10 Best Dog Food For Boston Terriers (2020 Buying Guide)

Mike PowellEdited by: Mike Powell
Abby TexasReviewed by: Abby Texas

Last Update:

These little black and white pups are affectionately nicknamed “The American Gentleman”, as their coloring and coat patterns make it look like they’re wearing little fluffy tuxedos.

These charming guys and girls are super affectionate and love companionship with their humans.

They do tend to suffer from various health issues, though, so you’ll need to be aware of that from the beginning.

You can get a headstart on their nutritional needs by choosing one of these kibbles on our list of best dog food for Boston Terriers.

Product Name
Best For Seniors
Rank
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Lamb Dog Recipe Dog Food (5.5lb), ZCDL2500PUC
ORIJEN Dry Dog Food, Senior, Biologically Appropriate & Grain Free
Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe High Prairie Puppy Premium Dry Dog Food
Rating
Our Rating 92 / 100
Our Rating 90 / 100
Our Rating 90 / 100
Pro 1
Super quality all-natural ingredients
Very nutrient-dense
Grain free and contains chelated minerals, making it easily digestible
Pro 2
Has a digestibility score of 95%
Formulated specifically for senior dogs
Perfect nutrient values for a growing Boston Terrier puppy
Best Overall
Rank
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Lamb Dog Recipe Dog Food (5.5lb), ZCDL2500PUC
Rating
Our Rating 92 / 100
Pro 1
Super quality all-natural ingredients
Pro 2
Has a digestibility score of 95%
Best For Seniors
Rank
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
ORIJEN Dry Dog Food, Senior, Biologically Appropriate & Grain Free
Rating
Our Rating 90 / 100
Pro 1
Very nutrient-dense
Pro 2
Formulated specifically for senior dogs
Best For Puppies
Rank
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe High Prairie Puppy Premium Dry Dog Food
Rating
Our Rating 90 / 100
Pro 1
Grain free and contains chelated minerals, making it easily digestible
Pro 2
Perfect nutrient values for a growing Boston Terrier puppy
Sources researched
25
Sources researched
Customer reviews
20,000
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
35
Hours spent testing
Products tested
10
Products tested

1. Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Dog Food

Best Overall: Premium quality all-natural ingredients

Overall Rating92%
Ingredient Quality95%
Fat Count95%
Omega Fatty Acid Content & Quality90%
Grain-Free or Healthy Grains90%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • Super quality all-natural ingredients
  • Air-dried, which is an amazing way of preserving food naturally
  • Has a digestibility score of 95%
  • Ethically sourced ingredients

CONS

  • This food is quite pricey, so it may not be an option for everyone

Ziwi Peak is an all-natural, high-protein, high-fat food that is based on the Whole Prey diet for pets.

The ingredients are ethically and responsibly sourced from New Zealand, and also contain New Zealand Green Mussel, which is a unique ingredient but is considered a superfood and is a fantastic source of glucosamine.

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Whole Prey Diet  

This food is based on the Whole Prey diet, which aims to mirror the way dogs used to eat in the wild before they became domesticated. That means this food is filled to the brim with fresh meat, organs, and bone.

The fat count is high, which is awesome for active, exercising Boston Terriers as they’ll burn it off as energy.

2. Orijen Senior Dry Dog Food

Best For Active Boston Terrier Seniors: Formulated specifically for senior dogs

Overall Rating90%
Ingredient Quality90%
Fat Count90%
Omega Fatty Acid Content & Quality95%
Grain-Free or Healthy Grains90%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Formulated specifically for senior dogs
  • Best for active dogs
  • Very nutrient-dense
  • Contains botanical inclusions for extra nutrients

CONS

  • More expensive than many others
  • High calorie, so make sure to do your math

This dog food is aimed at senior dogs, but given the density of it and the calorie count we recommend it for older Boston Terriers who are still fairly active and can burn off those calories.

The protein and fat counts are high, which is fantastic for a Boston Terrier who still gets plenty of exercise.

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Senior-Specific Additions 

Although many additions in dog foods are great no matter the age of the pup eating it, some things are very useful for dogs who are aging. One of those things is glucosamine and chondroitin, which assists in keeping aging joints strong and supple, which is especially good for aging Boston Terriers. 

DHA and EPA are fatty acids that are often found in puppy food. It’s a great idea to add these to senior-specific food, though, as it gives your oldie’s brain a boost and keeps them sharp. 

Best For Energetic Oldies 

With 38% protein and 15% fat, this food is definitely best for those dogs who are going to make the most of those nutrients by converting them into energy. If your furry friend prefers time on the couch to time in the yard, this may not be for them.

3. Taste Of The Wild Grain Free Puppy Food

Best For Boston Terrier Puppies: Perfect nutrient values for growing puppies

Overall Rating90%
Ingredient Quality90%
Fat Count90%
Omega Fatty Acid Content & Quality90%
Grain-Free or Healthy Grains90%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • Perfect nutrient values for a growing Boston Terrier puppy
  • Fairly affordable for its quality
  • Great puppy-specific additions to assist in healthy growth
  • Grain free and contains chelated minerals, making it easily digestible

CONS

  • Some foods may have a bit of a strong smell to them

You can’t just feed your Boston Terrier puppy a general adult dog food, as they won’t quite be getting the nutrients they need.

This puppy food is spot-on when it comes to nutrients, and the ingredient quality is fantastic. Ingredients like sweet potato and peas are fantastic to provide your puppy with sustained energy.

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Puppy Food Benefits 

As we’ve mentioned before, DHA is an Omega fatty acid that has quite a benefit to puppies specifically. It helps your little guy or girl’s eyes to develop correctly, which is important with Boston Terriers as they are prone to eye problems when they get older. It also helps the brain tissue to develop properly, which will help your pup to have a longer, healthier, and happier life. 

This food contains near-perfect protein and fat values for developing puppies. 28% protein is great for small breed puppies who are growing and spending plenty of time playing, and 17% fat will give them great sustained energy as their day goes. 

4. Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Recipe

Best Value For Money: Premium quality for its price

Overall Rating90%
Ingredient Quality90%
Fat Count90%
Omega Fatty Acid Content & Quality90%
Grain-Free or Healthy Grains90%
Affordability95%

PROS

  • Super affordable and premium quality for its price
  • Contains no grains, which is unusual for such well-priced dog foods
  • Formulated especially for healthy skin and fur, which is fantastic for Boston Terriers with food allergies
  • Suitable for dogs of all ages and life stages

CONS

  • Salmon flavours can be a little smelly – this may not be a problem for your dog but pet parents should be aware!
  • “Fish meal” is a little vague and doesn’t give any insight into what fish the ingredient is

This s the best dog food for Boston Terrier parents on a budget. You won’t find anything more affordable on the market that contains the same quality ingredients and nutrients.

While it is specified to be for skin and coat, this food will benefit your Boston Terrier regardless of whether or not they have allergy-related skin issues.

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Formulated For Healthy Skin & Fur 

This recipe is specified to be for healthy skin and coat, and the Omega fatty acid levels are great for that purpose. Salmon, flaxseed, and canola oil contribute to this and promote healthy, soft, supple skin and fur. 

Vitamin A and E both appear on the guaranteed analysis list, which also help keep skin hydrated and hair fluffy. Ingredients like fruit have great antioxidant properties, which also promotes a healthy immune system.

This food is super for Boston Terriers of all life stages and is guaranteed to improve their skin and coat even if they don’t specifically suffer from allergies. 

5. American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe

Best For Skin Allergies: For those who suffer from allergies affecting their coat and skin

American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Overall Rating90%
Ingredient Quality90%
Fat Count90%
Omega Fatty Acid Content & Quality90%
Grain-Free or Healthy Grains95%
Affordability`90%

PROS

  • Great Omega fatty acid levels – fantastic for skin and coat allergies
  • Quite affordable for a high-quality, grain free food
  • No grains included
  • Added vitamins and minerals

CONS

  • It may have a fishy smell, due to the salmon content

The best dog food for Boston Terriers should be one formulated for skin and coat.

This is a superb choice Boston Terrier food due to the premium quality fats and oils that will go a long way towards nourishing your pet’s coat and skin and preventing that itch. 

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Omega Fatty Acid Sources 

Deboned salmon is the first ingredient on the list, which is an amazing protein source but also packs a real punch in terms of Omega fatty acids. Flaxseed and added salmon oil make this filled to the brim with healthy oils.

This dog food contains 2,5% Omega-6 fatty acids, and 1% Omega-3. There’s also a nice dose of Vitamin E, which not only helps keep a healthy coat but maintains a strong immune system.

Other Healthy Ingredients 

It has a dose of DHA in it, which is a good thing for pups who suffer from eye conditions, such as Boston Terriers. It also contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which is helpful for Boston Terriers as they’re prone to joint issues.

Ingredients like sweet potatoes provide sustained energy.

6. The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Dog Food

Best For Boston Terriers With Dental Problems: Soft and easy to eat

Overall Rating87%
Ingredient Quality90%
Fat Count90%
Omega Fatty Acid Content & Quality80%
Grain-Free or Healthy Grains90%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Soft and easy to eat for Boston Terriers with dental problems
  • Added water provides more hydration to your pet
  • Human-grade ingredients, highly digestible
  • The ingredients are dehydrated, which keeps them preserved

CONS

  • The grain-free recipes can be a little pricey
  • High calorie, so be careful not to overfeed your pooch

The Honest Kitchen’s foods are perfectly designed for dogs with dental issues, and Boston Terriers are prone to this due to their tiny, oddly shaped mouths. Sometimes kibble can be a problem for them to chew, and this food eliminates that problem.

There are grain free options and recipes with grains (which are cheaper), but the quality of the grains and the fact that they’re dehydrated may make them more digestible for your pup, so don’t discount the grain-containing option!

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Just Add Water 

One of the best things about this food is that all you need to do to prepare it is to add water.

A 10-pound bag of this makes 40 pounds of food, which means once you’ve added water, this food will expand quite a bit. This is also awesome for small breed dogs, as one bag should last you quite a long time. It is quite high in calories though, so be careful to feed your pup the right amount for their body and activity level. 

7. Zignature Trout & Salmon Meal Formula

Best For Boston Terriers With Sensitive Stomachs: Limited ingredient formula

Overall Rating86%
Ingredient Quality85%
Fat Count90%
Omega Fatty Acid Content & Quality85%
Grain-Free or Healthy Grains90%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • Limited ingredient formula, which helps allergies
  • Two healthy fish protein and fatty acid sources
  • Grain free, hypoallergenic recipe
  • Chelated minerals assist with digestion

CONS

  • A little pricey
  • May have a fishy smell

This recipe from Zignature is super for pups with sensitive tummies. The protein and fat counts are great for a small breed like Boston Terriers, and the quality ingredients coupled with being grain-free is super helpful for fussy dispositions.

It also contains plenty of stuff that helps skin and fur-related food allergies, so you can count on this one being as healthy as possible for both allergies and food intolerances.

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Limited But Quality Ingredients 

For sensitive stomachs, a limited ingredient diet is always a good idea. The fewer ingredients your Boston Terrier’s stomach needs to digest, the less chance there is of them having a bad reaction.

The protein sources here are superior quality, and have the added bonus of doubling up as amazing sources of fats and oils. Trout and salmon meal are both fantastic sources of both protein and Omega fatty acids, and are easy to digest, making these both super choices for a small breed with allergies. Salmon oil and flaxseed add to the fatty acid count, which can only be a good thing. 

8. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight Small Breed

Best Weight Management Dog Food: Good calorie count for weight loss

Overall Rating85%
Ingredient Quality85%
Fat Count90%
Omega Fatty Acid Content & Quality85%
Grain-Free or Healthy Grains80%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Lower in protein and fat, great for weight management
  • Good calorie count for weight loss
  • Contains L-carnitine for easier energy metabolism
  • Contains glucosamine for strengthening joints

CONS

  • May not be suitable for your pooch if they are sensitive to grains

Boston Terriers tend to be lively little things, but when they start to slow down they can be prone to picking up weight if their diet isn’t adjusted. Blue Buffalo is our pick for the best dog food for a small breed who is a little chunky.

If you have a Boston Terrier who is overweight and needs to be on a weight-management diet, this is a great quality dog food. The calories are slightly reduced, but the biggest difference is the fat count. Pets who carry extra weight are usually less active, and so need less fat as energy.

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Great Weight-Management Nutrient Counts 

With 25% protein and 10% fat, this will still offer the necessary nutrients to keep your Boston Terrier full and healthy, but at reduced numbers in order to keep your small breed from overeating. While this is great, it’s still best to use this in conjunction with increased exercise to assist in shedding the pounds. 

9. Nature’s Recipe Senior Dry Dog Food

Best For Less Active Boston Terrier Seniors: Easily digestible

Overall Rating84%
Ingredient Quality85%
Fat Count85%
Omega Fatty Acid Content & Quality75%
Grain-Free or Healthy Grains85%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • Good quality ingredients, even the grains
  • Quite easily digestible
  • Good calorie count for seniors
  • Lower in protein, which is great for less active Bosties

CONS

  • “Poultry digest” is too vague

Although this food does contain grains, they’re the easily digestible, healthy kind. As long as your senior Boston Terrier has a tough tummy, this food will be great for them and will give them all the nourishment they need.

The protein and fat counts are lower than others, which makes it perfect for less active small breed seniors as they don’t need as much as active pups. If you don’t adjust your pup’s food as they get older and less active, you may find they start to become a little overweight as they’re eating more than they’re burning. This dog food is a great one to feed a Boston Terrier who isn’t burning as much energy as they used to.

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Contains Healthy Grains 

This food does contain grains, but they’re good ones – rice, barley, and oatmeal. Although Boston Terriers do tend to have wonky stomachs, not all of them are going to struggle with grains that are the good quality kinds. These are actually great, easily-digestible carbohydrate sources, so it’s not likely that your old guy or girl will have problems with them.

Another great thing about having healthy grains in a dog food is that they’re a fantastic source of fiber, which is also a necessary thing as a pup gets older.

10. Natural Balance L. I. Diets Dry Dog Food

Best Limited Ingredient Dog Food: Limited but high-quality ingredient list

Overall Rating84%
Ingredient Quality90%
Fat Count80%
Omega Fatty Acid Content & Quality80%
Grain-Free or Healthy Grains90%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • Limited but high-quality ingredient list
  • Various flavours available
  • Chelated minerals are great for helping digestion

CONS

  • A little expensive
  • Lower in protein and fat than others
  • May have a fishy smell

We’ve chosen the sweet potato and fish flavour to review as sweet potato gives your Boston Terrier sustained energy throughout the day, and fish is an amazing source of both protein and Omega fatty acids.

L. I. diets are great for pups who have sensitive stomachs or health problems. If your vet has recommended a limited ingredient diet for your pet, this food is a great one to choose. 

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Limited Ingredients Soothe Tummies 

The fewer ingredients your pup’s food is comprised of, the easier it is for them to avoid bad reactions. These types of food are typically made up of fewer than 10 ingredients, and in this case, the whole food ingredients really only consist of 9, including natural flavor, salt, and vitamins and minerals. 


Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation

Criteria 1 – Ingredient Quality

This is the criteria that can make or break a dog food. If it’s not made with fresh, wholesome ingredients, then you shouldn’t be feeding it to your pup! 

We’ve had a look at the ingredient list and assessed the quality of the stuff on there. We’ve looked for real meat, quality carbs (fruits and vegetables, no grains), healthy fat sources, and any additions that promote your pet’s health. No artificial colors or flavors is essential.

We’ve chosen to only review foods with superior quality ingredients plus vitamins and minerals, so whichever one on this list you’re looking at, you can rest assured it has passed the ingredient quality test.

Criteria 2 – Fat Count

Fat is an underrated nutrient in dog foods. Don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s going to make your small breed dog gain weight. It’s actually a fantastic source of energy as it’s easily burnt off, so a good fat count in the best dog food for Boston Terriers is essential. 

Pups who are active will need a higher fat content in their food as they’ll be using it up fairly quickly for energy. Less active or older dogs will need a slightly lower number. 

We’ve reviewed foods here that contain at least 10% fat, unless otherwise specified.

Criteria 3 – Omega Fatty Acid Content & Quality

Boston Terriers can be prone to food allergies and intolerances, and while this most often affects their stomach and their digestion, it can also have an effect on the hydration of their skin and the softness of their fur. 

Food allergies can cause dry skin and brittle, rough fur. Making sure your Boston Terrier’s diet is packed with Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids is a great way to combat these allergies from the inside out. 

Omega fatty acids help hydrate the skin and fur, keeping the itching to a minimum. You can find the Omega numbers on any ingredient list, and we’ve made sure each food on this list contains a good dose of them.

Criteria 4 – Grain-Free or Healthy Grains

Boston Terrier’s tummies are notoriously fussy about grains. Although there are bad grains (wheat, corn, soy) and good grains (barley, oatmeal, rice, millet), we’ve chosen to review mostly grain-free foods on this list, unless otherwise specified. 

In cases where the dog food we’ve reviewed does contain healthy grains, we’ve explained why this may be a good idea for certain dogs. Every Boston Terrier is different, so it will be up to you to choose something that works for your little guy or girl, but we’ve tried to go grain-free as far as possible on this list.

Criteria 5 – Affordability

Affordability is always a factor – maybe not for your pooch, but definitely for pet parents. The best situation is where pup and owner are happy, and remember – your dog picks up on your feelings far easier than you realise!

We’ve chosen to add this to our criteria as we believe that both pet and parent should be happy about the food the pup is eating, and for as many reasons as possible. 


Questions & Answers

What should I look for in the best dog food for Boston Terriers?

If you want to feed your Boston Terrier the best food for his or her health, you’ll want to choose something all-natural, packed with nutrients (in the form of real meat, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fat sources), and devoid of grains, artificial ingredients, and low-quality fillers. 

You should look for real meat or meat meal as ingredient number one, healthy carbs such as veggies and fruits, identifiable and natural sources of fat, vitamins and minerals, and chelated minerals (these help with digestibility).

How many calories does a Boston Terrier need?

This small breed needs around 40 calories per pound per day if they’re active. Less active or older dogs would do better with 30 calories per pound of body weight per day. 

Keep in mind that once you’ve done the math, you’ll need to split this over however many meals you’re feeding your Boston Terrier per day. For example, if your Boston Terrier needs 800 calories per day and you’re feeding him twice, you’ll need to do your best to stick to 400 calories per meal. This will obviously depend on your pup, his lifestyle, and his feeding habits. 

Be conscious of the fact that these small breed pooches can be prone to weight gain as they get older and become less busy. You’ll need to adjust their calories per day if you notice your Boston Terrier is starting to pack on the pounds.

What are the diet requirements for Boston Terriers?

The American Gentleman, like all dogs, needs a high-quality, animal-protein-based, all-natural diet to meet their nutritional needs.

Dog foods with an identified, great quality animal protein are essential, as your pup can’t quite get all the nutrients they need from plant proteins. Real meat or meat meal (chicken meal or salmon meal are good choices) should be the first ingredient, as should be followed with healthy fruits and vegetables!

An adult Boston Terrier should be eating a food that contains a minimum of 20% protein, although you can up this quite a bit depending on their activity levels. The more active they are, the more they’ll be able to metabolize and use, and the less active they are the lower you’ll want that number to be. Puppies need quite a bit and can make do with around 28%. 

A moderate fat count is acceptable for slower, less bouncy Boston Terriers. An energetic Boston Terrier can use up to 15% fat in their food, as this is a great energy source and is burnt off quickly if they’re exercising.

What ingredients should I avoid?

Bosties tend to react badly to grains, although gluten-free grains are better than others for their tummies. Corn, wheat and soy should also be avoided.

Wet or canned dog food can encourage halitosis (bad breath) in a Boston Terrier, where dental disease is already something to be careful of.

Apart from that, steer clear of any artificial colors, flavours, or preservatives in a Boston Terrier food.

What common health problems do Boston Terriers suffer from?

Boston Terriers are brachycephalic, which means they are short-nosed dogs. Unfortunately, these pups can suffer from a host of health problems due to the shape of their face.

Brachycephalic syndrome is a collection of disorders that are common in these types of breeds. These are disorders that affect the dog’s breathing, and this is usually because of the abnormal structure of their faces. If you own one of these short-nosed pups, you’ll most likely already know that they are noisy breathers, and this is why. 

These guys and girls can also suffer from eye problems, which is also because of the shape of their face. Their eyes tend to protrude more than average, which means they are at risk of a few dangers. Eyes not closing fully, turned-in eyelids, nasal fold irritation (rubbing on the eye), or proptosis (the eyeball popping out) are all things you’ll need to be aware of. Cataracts and corneal ulcers are also common. 

Other more common things that your Bostie could suffer from include patellar luxation (kneecap dislocation), Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease (hip joint degeneration), skin fold infections, dental disease and halitosis (due to their mouths being smaller than average but still having to fit the same amount of teeth in there!), and intestinal issues brought on by food allergies. They’re also very prone to overheating as they can’t breathe fast enough to cool themselves down.