Rottweilers are a breed prone to digestive troubles such as bloat, chronic colitis, food allergies and metabolic problems. Even though they look ferocious enough to eat whatever they want, Rottweilers's diets should be limited and monitored carefully.
Consult with your veterinarian before changing your dog's diet. A vet who is familiar with the problems of the breed can offer nutritional advice to keep the pup healthy.
The Commercial Diet
Rottweilers must eat a diet that is 22 percent to 26 percent protein to maintain their health. They should eat whole proteins from various sources, such as:
Dry foods are the most commonly available commercial foods. Premium kibbles work out best, provided they follow these guidelines:
- Proteins from animals should be the first few ingredients, listed as lamb or lamb meal, for example
The food, dry or otherwise, should not contain the preservatives
BHA, BHT or ethoxyquin or be high in sodium
Choose foods tailored to your dog's age and activity level, which will offer the right amounts of proteins and fats
Pick foods with rice rather than corn or wheat for easier digestibility
Whole Food Diets
Before feeding your dog a raw diet of any kind, do your research to see how to properly manage it. Raw food items such as chicken and beef can contain salmonella and E. coli bacteria, which are dangerous to humans.
If a commercial diet makes the dog ill, a whole food diet may be the answer. Dr. Ian Billinghurst, the founder of the BARF diet, claims that everything from skin and joint problems to reproduction and dysplasia were helped over several years by switching dogs to his raw food diet.
Raw diets often include:
- Muscle meat
- Raw eggs
Doug Knueven, DVM, of the Beaver Animal Clinic in Beaver, Pa., cautions that not all dogs should be on a raw diet, especially puppies, since they may suffer from growth problems due to an imbalance in necessary nutrients.
Feeding a Rottweiler
According to PetCareRx, Rottweiler puppies often benefit from being fed adult food, which helps balance their rapid growth. Growing too fast will give these large dogs problems with their joints such as elbow and hip dysplasia. Overfeeding will also lead to joint problems as the dog becomes obese and bloat as the dog overeats.
Not everything that a Rottie is prone to can be overcome or mitigated by a proper diet; however, many of the gastrointestinal problems can be, and that makes for a few less problems in the dog's hopefully long life.
- PetCareRx: Rottweiler Diet and Allergies
- North East Rottweiler Rescue and Referral: So Now You Own a Rottweiler
- The Everything Rottweiler Book; Margaret Holowinski
- WebMD Healthy Dogs: Raw Dog Food - Dietary Concerns, Benefits, and Risks; Elizabeth Lee
- Rottweilers Online: Is Your Rottweiler Prone to Bloat?
Dondi Ratliff is a certified secondary English teacher in Texas. Her articles typically cover topics regarding animals both wild and domesticated. Ratliff holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Tarleton State University, a Master of Arts in teaching from Texas Woman's University, and a Master of Arts in English from Tarleton State University.