Diet Recommendations for Rottweilers

The right diet will help keep your rottweiler in top shape.

The right diet will help keep your rottweiler in top shape.

If the fastest way to your rottweiler's heart is through his stomach, you'd better give him a good diet that will help him thrive and stay healthy. Because rottweilers are prone to certain health disorders and are built differently from other breeds, they need a diet specifically tailored to them.

Puppy Health

While it is true that rottweiler puppies seem to grow up in the blink of an eye, it is also true that a lot of caution is needed to prevent rapid growth. If your rottweiler puppy grows too rapidly, he is at higher risk for putting excessive strain on those delicate growing joints. Encouraging a slow but steady growth is the best approach. Avoid overfeeding and providing food that is too calorie-dense; this may lead to serious consequences. To help your puppy's musculoskeletal system develop properly, you must provide balanced ratios of vitamins, minerals, protein, fat, fiber, calcium and phosphorus. Consult with a veterinarian or nutritionist for advice on the best diet to feed your puppy.

Orthopedic Health

To promote healthy joints and prevent your rottweiler from becoming a grumpy, achy fellow as he ages, a diet crafted to support healthy bones and joints is recommended. Because this large breed is prone to arthritis and other orthopedic problems such as hip dysplasia, a diet supplemented with chondroitine and glucosamine may help keep these orthopedic problems at bay. The addition of omega-3 fatty acids also helps support joint health.

Digestive Health

If your rottweiler has a Hoover reputation and inhales his food in a matter of seconds, you need to be concerned about bloat. While the risks for developing this disorder are relatively low in the rottweiler breed compared to other giant breeds, it is best to be safe than sorry. Two factors appear to increase the risks for bloat: small kibble and rapid ingestion. A diet comprising kibble that encourages chewing, while preventing the inhalation of a large quantity of air, is essential according to Royal Canin. Less air means fewer chances for bloat and also less flatulence—a problem many rottweiler owners are very aware of.

Dental Health

Your rottweiler needs a kibble with the right type of texture so his teeth can sink in and get some good scrubbing. The mechanical action of kibble helps scrape tartar away so your Rottweiler can benefit from a natural and effective "brushing" while enjoying his meal. With good chewing habits comes better oral hygiene, but also better digestion, since the food particles are smaller when they reach the stomach, making things easier for the digestive enzymes. Many rottweiler owners find a raw diet the best option for keeping their dogs' teeth in top shape.

Cardiac Health

Your rottweiler may have a big heart when it comes to pleasing you, but his heart needs to be protected against a variety of disorders. Dilated cardiomyopathy and subaortic stenosis are two heart conditions this breed is predisposed to. The dietary addition of taurine and L-carnitine, two vital nutrients essential for a healthy heart, may help keep your loving rottweiler healthy and happy. Essential fatty acids may also help promote good heart contractility.

Overall Health

All dogs need protein in their diets. Your rottweiler will need protein to obtain a steady supply of amino acids responsible for building hair, nails, muscles, skin, ligaments and cartilage. A lack of protein may have detrimental effects on your rottweiler, predisposing him to anemia, muscle atrophy, low hair quality and lowered immune system. If you own an active rottweiler engaging in sports, you want to protect his muscles and tendons from injuries by feeding an optimal quantity and quality of protein. Look for a good-quality protein source listed among the first few ingredients on your dog's bag of food. Good sources include chicken, beef, eggs, lamb, fish and meat meals, according to petMD. Ask your vet or pet nutrition expert for advice on the optimal percentage of protein for your dog and the best diet for his needs.

 

About the Author

Adrienne Farricelli has been writing for magazines, books and online publications since 2005. She specializes in canine topics, previously working for the American Animal Hospital Association and receiving certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Her articles have appeared in "USA Today," "The APDT Chronicle of the Dog" and "Every Dog Magazine." She also contributed a chapter in the book " Puppy Socialization - An Insider's Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness" by Caryl Wolff.

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