This Review Has Been Merged with
Eukanuba Breed Specific Formulas
Eukanuba Boxer Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.
Eukanuba Boxer is designed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.
Eukanuba Boxer Formula
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken by-product meal (natural source of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine), corn meal, ground whole grain sorghum, ground whole grain barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), chicken flavor, dried beet pulp, brewers rice, fish meal, dried egg product, potassium chloride, fish oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), salt, flax meal, sodium hexametaphosphate, calcium carbonate, brewers dried yeast, Fructooligosaccharides, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, potassium iodide, cobalt carbonate), dl-methionine, choline chloride, vitamins (ascorbic acid, vitamin A acetate, calcium pantothenate, biotin, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), vitamin B12 supplement, niacin, riboflavin supplement (source of vitamin B2), pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), inositol, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), vitamin E supplement, beta-carotene, l-carnitine, citric acid, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||18%||46%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||37%||40%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
Which brings us to chicken by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of a slaughtered chicken after all the prime cuts have been removed.
In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except quality skeletal muscle (real meat).
On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The third ingredient is corn meal, a coarsely ground flour made from dried corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.
The fourth ingredient is sorghum. Sorghum is a starchy cereal grain with a nutrient profile similar to corn.
Since it is gluten-free and boasts a smoother blood sugar behavior than other grains, sorghum may be considered an acceptable non-meat ingredient.
The fifth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index (like rice), barley can help support stable blood sugar levels in dogs.
The sixth ingredient chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken… a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.
After the chicken flavor, we find dried beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient… a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.
Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.
We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.
The ninth ingredient is brewers rice. Brewers rice represents the small grain fragments left over after milling whole rice.
This is an inexpensive cereal grain by-product and not considered a quality ingredient.
The tenth ingredient is fish meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.
Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.
Fish meal is commonly made from the by-products of commercial fish operations.
What’s more, the controversial chemical ethoxyquin is frequently used as a preservative in fish meals.
But because it’s usually added to the raw fish before processing, the chemical does not have to be reported to consumers.
We find no public assurances from the company this product is ethoxyquin-free.
Without knowing more, and based upon this fish meal’s location on the list of ingredients, we would expect to find only a trace of ethoxyquin in this product.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.
But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.
With four notable exceptions…
First, we notice the inclusion of brewers dried yeast. Brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient contains about 45% protein… and is rich in other healthy nutrients.
Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.
Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.
What’s more, a vocal minority insist yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is something we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can be considered a nutritious additive.
Next, this recipe contains fructooligosaccharide, an alternative sweetener1 probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.
Thirdly, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing.
And lastly, this dog food also contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.
Eukanuba Boxer Formula Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Eukanuba Boxer Formula looks to be an average dry dog food.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.
Average protein. Near average fat. And near average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this is the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Eukanuba Boxer Formula Dog Food is a grain-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken by-product meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.
For other recipes, be sure to check out the Advisor’s summary of the Eukanuba Breed Specific product line.
Important FDA Alert
The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free recipes and dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.
A Final Word
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Other spellings: Eukenuba, Eucanuba
Notes and Updates
06/11/2010 Original review
01/11/2011 Review updated
10/19/2012 Last Update