Boston Terriers are amazing little pups. From their lively, often boisterous temperaments to their very distinctive 'pointy' ears and beautiful big eyes these dogs - often called the 'American Gentleman' - both because of their tuxedo like markings and their usually great manners - are hard to mistake for any other dog breed.
Because Boston Terriers are so very lively, they also have strong, compact bodies needing optimum nutrition in order to remain healthy and free of illnesses in their senior years. But with so many different dog food options available it can get overwhelming for Boston terrier pet parents to make the right choices. To help, here's a look at some of the best dog food for Boston terriers based on our experience as well as reviews and opinions from breeders, vets and other Boston owners.
Best Foods for Boston Terriers
Let's analyze what's unique about these foods, ingredient selection and why they should be part of your Boston Terrier's everyday diet.
#1. American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Grain-Free Recipe
This ever-increasingly popular kibble has been receiving stellar reviews from both owners and furry pals (if they could talk, they'd give it 5* reviews)! It's palatable, uses plenty of good proteins and veggies and is the most affordable option on our list.
First Five Listed Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas, Sweet Potatoes.
Boston Terriers tend to be a little gassy (or in some cases a lot). In order to keep their digestive system healthier, and your home a little sweeter smelling, a grain free food like American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is a great choice. Questions about stinky smells aside this food also provides great nutrition for a small, stocky dog like a Boston Terrier. It's an all life stages formula suitable for adult, puppies and senior Boston Terriers. Salmon not only offers a very high quality source of protein to help keep your pup's bodily systems strong and healthy but also lots of Omega 3 fatty acids that help build and protect muscle tissue and bones as well as promote brain health and healthy coat and skin. This kibble has 390 kcal per cup and offers 32% crude proteins, 14% crude fats and 5% crude fiber.
This fish grain-free and gluten-free diet also reduces the risk of food allergies and is free from soy, wheat or corn. In addition to sweet potato the formula includes blueberries, a great source of antioxidants, and flaxseed, that provides optimum omega fatty acids ratio. It has nice bite sizes for a Boston Terrier. Owners praise this formula for a reduction in flatulence in their pups, improvements in the appearance of their pooch's coat and an increase in energy levels. This recipe also appeals to picky eaters who, according to many pet parents, find it very palatable. Chewy offers 30 percent off your first American Journey bag and has received over 1700 positive reviews, at the time of writing. This is our best value dog food with quality ingredients sourced in the USA and a great option for your Boston Terrier.
#2. Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Breeder recommended dog food with lean proteins, added vitamins and minerals. Nutrient dense and a low-calorie option yet packed with plenty of quality proteins!
First Five Listed Ingredients: Venison, Lamb Meal, Garbanzo Beans, Peas, Lentils.
This is another grain free dry kibble alternative that is highly rated by Boston Terrier pet parents. The kibble is perfectly sized for the smaller mouth and its proteins are derived from some very high quality sources; venison, lamb, duck, whole egg and ocean fish. These lean meats provide all the protein a muscled dog like the Boston Terrier needs but without the bad fats that some red meats - especially beef - can add to their diet. To boost the vitamin and mineral content the formula also features tomatoes, blueberries and raspberries - all great sources of powerful antioxidants - as well as a proprietary probiotic supplement designed to help increase doggy gut health. The addition of chicory root also reduces risk of worms in your Boston Terrier pal. This kibble has 370 kcal/cup, and contains 32% crude proteins, 18% crude fats and 4% crude fiber.
Many of those who prefer to feed their Boston Terrier TOTW Appalachian Valley Small Breed say they do so because the kibble is perfectly sized for their pooch and that it improves digestive health, even in pups with a sensitive stomach. This US produced gluten free kibble has shown to also improve a furkid's bad breath, something that is certainly a big bonus for pups and pet parents.
Wellness CORE Grain-Free Puppy Chicken & Turkey Recipe Dry Dog Food
We love this grain-free puppy recipe from Wellness CORE. It offers all the sustenance a growing pup needs, DHA and other Omega 3 fatty acids as well as lean protein for muscle building.
First Five Listed Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Peas.
Good nutrition is important at every stage of a Boston Terrier's life, but that is especially true when they are puppies. Growing baby Bostons need a good mix of lean proteins and essential vitamins and minerals, and that is exactly what Wellness CORE Grain-Free Puppy Chicken & Turkey Recipe Dry Dog Food provides. The primary proteins, chicken and turkey, offer great sources of lean protein, something that is especially good for ensuring that Boston Terrier puppies develop the strong muscles they need to keep their slightly stocky bodies on track. The addition of DHA and other Omega 3 fatty acids from salmon oil helps your furkid's brain development as well as ensuring their coat grows healthy and shiny. And there are plenty of antioxidants offered by the formula thanks to the addition of blueberries, kale, raspberry and flaxseed (which also offers even more beneficial Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids).
This puppy formula has 417 kcal/cup, 36.0% min protein, 18.0% min fats and 5.0% max fiber. Owners who chose to feed this dry dog food to their puppies often comment on how well they digest it, leading to a reduction in diarrhea and flatulence and how the kibble is perfectly sized for smaller pup mouths. This is a high quality dog food that is very reasonably priced.
#4. I and Love and You Grain Free Canned Gobble It Up Stew Dog Food
I and Love and You comes packed with a wealth of nutrients and proteins which can be served on its own or mixed with dry kibble and comes at a bargain price.
First Five Listed Ingredients: Turkey, turkey broth, vegetable broth, turkey liver, dried egg whites.
Occasionally older Boston Terriers, those recovering from recent surgery, picky Bostons, pregnant females or Bostons on special diets may require canned food. "I and love and you" Grain Free "Gobble It Up" Stew Recipe offers smaller chunks of high quality turkey, a source of lean meat without adding any unnecessary bad fats. This complete and balanced formula for all life stages also features Salmon and Flaxseed Oil to rectify dull coats as well as complex and easy to digest low glycemic carbs. There is also a plethora of vitamins and minerals added to it.
Aside from it’s appealing taste, we also like the fact that you can visually identify the different ingredients, something that is rather rare in wet or canned food as all the ingredients often seem to 'mush together'. For allergic Bostons - you'll be glad to hear there are no fillers, no by-product meals, wheat, corn, soy or rice nor any artificial ingredients or flavors. You can also choose from other yummy blends of Cluckin' Good, Beef Booyah and Lambarama Stew as well as regular dry kibble. "I and love and you" is a USA brand that you can trust with tons of great paw-licking nutrients for your pup.
Pointers on Choosing Boston Terrier Food for Puppies
Puppy foods are formulated to provide twice the number of nutrients found in adult kibble. Their growing bones and muscles crave proteins. A good puppy food for Boston Terriers should contain no less than 30% protein as well as carbohydrates and fats. In addition the formula should have certain minerals and vitamins, namely vit. A, B, C, D, E and K.
Check food labels for "AAFCO approved" and balanced and complete nutrition - this ensures your puppy food is free from fillers and artificial preservatives that can trigger allergies in your Boston puppy. AAFCO stands for Association of American Feed Control. They regulate the quality and safety of animal food products. Feeding your Boston an AAFCO approved diet will provide the 40 essential dietary components recommended for dogs. You can begin slowly transitioning your Boston puppy to adult food when he is one year old.
What To Consider When Choosing Food for Adult Boston Terrier Dogs?
A common ailment to many Boston Terriers are allergies. Bostons have difficulty processing corn and can develop corn allergies resulting in hair loss, itching and a dull coat. To prevent food allergies always feed your Boston a diet free of coloring and preservatives, corn and grains. A gluten free and grain-free diet is best to help prevent and solve any current skin or digestive allergies in your Boston.
Bostons generally can eat any kind of brand of food as long as it is nutritionally balanced. In addition to the above guidelines, read the label and look that the food meets AAFCO standards and is "balanced". Avoid foods with meal by-products, meat by-products. Make sure the food contains vit. A, B, C, D and K and always choose foods made in the USA. This too should be stated on the label. Make sure there are no simulated preservatives like BHA or BHT or Ethoxyquin - another indicator of poor quality food.
If you notice your Boston has a food intolerance consider switching him to hypoallergenic dog foods - these generally contain novel proteins as the sole source of protein such as venison, duck, kangaroo and salmon. These foods may also use complex carbs like sweet potato or chickpeas to replace wheat.
The protein and fat requirements for an adult Boston dog are: between 15-30% and between 10-20% respectively. Keep in mind these are only guidelines: your Boston may need more or less based on its individual needs, activity and health status.
Ultimately, the best choice of Boston dog food is up to you, the pet parent. Check the packaging, to find out if it in fact is USDA approved and meets AAFCO specifications. If he enjoys the food, doesn't trigger allergies, has regular and firm stools - then you have found the perfect food for your pooch.
How Much Food Should I feed My Boston?
If you're unsure how much food to feed your Boston, your vet can help you estimate how many calories he needs based on whether he is active or sedentary and his body score. The general formula for calculating an adult Boston's energy requirements is as follows:
30 X Weight in kg (or pounds divided by 2.2) + 70 = Daily caloric needs
This is just a guideline and should be increased or decreased based on the needs of your dog.
Health Issues Affecting Boston Terriers
On the whole, the hardy Boston Terrier is a breed that is largely unaffected by genetic health problems. The breed came to be in Liverpool, England in the 1860s, to meet one man's demand for a dog who was both a good ratter and could hold their own in a dog fight. After crossing a bulldog with the now extinct white terrier such a dog was born.
The dog's name was Judge, but he never did any fighting, as he was sold to a visiting American, who promptly took him back to Boston. He was bred to a local white bulldog and the standard for the Boston Terrier breed began.
Although very sturdy dogs the one thing that breed experts agree that pet parent must take special care of with Boston Terriers is their big, beautiful eyes. The prominence of their eyes means that they are very easily irritated and Boston Terriers are prone to developing, conjunctivitis, cataracts and glaucoma in later life.
While these things cannot be completely prevented, making sure that your Boston's diet includes plenty of antioxidants can be helpful in preventing eye deterioration. Vitamins C and E are especially good for eye health, as are Omega 3 fatty acids, so choosing a food that is rich in these is an especially good idea.
As a brachycephalic breed, a Boston Terrier may have a range of anatomical abnormalities that cause obstruction of the upper airways - causing difficulties in breathing. Symptoms such as a narrowed or collapsed trachea is very typical to Brachycephalic breeds like Bostons. It’s only one of many symptoms typical to Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome.
Other issues commonly seen in Bostons include:
- Demodex Mange
- Cushing’s Syndrome
- Patellar Luxation.