Boxer Dogs Part 3: Best Food For Boxer Dogs with L-carnitine

What is the best food for Boxer Dogs? Like any breed, Boxers come with specific nutritional requirements for their genetic predispositions. In the first part of this series, we discussed holistic care for Boxer dogs. In part two, we focused on the critical aspects of Boxer Nutrition and what to look for in a Boxer diet.

Finally, we will apply the key nutritional considerations for Boxer dogs and look at the best foods for these canines.

Best Food for Boxer Dogs as Puppies

Earthborn Puppy Vantage

Best food for boxer dogs as puppies includes Earthborn holistic Puppy Vantage
Best food for boxer dogs as puppies includes Earthborn holistic Puppy Vantage

What we love about it:

  • This food is 28% quality protein, mostly from chicken and whitefish.
  • The grain choices of oatmeal, barley, rye, and brown rice are an excellent mix of nutritious whole grains. The beta-glucans in the oatmeal and barley help control blood sugar and promote gut health. At the same time, the insoluble fiber in the brown rice moves food through the intestines faster. Small amounts of rye are overlooked but wonderful addition to a good recipe.
  • The levels of most vitamins and minerals are within the healthy realm. At 250 IU/kg, the level of vitamin E is almost at the optimal level.
  • The calcium-to-phosphorus ratio is ideal for a growing puppy.
  • It contains great taurine, methionine, and L-carnitine levels for Boxer heart health.

What we don't love about it:

  • At 20% fat, the fat content is a little higher than we want to see for Boxer puppies, who we want to keep lean while their bones develop.
  • We would prefer higher levels of DHA in this food for proper puppy brain development.
  • This is a dry, extruded food. The extreme heat in processing pellets and canned food produces several problematic compounds such as aldehydes and advanced glycation end-products associated with disease. A properly balanced fresh diet is always healthier than a heavily processed one. Processed diets are also linked to more cases of IBD, a common problem for Boxers.
  • This food contains vegetable oil rather than marine oils. This is not the best source of omega-3 fatty acids, although it is less prone to rancidity.

Final verdict:

Although we prefer raw or fresh food for boxer puppies as it promotes fewer inflammation issues such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and arthritis, this food has benefits. We suggest adding a quality omega-3 supplement for additional DHA and working in more balanced raw food into your puppy's diet. However, be careful when supplementing a puppy's diet so that their total intake does not exceed the limit of calcium and phosphorus since this can cause bone abnormalities. Consider adding a little dried egg yolk and probiotics with L. Rhamnosus to boost your puppy's immune system.

Food for Boxer Dog Adults & Seniors

Now Fresh Grain-Free Adult Fish Recipe Dry Dog Food

What we love about it:

  • The ingredients in this food are cooked once at the lowest temperature, limiting processing effects on dog food.
  • Its main proteins are fish and egg.
  • It contains a decent 100 mg/kg of L-carnitine and some carnitine.
  • It has a good amount and ratio of calcium-to-phosphorus and omega fatty acids.
  • This food contains 5% crude fiber from both soluble and insoluble fiber sources, good for gut health. It also contains a good range of probiotics.
  • This food uses selenium yeast, which is a superior selenium supplement.

What we don't love about it:

  • At 24% protein, it is slightly less than we want to see for an active Boxer dog.
  • This is a grain-free diet. While no specific data shows grain-free diets lead to DCM, the tendency to use plant protein in these diets may be a problem. They also use more ingredients that are linked to taurine deficiency, such as pea fibers and potatoes.
  • It contains inorganic phosphates that can damage kidney health. Finally, they have a tendency to double up on mineral supplements with chelated and non-chelated forms of the same mineral, such as copper sulfate and copper amino acid chelate. This poses the risk of unsafe excesses resulting in problems such as copper storage disease.
  • It does not contain marine oils but vegetable oils, including coconut oil. See our article on MCT oil to understand why coconut oil is a harmful ingredient, especially for Boxers prone to gut issues.

Final verdict:

This is an acceptable choice for adult Boxer dogs. However, we would recommend additional fish oil, vitamin E, and anti-inflammatory supplements.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Denali Dinner with Wild Salmon, Venison & Halibut Grain-Free Dry Dog Food: Best Food For Boxer Dogs

The Best food for Boxer dogs includes this option from Blue Buffalo
The Best food for Boxer dogs includes this option from Blue Buffalo

What we love about it:

  • This food is 30% protein from quality and healthy meat sources, including salmon, menhaden, chicken, halibut, crab meal, and venison. This gives this food an excellent amino acid profile, a good source of bioavailable omega-3 fatty acids,
  • It is up to 0.15% DHA, essential for proper brain function. Both puppies and senior dogs need more protein and DHA in their diets, so this is an excellent food for a senior Boxer Dog.
  • It contains extra taurine and L-carnitine, that are essential for Boxer heart health.
  • It is up to 6% crude fiber, with healthy soluble and insoluble fiber sources such as flaxseed, alfalfa, pea fiber, chicory root, and tomato pomace. Together with the probiotics, this food is optimal for gut health. The high fiber and protein content and low caloric density make this a good choice to avoid or control diabetes. A major benefit of the probiotics, prebiotics, and fiber in this diet is that it can benefit dogs.
  • It has a perfect omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio for optimal immune function and skin and coat health.
  • It contains many antioxidants, such as Yucca Schidigera and vitamin E, vital for the immune system.
  • The amount and ratio of calcium-to-phosphorus in this food is ideal for Boxers.
  • Many of the minerals are chelated.
  • The range of vitamins are complete.

What we don't love about it:

  • This is a dry, extruded food. The extreme heat in processing pellets and canned food produces many problematic compounds such as aldehydes and advanced glycation end-products associated with disease. A properly balanced fresh diet is always healthier than a heavily processed one. Processed diets are also linked to more cases of IBD, a common problem for Boxers.
  • Unfortunately, this food does not specify how much taurine or L-carnitine is in it, leaving it open to speculation as to whether there is enough to be beneficial. It also does not specify how much vitamin E it contains. Ideally, dog foods would contain over 300IU/kg of vitamin E to be beneficial.
  • This is a grain-free diet. While no specific data shows grain-free diets lead to DCM, however, the tendency to use plant protein in these diets may be a problem. They also use more ingredients that are linked to taurine deficiency, such as pea fibers and potatoes.
  • It contains inorganic phosphates that can damage kidney health. The selenium source is sodium selenite, which is a problematic supplement. Finally, they have a tendency to double up on mineral supplements with chelated and non-chelated forms of the same mineral, such as copper sulfate and copper amino acid chelate. This poses the risk of unsafe excesses resulting in problems such as copper storage disease.

Overall Verdict:

This is an excellent dry food for Boxers of all ages. We recommend speaking to your vet about adding a few teaspoons of MCT oil and adding an L-carnitine and vitamin E supplement. Further, adding a raw or frozen food topper helps reduce the problems that come with heat processing. Finally, be aware of possible nutrient excesses in this food.

Best food For Boxer Dogs: Instinct® dog Food Raw Boost Real Chicken Recipe for Seniors

Instinct Raw boost for Seniors is one of the best food for for Boxer dogs
Instinct Raw boost for Seniors is one of the best food for for Boxer dogs

What we love about it:

  • This food contains freeze-dried pieces that minimize the processing somewhat.
  • It contains 36% crude protein, which is ideal for senior boxers who lose the ability to synthesize proteins. The protein is also quality chicken and salmon. It is also a healthy 16% fat.
  • It only contains chelated minerals for good absorption.
  • It is higher in calories and so is best for older dogs who are struggling to maintain their condition. This is not the best choice for dogs struggling with weight issues.
  • It contains marine oils for essential omega-3s
  • It is high in zinc for a functioning immune system and contains 225 IU/kg of vitamin E, which is ideal. The added vitamin C is an excellent boost for the total antioxidants.
  • It contains 300 mg/kg of L-carnitine, which is good for Boxer dogs.
  • This food has ideal ratios of Ca:P and omega fatty acids.
  • It contains both glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate for joint health.

What we don't love about it:

  • We would like to see more DHA keep your senior boxers' brains and heart-healthy as they age.
  • This is still processed food, despite the freeze-dried bits, and so it isn't ideal in its processing.
  • It only contains one probiotic strain, so it could be better for gut health.
  • The fiber is a little low at 3.5% and focuses primarily on soluble fiber sources. Insoluble fiber will help clear your senior Boxer's gut faster for optimal gut health.

Overall verdict

This food has many benefits for senior boxers, provided they do not have liver or kidney problems that require a low-protein diet. We recommend adding a little MCT oil for heart and brain health. You can read more about MCT oil for dogs in this article. You can also add recommended fish or krill oil supplements to improve the levels of DHA and raw food toppers to decrease the amount of processed food. Consider more anti-inflammatory supplements such as green-lipped mussel extract.

Final thoughts

It is evident that there is no such thing as the perfect food for Boxers, and your dog's nutritional needs can also change depending on their health, weight, age, or activity levels.

At PetAssistant, we aim to give a holistic view of the food on the market, so that you can make an informed choice about what to feed your Boxer dog. Here we outlined foods that highlight heart, joint, and gut health, three of the key areas in Boxer dog nutrition.

Keep in mind that that raw and minimally processed foods are best for your Boxer. But nutrition is never as simple as just that one factor. For instance, we also want to see total fat below 20% of the food, as well as sufficient L-carnitine to protect your dog's heart.