Posted on: March 7, 2024 Posted by: Petsynse Comments: 0

Boston Terriers are small dogs famous for their tuxedo-like coats. These little pups have incredibly gentle, friendly, happy-go-lucky personalities. They make fantastic companions and are extremely popular as apartment dogs due to their small size.

Boston Terriers are undeniably adorable, affectionate, and lovable pets. However, they are prone to some health conditions and often develop sensitive stomachs and dietary allergies. Providing them with high-quality, balanced nutrition is pivotal to long-term health.

Because of their particular health needs, some dog foods will work better for the Boston Terrier than others. Fortunately, I’ve researched hundreds of dog food brands and formulas and have determined the best dog foods for Boston Terriers and all life stages. I also offer guidance on how a healthy diet can be beneficial to some of the health concerns this breed has.

Table Of Contents

Nutritional Needs & Feeding Guidelines For Boston Terriers


Boston Terrier and a bowl of kibble on the ground with the dog looking up at the camera.

Like all dogs, proper nutrition is critical to the Boston Terrier’s overall health, well-being, and quality of life. This breed does have some unique considerations when it comes to diet. Boston Terriers are prone to sensitive stomachs and food allergies. Along with that, the breed often develops joint problems. Formulas with glucosamine and chondroitin support bone and joint health, which is something to consider for this breed.

Lean proteins are best for this breed. Due to food sensitivity issues, chicken may be an ingredient to avoid. Lean meat, eggs, and fish are top sources of healthy protein. These pups also need a good amount of healthy animal fat, which can come from fish oil, salmon, and sardines, among other sources.

Brachycephalic breeds often face respiratory issues, dental problems, obesity, skin conditions, and poor eye health. A balanced diet and proper nutrition are essential to keep these dogs healthy and ensure proper growth and development.

High-quality nutrition is a big part of keeping your Boston Terrier healthy. Slow feeders and raised food bowls are a good consideration to slow down eating. Additionally, practicing portion control with these pups is best. Even a few extra pounds on a small breed like this can put extreme pressure on their bones, muscles, and joints. Small breeds need more calories per pound of body weight but fewer calories total every day than larger dogs.

Beyond Basic Ingredients

All dog food should include protein, carbs, fat, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. But many of the most nutritious premium dog foods are fortified with additional ingredients with significant health benefits for your furry friend. Here are a few you’ll want to look for and how they support your pup’s health. For your convenience, we’ve listed these premium ingredients in our reviews.

  1. Fruits & vegetables: excellent natural sources of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support immune health
  2. Fish oil and/or flaxseed: sources of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids
  3. Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) support brain and eye development and skin, coat, joint, and immune health
  4. Glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate (often from chicken meal*): maintain healthy joints
  5. Prebiotics & probiotics: support digestion and a healthy level of good gut bacteria (often includes dried chicory root, a powerful natural prebiotic)
  6. Taurine: supports cardiovascular, eye, and brain health, immune system function, and benefits many other body functions
  7. L-carnitine: an amino acid derivative that helps the metabolism of fats (particularly beneficial for older, less active dogs)
  8. Organ meats: excellent source of premium quality protein and fat as well as vitamins A, B, D, and E, copper, iron, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc
  9. Chia seeds: rich in plant protein, fiber, antioxidants, omega fatty acids, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, phosphorus

*A note about meat meal: Quality pet food brands often use meat meal in their recipes, which can be a very healthy source of protein for your pup (as long as the “meat” is named, e.g., chicken meal, lamb meal, etc.). Meat meal can be made from the meat, tissue, organ meat, bone, stomach, and intestines of the named animal. But meat meal doesn’t include by-products like hair, feathers, beaks, heads, blood, hooves, hide trimmings, etc.

Best Fresh Dog Food For Boston Terriers Of All Life Stages

Fresh nutrition is an optimal choice for the Boston Terrier. These offerings often use human-grade ingredients and are crafted with great care. Many companies work directly with veterinarians and board-certified pet nutritionists to create recipes with the best nutritional value for your pup. Several options allow you to create a personalized subscription based on your pup’s age, weight, breed, activity level, health, and other factors.

The Farmer’s Dog Review

Dog with a box of The Farmer's Dog.

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The Farmer’s Dog is a top pick for fresh dog food delivery services. The company offers top-quality meals and competitive pricing. The Farmer’s Dog prepares human-grade meals for dogs that contain USDA whole food proteins, vegetables, and fruits. Recipes are fortified with vitamins and minerals to meet all breeds’ nutritional requirements, including large and small-sized dogs — and all life stages. The Farmer’s Dog works directly with you to create a subscription for your pup and pre-portion meals for easy feeding.

The Farmer’s Dog’s recipes (beef, chicken, pork, and turkey) are grain-free. These meals are gently cooked in USDA kitchens and then flash-frozen to preserve nutritional value and taste. The Farmer’s Dog is a subscription-based service that delivers meals directly to your door. For Boston Terriers, I like the turkey formula and have broken that down below.

  • First 5 ingredients: USDA turkey, chickpeas, carrots, broccoli, and spinach
  • Formula highlights: human-grade, whole-food limited ingredients, omega-fatty acids (from salmon oil), taurine, and chelated minerals
  • Guaranteed analysis (dry-matter basis): crude protein 38% (min), crude fat 26% (min), crude fiber 2% (max)
  • Calories: 282 kcal per 1/2 pound
  • Price: Starts at $2.00 per day

Our readers have access to 50% off your first box. No code is needed; just use this link to apply the discount! You can also visit our dedicated The Farmer’s Dog coupons page.

Spot & Tango Review

Spot & Tango beef fresh

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Spot & Tango is a well-respected fresh dog food company that also offers dehydrated, 100% whole food recipes called UnKibble. Meals are made with human-grade ingredients and do not include any fillers or additives. Recipes include high-quality animal proteins, fresh vegetables, fruits, and starches. They offer three fresh options: Turkey + Red Quinoa, Beef + Millet, and Lamb + Brown Rice.

The shelf-stable UnKibble is also human-grade, offering owners an option for fresh nutrition that doesn’t take up room in your fridge or freezer. It tastes great, and dogs love the stuff. UnKibble comes in four flavors: Cod + Salmon, Beef + Barley, Chicken + Brown Rice, and Turkey & Sweet Potato. You can try a risk-free two-week trial to see if your pup likes Spot & Tango. Below, I break down the fresh turkey recipe.

  • First 5 ingredients: turkey, red quinoa, eggs, spinach, and carrots
  • Formula highlights: human-grade, whole-food limited ingredients, vegetable stock, safflower oil, S&T nutrient blend
  • Guaranteed analysis (dry-matter basis): crude protein 43.5% (min), crude fat 18.6% (min), crude fiber 4.6% (max)
  • Calories: 1,314 kcal/kg


  • Fresh plans start at $2/day
  • UnKibble plans start at $1/day

In-Depth Spot & Tango Review

Be sure to read our full review of Spot & Tango for details on fresh and UnKibble recipes, ingredients, subscription options, and more.

Best Dog Food For Boston Terrier Puppies

Small breed puppies grow very quickly and need nutrient-dense food to support their development and energy needs. They must eat three or four meals daily to replenish that energy. Puppies need more fat, nutrients, and calories than adults.

American Journey Protein & Grains Puppy Salmon, Brown Rice & Vegetables Review

American Journey Puppy Protein & Grains Puppy Salmon, Brown Rice & Vegetables

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American Journey’s puppy formula uses high-quality ingredients in a formula made to support the needs of your growing puppy. Recipes use easy-to-digest proteins and nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. The recipe contains no corn, wheat, or soy, so it will not trigger those food allergies.

Fiber-rich grains combined with high-fat salmon make this a tasty and super-healthy puppy formula. It also features natural sources of DHA and ARA to support brain and vision development and growth. American Journey is Chewy’s in-house brand and makes several puppy options. All recipes are made in the USA, with real poultry, meat, or fish as the first ingredient.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned salmon, whitefish meal, brown rice, peas, and rice bran
  • Formula highlights: whole-food limited ingredients, omega-fatty acids (from salmon), easy to digest, animal proteins
  • Guaranteed analysis: crude protein 25% (min), crude fat 15% (min), crude fiber 6% (max)
  • Calories: 338 kcal/cup


In-Depth American Journey Review

Be sure to read our full review of American Journey for more details on formulas, ingredients, and different ordering options.

Raised Right Puppy Review

Raised Right Puppy beef recipe

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Due to their dietary sensitivities, human-grade fresh puppy food is a top pick for the Boston Terrier. Raised Right, a family-owned company, makes multiple high-quality puppy options. Their protein choices include beef, chicken, and turkey. Due to the sensitivity some Boston Terriers develop to chicken, we prefer the turkey or beef recipe for puppies.

Recipes are formulated by veterinarians and use natural proteins. They are lightly cooked in a USDA-inspected human-grade facility. Raised Right recipes contain no corn, wheat, dairy, gluten, or soy. They are highly digestible and made from nutrient-dense, fresh ingredients.

  • First 5 ingredients: beef, beef heart, carrots, beef liver, and cranberries
  • Formula highlights: limited ingredient recipes, organ meats, cod liver oil, organic dried kelp, zinc amino acid chelate
  • Guaranteed analysis (dry-matter basis): crude protein 25% (min), crude fat 15% (min), crude fiber 6% (max)
  • Calories: 400 kcal/cup


In-Depth Raised Right Review

Be sure to read our full review of Raised Right for details on formulas, ingredients, food preparation, and more.

Best Dry Dog Food For Boston Terrier Adults

Adult dogs need balanced food but do not need as much fat or calories as puppies do. Adult Bostons may still need three or more small meals daily to sustain their energy needs. Remember, they burn a lot of calories on those small frames.

BARK Food Review


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BARK Food is a premium kibble option from the people behind BARK Box that gets delivered right to your door. BARK’s recipes use responsibly and sustainably sourced proteins and gently cooked grains. Recipes are formulated to provide flavor and support sensitive skin and stomachs. BARK offers breed-specific nutrition and will help you pick the best combination for your pup.

We like the adult Alaskan pollock and brown rice kibble, Kibble Of The Sea. Sustainably sourced Alaskan pollock, gently cooked brown rice, oatmeal, and other ingredients are blended together to create a tasty, easy-to-digest kibble. BARK is a top pick for dogs with sensitive tummies and allergies.

  • First 5 ingredients: Alaskan pollock, Alaskan pollock meal, brown rice, white rice, and oatmeal
  • Formula highlights: canola oil, flax seed, dried eggs, taurine, calcium, vitamin, and mineral blend
  • Guaranteed analysis: crude protein 26% (min), crude fat 14% (min), crude fiber 3.5% (max)
  • Calories: 390 kcal/cup


In-Depth BARK Food Review

Be sure to read our full review of BARK Food for details on formulas, ingredients, subscriptions, extras, and more.

Open Farm Wild Ocean Grain-Free Raw Mix Review

Open Farm Raw Mix Wild Ocean

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Open Farm makes premium dog nutrition from natural and clean ingredients. Recipes are packed with protein and functional elements, including locally sourced non-GMO produce. Recipes also include superfoods like coconut oil. Open Farm’s recipes do not contain antibiotics, wheat, corn, or soy. Ingredients are 100% traceable. And 90% of Open Farm’s proteins are derived from ethically sourced meat and poultry without meals or by-products.

Open Farm’s Raw Mix is a protein-packed blend of tasty dry kibble covered in nutritious bone broth and a freeze-dried raw coating. Additionally, chunks of freeze-dried raw cod are mixed in. A blend of wild-caught whitefish, salmon, and rockfish provides nutrients and flavor. The recipe includes meat and bones without any grains, legumes, or by-products.

  • First 5 ingredients: ocean whitefish, ocean Manhattan fishmeal, potatoes, salmon, and sweet potatoes
  • Formula highlights: coconut oil, ocean rockfish, sunflower oil, pumpkin, fresh produce including carrots, apples, and cranberries, vitamin supplements, folic acid, taurine, chicory root, dried kelp, fish bone broth, flaxseed
  • Guaranteed analysis: crude protein 31% (min), crude fat 14% (min), crude fiber 4.5% (max)
  • Calories: 380 kcal/cup


In-Depth Open Farm Review

Be sure to read our full review of Open Farm for details on formulas, ingredients, food preparation, how to order, and much more.

Best Wet Dog Food For Boston Terrier Adults

Wet dog food adds flavor, moisture, and fresh nutrients to your pup’s diet. Wet foods can be fresh, canned, or frozen. I’ve chosen three of the best wet dog foods for Boston Terriers.

Ollie Lamb Review

Ollie fresh dog five food flavors stacked.

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Ollie is a top-of-the-line choice for wet food. The company works with specialized veterinarians to create recipe formulas. Ollie’s meals are fresh and made from human-grade ingredients. Recipes contain no corn, soy, or wheat. Every recipe includes a blend of real animal protein, vegetables, superfoods, vitamins, and minerals. Superfoods such as cod oil, salmon oil, and chia seeds are also in the recipes.

Ollie offers both fresh and baked food. Fresh recipes offer five protein options: beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, and pork. Baked protein choices are chicken with carrots and beef with sweet potatoes. All recipes are crafted using all-natural ingredients. The company works with owners to create a personalized meal plan based on your pup’s age, weight, breed, activity level, and dietary allergies. I like the lamb recipe for Boston Terriers, so I break it down below.

  • First 5 ingredients: lamb, butternut squash, lamb liver, chickpeas, and kale
  • Formula highlights: limited ingredients, organ meats, chia seeds, salmon oil, taurine, vitamin E, no corn, soy, or wheat
  • Guaranteed analysis (dry-matter basis): crude protein 10% (min), crude fat 7% (min), crude fiber 2% (max)
  • Calories: n/a


  • Full Fresh plans start at $3.14/day
  • Mixed Fresh & Baked plans start at $2.72/day
  • Half Fresh plans start at $1/meal

Our readers can get 50% off their first box. Use this link to take advantage of this offer (no discount code needed).

In-Depth Ollie Review

Be sure to read our full review of Ollie for details on fresh and baked formulas, ingredients, food preparation, and three food plan options.

Nom Nom Beef Mash Review

Nom Nom Beef

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Nom Nom is another fresh delivery option. They make all-natural recipes that are pre-portioned for easy use. There are four protein choices: beef, turkey, chicken, and pork. Before setting up a subscription, you can try a variety pack to see what recipes your pup likes best.

Food is all made in the USA and shipped straight to your door. Each ingredient cooks separately and is then mixed together to seal in nutrients and flavor and maximize digestibility.

  • First 5 ingredients: ground beef, russet potatoes, eggs, carrots, and peas
  • Formula highlights: limited ingredients, taurine, fish oil, iron amino acid chelate, sunflower oil, low processing, no fillers, no corn, soy, wheat or dairy
  • Guaranteed analysis (dry-matter basis): crude protein 34.8% (min), crude fat 17.4% (min), crude fiber 4.4% (max)
  • Calories: 182 kcal/cup


  • Starts at $2.40 per day for full meals. Pricing is based on your pup’s size, dietary needs, and your recipe choices.

In-Depth Nom Nom Review

Be sure to read our full review of Nom Nom for details on all their recipes, ingredients, preparations, and subscription plans.

Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Small Breed Wet Surfin’ + Turfin’ Supper Review

Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Small Breed Wet Surfin' + Turfin' Supper

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Merrick’s Lil’ Plates recipes are formulated specially to support the needs of smaller breeds. The surf and turf recipe is grain, gluten, soy, wheat, and corn-free. It is easy to digest and perfect for pups with a picky palate or sensitive stomach. Recipes include animal proteins, organ meats, vegetables, and superfood ingredients. There are several protein choices other than chicken, which are easier for the smaller breed’s digestion.

Merrick always has a named animal protein as the first ingredient and uses no artificial flavors or additives. Recipes are handcrafted in the company’s Texas-based kitchens. The single-serve portions are easy to serve and give your pup a full belly.

  • First 5 ingredients: beef, beef broth, salmon broth, beef liver, green beans
  • Formula highlights: organ meats, egg, chelated minerals, salmon, sunflower oil, vitamin supplements
  • Guaranteed analysis (dry-matter basis): crude protein 47.2% (min), crude fat 19.4% (min), crude fiber 7.8% (max)
  • Calories: 89 kcal/tray


Best Dog Food For Senior Boston Terriers

Your senior Boston Terrier will have some changing nutritional needs. Senior pups need fewer calories and fats than active adults and puppies. You must be sure they are getting enough moisture and a proper blend of nutrients, fats, and protein. Foods with good amounts of chondroitin and glucosamine benefit bone and joint health.

Now Fresh Grain-Free Small Breed Senior Recipe Dry Dog Food Review

Now Fresh grain free senior.

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Now Fresh’s recipes are developed by pet nutritionists and minimally processed. This small breed senior formula kibble contains no by-products, meat meals, corn, grain, soy, wheat, or chicken. The natural formula tastes great and is easy to digest.

Fresh ingredients are cooked just once, and the recipe contains superfoods like pumpkin, blueberries, and eggs. New Zealand green mussels also provide chondroitin for hip and joint support.

  • First 5 ingredients: deboned turkey, potatoes, peas, potato flour, and pea flour
  • Formula highlights: egg, flaxseed, salmon, duck, coconut oil, apples, tomatoes, pumpkin, cranberries, blueberries, glucosamine hydrochloride, New Zealand green mussels, chondroitin sulfate, L-carnitine
  • Guaranteed analysis: crude protein 24% (min), crude fat 12% (min), crude fiber 5.5% (max)
  • Calories: 375 kcal/cup


Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Senior Deboned Turkey & Peas Review

Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Senior Deboned Turkey & Peas

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Wellness Small Breed Senior kibble is small and easier for tiny dogs to eat. The recipe is specially formulated to provide whole-body nutrition with omega fatty acids, antioxidants, glucosamine, probiotics, and taurine. Premium proteins and whole grains provide energy and support to the digestive system.

Wellness’s small breed kibble supports a robust immune system, boosts energy levels, and benefits skin and coat health. There is no corn, wheat, or soy in the recipe. We like that this is just for small breeds and offers tasty, affordable options that are easy to find.

  • First 5 ingredients: deboned turkey, chicken meal, salmon meal, oatmeal, ground brown rice
  • Formula highlights: Flaxseed, salmon oil, chicken fat, oats, tomatoes, carrots, apples, chicory root, vitamin and minerals, taurine
  • Guaranteed analysis: crude protein 28% (min), crude fat 15% (min), crude fiber 4% (max)
  • Calories: 408 kcal/cup


Should I Consider A Supplement?

Many small-breed dog owners worry their petite pups are not getting their nutritional needs met. Adding supplements can be beneficial, especially if your pup has special medical needs like allergies, arthritis, mood control, or joint pain. Multivitamins can also be helpful to ensure your pooch gets everything she needs. However, checking with your veterinarian before adding supplements to your Boston Terrier’s diet is best.

Your little pup needs high-quality food from puppyhood to develop correctly and stay healthy. Remember that smaller dogs need more calories per pound than bigger dogs but do not need to eat more. Keep an eye out for food that uses natural ingredients, high-quality animal proteins, healthy fruits, veggies, and superfoods that are easy to digest.

Don’t Forget To Clean Your Pup’s Teeth

Teeth cleaning is extremely important for the health of small dog breeds. Little dogs are at higher risk of developing periodontal disease. Their smaller jaws often have overcrowding, and it is easy to injure a tooth or gums on kibble that’s too hard or big. Small breeds tend to develop periodontal disease before age three. Regular teeth cleaning is pivotal to preventing this. If you cannot brush your pup’s teeth daily, try to get in there at least three times a week.

If your pup is resistant to teeth brushing, using dental treats and teeth cleaning systems like BARK Bright Dental can help maintain clean teeth, help scrape off plaque and tartar buildup, and maintain fresh breath. Regular veterinary visits and having your dog’s teeth checked are essential. Your veterinarian may recommend professional teeth cleaning once a year.

Our Methodology

We analyze hundreds of dog food brands and individual formulas to provide our recommendations for the best nutrition. Each of the following elements helps us determine the best dog food for any dietary need. Our in-depth research includes:

  • Scrutinizing all ingredients included in every formula
  • Having firsthand experience with our dogs for many of the foods we recommend
  • Assessing the guaranteed analysis for every formula, including protein, fat, fiber, and caloric content
  • Investigating the latest scientific studies on dogs’ nutritional needs and benefits of ingredients
  • Researching the specific dietary needs for breed sizes and health conditions
  • Reading hundreds of customer reviews
  • Staying informed on every dog food recall
  • Diving into every pet food brand’s history and reputation
  • Keeping on top of pet food trends

Unlike many other review sites, we give unbiased reviews based on countless hours of research. Our goal is to provide our readers with the healthiest options for their pups.

Why Trust Canine Journal?

Danielle has had a special bond with dogs since she was a young child. She has over 30 years of pet care experience. Danielle has worked as a professional researcher for many years and spends countless hours researching the latest science and data-backed research on pet care, health, nutrition, and training developments. Danielle has tested and researched over 100 dog food brands and counting with the enthusiastic help of her two dogs, Daisy and Falkor. She works with a professional and experienced team to bring our readers the best, most accurate, and up-to-date information.

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