Managing the health of boxer dogs

If one is in search for dogs that are easy to own, boxer dogs will definitely be included in the list. Boxer is one among a number of short-haired breeds that shed a little. With boxer dogs, you will seldom experience the fuss bathing a dog brings since they do not generally need frequent bathing. You can use your nose to tell if it is time to bath your dog.

Boxer dogs have the average lifespan of ten to twelve years but sadly, they are prone to develop certain diseases that could deteriorate their health and possibly endanger their lives. One disease common to Boxer dogs and to other large and deep-chested breeds is bloat. Bloat, technically called Gastric Dilatation- Volvulus is a life-threatening disease often related to excessive air, food or fluid swallowed. However, with proper nutrition and feeding habits, bloat can be prevented. Feed your dog with high quality foods while avoiding table scraps especially spicy and rich. Feed him at least twice instead of one full meal a day to prevent him from gulping down the food.

Hip dysplasia and hypothyroidism is another disease this breed is prone to. Hip dysplasia is a degenerative disease of the joint that typically occurs in large and giant breeds while hypothyroidism is a disorder of the thyroid in which the gland produces not enough hormone. Hypothyroidism can be controlled but unfortunately, this isn’t the same for hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia cannot be controlled and is usually treated through surgical procedures. Medical management can be given but not to alleviate the disease completely, only treat the clinical signs.

Fawn and brindle are the two recognized colors for this breed but sometimes, white boxers are born. A boxer with white markings covering more than one-third of their coat is considered a white boxer. White boxers have a higher risk of sunburn and associated skin cancers than colored boxers. They are also prone to deafness in one or both ears. They are disqualified from conformation showing and are prohibited from breeding.

Other problems common to this breed are cancers, heart conditions such as Aortic Stenosis, entropion, intestinal problems and allergies. Though it is believed that the stated diseases appear in boxer dogs, these can be significantly prevented and managed with proper nutrition, exercise, healthy lifestyle and careful breeding. Breeders should ensure that those to be included in the breeding process are only dogs with good quality genes to pass on to the next generation.