What Is the Best Dog Food for a Rottweiler?
Rottweilers are a large breed of dog with a reputation for being fierce and effective guard dogs, but if socialized well from a young age they can also make good family pets. In fact, Rottweilers are the ninth most popular dog breed in America. They are clever, well built dogs that were traditionally bred to pull carts. Today working Rotties may herd livestock, or work as search and rescue or guide dogs.
Rottweilers have a strong, bulky appearance and can weigh from 75 up to 130lbs, reaching a height of 22-27 inches. They can be prone to weight gain, so owners need to keep an eye on how much they eat and not free feed. Rotties are active dogs that need a lot of daily exercise to maintain peak health and avoid gaining excess weight.
How much a Rottie should eat depends on variables such as its weight, age and activity levels. As a guide, there is a recommendation from the National Research Council of National Academies that an active 90lb adult Rottweiler should consume around 2100 calories a day. Dogs that get little exercise, whether due to age or lifestyle, will need to eat fewer calories to avoid weight gain, whereas growing puppies will need more energy to support their development.
To maintain good health, Rottweilers, like all dogs, need a diet that provides sufficient good quality meat protein, as well as fat for energy. Most kibble and wet dog food today far exceeds the minimum recommended protein and fat levels, so owners should not need to worry about this, so long as the number one ingredient is a quality meat protein and the fat is a healthy fat.
The meat in wet and dry dog food recipes is often mixed with a high amount of carbohydrates, such as grains or rice, which tend to be cheaper and help brands keep their prices down. Dogs are omnivores so it is OK for them to consume some plant based ingredients as well as meat. However, some owners are concerned that a diet too high in high glycemic carbohydrates can lead to serious health issues such as diabetes and obesity. There are some super premium brands that offer very low carb, high protein dog food. This comes with a hefty price tag, but some owners feel it is worth paying more to keep their dog in the best health.
Grain free or limited diet dog foods are other options for owners to consider, particularly if their Rottweiler has food sensitivities or skin allergies linked to specific ingredients, although skin and digestive issues are not an especially common problem for Rottweilers.
As mentioned, Rottweilers as a breed can tend to put on too much weight, which can lead to heart or breathing problems and aggravate joint problems such as arthritis or hip or elbow dysplasia. Owners should measure their dog’s food portions to prevent overfeeding. Adult Rottweilers generally only require two meals per day. Puppies may need three meals per day while they are on puppy food.
Rottweilers are a quick growing breed and it is thought that this is associated with joint issues in later life, such as hip or elbow dysplasia. For this reason, many owners choose a Rottweiler specific puppy food that has been specially formulated to encourage a slower rate of growth.
It is thought that glucosamine and chondroitin, which are often added to large breed dog food, can help support joint health and help prevent hip and elbow dysplasia. However, a vet can advise on whether the quantities added to a particular brand of dog food offer adequate protection for a Rottweiler, or whether more benefits can be gained from taking an additional supplement.