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Help Boxer Live Long Life

How to Help a Boxer Dog Live a Long Life


Though this breed's typical life span is short in comparison to some other breeds, there are steps you can take to help your Boxer dog live as long of a life as possible. Though luck does play a role, with excellent care, a Boxer can live well into his teens as proven in the oldest living Boxer dogs section. 

Choices you make each day affect both his short term and importantly long term health. 

We encourage owners to assess if they are taking all steps possible to prevent issues, avoid problems, catch conditions early, and take purposeful actions that will lead to longevity. 

In this section, you will be able to:

1) Take a quiz to see how you score in regard to helping your Boxer dog live as long of a life as possible.

2) Read an overview of why each care item or action contributes to your dog's potential to live a long life.

3) Have a look at some recommended essentials for optimal health and happiness. 

Take a quiz to gauge if you're taking all steps necessary to help your Boxer live into his/her teens

Please allow a few moments for the quiz to load; thanks!

How the elements in the quiz can affect a Boxer's life span:

While there are some things that you just can't prevent and just one or two 'healthy choices' may not make much of a difference, if you do most or all of the following, it will certainly play a large role in how long your Boxer lives and will help him/her be with you for as many years as possible.

We'll cover the elements that were in the quiz above:


Ensuring that your Boxer receives the appropriate amount of exercise is vital for good health. Take care with Boxers under 18 months; too much exertion can affect growth plates. For adults, you want to get your Boxer to a level of having good muscle mass and optimal stamina so that he has an excellent foundation taking him into the senior years. 

What to do:

Two walks per day should be routine. Some sessions of cardio play such as fetch is awesome as well. For seniors, expect a gradual decline in both pace and duration, but don't stop walks entirely until you simply must. 

The timing of when your Boxer engages in activity matters as well. Bloat, which is a serious and sometimes fatal condition has several causes; one element that greatly increases the risk is exercise within 1 to 2 hours of eating. For casual walks, we recommend waiting 1 hour. For moderate to heavy exercise, wait 2 hours after your Boxer is done eating.


Another element that is related to bloat, as mentioned above, is if a dog ingests food from a raised bowl (this is one of the top 5 risk factors). And another huge factor linked to killer bloat is eating too fast. 

What to do:

Always use a floor level bowl. 

If your Boxer is a fast eater (this is also one of the top 5 risk factors of bloat), use a slow-feeder bowl or place a portion pacer inside the current bowl. 

We recommend stainless steel or ceramic; do not use plastic. Plastic can cause an allergic reaction, can tip, and too easily gets scratches and nicks which harbor bacteria. In addition, using plastic can cause nose pigmentation to fade over the course of time. 


By far, this is one of the most important elements to helping a Boxer live a long life. And it is far too often overlooked. Tap water in most cities and town across the U.S. and in other countries is filled with carcinogens and toxins. 

CNN reports that  the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released a study showing 218 million Americans have tap water that contains chromium-6 or hexavalent chromium, a proven cancer causing agent. Shocking? Perhaps, but it's really not new. For decades, it has been known that hundreds of toxins are in our water and they are legally allowed to be there.

Using a filtering device on your kitchen tap is the best way to help your Boxer live as long as possible. Other alternatives are a canine water fountain; though these are great for encouraging proper water intake, most have charcoal filters which do not filter out as much.
What to do: Make a change today, and never give unfiltered tap water to your Boxer again. There are several options including kitchen water filtering systems or devices that fit onto the tap. However, one of the most effective methods is to use an Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher. These pitchers that hold 8 cups at a time are pretty amazing. 

This is made with 100% FDA-approved food grade materials. It filters out a whopping 2000% more than Brita. It gets rid of a slew of toxins including fluoride, lead, mercury, chlorine, and even that sickening chromium 6.

And this comes with a lifetime guarantee. Buy it once and you're set literally forever. 

Dental care.

This is a vital element as well. 24/7, around the clock, there is plaque constantly being produced. It eats away at tooth enamel. If it is allowed to build up, it hardens into tartar. It can travel under the gum line. This can lead to gingivitis, tooth decay (that can lead to tooth loss) and infection, which in some cases, can travel to other areas of the body.

Think about what would be going on in your mouth if you never brushed your teeth. Pretty gross, right? And, it'd probably lead to quite a bit of pain or even deadly infection too, right? What makes your Boxer any different? 

Way too many owners fall short with this important care element. 

What to do:
1. Take your Boxer to the vet to check for decay and for a professional cleaning, if needed.

2. Brush your Boxer's teeth every day, using a quality brush like the EZDOG Triple-Sided Pet Toothbrush , and a very effective canine toothpaste like Virbac C.E.T. Poultry Toothpaste

Vet visits.

Wellness checks are important. Prognosis is so much better when conditions are caught early.

What to do:

Don't wait until your Boxer is sick to take him/her to the vet. Just like humans, dogs need wellness checks. 

Adult Boxers should be seen 1 time per year and seniors should be seen twice per year. This will involve a complete exam to check a dog's current health and screen for common issues. Catching conditions early brings about the best chance for a good prognosis and fast, effective treatment. 

Body checks and sunscreen.

Since cancer cuts so many Boxer's lives short as the #1 cause of death for this breed, you can be proactive to help prevent or catch skin cancer early.

What to do:

Routinely check your Boxer for lumps. Run your hands over every part of his/her body on a regular basis. Don't assume you'll find something during baths, look for something. 
And use a canine sun block in the summer. The only FDA compliment one is Epi-Pet Sun Protector Spray for Pets; which is super easy to use, is healthy for the coat, and can go both on the coat and on the belly (sunlight reflects up from ground surfaces).

Car safety.

Having a dog unrestrained is dangerous for both owner and dog. An interesting pet passenger survey by AAA & Kurgo, shows that 29% of owners get distracted by their dog while in the car, which AAA reports doubles one's chances of being in an accident.

In addition, the risk of injury or death is quite high. In a crash of just 30 mph, an unrestrained 80 lb. dog is thrown with the force of a 2400 lb. object. 
What to do:
You wouldn't have your child unbuckled in the car and you'd be pretty upset if your teenager drove around without a seat belt on, so please care enough to keep your Boxer safely buckled in
There's some great options that are super easy to use, and very comfortable for dogs. There's images down below for you to see several options that just make a whole lot of sense; and one of the safest and most comfortable ones is the Kurgo Tru-Fit Crash Tested Car Harness


Chaotic households that cause a dog to feel stressed can affect the dog in a number of ways. Stress will affect the dog's quality of life and in terms of long term issues, it can increase the risk of everything from diabetes to gastrointestinal problems.

What to do:
Try to keep the house chill. Just like you would if a kid were around. Because your Boxer is your kid. 

And if there is lots of commotion, give your Boxer somewhere to retreat to if he wants. This can be a quality bed in a quiet corner, where he can get away but not feel isolated. 


Excessive weight puts a strain on the entire body. It's unhealthy for the heart and puts stress on joints. Long term effects can include exercise intolerance which leads to muscle loss, breathing problems, high blood pressure, canine diabetes, liver dysfunction and osteoarthritis. 

What to do:

Carefully choose a high quality food (see next point below), set an eating schedule, do not feed table scraps, and keep up with daily exercise. 

Type of food.

No doubt, a dog's diet will affect both his current health and his health in the future. Such elements as chemical preservatives, coloring and flavoring can cause allergic reactions that lead to itchiness (chewing at the paws, skin rash, poor coat, etc.).  There is concern that some preservatives are linked to liver issues and to cancer. Included in this is ethoxyquin, to which the EPA answers "potential cancer risk is below the Agency’s level of concern.” 

That's not too comforting to hear that cancer causing agents are there but not at high doses. Of additional concern are the artificial preservatives BHA and BHT which are considered to be carcinogens by the National Institutes of Health.

Finally, poor nutrition is connected to increased risk of tooth decay, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers. 

It is also risky to offer treats that can cause possible blockage; raw hides are notorious for this dangerous and sometimes fatal issue. 

What to do:

Always feed your Boxer a 5-star food and choose all-natural, healthy snacks. Don't assume that any brand is a good one based purely on name recognition. Some of the worst dog food manufacturers pay for commercials and are the first thing you'll see stacked in the supermarket. 
You can use Dog Food Advisor to see how your Boxer's food scores. And if you puppy or dog is not eating at least a 4-star food, make an immediate change. 
There's a few superior foods out there, and one of the best is Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Dry. It's hard to beat this. It has no fillers and no by-products. It has ZERO additives. No artificial colors, no chemical preservatives. Nothing; just good, wholesome food. 

This has antioxidants (immune strength), omega 3 (healthy skin and coat), glucosomine (important for joint health), and probiotics (great for good digestion). And, it's made in the USA.


Never underestimate what a Boxer dog can mouth and accidentally swallow.  Dogs do not mouth non-food items to eat them; it's done out of curiosity and/or boredom, so nothing is off limits. This can lead to choking and quite possibly internal blockage that can be fatal. 

Additionally, the use of aerosol sprays such as air fresheners and cleaning products can produce a type of indoor air pollution. There are some known toxins in many of these products including formaldehyde, camphor, ethanol and phenol and some of these sorts of sprays contain known carcinogens.

In regard to lawn care chemicals, the majority are toxic to canines. These can be ingested if the Boxer chews at grass or a dog can be exposed simply walking over the area. 

Finally, don't forget about toys that may be chewed to such a degree that they become choking hazards.  
What to do:

1. Routine proof the house. Go over all the floors and ANY areas that your Boxer could reach. Put locks on lower cabinets. 

2. Limit the use of aerosol sprays and be aware of what may be being placed down on your lawn. If you take your Boxer out to public parks, try to stay informed about what sort of weed killer or lawn treatments may be used there.

3. Every week or so, take a look at your Boxer's toys. Toss those that are torn or look worn. If your Boxer rips through toys like they're made of butter, buy toys that stand up to aggressive chewers. 

If you're giving Goughnuts to your Boxer, look for the red inner layer; that's why it's there, to keep your dog safe (plus you get a free replacement!). 

Our Top Recommendations for Boxer Care Essentials

Below are most of the things that we've talked about here. 
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