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Best Supplements

The Best Supplements for Boxer Dogs

Overview

The thing about supplements, is that under certain circumstances, the use of a supplement can be exceedingly helpful. The right ones can be great to restore skin and coat, help with stomach issues, boost immune strength, and help treat and prevent joint pain (a common issue with this breed). 

In addition, if you are offering a mostly home cooked diet to your Boxer, a vitamin and mineral supplement is needed.

However, there are countless canine supplements on the market that claim to do all sorts of things. And some of those don't really do a thing and others are actually detrimental.

So, it is important to weed out which ones will be very beneficial to your Boxer depending on his particular needs and which you don't need to bother with. 

Here, we'll take a look at some of the supplements you may want to consider, based on certain issues or situations. 

A Daily Vitamin and Mineral - To Round Out Meals & For Seniors

There is no need to give your Boxer a vitamin and mineral supplement if you are offering him manufactured food. Just about all dog foods are made with needed vitamins and minerals mixed into the ingredients. In fact, even many low-quality, inferior foods do at least offer this. If you choose a 4 or 5-star food, you can feel good about what you feed your Boxer.

There is a need to give your Boxer a vitamin and mineral supplement if you are home cooking for him. Offering homemade meals consisting of white breast chicken, lamb, turkey, and/or fish, a bit of pasta and/or rice, veggies such as green beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, peas, carrots, potato, and fruits including blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and some banana is also a great way to go. 

This allows a Boxer to eat wholesome, fresh foods while eliminating any chemicals or additives such as coloring, flavoring, or preservatives.

However, no matter which route you take, all dogs need a vitamin mix (pre-blended into kibble or given separately) to ensure that they receive enough: Calcium, choline, choloride, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, mananganese, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamins A, B6, B12,C, D3 and E, and zinc.

What to look for: Look for a made in the USA, full and complete vitamin and mineral supplement that has the above listed ingredients. There are several options for dosing; you may prefer a powder that is sprinkled and then mixed into a meal or a chew tablet (often flavored to be tasty to dogs). 

For senior Boxers: Most vitamin and mineral supplements that are geared for senior dogs are essentially the same base, but will added glucosamine. Glucosamine is a really great supplement for joint health. We'll touch on this next; however, you may opt for a senior formula that has this or if your Boxer receives what he needs from his food, only offer a glucosamine-only supplement.  

In addition, both the vitamin C and E that is found in a complete formula is proven to help reduce inflammation and help with memory problems in canines, which are two common issues seen with older dogs. 
Some of the Top Rated, Full & Complete Canine Vitamin & Mineral Supplements:

Glucosamine for Joint Health - Should Be Given Before Issues Arise

What this is: Glucosamine and chondroitin are natural amino sugars that are produced by the body (both humans and canines alike). It is not naturally occurring in any foods, save for very small trace amounts in some types of shellfish.

When these are at optimal levels, and with a young, healthy dog, they works by keeping cartilage strong. And this is important, as cartilage must be strong to cushion bones at the joints (hips, knees, elbows). 

Why this may be needed: As a dog ages, his body starts to struggle with producing enough glucosamine and chondroitin. At a certain point, his body uses it faster than he can produce it. As soon as a Boxer reaches that tipping point, cartilage starts to break down. This is what leads to arthritis. 

In addition, with dogs of any age that have had conditions that involve joint health (hip dysplasia, patella luxation, elbow dysplasia, back issues) this is often recommended. 

The age that a Boxer needs glucosamine: Most owners do not start their dogs on this early enough. Here's the thing, this is prescribed after a dog develops arthritis. But, by then it's a game of catch-up that cannot be won. 

And arthritis can be terribly crippling. You may notice that your older Boxer starts to hesitate when he tries to rise. He will be a bit slower on walks. Then, things can just spiral down. Issues are most commonly seen in the legs and hips. And this can have a huge impact on so many elements in a dog's life. From walking to being able to sleep well at night and everything in between.

You may strongly want to consider starting your Boxer dog on glucosamine or chondroitin at the age of 6 years old, before issues start to develop. If you offer the recommended daily amount, this can only be beneficial. 

Please note, there are 2 basic options:

Glucosamine - This would be recommended for a younger adult Boxer aged 6 and up that you are giving this to preemptively to help prevent joint issues. 

Cosequin - This contains both glucosamine and chondroitin (both are the chemical compounds that a senior's body has trouble producing) and sometimes MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) which is an organic sulfur containing compound that is believed to help reduce pain and swelling. This is recommended for a Boxer that already has joint issues and/or has been diagnosed with arthritis. 

***The only thing to keep in mind is that these are derived from shellfish, so while it is very rare, if a dog was allergic to shellfish, he should not be given this supplement. 
Effective, Made in the USA Glucosamine/Cosequin Supplements

Omega 3, 6 Supplements - For Skin and Coat Issues

Also for chronic illness and arthritis, in some cases

Before you give this supplement: There are many health issues that can affect a dog's skin and coat. This includes thyroid issues, allergies, skin infection, nutritional deficiencies, and more. So, if your Boxer's skin is very itchy, there is a rash, and/or if the coat is exceedingly dry and brittle, it is first recommended to bring your Boxer to the vet to rule out any underlying conditions.

This said, if health issues have been ruled out, many dogs do suffer from dry skin and/or coat issues that are due to other things. This includes such elements as seasonal whether changes, arid air (an issue common in the winter), slight dehydration, use of inferior bathing products, contact friction and more.

What can help: You will want to be sure that your Boxer is drinking enough water, the house holds enough humidity in the winter, you are using quality shampoos, and that you're using a quality leave-in coat spray. And, offering an Omega supplement can often bring about increased skin and coat health. 

What is Omega 3, 6: Omegas (3, 6 and 9) are a chain of molecules that are linked with either a single or double bond. Both Omega 3 and 6 are considered essential; meaning that a body cannot produce these and must obtain them from foods or supplements. 

Omega 9 is a 'non essential' supplement, meaning that it also is needed, however the body can synthesis this from other indigestibles and does not need to depend on a direct dietary source.

What the Omegas do: Omega 3, 6  and 9 do a couple of things. They have been found to help reduce inflammation, which can be helpful if a dog is having an allergic reaction to something. They also decrease dry skin and coat issues, flaking and scaling. 

When given for a minimum of 4 months, there can be a dramatic improvement in skin and coat. Skin will better hold proper amounts of moisture and the coat will be healthier and shinier. In many cases, itching will also decrease, allowing the skin to heal and the fur to regrow. 

This supplement is also shown to help with inflammation and with helping to boost the immune system; for this reason it is often given for issues such as arthritis and also for some chronic illness including some cancers. 

A note about omega in dog foods: Most brands do include omega 3 and 6;however due to cost tend to add enough omega 6 but not enough omega 3. And for Boxers that are struggling with skin issues, what is found in their basic diet will not offer the extra bonus needed to help resolve issues. 

Is fish oil the same thing? Fish oil and omega 3 are practically interchangeable. Fish oil is the the method of delivering omega 3 (though squid and krill are as well); however do choose fish oil wisely since some can contain vitamin A and/or D, and unless your Boxer dog is in need of those, you won't want to give additional vitamins if they are not needed. 
Highly Recommended Omega Supplements

High Calorie, Weight Gain Nutritional Supplements

Before you give this supplement: There are many health issues that can affect a dog's ability to gain weight. 
  • Healthy newborns should be gaining each day. 
  • Healthy young pups, though they can have stalls, should be gaining steadily when looking at it month by month. 
  • Boxers around the 18-month mark may tend to look skinny due to their bodies growing rapidly and their calorie intake not being able to keep up. 
  • Adults should be maintaining without a problem. 
  • And seniors may lose some muscle mass, thus losing a few pounds. 
So, if your Boxer should be gaining and either has a stall for 3 days (newborn), 2 weeks (new puppy, 8-weeks old) or 4 months (older pup, 4 to 12 months) or is losing weight, this warrants a veterinary visit. The possible causes of inability to gain weight are numerous, and this also includes such things as stress (commonly seen with pups entering new homes). 

This said, some puppies can struggle to gain. Adolescents may be trying to play catch-up. And some seniors, particularly those that have trouble eating due to tooth loss, can be in need for some aid.

ONLY after all possible health issues have been ruled out, should you consider giving a Boxer a bit of a boost via a high-calorie nutritional supplement.
Safe, Effective, High Calorie Supplements for Gradual Weight Gain

Specialty Supplements

Eye care, digestion

There are some supplements that may help with these specific health issues.

Vision - An antioxidant supplement formulated for eye health may help with heartbreaking issues such as cataracts and glaucoma. Though this cannot cure either of these eye diseases, there have been some promising studies. So, if your Boxer is having eye issues, you may want to speak to your vet about this. 

Typically, these are a blend of a large array of antioxidants including Ocu-GLO and/or astaxanthin. 

Digestion - The Boxer breed can have issues with flatulence, constipation and other gastrointestinal issues. Often, probiotics can help with this. They work by balancing the good Vs bad bacteria in the stomach for a healthier gastrointestinal tract. 

You'll want to speak to your vet about chronic issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, and other sorts of upset stomach issues to make sure that serious health issues are ruled out, and the vet may recommend a probiotic enzyme as part of a treatment plan. 

These are a few great choices:
Were you looking for supplement recommendations regarding an issue not listed here? Shoot us an email at Contact@AllBoxerInfo.com and we'll try to help you out. 
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