As a medium-sized breed, the boxer is a breed hailing from Germany and is quite vigorous when it comes to playtime. However, to achieve a healthy and life, boxer puppies need to be fed with the right nutrition firsthand. So, how much should you feed a boxer puppy?
Not to worry – this article will cover mostly everything about a boxer puppy’s diet. To ensure that this strong and muscular breed grows up to be a great family protector, they have to start with quality meals and treats that will shape their health better. Having a proper feeding schedule and amount to feed your boxer puppy will keep them in shape.
If you have questions or want to know how exactly to feed a boxer puppy, you’re in luck. We have a couple of FAQs covered below in the later sections plus tips on how to monitor your boxer puppy’s ideal weight based on their age.
How much to feed a Boxer puppy?
A boxer puppy needs 55 calories per pound each day. With that said, you can adjust depending on your puppy’s weight since not all boxer pups have the same size. Aside from that, the amount of calories that you can give to your boxer puppy also depends on the type of food, their metabolism, activity levels, and any health issues along the way.
If you aren’t sure about your puppy’s weight, the general rule is around 3 to 5 cups a day for young puppies. You can raise that to 5 cups if the pups get older and if your boxer puppies have a lot of physical activity in a day. Don’t worry when they reach adulthood as they won’t need a lot of calories during this time to avoid obesity.
With that said, it still helps to know your boxer puppy’s weight. You can just use a home or bathroom weighing scale or have them weighed in your local vet’s clinic. Looking at your puppy’s weight and some online charts will help you figure out if your puppy is underweight or overweight based on their age.
Likewise, it also helps to look for the kibble packaging to give the appropriate serving size (in terms of calories) for your boxer pup. Aside from that, adding the treats that you gave to your puppy is also important for the total calorie count per day.
With that said, here’s what you can expect when feeding your boxer puppy based on their age:
2 weeks old
During the newborn stage, boxer puppies aren’t ready for weaning yet since they need a lot of nutrition from their mother’s milk. A 2-week-old boxer puppy will start opening their eyes to the world.
Keep in mind that if you have different puppies in terms of size, always make sure that all of them have equal turns on getting the milk of the mother. A milk replacer or supplement is helpful if the mother couldn’t nurse all of them at once, especially in a bigger litter.
It also helps to know if there are puppies in the litter that have considerably smaller weight than the others, and you should focus your attention on them.
3 to 4 weeks old
During this time, a boxer puppy will still most likely depend on their mother’s milk since they are still young, although they have probably grown much more than when they were 2 weeks old.
Boxer puppies should be watched during nursing for signs of problem behavior among a large litter, especially if one puppy isn’t getting the right nutrition as the others. If you suspect that one of your puppies is underweight, talk to your vet for a possible milk supplement to get their weight back on track.
The weaning process starts at 4 weeks of age for your boxer puppy. Start by mixing 1/4 puppy food and 3/4 water to make the mixture easy to digest for your pup. During this week, your puppy will less likely depend on their mother’s milk and the mother, on the other hand, will also slowly let go of her little ones.
To ensure that your puppy doesn’t waste all of the food, only put a small serving into their plate or bowl. This will also prevent the food from spoiling easily as adding water to the mixture makes it more prone to mold and bacteria, especially in highly-humid areas.
A 4-weel-old boxer puppy could have a little slow pace when it comes to the weaning transition and this is normal. Also, do keep in mind that not all boxer puppies let go at the same time as each other. Expect a gradual transition between nursing and solid food and don’t force them to feed if they don’t want to – just leave the food there for easy access.
5 to 6 weeks old
Boxer puppies that are 5 weeks old will probably become more interested in the new mixture of food during this time. Keep offering them the water and puppy food mix to make sure that they get used to it. They might not like it at first but when they try again, they will probably want to feed on the bowl much more.
With that said, a 5-week-old boxer puppy should still be nursed by its mother although in slightly smaller amounts. Always remember that the weaning process of any dog breed is always gradual to avoid mishaps and health concerns in the future. The puppy’s mother could be nursing her little ones but it could get shorter.
Aside from that, your boxer puppy will also develop their milk teeth during this stage, which is why weaning should be done constantly. Teaching your pup to be more comfortable with solid food will help ease the pain and responsibility of their mother.
By 6 weeks of age, you should start putting up a schedule for your boxer puppy’s feeding routine. The puppy food should be offered to your pet but divided into 4 different meals in a single day.
When your boxer puppy begins to like the food so much, that’s when you can reduce the water content so that it’s equal to the puppy food. Eventually, leave it with 3/4 puppy food and only 1/4 water once you think they are ready. This marks the near end of the weaning process, which is not supposed to be fast but should go smoothly with a lot of patience from you as the owner/breeder.
7 to 8 weeks old
During this time, boxer puppies are expected to eat solid food just fine. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your pup’s mother won’t nurse them anymore, as she could still give milk while standing up, but only partially.
With that said, eating solid food is still on the small side as your boxer puppy might still find it a little intimidating. Therefore, you can reduce the puppy food schedule from 4 times a day to only 3. This allows the boxer puppy to do their business regularly and not get their bellies too stuffed.
At 8 weeks of age, a boxer puppy should be completely weaned from its mother’s milk. This is when your puppy starts regularly taking in kibble or wet food, depending on your preference and availability of the product. The ideal amount of servings per day is 3 to 4 times, which is usually in the morning, noon or afternoon, and at night.
The best amount of food you can give to your boxer puppy is at least 2 cups a day, which translates to about 600 calories or so. Again, this depends on how much activity they are getting and their initial weight.
A word of advice, though: boxer puppies are prone to bloating so they cannot be free-fed at all. For a boxer puppy, consider getting a food dispenser, a food puzzle toy, or a slow-feeder to avoid any potential health hazards and mishaps.
9 to 10 weeks old
During their 9th week, a boxer puppy could be sent to a new home if they grew up in a breeder’s quarters. If this is the case, ask the breeder what they have been feeding the boxer puppy so as not to give confusion to the puppy’s stomach.
When you need to switch brands of dog food (or puppy food in this case), make sure to do it gradually. Start with little amounts of the new puppy food and gradually adjust until the new formula becomes 100% on their daily meals.
At 9 weeks old, boxer puppies also tend to be a little curious and will pick up objects and even food scraps from the ground. Be wary and keep your house safe for them to live.
When your boxer pup turns 10 weeks old, they are going to live an active lifestyle. Therefore, they will need 2 times the amount of food that a regular adult boxer would chow down. A boxer puppy needs a lot of calories and fat since they are a sporty breed.
With that said, we did mention earlier that bloating is a common problem with boxer puppies. That’s why the pup should not be free-fed and is best to be used with a slow-feeder or puzzle feeder. You can also cut down on the treats, if ever.
11 to 12 weeks old
During this time, the boxer puppy grows intensively and is more likely to eat a lot. That’s why you should prepare to stock up a lot of puppy food, especially if you are keeping a lot of boxer puppies.
With that in mind, be sure to check your boxer puppy’s waist to avoid overweight issues. Aside from that, you can also talk to your vet if you see any signs of food allergies or any potential health inconveniences when giving them certain brands of dog food.
At 12 weeks old, your puppy should be fed 3 times a day and after that, you can just stick to the regular schedule. They are going to eat in a more refined manner as compared to their growth stages so the chances of weight gain lessen here.
Due to being a sporty and active breed, a boxer puppy needs about 4 cups of food a day, which is quite overwhelming if you’ve previously owned small breeds. Check their ribs and if they are visible, that means you can add more cups of food to their daily meal portions.
Putting up a feeding schedule for the boxer puppy is important since they are prone to bloating. This means that they cannot be free-fed during their later puppy stages. With that said, here are some tips on how to manage their feeding schedules:
|Age of boxer puppy||Recommended feeding schedule||Notes|
|1 to 4 weeks old||Free-feeding||Puppies that are still being nursed by their mother should be free-fed because they will still need to go through a weaning process. Keep their food accessible at all times when they are still in their early stages. This is also important for boxer pups that are underweight or aren’t getting the right nourishment from their mother.|
|5 to 12 weeks old||3 to 4 meals a day||When the puppy reaches the near end of their weaning phase, they are best fed with 3 to 4 meals a day. Setting up schedules during this time is important so that it can help promote an early set of good habits for your dog in the future.
By keeping a set schedule for your boxer pup, it will also maintain a constant schedule with everything else, such as exercise or playtime, toilet time, sleeping, and the like, which leads to better obedience to their owner.
|12 weeks old and above||2 to 3 meals a day with snacks||When your boxer puppy is near their 1st or 2nd birthday, they might go through a skinny phase because of their rapid growth. You can supplement this by adding more nutritious meals and snacks. Choosing their puppy food carefully will also help them get the right amount of nutrition and energy for their daily needs.|
To help you figure out the ideal weight of your boxer puppy based on their age, here’s a helpful chart for you:
|Age of boxer puppy||Recommended weight|
|2 months||20 pounds|
|3 months||20 to 25 pounds|
|4 months||28 to 30 pounds|
|5 months||33 to 43 pounds|
|6 months||38 to 48 pounds|
FAQs on Feeding a Boxer Puppy
So, do you have any concerns or questions regarding feeding a boxer puppy? We’d be happy to answer some of them below:
Which is better for my boxer puppy: dry or wet food?
If you want to ask us whether dry kibble or wet dog food is ideal for a boxer puppy, we’d answer both of them. Although boxer puppies indeed prefer wet food because of their nutritional value and hearty amounts of visible raw meat, kibble is also not that bad because it helps their teeth.
Furthermore, having crunchy kibble as part of their daily diet will help as a form of exercise not just for their teeth and gums but also for their jaw. It also serves as a great de-stressing activity for a boxer puppy. Even if you do brush your boxer puppy’s teeth, nothing removes canine plague more intensively than crunching a good batch of dog kibble.
Mixing dry and canned food also has its benefits. For instance, boxer puppies that have a bit of an attitude with choosing their food preference could quickly feast on any dry food that’s sprinkled with kibble. Even if they won’t like kibble, they’ll still munch on it inevitably because it is mixed with canned food.
Keep in mind that when you do mix canned food and dry kibble, consider choosing the same brand to avoid stomach upsets. If you also prefer a home cooking touch, consider adding chicken or beef broth (should be low in salt), or even plain old water, just like when you were feeding them during their early puppy stages.
Can boxer puppies be fed grain-free food?
Yes and no – it depends on your vet’s advice. Not all dogs are fit for grain-free food but not all of them are suitable for whole grains, either. Some dogs do develop gluten or wheat allergies and can result in skin problems.
With that in mind, dilated cardiomyopathy, a kind of heart disease attributed to dogs, has been studied and linked to a couple of grain-free dog foods in which the meat source was exotic, such as bison, and the use of legumes and peas as the source of protein instead of grain. Boxer puppies are prone to DCM so it’s a good idea to ask your vet first before trying grain-free food.
What should I look for in a boxer puppy food?
If you want to give your boxer puppy the best food possible, here are some factors to consider:
- Free of synthetic colorants and preservatives. Any dog or puppy food that is free from unhealthy preservatives and synthetic additives is a good choice for your boxer pup. Colorants in dog food have been studied and are somehow linked to behavioral problems in most dogs.
- Free from flavor enhancers. Any dog breed works better with less MSG or sodium in its diet because it could lead to dog anxiety and difficulty in breathing. For your boxer puppy to be in its best health, consider less salty food in its bowl. Stick to natural flavors instead.
- Generic animal materials and by-products. Animal by-products have unknown origins and are not listed by the manufacturer. If you don’t know where the animal by-products came from, there’s a big chance that they are from sick or dead animals and you don’t even know what animals those are. Most of them could even be from roadkill and expired meats, which is alarming.
Unless you’re in an emergency and your puppy is starving and has little to no access to quality dog food other than grocery store brands, keep them away from products that have animal by-products listed in the ingredients.
- Free from fillers. Fillers are not recommended in a boxer puppy’s diet since they have almost nutritional value. Dogs that eat filler-rich food are more likely to eat their poop (gross!).
- Natural ingredients. Having natural ingredients lessens the likelihood of your puppy getting sick. Usually, dog food brands that aren’t too commercialized tend to have more natural ingredients.
- Quality meat sources. Consider getting your meat sources from responsible pet companies and make sure it is listed as the first ingredient. Common puppy food could have chicken or fish as their main meat product.
- Healthy grains. Rice, quinoa, and oatmeal are great sources of healthy grains in puppy food. If your vet recommended that some grains are okay for the boxer puppy then consider these ingredients.
- A couple of fruits and veggies. Contrary to common belief, dogs could have a few fruits and veggies from time to time as supplements due to their vitamins and minerals.
- Specially formulated for boxer puppies. The boxer puppy is a medium breed so consider choosing the right puppy food for them. Fortunately, some brands also sell breed-specific puppy foods or at least a product that’s meant for medium-sized breed puppies. This will make it easier for them to consume and digest.
To wrap it up, a boxer puppy needs all the nutritional value and energy sources they can get so be sure to choose the right food for them. Always remember that boxer puppies are prone to bloating so consider investing in a puzzle feeder or slow-feeder bowl to avoid health emergencies from happening.
Showing love to your boxer puppy is best done with properly scheduling their feeding routine, setting the right amount of calories per day, and disciplining them to build a habit for their daily meals. This will help them, in the long run, to keep illnesses away.