Rottweiler Looking at Camera

The Best Dog Food for Rottweilers: What To Look For and Nutritional Tips

Is your best buddy a Rottweiler?

If so, lucky you! Rottweilers are loyal, affectionate companions that are both fun and protective.

Single people and families alike love and enjoy their Rotties. The American Kennel Club (AKC) reported the Rottweiler was the 7th most popular dog breed in 2022.

As with any pet, owners need to take time to understand the breed. This insight can help you make important decisions about your dog’s health and well-being.

How are Rottweilers different from other dog breeds? What food should you trust to nourish your beloved pets so they stay healthy and active? Let’s look at the nutrition these special pups need to thrive.

Path to Wellness: Health Considerations for Rottweilers

Being a large breed with a big, strong frame, Rottweilers have different nutritional needs than smaller breeds. Some common health problems and sensitivities with this breed include: 

Joint Health

Since Rottweilers are large dogs, they’re more prone to joint issues like hip and elbow dysplasia, which can lead to arthritis. If these health issues remain unaddressed, they can lead to pain that impacts Rotties’ activity levels, so it's essential to maintain a healthy weight and reduce stress on their joints. 

Adult Rottweiler owners should also consider supplements like glucosamine, chondroitin, and Omega-3 fatty acids to help prevent joint issues and reduce inflammation. But remember, always talk to your vet before adding supplements to your pet’s diet.

Osteosarcoma (Bone Cancer)

Rottweilers rank No. 1 for osteosarcoma, which is an aggressive form of bone cancer. Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW) estimates this type of cancer affects 5-12% of Rotties

While it can occur at any age, it’s typically diagnosed in middle-aged to older dogs. Unfortunately, osteosarcoma is almost 100% fatal unless it’s successfully treated, so early detection and treatment are crucial.


Rottweilers love to eat! Their appetites, combined with a sedentary lifestyle, can easily cause them to become overweight. Rottweiler obesity may aggravate other health issues like joint problems and sensitive stomachs. Feeding them a balanced diet with high nutritional value is key, as is minimizing treats and table foods. Regular exercise like walks, runs, and playing also helps keep your dog at their optimum weight.

Nutritional and Feeding Guidelines for Rottweilers

Not all dog food recipes meet your pet’s unique nutritional requirements. Rottweilers need a consistent diet of rich, high-quality food to maintain their powerful frames and energy levels. This is true for Rottweiler puppies, adults, and seniors. 

By understanding the types of foods that serve this breed best, owners can ensure their beloved pet is getting everything they need to maintain their overall health and feel good.

Low-Carb Diet With Moderate Protein

A low-carb diet is crucial for keeping your Rottweiler healthy. Carbs break down into glucose, which can cause inflammation in your pet. Inflammation can lead to issues throughout your dog’s body like obesity, arthritis, stomach upset, and skin allergies.  

When deciding what to feed your Rottie, opt for foods and treats that are low in carbs and contain nutritious complex carbohydrate sources like brown rice, sweet potatoes, whole oats, and quinoa. Avoid foods with low-value fillers like corn and soy, which have little nutritional value.

Complementing a low-carb diet with moderate protein portions can further bolster Rottweilers’ health. Protein is the building block of your dog’s body, making it an important component of their dietary needs. Choose foods and treats with high-quality protein sources like whole chicken, beef, and wild caught fish listed as the first ingredient.

Joint Health Support

As mentioned previously, Rottweilers are known for having joint issues, especially later in life, so owners should look for offerings that support joint health. Seek out foods that include anti-inflammatory ingredients like alfalfa, celery, ginger, and turmeric.

AAFCO Requirements

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is a group of officials who regulate the sale and distribution of feed. AAFCO establishes standard ingredient definitions and sets nutritional requirements for pet food. Meeting AAFCO guidelines means a pet food has met or exceeded the criteria for being marketed as “complete and balanced” for a certain life stage. If pet food fails to meet these requirements, it shouldn’t be used as your pet’s primary nutrition source.

How do you know if a pet food meets AAFCO requirements? A statement on the packaging tells you if the food contains enough essential nutrients, how they arrived at this conclusion, and notes the food as “complete and balanced” for a certain life stage.

Human Grade Dog Food

Another way to ensure your Rottie’s proper nutrition is to opt for human grade dog food, which offers numerous benefits. This term may be a bit confusing because we aren’t talking about a steak and a baked potato for your Rottweiler — although they would probably chow down on it!

Human grade pet food refers to an end-product that is legally suitable and consumable by a person. Certain pet food ingredients like by-products, chemicals, and fillers are often produced in a way that makes them inedible for humans. 

Portion Control and Feeding Frequency

Controlling your Rottweiler’s portions and managing how often they eat is vital to maintaining their overall health and helping them avoid obesity. Diligently monitor portions and feeding times when they are a puppy and continue as your pet grows.

  • Start with the food’s instructions. Look at the recommended amount of food for your pup’s weight. 
  • Factor in activity level. If you and your pet go on long, frequent runs, you may need to increase their portions. However, if your dog gets minimal exercise, you might decide to cut back from the recommended amounts.
  • Watch the treats. Those big brown Rottie eyes can tempt you to dole out more treats than is good for them if you aren’t careful. Treats aren’t bad, just don’t overdo it. Stock up on healthy, human grade treats, or use things like a spoonful of yogurt, carrot sticks, and peeled apples to reward your pup.
  • Monitor and tweak as needed. As your Rottweiler ages, they may need more (or less) food. Weigh them regularly and adjust their portions accordingly.

Avoid Additives and Artificial Sweeteners

Additives and artificial sweeteners are included in some pet foods. Companies may add things like chicken fat, meat meal, and vegetable oil to make the food taste good and to inexpensively increase the protein content (although, it’s the source of the protein that matters — not just the amount).

Artificial sweeteners like corn syrup and food dyes may be added to make the food look better (to humans) and taste better (to Rotties). These ingredients serve no purpose for your Rottweiler and could trigger allergies, skin irritations, inflammation, and liver and kidney problems.

Best Food for Rottweilers: The Honest Kitchen’s Picks

You now know a bit more about your Rottie’s specific needs when it comes to nutrition. You also know more about what to look for in a pet food and how to judge whether a food brand offers essential nutrition. 

Now, it’s time to look at the best types of food for your pet. Here are some of the best food options for Rottweilers from The Honest Kitchen, along with some true stories that highlight how a high-quality diet makes a difference.

Dehydrated Limited Ingredient Fish

An easy way to be confident your Rottweiler’s food fulfills their needs is to opt for limited ingredients foods. This nutritious recipe is made from six whole foods and 100% human grade ingredients like wild caught salmon, pumpkin, spinach, and fish oil (a natural source of DHA and EPA). The dehydration process seals in the delicious flavor that will have your pup licking their bowl!

Functional Pour Overs: Hip & Joint - Chicken Stew

If your dog suffers from common Rottie joint and hip issues, or you just want to give their dry dog food a little something extra, adding The Honest Kitchen’s Functional Pour Overs can make a big difference. 

This recipe includes quality ingredients like cage-free chicken simmered in bone broth. Then we toss in carrots, butternut squash, tapioca, fish oil, and turmeric for extra taste and joint-friendly nutrition.

99% Meat Protein Boosters

Another way to supercharge your pet’s taste buds and nutrition is to add meat protein boosters to their regular dry dog food. Choose from human grade ingredients like ranch raised beef, wild caught salmon and pollack, and cage free chicken, turkey, and duck. 

These all-natural, grain free recipes have no fillers or artificial preservatives and are delicious additions that will keep your Rottie healthy.

Keep Your Rottweiler’s Health in Top Shape With The Honest Kitchen

Rottweilers are beautiful, fun, loving companions that offer tons of affection. While they are prone to a few unique health issues, you can combat the chances of them with a wholesome, nutritious diet and exercise program. 

Remember, though, this blog is not a replacement for professional advice. Work with your veterinarian to determine the best plan for meeting your pet’s nutritional goals, so your best buddy can be by your side for years to come. 

If you’re looking for a better way to nourish your Rottweiler, The Honest Kitchen has you covered. We are dedicated to providing top-quality, human grade ingredients in all our delicious recipes. And with no artificial preservatives or fillers, you can be confident our food gives your dog what they need and nothing they don’t. 

Try our assortment of tasty 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.

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