers have lots of muscle mass, and if they don’t get enough protein, their muscles can atrophy, and you don’t want that.
And that’s important because it can be pretty hard to find a suitably high-protein dog food. Most commercial dog foods that we recommend on this blog contain at least 25% protein. Boxers, however, need around 30%, and some boxer enthusiasts advocate for diets that include 35%-45% protein.
Carbs & Fat
The boxer breed is prone to a rather nasty medical condition called “bloat.” We’ll talk about this in more detail below, but basically, you want to stay away from too many grains.
Additionally, overweight boxers can have hip trouble, so a lower-carb dog food can help prevent them from gaining too much weight, which can compound these issues over time.
Good sources of carbs are stuff like sweet potatoes, beans and lentils. You can find those in plenty of dog foods. And really, we’re not even recommending you stay away from grains altogether; just be careful, and make sure there’s not too many.
As for fat, boxers don’t need to worry about it too much. They have relatively short hair (although they do tend to shed throughout the year). Most dog foods will have plenty of fat for this breed.
For boxers, we like to see lots of veggies, and we especially like stuff with antioxidants. This is mostly because boxers tend to stay active well into “old age,” so having a well-balanced diet with lots of produce can really keep their overall health good for a long time.
Boxer Health Problems & Dietary Solutions
Lots of big dogs suffer from this. In particular, bigger dogs with deep chests are especially at risk.
Bloat is also called gastric dilatation volvulus. In layman’s terms, that means that the stomach twists and folds over on itself. When that happens, stomach gasses can’t escape.
This is a very, very serious problem, so if it happens to your dog, take him to the vet immediately. Seriously; it can be fatal.
To remedy this, stay away from foods that cause excess gas. Typically, these are foods that will ferment in the stomach, like wheat, oats and rice.
In general, most low carb foods should contain safe levels of these ingredients (if they contain any at all). And, of course, grain-free dog foods are good options.
Hip dysplasia is a joint problem in the hips (duh). It’s degenerative, and it can sometimes be made worse if your dog is overweight.
So, the same recommendation applies here: shoot for higher protein and lower carbs to help your dog stay healthy and lean.
Our Editor's Take On Some of the Best Dog Foods for Boxers
Orijen’s grain-free formula is just about perfect for a boxer.
First, at 38% protein (guaranteed analysis), it’s really in that goldilocks zone for boxers. It’s just the right amount to keep them strong and lean.
Even better, the protein comes from a bunch of great, high-quality sources: chicken, chicken meal, chicken liver, whole herring, turkey, turkey meal, turkey liver, whole eggs, whole walleye, whole salmon, chicken heart, herring meal and salmon meal.
I mean, wow! That’s a ton of protein from great, whole, nutritious sources.
The carbohydrates come mostly from red and green lentils, yams and chickpeas, although they only account for about 25% of the total calories.
In addition to that, there are lots of sources of fruits and veggies, including green beans, spinach, apples, pears, cranberries and blueberries.
If you want to read a great, in-depth analysis of Orijen dog food, check out this fantastic review of Orijen dog food by our friends at Dog Food Guru.
See what I’m talking about? It really doesn’t get much better than that. Plus, our pup got to try a small sample, and she really enjoyed it.
This food is also perfectly suitable for smaller dogs, like Yorkies.
Wellness CORE’s original recipe is another great option for this breed. Really, it could have just as easily been our first pick. It’s really a strong recipe.
This dog food has about 34% protein, which should be just about right for most boxers (even if some owners prefer food slightly higher in protein).
That protein comes from deboned chicken, chicken meal, and turkey meal. Remember, anything with “meal” in it basically means it’s meat concentrate (tasty, eh?), and it has about triple the protein has a whole meat, which is one of the reasons the protein content of this dog food is so high.
It does have a slightly higher carbohydrate content (37%) than some of the foods on this list, but it’s grain free, and those carbs come from great sources, like sweet potatoes and vegetables.
Speaking of fruits and veggies, this formula includes apples, carrots, parsley, kale, blueberries and a few other great ingredients that give it a really well-rounded profile.
To be honest, we really hadn’t heard of Dr. Tim’s brand until we started talking to some boxer owners who swore by it. We were lucky enough to snag a sample, and it really held up under both our expert scrutiny and your dog's very sophisticated pallet.
It’s a relatively high-protein dog food. About 30% of the calories here come from protein sources, such as chicken meal and ocean herring meal.
We really like that there are a lot of great fats in here as well: lots of fats from fish meal, flax, and fish oil. However, it makes us question why you’d include canola oil if you already had all those great fats.
It would have been much higher on our list if that were left out, since it’s generally not an ingredient we recommend (it’s a relatively small quantity, but still).
There are also lots of fruits and veggies, which is something we’re looking for.
Overall, this is a good, strong dog food.
We’ll end our list with Taste of the Wild’s Hi Prairie formula, although we want to make sure you’re aware of a few of the more controversial ingredients here, since they’re present in slightly bigger quantities than we sometimes like to see.
The protein content of this formula is 28%, which is still decent for boxers, but may not be best for boxer dog owners concerned with keeping their pups lean and muscular.
That protein comes mostly from a few really cool protein source that, more than anything, give this one a really unique flavor profile: bison, lamb meal and roast venison.
It may be gross (or I may just be weird), but this stuff even smelled kind of good to me. And it certainly smelled (and tasted good to our dog).
One of the downsides of this dog food, though, is the relatively large quantities (not huge, but higher up on the ingredient list than might be comfortable for some dog owners) of a few questionable ingredients: pea protein, tomato pomace and canola oil.
Still, the rest of the nutritional profile is really solid, there’s plenty of protein for most boxers, and the flavor profile is really great, according to our pup.
Despite some of our reservations, this is still a good, above-average dog food, and it’s perfectly suitable for most boxers.
If you're interested in reading similar articles, here's a good one on German shepherd dog food. We've also posted a good guide to feeding an English bulldog here. Or, if you're a lab owner, check out this article.
**Disclaimer: Our dog food reviews are based mostly on (1) our expertise and that of the experts with whom we consult and (2) the information provided by the manufacturers. We do test many dog foods (with our dog's help), but we can't test them all. As such, please remember the above recommendations are our opinions, and you should consult your vet before making changes to your dog's diet.
Image credits: Chewy.com