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Boxer Dog Essential Supplies


While a dog, technically, can live with just food, shelter and water, there's a fairly decent amount of supplies that you'll want for your Boxer dog, in order to provide optimal health, safety, comfort and happiness. 

The good news, is that if you obtain the right products, you won't waste money on those that are not effective and with most high quality items, you can go quite a while before replacing them.

Here, we'll go over a quick list of supplies to have for a Boxer puppy or dog and then we'll dive into more details about how these benefit Boxers of all ages and show you some of our recommendations. 

Quick List of Supplies

For All Boxers:
  • Food and treats
  • Bowls
  • Bed or mat
  • Leash, collar, harness
  • ID Tag
  • Toys
  • Brushes
  • Dental care items
  • Bathing & coat supplies
  • Nail, paw & nose care supplies
  • Car seat
  • Basic first aid items
Optional, based on needs:
  • Cold weather gear
  • Supplements

Food and Treats

The quality of the food that you give to your Boxer will affect him both now and have long-term effects, good or bad. One huge mistake made is to grab a brand just because you keep hearing the name (lots of great brands don't need to rely on constant advertising) or to just pick up what's available at your local grocery store. 

A subpar food can cause everything from poor skin and coat health, to allergic reaction and gastrointestinal issues. You'll want to stay away from inferior foods that contain fillers and chemical additives (coloring, flavoring, preservatives). 

What makes a great dog food is one that is all natural, has no generic animal fats or meat sources, has modest carbs and a fat to protein ration of about 75% or lower. 

For snacks, also steer clear of additives since they can really do a number on a dog. Look for all natural products, made in the US (or North America, i.e. US and Canada).

And don't forget that it's never a bad thing to toss in some veggies (carrots, peas, green beans) to meals or offer fruit to your Boxer (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries) as treats or mixed into kibble. 
There are several great 5-star brands. We personally recommend Orijen for main meals:
*** If you want to check on the rating of your Boxer's current food or see other 5-star foods, the Dog Food Advisor site is a great place to do that. 
Some great options for Made in the US, all natural treats include:

The Right Bowls

Having the right bowls for your Boxer is important.  This will affect everything from how comfortable he is eating, to bacteria in the bowl and also has a direct impact on the risk of developing bloat (an issue with this breed). Size, height, material and overall design all matter.

Bed or Mat

Boxers love to take over the sofa, make claim to their human's favorite chair or stretch out on the floor. But, for a breed that has rapid growth phases (causing growing pains) and for a breed that is prone to developing joint issues (by age 7, about 20% have osteoarthritis, by 10 it's about 90%), a quality bed or mattress is a wise choice. 

Leash, Collar, Harness, ID

Of course, a leash is an essential supply. We recommend a 6 food leash (or retractable) for house training Boxer puppies. You'll want to keep him close to lead him to and keep him in the exact designated area and to have him close to give immediate praise and reward.

A short leash is also best when training your Boxer to heel, since his proper positioning is to your left and right by your side.

A longer leash, or one that can extend out, is great for allowing your Boxer to run and have some freedom, when deemed safe. 

In regard to a collar or harness, this breed typically has strong enough neck and shoulder muscles to do okay with a collar. However, if your Boxer tends to launch himself forward or off to the side quite often when on leash, play it safe and get him a harness. This will remove the issue of pressure being applied straight to the neck and instead it will be displaced on a Boxer's stronger shoulders, chest and back. 

An ID tag is a must. Though your Boxer can tend to stay close and you're on-point in regard to not letting him off leash, it's just not worth the risk. Of the dogs that go missing, 93% are recovered and of those, 15% are found due directly to being microchipped or wearing ID. 

Choose a stainless steel tag that is weather resistant and will be durable enough that the engraving does not wear down. It's suggested to put more than one type of contact info for someone to return your Boxer (cell, address, email). 

The Right Toys

It's best to think of toys as tool. Which ones are going to perform to meet the needs of your Boxer puppy or dog?

All toys should serve a specific function. If not, you mind as well toss them (or your Boxer may already have figuratively done that by ignoring them). 

And most toys cannot meet all of a dog's needs at one time (though some can have a duel purpose). The main reasons for certain toys include: Teething, chewing urges, entertainment to stay busy (especially when home alone), and owner interaction. 


Boxers have short, dense coats that will shed mostly into themselves, rather than leave a mess on the floor. This is great for your house, but not so much in terms of health for the coat itself. 

Though Boxers can enter shedding seasons (depending on where you live), most still or entirely shed minor to moderate amounts throughout the year.

You will want to routinely brush the coat from head to tail at least once per week. During times of heavier shed, use a tool specifically to pull out dead hairs. 

Brushing has several benefits: 
  • It pulls out hairs that have shed but fallen back. If these are left, they can block natural air flow. 
  • It distributes natural body oils
  • It removes fine dirt and debris
  • Is healthy for the hair follicles, leading to better re-growth (fur is in a constant renewal cycle)
The best brushes for Boxer dogs:

For the type of coat that a Boxer has, the best brush will be a quality bristle brush. Be sure that it has a sturdy handle, is sized well for your hand, and has proper tension (it won't do much good if it simply glides over the surface). Tip: If your Boxer does not like being brushed OR is sensitive to this due to skin issues, look for a quality horse/equine brush.

For times of shedding, when you need to pull out any dead hairs, use a grooming tool that reaches deep down, latches onto hairs and brings them up and out. 

Dental Care Items

Of all the supplies you might possibly get for your Boxer puppy or dog, do not overlook dental care items. 

What can happen: Plaque builds up on a dog's teeth every second of the day and chewing on treats and toys (even great dental treats) just doesn't get it all off.

Within 3 days, plaque starts to harden into tartar. It encases the teeth and travels under the gum line. It eats away at the enamel of the teeth, causing decay and rot. 

Infection can travel up into the sinuses or even throughout the body, causing sepsis. Decay causes teeth to loosen and eventually fall out. And of course, this all happens comes at the cost of quite a bit of pain for a dog.

The American Veterinary Dental College reports that periodontal disease is the most common preventable clinical condition in both cats and dogs. Without proper care, most dogs have some level of periodontal disease by the age of 3 years old; at this stage, there are not enough signs of unknowing owners to take steps (other than bad breath) yet can lead to damage to internal organs.

What to do: Take measure to ensure excellent oral hygiene with your Boxer dog. 
  • Brush your Boxer's teeth with a quality toothbrush. Use an appropriately sized, 3 sided brush. 
  • Use an effective toothpaste (human paste is toxic, look for a canine product that tastes good and works well to remove plaque. Don't be surprised when a good paste does not foam; they are not meant to since dogs are supposed to swallow the product. 
  • Offer one effective dental treat each day. We highly recommend Greenies; these are simply the best and are an accepted product of the Veterinary Oral Health Council. 
  • Think about using a water supplement that works to kill bacteria and help prevent plaque. Be sure that it does not contain a drying agent and tasteless ones work best. 

Bathing, Coat Supplies

Everything that you use on the coat (shampoo, conditioner, spray) will either be beneficial to a Boxer or detrimental. 

Boxers tend to have skin issues (drying, peeling, itchy), and since skin & coat go hand-in-hand, the products that you use on his coat for bathing will have a direct impact on skin health.
  • You will want to have a really good shampoo that not only cleans great, but does so with the right pH balance to avoid over-drying and without harsh chemicals.
  • The conditioner that you use needs to coat hairs without being so oily that residue remains which can clog skin pores.
  • The coat should be protected with a spritz. A leave-in spray offers some great benefits: It smells great, protects the coat from static, contact friction and outdoor elements (particularly the sun). 

Nail, Paw & Nose Care Supplies

Nails - A Boxer's nails needs to be clipped or filed down about every 6 to 8 weeks; much of this depends on how much walking he does outside and the type of surfaces that he walks upon. Though, even with dogs that are outside much of the day and are super active, you can't depend on this to keep the nails short enough.

Your local groomer or vet can take care of the nails; it's not that much money, about $15 to $20. 

If you want to do this at home, we recommend an electronic filer. It's much easier than clipping. 

Nose - A dog's nose is naturally pretty vulnerable to all of the elements it encounters. From arid air to cold winds to sun exposure. A big mistake is to only put something on the nose once it starts to look really dry or start peeling, because while a good product can indeed heal a chapped or cracked nose, it's better to be ahead of the game and prevent it in the first place.

Every month or so, apply a quality nose butter and then keep it on hand for when you need to apply it more often, which is typically in the dead of winter and in during long, hot summers. 

Paws - You don't want to baby the paws, because they toughen up as a puppy and then dog walks on a variety of surfaces. However, if they become damaged this puts you back several steps and can even morph into serious issues. 

Hot pavement, freezing ground, snow packed roads with 'snow balling' (tiny ice wedges that get stuck between toes and/or paw pads) can all do a number on the paws.

This is why a quality paw wax should be part of the supplies you have for your Boxer, it's a vital part of year-round paw care. Look for a good wax that allows the paws to breath and is absorbed quickly in just a couple of minutes.

Car Restraint or Seat

If you'd buckle up your child, there should be no hesitation to buckle up your Boxer. To not do this is to risk his safety. There are over 16,000 car accidents per day in the U.S. No matter how good of a driver you are, you just can't guarantee that someone won't crash into you or that road or weather conditions won't cause something to happen.

Dogs can get severely injured even in accidents at moderate speeds (30 MPH+) and are also the cause of injuring human passengers during a collision. 

So, of all the possible supplies that you might get for your Boxer, this one can literally save lives. There are some great options that are easy to use, can actually help with motion sickness and are comfortable for a Boxer puppy or larger, older adult dog.

Basic First Aid Supplies

There are a few basic essentials that every owner should have on hand in the case of injury or emergency. If you've ever looked into this, you may have found some pretty extensive lists; and that's a shame because you don't need half of those things. 

Chances are, you'll never find yourself searching through your supplies as you try to set broken bones; things like this should be saved for the animal hospital.

However, dogs do commonly swallow things that they should not (according to the Pet Poison Hotline of the ten top breeds that they received calls about, the Boxer places at #8. You should always be prepared for this. 

Also, there can be insect bites, something in the eye and small scraps and cuts. 

Outer Gear - Optional, Based on Needs

Many Boxers do just fine without any sort of additional layers via jackets or coats. However, some don't. Puppies, senior dogs, or those that are ill or recovering may have an intolerance to the cold.

Additionally, just about any otherwise healthy dog can need some help during super harsh weather. If your Boxer is having a hard time in the winter and this is interfering with meeting exercise requirements or is getting in the way of house training, you may want to check into this.

If so, read more about clothing for Boxer dogs

Supplements - Optional, Based on Needs

If you are feeding your Boxer a high quality food, vitamins and minerals are already added to the mix. However, if you are offering a mainly home cooked diet (which is great), you have to be the one to add in a complete vitamin and mineral supplement.

In addition to this, Boxers that have skin and coat issues, struggle to gain weight, have had certain conditions (bone or joint issues) and adults age 6+ may do well with certain supplements. 

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