The Biologically Appropriate Raw Food or “BARF” diet is easy to prepare. You are basically feeding him “bones and raw food”, adding in or taking out supplement as needed.
It is better to first understand the principles behind this feeding method. And there are excellent reference blogs available on this subject matter.
Basically, the BARF diet is made up of raw meat and raw meaty bones, raw processed vegetables plus dairy products, eggs, fish, offal, muscle meats, fruit and maybe some supplements. It is a very balanced diet and you get to control the ingredients as well as the quality. Some people leave out dairy products or grains.
On the other hand, an owner suggests that you keep a Boxer healthy with occasional yogurt treats.
Boxers tend to have lots of food allergies. One owner put an ailing and lethargic Boxer on a strictly venison diet and the dog finally thrived, gained weight and became very active.
There is also a recent concern about eating a large amount of grapes or raisins, since they can be toxic to dogs, leading to acute kidney failure.
The reports concerning this grape/raisin poisoning have only just surfaced and the information is still sketchy at best. The Animal Poison Control Center in the US is investigating this new medical development.
Some questions remaining to be answered are:
• How much grapes or raisins eaten could become toxic to your dog?
• What is the toxic substance?
• How does it affect the kidney?
To be safe, have your veterinarian check your Boxer if he has eaten a large amount of grapes or raisins because a healthy kidney is key to its survival.
Feed him a balanced diet.
Additional tips from owners include:
• Give an occasional yogurt treat
• Ask your vet about giving Boxers calcium tablets as they could have some problems later on in life!
• Keep him comfortable so his immune system can remain strong.
• Boxers are shorthaired and sensitive to extreme elements of the weather and thus must be kept a house dog. His shortened muzzle also makes hot and humid weather uncomfortable for him.
• Give Boxers lots of exercise and regularly.
• Remember that he is a big and strong breed and requires physical outlets for his boundless energy and high play/prey drive.
• Walk them three times a day or have play sessions.
Provide plenty of space for them to bounce around. You want to keep their spirit up and not break it or they won’t be the dogs you fall in love with in the first place. Healthy and happy Boxers are a joy to live with.
• Make a breeder your friend.
• Keep in touch with the breeder who sold you the Boxer.
The breeder can advise you about care and health matters that are unique to the breed. Any Boxer breeder, for that matter, can be an invaluable ally to you throughout your Boxer’s life.
• Guard your Boxer from fleas
• Your Boxer has fleas if you find black specks in the fur or fleabite marks on the skin. A tip given by an owner is to give your Boxer garlic daily to prevent fleas.
• Boxers catch fleas from other animals. It is an everyday problem that, at some time or another, you can expect to encounter in your Boxer.
• The fleas only go to the Boxer to feed on its blood.
• Fleas mostly live and multiply in your home. The comfortable living – central heating, double-glazing and, best of all, the fitted carpet – we create for ourselves and our Boxers also work best for the fleas.
• De-worm your puppy every month and your adult Boxer, every six months.
Worms is another everyday problem in Boxers but the puppy is more likely to get sick from worms than the grown up Boxer.
The sick one would lose weight and become weak, suffer from upset stomach, poor growth, listlessness or even lung trouble.
They may impede your puppy’s growth and cause him to have a potbelly or be thin and have a shoddy-looking coat.
Your grown Boxer may not be showing any sign of worms but he could spread them more than the sick puppy, through large amount of larvae or eggs passed out in the feces.
If your Boxer has tapeworms, he has fleas too because part of the tapeworm life cycle occurs in flea as the host. As such, treatments against flea and tapeworm are normally prescribed together.
Some, like the roundworm, that infect dogs can also get passed on to children.
In more serious cases, your dog will catch cough, pneumonia and develop lung problems.
There are different types of worms that infect dogs such as tapeworm, roundworm, ringworm and hear tworm. De-worm your Boxer puppy every month and your grown Boxer, every 6 months.
Puppies get sick from worms, more so than dogs.
But your infected grown Boxers help spread the worms more through their droppings that would contain large number of larvae and/or eggs.
Released into the surrounding, these larvae and eggs could infect other animals and even children.
The tapeworms have a flat, segmented body. You see them as single segments or chains that resemble segments of rice in the droppings of infected canine.
Part of the tapeworm’s life cycle occurs in the flea as the host. Therefore, if your Boxer has tapeworms, it has fleas too and the treatments for both are usually prescribed together by the vet.
The roundworms (toxocara) live and produce hundreds of eggs in the intestine.
They cause digestive upset in puppies, poor growth, and thin or out-of-conditioned coat.
The infected puppies may become listless, have a potbelly or tucked in appearance.
Once the roundworms migrated from the gut to the lungs, your Boxer can suffer lung damage, cough and pneumonia.
The roundworm eggs in the dog droppings get passed out and about.
These are very hardy eggs, resistant to heat and cold, and can survive up to 7 years in the soil. The eggs can pass on to children through ingestion and cause them to fall sick as well.
As precautions, you can toilet train your Boxer puppy to use a place where you can easily clean up and dispose of the droppings into the sewer. Have your children wash their hands every time after they handle the puppies and discourage your puppies from licking people hands or faces.