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Best Dog Foods For Boston Terriers: Puppies, Adults & Seniors


Last Updated: May 9, 2024 | 14 min read | Leave a Comment

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Navigating the complex field of dog nutrition is no easy task, especially for Boston Terrier owners. These pups can be picky eaters, so finding the best dog food for your Boston Terrier can take some testing. The Boston Terrier is a delightful little canine who is described as friendly, bright, amusing. It’s also a fairly popular family dog in the United States. However, in order to be his happy-go-lucky self, he needs the right nutrition to fuel his body and mind. This is where this guide comes in handy.

He is a small-sized pooch, measuring 15 to 17 inches tall and weighing between 12 and 25 pounds. Small-sized dogs have different nutritional needs compared to large dogs. Because the Boston Terrier has a compact mouth, he is more susceptible to periodontal diseases. This means dry kibbles will help to break down that plaque. Because his mouth is smaller he also needs smaller kibble pieces. Kibbles designed for small breeds contain the optimized nutrients needed for small breeds too.

We will walk you through his puppy, adult, and senior stages. This will tell you all you need to know about his nutritional needs as his body changes. From particular ingredients through to what to look out for in a high-quality kibble, as well as an overweight section at the end, we have researched it all. So, both your Boston Terrier, and your purse strings, will find something in our Boston Terrier food guide.

At a Glance: Our Favorite Foods for the Boston Terrier

Our Rating

Best For Puppies

Blue Buffalo Small Breed

Our Rating

Best For Adults

American Journey Adult

Our Rating

Best For Seniors

Blue Buffalo Life Protection

Boston Terrier Puppy Nutrient Needs

Puppyhood is all about growing and developing into a healthy pup and setting the foundations for a healthy life. As such, you’ll want a kibble that is specifically formulated for small breed puppies. Avoid all-life stage kibbles during puppyhood as they are less likely to support early development. Many Boston mixes will fall into this same size category.

The MSD Veterinary Manual recommends that puppies need a minimum protein content of at least 22%. Higher protein content can be more beneficial. Look for whole meats and meat meals as they provide high-quality protein, energy, and glucosamine for his joints. Each ingredient will be identifiable, ie, Chicken meal is great, poultry meal is not so great.

Omega fatty acids are key as they nourish his skin and coat. They also support healthy eye and brain function, as well as overall development. These can be found in fish oils, animal fat and flaxseeds, and vitamin E. Biotin and folic acid are also great ingredients to look for that support a healthy coat. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and arachidonic acid (ARA) can also be found in omega fatty acids. So can egg products, and they too support healthy cognitive and eye function.

His developing immune system needs plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients are found in fruit, vegetables, and added supplements, all of which can be found in high-quality kibbles.

Adult Boston Terrier Nutrient Needs

Between 12 and 15 months you will need to gradually transition your Boston Terrier to an adult kibble. The MSD Manual suggests that adult dogs should eat a kibble that will provide him with a minimum protein content of 18%.

An adult Boston Terrier’s diet should focus on being balanced. On top of protein and energy, think omega fatty acids, healthy and wholesome carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and glucosamine. All high-quality kibbles will focus on a well-balanced diet offering optimized nutritional balance for adult dogs.

The amount of food you feed him will be dependent on his weight, age and lifestyle. It goes without saying that he should eat enough to sustain his energy levels. If your pup eats more than he needs, he will become overweight, so make sure to keep an eye on portion control.

Senior Boston Terrier Nutrient Needs

Your Boston Terrier will be considered a senior at around the age of 7 to 8 years, and around this time you need to find a senior kibble and slowly transition him to this. As his body ages his nutritional needs change, so it is important to feed him a kibble that focuses on his senior needs.

He needs less energy, and so senior kibbles provide a lesser fat content and calories per cup. They also provide a little bit more fiber so that he feels fuller for longer, and hopefully reducing the number of snacks he’ll want to eat. He still needs plenty of healthy omega fatty acids, so look for those key ingredients mentioned earlier, as his drying skin and coat need nourishment, and they help to support healthy cognitive function.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are crucial in his senior years because they provide support for his joints and bones, and they can be found in added supplements, or ingredients such as fish oils and meat meals.

Best Food for Boston Terrier Puppies

Boston Terrier Puppy waiting for food
Getting nutrition correct for your puppy is extremely important.

Boston Terrier puppies are unique little pups. Because of their unique body shape and growth trends, finding the best dog food for your Boston Terrier puppy is crucial. You want to ensure you provide a calorie and nutrient-dense formula that will boost their immune systems as they grow. As we’ve mentioned, Boston Terriers need a lot of protein, especially as puppies. This will help them strengthen muscles and help promote leanness.

Some Boston’s suffer from grain sensitivity, so you may need to test a grain-free option. Grain free isn’t always required, and the formulas are typically more expensive. But it can be a lifesaver if your dog has a food allergy. We also recommend mixing your Boston Terrier’s dry kibble with veggies like Zucchini and slower burning carbs like Sweet Potatoes. Let’s take a look at our favorite foods for Boston Terrier puppies.

Holistic Select Puppy Recipe

Holistic Select Small Breed Puppy

  • Grain-free formula.
  • Contains DHA for brain development.
  • No By-products.
  • No wheat, wheat gluten.
  • No fillers of any kind.
  • 481 Calories per cup.
  • 30% Protein, 20% Fat, 3.4% Fiber.

This has the highest protein content on this list. If you have an energetic or larger Boston then this would make a great kibble choice. Anchovy and Sardine meal is the first ingredient. This means it’s not only tasty, but full of glucosamine and omega fatty acids. Chicken meal is listed as the second ingredient.

It has the lowest fiber content too, which some smaller puppies do much better on, but his digestive health is supported with prebiotic fibers and probiotic cultures. Vitamins and mineral supplements are listed, and pumpkin, blueberries, cranberries, and papaya add extra antioxidants for his immunity.

We love that this recipe is great for toy and smaller breeds, so if you have a particularly tiny Boston he’ll find this recipe much easier to eat.

American Journey Puppy Recipe

American Journey Grain-Inclusive Puppy Food

  • Budget-friendly.
  • Real chicken is first ingredient.
  • DHA for brain development.
  • Omega fatty acids for skin & coat.
  • Includes real vegetables & fruits.
  • 365 Calories per cup.
  • 25% Protein, 15% Fat, 5% Fiber.

This recipe has the highest fiber content on this list, so if you have a particularly gassy Boston, or one that does much better with more fiber then this would make a better option for him. Gentle grains such as brown rice, barley and oatmeal will help to keep his digestive tract regular too. American Journey has done well since entering on the scene in 2017. This food is a quality option for budget-minded Boston Terrier parents.

Deboned Chicken and Chicken meal are the first two ingredients, full of energy and protein for his muscles and growing needs, and fish oils and egg product provide those important DHA and EPA nutrients, as well as omega fats.

We love that this recipe is grain inclusive, which makes it a great option for those puppies whose digestive system functions much better on such a diet.

Wellness Complete Puppy Recipe

Wellness Complete Small Breed Puppy Formula

  • Budget-friendly.
  • DHA for brain development.
  • Calcium for bone development.
  • Contains salmon meal, source of Omegas.
  • Smaller kibble size made from real turkey.
  • 480 Calories per cup.
  • 28% Protein, 19% Fat, 4.25% Fiber

This grain inclusive recipe uses gentle oatmeal and brown rice for fiber and energy. Deboned Turkey, Chicken meal, Salmon meal and Menhaden fish meal provide protein and omega fatty acids. This is critical for joint and coat needs.

Guaranteed levels of calcium and phosphorus are provided, and DHA can be found in fish oils. Probiotic and prebiotic fibers assist his digestive tract, and the kibble pieces are fortified with vitamins and minerals.

We love that this recipe focuses on complete health, so your Boston will find that every aspect of his healthy development is cared for with this recipe.

Canidae Pure Puppy Recipe

Canidae Pure Puppy Formula

  • Made with only 9 ingredients.
  • Includes probiotics for gut health.
  • No artificial colors or preservatives.
  • First ingredient is chicken.
  • Contains real vegetables.
  • 520 Calories per cup.
  • 30% Protein, 12% Fat, 4% Fiber.

This recipe is made with 8 limited ingredients. CANIDAE makes this a great option for those with a sensitive stomach. It is grain free, and instead uses beans and lentils to provide energy, and Salmon, Salmon meal and freeze-dried Salmon provide the protein and the taste.

Each kibble piece is coated in their HealthPLUS solution, which is a blend of probiotics, antioxidants and omega fatty acids for his digestive health, skin nourishment, immunity and overall health.

We love that this CANIDAE recipe uses Salmon as the only protein source, which is great for those Boston Terriers who are allergic to commonly used Chicken ingredients.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy Formula

  • Super 7 package with antioxidants.
  • DHA for brain health.
  • Omega fatty acids for skin & coat.
  • No corn, wheat or soy.
  • First ingredient is deboned chicken.
  • 415 Calories per cup.
  • 29% Protein, 17% Fat, 5% Fiber.

Deboned Chicken and Chicken meal are the first two ingredients on this list. This is important for his muscle maintenance needs. It’s also important for energy and glucosamine needs. Menhaden fish meal and egg products provide DHA and ARA as well as omega fatty acids for his skin and coat.

Blueberries and cranberries, as well as a long list of added vitamin and mineral supplements take care of his immunity. Optimized calcium and phosphorus levels help to strengthen his bones and teeth, as well as dried kelp.

We love that this recipe includes Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits, which are cold-formed kibble pieces that are full of optimized puppy nutrients that also add a different texture to his bowl.

Best Food for Adult Boston Terriers

Adult boston terrier running for food
Adult Bostons should transition to an adult dog food at around one year old.

Once your Boston Terrier hits about one year of age, it’s time to transition to an adult dog food. During this transition, we recommend taking it slow so you don’t upset your Boston’s stomach. Some of them are known to have sensitive stomachs. This means transitioning dog food too quickly can be a recipe for an upset stomach.

If you’ve already seen your Boston Terrier become gassy, you’ll want to look at dog food formulas made to decrease flatulence, or look at grain-free options. Grain-free options can be a great choice, but they aren’t necessarily needed unless your dog has a sensitive stomach. Just like with puppies, we recommend incorporating veggies and fruits into your dog’s diet. Some fruit isn’t a bad idea, and Kiwi can make an interesting choice as can Pineapple. This will make mealtime more enjoyable, and mix things up a bit for your pup. Let’s look at our favorite foods for adult Boston Terriers.

Nulo Freestyle Adult Recipe

Nulo Small Breed Puppy Food

  • Made from low glycemic ingredients.
  • Grain-free formula.
  • DHA for brain development.
  • Contains vegetables for antioxidants.
  • Probiotics for gut health.
  • 424 Calories per cup.
  • 30% Protein, 16% Fat, 4.5% Fiber.

This premium recipe lists lean deboned Salmon, Turkey meal and Menhaden fish meal as the first 3 ingredients. This is great for his muscle maintenance needs, but it is also fantastic for his taste buds. This recipe is Chicken and egg free for those Bostons who are intolerant of these commonly used ingredients.

This is a grain-free recipe. It uses whole peas, sweet potatoes, chickpeas and lentils for energy needs, as well as fiber needs. Dried chicory root and patented probiotic solutions aid his digestive system. Dried blueberries and apples support a strong immune system.

We love that this recipe has a very high protein content which is great for Bostons who are always on the go.

American Journey Adult Recipe

American Journey Chicken Grain-Inclusive

  • Budget-friendly.
  • Grain-inclusive recipe.
  • Contains real deboned chicken.
  • Natural fiber from flaxseed & veggies.
  • Omega 3’s and 6’s for coat and skin.
  • 365 Calories per cup.
  • 25% Protein, 15% Fat, 6% Fiber.

Following on from the puppy formula, this recipe is made with Chicken and wholesome brown rice. It includes other gentle grains such as barley and oatmeal. If your Boston did well on this as a puppy he will love this recipe. It has the lowest calorie count per cup which is important to consider if he is not as active.

Fish oils and egg products provide DHA and ARA for his cognitive function and healthy cardiac system. This kibble is suitable for those on a tighter budget, without compromising on quality compared to other kibbles in a similar pricing band.

We love that this recipe has the highest fiber content on this list. It’s great for those Bostons whose digestive systems do better on a high fiber dog food. It’s also good for those who are always seeking their next snack.

Wellness Complete Adult Formula

Wellness Small Breed Adult Dog Food

  • Smaller Kibble bits for smaller mouths.
  • Omega 3’s and 6’s for skin and coat health.
  • Chondroitin boost.
  • Prebiotics and Probiotics for gut health.
  • Contains no wheat, corn or soy.
  • 420 Calories per cup.
  • 28% Protein, 15% Fat, 4% Fiber.

This grain inclusive recipe uses oatmeal and ground brown rice as his main energy source. With deboned Turkey, Chicken meal and Salmon meal you can be sure that his muscles are also well cared for. Salmon oil and flaxseed also care for his skin and coat.

A long list of antioxidants and superfoods such as apples, sweet potatoes, blueberries, carrots, and spinach support his immunity. Ingredients such as lactobacillus casei and acidophilus promote healthy bacteria in his gut.

We love that this recipe focuses on his complete health, so you can be sure that every aspect of his nutritional needs is cared for.

Canidae Pure Adult Recipe

Canidae Grain Free PURE Small Breed

  • Made with just 9 ingredients.
  • Grain-free formula.
  • No corn, wheat, or soy ingredients.
  • Contains probiotics and antioxidants.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 520 Calories per cup.
  • 30% Protein, 12% Fat, 4% Fiber.

Continuing from the puppy recipe, Canidae has also made a limited ingredient recipe for smaller adults. This will work well if your pup flourished on this recipe as a puppy. Salmon is still the only protein source in this food. This is fantastic for his skin, coat, brain and eye function as well as overall health.

It is grain free and uses the same fibrous ingredients such as bean, peas and lentils. Canola oil is great for his muscle strength and gut health too. Folic acid, zinc, biotin and flaxseed also contribute towards nourished skin. This formula has the highest calorie count per cup to keep those energetic Bostons going.

We love that this recipe is made with Salmon as the only meat protein. This is great for those Bostons who do not like Chicken or other commonly used proteins.

Solid Gold Mighty Mini Recipe

Solid Gold Mighty Recipe

  • Grain-free recipe.
  • Made for toy and small breeds.
  • Single meat protein source.
  • Contains pumpkin for healthy digestion.
  • Chicken is primary ingredient.
  • 450 Calories per cup.
  • 30% Protein, 18% Fat, 4% Fiber.

This is a grain-free recipe that uses chickpeas, peas, sweet potato, and pumpkin for energy and fiber. Chicken, Chicken Meal, and fish meal provide the protein sources for this recipe. This accounts for the joint-highest protein content on this list, great for those energetic Bostons.

Superfoods such as pumpkin, sweet potato, blueberries and cranberries provide prebiotics and antioxidants for his digestive health. This blend is infused with 90 million living probiotics in every pound of kibble. Because of that, you can be sure that his gastrointestinal health is cared for.

We love that this recipe is designed for toy and smaller breeds. If you have a small Boston then this would be a great option.

Best Food for Senior Boston Terriers

Senior boston terrier begging for food
Senior Boston Terriers should start on a senior formula at around 7 years old.

As your Boston Terrier starts to age, health complications can start to arise. Around seven years of age, you should start considering changing your Boston’s food to a more Senior friendly food formula. He will need the additional antioxidants to give his immune system a boost.

You’ll also likely want to pull back caloric intake as well so that weight management doesn’t become a problem. Boston’s are known to become little butterballs, so monitoring food intake in their senior years is critical. Let’s jump in and take a look at our favorite food for your aging Boston Terriers.

Merrick Lil’ Plates Senior

Merrick Lil' Plates Senior

  • First ingredient is real deboned chicken.
  • Grain-free recipe.
  • Gluten-free, no artificial colors or flavors.
  • Added prebiotics and probiotics.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 348 Calories per cup.
  • 32% Protein, 12% Fat, 3.5% Fiber.

Deboned Chicken and Chicken meal are the first two ingredients. They contribute towards the highest protein content on this list of food. They also provide the leading levels of glucosamine and chondroitin for his joints. Salon meal and Salmon oil keep his omega fatty acid needs topped up for his overall health too.

A long list of vitamins and minerals keep his immune system strong. Also helping, is wholesome fruits and veggies such as sweet potatoes, peas, blueberries and apples.

We love that this recipe has the highest levels of glucosamine and chondroitin to support his aging joints.

American Journey Senior Recipe

American Journey Senior

  • Budget-friendly.
  • Real chicken as first ingredient.
  • Vitamin A for vision support.
  • Omega 3’s and 6’s for coat and skin health.
  • Antioxidant blend for brain health.
  • 307 Calories per cup.
  • 25% Protein, 11% Fat, 7% Fiber.

This recipe completes the Chicken and brown rice formulas that we have recommended throughout. It has the highest-joint fiber content on our list. This is great to keep him feeling full for longer and will help to keep his slowing digestive tract regular. Chicken and Chicken meal provide the protein and glucosamine that his muscles and joints crave.

L-carnitine is listed which helps to stimulate his slowing metabolism. Taurine is also listed which helps to support his cardiac health.

We love that this recipe is designed for all-sized seniors. If your Boston is a larger dog that prefers a bigger crunch then this might be the recipe for him.

Wellness Complete Senior Formula

Wellness Complete Health Small Breed

  • Low sodium for heart health.
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin boost.
  • Omega 3’s and 6’s for skin and coat.
  • Lower calorie for less active Boston Terriers.
  • No fillers or by-products.
  • 437 Calories per cup.
  • 25% Protein, 12% Fat, 5% Fiber.

This recipe is another to complete the Boston life-stage series. If he did well on prior Wellness formulas, this might be a great option. Deboned Turkey and Chicken meal offer lean protein sources. Healthy fats and carbohydrates they ensure that he stays trim despite the high-calorie count.

Spinach and blueberries are high in antioxidants for his immunity, and with vitamin and mineral supplements his overall health will remain strong and youthful.

We love that this recipe has the highest calorie count per cup. This works well if your senior Boston is still energetic as he once was and needs the additional calories.

Simply Nourish Small Breed Senior

Simply Nourish Senior Formula

  • Deboned chicken is first ingredient.
  • Omega 3’s for skin and coat health.
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin boost.
  • Includes real fruits and vegetables.
  • Antioxidants for immune system health.
  • 365 Calories per cup.
  • 25% Protein, 14% Fat, 7% Fiber.

Deboned Chicken, Chicken meal and Chicken cartilage are listed as the primary ingredient.  They are packed full of high-quality protein and glucosamine, as well as meaty taste that seniors will love.

Dried carrot, kale, pumpkin, and blueberries provide him with healthy prebiotic fibers and energy sources. These ingredients are also high in antioxidants. Vitamins and minerals are added to this recipe, and gentle grains such as oatmeal and brown rice are listed too.

We love that this recipe has a very high fiber content. This is important for aging Bostons who need to be kept feeling full to avoid snacking and becoming overweight.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Senior

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Senior Food

  • High protein content for muscle maintenance.
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin boost.
  • No corn, wheat, soy or chicken by-product.
  • Super 7 package of antioxidant-rich ingredients.
  • Deboned chicken is the first ingredient.
  • 371 Calories per cup.
  • 23% Protein, 13% Fat, 6% Fiber.

Deboned Chicken and Chicken meal provide the protein to keep his muscles fueled. You’ll also get a glucosamine boost to keep his joints functioning. This formula has the lowest protein content. Some senior pooch’s do much better on this, however. Some pups can also find it too rich as they become older.

Fish oil and flaxseed keep his drying skin and coat nourished. L-carnitine keeps his metabolism ticking over as it should, and taurine is listed to support cardiac health.

We love that this recipe contains Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits which are packed full of optimized senior nutrients.

Food for Overweight Boston Terriers

Overweight Boston Terrier
Boston Terriers can get overweight if their portions aren’t managed effectively.

If your Boston Terrier is becoming a bit overweight, then it might be time for a weight management dog food. The goal is to prevent your pup from becoming obese or developing further weight-related health issues. This can be a common problem with Boston’s, even with a proper weight management formula.

For this reason, we highly recommend monitoring food intake for your pup at each mealtime. Make sure to follow the manufacturer feeding recommendations to help peel the weight back off. Feed them low-calorie snacks to help keep hunger at bay, and avoid heavily processed foods like Macaroni and Cheese.

Hill’s Science Diet Light Small Bites

Science Diet Small Bites Light

  • Lower-calorie dog food.
  • Contains taurine for heart function.
  • Antioxidants boost health while cutting calories.
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 271 Calories per cup.
  • 20% Protein, 5.5% Fat, 14% Fiber.

The first ingredient is Chicken meal, which is full of protein and glucosamine to support his muscles and joints. The protein content is 20%, the fat content is 5.5%, the fiber content is 14%, and there are 271 calories per cup. L-carnitine is listed to support his metabolism, and taurine for his cardiac health.

We love Science Diet’s weight management formula for many different breeds. The fact that it’s both a weight management formula and made for a smaller bite radius is an added benefit.

Ultra Nutro Weight Management

Nutro Small Breed Weight Loss Formula

  • Reduced calorie formula.
  • Three lean animal protein base.
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners.
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin boost.
  • Packed with vitamins, antioxidants and minerals.
  • 288 Calories per cup.
  • 24% Protein, 13% Fat, 4% Fiber.

This recipe offers a trio of proteins, which is great for overall energy needs. Dogs love the taste, and it offers a long list of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This will help keep his immune system strong. The protein content is 24%, the fat content is 10%, the fiber content is 4% and the calorie count is 288 per cup.

We love Nutro’s weight management formula as well and are fans of many of their dog food recipes. This is a budget-friendly option that will help keep your dog’s weight in check.

Final Thoughts

Fidning the best dog food for your Boston Terrier should have just gotten a whole lot easier. The Boston Terrier is the American gentleman of the dog world. Even if some try to say the French Bulldog gets that distinction. As such, he deserves the very best nutrition in order to keep him happy and healthy. Making sure his nutritional needs are met, should be your number one priority. While his nutritional needs will change as he ages, the need to satisfy them will not.

We know that budget plays a role in every decision, which is why our recommendations range across budget spectrums. You should always purchase the highest quality dog food you can afford to, without sacrificing quality for your Boston Buddy.

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The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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