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Best Food For Boston Terriers

Best Food For Boston Terriers

Boston Terriers are a cross between an English bulldog and an English White Terrier (which no longer exists). These cuties are affectionately nicknamed “The American Gentleman” because their typical markings look like a fancy suit! If you own one of these guys, read on to find out the best food for Boston Terriers – after all, diet is a large part of keeping your little gentleman (or lady) healthy.

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Boston Terriers are short-nosed fluffs, and as such, they need a food that not only contains good amounts of protein and fats but also is easy for them to pick up and eat with as little struggle as possible. Check out this list and the info on Boston Terriers’ health in the Buyer’s Guide section to get a good idea of what would be best for your dog’s diet!

Top 5 Rated Food For Boston Terriers

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Our Top Pick: Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Merrick has over 3000 reviews on Amazon and a four-star rating. They are a well-known and well-loved brand and for a good reason! This grain-free dog food is as healthy as they come, with their first ingredient being real meat and the ingredients following it packed with nutrition.

With quality protein sources and the carbohydrates coming from things like sweet potato, potato, and peas, there is little in here to upset your terrier’s tummy! It also contains high levels of omega fatty acids to give your pet’s coat a healthy shine. Although the Boston Terrier is a little guy, the added glucosamine will still be of benefit.

All in all, when it comes to dog food brands, you can’t beat the quality of Merrick. Grain-free, all-natural, and packed with goodness, your Boston will love this!


  • Grain-free – easy on your pet’s stomach!
  • All-natural ingredients
  • High omega-3 and -6 levels
  • Quality protein and carb sources
  • Reputable brand
  • Added glucosamine and DHA
  • Various flavors and sizes available
  • For all sizes and dog breeds


  • Slightly pricey
  • No returns, although Merrick is open to discussion
  • Be sure to buy from a reputable stockist!

Our Runner-Up Pick: The Honest Kitchen Human-Grade Dehydrated Grain-Free Dog Food

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If The Honest Kitchen’s name doesn’t have you on their side already, the quality of their products will! If your pup is one that doesn’t enjoy kibble or struggles with picking it up, this dehydrated dog food might be the answer.

High in protein and fat, and with quality carbohydrate sources added, this is a healthy and tasty meal for any size or breed. All-natural ingredients (human-grade!) and minimal processing make it easily digestible, and fussy tummies should be quite all right with it.

All you need to do is add water – a 10lb box will make around 40lb of warm, easy to eat, high-quality dog food. Give them a try – you (and your pup!) won’t be disappointed!


  • Human-grade ingredients
  • No by-products, GMOs, or preservatives
  • Grain-free and easy to digest
  • Easy to make!
  • High protein and fat
  • Nutritionally dense
  • Available in a few flavors and sizes


  • Pricey
  • If your dog is used to eating kibble, it may take a bit of time to transition
  • As always, buy from a reputable supplier!

Best Budget Pick: Taste of The Wild Grain-Free High Protein Dry Dog Food

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Taste of the Wild is a lesser-known brand, and are a family-owned and run business. This is their offering for small breeds, and the idea behind their products is that your lovely pet shares DNA with canines such as the fox and as such should eat a diet as close to the wild canines’ diet as possible – as their packaging states, “The balanced diet that nature intended.”

They use high-quality, real food as their main ingredients, and have added omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. It also contains species-specific probiotics to aid in digestion and building a strong immune system. No corn, wheat, or unnecessary fillers are present.

For something that won’t break the bank (and won’t break your pup’s sensitive stomach!) Taste of the Wild is a great, healthy choice.


  • Affordable
  • High-quality ingredients
  • High in protein and fats
  • Grain-free
  • Added probiotics
  • Contains omega-3 and -6
  • Small breed specific
  • Family owned – smaller and more open to interaction with customers


  • Buy only from reputable sellers – check reviews first!

Best Dog Food For Boston Terrier Puppies: Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Small Breed Puppy Food

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As you will have read above, Merrick is a highly-recommended dog food brand and is suitable for even the most sensitive of dispositions. This is their small breed puppy-specific option and is just as healthy and nutrition-packed as their adult offering.

With real meat as ingredient number one, good protein and fat contents, and added DHA (for healthy brain and eye development) and glucosamine (not always necessary for small breeds but still helpful), it’s hard to find a better meal to feed your growing puppy!


  • Reputable brand
  • Small breed puppy specific
  • Nutrition-rich
  • Contains added vitamins and minerals for puppies
  • DHA is important for healthy eye development – important in brachys!
  • Quality ingredients


  • Slightly pricey
  • Do not buy from an ill-reputed stockist!

Best Dog Food for Senior Boston Terriers: ORIJEN Senior

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Because Boston Terriers tend to suffer from dental issues (and this gets progressively worse as they get older), they are susceptible to halitosis, or bad breath. Canned food is said to make bad breath worse, so we’ve picked a dry dog food for seniors that you can feed your older guy or girl.

ORIJEN is a great brand and produces super-quality dog meals. This one is specially formulated for seniors and is high in protein but lower in calories to ensure strong bones, but an easily maintainable body weight (as activity decreases!) This whole food, biologically-appropriate food packs a 38% protein punch and also contains glucosamine to keep aging joints strong.

If your senior pup is struggling to munch on dry kibble, The Honest Kitchen’s dehydrated food is our next pick!


  • Formulated for seniors
  • Reputable brand
  • Whole food ingredients
  • Biologically appropriate food
  • High in protein, lower in calories
  • Contains glucosamine


  • Slightly pricey
  • Buy from a reputable supplier!

Buyer’s Guide

If you’re the owner (or thinking about becoming an owner) of one of these American Gentlemen, there are some things you should know about them and their health.

American Kennel Club has some great info on these little guys, and also provide information on reputable breeders. If you want to get one of these cuties for yourself, you’ll find everything from breeders, Boston Terrier prices, and info on looking after your little gentleman or lady.

Boston Terriers’ Facial Structure

Bostons are one of a group of dog breeds that are known as brachycephalic. This big word simply refers to a short-nosed variety of dogs that have been bred to have a “flat-faced” look – such as Bostons, Pekingese, Pugs, and Bulldogs.

Although these pups have been bred this way for cosmetic purposes, this short nose bone structure can have severe impacts on a dog’s health. If you own one of these types of dogs, you need to take several things into consideration when it comes to general health as well as eating. We will go through this in more detail below.

How Does This Impact Their Eating?

Because of the unusual facial shape of a Boston Terrier and other brachycephalic pets, they may struggle to pick their food up while they eat, as well as having problems with eating or drinking and still managing to breathe at the same time!

These pups also have quite a bit less space in their mouths to fit their teeth and tongue, and they have the same amount of teeth as other dogs. They may experience pain and discomfort in their mouths due to their teeth growing at odd angles, which also makes eating somewhat difficult.

Other Typical Boston Terrier Health Problems

Boston Terriers and other flat-faced dogs tend to suffer from some specific health complications. Common ailments to be aware of are:

Respiratory Problems

Brachycephalics grunt and snort and snore – that’s just part of who they are! As cute as this can be, however, the reason behind it is anything but sweet. Due to their breeding, their throats tend to be anatomically deformed, which hinders their breathing. In general, these happy pups will deal with it with no complaints on a daily basis, but it can lead to severe complications that can threaten your pet’s life.

Here are some things that can cause your pup to struggle with their breathing. This group of conditions is known as brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome.

Narrowed Nostrils

If you notice that your pup seems to breathe mostly through his mouth, this could be why. This can be surgically corrected (from 5 months old) if it is bad enough.

Elongated Tongue & Soft Palate

Because of the dogs’ smaller mouth size, sometimes the tongue and soft palate just don’t quite fit comfortably in there! They can obstruct the breathing passages, and this is usually what causes the snorting and snuffling.

Narrowed Trachea

Although this affects the English bulldog most of all, it can also affect your Boston. It is a defect that doesn’t really hamper everyday life, but should your pet need to have surgery, intubation, and anesthesia can be risky because of this problem.


These kinds of dogs don’t do panting very well. In a normal panter, the air is moved in and out quickly, and saliva evaporates as it does so – it is the doggy equivalent to sweating.

In a brachy, the effort required to move the air in and out that quickly is just too much for their small faces to handle. As such, they are at extreme risk of overheating. This is life-threatening!

Stress and exercise can cause the same issues, due to increased respiratory rates. Be very aware of this and do what you can to keep your pup cool, stress-free, and exercised within his limitations!

Eye Problems

The shape of these guys’ faces doesn’t only affect their breathing. Their eyes can also be at risk of some serious issues, such as:

Eyelids Not Closing

Once again, the squished faces of these little guys and gals mean that their eyes don’t quite sit where they should. Sometimes, the eyelids may not close all the way over the eye, leading to extreme dryness and discomfort. This should be surgically corrected. The easiest way to tell if this is a problem is to watch your pet when they sleep.

Proptosis – Eyeball Popping Out

Yes … This can happen. A blow to the head or even straining in the head and neck area can cause the eyeball to actually pop out, requiring surgery (which may or may not be successful).

Turned-In Eyelids

Sometimes the eyelids can fold inwards on themselves, rubbing against the eyeball and causing discomfort and damage.

Irritation From Nasal Fold

The fold of skin between the nose and eyes can sometimes be prominent enough to rub on the eyeballs as well. Surgery may also be needed to correct this.

Other Problems

Skin Fold Infections

These doggies tend to have plenty of skin folds on their faces, which collect oil and moisture and dirt. If not cleaned frequently, they can become infected.


Because these dogs often have broad heads, giving birth may be difficult and a Cesarean is often required.

Dental Disease

Due to a lack of space and weirdly-angled teeth, food can get trapped in places it wouldn’t normally, which means that these types of pups are prone to dental issues at much younger ages than most.

Intestinal Issues

Reflux is a common issue in these little guys. This can be eased with medication.

Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease

Although hip dysplasia is not common amongst smaller breeds, this is a degenerative disease of the head of the femur that small breeds can suffer from. You can find more info on it in this article.

Mange Demodex

A skin allergy caused by a mite! This typically occurs in animals with a compromised immune system, and given the health conditions that Bostons deal with on a daily basis, their immunes can easily take a knock.

What Impact Does This Have On The Food They Should Eat?

In addition to the above conditions, Boston Terriers tend to have sensitive stomachs and suffer from food allergies. Your pooch’s food should be grain-free and easy for them to eat – no tiny kibble!

Frequently Asked Questions

If my dog snorts a lot, how do I know if she is in respiratory distress?

Snorting and snuffling are everyday sounds for these fluffs and don’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong. You will need to spend some time getting to know your pooch’s everyday sounds, and pay attention if something sounds different.

Respiratory distress often comes with other indicators, such as using accessory muscles to breathe (heaving chest), standing or lying in unusual positions to try and open the respiratory passages, and panic. If your pup is snorting more rapidly than usual and has any other physical signs of distress, you should get her to a vet!

What can I do to ensure my brachycephalic pet stays as healthy as possible?

Learn your pup’s sounds and pay attention when something sounds different. Feed them a food that is easy for them to eat, and make sure their teeth get cleaned regularly! Paying attention is the best thing you can do – most of these problems can be picked up if you’re looking and listening.

Are there special air travel requirements for short-nosed dogs?

There are! You can check them out in detail here.

What are some common brachycephalic breeds?

Apart from Boston Terriers, some common breeds are the French Bulldog, the English Bulldog, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the Pug, the Pekingese, the Chihuahua, the Boxer, and King Charles Spaniel.

You also get mixed breeds, such as a Boston Terrier Pug mix. These breeds can often have worse health issues, as their health problems are compounded due to mixing two already problem-prone breeds.

Other Best Food for Boston Terriers We Reviewed

  • Best Limited Ingredient Food for Boston Terriers
  • Raw Boost Food For Your Boston

Best Limited Ingredient Food for Boston Terriers

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Adult Food

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For dogs who are naturally prone to sensitive tummies, limited ingredient foods can be a huge help in preventing issues, whether it be upset stomachs or skin allergies.

Natural Balance is a simple yet nutritious food that contains real fish (providing protein and oils) and sweet potato (providing carbohydrates). No grain, fillers, or artificial stuff in this one!

Key Features:
  • Quality protein and carb sources
  • No fillers
  • Grain-free
  • Slightly pricey
  • Adult dog recipe

The Honest Kitchen Human-Grade Dehydrated Limited Ingredient Dog Food

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Dehydrated food is a great choice if your pup doesn’t like a kibble or struggles with it, and Honest Kitchen does a fantastic job of their products. Their limited ingredient offering contains just 6 whole foods and added vitamins and minerals for optimal health.

Key Features:
  • Various flavors available
  • Slightly pricey
  • Easy on the tummy
  • Grain-free
  • Whole food ingredients

Raw Boost Food For Your Boston

If you’re considering making the switch to a raw diet for your Boston Terrier, here are some raw food options to start making the transition. You can also use homemade dog food if you want to start raw feeding – you can find some recipes here!

Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed & Toy Breed

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Nature’s Variety is a fantastic brand if you’re looking to transition your pooch over to raw. Their food consists of high-protein kibble and freeze-dried raw bits – so your pet can get used to a little bit of raw to see if they dig it before going all in!

This formula is small breed specific, grain-free, high in protein, is made from great quality ingredients, and has all the necessary added vitamins and minerals for a healthy pup. You won’t be sorry for trying it!


  • High-protein kibble
  • Freeze-dried raw bits
  • Healthy, natural ingredients
  • Grain-free
  • Small breed specific

Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Meal Mixers

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Stella and Chewy’s is another great brand. These Meal Mixers are designed to be added to your pup’s regular food as a treat or as a way to introduce them to raw feeding.

Made from real meat, bones, organs, and organic fruits and vegetables, you can be sure your pooch is getting a good dose of quality nutrients in each bite!


  • Grain-free
  • High protein
  • All natural
  • Minimally processed
  • 5-star rating from Dog Food Advisor!


Boston Terriers are amazing little tuxedoed dogs, and having on around is sure to bring boundless joy and fun! Make sure you feed your little pooch the right stuff for his or her health – make yourself aware of the health problems they can suffer from and do what you can to ensure they live a healthy life. This begins with nutrition!

Your dog’s body will benefit from the foods listed here, and knowing they’re eating the right stuff frees you up to pay more attention to their other snorting and grunting things! Check out everything on this list, and make the right choice for your little Boston buddy.

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