Best Dog Food for Dobermans: Comprehensive Feeding Guide and Nutrition Tips

Best Dog Food for Dobermans: Comprehensive Feeding Guide and Nutrition Tips

Doberman Pinschers, with their affectionate, loyal personalities, make them great pets for active owners. Their sleek, muscular frames, and unique, wedge-shaped heads make for a striking animal.

Many active dog owners choose Dobermans as pets. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), Dobermans were the 15th most popular dog breed in 2022. Their easy-to-maintain coats, sweet natures, and keen intellect make them the perfect choice for many Americans.

If you own a Doberman, addressing their nutritional needs is essential from puppyhood through all life stages. 

This article will examine some common health issues in Dobermans and discuss what you should look for in dog food to keep them healthy and happy.

Key Health Considerations for Dobermans

Doberman owners should be aware of specific health considerations this noble large breed is susceptible to. Their high activity levels and other environmental factors can exacerbate genetic predisposition to issues later in life. 

Being aware of these issues early on can help you proactively make healthier choices for your pet and provide them with nutrition and supplements to mitigate future problems.


Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus, or “bloat,” is one of Dobermans’ most common health issues. The illness occurs when the dog’s stomach fills with gas, putting pressure on other organs and cutting off blood flow to the abdomen. 

Signs of bloat include an enlarged abdomen, vomiting, restlessness, and excessive salivation. Bloat can be dangerous and even fatal when left untreated.

Dobermans are especially susceptible to bloat because of their deep, narrow chests, so taking steps to prevent this issue is crucial. Feeding more than once a day, avoiding foods with soybean meal, oils, and fats in the first four ingredients, and using a slow feeder bowl are just a few ways to help combat the risk of bloat. 

Be sure to consult your veterinarian for additional insight on minimizing the risk of this dangerous condition.

Von Willebrand Disease (VWD)

Dobermans have the highest incidences of Von Willebrand Disease (VWD) compared to other breeds. VWD is caused by a deficiency in a specific protein that helps platelets stick together to form blood clots. 

Signs of VWD are spontaneous hemorrhaging or prolonged bleeding after a trauma or surgery. It’s sometimes diagnosed after a pet’s spay or neuter due to excessive bruising and bleeding after the procedure.

Vets can test for VWD and treat it with blood transfusions or Desmopressin acetate (DDAVP).

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia can occur in Dobermans during growth if the ball and socket joint fail to develop at the same pace. It’s a common issue with Dobermans, and vets can screen for the condition by examining your pet’s hips during scheduled check ups.  

Supplements like glucosamine and keeping your pets at a healthy weight can support their joint health, which can help prevent hip dysplasia. If your Doberman is diagnosed with dysplasia, your vet may prescribe weight loss, pain meds, therapy, or a brace to limit movement in the hip joint.

Wobbler Syndrome

Found in 5.5% of Doberman Pinschers, Wobbler syndrome is a neurological disease that affects dogs’ spinal columns at the neck, and it’s almost exclusively diagnosed in giant and large dog breeds. 

Signs of Wobbler syndrome include having a wobbly gait or walking with the head down. Advanced symptoms may include trouble standing up, weakness, and issues with buckling legs.

Treatment for Wobbler Syndrome may include anti-inflammatory medicine, restricted activity, and surgery. Since Wobbler syndrome occurs in the neck area, using a harness instead of a neck leash for walks and outings is a smart move for your Doberman.


Hypothyroidism occurs when a Doberman (or any dog) doesn’t produce enough of the thyroid hormone, which in turn decreases their metabolism. 

Hypothyroid symptoms include weight gain, hair loss, dull coat, sluggishness, and an intolerance to cold weather.

Treatment for this disease may include thyroid replacement hormone medication and a balanced diet for added support. Consult with your veterinarian to determine appropriate nutritional needs and diet recommendations.  

Feeding Guidelines and Nutrition Practices for Dobermans

While you can’t always avoid or control illnesses completely, a healthy diet packed with real ingredients is one of the best ways you can support your Doberman in living a long, healthy life. 

Instead of buying the first dog food you see, think carefully before choosing what you feed your large breed pet. Here are some points to consider.

Human Grade Dog Food

Opting for a human grade dog food brand is a great start to building a diet that contributes to your pet’s long-term wellness. The human grade food designation indicates both the ingredients and the process for making the finished product (including dry dog food, wet food, and treats) is deemed suitable for human consumption.

Poor-quality ingredients that frequently end up in pet food (like by-products, chemicals, fillers, and meat used from diseased, dying, disabled, or deceased animals) do not qualify as human grade. Instead, these foods are considered feed grade.

Meeting AAFCO Requirements

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is a nonprofit organization that provides animal feed laws to the U.S. and Canada. While they cannot enforce their guidance, they are the widely accepted standard for pet food manufacturers.

AAFCO guidelines require labeling to include:

  • Brand and product name
  • Net quantity statement
  • Manufacturer or distributor information
  • Calorie content statement
  • Nutritional adequacy statement
  • Guaranteed analysis
  • Ingredient list
  • Species designations
  • Feeding instructions

Dog foods that meet AAFCO requirements are considered “complete and balanced,” helping to ensure your Doberman gets adequate nutrition from puppyhood and beyond. 

High-Quality Proteins

Protein is essential for Dobermans to build their strong frames and maintain their energy levels. Look for dog food with the main protein source listed as the first ingredient on the label.

The best protein sources for your Doberman are:

  • Wild caught fish: Salmon and other wild-caught fish provide your dog with protein along with omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, and vitamin D.
  • Chicken: Poultry-based pet foods offer plenty of protein, omega-6 fatty acids, and amino acids.
  • Duck: If duck is the main ingredient, you can be confident your pet is eating food rich in iron, vitamin A, phosphorus, calcium, and B vitamins.
  • Beef: Beef is an excellent protein source and also provides your dog with potassium, B vitamins, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus.

No Highly Processed Ingredients 

Meat meal and other highly processed ingredients are not the best nutrition for your Doberman and they can be hard for pups with sensitive stomachs to digest. Additionally, processing can cause the original ingredients to lose much of their nutritional value. 

No Unidentifiable Meats

Doesn’t the very thought of unidentifiable meat make you say, “Yuck!”? We agree. Dog food that doesn’t identify the meat used is probably lacking in quality and nutrition. 

You may see this listed as poultry meal, meat meal, animal digest, or beef meal. Unidentified meat may be from multiple animal sources or may have come from diseased, disabled, dying, or deceased animals.  Opt for pet food that lists high-quality ingredients on the label.

Best Food for Dobermans: The Honest Kitchen’s Picks

Choosing a comprehensive diet that is easy to digest and that your Doberman wants to eat can be tricky. With our whole food ingredients, stringent quality control standards, and commitment to delivering complete and balanced nutrition with no artificial preservatives, we have you covered. 

Read on for our top picks for what you should feed your Doberman and check out these true stories from our happy customers.

Dehydrated Limited Ingredient Fish 

The dehydration process keeps taste and nutrition front and center for your pup’s delight. Featuring white fish, coconut, pumpkin, chickpeas, celery, and spinach, this delicious limited ingredient recipe is chock full of the nutrients your Doberman needs to stay healthy. 

Functional Pour Overs: Hip & Joint - Chicken Stew

Rev up even the pickiest eater’s appetite when you add this pourable stew to their dry dog food. Packed with chicken, bone broth, carrots, butternut squash, fish oil, and turmeric, this recipe helps support your Doberman’s joint health so they can stay active for years to come.

Whole Grain Chicken Clusters

What more could your best buddy want than human grade ingredients pressed into bite-sized clusters? With cage free chicken for protein, oat and barley for carbs, along with veggies, flaxseed, amino acids, and antioxidants, this recipe is dried slowly with low heat, retaining much more nutritional value than standard kibbles.

99% Meat Protein Boosters

Farm raised beef and cage free chicken, turkey, and duck… yes, please! Our USA-made variety booster pack gives your Doberman a healthy addition of all-natural, grain free goodness on top of their regular dog food.

Nurture your Doberman’s Nutrition With The Honest Kitchen

Dobermans are noble, active dogs that provide their owners with years of affection, companionship, and loyalty. Knowing about common illnesses that affect them is essential for keeping your pet healthy and happy as the years go by. 

The Honest Kitchen, with our wide array of products, provides a convenient way to feed your pup a high-quality, human grade diet. Check out our complete line of tasty pet food recipes today!

*Health Disclaimer: This post is educational in nature and doesn’t constitute health advice. Please consult your pet's veterinarian or other healthcare professional for specific guidance on this topic.
Back to Blog