The Boxers that I’ve trained were notorious for being insatiable beasts. They were always eyeing another full bowl of kibble. But as owners, we can’t do that for the sake of our dog’s health.
Yes, I saw some owners do that because they seem to think that they have no other choice.
Their Boxers would end up overweight as they have a high potential to gain weight. The ensuing diseases would make their lives miserable.
On the contrary, underweight Boxers showed the flip side of the story.
As a result of those encounters, I believe and insist that keeping the breed’s feeding times regular with right-sized portions to meet its energy requirements is a must.
But how often do you feed a Boxer to do that? As an adult, you should feed it 2 times per day. However, in its wee age or puppyhood, 3 to 4 times a day would suffice.
What Are You Going To Read In This Article?
The high energy of the breed makes it hard to predict the right amount and time of its feeding. That’s only one of the reasons for irregularities in the meals of the dogs that I met.
That’s the tip of the iceberg.
Stay with me to the end to know everything about your Boxer’s diet, meal times, cups of food, what human foods it can eat, and which ones are toxic.
You’ll also get a feeding chart from one of my favorite dog food brands – The Royal Canin.
As it is my practice, I’ll also answer some of the pressing matters that may bother you as a Boxer owner.
Let’s get to it!
How Much Should A Boxer Eat Daily?
Adult boxers should eat 2 meals per day. Preferably, morning and evening are the best times to feed them.
But if you own a puppy, increase the feeding times to 4: morning, afternoon, evening, and night.
How often you feed your dog depends on its weight, size, and age.
While twice a day is a common practice devised by vets and recommended by experts, Boxers suffering from medical conditions require more.
So, do not fret over increasing the meals or even portions to more than twice a day to keep the dog healthy and going.
Now that I’ve mentioned the two, it’ll be better for you to understand what makes a portion and what makes a meal. It will also be helpful in getting the feeding chart of Royal Canin.
Meals Vs Portions
Meals refer to the food you give your dog at a time. Doling out a cup of kibble to feed your dog in the morning is one example of the meal you’re offering it.
Portions, on the other hand, refer to the exact cups or grams of food that you’re supposed to feed the dog per day.
For example, Royal Canin says that you should feed your Boxer 344 g or 4 cups if it’s 79 lbs.
Now that’s the portion size for a single day. An adult Boxer weighing that much should have it in two meals of equal sizes (172 g per meal).
However, a 4-month-old puppy with a target adult weight of 79 lbs should have the same amount in 4 equal-sized meals.
You might be thinking why the portion sizes of a puppy are equal to a full-grown adult.
That’s because puppies have a high-calorie demand. They go through the growing stage where their bodies need nutritious food in large quantities.
Not too large, of course.
There has to be a limit to the portion size, still.
In contrast, an adult Boxer doesn’t need too many calories because the body at that age stops rapid growth.
There’s also a great difference between the calorie count of puppy vs adult food.
Anyways, the knowledge of meals and portions should help you understand feeding charts well.
How Often and How Much Should Boxers Eat? Boxer Feeding Chart
Feeding a Boxer as per its activity makes sense. A low-activity dog doesn’t require a gazillion calories because it’s already saving a lot.
On the flip side, a Boxer always running around, chasing cats and things big and small, and getting trained more often deserves an increase in the portion sizes.
Royal Canin offers feeding charts as per the activity.
That’s the reason why I find the brand trustworthy and choose it for many dogs, including my darling, Milo.
Milo is a Labradoodle. I could go on for days talking about him but this article is your Boxer’s space.
Here are the charts of dry kibble to feed your puppy and adult pooch. I’ll also use age charts from Pawlicy to help you get a better overview of the whole feeding regime as per age, weight, and degree of activity.
Feeding Chart for Adult Boxers
The following table is for adult dogs aged 15 months or more.
|Weight (lbs)||Low Activity||High Activity|
|53||2 and 7/8||253||4 and ½||387|
|62||3 and ¼||285||5 cups||434|
|71||3 and ⅝||315||5 and ½||480|
|71||3 and ⅝||315||5 and ½||480|
|79||4 cups||344||6 and ⅛||524|
Boxer Puppy Feeding Chart
The following chart is for puppies from 2 to 15 months with a target adult weight of 79 lbs.
|Puppy Age (months)||Puppy Weight (lbs)||Portions As Per Target Adult Weight of 79lbs|
|2||16 to 22||2 and ⅞ cups||276|
|4||30 to 35||4 cups||388|
|6||41 to 48||5 and ⅛||494|
|8||50 to 57||5 and ¼||502|
|10||55 to 63||4 and ⅞||468|
|12||57 to 66||4 and ¼||412|
|14||60 to 70||4 and ¼||405|
These charts should also help you in deciding how often and how much to feed.
I also take great help from them when I want to know if my dog’s not overweight or underweight.
You could do the same in the case of your Boxer.
For example, an adult dog weighing 53 lbs when it’s 2 years old should ring alarms because that’s the ideal weight of a 15-month-old Boxer.
And so on.
Cups or Grams – What Is More Reliable?
I’ve presented both cups and grams in the tables above. But I’m more of a gram person than cups.
You see, they could be quite confusing.
I don’t find measuring with cups reliable. Even a few grains of kibble more than the limit could potentially put my dog at the risk for obesity.
I also haven’t seen anyone be meticulous enough to dole out the EXACT cups of kibble as they would otherwise consider.
That’s the main reason why I rely solely on grams.
You can’t go wrong with grams unless and until there’s something going on with your balance.
So, make sure you buy a calibrated balance from a reliable source.
Then, measure out the EXACT grams per portion. For example, from the chart for puppy above, 276 grams would equate 2 and ⅞ cups.
The balance will measure out the exact grams. You see how grams can be more reliable than cups.
What Is The Best Time To Feed Your Boxer?
Portions when divided into meals for definite times work best with dogs because they are suckers for routine.
The best time to feed an adult is morning and evening. In the case of a Boxer pup, morning, noon, afternoon, and evening seem well-gaped feeding times.
You could, instead, skip the noon and add a night meal time for your puppy if it doesn’t get hungry too soon.
I focus on training dogs over their meal times because that’s when they are more receptive.
So, if I’m to change a dog’s food, I’ll use the meal gaps to entice them. Hunger also plays a major role in obedience training. They have a better recall as a result.
That’s not all.
I use even the slightest change in a dog’s routine to figure out if they are doing okay.
Boxers have a hard time tolerating abrupt changes in ambient temperature. They stop eating when that’s the case.
And when that happens, I advise the owner to keep the temps well under the dog’s bearing capacity.
In terms of puppies, potty training them after meal times is essential.
You could do that by giving them meals regularly at the right time that you did before.
Remember, their feeding routine will determine when they want to poop. Generally, they do it 10 to 20 minutes after eating.
How Do You Know If You’re Feeding Your Boxer Dog Enough?
Overfeeding or underfeeding a dog shows in the way they look and behave.
When you overfeed, the dog will have a bigger waist, chubby appearance, and joint problems.
But one of the easiest ways to find out if you’re overfeeding the dog is to check its stool.
It will be hard in the morning but soft in the evening.
This variation in bowel movement is because of the excessive food the dog’s eating.
When you underfeed, however, you’ll be able to feel the ribs of your dog. It’ll also be lethargic and less interesting in doing things.
At times, you may see your dog eating from rubbish cans or from any source outdoors.
While these are some signs to keep a check on the Boxer’s feeding routine, I recommend that you visit your vet and get a BCS score.
The Body Condition Score is akin to the Body Mass Index in humans.
Your vet sees if the dog’s waist is in the right range.
A score lower than 5/9 indicates underweight dogs, while a dog getting more than that gets categorized into the overweight category.
As you may understand from this, you must keep the dog in the 4/9 to 5/9 range for it to be healthy.
Based on BCS, you can also know the exact cups or cans per day that your dog needs.
There are calculators for it but I trust the one by vetcalculators.com. They have more than 25 calculators ranging from dosage calculations to blood glucose curves.
For now, we’re going to use it to calculate how many calories your Boxer needs in accordance with the optimal BCS 5/9.
I’ve also included this in other feeding guides as well because it gives you a complete picture of how much you should feed the dog.
Here’s how it works:
- Put in the weight of the dog in either Kgs or lbs.
- Select the BCS (important. If you don’t know your dog’s BCS, consult your vet today.)
- You can create the Pet ID in the patient info.
- Select Canine because you own a dog.
- From the Select Dog’s Criteria, choose your dog’s status.
- Hit Enter and you’ll receive the number of calories the dog needs.
- Enter the calories in the Calories/Cup or Can of Food and you’ll get the number of cups or cans per day.
Before you use it, let me tell you that it’s not a hard and fast rule. The calculator gives surefire answers. Still, I want you to check them with your vet before proceeding.
Once the vet confirms that the answers are reliable, you may use it for future purposes.
One thing is for sure, though. It does give you a starting point in your dog’s feeding routine, especially, when you’re confused.
Should You Free Feed Your Boxer?
Many vets (add source) recommend that you should free feed your dog below 4 months. That’s the age when they need a lot of nutrition. They are always hungry for a reason, you see.
However, beyond 4 months, you may not present the dog with food 24/7.
As I discussed earlier, doing that will cause premature obesity, also known as juvenile obesity.
At the same time, however, if the dog’s going through a rough patch in their life, free-feeding might be a better choice.
Diseases, fractures, pregnancy, and old age are some of the things that contribute to the increase in the nutritional needs of a pet.
When it comes to needs such as these, you may ignore the weight of your Boxer. After all, a pregnant dog would essentially weigh the same in the first weeks of its pregnancy.
However, its needs will increase as compared to a non-pregnant dog.
You get the idea, don’t you?
And this brings us to the next question.
Do Boxers Need A Lot Of Food?
Boxers are active dogs. They have high physical needs, as evident from DogTime’s Boxer profile. To meet the kind of activity that their bodies demand, they do need a lot of food.
I’ve shared the grams or cups valid for Boxers as per their weight and age.
However, you should consult your vet before feeding the dog more than what it needs.
Why Is My Boxer Always Hungry?
Boxers may always seem hungry because they have a large appetite. However, what seems may not be true.
Behind those puppy dog eyes, a greedy dog may be hidden. Or a dog that thinks the apocalypse is right around the corner.
Here’s how to tell a greedy dog from a hungry one:
- Check their meals. Are they eating them all? If yes, then it may not be hungry.
- An underlying medical condition may make the dog hungrier. Look for any signs.
- Have you checked with your vet that you’re feeding them the right portion size according to their weight?
- Have you incorporated treats into their routine? If the dog’s eating two times a day plus treats, then it’s just a greedy soul.
- Check if there isn’t any other pet or animal munching on the dog’s food. Coyotes, stray cats, foxes, skunks, rats, and other small animals have a taste for it.
- How are their bowel movements? The poop should be solid in the morning and evening. As you read earlier, thin poop in the evening could mean that you’re overfeeding the dog.
- Are they couch potatoes? These don’t need a lot of calories.
- But if they are highly active and you’re not feeding them well enough, they could stay hungry at most times.
- Does it counter-surf a lot? Dogs that search for food there are normally greedy (speaking from my experience).
So, these are some tips to see whether the dog is making up for hunger or if it’s really hungry.
At the same time, keeping them hungry every day without knowing may develop some physical signs to look for. I’ve discussed those signs above.
What Fruits and Vegetables Can Boxers Eat?
Boxers can eat a lot of veggies and fruits. However, that doesn’t mean that you should feed them all at once. It also doesn’t mean that you feed it anything from your table.
Below are some of the human foods that the dog should eat or avoid altogether.
- Cheese – In moderate quantities.
- Bananas – Yes. These can make a low-calorie diet. They are high in vitamins. They are an excellent source of fiber and potassium.
- Pasta – Yes, it’s safe for dogs but I prefer to give it in moderation.
- Tuna – Avoid it even if it’s packed in freshwater.
- Popcorn – Salted and buttered popcorn is a big NO. Otherwise, popcorn devoid of seasoning is okay.
- Ice cream – Nope. It contains sugar and milk.
- Tomatoes – Green tomatoes can put your dog’s life at risk. Ripe ones when cooked well are okay.
- Carrots – These are excellent sources of Vit. A. Highly recommended.
- Peanut butter – Only in moderation.
- Cucumbers – Like carrots, cucumbers are well-known low-calorie dog snacks.
- Potatoes – Potatoes, especially, raw potatoes contain solanine. It’s the same compound that tomatoes have. It causes anemia in dogs.
- Sweet potato – High dietary fiber makes sweet potatoes a number one choice for dog lovers like me.
- Broccoli – Start small and start slow. Your dog will start loving it.
- Apples – Yup, a major snack for dogs suffering from indigestion. They contain Vit A, and C, and loads of antioxidants good for the pooch.
- Grapes – Raisins, currants, and grapes contain compounds that could put your dog’s life at risk. They could potentially end up in a hospital.
- Lettuce – Iceberg, romaine, and arugula are some of the kinds that work well when the dog’s suffering from diarrhea.
- Oranges – Oranges are a cheap source of Vit C. Highly recommended for dogs.
- Corn – An excellent filler, corn helps in maintaining bowel movements.
- Cauliflower – Feed in moderation.
- Bacon – No, avoid bacon. It’s fatty and salty.
- Bread – Dogs can eat bread in moderation. Plain white bread and rice are my go-to foods when Milo’s suffering from digestive problems.
- Pineapple – Copper, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium traces, zinc, and phosphorus are some of the minerals your dog will get from pineapple.
- Celery – This is one of the foods that could be fed to dogs right from the kitchen counter. It contains fiber, potassium, folate, vitamins, and manganese.
- Peas – My Milo cannot eat frozen peas. Other than that, he’s a sucker for them. They are a rich source of fiber and minerals.
- Milk – Only sparingly. Your Boxer may develop lactose intolerance. If they already suffer from it, do not feed them milk then.
- Hot Dogs – A big no. They have fat and high salt content.
- Raw meat from the supermarket – A big no. You never know if raw meat has salmonella – a pathogen notorious for spreading food poisoning.
- Chicken – Yes. Boil it well before feeding it to your dog.
- Rice – Plain white rice helps dogs with digestive problems.
- Yogurt – I prefer curd to yogurt when Milo is pooping liquid, not stool.
- Strawberries – Yes, vitamin C and a teeth-friendly enzyme await to bestow your dog with their goodness.
- Chocolate – Cocoa, coffee, tea, or anything that contains caffeine and theobromine isn’t suited for dogs.
- Fish – Feed your Boxie plenty of salmon for its fair dose of omega-3.
Should You Feed Your Boxer From The Table?
No, you shouldn’t feed your Boxer right from the table because you don’t know what could lead to its hospitalization.
Although I listed human foods above that dogs can tolerate, there are still hundreds of varieties out there that they can’t.
Also, you never know what could go wrong with your dog.
That’s because the reactions to foods are also individualistic. Some dogs are okay with small quantities of milk, for example, but others go through severe farting even by drinking that much.
Then there’s the case of salts and sugars.
High quantities of salt in anything that a dog eats make them thirstier. Frequent rounds to the water source could cause sodium-ion poisoning as they tend to quench that thirst but lose precious ions in urine.
The symptoms of that manifest in the form of depression, anxiety, seizures, temperatures, diarrhea, and vomiting.
At the same time, too much sugar could lead to their teeth rotting sooner than you would know.
These are two basic ingredients that we use in our food. Therefore, I don’t advise feeding dogs from the table.
Just imagine what other things could do to your dog if these two basic ingredients wreak havoc with their health.
What Are Boxer Dogs Allergic To?
Boxers, like other dogs, are allergic to animal protein obtained from certain sources. That’s not to say that kibble is the culprit but the company producing it is.
You should understand now why I suggest owners buy reputable kibble such as Royal Canin.
Still, you can’t be sure if your dog’s going to be okay with even that.
One way to find that out is to check their history of allergic reactions to certain foods when they were 6 months old.
That’s the age around which dogs show signs of allergies if any.
But protein is not the only thing the dog could be allergic to.
There are chemicals to look out for such as those found in pores, molds, dust, pollens, and even pieces of shed skin around the house.
Some mites or insect bites also cause great discomfort to the dog as they develop skin infections.
So, when you see your Boxer sneeze, cough, breathe with difficulty, suffer from a runny nose, or other discharges, check for all these reasons.
Practices To Save The Dog From Allergies Or Mitigate Their Symptoms
Follow these 5 practices to follow!
1. Know What Your Dog Is Allergic To
Your dog may develop allergies all of a sudden or it may have already developed them beyond 6 months of its puppyhood.
See what new things have you been feeding it? The protein source in that could be the potential allergen.
For example, I have seen some owners switch from chicken based to beef-based kibble without giving the dog time to settle down with the transition.
As a result, they developed allergies to that very protein source.
One other (and more valid) way to check what causes allergies in the dog is to lead it through food trials.
According to VCA, a dog’s body takes around 8 weeks to completely eliminate the food that it has eaten.
So, you feed the dog a specified food for that period of time that you think won’t cause allergies.
Make sure that your vet has a keen eye set on the whole process because it won’t matter if there’s no expert advice.
At the end of 8 weeks, if the dog’s doing okay with the food, then you’re good to go to feed it.
2. Avoid Dairy Products
I’ve already talked a lot about milk and its grievances for the digestive system of dogs.
3. Look For Wheat, Corn, and Soy
These are the biggest fillers in kibble produced by some brands and potential allergens.
If you didn’t know, fillers are used by companies to keep their products afloat. They want to minimize the cost of production because these are easy to obtain and use.
Again, that’s one of the many reasons why you should only buy good quality kibble.
Look for the list of ingredients and if you find these in large quantities, avoid that brand.
4. Shun High-fat Diet
High amounts of fat put Boxer (and other dogs) at high risk for allergies.
Avoid feeding the dog hot dogs, sausages, or anything that has more than its fair share of fat.
5. Check For Pest Infestation
Pests such as fleas and their saliva cause the immune system of a dog to work overload.
The histamines released as a result attacks the healthy cells of the skin; thus, causing the perceived allergic reaction.
As most vests and dog trainers agree, maintain high hygiene around the house and do away with any possible sources of pests.
Even a single flea could cause an allergic reaction, so you can’t take your chances.
What Can Boxers Not Eat? What Are Toxic To Boxers?
Although I’ve listed a few toxic foods above, I’d like to take a special exception for some foods. Dogs of all breeds end up in a hospital in a debilitating situation when they eat them.
Theobromine in chocolate targets dogs’ kidneys, making them severely ill.
2. Onions and Relatives
Anything from the family of onions (nightshade as they famously call it) such as garlic and chives has solanine. This chemical breaks down the red blood cells of dogs, thus, causing anemia.
Persin in this fruit wreaks havoc with the digestive system of the dog. You may see diarrhea lying around the house with the dog vomiting everything it eats.
Alcohol even in small doses adds toxins to their bodies. Some may even end up with a nervous breakdown.
Vets don’t recommend sugar in any form for dogs. Even artificial sweeteners such as xylitol could cause hypoglycemia, which is a condition when the blood sugar level increases dramatically.
At the end of this tunnel, there’s liver failure.
These and their dried-form raisins cause an abrupt reaction in the dog’s body.
We don’t know for sure which component leads to that but we are hell sure of the effects that it has.
One of them is kidney failure.
7. Raw Meat And Eggs
Ever heard of Salmonella? This is the bacteria notorious for causing food poisoning in complex animals.
You never know if the raw meat and eggs have these or not.
So, it’s best to avoid them.
I prefer feeding my dog slightly boiled meat, not too much because that, too, could become a source of allergen for him.
The same is true for raw eggs.
8. Caffeinated Drinks
While caffeine makes us perky, it could potentially kill your dog.
Avoid giving your dog anything that has even the lowest percentage of caffeine. Coffee, tea, energy drinks, cocoa, some meds, and so on.
9. Macadamia Nuts
Experts have listed macadamia nuts as one of the chief toxins for dogs.
They cause tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, and whatnot. Just six of them could make the dog miserable enough to be hospitalized.
10. Pits From Fruits
Certain fruits may not be toxic but their pits sure are.
For example, peaches in small amounts don’t do anything but if the dog ingests their pits, boy you’ve got a problem.
11. Yeast Dough
We add yeast to the dough to make it rise. Give the resultant bread to the dog and its innards will experience the same rising.
Having your intestines stretched from the inside is uncomfortable in all sorts. But that’s only the beginning.
Get ready to smell the work of the dog’s innards on the dough, which is enough to wake up your angels.
Check out the boxer’s feeding routine!
How Often Do You Feed A Boxer – Conclusion
Feed an adult boxer 2 times a day and a puppy 3 to 4 times. I listed all the charts necessary to give you a heads-up. The rest is up to you and your vet.
However, one thing that I can share for sure is to keep your dog’s needs in mind when changing the portions.
Your Boxer dog may be sick and you don’t know. You may think that it’s becoming greedy when in reality, it needs more nutrition.
Also, look out for potential allergens in the kibble you choose. You don’t want your dog to end up in a hospital. I’m sure of it.