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How Much Should You Feed a Boxer?

Getting a new furry family member is such an exciting time. But with the welcoming comes a world of responsibility. You’re probably trying to gather all of the information you need to make sure you have a healthy, happy boy or girl that gets the best care and nutrition.

Portioning food is something you have to master for the overall well-being of your Boxer. You won’t want to over or under feed them. So, how much do you feed them at different life stages? Let’s map it out.

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How Much to Feed a Boxer Puppy — Feeding Chart

Age of Puppy Quantity of Food Per Day Number of Meals Per Day
2 months 2⅝ – 2⅞ cups 3-4
3 months 3¼ – 3¾ cups 3-4
4 months 3½ – 4 cups 3-4
5-6 months 4 – 5⅛ cups 3-4
7-9 months 4¼ – 5⅜ cups 2-3
10-11 months 3¾ – 4⅞ cups 2-3
12 months 3⅜ – 4¼ cups 1-3

Source: https://www.chewy.com/royal-canin-boxer-puppy-dry-dog-food/dp/103337

What to Feed My Boxer Puppy

boxer puppy
Image Credit: FiledIMAGE, Shutterstock

You have a couple of different choices when you are feeding your Boxer. You can choose one of these or even try a combination diet to give them the best nutrition possible.

Dry Kibble

Dry kibble is a standard diet for most canines. It has all of the nutrition that they need in one bag. As with anything else, there are many levels of quality when it comes to dry kibble. If you would like to feed your Boxer a dry diet, there are some things that you want to keep in mind first.

First, Boxers are prone to skin allergies, which means their food can trigger a series of skin effects and internal irritation. The most common food allergies for Boxers are from wheat, corn, soy, and other fillers. For this reason, you might consider talking over a grain-free diet with your vet.

If you select dry kibble, it truly helps with dental health. The crunch from the cable keeps your Boxer’s teeth clean and free of plaque buildup that can lead to tartar. Once your dog develops tartar, it can lead to dental disease.

Wet Food

The aroma of wet food is delicious for most canines. But as a pet owner, you may be wondering if it’s healthy. However, some wet foods can be best suited for a topper rather than a standalone diet for a Boxer.

Wet food is generally much higher in calories, which can lead to excessive weight gain. It also tends to be more expensive than dry kibble. It’s believed that it also relates to dental disease because it lies in the mouth and on the teeth, creating plaque.

Raw Diet

There are raw diets that you can purchase online or in-store that come pre-made. You can also try your hand at an at-home recipe tailored for your dog’s needs. If you do make your own, you have to make sure that you add in every vital ingredient to give your dog all the nutrition they require.

Raw diets give your Boxer uncooked and unprocessed sustenance, eliminating harmful preservatives, artificial additives, and other fillers. PetMD breaks down the raw food diet’s benefits and risks, including potential bacteria dangers in raw meat.

Boxer Puppy
Image Credit: Alonzo, Flickr

Avoiding Underfeeding & Overfeeding

Giving your Boxer a wholesome diet that has all the necessary nutrients is vital to their lifelong health. Especially during puppyhood, they must be getting the correct balance so that their muscles, bones, organs, and skin can develop exactly as they should.

Underfeeding

Underfeeding your Boxer can cause a wide array of problems that affect every area of the body. When your Boxer isn’t getting the right nutrition, it can cause:

  • Stunted growth
  • Unhealthy weight
  • Skin problems
  • Digestive issues
  • Coat health
  • Low immunity

Over-feeding

When you think of over-feeding, you might automatically correlate that with weight gain, but there are other consequences, too. Some of these include:

  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Delayed healing
  • Arthritis

medium breeds weight chart

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When to Switch from Puppy to Adult Food

Puppies need an abundance of protein, calories, carbohydrates, and other nutrients to grow appropriately. Puppies have more energy and go through rapid development periods, so their bodies need vital nutrients to keep up the pace.

When puppies reach a certain age, it’s time to start the transition to adult food. With larger dogs, such as a Boxer, their bodies tend to mature slower than smaller breeds. A Boxer is usually ready for adult chow between 18 to 24 months of age.

As with all changes to their diet, you should always transition your dog gradually over 5-7 days. Most manufactured foods will have directions on the back that tell you how to portion your dog when you’re transitioning from one through to the other.

Image Credit: Marco Verch Professional Photo, flickr

Why Won’t My Boxer Puppy Eat?

If you have a Boxer puppy who doesn’t want to eat, there is always an underlying reason. Some causes are simple, while others require veterinary attention.

Some reasons could include:

  • Pickiness—plain and simple, your puppy may not like their pet food.
  • Infections—certain infections can cause lack of appetite like viruses, intestinal parasites, and bacteria.
  • Pain—pain can over a wide range of potential problems, but common causes of pain are teething, inflammation, or anal gland impaction.
  • Organ Issues—any organ could be malfunctioning, but most commonly, you’ll see problems with their liver, kidneys, or the endocrine system.
  • Stress—your puppy’s change of scenery can cause a great amount of stress. Every puppy adjusts differently, and it may be a temporary thing until they get used to their new environment.
  • Bowel obstruction—puppies notoriously eat things they shouldn’t. If the appetite change is sudden, it could be because of a bowel obstruction.

Ways to Jazz Up Their Appetite

If you want to encourage your puppy to eat, you can try a few things like:

  • Offer a bland diet
  • Mix dry kibble with wet food
  • Pour chicken broth into food
  • Add unseasoned cooked chicken

When to Take Your Pup to the Vet

If your puppy isn’t eating and you can’t spark their interest, it may be time for a vet visit. Consult with your vet if your puppy displays any of the following symptoms:

  • Lethargy
  • Crying
  • Stomach bloating
  • Swollen rectum
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Your vet can run the necessary tests and examine your puppy to determine the cause.

How Much to Feed an Adult Boxer

The exact amount and type of food you feed your Boxer depend on many factors.

Male

Adult male Boxers are slightly larger than females. Males weigh an average of 60 to 70 pounds, requiring 3 to 5 cups of food.

  • 60 pounds—3 cups
  • 65 pounds—4 cups
  • 70 pounds—5 cups

Female

Adult female Boxers weigh less than their male counterparts, averaging 55 to 65 pounds. This weight range requires 2 to 4 cups of food per day.

  • 55 pounds—2 cups
  • 60 pounds—3 cups
  • 65 pounds—4 cups

Active

An extremely active Boxer will require a higher amount of calories to make up for what they burn. On top of a caloric increase, an active Boxer will also need a protein-rich diet to feed their muscles. A protein-friendly, calorie-dense dry kibble should be offered, and you should follow the instructions based on their weight.

If you have an active Boxer, consider Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. It has vital nutrients, plus a generous helping of whole protein and healthy carbohydrates to replenish your dog’s body.

boxer
Image Credit: boxerdogmadness, Pixabay

Sedentary

Boxers tend to become overweight quickly if you overfeed them—blame their voracious appetites and love for snacking. If you have a lazy Boxer that doesn’t get a ton of exercise, you’ll want a low-calorie kibble.

A fabulous choice would be Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight. This food offers a low-calorie alternative without skipping out on necessary nutrition.

Spayed/Neutered

There is a misconception that spaying or neutering your Boxer makes them gain weight. However, what really happens is that it decreases their metabolism rate, slowing their energy. This slowing process can cause weight gain if you continue to feed them the same amount of food.

Pregnant/Nursing

When a Boxer is pregnant or nursing, they will need an increase in portions to provide adequate nutrition for the puppies and replenish the mother’s body. The puppies always get the nutrients first. So, if you have a food that is lacking in certain areas, the mother will suffer.

If you’re looking for an excellent kibble for your pregnant or nursing Boxer, take a look at Purina Pro Plan Puppy Large Breed Chicken & Rice Formula with Probiotics Dry Dog Food. It has an abundance of nutrients to replenish the mother’s body, plus the puppies can eat it when they start eating kibble, too.

Boxers
Image Credit: Andrew Bone, Flickr

Boxer Feeding Guide for Seniors

Just like puppyhood has special dietary requirements when dogs reach a certain age, so does old age. Seniors need to eat foods that cater to their life stage to keep them capable, happy, and healthy for their remaining years.

A Boxer transitions into the senior category, usually around 6-9 years of age. If you have your dog on dog food for all life stages, it might be appropriate to continue this diet.

Since your Boxer’s metabolism will slow down the older they get, you may want to slightly decrease their intake. A lower calorie food will also help to prevent your dog from becoming overweight.

If your senior has specific health issues, it might be best to feed them a specific diet that helps with their condition. As time goes on, you can work with your vet to accommodate their special dietary needs.

One fantastic recipe for senior Boxers is Purina ONE SmartBlend Vibrant Maturity 7+ Adult Formula Dry Dog Food. It is formulated specifically for later years.

Why Is My Boxer Always Hungry?

Some dogs have voracious appetites that are never satisfied. It seems like you barely get it into the bowl before they suck it up like a vacuum cleaner. So, how can you appeal to a Boxer who always seems like they’re starving?

Free-Feeding—this practice involves making food available to your dog at all times. The danger with this method is that large dogs like Boxers are susceptible to bloat, or gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV). Bloat happens when the dog eats too quickly, causing gas to fill the abdomen. It can be fatal.

This method can also make overeating seem like the norm, which causes bad manners. Feeding your dog smaller, more frequent meals is a better alternative to free-feeding.

Slow-Feeder Bowls—a great way to slow your pooch down, allowing them to digest their food properly, is to give them food in a slow feeder.

A great slow feeder to try is the Outward Hound Non-Skid Plastic Slow Feeder Interactive Dog Bowl. It gives your Boxer unique designs to eat around, stimulating their mental curiosity while slowing them down.

What Foods Are Bad for Boxers?

Boxer standing tall
Image credit: Romek, Pixabay

If you are buying commercial food for your Boxer, you want to make sure you’re giving them well-balanced nutrition. If you don’t know exactly what to look out for, here is a list of additives that can spell trouble for your pooch.

Fillers

Since Boxers are allergy-prone, it’s best to avoid any fillers that can trigger reactions. Some things to look out for are:

  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Dairy

Artificial Additives

Unfortunately, many commercial dog food is full of artificial flavors, dyes, and preservatives. It’s best for your dog if they have a wholesome kibble free of unnatural ingredients. These additives have been linked to cancer and other serious health issues.

Some ingredients to look out for include:

  • Animal by-products
  • BHA, BPA, and ethoxyquin
  • Propylene glycol

Wet Food

While wet food may work very well as a topper to dry kibble, you should avoid feeding your Boxer only wet food. Not only is it expensive, but it also isn’t good for their mouths.

Wet food can cause:

Human Food

Of course, most canine owners know the danger of giving your dog table scraps. Dogs should eat food that is formulated for their bodies.

According to the ASPCA, some especially dangerous human foods to avoid are:

  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate
  • Grapes
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Xylitol sweetener

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Conclusion

As your Boxer puppy grows up, nutrition will be one of the most crucial aspects of keeping your dog healthy and ailment-free. The better nourishment they receive, the less likely they are to contract problems later like diabetes, heart issues, liver disease, and kidney problems.

Now that you know how much to feed your Boxer, you can keep them at a perfect weight for their body type and activity level. They will thank you for it.

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Featured Image Credit: Dmitry Kalinovsky, Shutterstock