The Boxer is a playful, medium to large sized dog, known to be both loyal and stubborn. Like Pugs and the Boston Terrier, the Boxer is a brachycephalic breed - which refers to the size and shape of its face and head - and at times has difficulty breathing. This breed of dogs is rather susceptible to genetically inherited heart problems, as well as gastric torsion, which is when the stomach becomes dangerously distended with gas. Boxers live approximately 8 to 10 years, which is a somewhat shorter lifespan than other dog breeds of this size.
Primary Health Conditions of the Boxer
Boxers are particularly prone to genetic problems of the heart, which are often quite serious. These problems include aortic stenosis, atrial septal defects, and dilated cardiomyopathy. These conditions are difficult to treat and are mostly addressed preventatively, through breeding practices. Also common in Boxers are conditions of the eye, including retinal atrophy and cherry eye, or protrusion of the tear duct. Gastric torsion, the twisting of the dog’s stomach, is a serious condition among this breed that requires immediate medical intervention. A dog with gastric torsion may appear restless and exhibit dry heaves.
Secondary Health Conditions of the Boxer
The boxer’s short snout and flat face makes this dog susceptible to breathing problems, a condition that can come on quickly and without warning. Generally, this brachycephalic syndrome occurs when the dog is overheated or over excited. The effects are typically mild and short lasting, but can be more serious, leading to cardiac arrest and death. As with many dogs, the Boxer is also prone to hip dysplasia, which can cause the dog pain or discomfort.
Boxer Exercise and Walking Needs
The boxer is a playful and energetic dog and enjoys lively play or a long walk each day. Regular exercise can help to increase the lifespan of the Boxer by several years. The dog’s owner should, however, be aware of the breed’s susceptibility to brachycephalic syndrome and its inability to tolerate heat. Lack of exercise and attention from its owners can lead to destructive behavior as well as compulsive licking or chewing of its coat.
Boxer Nutritional Needs
Because of a long colon and some differences in hormonal balance, the Boxer is more susceptible to gastric torsion and bloating than other breeds; as such, this breed requires a food that is higher in fiber than others. Beyond this, the dog’s food should be high in protein and low in grains.
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This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to what you may have read on our website.