What are the best diets to serve Boxers?
Boxers are very active and love to be around other dogs and people. Every breed has its own unique dietary requirements and because of the boxer’s size and activity level, you should know that boxer puppies need extra protein to grow, and meat is the healthiest source of this protein. The first ingredient should always be a named meat, whether chicken, beef or some other one.
It’s sometimes recommended to remove puppies from puppy formula food at eight months, but the boxer puppy should stay on a puppy formula food for at least one year. Most puppies grow 20 percent faster than adults, and boxers have big growth spurts, so you always want to accommodate that. A puppy formula has the extra protein and nutrients that your boxer needs to grow healthy. Your puppy will burn extra energy as it grows, and it can get this energy from puppy kibble.
You also need to check the food package label for suggested daily feeding amounts. This is a guideline to help you determine how much your puppy needs to eat, based on the dog’s weight (which will change as he grows. Boxers weigh up to 80 pounds when full grown). Follow this guideline to avoid overfeeding and weight-related health problems. However, that’s only a general guideline, so you should also discuss this with your veterinarian.
Like all dogs, boxers can eat and eat. Make sure, then, that you pick up the food dish either when your puppy is done eating, or after about 15 minutes. If you leave a full dish on the floor, it will only encourage free feeding– your puppy will nibble all day–contributing to overfeeding and unhealthy weight gain.
Some training methods (like clicker training) encourage the use of treats as a reward. Keep the treats small. Treats and snacks should only make up 10 percent (some even say less) of your dog’s daily caloric allotment. To figure out her daily calories needs: 25-30 percent of calories per 5 pounds of body weight. Adjust this up or down, according to her activity level and age.
Food puzzles are an especially good choice for the boxer, because their activity is high and they can succumb to boredom easily; boxers love a challenge. A food puzzle is simply an object, like a Kong, that has an opening for food. The dog will have to work at it to get the food out, which usually takes 20 to 30 minutes. Dogs love this challenge!