Boxer Diet & Meal Plan
By Hungry Bark | October 7, 2021
Boxer Diet Plan
As any owner knows, the inquisitive, curious look of the Boxer underlies an athletic grace and power. Fawn or brindle, the Boxer has a short hair coat, snubby nose, is playful and energetic, and a tender personality making it a great family dog.
Though a Boxer is playful and friendly, it takes its role as guardian very seriously and can aggressively ward off perceived threats from its family pack.
An ideal pet parent to the boxer has the time and energy to keep up with the playful, powerful, and energetic breed.
As a pet parent, the primary responsibility you have is to provide a safe, healthy environment for your Boxer to grow and mature.
That obligation includes providing the proper balance of food and exercise, coupled with routine veterinarian visits. As a process, this is known as a holistic approach, which takes each component of wellness as part of the larger whole.
While it’s adorable that your Boxer may beg for scraps of human food, according to the American Kennel Club (or AKC), avoid feeding any. Your Boxer needs exercise and only to eat high-quality dog food to provide a long, fruitful life.
When searching for your dog’s meal plan, consider factors such as your Boxer’s age, the amount of daily exercise they get, and their ideal weight. Consult a veterinarian first before any drastic changes to diet or exercise, but you may also consider consulting with them about strategies for optimum health.
Taking a holistic approach to your Boxer’s wellness requires that you know what nutritional needs they may have, as well as what types of ingredients your selected meal plan may include.
Often a manufacturer will use obscure or misleading terms to imply healthy options. Still, the recipe my include various additives and fillers that may cause health issues upon close examination.
You need to understand how to read a food label because certain types of foods may cause allergic reactions, or worse, food intolerance. For example, if the recipe includes several fillers, any one may cause an allergic reaction, so looking for a transparent meal plan with ingredients is ideal.
Simply put, the most common error people make when researching a meal plan is the belief that all dog food is manufactured the same. Unfortunately, this can lead to serious health issues ranging from obesity, diabetes, heart issues, joint disorders, and other maladies.
As the parent to your Boxer, the food you offer your pet needs to be as much a priority as to what you feed your children, meaning proper nutrition is a must.
To provide a happy, healthy Boxer, taking a holistic approach means attention to exercise, diet, and routine check-ups. Keep reading for suggestions to help you select the right meal plan so you may share in a positive relationship with your pet for a long time.
The Importance Of Getting Enough Exercise
All dogs need exercise, proper nutrition, and regular check-ups at the veterinarian to live a happy, healthy life.
Boxers are a friendly, energetic breed, eager to please, which means they need a daily routine that includes vigorous exercise, whether on a leash or in a fenced area.
Benefits to daily exercise include muscular, bone development and maintenance, weight management, increased mental capability, more efficient cardiovascular performance, digestive aid, enhanced moods, regulated sleep, and a significant role in the overall quality of life.
Additionally, when dogs lack regular exercise, anxiety and other behavioral issues may arise. These types of misbehavior can be in the form of aggressive play, digging holes, and disobedience.
Getting the proper amount of exercise for your Boxer is essential for physical health and mental wellbeing.
As the adage goes, “a tired dog is a happy dog,” and regular exercise will not only enhance its physical health but also serves to calm the mind. As dogs become calmer, the better their behavior and obedience, making them more teachable.
Before you begin an exercise regimen, contact your pet’s veterinarian to eliminate any unknown underlying health issues first. Also, understand that dogs have different physical and nutritional needs that need to be met at various stages of life. Also, to determine if the regimen is appropriate, you must factor in your dog’s weight, fitness levels, weather, and terrain for the activities to provide as safe an environment as possible.
The Multiple Health Benefits Associated With Exercise
Exercise provides a variety of benefits, from physical to mental wellbeing, weight management, as well as engaging your pet’s curiosity and socialization. Additionally, a daily routine is something that you and your pet companion can look forward to and is a great way to build on the rapport and bonds you share while reinforcing the hierarchy with each other.
Benefits to regular exercise include:
Digestion: Daily exercise helps with waste production and weight management. The added benefit of exercise also comes with appetite control, which correlates with weight management.
Negative Behaviors: Dog’s distress, the type of negative stress damaging from mental wellness, can act out or misbehave. One of the best ways to alleviate these issues is with regular exercise. Post-exercise, powerful neurochemicals released in the brain elevate moods and regulate the negative emotions that lead to anxiety and agitation.
Enhanced Cognitive Function: Boxers that tend to be anxious or aggressive develop stubbornness, anxiety, lack of focus, and become unresponsive to commands. Regular exercise helps mitigate these negative behavioral traits and strengthens the bonds between pet and pet parent.
Strengthens Cardiovascular Performance: Vigorous activity stresses the heart and cardiovascular system of your Boxer, improving your pet’s heart health.
Increased Flexibility: Injury prevention includes improved flexibility. Regular activity helps keep muscles stretched and joints flexible. As your dog ages, joints and muscles become tighter, so regular movement is crucial for joint health.
Maintain Its Skeletal-Muscle System and Bones: Regular exercise builds and strengthens its skeletal-muscle system, which is crucial for overall health. Additionally, stronger muscles tax the cardiovascular system, making it work long after the exercise concludes, adding to the benefits derived from vigorous exercise.
One of the significant concerns with sedentary dogs is similar to humans. There are substantial ramifications from not getting enough exercise.
Dogs that suffer from weight issues are more susceptible to injury and chronic illness such as:
Heart Disease and Congestive Heart Failure
Osteoarthritis and/or Hip Damage
Labored Breathing and Respiratory Issues
Shortened Life-Expectancy (by as much as 2-3 years)
To ward off these issues, a combination of exercise and nutrition is the best strategy. If you need suggestions of ways to engage your Boxer, below we have a list of some great ideas such as walking, hikes, and agility drills to help you provide enough exercise, reinforce proper behaviors, and build upon the bonds between you both.
Walking: Dogs love exploring their surroundings through their sense of smell and are the primary way they experience their world. Developing a daily routine, especially for older Boxers, to go for a walk gets your dog some exercise with the bonus of engaging their curiosity. As your Boxer becomes fatigued, a calmer mindset set’s in, allowing you the opportunity to train and reinforce good behaviors.
Fetch: You can use fetch to get vigorous exercise while also working on obedience. Boxers were bred to chase wild game as a breed, making them acrobatic, agile, and explosive, so creating a training routine around the opportunity to pursue a ball is the chance to teach through activity.
Agility Drills: Boxers are an incredibly athletic breed. Designing obstacle courses and other agility drills that include quick bursts of running and jumping is right up the Boxers tree. The benefit to these types of activities offers the opportunity to teach listening and behavioral skills while engaging your Boxer’s curiosity and providing them the exercise they need.
Swimming: As a low-impact activity, swimming provides a full-body workout without undue stress on joints and other connective tissues. Keep in mind that not every dog enjoys swimming, whether it’s in a pool or open body of water, but if your Boxer enjoys the water, find some time regularly to let them splash about.
Visit A Dog Park: All dogs instinctively will form packs whether with humans or, ideally, other dogs. This served a purpose in the wild as dogs would hunt in packs for food and protection, making them social animals. By planning a dog park day, you’re allowing your Boxer to interact with other dogs, form packs, run, wrestle, and play, learning hierarchy and social skills as a result. You’ll be amazed at how 30 minutes at a dog park is plenty of vigorous exercise for your pet.
Why Your Boxer’s Food Ingredients Are Important
When researching the type of food to offer your Boxer, you need to understand some of the ramifications associated with choosing subpar food sources.
Like people, dogs can suffer from food-borne allergies. Subpar food manufacturers may include additives and fillers that your dog may cause an allergic reaction to, and the only way to steer clear of the potential for problems is to know what exactly.
Cheaper brands will use fillers that often may cause allergies in many dogs. Higher quality recipes will use premium animal proteins, healthy grains, and other superfoods ingredients that benefit your dog’s overall wellness. Once a dog has an allergic reaction, they become much more susceptible to other types of allergic reactions.
The other concern is that allergies that stem from food-borne causes may mirror more severe health issues. The only way to know for sure if the allergy is causing the reaction or an underlying issue is to get an examination from your pet’s veterinarian. Symptoms of foodborne allergies range from excessive itching to digestive problems.
The best way to avoid these foodborne issues is to select a high-quality meal plan that prioritizes the macronutrients, providing plenty of energy, building bone and teeth, and maintaining muscular strength.
What Are Macronutrients
So what exactly is a macronutrient? A macronutrient is the primary source of nutrition needed for optimal health and includes proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
When you read a product label, manufacturers will list ingredients by their weight in the final recipe. For example, the first item is the heaviest of all elements in the recipe, making them the most prevalent thing in the meal plan.
Causes Of Food-Borne Allergies
High-quality ingredients ensure pure animal protein sources such as chicken, salmon, and lamb and will be labeled clearly rather than some obscure term such as “meat meal.”
The problem with manufacturers that list “meat meal” is it is unclear the source and percentage of proteins and what else constitutes the makeup of “meat meal.” If the protein source is unknown, it could include additives or fillers such as corn, soy, or wheat which may cause an allergic reaction.
Excessive itching, diarrhea, low energy, runny nose, eyes, and excessive flatulence are all symptoms of allergies in dogs.
To avoid food-borne allergies, you need a meal plan that is clearly labeled, doesn’t use misleading terms, and is formulated for your dog’s age, weight, activity level, allergies, and wellness goals.
Is Your Dog Allergic Or Intolerant To Types Of Foods
Dogs that develop allergies, especially food-borne allergies, are prone to more allergies developing than others. Digestive issues and excessive itching are forms of allergic reactions to food, and if your Yorkie is exhibiting these, it’s best to discuss with your dog’s veterinarian to ascertain the cause.
Your Dog’s Age And Weight
Like people, dogs at different stages of life require different nutritional needs for a well-balanced diet. Additionally, your dog’s weight and activity levels should factor into the portions you offer it at feeding time.
Dry Food Vs. Wet
Some dogs prefer dry food, while others prefer wet food. There’s been some debate over whether one is more beneficial than another, but in general dry food is easier to store and won’t be an issue if your dog isn’t hungry at feeding time.
Macronutrients are fats, proteins, and carbohydrates and should make up the bulk of your meal plan. These macronutrients are the most used energy sources for your pet, and they should list their sources clearly on a product label.
Ideally, the best meal plan will include Superfoods such as pure protein sources like chicken, lamb, turkey, or salmon, rather than listed as “meat meal,” which is an unclear source and may have fillers or additives that may cause health issues with your pet.
Superfood protein sources are essential because food-borne allergies may arise from those fillers and preservatives in “meat meal” lists. As discussed, food-borne allergies can stimulate the immune system response and lead to other allergies or health issues.
In rare circumstances, food intolerance may occur, which is a more severe type of allergy that may lead to digestive issues in your Yorkie.
Carbohydrates act as an energy source over time, meaning that as the body breaks down, it relies on carbohydrates to provide sustained energy.
Fats work as a delayed energy source and are crucial for extended time between feeding.
Protein serves to build muscles, aids with brain function, and provides the body with energy throughout the day, so the protein source is crucial for optimal performance and health.
How To Read The Ingredients Label
The type of meal plan selected for your Boxer is an essential factor in its optimal health, providing them with the energy they need, help maintain an ideal weight, and provide the nutrition they need.
Any good meal plan will prioritize macronutrients over additives. The benefits of a high-quality food plan will balance skeletal-muscle demands while boosting immune systems and aiding digestion.
Benefits to good nutrition for your Boxer include:
Longer, higher levels of energy
Strong muscle tone, bones, and teeth
Improved Cardiovascular Performance
Boosted Immune System
Better digestion and healthier poop
Reading a food label can be challenging to comprehend. The first thing you need to know is that the FDA regulates dog food manufacturing and has strict requirements of what can be included. That said, there are loopholes that some subpar manufacturers will try to exploit, so understanding the regulations will help guide you in your meal plan selection.
A case in point is a meal plan that is labeled salmon and brown rice.
Writing the food label as it appears above means that the recipe prioritizes salmon as the main ingredient, with brown rice as the next most significant percentage of the recipe.
When you read a food label that includes the terms “dinner, entree, or platter,” while it may seem like it’s a healthy option, the FDA only requires these terms to be used if 25% of the product listed is used in the recipe. So, instead, for example, a product is listed as “turkey dinner for dogs,” which means that only 25% of the formula must include turkey. Obviously, you should avoid these terms because the use of obscure terms misleads the purity of the ingredients.
These obscure terms, “dinner or flavor,” are ways manufacturers claim an attractive, healthy option without providing the nutritional benefits associated with more pure food recipe labels. Instead, it is a cost-saving tactic that hides the fact there is less protein in the meal than one might expect.
Selecting The Right Meal Plan For Your Boxer
Even though the FDA regulates dog food manufacturing, there are still loopholes that subpar manufacturers try to exploit. However, by understanding how to read a product label, you’re better equipped in selecting the right meal plan for your Boxer, and choosing a food label that avoids obscure language is a good start.
If you’re confused about how to choose the best meal plan for your Boxer, the Hungry Bark Custom Meal Planner is a great place to start!
In as little as 2 minutes, the meal planner will customize your Boxer meal plan to factor breed, age, weight, activity level, and more to provide the best meal plan for a long, healthy life.