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 provide you with six great options for your cute-and-cuddly canine and talk about some of the things to consider when making your choice.
Quick Picks: Best Food For Rotties
- Wellness CORE Large Breed [Highest Protein] A whopping 32% protein, this grain-free recipe features deboned chicken, chicken meal, and turkey meal as the first three ingredients.
- Taste of the Wild Wetlands [Best For Duck Lovers] Another very high-protein, grain-free kibble with duck, duck meal, and chicken meal as first three ingredients.
- Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed [Affordable Pick] This reasonably-priced food features chicken and chicken meal as first ingredients, along with healthy, hearty grains like brown rice. Plus, it’s free of chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat, or soy and is GMO-free.
The Best Foods for Rottweilers
There are a number of great foods that will keep your Rottweiler satisfied and sassy, but the following five 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. Taste of the Wild Wetlands Recipe
High-protein, duck-based dog food
Made with real duck, duck meal, and chicken meal as the first three ingredients for a protein-rich composition.
Many of the foods made by Taste of the Wild will suit your pup well, and they are all nutritious options, but we decided to concentrate on the Wetlands Recipe, as it features a variety of bird proteins.
Features: Taste of the Wild has a very impressive ingredient list, which starts with high-quality proteins including duck, duck meal, and chicken meal, and relies on sweet potatoes, peas, and potatoes for the bulk of its carbohydrate content.
Several supplemental proteins, including tasty things like roasted duck, roasted quail, and smoked turkey, are incorporated in the recipe to ensure that the food is as delicious as it is nutritious.
In total, 32% of the recipe’s weight comes from protein sources, which is ideal for your Rottie. Additionally, Taste of the Wild is packed with omega-3 fatty acid sources, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, and three different probiotic strains. In fact, it contains at least 100,000,000 colony-forming units per pound of food.
Taste of the Wild is a well-conceived recipe, which most dogs seem to find incredibly tasty. Most dog owners were very happy with the food, and several noted improvements in their dog’s skin and coat health, energy level, and elimination habits after switching to Taste of the Wild.
There isn’t much not to like about Taste of the Wild. We’d prefer if “ocean fish meal,” identified the species included, but that’s a relatively minor concern. Some owners may prefer avoiding foods with tomato pomace, but there’s nothing inherently wrong with the ingredient, and it is primarily included for its fiber content.
Duck, duck meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, peas...,
potatoes, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), egg product, natural flavor, ocean fish meal, potato protein, roasted quail, roasted duck, smoked turkey, tomato pomace, salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, Yucca schidigera extract, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus reuteri fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.
2. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large-Breed
Budget-friendly large-breed food
Made with real chickens and healthy grains, this recipe is uniquely designed to meet the needs of larger dogs.
About: Nutro Max Large Breed is a great, affordable dog food for powering your rowdy Rottie, uniquely designed to meet the nutritional needs of larger dogs.
Full of real farm-raised chicken and other great-tasting ingredients, this recipe will satisfy your dog’s palate while keeping her healthy.
This food boasts a lot of advantages that are commonly only seen in pricier dog foods. This recipe features no chicken by-products, no corn, soy, or wheat, and no artificial flavors or preservatives. It’s also made in the USA.
The first ingredient is chicken meal (which contains higher amounts of protein than plain chicken), which is the primary protein source.
This recipe relies on whole grain carbohydrates, with ingredients like whole grain sorghum, whole grain oatmeal, and whole brown rice.
Most dogs love chicken meal, and its inclusion in this recipe helps ensure your dog will love the taste. It also has a respectable protein composition despite being on the more affordable side.
Some ingredients like brewers rice are not considered ideal by some owners. But while brewers rice is not the most fantastically nutritious ingredient in the world, it’s not particularly harmful either.
Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Whole Grain Sorghum, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Oatmeal, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols)...,
Chicken, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Whole Brown Rice, Peas, Chickpeas, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, Zinc Sulfate, Niacin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin E Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Selenium Yeast, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract, Decaffeinated Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.
3. Wellness CORE Large Breed
Premium, high-protein kibble
With chicken, chicken meal, and turkey meal as the first ingredients, this large-breed formula is great for rotties. Plus, it includes glucosamine for joint support.
About: Wellness CORE Large Breed is a fantastic food for most dogs, including your Rottweiler.
Made with all-natural, premium ingredients, this food has one of the most impressive ingredient lists on the market.
All Wellness CORE recipes are very nutritious, but their Large Breed Formula is specifically designed to meet the needs of big dogs, like Rotties.
Features: Wellness CORE derives a whopping 34% of its calories from protein sources, including deboned chicken, chicken meal and turkey meal. This ensures your Rottie will have all of the protein she needs to build big, strong muscles.
It is also full of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, apples, blueberries, spinach, and parsley, to help keep your dog’s immune system humming at peak efficiency.
Flaxseed helps to provide omega-3 fatty acids, while four different probiotic strains help ensure your pup’s digestive system operates the way it should.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are included in the recipe to help protect your dog’s joints. Wellness CORE’s Large Breed recipe is made in the USA and is backed by the manufacturer’s wellness guarantee.
WARNING: While this food is available on Amazon, owners report receiving counterfeit or expired kibble that does not much the food’s usual color or size. For this reason, we recommend purchasing this kibble from Chewy.com (plus you can get 30% off your first autoship order).
Most dogs and their owners love Wellness CORE Large Breed, and become devoted fans of the brand. The ingredient list is packed with premium, nutritious ingredients, and several different supplements that will help keep your Rottweiler’s joints and intestinal tract healthy. Several owners who tried this food found that it helped improve their dog’s coat and skin condition, and several dogs stopped experiencing the itchy skin that some other foods can cause. A few owners also reported that their dog’s energy level and mobility improved after making the switch.
You won’t find many things to complain about with Wellness CORE Large Breed. Some owners may scoff at the inclusion of tomato pomace or pea fiber, as they are relatively nutrient-deficient fiber sources, but there’s certainly nothing wrong with either ingredient. Wellness CORE is also an expensive food, but quality comes at a price.
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Peas...,
Tomato Pomace, Dried Ground Potatoes, Ground Flaxseed, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Chicken Flavor, Pea Fiber, Potassium Chloride, Spinach, Broccoli, Carrots, Parsley, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Beta-Carotene, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Biotin, Folic Acid], Apples, Minerals [Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate], Blueberries, Kale, Sweet Potatoes, L-Carnitine, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Taurine, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca schidigera Extract, 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.
4. BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe
Delicious grain-free kibble
Made with multiple protein sources with antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies, this grain-free kibble will keep your rott happy and healthy.
About: BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Large Breed Red Meat Recipe is a nutritious and, judging by the reactions most dogs have to the product, delicious food. Well-suited for Rottweilers, this food is protein-rich and made without grains, including corn or wheat.
Features: BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Large Breed Recipe is made with several different proteins, including deboned beef, chicken meal, deboned lamb, deboned venison and menhaden fish meal.
It is 28% protein by weight, which is respectable, if a little low for a muscular breed like your Rottie. Additionally, menhaden fish meal is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.
BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe also contains a number of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, including blueberries, cranberries, carrots and parsley, which will help your dog’s immune system to operate as it should.
Four different probiotic strains round out the ingredient list, and help promote intestinal health.
There are plenty of things to like about BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe, including the variety of proteins included in the recipe, as well as the numerous fruits, vegetables, and supplements that are also present. Most dogs appear to love the taste of the food, and it satisfies most of the criteria you should consider when selecting a food for your Rottie. And although grains are not inherently undesirable food items, many owners prefer to avoid them in lieu of other carbohydrate sources. Here again, BLUE Wilderness comes through and uses tapioca starch, various pea products, potatoes and sweet potatoes to provide much of the carbohydrate content.
If your Rottie suffers from food allergies, BLUE Wilderness may not be the best option, as it includes several different protein sources (you’d instead want a food which includes a single primary protein, to which your dog is not allergic). Also, like most other high-quality dog foods, BLUE Wilderness comes with a high price tag. BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Large Breed Red Meat Recipe also has a few ingredients that may turn off some owners. Some, such as pea protein, pea fiber and tomato pomace are relatively nutrient poor, although they aren’t harmful; others, such as caramel, are more concerning. Carmel is completely unnecessary for dog foods, and it is a possible carcinogen.
Deboned Beef, Chicken Meal, Tapioca Starch, Peas, Pea Starch...,
Pea Protein, Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Pea Fiber, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Potatoes, Fish Oil (source of EPA-Eicosapentaenoic Acid), Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Dicalcium Phosphate, Deboned Lamb, Deboned Venison, Potassium Chloride, Dried Chicory Root, Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, DL-Methionine, Caramel Color, Salt, Taurine, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, L-Carnitine, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Yucca schidigera Extract, Dried Kelp, Turmeric, Nicotinic Acid (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Oil of Rosemary, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), L-Lysine, Copper Sulfate, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Sulfate, Chondroitin Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), 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 (Vitamin B9), Sodium Selenite.
5. Fromm Gold Nutritionals Large Breed
Holistic food enhanced with prebiotics and probiotics
Naturally formulated with real duck and chicken and a varity of wholesome proteins, carbohydrates and delicious fats.
About: Most Fromm dog foods are good options for any canine, and their Large Breed Formula is a good choice for most Rottweilers.
Made with a combination of real proteins (duck and chicken) and a few healthy carbohydrates (brown rice and oatmeal), Fromm’s Large Breed Formula includes the kinds of ingredients you want for your dog.
Features: Fromm is made in a USDA-inspected factory with USDA-inspected ingredients, right here in the USA, which ensures that your dog will be eating a clean, healthy food.
It is made with a variety of wholesome proteins, carbohydrates, and delicious fats to tempt your pup’s palate and nourish her body’s tissues the way you’d want.
It also features an optimum ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to help prevent inflammation and promote proper brain function, as well as prebiotics and probiotics to help promote digestive health.
Most dogs find Fromm utterly delicious, thanks to the inclusion of real duck and chicken. Real Wisconsin cheese is also mixed into the recipe, which helps improve the taste even more. Fromm foods are made without corn, soy or wheat, which are all items many dog owners like to avoid. Additionally, while many dog foods include probiotics to help maintain gastrointestinal health, few also contain prebiotics, which serve as food for the beneficial bacteria. By including prebiotics in the recipe, this food gives the beneficial bacteria a better chance of colonizing your dog’s gut.
The biggest drawback to Fromm Gold Nutritionals Large Breed is the relatively low protein (23%) and fat (12%) content, which means that this is a relatively carbohydrate-heavy food. Additionally, while they aren’t exactly harmful, pearled barley, white rice, tomato pomace and white potatoes are relatively low-value ingredients, which are included in the recipe. It would also be nice if more antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables were included in the recipe. Also, while few owners know one probiotic strain from the next, we’d prefer if they’d identify the strains included, rather than simply listing them as “probiotics.”
Duck, Chicken Meal, Chicken, Oatmeal, Pearled Barley, Brown Rice...,
White Rice, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Whole Egg, Menhaden Fish Meal, Lamb, Potatoes, Chicken Fat, Cheese, Salmon Oil, Flaxseed, Brewers Dried Yeast, Alfalfa Meal, Carrots, Lettuce, Celery, Chicken Cartilage, Monocalcium Phosphate, Calcium Sulfate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, L-Tryptophan, DL-Methionine, Taurine, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca schidigera Extract, Sodium Selenite, Sorbic Acid (Preservative), Vitamins, Minerals, Probiotics.
6. Blue Buffalo Large Breed Chicken and Brown Rice
Affordable rottie-friendly food
Features chicken and chicken meal as first ingredients, along with a variety of hearty grains. Plus, glucosamine and chondroitin aids in joint health, making this a great choice for most Rottweilers.
About: Blue Buffalo makes a variety of high-quality dog foods, and their Large Breed Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe is a great choice for most Rottweilers.
Made with a variety of top-quality ingredients, including Blue Buffalo’s antioxidant-packed “LifeSource Bits,” this is a nutritious and delicious recipe that should keep your pet healthy and happy.
Features: The ingredient list for this Blue Buffalo recipe is pretty impressive. It starts with two high-quality proteins — deboned chicken and chicken meal — and it features a number of nutritious carbohydrates, including oatmeal and whole, ground brown rice.
This recipe is also full of nutritious, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, such as parsley, whole carrots, and blueberries. It contains glucosamine and chondroitin to help protect your pup’s joints (a very important consideration for Rottweilers), and it features four different probiotic strains to help regulate your pup’s intestinal function.
Full Disclosure: This is the food I give my Rottie. I’ve been feeding it to her for about 18 months, and it has worked exceptionally well for us. She seems to like the taste (although I still give her tasty toppers from time to time), and I love the way it’s helped improve her coat condition and elimination habits.
Most owners who try Blue Buffalo’s Large Breed Chicken and Rice Recipe become instant devotees. It not only appears to appeal to the palates of most dogs, but it also comes with all of the nutritious “extras” owners want for their pet. This not only includes joint-supporting supplements and antioxidants, but omega-3 fatty acids too.
There weren’t many common complaints about this recipe. A few owners received ripped bags or suffered through other types of shipping issues, but those can occur with any dog food.
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Whole Ground Brown Rice, Peas...,
Whole Ground Barley, Tomato Pomace (source of Lycopene), Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Chicken Flavor, Whole Potatoes, Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Sunflower Oil (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Whole Carrots, Whole Sweet Potatoes, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Dried Parsley, Garlic, Alfalfa Meal, Dried Kelp, Yucca schidigera Extract, L-Carnitine, L-Lysine, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Turmeric, Dried Chicory Root, Oil of Rosemary, Beta Carotene, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin (Vitamin B3), d-Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Ascorbate (source of Vitamin C), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Choline Chloride, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Salt, Caramel, Potassium Chloride, Dried Yeast (source of Saccharomyces cerevisiae), Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product
All the foods covered are excellent picks, with only a few key differences.
|If you want:||You should select:|
|The most affordable choice||Blue Buffalo Life Protection. It is significantly cheaper than most other options.|
|The most protein-rich recipe||Wellness CORE. However, Taste of the Wild is a close second.|
|The recipe with the most nutritional bells and whistles||BLUE Wilderness or Blue Buffalo. Both recipes provide antioxidants, glucosamine, chondroitin, omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics.|
|The best tasting recipe||Taste of the Wild and Fromm both feature duck, which many dogs love. However, all five foods reviewed above feature premium protein sources.|
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:
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.
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 want to see a whole protein at the top of the ingredient list. This could include anything from chicken to veal to kangaroo meat; Rotties usually love them all.
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 percentage (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 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.
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.
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.
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 and omega-6 – 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.
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
Because Rottweilers 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.
Are Rich in Protein
Most dogs need 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
Note that the foods discussed above are all intended for adult Rottweilers, who are at least 6 to 12 months of age. 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.