Rottweilers are wonderful dogs. Sure, their large stature can be a little menacing and intimidating, but they are big softies at heart, and their love and loyalty to their families can make them a wonderful addition to any home.
Because a Rottweiler can grow anywhere from 70 to 130 lbs. depending on the size of their parents, it’s not surprising that they may be prone to certain health conditions and often require a specialized diet that begins as a puppy.
Since they are such big dogs, a rottweiler pup grows quickly. Not having the proper nutritional balance can mean your puppy will not grow at the proper rate. Whether that means they are growing too slowly or too quickly, it could result in the improper development of bones, muscles, and joints.
It’s easy to see why the right diet is important for the well-being of your Rottweiler puppy, but that doesn’t mean it’s any easier to make the right decision. That’s why we’ve put together some helpful tips and reviews of our top choices for the best food for your rottweiler puppy.
The Importance of a Balanced Diet
Like most other large breed dogs, Rottweilers tend to be somewhat more prone to health issues. While some are hereditary, passed down from their parents, and others that are simply known issues with the breed that can be hard to avoid, there are some that you as a Rotty dog owner can help avoid with the right diet.
● Musculoskeletal Issues
Most large dogs are more prone to musculoskeletal issues such as hip dysplasia, arthritis, and other joint problems. Just because your puppy may be more susceptible to these issues doesn’t mean that there is nothing you as their parent can do about it, and it starts with the right diet as a puppy.
These musculoskeletal issues tend not to develop until later in a Rottweiler’s life but can often be linked to their life as a puppy. The proper high-protein diet with the right amount of calcium and phosphorus will ensure that your pup is getting what they need while perfectly balancing growth.
Certain breeds are much more likely to develop allergies than others. Rottweilers are one of those breeds, and it’s something that many people are not aware of until their dog begins developing these allergies.
Common allergies for a Rottweiler include wheat, corn, and soy, but can also include proteins like beef, chicken, and pork. Because a Rotty needs a high-protein diet, it may not always be possible to avoid some of these ingredients, but you can help reduce the chance of triggering food allergies by feeding your pup a high-quality food that is limited in its ingredients.
● Gastric Dilation
Gastric dilation, commonly known as bloat, is a condition where a dog’s stomach fills with air and then begins to twist, cutting off blood flow and quickly becoming life-threatening.
Because of their often-gluttonous nature, Rottweilers are more susceptible to bloat than many other dog breeds. Whether a puppy or an adult, Rottweilers tend to eat very quickly, and if allowed to, will overeat without hesitation. Eating too much or too fast will cause your pup to take in air while they do and possibly lead to Gastric Dilation.
While it’s not something you can control with a specific food, bloat is something that you should control while your dog is still a puppy by teaching them self-control to slow their eating down and by not overfeeding them.
Take their gluttonous nature and combine it with the fact that they are not always the most motivated breed when it comes to getting exercise, and it’s not surprising that Rottweilers are susceptible to becoming obese.
A properly formulated puppy food made specifically for large breed dogs is crucial during the puppy stage as the controlled calories help avoid unnecessary weight gain. Of course, it is up to you as a puppy parent to ensure that they are eating the right amount and getting enough exercise, but the right puppy food will go a long way in helping to avoid obesity.
Understanding Your Rottweiler Puppy’s Nutritional Needs
Anyone with a new puppy understands all too well just how overwhelming it can be trying to find the right food. When bringing their pets home for the first time, puppy parents are likely to continue with the same food that the breeder used, but this will change as the puppy grows. So, what should you look for when trying to find the right food for your Rottweiler puppy?
● High-Quality Protein
All dogs are carnivores and therefore require protein. Protein is the most important nutrient for any dog, even more so when it comes to large breeds like Rottweilers. While it’s true that protein can come from plant-based ingredients, there is no true substitute for meat.
Good puppy food will have one or more meats listed as one of the top ingredients. The ingredients listed first are the most prevalent in the food, so you want to make sure that meat like chicken, beef, pork, or fish is one of the first ones on the list. While many foods will combine a single meat with grains, an array of different meats is even better as each one will provide its own source of amino acids that help strengthen a puppy’s muscles.
Try to avoid foods that don’t have specific meat listed on the label. If the label doesn’t tell you what kind of meat is in the food, then the source could be questionable at best and possibly be nothing more than filler that does nothing to help your puppy grow.
For that same reason, try to avoid foods that say things like chicken byproducts, as again, the source is questionable. Many foods these days contain byproducts, so it might not be that easy to avoid, but at the very least, you should make sure that it is not one of the top ingredients.
Fat is something that most people try to avoid in their diet, but for a puppy, fat is an essential source of energy, and we all know how energetic a growing pup can be.
A Rottweiler will more than likely get all their fat intake needs from the same meat that provides them with protein, but it doesn’t hurt to have a little extra, and Omega 3 fatty acid can be a good source for that. Not only will ingredients like fish oil provide an extra fat boost for energy, but it also helps maintain a strong and healthy coat.
Carbs are another excellent source of energy for your young Rottweiler. Carbs provide some energy, but also play an important role in controlling blood sugar levels.
When trying to choose the right food for your Rottweiler puppy, it’s important to understand the difference between the basic carbohydrates that many cheaper foods use and complex carbohydrates found in more expensive foods.
While ingredients like corn, wheat, and soy will provide your puppy with carbs, they are carbs that will be quickly absorbed and used up, resulting in energy crashes between meals. These are also the same ingredients that a Rottweiler dog is more likely to be allergic to. Try to avoid the cheaper foods that use these ingredients as their source of carbohydrates.
Instead, find food that provides your puppy with complex carbohydrates like oats, beans, or sweet potatoes. Your puppy will absorb these carbs more slowly throughout the day and therefore have a more controlled supply of energy and better-balanced sugar levels.
● Calcium and Phosphorus
The biggest difference between a food formulated specifically for a puppy and one for an adult dog is the inclusion of calcium and phosphorus. Both calcium and phosphorus are key in the development of a puppy’s teeth and bones. These nutrients may not be something that you have to specifically look for in a food as all puppy formulated foods contain both calcium and phosphorus, but they are why you need to feed your young Rottweiler puppy food and not a food formulated for adult dogs.
● Fruits and Vegetables
As mentioned above, protein is key to providing the nutrients your pup needs, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore fruits and vegetables. They can be an excellent source of both antioxidants and vitamins that help build and maintain a healthy immune system.
Quality puppy food will include some fruits and vegetables, but you can also add some of your own. Adding things like fresh blueberries, spinach, and carrots to your Rottweilers meals can help give their immune system an extra boost.
But that also raises the question of what fruits and vegetables are safe for your Rottweiler. There are certain things that you should avoid, like grapes, onions, and garlic, as they can cause harm in the long run.
With that said, here is a quick list of some of the fruits and vegetables that are beneficial to your pup:
- Sweet Potato
The Right Feeding Schedule for Your Growing Rottweiler Puppy
Just as important as the ingredients in your Rottweilers food is their feeding schedule. A properly balanced diet doesn’t just mean what you feed them but how you feed them. The right food paired with the right schedule will mean your pup is happy and healthy and will reduce the risk of him or her being overly lethargic and possibly becoming overweight.
Every dog expert will have a different answer about how much you should be feeding your Rottweiler puppy and how often you should be doing so. Rottweilers can grow at an almost alarming rate, reaching 75% of their full size in the first year. That’s why it’s important to have the right balance. Reputable breeders and veterinarians alike will know your pup the best, but to help, here is a general guideline:
- First things first, never free feed your Rottweiler puppy. They are gluttonous dogs, and if left to their own devices as far as eating, they will not stop, some even overeating to the point of inducing vomiting. Free feeding is a quick way to lead to obesity and health problems later in life.
- How much you feed your Rottweiler changes considerably as they grow, to the point where it will seem as if you are continuously changing the amount of food you are giving him or her. It’s important to know that you should spread out feeding throughout the day to provide the right balance. Most Rottweiler puppies are good with being fed 3 times a day, but that could also vary based on your puppy. You may find they are more likely to finish a meal if those meals are spread out to 4 or 5 times a day.
- From there, the amount of food per meal will vary depending on weight. A puppy 10lbs or less needs ¾ of a cup to 1 ¾ of a cup per meal, assuming it is eating 3 times a day. For every 10 to 20lbs that your puppy gains, this is going to increase.
- As mentioned, this schedule is very general and will more than likely not be the same as what you may have to feed your pup. If they are gobbling down their food and looking for more, increase it slightly. On the other hand, if they are walking away from an unfinished bowl, decrease the amount. You should always follow the advice of your veterinarian, as no one knows your puppy better than they do.
The Best Food for Your Rottweiler Puppy
As with any puppy, it’s hard to pinpoint the perfect formula for your Rottweiler, everyone is unique, and their needs are all going to be different. To help get you started in the right direction, here the best foods for your Rottweiler puppy on the market today.
1. Hills Science Diet Large Breed Puppy
As a company that dates back to the 1940s, Hill’s is no stranger to providing quality, healthy food for any pet. Their Science Diet large breed puppy food is specially formulated to meet all the needs of your rapidly growing Rottweiler.
Containing all-natural ingredients, Hill’s Science Diet uses chicken as a quality source of protein as well as flaxseed and fish oils that produce a higher fat content, providing your puppy with a healthy dose of Omega fatty acids.
The food is also rich in Vitamins E and D and is full of antioxidants that boost a growing puppy’s delicate immune system. Include the fact that it is higher in both calcium and phosphorus than many others, and you’ve got a puppy food that will give your Rottweiler everything he or she needs to grow up a healthy and happy dog.
What Customers Think: Hill’s Science Diet has one of the highest Amazon Ratings of any puppy food for good reason. Not only does it come highly recommended by many veterinarians, but puppies love its great taste. So much so that Hill’s has a money-back guarantee and if your pup doesn’t love it, you can return any uneaten portion of a bag for a full refund.
Amazon Rating: 4.8 Stars
- All-natural ingredients
- Perfectly balanced minerals to promote proper growth
- Added fish oils for better fat intake
- Vet recommended
- Money-back guarantee
- Does contain ingredients that Rottweilers can be allergic to
2. Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy Food
Take a quick look at the back of a bag of Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy Food, and it is easy to understand why it is one of the most trusted dog food brands around.
The first ingredient is deboned chicken, and it provides the 26% protein content that is ideal for your growing Rottweiler. From there, Eukanuba optimizes the calcium and phosphorus needed for proper bone and muscle growth and adds to its clinically proven DHA levels, important in the development of your puppy’s brain.
Eukanuba understands a puppy’s need for concentrated energy, which is why they use complex carbohydrates to ensure that those energy levels are spread out between meals and your pup doesn’t experience crashes throughout the day.
What Customers Think: Here’s another large breed puppy food that comes highly recommended by veterinarians, customers love the complete and clinically balanced formula that Eukanuba provides.
Customers who have had issues with their puppy’s not enjoying other foods or those foods upsetting their stomachs have found that switching to Eukanuba has made their pups enjoy mealtime more and reversed some of the ailments.
Amazon Rating: 4.7 Stars
- Perfect amount of protein levels for a growing Rottweiler
- Clinically proven DHA levels make puppies smarter and easier to train
- Optimal calcium and phosphorus level
- Use of complex carbohydrates
- Added ingredients to promote a healthy, shiny coat
- Contains animal byproducts and cornmeal
3. Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy Food
Purina is the choice for many breeders because they provide high-quality food that is often much more affordable than comparable brands.
Their Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy food contains everything you would expect from a quality puppy food, including high protein levels from natural chicken, DHA for brain development, Omega Fatty Acids, and calculated calcium levels. The food also contains a healthy level of probiotics to promote good digestion.
The only reason this food isn’t higher on this list is that it does contain a lot of corn products, something that could be considered a filler ingredient.
What Customers Think: Note that because of the added probiotics, some customers found this food gave their puppy diarrhea, which can be an issue with many foods and doesn’t necessarily reflect the food itself but rather a puppy’s sensitive stomach.
Customers love the fact that they can get high-quality, vet-recommended food at a price that is often much lower than some of the other similar brands on the market today. While many people will shy away from cheaper food, afraid that it will not provide the right nutrition, price does not always reflect quality.
Amazon Rating: 4.7 Stars
- Protein ratio higher than many other puppy foods
- Includes several vitamins and antioxidants
- Infused with probiotics
- Uses DHA and fish oils for good brain and eye development
- Uses many different corn products
4. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Puppy Formula
Like much other quality large breed dog food, Blue Buffalo uses chicken as its main source of protein and is the top ingredient, making up 35% of the ingredients, more than any other food on this list, and an essential need for your growing Rottweiler.
Blue Buffalo uses only the highest quality all-natural ingredients and enhances them with a precise mixture of vitamins and minerals rich in antioxidants to provide your puppy with the best possible nutrition.
What sets this food apart from others are small morsels they call LifeSource Bits. These bits are mixed in with the kibble and made from natural plant-based ingredients like blueberries, cranberries, and alfalfa, providing the source for those extra vitamins and minerals.
What Customers Think: The biggest complaint that customers had for Blue Buffalo was the cost, but for most, it was easy to overlook because of the quality, healthy ingredients that their puppies loved. Puppies love the taste so much that owners could often use the kibble as treats and training tools.
Amazon Rating: 4.6 Stars
- High in protein
- Excellent blend of vitamins and minerals
- LifeSource Bits provide healthy plant-based ingredients
- Vet recommended
- No artificial flavors
- No fillers
- High price