Rottweilers are amazing, beautiful dogs with personalities to match. These dogs are smart and easy to train, which is what makes them an excellent working breed. The best dog food for Rottweilers will provide your pet with the nutrition required to build strong muscles, keep his energy up and give his body the nutrients that it needs to thrive.
Before becoming a favorite in the US, the Rottweiler – also known today as “Rottie” – was beloved in Europe as a guard dog as early as 1900. Over the past century, the Rottweiler has fallen in and out of favor. They have appeared on banned breed lists, but thankfully they are making a well-deserved comeback.
The author must show her bias, as I have had several wonderful Rottweilers in my life- both in and out of the veterinary clinic. At the age of 8, my favorite playmate at the babysitter’s was a Rottie named Honda. Rottweiler owners are dedicated and, more often than not, have the best-behaved dog in my waiting room.
The Rottweiler is a medium to large-breed dog with a compact, muscular body, floppy ears and large expressive eyes. They are one of the most recognizable breeds, showing off three color combinations – a shiny black coat with either tan, rust or mahogany points.
As they age, these dogs will begin to slow down. Their calorie intake needs to be adjusted so they do not begin to gain excessive weight. Your veterinarian may also suggest adding supplements to your pooch's diet depending on his unique dietary needs.
Finding the best dog food for Rottweilers is a challenge, because you'll have to alter their diet many times over the course of their lives. Puppies, adults and senior Rotties all have unique nutritional needs. Your dog's weight, activity level and health condition will also factor into his nutritional requirements.
I'll go into more details on the dietary requirements of Rottweilers in just a moment, but for now, here's a quick list of the 5 dog food brands I'll be recommend later in this article. In my opinion, these are some of the best dog food for Rottweilers on the market.
|Dog Food Brands||Price||Value||Rating|
|Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Puppy||$$||$1.58/lb||4.5/5|
|Royal Canin Rottweiler Breed Health Nutrition Adult||$$$||$2.30/lb||4.2/5|
|Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic and Mobility||$$$$||$5.00/lb||4.6/5|
|Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Large Breed||$$||$1.83/lb||4.4/5|
|Purina Pro Plan Additions Chicken and Pumpkin Puree||$$$$$||$10.90/oz||4.3/5|
* Click on the Rottweiler dog food brand for information and prices or scroll down below for more details.
Wary with unfamiliar dogs and people, early socialization is essential for a well-balanced pup. It is recommended to start their socialization before 16 weeks of age. At home the Rottweiler doesn’t know he’s not a lap dog – these gentle giants enjoy a good cuddle!
Rottweilers are loyal and loving but suspicious of strangers. They excel as loyal family dogs, protection dogs, and military/police working dogs. They live about 10-12 years on average.
Rottweilers love to eat. They are “bottomless pits” and will put a dent in your pocketbook if you overfeed them. Overfeeding is not just expensive, it can harm their health. It is important to feed them just enough of the right balance of nutrients from the start.
What's the Best Dog Food for Rottweilers?
top 5 vet recommended brands
How To Feed A Rottweiler
Before switching your dog to any new diet, always consult with a veterinarian. Remember that no article on the internet, including this one, can replace a consultation with a vet.
Large-breed puppies like Rottweilers are more susceptible to malnutrition and developmental orthopedic disease compared to small-breed pups. Many Rottie owners are familiar with these diseases, such as:
- hip dysplasia
- osteochondrosis dessicans (OCD)
- hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD)
While there is a genetic component to these diseases, there are significant nutritional risk factors that play a part during puppyhood. These risk factors (PDF) are rapid growth and excess dietary calcium intake.
To avoid these issues, veterinarians recommend feeding large breed puppy food until Rotties are 12-18 months of age. Always feed per package instructions, as each puppy food is different.
My top pick for the best dog food for Rottweilers that are less than 12 months old is Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Puppy. Hill’s Science Diet has been a leader in pet nutrition since the early 1900's.
Their large-breed puppy formula has been tweaked over the years but provides consistent quality nutrition to promote health growth in Rottweilers. It is fortified with omega-3 fatty acids like DHA to promote healthy brain, joint and skin development. All Hill’s Science Diet products are made in the USA from North American raw materials.
Best Dog Food for Adult Rottweilers
If you are looking for the best dog food for adult Rottweilers or are transitioning from puppy food to adult food, it is a good idea to consult with your veterinarian. Your vet can help determine your Rottweiler’s current body condition score. With this in hand, you can decide which ‘maintenance’ adult diet is best.
Normal Body Condition Rottweilers
A great place to start for an active, normal body weight/condition Rottweiler is Royal Canin Rottweiler Breed Health Nutrition Adult. This adult formula is excellent for adults over 18 months of age. Royal Canin provides the right balance of nutrients to optimize a lean body condition over a lifetime.
Rottweilers are predisposed to joint disease and heart disease. Royal Canin includes anti-aging ingredients like chondroitin sulfate, rosemary extract and tea to help keep your adult Rottie as healthy as possible, as long as possible.
Adult rotties tend to be “chow hounds” and hoover up their food quickly without chewing. Royal Canin has developed their “Rottie” food with this in mind. The shape of the dry kibble encourages the Rottweiler to slow down and chew their food, promoting efficient digestion.
Overweight Adult Rottweilers
It is important to talk to your vet if your Rottie is overweight or has a concurrent health condition, such as atopy, which causes allergic itchy skin. Some foods can target multiple issues. Generally, I reach for Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic and Mobility when Rottweilers become a bit too chunky and they have come to me for help.
This diet is by prescription only but it works beautifully in middle-aged dogs that can’t seem to shed the pounds. Over time, excess weight can cause predispose Rotties to arthritis, so the mobility component will help to keep their joints in top form.
Rottweilers are considered “senior” or “geriatric” around 7 years of age. As they age, their nutritional requirements change as well. Joints start to ache and mental function can start to decline. Active ingredients in my top pick for the best dog food for Rottweilers in their senior years will help your fur baby go strong for as long as possible.
Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Large Breed Formula is my top pick for the best dog food for Rottweilers who 7 years of age or older. Purina Pro Plan uses premium ingredients in their ‘Bright Mind’ line of foods. Purina has also done their homework on how to keep senior dogs healthier for longer –they are one of the pioneers in dog food nutritional research.
This “Bright Mind” formula targets the special needs of an aging Rottie. It contains a unique blend of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA for brain health, glucosamine for joints, prebiotic fibers to aid efficient digestion and botanical oils to enhance mental sharpness.
Their enhanced botanical oils have been shown to promote alertness and mental sharpness in dogs over 7 years of age within 30 days. These medium-chain triglycerides provide ketone bodies as an alternative source of energy for ageing neurons, which may help to slow cognitive dysfunction (“doggy dementia”).
Rottweilers with Defecation Difficulty
Despite an increase in responsible breeding, some Rottweilers develop hip dysplasia and painful arthritis in their hips. Hip pain can actually take a toll on digestion, in that it makes it difficult for the dog posture and defecate.
If you notice that your Rottie is having a hard time walking, squatting or having trouble passing feces, talk to your veterinarian. Medication and dietary supplementation can help. One of the best dog food for Rottweilers can act as a remedy for difficult defecation, and it is also a Purina product.
Purina Pro Plan Additions Chicken and Pumpkin Puree is an easy-to-feed supplement that is a god-send for puppy parents on-the-go. It contains inulin, an important prebiotic fiber that helps stimulate efficient digestion. Pumpkin puree is also my favorite for bulking up the stool, making it easier to pass.
The Doggy Bag – Take Home Message
Rottweilers tend to live the longest, healthiest lives when they are kept in a leaner body condition, receive life-stage-appropriate balanced nutrition and routine veterinary care.
Regardless of which dog food you choose for your furry family member, it is important to follow feeding instructions carefully and consult with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your dog’s health or nutrition.