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Rottweilers were raised initially as livestock guardians; hence, they are strong and energetic . They can be pretty hard to handle for inexperienced owners, and some states do have laws that mandate Rottweilers to be muzzled if they are brought outdoors. However, certain families still prefer to have Rottweilers as family dogs, which is a decision that we respect.
Rottweilers lay in the middle when it comes to nutritional requirements. They need more than the minimum to thrive, but an excess will also lead to health problems, so limiting the nutritional intake to the recommended range will be good.
Therefore, I have done extensive research on their optimal nutritional intake to assist owners in searching for the best dog food for Rottweilers. Based on my research and understanding, the Inception Dry Dog Food is the best dog food for Rottweilers under most circumstances.
The Inception Dry Dog Food includes healthy whole grains for better digestion, beneficial for Rottweilers, a breed known to have bowel issues that can be prevented by easily digested food. They are also one of the brands with lower protein and fat content while still providing quality kibbles for your Rottweilers.
However, each Rottweiler is unique, and the needs will differ depending on their circumstances. That’s why I have selected a list of the best dog food for Rottweilers to keep you informed of the possible varieties your Rottweiler may benefit from.
- Best dog food for Rottweilers overall: Inception Dry Dog Food
- Best dog food for Rottweiler puppies: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Dry Dog Food
- Best dog food for Rottweiler seniors: Merrick Senior Dry Dog Food
- Best dog food for Rottweilers to lose and maintain weight: Solid Gold Holistic Weight Control Dog Food
- Best dog food for Rottweilers with digestive issues: Lucy Pet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Dog Food
- Best wet dog food for Rottweilers: Nature’s Recipe Easy to Digest Wet Dog Food
- Key feature: Whole grains are included for easier digestion and vitamins and minerals for immune health support
- First 5 ingredients: Varies depending on flavor (Chicken & Pork | Fish | Chicken | Pork)
- Caloric content: 3650 – 3750 kcal/kg
- Guaranteed analysis: Min 25% protein, Min 15% fats, Max 6% fiber
- Best for: Adult Rottweilers in general
Inception dry dog food is a complete and balanced dog food containing quality meat for proteins and healthy whole grains for carbohydrates and essential minerals. Ingredients such as ground flaxseed are included to boost your Rottweiler’s immune system with a natural source of antioxidants.
The kibbles contain 25% protein and 15% fats, having the perfect nutrition for an average Rottweiler. The caloric content is also in the lower-average range, making it ideal for Rottweilers on weight maintenance plans.
Owners are happy with the quality to price ratio for this brand. Some dogs with digestive issues also handle this dog food well, making it a good choice for the Rottweiler breed with frequent digestive problems.
Some owners mentioned that the smell is different from other kibbles brands and that their dogs give off pungent gas after consumption. Therefore, we recommend starting with a smaller bag and purchasing more only after your Rottweiler receives the food well.
- Key feature: Small-sized kibbles packed with real meat, whole grains, and various fruits and vegetables specially tailored for puppies
- First 5 ingredients: Varies depending on flavor (Chicken & Brown Rice | Lamb & Oatmeal | Chicken)
- Caloric content: 3686 kcal/kg
- Guaranteed analysis: Min 27% protein, Min 16% fats, Max 5% fiber
- Best for: Rottweilers puppies
Blue Buffalo puppy formula offers three different flavors with two types of meat (chicken and lamb), so puppies that are allergic to one of the meats can still benefit from the other.
This brand of puppy food provides at least 27% protein and 16% fats. This nutritional content is precisely what Rottweiler puppies need, slightly higher than adult formulas to support their growth but not exceeding too much resulting in a nutritional surplus.
Generally, many owners reported that switching to this food had led to better skin and bowel health in their puppies. Puppies with food allergies and sensitive stomachs also thrived on this diet.
Reviewers pointed out that a particular batch of dog food had manufacturing defects a few years back. While there hasn’t been any in the recent two years, you might want to keep this in mind and investigate kibbles that you suspect are not the usual formula.
- Key feature: Low-calorie and low-fat food for senior dogs to maintain healthy weight and metabolism with both healthy grains and grain-free options
- First 5 ingredients: Varies depending on flavor (Grain-free | Healthy Grains)
- Caloric content: 3,603 kcal/kg
- Guaranteed analysis: Min 27-30% protein, Min 12-15% fats, Max 3.5% fiber
- Best for: Senior Rottweilers
Merrick Senior Dry Dog Food offers healthy grains and grain-free options for dogs to experience healthy aging, depending on their needs. They are formulated with nutrients and vitamins to support healthy brain function, hips and joints, skin, and coat, common issues for an aging Rottweiler.
This brand of senior food provides 27-30% protein and 12-15% fat, depending on the flavor. The fat content is within the recommended range for Rottweilers, while the protein content is slightly higher by 1-4%. As most active Rottweilers would have exercised their muscles frequently in their younger days, they need more protein for cell maintenance.
Owners said their senior dogs were more youthful and active after switching to Merrick and remained healthy after being kept on this diet for a prolonged period. Senior dogs with coat issues had also seen an improvement in their coats when fed this brand of kibbles.
Price is a concern for some owners who have a tighter budget. Some owners also reported that their dogs have issues chewing the kibbles, which are too hard for them. This issue can be resolved by soaking the kibbles in water for a few seconds (to soften it but still retain its crunchiness) before serving to your dog.
- Key feature: Low-fat and low-calorie dog food suitable for overweight dogs of all life stages that are on a weight control plan with both whole grains and grain-free options
- First 5 ingredients: Varies depending on flavor (Alaskan Pollock with Whole Grains | Chicken, Sweet Potato, & Green Beans Grain-free option)
- Caloric content: 3115 – 3240 kcal/kg
- Guaranteed analysis: Min 26% protein, Min 6% fats, Max 10% fiber
- Best for: Overweight Rottweilers on a weight management plan
Solid Gold weight control dog food offers both whole grains and grain-free options, catering to all Rottweilers regardless of their allergies to grain. The kibbles are formulated with carefully selected superfoods, probiotics, and omega fatty acids to ensure ample nutrients without putting on weight.
The kibbles contain 26% protein and 6.5% fats. The fat content is lesser than suggested for Rottweilers for the exact reason they are fed this food – to lose weight. The protein content is not compromised. At 3155 – 3240 kcal/kg, a few hundred lesser than the average caloric content, your Rottweiler is sure to slim down and maintain a healthy weight.
Owners with overweight dogs reviewed that their plump dogs slimmed down after switching to this food without any side effects. Senior dogs significantly benefitted from the low-fat content in this kibble.
Chicken is present in both flavors available, so dogs that are allergic to chicken will have to source for other weight management dog food.
- Key feature: Carefully formulated for digestive and coat health for dogs of all ages and veterinarian certified
- First 5 ingredients: Salmon, Chicken meal, Dried chickpeas, Dried peas, Pea starch
- Caloric content: 3575 kcal/kg
- Guaranteed analysis: Min 25% protein, Min 14% fats, Max 6% fiber
- Best for: Rottweilers with skin and coat issues
Lucy Pet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Recipe is veterinarian approved and used by trainers and breeders. These kibbles are carefully formulated to maintain digestive health and include Omega-3 fatty acids to promote skin and coat health.
The kibbles contain 25% protein and 14% fats, within the recommended nutrition range for Rottweilers, so you do not have to worry about your dog sacrificing the nutrients for safety.
Owners have reported that their dogs with sensitive stomachs thrived on this brand of kibbles. The dogs also showed an overall improvement in coat health, having shiner coats with lesser shredding.
Some dogs did not like this kibble and refused to try it, so it may not be the best choice if you have a picky Rottweiler. Also, as the kibbles are bigger than what a small-breed dog can handle, you may have to source for alternatives if you have a small-breed dog in addition to your Rottweiler.
- Key feature: Made from premium chicken/lamb with wholesome rice and barley, which are highly digestible and avoids common food allergens like corn or beef
- First 5 ingredients: Varies depending on flavor (Chicken & Barley Ground | Chicken & Barley Stew | Lamb & Barley Stew)
- Caloric content: 1190 kcal/kg
- Guaranteed analysis: Min 8% protein, Min 4% fats, Max 1% fiber
- Best for: Picky Rottweilers that want tastier food than kibbles
Nature’s Recipe chooses the ingredients it uses to manufacture the food purposely. They will never include any by-products and choose easily digestible meats like chicken for better digestion.
The nutritional value of wet dog food is slightly different. In this case, 8% of proteins and 4% of fats in this wet dog food falls within the ideal nutritional range for Rottweilers.
Owners are happy that their picky dogs liked this food and thrived on it, even those with digestive and bowel issues. They also commended the high-quality ingredients that Nature’s Recipe included in the wet dog food.
Some comments mentioned wrong packaging (receiving chicken cans in a lamb-labeled box). Some owners also received rancid food, presumably due to improper storage. Therefore, as you should with all wet food, always make sure that the canned food is fresh and of the correct flavour before feeding to your Rottweiler.
Rottweilers’ Dietary Requirements
While Rottweilers do not have specific dietary requirements, they have certain dietary habits that you should look out for.
Rottweilers’ activity level ranges from moderately active to hyperactive. Hence, Rottweilers need a higher protein content in their diet to keep them in shape.
Rottweiler puppies should be fed a diet containing 24-28% crude proteins, while adults require a diet with 22-26% crude proteins. However, you may have to adjust the protein content depending on your Rottweiler’s activity level and weight.
This protein should be obtained from meat such as chicken, lamb, beef, turkey, or fish as protein derived from grains is considered less useful. Feed your Rottweiler with the right quantity of protein, or it may grow overweight due to overconsumption or become feeble with an unhealthy coat due to a protein deficiency.
Healthy fats also facilitate the absorption of vitamins and nutrients in Rottweiler bodies . However, fats, when consumed in excess or obtained from harmful sources, may lead to obesity resulting in life-threatening conditions like diabetes and heart diseases in the long run . Therefore, their food should contain healthy fats such as chicken and beef fat.
Since puppies are still growing, they require more energy and should be given a higher percentage of crude fats than adults. Accordingly, Rottweiler puppies should be fed a diet containing 14-18% healthy fats, while adults should be provided 12-16% of healthy fats depending on their activity level.
Rottweilers can receive the fat they require from either meat or plants. The fat in chicken or fish is especially beneficial for absorbing nutrients. Fish oils, such as salmon and herring, canola oils, sunflower oils are other healthy fat sources that supply an excellent blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Lower-quality components, like tallow or lard, should be avoided.
The digestive system of a Rottweiler is not built to digest and ferment carbohydrates. Grains such as corn, wheat, and other fillers like yeast can cause food allergies in Rottweilers and should be avoided. Ensure that the carbs your Rottweiler consumes are from high-quality sources like whole grains, such as brown rice and oatmeal, which are preferable to by-products like Brewer’s rice.
Certain food, such as peas, beans, and lentils, might contain high levels of starchy carbohydrates that are detrimental to your Rottweiler’s health. Healthy carbohydrates such as barley, carrots, and potatoes are perfect to be included in their meals. Gluten-free carbs such as tapioca starch and sweet potato are also good sources of fiber.
Unpredictable Dietary Habits
Rottweilers have unpredictable dietary habits where they may overeat or undereat on a particular day.
It is not necessary to worry about this phenomenon unless it becomes a common practice because then the nutritional needs of Rottweilers would not be achieved. A sudden drop in weight over 10% would also be a sign of an underlying health condition of your Rottweiler .
Hence, if the loss of appetite persists, seek help from a veterinarian. You may also need to change the food you offer to similarly nutritious food with a different flavor. We suggest the Nature’s Recipe Wet Food if your dog has not tried it out yet.
Common Health Issues In Rottweilers
Rottweilers are a generally healthy breed, and the common health issues can be easily avoided by ensuring a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and sufficient exercise.
Listed below are some of the health issues Rottweilers can have.
Obesity in Rottweilers is prevalent as they are a large breed prone to hypothyroidism . Male and female Rottweilers should ideally maintain a weight between 95 -135 pounds and 80 – 100 pounds respectively, and if they surpass this range, they are likely to be obese or overweight .
Obesity is often caused by a lack of physical activity and unhealthy diets and may lead to other health issues such as heart diseases, bone, and muscle atrophy . It is often treated by controlling calorie intake while boosting their activity levels.
Providing a diet containing adequate nutrients, including high amounts of crude proteins and low amounts of fats and carbohydrates, is the prime way to avoid obesity in Rottweilers.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease is the inflammation of the digestive tract where the intestine’s lining becomes thickened, hindering the proper absorption of nutrients. The cause can be either genetics, food allergies, or bacterial or parasite infections . Common symptoms of this syndrome include vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, and weight loss.
Currently, there is no cure for inflammatory bowel disease in dogs. Still, a change in your Rottweiler’s diet and prescription medication like steroids and antibiotics may help to alleviate the symptoms and control the disease .
A curative meal with easily digestive food is the first step in fighting inflammatory bowel disease in Rottweilers. A meal rich in hypoallergenic proteins is ideal for this.
Rottweilers have been known to suffer various musculoskeletal issues such as elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia . Large breeds like Rottweilers are also prone to degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis . Such issues cause severe pain to your dog and can lead to stiffness and lameness . Risk factors can vary from genetics to overfeeding, obesity, and calcium surplus in the diet .
Failure to exercise daily and maintain a healthy diet means that your dog will have to endure disability or osteochondritis desiccants (OCD). If the latter occurs, surgery is the only feasible solution to cure it completely.
A balanced diet coupled with reduced activity is necessary to control the disease. Instead of refined grains, add whole grains or bright-colored fruits and vegetables that have anti-inflammatory effects into your dog’s diet. Food rich in omega-3 fatty acids is also particularly good for your Rottweiler .
Cancer is one of the most common causes of death among Rottweilers . As most of the symptoms are visible only in the later stages, cancer is often left untreated, thus causing life-threatening effects. Besides, it can cause significant pain making your dog more aggressive. Major causes for cancer in Rottweilers include toxic food and genetic, lifestyle characteristics .
Cancer in dogs could be cured if diagnosed in the primary stages. Treatments include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, and immunotherapy . Simultaneously studies have proven that elevating the emotional wellbeing of your Rottweiler by engaging in procreative activities is also helpful in beating cancer.
A healthy diet plays a vital role in preventing your Rottweiler from being a victim of cancer. Their diet should be free from genetically modified food, artificial additives, and other cancer-causing ingredients [13, 15].
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Feeding Rottweilers
We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions that Rottweiler owners have known to ask.
If you have a question not listed here, you can always contact us, and we will give you a reply.
When should I switch from puppy to adult food?
Rottweilers are large breeds and tend to develop slowly, reaching adults at the age of 18 to 24 months. Hence it is advisable to wait for a few more months before transitioning to adult food.
The best way to go about this is to assess the height and weight. When your Rottweiler has attained 90 to 99 percent of their adult size in terms of weight and height, you can begin to feed your Rottweiler adult food.
An adult Rottweiler is about 22 – 27 inches tall (from the ground to the top of your standing dog’s shoulders). Males should weigh about 95 – 135 lbs, while females are slimmer, about 80 – 100 lbs.
If you are unsure about when you should switch to adult food, bring your Rottweiler to the veterinarian to check if it is ready for the switch.
When your Rottweiler is ready to take adult food, switch from puppy food to adult food gently over two weeks by reducing the proportion of puppy food replacing it with adult food.
Should I give supplements for my Rottweiler?
Whether to give supplements or not is a common question for many Rottweiler owners, especially amidst the tempting advertisements that promise many health benefits.
While synthetic vitamin pills are a popular choice, it is healthier to receive vitamins naturally from real high-quality dog food. Synthetic supplements may contain artificial ingredients that are detrimental to your Rottweiler’s health . There is also a high risk of developing more severe conditions due to overdosage of supplements.
Hence, it is highly recommended that you refrain from giving your Rottweiler supplements unless prescribed by a qualified veterinarian.
3. What food should I avoid when feeding my Rottweiler?
Food is metabolized differently by dogs and humans. Therefore, several harmless foods to humans may be poisonous and perhaps fatal to dogs.
For instance, food containing caffeine can cause severe kidney and heart problems in Rottweilers.
Certain food such as onions, leeks, garlic, cabbage, grapes, raisins, avocado, lemon, limes, and macadamia nuts can be poisonous to Rottweilers and trigger allergic reactions.
Also, try to limit salt since this might lead to water deprivation in Rottweilers. Milk also should be fed only in limited amounts as Rottweilers tend to suffer from lactose intolerance, similar to most other breeds .
Rottweilers, considered medium-to-large dogs, are popular guard dogs and police dogs. While they are not a good fit for all owners (especially inexperienced ones), those who take good care of their Rottweilers are richly rewarded with a fiercely protective and loyal companion.
We strongly believe that Inception Dry Dog Food is the best dog food for Rottweilers in general. The protein and fat content falls right in the recommended range, and it takes into consideration the fact that Rottweilers need easily digestible food to support their bowel health.
Nevertheless, every Rottweiler is unique. Do evaluate your Rottweiler’s needs before selecting dog food for it, and always consult a veterinarian’s opinion when you are in doubt.