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Best Dog Foods for Boerboels: Puppies, Adults & Seniors


Last Updated: May 9, 2024 | 15 min read | 2 Comments

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Looking for the best dog food for your Boerboel? The Boerboel is a rare and mighty dog breed. Weighing in at 150 to 200 pounds, he is a giant breed dog. As you might expect, his food bill isn’t cheap! But this breed doesn’t just need quantity, they also need quality. You’ll want to make sure your pup has the best nutrient profile at every life stage, including puppyhood, adulthood, and into their golden years as a senior.

In this guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about Boerboel nutrition and the best kibbles for life stage. No matter if you recently welcomed this South African dog breed into your life as a puppy, or are just looking for a change in diet for your Senior pup, we’ve got you covered.

Not every Boerboel is the same, and neither is every owner’s budget. So, we have pulled together our favorite dog foods that are a perfect fit for the Boerboel’s nutritional needs. There is something here for every dog and every owner. So, from farm to doggy table, let’s find this Farmer’s Dog his best options.

Our Rating

Best For Puppies

Blue Buffalo Puppy

The Farmer's Dog Food Products (3 flavors)
Our Rating

Best For Adults

The Farmer’s Dog

Blue Buffalo Puppy Formula Life Protection
Our Rating

Best For Seniors

American Journey Senior

Boerboel Puppy Nutrient Needs

Boerboels might not start off as small compared to most other puppies, but they’ve got lots of growing to do to get to their full size. For this, they need puppy growing fuel, so it’s important to get it right. His developmental stage will set healthy foundations for the rest of his life.

As giant dog breeds, the most important decision that you can make for your Boerboel is to feed him a giant breed puppy kibble. You can also consider a kibble made for large breed puppies if your Boerboel has a slower growth rate, or if you’d like a formula with a little more history behind it. Many giant breed puppy dog food formulas are still pretty new. These contain the optimum levels of calcium and phosphorus to control his rapid bone rate. Research shows that this can go some way to preventing hip and elbow dysplasia, which the Boerboel is prone to.

AAFCO, the Association of American Feed Control Officials, recommends that all puppies eat a minimum protein content of 22%. We recommend a higher content in the region of 25% for a large dog breed such as this guy. Meat should always be the first ingredient, and real meats and meat meals are the best protein source.

His developing immune system needs a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. So look for vitamin and mineral supplements or real fruits and veggies. Omega fatty acids are healthy fats, and they can be found in fish oils, flaxseed, eggs, and plant oils. High-quality puppy kibbles will also provide docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA). These contribute towards his healthy brain and eye development too.

Adult Boerboel Nutrient Needs

Even though the Boerboel won’t be fully mature until two years of age, you should switch him to an adult kibble at about one year. It should still be a high-quality kibble, as these will provide him with all the nutrients that he needs to stay healthy.

The main focus of this big guy’s diet should still be protein, as his large muscle mass needs fuel and amino acids. During adulthood, it is recommended that he consumes a protein content of at least 18%. But again, we’d recommend higher for this giant hunk. Omega fats are still a crucial part of his diet, so be sure to look out for those ingredients listed above.

Unfortunately, the Boerboel is prone to weight gain, and he is a sucker for snacks. To avoid unnecessary weight gain, monitor his food intake and weight. If he is piling on the pounds, you either need to lower his food intake or switch him to a weight management kibble. We have found two brilliant healthy options for the Boerboel that we have listed at the end of this guide.

Senior Boerboel Nutrient Needs

The Boerboel will be considered a senior at around the age of seven years old. Just as you did when he was an adult, you will need to switch him to a senior kibble. A well-balanced diet is key for the senior Boerboel. But now, his nutritional needs focus on less energy to avoid weight gain. Still look for healthy omega fats, as he still needs them. A high-quality senior kibble will ensure the best balance.

His kibble needs to have increased levels of glucosamine and chondroitin. These are essential for his joints as they keep them supple. The Boerboel’s joints need all the help they can get to support his huge body. Other vitamins and minerals are essential to boost his aging immune system and keep him fighting fit.

Best Dog Foods for Boerboel Puppies

Boerboel Puppy Walking Around
Boerboel Puppies need a dry dog food that can meet the demand of their rapid growth rates.

When your Boerboel puppy comes home, they need to begin eating dry dog food that specifically addresses their rapid growth rates. It’s not uncommon for this breed to reach 200 pounds, so their early development is critical. Some pups will have more sensitive stomachs.

If your Boerboel puppy has a sensitive stomach, we recommend considering one of the two grain-free options on our list. You may also need to consider a limited ingredient formula like these made by Nutro. Keep in mind, that the dog food you select for your puppy will likely be what they eat until they reach adulthood at about a year. In no particular order, here’s our favorite foods for Boerboel puppies.

American Journey Large Breed Puppy

Holisitic Select Giant Breed Puppy Food
  • Budget-friendly formula.
  • Grain-free recipe.
  • DHA for brain development.
  • Nutrient-dense ingredients.
  • Free of wheat, corn, and soy.
  • 374 Calories per cup.
  • 30% Protein, 12% Fat, 6% Fiber.

American Journey has created this recipe with large puppies in mind. Focusing on a well-balanced diet but ensuring that there are higher levels of glucosamine and chondroitin than most other puppy kibbles. Meaning that his heavily laden joints are well supported as they grow. Salmon, chicken meal, and turkey meal not only provide these, but also high levels of protein too.

These ingredients are also a great source of omega fats, as are menhaden fish meal and salmon oil. All of which provide much needed DHA and ARA. This is a grain-free formula, and sweet potatoes and chickpeas provide the slow-release energy he needs. Fortified with vitamins, minerals, and probiotics, each bite of kibble will boost his immunity and assist with regular digestion.

We love that this recipe has a super high glucosamine and chondroitin content to support his large joints.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy Formula

Wellness Large Breed Puppy Food
  • Budget-friendly dog food.
  • Grain-free formula.
  • DHA for brain development.
  • Contains no by-product meals.
  • No corn, soy, or wheat.
  • 411 Calories per cup.
  • 35% Protein, 14% Fat, 6% Fiber.

Blue Buffalo has created a new biologically appropriate diet, and this is it! Biologically appropriate means that it follows a natural prey diet, including meats, cartilages, and bones. Your Boerboel pup will love this meaty formula. Just as nature intended him to eat. With 17 types of prey ingredients, his large muscle mass is cared for, with plenty of fuel for growth and repair.

Flaxseed, fish oil, and meat ingredients provide DHA and ARA for cognitive and eye development. And vitamin and mineral supplements take care of his immunity. With an extra boost of superfoods such as blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, carrots, and peas. Probiotic ingredients assist his digestion system in processing all the rich meats.

We love that this premium recipe has an excellent protein to fat content ratio. It’s one of our top food selections for Caucasian Shepherds and other giant breeds.

Purina Pro Large Breed Puppy

Orijen Large Breed Puppy
  • Budget-friendly large bag.
  • Probiotics for digestive health.
  • DHA for brain development.
  • Chicken is the first ingredient.
  • Omega fatty acids for skin & coat health.
  • 419 Calories per cup.
  • 28% Protein, 13% Fat, 4.75% Fiber.

Purina is a well-known brand, and this is their new and improved large breed puppy Pro formula. Chicken is the first ingredient, and it exceeds the protein recommendations set by AAFCO. Other ingredients such as eggs, fish meal, and fish oil supply the DHA and ARA that his brain and eyes need to develop healthily.

Rice, corn, and wheat are the main grains used in this formula. Each piece of kibble is coated in probiotic cultures, providing him with digestive support with every bite. Making this a good option for those Boerboels who struggle with regular digestion or loose stools. This recipe lists vitamin and mineral supplements too.

We love that this recipe is available to buy in a 47-pound bag, which is a great size for the forever hungry Boerboel. Making it much more convenient than a smaller bag.

Instinct Raw Large Breed Puppy

Orijen Large Breed Puppy Food
  • Grain-free recipe.
  • Freeze-dried nutrition.
  • Contains raw freeze-dried bits.
  • Cage-free chicken.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 485 Calories per cup.
  • 33.5% Protein, 18.5% Fat, 5% Fiber.

This is one of the only products on the market that includes raw pieces of meat in the form of meal toppers. Not only does this boost the protein content, but it also provides extra crunch and texture to his bowl. Eight meat and organ ingredients are listed, which will be irresistible to the Boerboel. This is a grain-free option, and it is also free from potatoes.

This kibble has the highest fat content and calorie count per cup. Which provides ample growing power. DHA and ARA are provided thanks to ingredients such as egg product, fish meal, and salmon oil. Superfoods such as pumpkin seeds, cranberries, and dried kelp are rich in antioxidants to keep him fit. Montmorillonite clay and fermentation products help to keep his digestive system regular.

We love that this recipe includes added raw toppers. So, if your Boerboel likes the taste of raw meat, but it isn’t convenient for you, this is one of the next best choices.

Holistic Select Giant Breed Puppy

Purina Pro Giant Breed Dog Food
  • Grain-free formula.
  • Omega fatty acids for skin & coat health.
  • Antioxidant boost.
  • Probiotics for digestive health.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 433 Calories per cup.
  • 25% Protein, 16% Fat, 4.5% Fiber.

This recipe has the lowest protein content, but it is a great option for those who struggle with really meaty kibbles. It exceeds AAFCO’s recommendations and matches our higher expectations for the Boerboel. Lamb meal and chicken meal are not only top-quality meat ingredients, but they are also rich in glucosamine and chondroitin for giant puppy joints.

His joints are also supported by salmon oil, which also provides DHA for his cognitive and eye development. This is a grain inclusive option, and it lists gentle oatmeal and brown rice for his energy and fiberous needs. In addition to that, prebiotic fiber is also listed, which will help pups with loose stools and irregular digestion. It is also packed with papaya, pumpkin, and pomegranate for his immunity.

We love that this recipe is specifically designed for large AND giant puppies. So, you know it is going to suit your big Boerboel.

Best Dog Foods for Adult Boerboels

Adult Boerboel Standing on Log
Adult Boerboels need a high-quality adult formula dog food to meet the nutritional demands of a giant breed.

Your Boerboel will reach adulthood at about one year of age. Keep in mind that this breed grows until they are about three years old. This means you’ll need a dog food that still can meet the demands of a dog that can easily tip the scales at over 130 pounds when fully grown. The challenge here is balancing nutrition with your budget.

Usually, if your dog has done well on a puppy formula, it makes sense to use the same manufacturer for their adult food because there’s less variations in the ingredient list. However, it’s sometimes necessary to change brands due to diet sensitivities or budget. Below, we dig into our favorite dog foods for adult Boerboels. You’ll find a variety of dog food formulas that can help your pup reach their senior years in good health.

The Farmer's Dog

  • Cooked fresh, flash-frozen, and shipped to you.
  • Personalized meal plans.
  • 4 healthy, vet-designed options: beef, chicken, turkey, or pork.
  • Made with human-grade ingredients (no fillers or preservatives).
  • Manufactured in the United States.
  • Calories and nutritional values vary based on recipe.

These human-grade, meat-first recipes from The Farmer’s Dog guarantee that your dog has the protein needed for his high-energy activities. The four flavors are also packed with fresh fruits and veggies, providing fiber to keep your dog’s digestive system moving efficiently. Nutrient-dense and filled with probiotics, antioxidants, omega-3s, superfoods, vitamins, and minerals, it’s sure to keep your pup’s immunity as strong as his muscles.

We love that The Farmer’s Dog offers a fresh, human-grade alternative to the typical kibble and the customized meal plans are sure to meet your dog’s dietary needs. And since they deliver it to your home, you won’t ever need to worry about carrying those heavy dog food bags home from the pet store again!

American Journey Large Breed Formula

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed
  • Grain-free formula.
  • Budget-friendly.
  • Free of corn, wheat, or soy.
  • Salmon and flaxseed for Omega fatty acids.
  • DHA for brain development.
  • 370 Calories per cup.
  • 30% Protein, 12% Fat, 5% Fiber.

This recipe follows on from the puppy recipe, so if your Boerboel did well on this as a pup, he should do well on it as an adult. This recipe is full of nutrient-dense ingredients, such as blueberries, sweet potato, dried kelp, and carrots. It is a grain-free recipe, but chickpeas provide plenty of slow-release energy for his energetic day ahead. It features no corn, wheat, or soy.

The first two ingredients are deboned salmon and turkey meal, with fish meal following shortly after. These also provide high levels of glucosamine and chondroitin for strong and supple joints. As well as DHA and ARA for his continued cognitive and eye needs. It has a high fiber content, which is ideal for those Boerboels who need help to keep their digestion regular.

We love that this is a fish-based recipe. Offering an alternative to other recipes that use more common protein sources such as chicken.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Formula

Purina Pro Senior Food
  • Grain-free formula.
  • Free of poultry, and by-product meals.
  • No corn, wheat, or soy.
  • Great for pups with sensitive stomachs.
  • Made with beef, lamb, and venison.
  • 373 Calories per cup.
  • 28% Protein, 13% Fat, 6% Fiber.

Again, if your Boerboel did well on the Wilderness recipe as a pup, they will likely do well on the continuation of the Adult Wilderness Food Line From Blue Buffalo. If he is an active guy, this high protein high-energy recipe will ensure that he will have all the power he needs to stay fueled. If he is new to a high protein recipe or a fussy dog, we bet our bottom dollar that he will go nuts for the real meat ingredients! This recipe is free of poultry ingredients, making it great for Boerboels with sensitive stomachs.

It has the highest fiber content compared to other dog foods, thanks to fibers such as sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and beans. Combining that with a variety of probiotic ingredients means that his gastrointestinal tract is supported. It is nutrient-dense and packed with antioxidants, superfoods, vitamins, and minerals. So, his immunity will be just as strong as his muscles. It also has the highest fat content, which is fantastic for his coat too.

We love that Blue Buffalo offers a wild prey diet, meaning it is full of tasty meat, cartilage, and organs. We’ve heavily reviewed many of their formulas, and their Wilderness line continues to top the list.

Purina Pro Giant Breed Formula

Large breed Weight Management Purina Pro
  • Budget-friendly.
  • Probiotics for gut health.
  • Glucosamine for joint support.
  • Higher protein content for muscle development.
  • No artificial colors or flavors.
  • 370 Calories per cup.
  • 26% Protein, 12% Fat, 4.5% Fiber.

Following on from the larger dog puppy formula, this one is designed for even bigger dogs like the handsome Boerboel. The first ingredient is real and lean chicken. Despite having the joint-lowest protein content on our list, it still exceeds the AAFCO recommendations. Some Boerboels struggle to digest super-rich formulas, so this is the recipe for these guys.

Fish meal and egg ingredients provide DHA and ARA for healthy cognitive function and eye health. They also provide additional protein, taste, and fats and oils for a healthy and shiny coat. Vitamin and mineral supplements are listed to keep his immunity boosted. This recipe also lists taurine, which is an important ingredient for heart health.

We love that this recipe is designed with giant dog breeds in mind. So, you can be sure that your Boerboel will get everything that he needs from this recipe.

Diamond Naturals Large Breed Formula

Nutro Large Breed Senior Food
  • Lowest cost dog food on this list.
  • Made with real cage-free chicken.
  • Vitamins and powerful antioxidants.
  • Nutrient-rich and highly digestible.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 327 Calories per cup.
  • 23% Protein, 13% Fat, 3.5% Fiber.

Diamond Naturals has created a dog food formula for bigger dogs that won’t break the budget. They’ve made real strides in recent years to ensure that their dog food is high-quality. This particular recipe is made with real cage-free chicken, as well as whole grain rice, and natural veggies that include kale, coconut, and blueberries. The higher omega fatty acid density will ensure your Boerboel has an extremely shiny coat.

This is a grain inclusive option that uses brown rice to provide slow-release energy. This formula is made with no corn, wheat, fillers, or artificial flavors. There are also no preservatives. This dog food is one of the cheaper foods on our list for adults, so if you are on a budget to feed your Boerboel, this will keep your South African canine companion well fed.

We love that this recipe doesn’t sacrifice quality for budget. Diamond Naturals does a great job providing premium dog food at an entry-level price, especially when they get compared to bigger brands.

Merrick Large Breed Adult

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken
  • Made with real deboned chicken.
  • High animal protein content ratio.
  • Healthy fats help maintain energy.
  • Glucosamine boost.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 382 Calories per cup.
  • 30% Protein, 15% Fat, 3.5% Fiber.

This recipe offers the second-highest protein content, and it lists deboned chicken and chicken meal as the first two ingredients. Combining this with salmon meal and eggs means that he will receive various meats and amino acids for complete muscle health. As well as DHA and ARA nutrients to keep his clever brain ticking and his eyes sharp in the dark.

Each kibble piece is fortified in probiotic ingredients, which promote friendly bacteria in his gut. This is a grain-free option that uses ingredients such as sweet potato and peas for energy. Apples and blueberries provide antioxidants to keep his body in tip-top condition. L-carnitine will support his metabolism and help to offset the higher fat content in this formula.

We love that this recipe has very high glucosamine and chondroitin levels, which is great for his giant joints.

Best Dog Foods for Senior Boerboels

Senior Boerboel Dog
Most senior Boerboels will need a reduced-calorie dog food formula, with a glucosamine and chondroitin boost.

Boerboels are hard on their joints as they age. They will hit “senior” status a bit earlier than other breeds. You can start transitioning your pup to a senior formula dry kibble at around 6 years of age. During this time, it’s likely your pup’s energy levels will slow, so it’s a good time to consider a formula that has a lower calorie count.

Boerboels are known to slow down their activity level as they age, so your goal here should be to prevent unnecessary weight gain. You’ll also want a formula that’s rich in chondroitin and glucosamine that will support your Boerboel’s aging joints. It’s also important to get the right antioxidant blend that can help fight off illnesses as your dog ages. Below are our favorite formulas, in no particular order, for the Senior Boerboel.

American Journey Senior Formula

  • Budget-friendly.
  • Glucosamine boost for aging joints.
  • Grain-free formula.
  • Made with nutrient-dense ingredients.
  • No corn, wheat, or soy.
  • 355 Calories per cup.
  • 30% Protein, 11% Fat, 7% Fiber.

American Journey is the only brand that we’ve reviewed for each of the Boerboel’s life stages. That’s because American Journey produces some great kibbles for your Boerboel or any breed. It has a high protein content thanks to a trio of proteins, including salmon, turkey meal, and chicken meal. And although this isn’t designed specifically for big dogs, it ticks all of the larger breed requirements in his senior years.

This recipe is a grain-free option, and it lists slow-release energy ingredients such as sweet potatoes, peas, chickpeas. They will also help to keep him feeling fuller for longer, which will prevent him from snacking. It contains many vitamins and minerals supplements and superfoods such as blueberries, coconut, and marine microalgae.

We love that this recipe has the highest fiber content, which is great for those senior Boerboels who need extra digestive support.

Science Diet Large Breed Senior

  • Veterinarian endorsed food brand.
  • Omega fatty acids for skin and coat health.
  • Made with natural ingredients.
  • Made specifically for large and giant breed seniors.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 353 Calories per cup.
  • 15.5% Protein, 10.5% Fat, 4% Fiber.

Hill’s Science Diet provides a low protein content. Which is ideal for many Boerboels in their senior years as they begin to struggle to digest rich proteins. Chicken meal is the first ingredient, and this is a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin for his bones and joints. It lists omega fatty acids, which is important to keep his aging coat supple, and l-carnitine helps prevent weight gain.

This recipe is grain-inclusive. It uses barley, rice, and wheat as the main energy sources. It lists vitamins and mineral supplements and real fruits and veggies such as apples, broccoli, carrots, and cranberries. Taurine will support his heart health. This recipe is based on science and the needs of large and giant dog breeds. So, you can rest assured it will be nutritionally beneficial for your Boerboel.

We love that this recipe is designed for seniors aged six years and over when the Boerboel will be considered a senior.

Nutro Wholesome Large Breed Senior

Blue Buffalo Senior Large Breed Formula
  • Non-GMO ingredients.
  • Made with farm-raised chicken.
  • No artificial flavors, or colors.
  • No corn, wheat, or soy.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 306 Calories per cup.
  • 22% Protein, 11% Fat, 4% Fiber.

This recipe offers a low protein content, but real chicken and chicken meal are still the first two ingredients. Which are natural sources of glucosamine for seniors. This recipe is designed specifically for bigger dogs and their now-aching joints. The chicken is farm-raised, and along with their non-GMO ingredients, this is an ethical option for your Boerboel.

It is a grain-inclusive recipe, using ingredients such as rice and barley for his energy and fiber needs. But it is corn, wheat, and soy-free, which is ideal for Boerboels with sensitive stomachs. Vitamin and mineral supplements are added to the formula. And it also lists folic acid, which will keep his aging coat soft and supple.

We love that this recipe offers a low-calorie count, so it is ideal for the aging Boerboel, who doesn’t need as much energy as he used to.

Merrick Grain-Free Senior Formula

  • Grain-free formula.
  • Reduced calories for weight management.
  • Excellent protein to fat ratios.
  • Omega fatty acids for skin and coat health.
  • No corn, wheat, soy, or gluten.
  • 370 Calories per cup.
  • 30% Protein, 12% Fat, 3.5% Fiber.

You might be wondering why this recipe has made our list as it isn’t specifically for large dogs. But Merrick has supreme levels of glucosamine, meaning it is a fantastic option for his joints. It has the joint-highest protein content, thanks to chicken, chicken meal, and salmon meal. It also has the highest fat and calorie content, meaning that your Boerboel should still be reasonably active to get on well with this formula.

L-carnitine is listed, which will stimulate his metabolism and help him to maintain a healthy weight. Each kibble piece is fortified with probiotics, which will support his gut. And a long list of vitamin and mineral supplements will strengthen his aging immune system.

We love that this recipe has top levels of glucosamine and chondroitin, which will keep his aging joints strong.

Purina Pro Weight Management

  • Made specifically for heavier large breeds.
  • Reduced calorie content.
  • Probiotics for digestive health.
  • Lean proteins for muscle retention.
  • Higher fiber content to promote digestion.
  • 361 Calories per cup.
  • 27% Protein, 9.5% Fat, 5.5% Fiber.

This recipe has a 27% protein content and a 9.5% fat content. Purina Pro believes it is the optimum ratio for bigger pups who need energy but still need to lose weight. Lean chicken is the first ingredient.

These ingredients provide plenty of taste, meaning your pup probably won’t even realize that he is on a diet. It is fortified with live probiotics to keep his digestive and immune system supported. Diet dog foods can be an effective way to manage weight in senior years. Purina pro makes it easy to meet your aging Boerboel’s nutritional needs at the same time.

We love that this recipe has enough energy to support the energetic Boerboel while still allowing him to lose weight.

Final Thoughts

The Boerboel is an impressive, imposing, and handsome dog. Not only is he fantastic fun, but he is also a wonderful family canine companion. They are working breeds, and their nutrition needs to match their energy levels at each life stage. Ensuring you’ve selected the proper dog food for your dog’s age and activity levels will help ensure that your dog gets to those later levels of their potential life expectancy.

By picking your Boerboel one of our recommendations above, you can be sure that not only are you taking a step in the right direction for your dog’s health, but you are also providing him with the highest quality nutrition that will help you keep your pup around for years to come.

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