Top 10 Best Dog Foods for Boston Terriers

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Best dog foods for Boston Terriers are explored in this informative article. Boston Terriers of today are a gentle breed that is friendly with a happy-go-lucky personality. They are actually not considered terriers by the American Kennel Club, but are grouped with the non-sporting breeds. Boston Terriers are eager to please and easy to train. They enjoy being around people, children, the elderly, other dogs and pets, if they’re properly socialized. They can get protective of their owners, which can result in aggressive behavior around strangers and other pets.

These generally agreeable dogs have a moderate energy level. Boston Terriers also have a sensitive digestive system and a poor diet usually results in excessive flatulence, so be forewarned!

Below are some of the best dog foods available that are most appropriate for this agreeable companion dog breed.  Because of the Boston Terrier’s known digestive issues, you’ll notice we have leaned heavily toward sensitive stomach/digestive issue formulas.

*This post contains affiliate links, and we will be compensated if you buy after clicking on our links.

#1 Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care, Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food, Turkey & Potato

Best for Adults (Allergies & Digestion)

Blue Buffalo’s basics skin & stomach care is a great choice for adult Boston Terriers.

This protein rich formula contains a single animal protein source, turkey, along with potatoes, peas and pumpkin. Limited ingredient profile support gentle digestion.

Mini kibble contains no chicken or poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat or soy.

Food TypeDry Kibble
Stage Adult
Crude Protein, Fat, Fiber %22%, 15%, 5%
First Five IngredientsDeboned Turkey, Oatmeal, Turkey Meal, Brown Rice, Peas
Key Features:Omega Fatty Acids (Skin & Coat), Antioxidants (Immune), Glucosamine (Joint Care)

#2 Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Best for Adults (Digestion)

Natural Balance’s grain free offers premium ingredients and a single animal protein source and no grains, soy, gluten.

Sweet potatoes offer a grain-free source of fiber to support healthy digestion.

Nutrient-rich, limited ingredient recipe to help with sensitive stomach, irritable skin and allergies.

Food TypeDry Kibble
Stage Adult
Crude Protein, Fat, Fiber %24%, 10%, 4%
First Five IngredientsSalmon, Menhaden Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Tapioca Starch, Potatoes
Key Features:Omega Fatty Acids (Skin & Coat), Vitamin E (Antioxidant), Zinc (Immune/Thyroid), Taurine (Blood Flow, Brain, Heart)

#3 Purina Pro Plan Adult Small Breed Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Dog Food

Best for Adults (High Protein, Low Calorie)

Purina Pro Plan’s high protein formula offers real chicken as the first ingredient.

Fortified with probiotics to support digestive and immune health.

Food TypeDry Kibble
Stage Adult
Crude Protein, Fat, Fiber % 29%, 17%, 3%
First Five IngredientsChicken, Rice, Poultry By-product Meal, Beef Fat Preserved With Mixed-tocopherols, Corn Gluten Meal
Key Features:Glucosamine (Joint Care), Omega Fatty Acids (Skin & Coat), Vitamins A & E (Antioxidants), Probiotics (digestion)

#4 Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Turkey & Potato Small Breed Recipe Dog Food

Best for Adults (Gas Prevention)

Wellness’ Simple limited ingredient diet features a single source of protein and easily digestible carbohydrates.

Grain free recipe does not contain any wheat, corn, soy or gluten.

Made in the USA with high quality globally sourced ingredients.

Food TypeDry Kibble
Stage Adult
Crude Protein, Fat, Fiber %26%, 12%, 5.5%
First Five IngredientsDeboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes
Key Features:Glucosamine (Joint Care), Omega Fatty Acids (Skin & Coat), Taurine (Blood Flow, Brain, Heart), Vitamins A & E (Antioxidants), Probiotics (digestion)

#5 Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Recipe with Real Lamb Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Dog Food

Best for Adults (Digestion)

Instinct’s Limited Ingredient Diet with grass fed lamb as an is easily digestible protein.

Does not contain grain, dairy, eggs, chicken, beef, fish, sweet potato, potato, chickpeas, corn, wheat or soy.

Made in the USA using premium ingredients from around the world.

Food TypeDry Kibble
Stage Puppy
Crude Protein, Fat, Fiber %24%, 21.5%, 3.5%
First Five IngredientsLamb Meal, Lamb, Tapioca, Peas, Canola Oil 
Key Features:Omega Fatty Acids (Skin & Coat),  Vitamins A & E (Antioxidants)

#6 Castor & Pollux ORGANIX Organic Small Breed Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Best for Adults (High Protein)

Caster & Pollux ORGANIX formula is USDA organic certified includes real chicken and sweet potato, plus a blend of superfoods including organic blueberries, organic flaxseed and organic sweet potatoes.

100% free from grains, corn, wheat and soy.

This recipe includes prebiotic fiber to support healthy digestion.

Food TypeDry Kibble
Stage Adult
Crude Protein, Fat, Fiber %26%, 15%, 3.5%
First Five IngredientsOrganic Chicken, Organic Chicken Meal, Organic Sweet Potatoes, Organic Potatoes, Organic Peas
Key Features:Glucosamine and Chondroitin (Joint Care), Omega Fatty Acids (Skin & Coat), Taurine (Blood Flow, Brain, Heart), Vitamins A & E (Antioxidants), Probiotics (digestion)

#7 Now Fresh Grain-Free Small Breed Senior Recipe Dog Food

Best for Seniors

Now Fresh Grain Free Small Breed Senior recipe includes premium-quality turkey as the first ingredient, plus fresh salmon and duck. Moderate protein and fat levels help maintain a healthy weight.

The fresh ingredients are cooked only once at the lowest temperature possible to preserve their nutrients and natural flavor.

Made with 20+ natural superfoods, including fiber-rich pumpkin to support healthy digestion and antioxidant-rich blueberries to support healthy immune function. 

Food TypeDry Kibble
Stage Senior
Crude Protein, Fat, Fiber %24%, 12%, 5.5%
First Five IngredientsDe-Boned Turkey, Potatoes, Peas, Potato Flour, Pea Flour
Key Features:Glucosamine and Chondroitin (Joint Care), Omega Fatty Acids (Skin & Coat), Taurine (Blood Flow, Brain, Heart), DHA (Brain Development), EPA (Arthritis & Inflammation), L-Carnitine (Metabolism)

#8 Blue Buffalo Life Protection Grain-Free Small Breed Puppy Dog Food

Best for Puppies

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Grain Free provides several sources of high quality protein and includes real chicken as first ingredient.

Recipe includes calcium, phosphorus and essential vitamins for strong bones and teeth and special “puppy-sized” kibble for smaller jaws that promote tartar removal.

Food TypeDry Kibble
Stage Puppy
Crude Protein, Fat, Fiber %29%, 17%, 5%
First Five IngredientsDeboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Barley, Fish Meal 
Key Features:DHA and ARA (Brain & Eye Development), Choline (Brain & Liver Health), Omega Fatty Acids (Skin & Coat), Chelated Minerals & Antioxidants (Immune)

#9 The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Turkey Dehydrated Dog Food

Best for Adults (Dehydrated)

The Honest Kitchen Grain Free Dehydrated Dog Food rehydrates at 4x its weight

Made with real, whole food ingredients including cage-free turkey, spinach and coconuts. 

Complete and balanced nutrition for adult dogs and puppies of all breed and sizes.

100% human-grade recipe is made with human-grade ingredients and produced in a human food facility.

Food TypeDehydrated 
Stage Adult
Crude Protein, Fat, Fiber %29%, 18%, 9.6%
First Five IngredientsDehydrated Turkey, Organic Flaxseed, Dehydrated Potatoes, Dehydrated Spinach, Dehydrated Carrots
Key Features:Taurine (Blood Flow, Brain, Heart),

#10 Nulo Freestyle Turkey & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

Best for Adults (Wet Food)

Nulo’s Freestyle Turkey & Sweet Potato canned food is high quality. They make a solid dry kibble for Seniors as well.

Real turkey as first ingredient. Primary sources of protein include turkey, turkey broth and turkey liver.

Quality, balanced natural ingredients.

Food TypeWet 
Stage Adult
Crude Protein, Fat, Fiber, Moisture %10%, 7%, 1%, 78%
First Five IngredientsTurkey, Turkey Broth, Turkey Liver, Peas, Sweet Potatoes, 
Key Features:Amino Acids (Lean Muscle & Heart Health)

Important Note: For wet dog food if you’d like to convert the protein on a “dry matter” basis (to compare it to dry kibble) you’ll need to do a quick calculation. Take the amount of protein in the wet food by the total amount of dry matter in the can. In the case of the Instinct and Wellness wet dog foods above, that amount is (100% – 78% = 22%). As you see, these wet foods are very high protein.

Nulo Freestyle Turkey & Sweet Potato Grain Free Canned Wet Dog Food

Dry Matter Protein Content = (10/22) x 100 = 45.5%

More About the Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers are compact, well built dogs that among just a small number of breeds that originated in the United States.  The Boston Terrier was bred as a fighting dog of the bull and terrier type. The breed was first shown in Boston in 1870. By 1889 the breed had become popular enough in Boston that enthusiasts created the American Bull Terrier Club. This original Boston Terrier (Old Boston Bulldogs) weighed up to 44 pounds.

The name “Boston Terrier” comes from Robert C. Hooper, a resident of Boston. In 1865, Hooper purchased and English Bulldog-white English Terrier cross. This specific mix-breed dog (dark brindle and white blaze) became known as Hooper’s Judge.

Boston Terriers are moderately active and only require a couple brisk walks daily for exercise.

Boston Terriers three weight categories (under 15 pounds, 15 – 20 pounds and 20 – 25 pounds) and broadly weigh between 15 and 25 pounds fully grown. Males usually grow to 17 inches tall and females usually grow to 16 inches tall. This breed tends to have a dog lifespan between 13 – 15 years.

Boston Terrier Dog Food Feeding Guide

Boston Terriers have moderate energy levels and the modern versions are companion dogs.  The breed’s compact, muscular build and agility requires a significant amount of calories for their high activity level. 

Because of the three aforementioned size categories of this breed, there’s a fairly wide variance in dietary needs. The table below is a decent proxy for the typical dry kibble and caloric needs for the Boston Terrier. This equates to about 30 – 40 calories per pound per day for adult dogs and slightly less (25 – 30 calories) per pound per day for senior dogs.

WeightMin Cups Max CupsCalories
10 lbs3/4 cups1 cup300 – 400 (250 – 300)
15 lbs1 cup1 1/4 cups450 – 600 (375 – 450)
20 lbs1 1/4 cups1 3/4 cups600 – 750 (500 – 600)
25 lbs1 3/4 cups2 cups750 – 1,000 (625 – 750)

However, always also consider the specific dog’s activity level to prevent weight gain. A very broad estimate for the caloric needs of and average Boston Terrier is about 660 per day.

Top-Quality Proteins

Top-quality protein should be first on your list when selecting a dog food. Dogs in general require a decent amount of protein. Most moderately active Boston Terriers will only need a max protein of 22%.

While most breeds are good with a diet that includes 22% protein, the minimum recommended by the Association of American Feed Controls  (AAFCO) for adult Boston Terriers is only about 18% and more like 22% protein for puppies, to support this breed’s more moderate activity level. 

It’s not just the amount of protein you need to look for. The type of protein matters, too. Whole premium, identifiable meats such as chicken, salmon, beef are great examples. Multiple sources of protein also provide a range of amino acids. Steer clear of by products with unidentifiable or mystery meats!

Complex Carbs

High-quality, complex carbs such as sweet potatoes, quinoa, peas, oatmeal are much more preferable versus simple carbs like corn, wheat and soy. While simple carbs can provide a nice energy boost, they can also cause your dog to crash.  

Higher-quality complex carbs have a low glycemic index. They absorb more slowly to provide steady energy through the day.

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats like fish oil, flaxseed and olive oil are loaded with omega-fatty acids and antioxidants. The numerous benefits include fighting free radicals, supporting the joints, improving heart health, and much more.

Most adult dogs need a diet with about  12 – 15%  fat. Steer clear of low-quality fats as they lead to weight gain with much less nutritional benefits. 

Important Micronutrients

Finally, vitamins and minerals in dog food can provide some great added benefits. Only a small amount is needed and they can help with gut health (probiotics), boosting the immune system (vitamin A) and antioxidants (vitamins C & E). It’s also a good idea for Boston Terrier owners to look for glucosamine and chondroitin, for joint health, due to a common health issue called Patellar Luxation.

For more information on this topic please see our article on nutrition for dogs. 

Ingredients to Avoid

Just as there are many beneficial ingredients to look for, there are also (unfortunately) several to sidestep.  

Here’s are some common ingredients to avoid:

  • animal by-products, mystery meats
    • can contain hormones, chemicals and other bad stuff and often lack nutritional value
  • chemical preservatives, colorants and other needless additives
    • BHA, BHT and Ethoxyquin can cause health issues over time such as kidney issues, cancer, blindness and other health problems
  • artificial colors and flavors, top-quality dog food doesn’t have either

Also be aware of common human foods that dogs can not eat.

Common Boston Terrier Health Problems

Patellar Luxation.  Also known as a slipped kneecap, is a condition that’s fairly common in small dog breeds. Symptoms are limping, not putting weight on a leg, or frequently stopping to stretch his rear legs.

Skin Allergies. Boston Terriers are also known to have trouble with skin allergies. Symptoms to look for are excessive biting, licking, or scratching of the skin.

Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome. This breed’s smaller snouts can lead to breathing issues and eventually Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome. This condition can cause lung collapse, gastrointestinal issues, and trouble breathing while exercising.

Ear Infections. Boston Terriers large ears make them vulnerable to a wide range of allergens.

Glaucoma. Boston Terriers are unfortunately more prone to developing eye issues like Glaucoma. Glaucoma occurs when an obstruction in the eyeball’s drainage system occurs. This puts pressure on the eyeball, eventually leading to optic nerve damage.

Speak to your vet about recommended dietary changes to support optic health for this condition.

Other health issues this breed experiences include deafness, Hemivertebrae (tail bone defect), eye injuries (high vulnerable), cataracts, Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (Dry Eyes) and Epilepsy.

To Sum It All Up

Sticking to a top-quality dog food will help you keep your Boston Terrier healthy for many years to come.  These great dog food picks will keep your dog happy and help to bypass many of the common breed health issues (at least prematurely). 

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Mother of three children and avid dog lover. I've had several dogs over the years including Border Collies, Pomeranians and Shih Tzus. We absolutely love our current Shih Tzu Fiona and I'm consumed with learning about all dog breeds, dog fitness and discovering new dog wellness tips!