Rottweilers aren’t necessarily big height-wise, but they’re very dense dogs. They’re naturally rippling with muscle, but despite their intimidating looks, these dogs are intensely loyal to their person (or people).
Their love of cuddling with their family is perfectly balanced by a love of playing hard and long walks. The breed is pretty safe from most genetic diseases that plague large breeds, but they can develop some musculoskeletal issues just because of their stature.
Learn how to feed your Rottweiler a diet suited to their development and size, and you’ll have a healthy dog for years to come.
The Rotwieller Big Dog Diet
The caloric needs of a Rottweiler are pretty high! These guys are almost pure muscle, and to keep up with that mass, the average healthy, active adult Rottie of around 120 pounds needs about 2200 calories per day.
Protein Requirements in Rotwiellers
Big dogs don’t need much more protein than a medium-sized dog, but if your Rottweiler is active, a slightly higher amount might be appropriate. A typical Rottweiler does just fine with a food containing about 25 percent protein. A Rottie with a job or one who does a lot of heavy activity could maybe use a higher amount of protein.
There is definitely such a thing as too much protein. This can damage kidneys, exacerbate existing kidney problems, and even turn into fat. Talk with your vet before you decide your dog needs a higher protein ratio in their food. High protein foods are pretty expensive, anyways, so you don’t want to be shelling out tons of cash for a food that isn’t that good for your dog.
Rotwiellers Carbohydrate Requirements
A Rottweiler’s daily caloric needs are high, but those calories need to be from quality ingredients. Weight lifters eat a lot, but they aren’t loading up on processed junk food. There aren’t things like high fructose corn syrup in dog food, but corn is a very common filler ingredient. Corn’s a simple carbohydrate, so it provides short bursts of energy by spiking blood sugar. When the carbs are fully metabolized, though, your dog’s glucose crashes.
Complex carbs are nutrient dense, eliminating empty calories in dog food recipes. The energy provided by complex carbs is longer lasting and doesn’t crash blood sugar once the carbs are metabolized. Find a dog food that uses ingredients like sweet potatoes and brown rice as the main source of carbs.
Simple carbs also lead to excess weight, and Rottweilers are prone to obesity. Complex carbs are less likely to cause weight gain because they’re whole, non-processed foods.
Using Good Nutrition to Prevent Rotwieller Health Problems
Osteochondritis dissecans is a bone disorder usually occurring in the shoulders of large breed dogs. When cartilage is being replaced by bone as the puppy is developing in utero, this process is sometimes interrupted. This keeps bone from replacing the cartilage, so there’s cartilage where they should be bone. This is an incredibly painful disease, leading to lameness (getting worse after exercise), inability to bear weight on the affected limb, and muscle wasting due to lameness.
Minor cases of OCD can be managed with anti-inflammatories and physical therapy, but surgery to remove the cartilage is often in the dog’s future. If the condition is caught and treated early on, your Rottweiler can go on to live a relatively normal life. However, if the OCD is allowed to progress or your dog has a very severe case, they may require euthanasia when their quality of life depletes.
Since OCD develops before your dog is even born, it’s impossible to prevent the condition. Ensuring the mother has good nutrition during gestation is important, but before you purchase a Rottweiler puppy from a breeder, ask for orthopedic screenings of the puppy’s mom and dad to ensure your dog isn’t going to inherit OCD.
If your dog has OCD, weight management is incredibly important. Excess weight on malformed bones and joints is going to exacerbate the disease, worsen symptoms, and cause unnecessary discomfort for your dog.
Hip Dysplasia in Rotwiellers
Hip dysplasia means there is an abnormal joint structure in the hip sockets. The muscles, connective tissue, and ligaments are too lax, meaning they don’t support the hip joint and the surface of the bones lose contact with each other. Symptoms of hip dysplasia are pelvic pain, an altered gait, and pain after exercising.
Dogs with hip dysplasia are typically normal at birth, but they start to show symptoms as young as five months old. Rottweilers are a breed genetically predisposed to the disease because of irresponsible breeding. Before you purchase a puppy, always ensure the parents have been screened for hip dysplasia.
Hip dysplasia is manageable with NSAIDs, physical therapy, and laser treatments, but it isn’t curable. Some dogs have such bad hip dysplasia that they need major orthopedic surgery to receive a hip replacement. In terms of diet, food with plenty of essential fatty acids is going to support their joint health by helping with joint lubrication.
You can’t expect a large dog like a Rottweiler to thrive on a cheap dog food. When you have a big dog, you’ll want to provide a dog food that’s rich with whole food-based nutrients to keep them as active and healthy as possible.