Best Dog Food for Boston Terriers

Boston Terriers are perhaps one of the most charismatic and loveable breeds of dog on the planet. Their love for play and their adorable demeanor has quite rightly earned them the nickname “The American Gentleman”.

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Despite their small size Boston Terriers have quite an appetite, and their susceptibility to certain allergies can make picking the right kind of food for your pooch a difficult task. What should you avoid? What should you provide? And how often (and how much) should you feed them?

With that in mind today we are going to provide you with all the information you could ever want to know about the best foods to feed your Boston Terrier. We’re going to conclude with 7 food recommendations that are perfect for the breed (with separate adult and puppy categories).

Let’s get started.

What To Look For In A Good Boston Terrier Dog Food

On the whole Boston Terriers don’t have that many dietary requirements that are specific to the breed. That being said, there are a few ingredients you should avoid.


Let’s start with the most obvious nutrient that Boston Terriers (or any breed for that matter) require in abundance – protein. Dogs have evolved to be carnivorous creatures (as they’re still basically wolves genetically). Due to this, the vast majority of their food should be protein, they need loads of it – much more than humans.

Nearly all dog foods on the market already cater to this need and use protein as the primary nutrient source – but it’s still a good idea to keep it in mind.


If you’re an experienced Boston Terrier owner then you’ll already know that they’re quite a “gassy” breed. They can have reasonably sensitive stomachs that don’t react well to some lower quality dog foods that contain grain as a carbohydrate source. After consuming even a small amount of grain Boston Terriers can become little farting machines – and it’s shocking just how much gas can come out of something so small…

Do everything you can to ensure that any food you’re considering feeding to your pooch contains as little grain as possible – ideally none at all. Your nostrils (and your family) will thank you for it, trust us…


The Boston Terrier is one of the few breeds that people recommend kibble for over wet tinned food. The reasoning behind this is that the breed has an unusual susceptibility to particularly bad breath, and canned food is supposed to make this issue worse. We’re unable to verify this beyond anecdotal reports from message boards and owner’s groups – but if your pooch has bad breath and you’re feeding them tinned food, this may be why.


While Boston Terriers are not considered to be a breed that suffers from severe allergies, they are known to be somewhat susceptible to them. There are no allergies that are specific to the breed so you should keep an eye out for symptoms occurring from the usual suspects (beef, dairy, chicken, fish, grains, and soy).

If you notice any symptoms of an allergic reaction, then book an appointment with your vet to get your pooch tested. Common symptoms include rashes, hair loss, diarrhea, and excessive flatulence. Once you’ve identified the source switch to a food that doesn’t contain the offending ingredient for happier pooch (and a better smelling home).

How Often Should You Feed A Boston Terrier?

The calorific intake requirements for Boston Terriers are the same between males and females (more or less) due to their very similar size. On average an adult pooch should weigh in the region of around 20 pounds, and to healthily maintain this weight they will need to consume around 650 calories per day.

The usual caveats to the calorific intake requirement we mentioned above apply. If your pooch is on the older side and is much less active, then drop the daily calories down a little. The same is true if your pooch has been spayed or neutered, regardless of their age.

Boston Terriers are commonly used as sporting dogs in competitions. Their remarkable levels of intelligence (and their ease of training) make them pretty much the perfect sporting breed. Sporting dogs are usually much more active than normal pets, and as such you should bump up the daily calorific intake slightly to account for this.

Every dog is different, and these are just guidelines. The real way to judge if the amount you’re feeding your pooch is enough is by monitoring their weight. If they start to get a little on the plump side then you should start putting them on a diet as soon as possible. Becoming overweight puts a huge amount of stress on the body of a dog the size of a Boston Terrier and can shorten their lifespan and cause painful joint issues.

Adult Boston Terriers should be fed twice per day, puppies, on the other hand, can be fed 3 to 4 times per day. You should aim to have your pooch on two meals a day by the time they are a year old, and you should always follow the instructions on the food you’re feeding them (they’re all different).

The Boston Terrier is another breed that is susceptible to what we like to call “bottomless stomach syndrome”. They are completely unable to self-regulate the amount of food they eat, and if given the chance they will eat an entire day’s worth of food in a single sitting. This means that they are not a breed that is well suited to automatic feeders and you’ll need to feed them by hand.

Best Value Food for a Boston Terrier

American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry

So now we know what you should be feeding your pooch (and what you should be avoiding). We’ve searched high and low to find what we think are the best foods for Boston Terriers on the market right now.

There are several great options available to you that will provide all your pooch needs, but the best value food in our opinion is the hugely popular salmon and sweet potato mix from American Journey.

American Journey is a brand that has put a huge amount of energy into building their brand (and its formidable reputation). They put quality at the forefront of all of their recipes, but still manage to keep their product a highly affordable option.

As with almost every food we recommend on this site, the protein in the American Journey recipe comes entirely from real deboned salmon instead of things like soy. This means not only does your pooch get proper protein they also get all of the connected omega oils and minerals to promote healthy bones and a glossy coat.

As you’d expect from a product of this quality it’s completely grain free and all the carbohydrates come from complex sources such as chickpeas, and sweet potato. There are loads of antioxidants and other minerals coming from vegetables like tomato, blueberry, and carrot too.

It’s only $30 for a big bag, and if you’ve not tried an American Journey product before we strongly recommend that you add this to the very top of your shortlist.

Best Food For Adult Boston Terriers

Adult and puppy Boston Terriers have very different dietary requirements. As such it made sense for us to split the next 6 recommendations into two categories. The products below are all excellent choices for an adult Boston Terrier and they are all more than worthy of your consideration.

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed Puppy Farm-Raised Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed Puppy Farm-Raised Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe

Nutro is a brand that prides themselves on making some of the most “wholesome” foods on the market (the clue is in the name). This product is packed full of protein and the number one ingredient in the mix is real deboned chicken that makes this not only super tasty – but super healthy for your pooch too.

Its got a bunch of added goodness such as amino acids and zinc for joint and coat health and it’s completely free of nasty artificial colors and preservatives too. The carbohydrates in the food are high quality and complex (brown rice), and minerals can be found from several different herbs and vegetables including peas, spearmint, and green tea extract.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – Loads of real protein from chicken
  • Pro – Well balanced recipe
  • Pro – Very tasty
  • Pro – Complex carbohydrates from brown rice
  • Con – Contains a small amount of oats

Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free Dry

Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free Dry

Taste Of The Wild is a brand that we find ourselves recommending time and time again. They’re one of the most respected dog food manufacturers in the industry, and their products are loved by dogs (and their owners) all over the world. This product is no exception and is specifically designed for dogs the size of adult Boston Terriers.

The protein comes from real venison and lamb and the carbohydrates come from lentils and beans. It’s grain free and its got all the usual vegetables, vitamins and minerals you’d expect in a food of this quality – it’s more than worthy of being added to your shortlist.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – Venison and lamb protein is super tasty
  • Pro – High-quality carbohydrates
  • Pro – Reputable brand
  • Pro – Grain free
  • Con – None really

Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Recipe Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Merrick Lil' Plates Grain-Free Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Recipe Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Merrick is one of the most popular premium dog food brands on the planet. Their products are often slightly more expensive than some of their competitors – but many people feel it’s more than worth the small additional cost. This food again has been specifically designed for small dogs (and has a small kibble size). It’s grain free and gets the majority of its protein from real deboned chicken. There are loads of probiotics added for a happy stomach, and it contains heaps of vitamins and minerals (without any artificial preservatives).

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – Small kibble size
  • Pro – Real chicken protein
  • Pro – Probiotic
  • Pro – Great brand
  • Con – Could be a little cheaper

Best Food For Puppy Boston Terriers

In this section, we’re going to be listing what we think are three of the best foods on the market that are well suited to the dietary needs of young Boston Terriers.

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

The second product from Taste Of The Wild on our list has been specifically designed for small puppies. It’s a hugely popular product thanks to its grain-free recipe that contains a huge amount of protein from various real sources (beef, venison, and bison). As usual, its got all the vitamins and minerals needed for a happy and healthy growing puppy and the powerful antioxidants in the mix will keep flatulence to a minimum

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – Several real protein sources
  • Pro – Well balanced
  • Pro – Probiotic
  • Con – Could be a little cheaper maybe?

Nature’s Recipe Small Breed Grain-Free Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe Dry

Nature's Recipe Small Breed Grain-Free Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe Dry

This product again is specifically formulated to give small breed puppies everything they need while growing up to be “big” and strong. It’s high in calories, has a super small kibble size, and is exceptionally well balanced too. The protein can be found from real chicken and the complex carbohydrates come mainly from sweet potato. There are no grains at all in the recipe and it’s packed full of vitamins and minerals too.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – Real chicken protein
  • Pro – Grain free
  • Pro – Well balanced
  • Pro – Complex carbohydrates
  • Con – None

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Chicken & Sweet Potato

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Chicken & Sweet Potato

The final product we are recommending for puppies is a great food specifically designed for puppies from Natural Balance. It’s a completely grain-free formula that aims to promote healthy joints (and healthy coats) while providing the calories required for energetic young pups in a tasty meal.

Natural balance intentionally tries to keep protein and carbohydrate sources to a minimum to promote healthier digestion (chicken, sweet potato, and beans). If your pup has a stomach a little on the sensitive side, this product should be your first choice.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – Great for sensitive stomachs
  • Pro – Real chicken protein
  • Pro – Complex carbohydrates
  • Pro – Contains amino acids and antioxidants
  • Con – More expensive than other foods


So there you have it, everything you could ever want to know about how and what to feed a Boston Terrier. We’ve covered pretty much all you need to know in this article today, and we highly recommend that you try at least one of the products we’ve mentioned above.

They’re all winners to have made it into this article.

Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine Dog News. She's also the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, the Dog Writers Association of America Award winner for 2013. In addition, she's written Canine Cuisine: 101 Natural Dog Food & Treat Recipes to Make Your Dog Healthy and Happy.

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