It is a proven scientific fact that the Rottweiler is the very best dog breed in the world, so it only makes sense to provide your black-and-tan pooch with a diet befitting her considerable awesomeness.
But if you want to make sure your Rottie gets the best food possible, you’ll have to scrutinize the choices carefully, while keeping the breed’s unique needs and characteristics in mind.
Below, we’ll share some of the best food options for your cute-and-cuddly canine and talk about things to consider when making your choice.
Quick Picks: Best Dog Food for Rottweilers
The Best Foods for Rottweilers
There are a number of great foods that will keep your Rottweiler satisfied and sassy, but the following are among the best possible choices. Just be sure to consider the relative strengths and weaknesses of the different recipes, and try to make the best choice for your pooch.
1. Ollie Fresh Chicken with Carrots
About: Feed your Rottie Ollie Fresh Chicken with Carrots for unmatched quality, as this fresh dog food is made with human-grade ingredients free of artificial flavors, including chicken, organ meat, and chia seeds rich in fatty acids. Complete the easy-to-use online quiz to establish your dog’s customized plan and have the food delivered pre-portioned to your door.
- Meaty mash texture is more palate-pleasing than standard kibbles (and easier for senior sniffers to eat!)
- All recipes are vet-approved
- Meets AAFCO standards for All Life Stages, including the growth of large-size dogs
- Made in the USA with minimal processing cooking methods
Options: Available in Chicken with Carrots, Beef with Sweet Potatoes, Lamb with Cranberries, and Turkey with Blueberries.
Chicken, Carrots, Peas, Rice, Chicken Liver...,
Potatoes, Spinach, Blueberries, Eggs, Tricalcium Phosphate, Chia Seeds, Salmon Oil, Salt, Zinc Gluconate, Rosemary, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Choline Bitartrate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Potassium Iodide
- Human-grade ingredients are top-notch quality
- Taste gets a round of a-paws from dogs
- Servings customized to your dog’s unique needs
- Pricing is high
- Requires space in your refrigerator
2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Adult
A balanced medley of proteins, grains, and produce for nose-to-tail health of large doggos.
About: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Adult is a high-quality kibble containing real meat as the first ingredient and Blue’s patented LifeSource Bits for an antioxidant boost. Its grain-inclusive recipe provides lasting energy and gut-boosting probiotics, fueling your Rottie for every adventure.
- Recipes developed by on-staff veterinarians and animal nutritionists
- Contains glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support
- Doesn’t contain corn, soy, wheat, or poultry by-product meals
- Made in the USA with globally sourced ingredients
Options: Available in Chicken & Brown Rice, Lamb & Brown Rice, and Fish & Oatmeal.
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley...,
Pea Starch, Peas, Flaxseed, Pea Fiber, Natural Flavor, Chicken Fat, Pea Protein, Fish Oil, Direct Dehydrated Alfalfa Pellets, Potassium Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Dried Chicory Root, Potatoes, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Choline Chloride, Taurine, DL-Methionine, Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Vitamin E Supplement, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Garlic, L-Carnitine, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vegetable Juice for Color, 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, Oil of Rosemary
- An all-around solid kibble for most Rotties, plus it features great extras like probiotics and glucosamine
- Large bag sizes ideal for big doggos like Rottweilers
- Many pet parents report firmer pup poops and improved coat condition after switching to Blue Buffalo
- On the pricier side
- Some dogs dislike the LifeSource Bits
3. Canidae All Life Stages
High-quality protein and hearty grains combine in a pup-pleasing pate-style food.
About: Rotties young and old can enjoy Canidae All Life Stages, a grain-inclusive canned option featuring a meat and organ mash in a savory broth that meets the AAFCO profile for all life stages, including the growth of large dogs. Its relatively short ingredient list is also a breeze to read over and doesn’t contain any corn, soy, or wheat.
- Real meat is the top ingredient
- Formulated by veterinarians
- Good source of fatty acids for skin and coat health
- Made in the USA
Options: Available in Chicken & Rice, Chicken, Turkey, Lamb, & Rice, and Lamb & Rice.
Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Dried Egg Product, Brown Rice...,
Pearled Barley, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Salmon Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), 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
- All-life-stages recipe works for Rotties of all ages
- Most pups love the flavor
- Great moisture-to-meat ratio (a tasty way to squeeze in extra hydration!)
- More protein options would be nice
- Pate texture can be hard to mix into kibble, especially after refrigeration
4. Spot & Tango Unkibble
About: Spot & Tango Unkibble is a new take on dry dog food featuring fresh ingredients gently dried to form tasty, nutrient-dense morsels that retain their taste, making it a great option for pickier pups. Each shelf-stable recipe includes real meat and organs with bright-colored produce you can see in every bite.
- Free of artificial preservatives and additives
- Meets AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all list stages, including the growth of large-breed dogs
- Each recipe is formulated by animal nutritionists
- Made in the USA
Options: Offered in Chicken & Brown Rice, Beef & Barley, and Cod & Salmon.
Beef, Barley, Flax, Carrots, Green Beans...,
Beef Liver, Beef Heart, Beets, Cranberries, Rosemary, Kelp, Salt, Mixed Tocopherols, Cellulose Powder, Fish Oil, L-Tryptophan, Choline Chloride, Organic Zinc Proteinate, Potassium Chloride, Rosemary Extract and Mixed Tocopherols, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E Supplement, Organic Selenium Yeast, Calcium Carbonate, Beet, Tomato, Broccoli, Carrot, Spinach, Orange, Cherry, Cranberry, Strawberry, Apple, Blueberry, Pumpkin, Riboflavin, Pyridoxin Hydrochloride, Folic Acid
- Quality is fabulous with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients
- Flavor is a hit with most dogs
- More affordable than most human-grade dog foods (plus you don’t need to refrigerate it!)
- Doesn’t feature any probiotics
- Pricier than standard kibble
5. Diamond Naturals All Life Stages
About: Diamond Naturals All Life Stages offers bang for your buck with a relatively low price tag despite heaps of great ingredients like prebiotics, probiotics, and omega fatty acids for skin and coat health. Featuring a broad mix of fresh produce, it’s also a good source of fiber and naturally-source antioxidants.
- Cage-free chicken is the first ingredient
- Suitable for all life stages, including large-breed puppies
- Grain-inclusive recipe offers energy and satiety
- Made in the USA
Options: Available in All Life Stages Chicken and several specialty forms, including Large Breed Adult and Large Breed Puppy.
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, White Rice...,
Dried Yeast, Chicken Fat, Egg Product, Grain Sorghum, Dried Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Salmon Oil, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Dl-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Dried Chicory Root, 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, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid
- Pricing is great, especially for feeding a large dog like a Rottweiler
- All-life-stages recipe great for multi-dog families
- Contains great extras like probiotics and prebiotics
- Some pups needed enticing to give this kibble a try
- More proteins in All Life Stages would be ideal, as not every dog’s system can tolerate chicken
6. JustFoodForDogs Large Breed Support
A tasty blend of meat, grains, and vegetables nutritionally balanced for large-breed adults.
About: Whet your wolf’s appetite with JustFoodForDogs Large Breed Support, a delectable fresh-frozen option featuring human-grade ingredients of chunked meat, vegetables, and rice. Just thaw and serve for a tasty meal topper or complete diet.
- Recipe developed by veterinarians and board-certified specialists
- Meets AAFCO Dog Nutrient Profiles for maintenance of adults (not puppies!)
- Added glucosamine and chondroitin support joints
- Made in the USA
Options: Large Breed Support comes in a single Beef option.
Beef, Brown Rice, Beef Heart, Carrots, Green Beans...,
Beef Liver, Sunflower Oil, Flaxsed Oil, Fish Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, DL-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Potassium Iodide, Salt, Shellfish Shell Meal, Beef Cartilage, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Selenium Yeast, Cholecalciferol, Riboflavin
- Flavor receives high marks, even from picky puppers
- Convenience is a major win, with the food delivered right to your door
- Comes with a money-back guarantee
- No barks about it; this food is pricey
- Requires freezer space
If your dog isn’t crazy about his food but you don’t want to switch around his diet too much, try an add-on for his kibble like Portland Pet Toppers.
Served atop your dog’s food, these encourage your canine to clear his bowl by coating the kibble with meaty morsels and savory gravies or broths.
7. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Puppy
An American-made puppy food crafted to meet the special needs of large-breed puppies like Rotties.
About: Help your Rottie grow at the proper pace with Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Puppy, a vitamin-rich kibble with a balanced mix of calcium and phosphorus for strong bones. Also containing DHA and ARA for brain and eye development, it nourishes your puppy from the inside out for lifelong wellness.
- Real meat is always the top ingredient
- Probiotics support healthy digestion
- Antioxidant-packed LifeSource Bits for an immune system boost
- Made in the USA with internationally sourced ingredients
Options: Available in Chicken Recipe.
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley...,
Pea Protein, Peas, Chicken Fat, Fish Meal, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Egg Product, Dicalcium Phosphate, Fish Oil, Salt, Direct Dehydrated Alfalfa Pellets, Choline Chloride, Dried Chicory Root, Potassium Chloride, Potatoes, Pea Fiber, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, DL-Methionine, Calcium Carbonate, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Vitamin E Supplement, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Garlic, L-Carnitine, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vegetable Juice for color, 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, Taurine, 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, Oil of Rosemary
- Made specifically for large-breed puppies like Rottweilers
- Puppy-sized kibblets work great for growing Rotties
- Most puppies like the taste (though some are fans of the LifeSource bits!)
- Price is a little up there compared to other kibbles
- Additional protein options would be ideal
8. Wellness Complete Health Senior
A senior-focused kibble containing probiotics and joint-boosting glucosamine and chondroitin.
About: Wellness Complete Health Senior is made to support the needs of aging doggos with glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support and omega fatty acids for nourishing coat and skin health. Grain-inclusive, it also provides energy for senior strolls and fiber for fullness.
- Meat is always the top ingredient
- Probiotics promote healthy digestion and regularity
- Taurine for heart health
- Made in the USA with globally sourced ingredients
Options: Offered in a single Chicken Recipe.
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Barley, Ground Brown Rice...,
Peas, Rice, Ground Flaxseed, Tomato Pomace, Chicken Fat, Tomatoes, Carrots, Natural Chicken Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Spinach, Vitamin E Supplement, Taurine, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Sweet Potatoes, Apples, Blueberries, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Chondroitin Sulfate, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Ascorbic Acid, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Chicory Root Extract, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Garlic Powder, Yucca Schidigera Extract, 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
- Excellent source of senior must-haves like glucosamine, chondroitin, and antioxidants
- Most dogs like the taste
- Pup parents report an improvement in several areas after switching to Wellness, including skin and coat condition and energy
- More protein options would be ideal
- On the expensive side
9. Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food
About: Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food combines a variety of high-quality meats to create a protein-forward, grain-free kibble that’s great for active Rotties with grain sensitivities. A blend of fresh produce including blueberries and raspberries rounds things out with natural antioxidants to aid in immune health.
- Meat sits at the top of the ingredient list
- Prebiotic and probiotic blend support gut health
- Meets AAFCO requirements for adult dog maintenance
- Made in the USA with globally sourced ingredients
Options: Available in High Prairie, Pacific Stream, Sierra Mountain, Southwest Canyon, Wetlands, and Pine Forest.
(High Prairie Recipe): Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas...,
Potatoes, Chicken Fat, Egg Product, Roasted Bison, Roasted Venison, Beef, Natural Flavor, Tomato Pomace, Potato Protein, Pea Protein, Ocean Fish Meal, Salt, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, Tomatoes, Blueberries, Raspberries, 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, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid
- Meaty mix of proteins offers a great taste without grains that can bother some dogs with sensitivities
- Wide variety of proteins to choose from, including exotic options
- Prebiotics and probiotics are welcome extras
- Mixed proteins don’t sit well in every dog’s tummy
- Some dogs experienced digestive upset, so always follow the recommended change-over servings and timelines
10. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Large Breed Adult
A short ingredient list makes avoiding your dog's sensitivity triggers easy with this kibble.
About: Skip your Rottweiler’s known triggers with Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Large Breed Adult, a quality kibble whose focused ingredient list sticks to the basics without any surprise extras. It supports your dog from nose to tail with taurine for heart health, fatty acids for his skin and coat, and calcium and phosphorous for healthy bones.
- Single-protein recipes great for dogs with sensitivities
- Formulated by veterinarians and nutritionists
- Doesn’t contain any corn, soy, or poultry by-product meals
- Made in the USA
Options: Offered in Lamb & Brown Rice, Beef & Brown Rice, and Chicken & Brown Rice. Grain-free options are also available.
(Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe) Lamb, Lamb Meal, Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran...,
Brewers Dried Yeast, Canola Oil, Natural Flavor, Salt, Taurine, Dl-Methionine, Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Potassium Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Choline Chloride, Citric Acid, Mixed Tocopherols, Rosemary Extract
- Limited ingredient list ideal for dogs with sensitive systems
- Dogs seem to love the taste
- Pet parents note an improvement in skin and coat appearance
- Price tag is steep
- No exotic protein offerings
11. Rachael Ray Nutrish Dry Dog Food for Weight Management
A calorie-conscious food made to aid canine weight control without sacrificing flavor.
About: Trim your woof’s waistline or maintain his svelte physique with Rachael Ray Nutrish Dry Dog Food for Weight Management, a kibble that combines tasty lean proteins with brown rice to satisfy your dog’s hunger with fewer calories per cup. Containing both turkey and venison, it won’t leave your dog feeling deprived, either.
- Farm-raised turkey is the first ingredient
- L-carnitine amino acid aids in metabolism
- Doesn’t contain poultry by-product meals or wheat
- Made in the USA with internationally sourced ingredients
Options: Offered in a single flavor.
Turkey, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Whole Ground Corn, Soybean Meal...,
Dried Peas, Pea Starch, Pearled Barley, Turkey Meal, Venison, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Chicken Fat, Natural Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Carrots, Dicalcium Phosphate, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Niacin, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Choline Chloride, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Zinc Sulfate, L-Carnitine, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Rosemary Extract
- Calorie-conscious design won’t pack on the pupper pounds
- Pricing is affordable compared to other quality dog foods
- Taste is a win, a rarity with weight management foods
- Mixed proteins can be a problem for sensitive dog systems
- Corn and soy can cause issues with some canines
Picking a Good Dog Food
Whether you are trying to feed a Rottweiler or any other breed, you always want to obtain a safe, high-quality food for your furry friend. And while one-off problems can always occur, you can avoid most problems by ordering foods that:
Feature a Whole Protein at the Top of the Ingredient List
Dogs are omnivores (despite being incorrectly called carnivores by many), but meat is clearly the most important component of their diet.
Accordingly, you’ll not only want a food with the appropriate amount of protein content, you also want to see a whole protein at the top of the ingredient list.
This could include anything from chicken to veal to kangaroo meat. Chances are, your Rottie will love any source of protein you offer.
Note that some owners are concerned that whole proteins are full of water (which is true, as is nearly every other non-processed, fresh food besides things like nuts and seeds), which means that if you remove the water content, they would occur farther down the ingredient list.
This would usually make rice, potatoes or whatever primary carbohydrate source in the food the first listed ingredient on a dry-matter basis. This leads some to prefer foods with a meat meal at the top of the ingredient list.
However, as long as the relative protein content (especially that which is derived from animal-based sources) in the food is suitable, this shouldn’t be a major concern. Plenty of foods list a real protein as the first ingredient and have suitable protein levels.
Are Made in a Country with High Safety and Quality-Control Standards
One of the best ways to reduce the chances of purchasing contaminated food and ensure you’re giving your dog a food made from high-quality ingredients is by buying only those products made in countries with strict standards in place. This essentially means sticking to foods made in the USA, Canada, Western Europe, New Zealand or Australia.
Are Made without Artificial Flavors, Colors or Preservatives
If a dog food is made with premium ingredients, it doesn’t need artificial flavors; artificial colors only make foods more appealing to humans; and there are a variety of naturally occurring preservatives that work just as well as many synthetics. Accordingly, these items are not necessary, and, because they can trigger food allergies, are best avoided.
Do Not Contain Unidentified (or Poorly Identified) Meat Meals or Byproducts
There is nothing inherently wrong with meat meals or animal byproducts. Your dog will probably find them perfectly delicious and they often provide a lot of nutritional value, even if they make you a bit squeamish. But, because you want to avoid meat meals and byproducts that include undesirable species, you want to stick with foods that explicitly label such ingredients.
This means avoiding “meat meal” or “poultry byproducts,” in favor of foods that include things like “chicken meal,” “pork meal,” “salmon meal,” or “turkey byproducts,” for example.
Have Plenty of Antioxidants
Antioxidants help to keep your dog’s immune system operating smoothly and rid the body of damaging free radicals. It is also thought (although more research is still needed) that antioxidants help combat a variety of serious health problems, including cancer, by protecting the DNA in your dog’s cells.
The best way to ensure your dog receives plenty of antioxidants is by selecting a food rich in colorful fruits and vegetables. This includes things like kale, spinach, collard greens, carrots, blueberries and cranberries, among others.
Have Plenty of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Your dog’s body requires a number of chemicals called fatty acids to remain healthy. There are a variety of different fatty acids, and your dog’s body manufacturers most of them internally. However, there are two types – omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids – that must be obtained through your dog’s diet. Accordingly, they are called essential fatty acids.
Generally speaking, omega-6 fatty acids are easy to provide to your dog, as they are present in many meats, fats and vegetable-based products.
Omega-3 fatty acids, on the other hand, are harder to provide. Fatty fish, including salmon, sardines and anchovies, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, as are things like flaxseed.
However, not all omega-3 fatty acids are created equally.
In order to use the omega-3s in her diet, your dog’s body has to convert the types derived from plant sources — primarily alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA — into the types of omega-3s contained in salmon and other fish. This includes both eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Because dogs aren’t very efficient at this conversion, fish-based omega-3s are preferable whenever possible.
As a ballpark figure, 22 to 40 milligrams of EPA per kilogram of your dog’s weight is a good daily goal. Omega-3 fatty acids are pretty safe, but they can cause health problems if provided in extremely high quantities, so use care to avoid over-doing it.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria, which are intended to colonize your canine’s intestinal tract, where they will aid in digestion and help to exclude pathogenic bacteria through competition. This can help your dog maintain a regular and reliable elimination schedule and avoid intestinal upset. Most high-quality dog foods now include probiotics among their ingredients, but some have more strains than others.
Common Rottweiler Health Problems
Despite their robust builds and vibrant personalities, Rottweilers are susceptible to a number of inherited health problems. Some of the most notable include:
Rotties are at fairly high risk of developing osteochondritis dissecans, hip dysplasia, and elbow dysplasia. All three disorders result in pain, inflammation, and reduced mobility. There are a variety of ways to treat these joint diseases, including surgery, physical therapy, medications and joint-supporting supplements.
Like many other large breeds, Rottweilers frequently become obese with age. This not only subjects dogs to a variety of health problems, it places more stress on their bones and joints, which can exacerbate problems like hip and elbow dysplasia.
Bloat (also known as Gastric Dilation-Volvulus) is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition in which a dog’s stomach fills with gas and twists on its axis. This traps the gas inside the stomach, which is not only excruciatingly painful, but it is likely to lead to tissue death if not treated promptly. To reduce the chances that your dog will suffer from bloat, feed small, frequent meals; prohibit intense activity after meals; and try to get your dog to eat as slowly as you can.
Unfortunately, Rotties appear at higher risk of developing cancer than many other breeds. There isn’t much you can do about this, although including antioxidants in their diet may help, and it is unlikely to hurt. Some of the most common cancers Rotties develop include osteosarcoma (bone cancer), transitional cell carcinomas (bladder cancer) and lymphoma.
Many Rotties develop food allergies over time, which can lead to a miserable pup, with dry, itchy skin. Accordingly, it is probably wise to avoid foods that unnecessarily include common triggers, such as artificial colors and flavors.
It is also a good idea to feed your Rottie a common protein. This way, if your dog develops a food allergy to chicken, beef or pork, you’ll have plenty of novel alternatives, such as kangaroo, rabbit or salmon. Because your dog won’t have been exposed to these proteins, they will be less likely to trigger allergies.
Rottweiler-Specific Food Considerations
In addition to the general food-selection guidelines discussed above, you’ll want to consider the health problems and challenges Rotties often face when making your choice. This primarily means selecting a food that:
Has an Appropriate Number of Calories
Like all dogs, Rottweilers need enough food to enjoy proper energy levels, but because they are prone to obesity (and they’ll eat you out of house and home if you give them a chance), you want to pick a mainstream food, rather than one of the super-high-calorie, fatty foods owners often feed to their dogs to add bulk or size.
Additionally, it is important that you monitor your dog’s body weight and adjust the amount of food you provide to keep her within the desired range (work with your vet to do so). It is also wise to avoid feeding on a free-choice or ad libitum basis. Instead, offer your dog measured meals two or three times per day.
Just keep track of the total number of calories you are providing your pooch so that she doesn’t become obese. Most Rotties require between 1800 and 3500 Calories per day, depending on their size, health, age and activity level.
Is Rich in Protein
To meet the nutritional requirements of most dogs, you’ll need to provide a food that derives at least 18% to 24% of its calories from protein sources. However, because Rotties are very thick, muscular dogs, you may want to look for higher protein levels when selecting your pet’s food. A food with a protein content in the 30% to 40% range is probably ideal.
Features Glucosamine and/or Chondroitin
Rottweilers frequently suffer from hip and elbow problems, so you’ll want to do everything you can to help support proper joint health. One easy way to do so is by purchasing a food that is fortified with glucosamine, chondroitin or both. These compounds help to reduce the inflammation in your dog’s joints and regenerate lost cartilage.
Omega-3 fatty acids may also protect your pup’s joints by reducing inflammation; so, while you always want to feed dogs foods rich in omega-3s, it is especially important when feeding your Rottie.
Features a Large Kibble Size
Like many other breeds, Rotties often eat as though they have been fasting for a week – even if it has only been a few hours since their last meal. Eating too quickly probably increases a dog’s chances of suffering from bloat, so you’ll want to provide your pooch with large kibble, which will encourage them to chew more, thereby slowing the eating process.
And while we are on the subject of bloat, be sure that your dog rests quietly for at least an hour after eating.
One Final Point: Consider Your Dog’s Life Stage
Note that the foods discussed above are all intended for adult Rottweilers, who are at least 6 to 12 months of age. But young puppies and pregnant or lactating moms have different nutritional requirements from non-reproductively active adults.
Make sure that you stick to a high-quality puppy food until your vet advises you to make the switch to a recipe designed for adults.
Just be sure to select a food designed for large-breed puppies, as this will help ensure your four-footer’s joints develop properly.
Do you have a Rottie of your own? I fortunate enough to have the very best Rottmonster on the planet, but I am obviously biased, and I’m sure yours is great too.
What do you feed your big girl or boy? Have you ever used any of the foods we’ve detailed above? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.
June 12, 2021
Hello Ben, I have gone through all your piece of writings and found it so thoughtful and educating.. But then I just got a rottie that is six months old, a male rottie.. How can I get him to listen to my instructions and obey them.. I want him also to be a little bit aggressive towards strangers because of the high risk of burglary and theft around the area am living, thanks.. In anticipation to your response..
June 14, 2021
Hey there, Nicholas. Thanks for the kind words, and congrats on your new Rottie!
But I’ll be honest, wanting him to be more aggressive sounds like a disaster in the making. Rotties typically don’t need any encouragement to be protective — usually the problem is that they are too protective and untrusting of strangers. For that matter, the simple presence of a mature Rottie will deter most criminals.
But if you really want him to be more aggressive with strangers, you’d need to work with a trainer experienced with protection work. That will not be cheap, but it would be the only safe and responsible way to achieve your goals.
Best of luck, but we’d caution you to be very, very, careful with this line of thought. Rotties already get a bad rap, and you don’t want to make that any worse!
February 3, 2021
I have a 3.5 year old Spayed female Rottweiler, she’ll be 4 in March… She’s a rescue from local Humane Society a super dog, was a bit shy at first but now, very loveable and a good watch dog….! For the last year I’ve been feeding her “Taste of the Wild” High Prairie Bison/Venison Grain Free… At first she loved it but towards the end she stopped eating it freely and would only eat it if she had to, nothing else put before her..! In the mean time she had no personality… no ambition, once in a great while she would sort of run and play a little, but slowly lost interest….! Seemed to be in a trance or day dreaming….. maybe thinking…? I’m in between foods with her for now, I neighbor gave me a huge bag of Kibbles & Bits, his male Rotty just suddenly died one day..no symptoms no nothing..! It has these little morsels with filled centers = meaty chunks..? this is all I feed her now, I have sorted out all the other pieces mainly because they’re very Yellow in color = CORN..! and I won’t feed her any CORN…!… and it’s almost gone and I need to find another food…! SOON…!
February 4, 2021
Hey there, James.
Any of the foods discussed above should work great for your Rottie.
But it’d probably be a good idea to take her to the vet, given your description of her behavior. Perhaps it’s related to the food, but it could also be the sign of something more serious.
Also, be sure to keep your vet in the loop regarding your food choice.
Best of luck!
November 10, 2019
I am getting my first Rottweiler, a girl due @12/28/19. I am so excited. I’ve had lab/Dottie mixes but this is my first AKC. I have had all types of dogs but this is my first, I WANT dogs. I want to do everything right, so please help me., foods, training, commands. If I need to read books, advise me. I am 66 and this will be my last dog. Thank you.
November 11, 2019
Hey, Michele! Congrats on your impending Rottie!
I’d recommend starting with our dog adoption guide (even though you’ll be purchasing her — most of the information will still apply).
Also, sign up for our mailing list — we send out great dog-care info weekly.
Best of luck!
November 8, 2019
My 5 yr old Rottie started throwing up lately, I gave him chicken and rice so I came upon this site that gave me 5 best foods for a rottweiler so I gave him small portions of Blue Buffalo adult recipe with chicken,potatoes,peas and he threw that up. Can anyone give me a direction to go please??
November 8, 2019
Sorry to hear about your pooch! There are a variety of reasons a dog may vomit. He may have just wolfed down the food too quickly, the recipe may just have disagreed with his stomach, or he could be suffering from an illness.
If he’s acting normally, you could probably try to offer him the food again one more time. If he keeps it down, great! If not, I’d make an appointment with the vet to ensure he’s in good health.
At that point, you can start looking for a different food. Any of the other four listed above should work!
Best of luck — let us know how it goes!
August 18, 2019
hello just a question about the bloating my rottie belly below his ribs keeps getting stiff does that mean he is bloating or constipated
August 19, 2019
Sorry we’re just now getting to your comment. Belly stiffness can be a very troubling sign, as it could indicate bloat.
Hopefully, your dog is either feeling better by now, or you’ve taken him to the vet for evaluation.
Let us know how things went!
July 10, 2019
Hi Ben, thanks for your informative article. I’ve fed my Rottweiler Taste of The Wild ever since I rescued her about a year and a half ago. I’ve tried other brands, but she loves Taste. I recently came across a lawsuit that alleges Taste of the Wild contains unsafe levels of lead and a number of other toxic ingredients. I have no idea of the truth of this, and decided to immediately research alternative foods (this is how I found your article). I can’t tell what to believe or not to believe, and I realize that none of these allegations are proven. What are your thoughts?
July 10, 2019
You have to make the best decision for your pooch, but — personally — I wouldn’t worry about this lawsuit.
Based on my reading of it (and I am not a lawyer), it doesn’t even indicate which laboratory conducted the testing. You can read the actual lawsuit here and see for yourself. There have been similar lawsuits directed at other food manufacturers that have been based around “lab tests” conducted by non-professionals (if I remember correctly, one plaintiff performed the testing in her kitchen). This will all come out during the court process, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
Remember, you can file a lawsuit for just about anything. So, absent empirical evidence I can review myself, or a compelling judgement at the conclusion of the trial, I take lawsuits with a grain of salt.
We’ve talked about similar problems with the Blue Buffalo (my own Rottie’s food) lawsuit a while back.
The bigger issue may be the grain-free nature of Taste of the Wild. As you may be aware, the FDA has announced that they are studying a correlation between grain-free foods and dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs. Now, causation has not been established, and fewer than 600 dogs have become sick out of the millions who eat grain-free diets all the time.
But, there is some actual science behind their inquiry, so it is probably something to talk over with your vet.
Thanks for reading! Best of luck.
July 11, 2019
Thanks Ben! I will certainly take this info regarding the suit and the FDA study into account when choosing my girl’s food. It’s a huge relief to know that the science behind the lawsuit is suspect. I appreciate your analysis and look forward to continue to reading your articles!
July 2, 2019
You may want to revise this list as Taste of the Wild was found by the FDA to cause heart failure. We had switched our rotties food to this and within a week, had to take her to the vet resulting in heart problems.
July 2, 2019
Hey, Troy. Sorry to hear about your pups (especially as a fellow Rottie owner!).
I do want to make one thing crystal clear though: The FDA has not found that Taste of the Wild (or any of the other brands on the list) causes dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).
These foods have been correlated with the issue, but causality has not yet been shown.
But, like we always say, the best plan is to work closely with your vet to find a good food for your pup.
Thanks for sharing!
May 18, 2019
My first viewing, much information giving about things I never thought about. Thanks
October 9, 2018
Great article and most comprehensive I’ve found on the subject. Not to mention the honest truth about Rotties being the best breed in the world! I’ve owned 3 myself. My girl Zoey has a lot of trouble with food sensitivities and the vet prefers her to be on Hills Science Diet z/d. I think we could do better as I have concerns about it being a long term healthy choice. I’ve heard mixed reviews. Any suggestions?