The Doberman pinscher is a large working breed with complex needs stemming from his size, unique shape, and energy levels.
And his food should address these characteristics to ensure proper growth and development. This will allow your Dobie to look and feel his best, whether he’s patrolling the backyard for squirrely intruders or competing in Schutzhund.
Below, we’ll discuss the breed’s nutritional needs and share nine of the best dog foods for Dobermans.
Best Food for Dobermans: Quick Picks
- #1 Ollie [Best Overall Dog Food for Dobermans]: Made with fresh, human-grade meat and vegetables, this fresh-frozen option will have your Dobie doing a happy dance, inside and out. Plus, get 50% off with code K9OFMINE
- #2 Blue Buffalo Large Breed [Tie for Best Dry Dog Food for Dobermans]: This made-in-the-USA kibble is specially made for large breed dogs like Dobermans with real meat and Blue’s trademark LifeSource Bits.
- #3 Wellness Complete Health Large Breed [Tie for Best Dry Dog Food for Dobermans]: Another fantastic kibble option that is packed with premium ingredients, fortified with supplements, and provides a taste most dogs love.
- #4 Diamond Naturals Large Breed [Most Affordable Dog Food for Dobermans]: This Dobie-friendly kibble contains high-quality ingredients and probiotics, but it won’t blow your budget.
Picking a Good Doberman Dog Food: Feeding Your Dobie Darling!
All dog breeds have somewhat similar nutritional requirements, but there are a few areas you’ll want to pay close attention to when picking your Doberman’s food, including:
- Large breed diets: Dobermans usually weigh over 70 pounds as adults, so large-breed specific formulas are a must to ensure he gets the nutrients he needs for his tall, lean frame. This is vital with Doberman puppies, as large breed puppy foods ensure they develop properly, avoiding long-term issues that come with growing too fast.
- Joint supplements: Since Dobies are big puppers prone to joint issues like hip dysplasia and arthritis, selecting a dog food that already contains glucosamine and chondroitin is ideal. This can also save you some cash on added supplements.
- Grain inclusion: As we mentioned above, DCM is a major concern with Dobies, and some of today’s most popular foods have been linked to the condition, including grain-free options using potatoes and legumes as primary carbohydrate sources. As long as your Dobie doesn’t have any sensitivities, a grain-inclusive diet is highly recommended. You may want to opt for a pea-free dog food too.
- Omega 3s: These fatty acids keep your Dobie’s coat looking great and help ward off joint inflammation. They’re also essential in a puppy’s brain and eye development, helping your little buddy grow into his best self.
- Probiotics and fiber: As you likely know, Dobies are infamous for their toxic toots, so picking a dog food with probiotics is recommended. This helps prevent bad bacterial overgrowth that can lead to noxious gas and stomach upset. A moderate fiber content is also recommended, as is skipping legumes entirely where possible.
- Bloat risk: The deep-chested Doberman is highly susceptible to canine bloat and requires multiple smaller meals a day rather than one large feeding to help reduce the chances of it occurring. Selecting a nutrient-dense option free of fillers and junk is crucial in making the most of these meals.
While these are blanket areas of concern across the breed, remember to choose a food that addresses your Doberman’s unique needs, including any health issues and his activity level.
For example, a nutrient-dense, high-calorie food might work well with a hardworking police pupper, but that same food can pack the pounds on a couch potato Dobie. If you’re stuck between two options, you can always ask your vet to weigh in as a tiebreaker.
The 9 Best Dog Foods for Dobermans
Many dog foods will work great for your Doberman, but we’ve narrowed it down to nine of our favorites. Each meets AAFCO standards and provides proper nutrition for a large working breed like the Doberman.
A human-grade, fresh food that’s made with real meat and shipped right to your door!
About: Ollie brings highly nutritious, palatable dog food to your door through an innovative delivery program. And best of all, the food is customized for your specific pet. Just enter your dog’s age, weight, breed, and sensitivities, select a delivery schedule, and pre-portioned food will be shipped right to you.
Oh and some other great news – use code K9OFMINE and get 50% off your first order!
- Food is delivered fresh-frozen to prevent spoilage
- Contains fresh roughage for fiber and nutrients
- Each recipe is formulated by animal nutritionists to ensure proper balance
- Made in the USA with human-grade ingredients
Options: Available in lamb, beef, chicken, and turkey.
Lamb, butternut squash, lamb liver, kale, rice...,
chickpeas, chickpea flour, cranberries, green beans, potatoes, dicalcium phosphate, chia seeds, cod liver oil, iodized salt, calcium carbonate, zinc gluconate, taurine, vitamin E supplement, iron sulfate, pantothenic acid, manganese gluconate, thiamin hydrochloride, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), potassium iodate, folic acid
Protein Content (Lamb): 10%
- Easily one of the best foods on the market
- Minimally processed and made with human-grade ingredients
- Texture and taste score high marks with dogs
- These meals are customized for YOUR specific pet
- These foods are very pricey
- You’ll have to enroll in a subscription program
- Requires refrigeration
2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Adult
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Adult
A grain-inclusive, large-breed kibble made with premium protein and produce.
About: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Adult is made specifically for large breed dogs. Containing Blue’s patented LifeSource Bits, it’s an antioxidant-rich kibble that’ll keep your Doberman up and running in tip-top shape.
- Real meat is always the first ingredient
- Does not contain corn, soy, wheat, or by-product meals
- Contains glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
- Made in the USA
Options: Available in 15, 24, and 30-pound bags in chicken, lamb, fish protein options. You can also find specialty formulas, like puppy, healthy weight, and senior.
Ingredients (Chicken & rice):
Deboned chicken, Chicken meal, Brown rice, Oatmeal, Barley...,
Pea starch, Peas, Natural flavor, Flaxseed, Pea fiber, Chicken fat, Pea protein, Fish oil, Dehydrated alfalfa meal, Potassium chloride, Dicalcium phosphate, Calcium carbonate, Salt, Potatoes, Dried chicory root, Alfalfa nutrient concentrate, Choline chloride, Taurine, Dl-methionine,Mixed tocopherols, Vitamin E supplement, Sweet potatoes, Carrots, Glucosamine hydrochloride, Garlic, L-carnitine, Zinc amino acid chelate, Zinc sulfate, Vegetable juice, Ferrous sulfate, Iron amino acid chelate, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried kelp, Yucca schidigera extract, Niacin, Calcium pantothenate, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, L-lysine, Copper sulfate, Biotin, Vitamin A supplement, Copper amino acid chelate, Manganese sulfate, Chondroitin sulfate, Manganese amino acid chelate, Thiamine mononitrate, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 supplement, Vitamin B12 supplement, Pyridoxine hydrochloride, Calcium iodate, Dried yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Folic acid, Sodium selenite, Rosemary oil
Protein Content (Chicken & Rice): 22%
- Impressive ingredient list
- Blue Buffalo offers tons of protein options and specialty formulas
- Fortified with probiotics for gut health
- We love the inclusion of so many antioxidant-rich “superfoods”
- Mixed-protein recipes can be a problem for dogs with food allergies
- Some dogs dislike the LifeSource Bits and pick around them
- Some owners like to avoid foods with garlic
3. Wellness Complete Health Large Breed
Wellness Complete Health Large Breed
A large-breed kibble made with top-notch proteins, produce and probiotics.
About: Wellness Complete Health Large Breed contains glucosamine and chondroitin for daily joint support, giving your Dobie’s frame a helping hand. And the added flaxseed this large breed dog food contains is rich in fatty acids, keeping his coat shiny and healthy, so he looks as good as he feels.
- Rich in protein thanks to real meat
- Contains a mix of probiotics for balanced, healthy digestion
- Available in grain-free and grain-inclusive options
- Made in the USA using globally-sourced ingredients
Options: Available in grain-free and grain-inclusive chicken and a large breed puppy recipe in 15 and 30-pound bags.
Deboned chicken, Chicken meal, Ground brown rice, Barley, Peas, Oats...,
Chicken fat, Salmon meal, Tomato pomace, Oatmeal, Tomatoes, Carrots, Natural chicken flavor, Ground flaxseed, Choline chloride, Spinach, Vitamin E supplement, Taurine, Zinc proteinate, Mixed tocopherols, Sweet potatoes, Apples, Blueberries, Zinc sulfate, Calcium carbonate, Niacin, Ferrous sulfate, Iron proteinate, Vitamin A supplement, Glucosamine hydrochloride, Chondroitin sulfate, Ascorbic acid, Copper sulfate, Thiamine mononitrate, Copper proteinate, Chicory root extract, Manganese proteinate, Manganese sulfate, d-Calcium pantothenate, Sodium selenite, Pyridoxine hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Yucca schidigera extract, Garlic powder, Vitamin D3 supplement, Biotin, Calcium iodate, Vitamin B12 supplement, Folic acid, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Rosemary extract, Green tea extract, Spearmint extract
Protein Content (Chicken): 26%
- Ingredient list is top-notch
- Flavor earns high marks with most doggos
- Some owners found the food provided coat health benefits
- Contains a diverse mix of probiotics
- More expensive than many other kibbles
- Mixed proteins can be an issue for pups with food sensitivities
- Some owners like to avoid garlic powder
4. Canidae All Life Stages Canned Dog Food
Canidae All Life Stages Canned Dog Food
A grain-inclusive, all-life-stages wet dog food that’s made right here in the USA.
About: Canidae All Life Stages Canned Dog Food is a veterinarian-designed pate that meets AAFCO standards for all life stages and breeds. This tasty meat mash can be fed on its own or added to your Dobie’s diet as a treat.
- Sustainably sourced, real meat is always the first ingredient
- Made with healthy grains for energy and healthy digestion
- Contains no corn, soy, wheat, or by-product meals
- Made in the USA with globally sourced ingredients
Options: Available in chicken & rice, lamb & rice, multi-protein formula, and less active formula.
Ingredients (Chicken & Rice):
Beef, Beef Liver, Tomatoes, Carrots, Green Peas...,
Pearled barley, Potassium chloride, Salt, Salmon oil, Sunflower oil, Sodium tripolyphosphate, Agar-agar, Choline chloride, Canola oil, Dried kelp, Dried cranberries, Yucca schidigera extract, Vitamin E supplement, Zinc sulfate, Niacin supplement, Ferrous sulfate, Thiamine mononitrate, Zinc proteinate, Manganese sulfate, Vitamin A supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, Iron proteinate, d-Calcium pantothenate, Copper sulfate, Pyridoxine hydrochloride, Manganese proteinate, Potassium iodide, Riboflavin supplement, Copper proteinate, Folic acid, Vitamin D3 supplement, Cobalt proteinate, Sodium selenite, Biotin, Vitamin B12 supplement, Rosemary extract
Protein Content (Chicken & Rice): 9%
- Because it’s appropriate for all life stages, it’s great for multi-pup households
- Most dogs love this meaty recipe
- Green pet parents will love Canidae’s commitment to eco-friendly practices
- Wet foods are more expensive than kibbles
- Pickier dogs may prefer a more gravy-rich recipe
5. Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Dog Food
Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Dog Food
A tasty, high-quality, budget-friendly kibble that’s designed for large breed dogs.
About: Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Dog is a grain-inclusive kibble made with high-quality meats and produce. And despite being a good dog food and great source of probiotics and minerals, it won’t cost you much.
- Crafted specifically for large breed dogs
- Contains glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support
- Pea- and potato-free recipe
- Made in the USA with ingredients sourced from around the world
Options: Available in chicken, lamb, and large-breed puppy in 6, 20, and 40-pound bags.
Lamb meal, Whole grain brown rice, Cracked pearled barley...,
Oatmeal, Grain sorghum, Dried yeast, Rice bran, Egg product, Chicken fat, Dried beet pulp, Natural flavor, Flaxseed, Potassium chloride, Salt, Dl-methionine, Choline chloride, Taurine, Glucosamine hydrochloride, Dried chicory root, L-carnitine, Kale, Chia seed, Pumpkin, Blueberries, Oranges, Quinoa, Dried kelp, Coconut, Spinach, Carrots, Papaya, Yucca schidigera extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, Vitamin E supplement, Beta carotene, Chondroitin sulfate, Iron proteinate, Zinc proteinate, Copper proteinate, Ferrous sulfate, Zinc sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganous oxide, Ascorbic acid, Vitamin A supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium pantothenate, Manganese sulfate, Sodium selenite, Pyridoxine hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 supplement, Folic acid
Protein Content (Lamb): 22%
- Great combination of premium ingredients and a reasonable price point
- The pea- and potato-free recipe is great for DCM-prone Dobies
- The large bag sizes provide great value
- Some picky pooches don’t like this food
- We’d like to see more protein options offered
6. Dogswell Happy Hips
Dogswell Happy Hips
A joint-supporting kibble that’s absolutely packed with chondroitin and glucosamine.
About: Dogswell Happy Hips helps support your Dobie’s leggy frame with glucosamine and chondroitin. Amino acids further help your dog’s muscle development and tone, keeping him looking and feeling his best.
- Formulated for all breeds
- Grain-inclusive for energy and fiber
- Contains no corn, soy, wheat, or artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors
- Made in the USA using ingredients sourced worldwide
Options: This chicken-based recipe comes in 4, 11, and 22.5-pound bags.
Chicken, Chicken meal, Oats, Barley, Peas, Brown rice...,
Natural flavor, Chicken fat, Dicalcium phosphate, Potassium chloride, Flaxseed, Tomato pomace, Dehydrated alfalfa meal, Sweet potatoes, Zinc proteinate, Vitamin A supplement, Vitamin D3 supplement, Vitamin E supplement, Niacin, Iron proteinate, D-Calcium pantothenate, Thiamine mononitrate, Pyridoxine hydrochloride, Riboflavin supplement, Copper proteinate, Glucosamine hydrochloride, Apples, Blueberries, Carrots, Garlic powder, Chicory root extract, Manganese proteinate, Folic acid, Calcium iodate, Cobalt proteinate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 supplement, Chondroitin sulfate, Taurine, Choline chloride, Sodium selenite, Rosemary extract, Yeast culture, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation product, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product
Protein Content: 24%
- This dog food is packed with joint-supporting supplements
- Most dogs love the taste
- We love seeing probiotics included
- The kibblet size and shape work great for most dogs
- We wish there were more protein options available
- Some owners like to avoid foods with garlic powder
7. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Large Breed
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Large Breed
A limited-ingredient kibble free of common food triggers, like corn, soy, and wheat.
About: Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Large Breed includes a relatively short ingredient list, allowing you to quickly scan for problem items and keep your Dobie free from skin, coat, and tummy troubles. Specially formulated for large dogs, it contains appropriate levels of nutrients to foster healthy development.
- Real meal is the first ingredient
- Limited ingredient dog food that may be easier for dogs with allergies to digest
- Doesn’t contain any legumes or potatoes
- Grain-inclusive formula features plenty of carbohydrates for energy and fiber
- Made in the USA
Options: Available in lamb and chicken in 12 and 26-pound bags.
Chicken, Chicken meal, Brown rice, Brewers rice, Rice bran...,
Chicken fat, Dried tomato pomace, Brewers dried yeast, Natural flavor, Flaxseed, Salt, Taurine, Vitamin E supplement, Niacin supplement, D-calcium pantothenate, Vitamin A supplement, Riboflavin supplement, Thiamine mononitrate, Vitamin D3 supplement, Pyridoxine hydrochloride, Folic acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 supplement, Menhaden fish oil, Choline chloride, Dl-methionine, Potassium chloride, Zinc proteinate, Zinc sulfate, Ferrous sulfate, Iron proteinate, Copper sulfate, Copper proteinate, Manganese sulfate, Manganese proteinate, Sodium selenite, Calcium iodate, Lactic acid, Citric acid, Mixed tocopherols, Rosemary extract
Protein Content (Chicken): 23%
- Limited ingredient recipe makes avoiding triggers easy
- Pricing is pretty reasonable for a limited-ingredient food
- We love seeing a pea-free ingredient list
- Super picky dogs may not love it
- We wish there were more protein options to pick from
- Some of the carbs included (such as brewers rice) are less-than-spectacular
8. American Journey Large Breed Puppy
American Journey Large Breed Puppy
An antioxidant-rich kibble designed for safe, healthy development in large breed puppies.
About: American Journey Large Breed Puppy promotes healthy growth in large breed puppies like Dobermans. Containing appropriate levels of calcium and phosphorus, this large breed puppy food helps your Dobie pup’s bones develop to be big and strong at a safe rate.
- Real meat is always the first ingredient
- Contains glucosamine and chondroitin for proper joint development
- Good source of DHA and ARA for brain and eye health
- Made in the USA with globally sourced ingredients
Options: Available in chicken and salmon proteins in grain-free and grain-inclusive options. Bag sizes are 28 pounds for grain-inclusive and 24 pounds for grain-free versions.
Ingredients (Salmon with Grains):
Beef, Beef Liver, Tomatoes, Carrots, Green Peas...,
Deboned salmon, Menhaden fish meal, Brown rice, Peas, Rice bran, Natural flavor, Chicken fat, Flaxseed, Dried tomato pomace, Sun cured alfalfa meal, Dried plain beet pulp, Salt, Dried egg product, Carrots, Oatmeal, Sweet potatoes, L-threonine, Choline chloride, Blueberries, Cranberries, Dried kelp, Taurine, Dried chicory root, Mixed tocopherols, Iron amino acid complex, Calcium carbonate, Zinc amino acid complex, Vitamin E supplement, Ferrous sulfate, Zinc oxide, Yucca schidigera extract, Dicalcium phosphate, Copper amino acid complex, Copper sulfate, Sodium selenite, Manganese amino acid complex, Vitamin A supplement, Niacin supplement, d-Calcium pantothenate, Riboflavin supplement, Manganous oxide, Thiamine mononitrate, Vitamin D3 supplement, Vitamin B12 supplement, Pyridoxine hydrochloride, Biotin, Calcium iodate, Folic acid, Rosemary extract
Protein Content (Salmon with Grains): 25%
- Owners report that flavor is a win with their four-footers
- This meets AAFCO standards for large breed puppy development
- The kibble size and shape works well for little Dobies
- This is a Chewy-exclusive food
- More protein options would be ideal
9. Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Senior
Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Senior
A high-quality kibble that’s specifically designed to address the needs of aging dogs.
About: Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Senior is crafted to meet the needs of aging big doggos, like Dobies. Rich in fiber and antioxidants, this senior dog food kibble keeps his system running smoothly from nose to tail.
- Real meat is the first ingredient
- Doesn’t contain any by-product meals, corn, soy, or wheat
- Smaller rounded kibblets for easy eating
- Made in the USA with non-GMO, globally sourced ingredients
Options: Available in chicken and lamb in 13 and 30-pound bags.
Chicken, Chicken meal, Whole grain sorghum, Whole grain brown rice...,
Chicken, Chicken meal, Whole grain sorghum, Whole grain brown rice, Whole grain barley, Potato protein, Chicken fat, Brewers rice, Natural flavor, Dried plain beet pulp, Fish oil, Salt, Potassium chloride, Choline chloride, Citric acid, Mixed tocopherols, Chia seed, Dried coconut, Dried tomato pomace, Dried egg product, Dried pumpkin, Dried kale, Dried spinach, Vitamin E supplement, Ferrous sulfate, Zinc oxide, Sodium selenite, Ascorbic acid, Manganese sulfate, Copper sulfate, D-calcium pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine mononitrate, Vitamin B12 supplement, Vitamin A supplement, Niacin supplement, Riboflavin supplement, Pyridoxine hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 supplement, Manganous oxide, Potassium iodide, Folic acid, Rosemary extract
Protein Content (Chicken): 26%
- Pricing is pretty reasonable considering the high-quality ingredients
- Taste wins a paw’s up from most dogs
- Most owners report that the food is gentle on aging tummies
- More than two protein options would be nice
- We wish joint supplements and probiotics were included
General Dog Food Selection Advice
Choosing a dog food is often a stressful process, but it doesn’t have to be! Sure, there are many options to choose from, but you narrow down the potential choices by weighing foods to see if they meet certain minimal criteria.
The best dog food for your Doberman should follow three core rules:
- Meets AAFCO standards: The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) sets strict nutritional guidelines for dog foods to meet, ensuring proper diet for various groups, including puppies, adults, and large breeds. Since Dobies are large breeds weighing over 70 pounds, you’ll want to look for a large breed puppy or large breed adult food.
- Addresses your dog’s unique needs: Every doggo is different, and certain health conditions or lifestyles require adjustments in your dog’s diet. For example, a young working Doberman will have different nutritional needs than a senior Dobie who’s retired to the couch. Similarly, a dog with food allergies or sensitivities may need to avoid certain proteins to prevent itchy skin or tummy upset.
- Approved by your vet: Your dog can help guide you towards the right food for your pooch, especially if your Dobie has any health concerns, like kidney disease. It’s always a good idea to ask your vet about a specific food before offering it to your pooch, particularly with Dobermans, as the breed is prone to dilated cardiomyopathy and other serious conditions that can worsen with the wrong diet.
Once you’ve narrowed the field of food contenders down, you can look at other important aspects to help make your final decision, including:
- Country of origin: Ideally, you want a dog food that’s made in the USA. Some owners take it a step further and want USA-only sourced ingredients, though globally sourced ingredients from France, New Zealand, or Australia are perfectly OK too.
- Protein: Any food you select should always feature one of the best meats for dogs at the top of the ingredient list. Deboned meat is ideal, but meat meals offer quality protein and minerals too. If your dog has protein sensitivities, read the entire ingredient list carefully since mixed-protein recipes are common today.
- Probiotics: These live cultures help your Dobie’s digestive system run efficiently and keep bad bacteria at bay. If you can find a food containing them, it’s a woofin’ win over competitors. However, you can always use a standalone probiotic supplement for dogs if your preferred food lacks them.
- Texture: This area is more of a concern with pickier pups or as your dog ages, but it’s worthy of consideration. Crunchy kibble cleans your dog’s teeth as he chews, but it can be too hard for senior dogs with missing or weak teeth to eat. On the other hand, your dog may simply prefer pate-style wet food over chunked stew varieties.
Does your Doberman chow down on any of the foods on our list? Is there another that he enjoys? Share with us in the comments!