Boxer Health Issues


The Boxer is a breed of medium to large-sized working dogs that were developed in Germany in the late 19th century. Boxers are athletically built and energetic pets who need a certain amount of physical activity in order to stay healthy and in good shape. If they are not provided with a minimum of half an hour to an hour of physical activity per day, Boxers may develop undesirable behavior. In addition to physical, they also need mental stimulation. They are playful dogs who adore games of any kind.

The average life expectancy of Boxer dogs is 10 to 12 years.

Do Boxer Dogs Have Health Issues?

Like most other breeds, Boxers are also prone to certain health problems. One of the best things you can do for your Boxer is to educate yourself about potential health problems that can occur during his life, as this will allow you earlier detection of symptoms that indicate there is a more serious problem that requires professional intervention. Below is a list of common health issues in Boxer dogs.

The purpose of the following list is to inform Boxer owners or those who are thinking about getting this dog as a pet about potential health issues that may arise. The list includes health issues that have been reported in this breed over the years, but this doesn’t mean that some or most of these diseases will develop in all Boxers.

The health issues that have been reported in Boxers over the years are:

  • Orthopedic issues: hip dysplasia, arthritis, elbow dysplasia
  • Heart diseases: Boxer cardiomyopathy (arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy), aortic stenosis, atrial septal defect
  • Eye problems: entropion, corneal ulcers, Cherry Eye, uveitis
  • Neurological disorders: degenerative myelopathy, epilepsy
  • Cancer: hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma, mast cell tumors, skin cancer
  • Gastric dilation volvulus (GDV)/Bloat
  • Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Allergies (environmental and food)
  • Demodectic mange
  • Histiocytic Ulcerative Colitis (HUC)
  • Pyloric Stenosis
  • Ear infections
  • Deafness
  • Juvenile kidney disease

Although according to the American Kennel Club there is only one type of Boxer dog, it’s good to know that color has a certain role in the health of these dogs; for example, white Boxers are more prone to deafness and skin cancer than Boxers of another color. What they all have in common is sensitivity to extreme air temperatures and the antipsychotic acepromazine, which is often used as a sedative in veterinary practice but its use should be avoided in these dogs.

Please note that the list is not ranked according to any special criteria. This means that diseases from the top of the list are not more common and vice versa. Although we tried to gather as much information as possible and compile a comprehensive list, there is a possibility that a Boxer may develop a disease that we didn’t mention on this list.

It’s not possible to predict whether and when a dog will get sick, but by getting a Boxer puppy from a responsible breeder it’s possible to reduce the risk of certain diseases. All puppies should have a record of veterinary care they have received and every responsible breeder will provide you with that record.

What you can do for your pet’s health is to give him quality food and in quantities that are in line with his needs, provide him with the necessary daily amount of physical activity and take him to the vet for regular check-ups. Proper diet and exercise will help keep the Boxer in good shape, and thanks to regular veterinary checkups, it’s possible to detect health problems earlier and start the treatment on time.