Making food at home is easy and in most cases, less expensive. Many of the ingredients are those that you normally buy. Buying in bulk saves money. For example, if you are purchasing chicken, you can purchase a large bulk package, putting some aside for you and some for your Boxer.
The main ingredient should be fresh, wholesome, real meat. This is what a Boxer needs. 35-45% of the mixture should be one or a combination of:
- Lean, white breast chicken
- Lean hamburger
- Fish - Tuna, Mackerel
Next are vegetables. This should make up 25-35% of the home-cooked meal. This can include wholesome, fresh veggies which you can mix in raw or steamed including:
- Sweet potatoes
- Sweet peas
- String beans
Next will be starch in the form of rice (white or brown) and/or pasta. Pasta is fantastic for a Boxer, offering great nutrients and wholesome real food for health and energy.
Don't forget about fruit. Many of the fruits a Boxer dog can eat
are packed with antioxidants and are low in calories. Banana, mango, cantaloupe, pears, watermelon, blueberries and raspberries are among the top choices. Some, like watermelon are super high in water content, which can help a dog reach his daily water requirements.
Finally, a good daily dog vitamin and mineral dog supplement should be mixed into a meal each day or given in tablet form. This should be given whether home cooking or giving commercial food.
How Often to Offer Meals
How often should you feed your Boxer puppy? From 2 months to 6 months, your dog should be eating 3 meals a day.
Different types of food have varying levels of calorie density; however in general each meal will be 1-2 cups of dog food.
Free feeding is not recommended. This is a method in which a dog's food is left out, so that the dog may eat when the desire. For maintaining good health and avoiding bloat
and other issues, food should be given at allotted times throughout the day; this is best for the dog.
Most owners find it easy to feed their puppy the 3 meals at the same time that they eat their own breakfast, lunch and dinner.
6 Months to 1 Year
During this time, despite appearance, your Boxer is still considered a puppy. During this 6 month time period that leads up to the 1 year mark, work your way down to 2 meals a day; 1 in the morning and 1 in the early evening. While many other dog breeds do well with 1 meal per day, since the Boxer is so prone to bloat, maintaining a schedule of feeding a Boxer twice per day is best. Since treats and snacks should be given to reinforce good behavior, factor that in when doling out meal sizes. You'll want your Boxer to appreciate the reward of a treat.
2 Years Old
Congratulations! Your Boxer is now considered an adult dog. Again, while many other breeds are now down to once-a-day feedings, to prevent bloat it is recommended to continue with 2 meals a day. You may opt to offer a smaller meal in the morning and a larger one at night. Alternatively, if your Boxer is left home alone
you may find it best for the first 'morning' feeding to be food that is stuffed into a Kong to be eaten over a period of time.
Your Boxer is done growing now, so do be careful to not overfeed. Extra calories are not needed, as growth spurts are done.