Boston terriers are silly, adorable little bundles of energy. These feisty pups can be tricky to feed. They love to eat, which can lead to obesity if they aren't kept on a healthy, strict diet. It's best to speak with your veterinarian or a canine nutritionist about the best dog food for Boston Terriers that will meet your dog's individual needs and fit into your budget.
While they may look like a miniature Boxer, they are closely related to French Bulldogs. The breed was developed in the city of Boston in the late 1800's. Today, the breed looks only slightly like the original version, as color and markings have become the Boston’s trademark.
Specifically, Boston Terriers must have a “tuxedo” appearance – a black, brindle or seal coat with white markings on the face, neck, chest, legs and belly. Boston Terriers are a small, brachycephalic breed. Brachycephalic means that they have a round, domed head and shortened facial structure.
Many call the Boston a “smushed-face” breed. This characteristic produces skin folds around the mouth, nose and eyes. Their ears are large and stand straight up. Bostons should weigh no more than 25 pounds and stand about 15-17 inches at the shoulder. Their average lifespan is approximately 13-15 years.
There are many dog foods that I recommend for Boston Terriers based on their health condition and life stage. Here's a look at the brands I'll be discussing in detail in this article:
|Dog Food Brands||Price||Value||Rating|
|Eukanuba Small Breed Puppy Food||$$$||$3.38/lb||4.5/5|
|Purina Pro Plan Focus Small Breed Puppy Formula||$$||$1.67/lb||4.4/5|
|Royal Canin Breed Health Nurtition French Bulldog||$$$$$||$6.52/lb||4.3/5|
|Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Small Breed||$$$||$3.40/lb||4.7/5|
|Royal Canin Mini Mature 8+ Formula||$$$||$2.35/lb||4.6/5|
|Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Entrée||$$$$||$0.29/oz||4.7/5|
|Natural Balance Fat Dogs Dry Formula||$$||$1.66/lb||4.6/5|
|Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Fish||$$$||$2.23/lb||4.5/5|
* Click on the Boston Terrier dog food for more information and prices or scroll down below for more details.
Best Dog Food for Boston Terriers
9 vet recommended brands
How to Feed a Boston Terrier
Before switching your dog to any new diet, always consult with a veterinarian. Remember that no article on the internet, including this one, can replace a consultation with a vet.
Puppy Boston Terriers
Puppies need to eat a balanced diet formulated just for them from the time they are weaned to about 10-12 months of age. There are many good puppy foods on the market, but when I need to recommend the best dog food for Boston Terriers in the puppy stage of life, I turn to Eukanuba Small Breed Puppy Food.
Eukanuba is committed to quality ingredients and up-to-date science behind its nutrition. Their small breed puppy food stands out for Boston terriers due to its high level of DHA omega fatty acids. These fatty acids help promote healthy brain development, healthy skin and eyes.
Eukanuba also adds gut-boosting prebiotics to all of their formulas. Prebiotics can help set your Boston up for a lifetime of efficient digestion. Eukanuba also offers a 110% money-back guarantee.
If Eukanuba is out of your price range or difficult to find, don’t despair. Purina Pro Plan Focus Small Breed Puppy Formula is another great choice as the best dog food for Boston Terriers under 12 months of age.
Small kibble size makes it easy for Boston pups to pick up and chew their food. Omega-3 DHA is added to support healthy brain development and skin health. Its higher level of protein and carbohydrate provide the energy essential for fast-growing Boston pups.
Best Dog Food for Adult Boston Terriers
Boston Terriers become adults around 10-12 months of age. When switching from a puppy food to the best dog food for Boston Terriers in the adult stage of life, even within the same manufacturer, always mix the two together to prevent tummy troubles. A good guideline is to feed 80% puppy/20% adult for 2 days, then mix to 50%/50% on day 4 and finally 100% adult food on day 7.
While I like Eukanuba best for puppies, I think it is a good idea to switch to Royal Canin Breed Health Nurtition French Bulldog Formula at 10-12 months of age.
Why? Isn't this formula for French Bulldogs? Why is Eukanuba the best choice for puppies but not adults?
This Royal Canin diet is recommended since Boston terriers are so similar to French bullodgs. Mainly, dogs with their size and facial structure can benefit from this specifically formulated diet.
Royal Canin also puts a lot of research into the size and shape of the kibble for their breed-specific diets. Small-breed brachycephalic dogs, like Bostons and Frenchies, can pick up the kibble easier and digest it better.
Bostons and Frenchies are both heavily-muscled dogs. Royal Canin provides a solid 24% protein content enriched with L-carnitine for muscle health support. Carefully selected carbohydrates and fiber sources from brewer’s rice and beet pulp also help to produce a less messy, less smelly poo.
This diet is also fortified with skin-boosting omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. Royal Canin also provides very specific feeding instructions depending on your dog’s activity level, making it easier to manage their intake and body condition.
If Royal Canin is out of your price range or unavailable, consider my second pick for the best dog food for Boston Terriers. Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Small Breed is a solid food that provides solid nutrition for your adult dog under 7.
Purina incorporates important components like omega-3s from fish oil and omega linolenic acid for a healthy coat and whole grain corn and rice to keep him fuller, longer.
Senior Boston Terriers
Boston terriers become seniors around 8-10 years of age. Most veterinarians and dog food companies recommend feeding a senior formula around 7 years of age.
Senior Bostons can begin to suffer from some aging changes at this age and don’t require as many calories as before. When switching to the best dog food for Boston Terriers in their senior years, always mix as described in the “Adult” section above.
For a generally healthy Boston terrier with little or no medical issues, it is good to start with Royal Canin Mini Mature 8+ Formula. This food is specifically designed for small breeds like Boston terriers between 9-22 pounds body weight.
It is carefully crafted into a small “x” shaped kibble that is easy for brachycephalics to grasp and chew. Like their other premium diets, Royal Canin makes this food easy to digest – complete with high quality protein from chicken and fiber from brewer’s rice and beet pulp.
Royal Canin also includes a very specific feeding guide so you can tailor your dog’s daily ration to their activity level. Low-active, medium-active and high-activity dogs can find their ‘right balance’ and maintain a healthy weight.
If your senior Boston terrier suffers from dental disease or has lost many teeth during their lifetime, a soft food may be best for digestion. Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Beef and Brown Rice Entrée is a quality canned food that is packed with nutrition and 100% beef to tempt even the pickiest of seniors.
It is soft and easily digested by seniors with dental problems. Essential botanical oils are added for an antioxidant boost to keep your Boston sharp.
If your aging senior needs a bit more “boost” for joint, skin and digestive health, you can mix in Freshpet’s Vital Whole Blends Mix-in Senior Supplement. It is an easily chewed, soft supplement which contains cranberries, quinoa, and joint supporting chondroitin sulfate, and glucosamine.
Best Dog Food for Boston Terriers with
Special Health Considerations
Boston terriers are generally a healthy breed, but some can have medical issues secondary to their brachycephalic head structure or genetic predispositions. Many breeds can suffer from brachycephalic syndrome, including Pugs, English bulldogs, French bulldogs, Staffordshire Terriers and Boston Terriers.
Their shortened head structure can be super cute, but can lead to some problems. Veterinarians define brachycephalic syndrome as a set of symptoms and characteristics that can lead to breathing problems. A few of these include elongated soft palate, stenotic nares (narrowed nostril openings), enlarged tongue, and a dangerously narrowed windpipe (tracheal stenosis).
If your dog snores, has noisy breathing while awake (stertor) or suffers from one or several of these issues, it is best to consult your veterinarian for advice. Some of these issues can be surgically corrected, creating a much better quality of life for your Boston.
Weight control is an extremely important issue to consider when choosing the best dog food for Boston Terriers. It is crucial to keep your Boston terrier in a very lean body condition.
Overweight and obese dogs can have a harder time breathing, as extra weight puts strain on the lungs and windpipe. This can be especially dangerous for Bostons with brachycephalic syndrome.
If you find that your Boston is becoming overweight, it is best to discuss his current body condition with your veterinarian. An excellent resource for determining body condition score can be found on the World Small Animal Veterinary Association BCS page.
For mildly to moderately overweight Bostons, consider switching their diet to Natural Balance Fat Dogs Dry Formula. The name may bring a giggle to your lips, but this formula has some serious ingredients for weight loss.
It is highly digestible and helps your dog feel fuller for longer. Lean protein from chicken and salmon and the high fiber of oatmeal and chickpeas help lower the calorie content and your dog’s desire to beg for food.
Eye problems are also common with brachycephalics. One that is common is dry eye, also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS). The way that their nasal bones are compacted and how the eyes sit in shallow bony sockets, it can be difficult for Bostons to produce a healthy tear film.
Gooey eyes and gooey skin can go hand-in-hand for brachycephalics. Extra skin folds can trap moisture on the face and develop infections. It is important for Bostons to have their skin folds and skin around the eyes cleaned and dried daily.
Dietary support is also recommended for dogs with KCS and skin issues. Luckily, you can support both with one fantastic food Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Fish and Sweet Potato. A recent study has shown that some suffers of KCS can improve if fed a diet high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.
The diet used in this study was a custom blend of fish, rice, green tea and high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. This Natural Balance formula only contains fish as its protein source from omega-rich salmon and oceanfish.
It is an over-the-counter diet, affordable and easily purchased online. While it is not a “hypoallergenic” or specific “allergy” diet – it can help control symptoms. Unfortunately the dry diet does not come in a small bites option. The canned version is recommended, as Boston terriers can sometimes have difficulty picking up and chewing their food.
Food for Thought
Always keep in mind that no two dogs are the same and there are a myriad of diets out there that can provide your fur baby with the best nutrition. Don’t hesitate to ask your veterinarian for nutrition guidance, especially if your Boston terrier has a medical condition.
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