How to Help
First, it must be determined that weight gain is not being caused by a medical issue with your dog. Thyroid problems is the most common medical reason for a pet being overweight. Your Boxer should have a complete checkup with their veterinarian. Only then, once a condition is ruled out, should a diet be implemented.
Ask your veterinarian how much your Boxer dog should weigh. This will depend on 3 factors:
How many calories does your Boxer dog need to eat?
Adult Boxer dogs that are healthy and active need appropriately 40 calories per pound of body weight to maintain. For example, if your Boxer should be 50 pounds (22.68 kilograms), his/her needed calories will be 2000 per day. Keep in mind that this number varies quite a bit depending on age, activity level, neutered VS non-neutered and personal body metabolism. The range can be anywhere from 40 to 55 calories per pound.
Once you know what your Boxer should be receiving, a diet plan should be followed.
Your dog should be given 2 meals per day, with the calories split between the 2 meals. If your dog is very used to receiving treats, you may count the calories in 2 or 3 treats and subtract that from the amount of food given at mealtime.
Keep your Boxer active.
Aside from keeping a very close eye on what is fed to your Boxer, exercise is very important. It must be noted that an overweight dog cannot suddenly be expected to walk, jog or run for miles. Exercise
should be provided daily; however with a n overweight Boxer, it must begin slow and then steadily progress.
Puppies should have one good walk per day...It is important to not over-exercise a pup...Growth plates are not yet fully formed and it can cause growth problems and injury.
For adult dogs, a good brisk walk 2 times a day is recommended. 3 times is even better if the goal is to help your Boxer lose weight. Begin with short walks and allow your Boxer to be reminded of just how great it can feel to be outside and walk around! Make it as fun as you can...switch up the route so that they have new things to look at, new scents to smell, new things to explore. As your dog slowly begins to lose weight, he or she will have an increased desire to head outdoors.
As they get into better shape, you can add some variety to your exercise routines. Taking your Boxer for a hike through the woods can be a great way to bond with your dog. Teaching him or her to run alongside you as you bike can be fun. Toss around a Frisbee or throw a tennis ball in a large yard. Your Boxer will enjoy the time spent with you and get healthy while doing so.
Be sure to supply plenty of water. Do not exercise your dog outside if the weather is hot and/or humid. Having bloodlines tied to the Mastiff family unfortunately makes breathing difficult in certain instances.
The important thing to remember is that you will be providing your dog with enough calories to stay active while being at a slight deficient in order to slow lose. Taking it slow and steady is the only healthy way to help your dog. You will be helping them live longer with proper exercise that keeps their heart pumping and burns off the extra fat. Once your dog is at the recommended weight, be sure to keep up with your healthy routines.
While canine obesity is a problem, there are owners who have a dog who is underweight. If ribs are very prominent, most likely, the dog is not receiving enough nutrition or there is a health issue.
When you have an underweight dog, the 1st step is to have a complete vet exam. Countless health issues can cause weight loss or an inability to put on weight. This, in turn, can lead to dangerous secondary issues such as malnutrition and dehydration.
If your Boxer is deemed to be 100% healthy, it is time to look into the dog's nutritional needs. While our feeding guidelines are general since every dog is different, if your Boxer is very active, he or she may need more food to keep their body going. With a dog who is otherwise healthy, but too skinny, increase the food intake. You may wish to add a feeding time or to add more food to each meal.
Most importantly, not only is it suggested to offer more food to the underweight dog, but to always and only offer healthy home cooked meals or high quality dog food. Inexpensive dog food may save you a dollar but will be destructive to your Boxer. Cheap dog food is not easily digested, many of the nutrients are not absorbed into the dog's body and are expelled when the dog eliminates. Both regular meals and snacks should be only of the highest quality.