Dobermans have big ears and even bigger personalities. They’re also one of the most active breeds out there.
Part of the working group of canines, Dobermans are built to be swift. With their compact, sleek, and muscular build, they’re sure to be energetic all day.
Because of this, they need healthy fats and carbohydrates to keep their energy up.
Looking for the best dog food for your Doberman? Well, look no further.
I’ve reviewed 10 of the best options — with my favorite being AvoDerm Original Chicken Meal & Brown Rice dog food.
I’ve also reviewed nine other dog foods too, to help you find only the very best for your beloved velcro dog.
Our Best Dog Food for Dobermans
- AvoDerm Original Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Dog Food (Best for Adult Dobermans)
- Holistic Select For Large & Giant Breed Puppies Dog Food (Best for Doberman Puppies)
- Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Adult & Senior Dry Dog Food (Best for Senior Dobermans)
- VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food (Best for More Active Dobermans)
- Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best for Dobermans with Food Sensitivities)
- Newman’s Own Dinner for Dogs Wet Dog Food (Best Wet Food for Dobermans)
- Nom Nom Now Fresh Dog Food (Best Fresh Dog Food for Dobermans)
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best Budget Dog Food for Dobermans)
- Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Weight Management Dog Food (Best for Weight Loss)
- Solid Gold Fit & Fabulous Low Fat Adult Dry Dog Food (Best Low Fat Option for Hypothyroidism)
10 Best Dog Foods for Dobermans Reviewed
All of the dog foods listed below meet the AAFCO nutrient profile guidelines. Before switching your dog’s food, please consult with your veterinarian.
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Ground White Rice, Oatmeal, Chicken Fat
- Key Feature: Great overall dog food with avocado for skin health
AvoDerm Chicken Meal and Brown Rice Formula is a great overall food for Dobermans, offering high quality protein and moderate fats — plus ingredients like avocado. And yes, Avocado is safe for dogs with moderate use!
This formula’s slightly larger kibble size is perfect for larger dogs like Dobermans, which will help keep bloat and possible choking (from eating too fast) at bay.
This recipe is pressure cooked to preserve the ingredients naturally. It contains no preservatives, artificial colors, flavors, or by-products.
It’s also gluten free, pea free, and made without corn, wheat, and soy.
Chicken meal and herring meal provide protein and offer nutrients like glucosamine to support joints. On top of that, avocados and avocado oil are added for omega fatty acids to promote a healthy coat and skin, as well as good heart health.
Brown rice and oatmeal provide complex carbohydrates, and prebiotic fiber to keep your dog regular. Tomato pomace offers antioxidants that may prevent heart disease and other diseases like cancer.
- First 5 Ingredients: Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Barley
- Key Feature: High in probiotics and omega fatty acids for growing Doberman puppies
Large breed puppies like Dobermans require a lot of nutrition, including higher percentages of fat and protein than their adult counterparts need. This helps encourage proper growth, healthy brains, and happy tummies, all without forcing them to grow too quickly.
Because of that, the food you choose during the beginning of your Doberman’s life is important. And Holistic Select Large and Giant Breed Puppy dog food ticks all the boxes that it should.
First, it includes larger kibble pieces to encourage your puppy to actually chew their food, which helps reduce choking hazards as well as helps avoid overeating.
This formula includes probiotics from cranberries, pumpkin, and pomegranates to promote a healthy gut. Taurine is also supplemented to support nerve growth and boost cognitive function.
Omega fatty acids from salmon oil and flaxseed offer skin and coat support, keeping your Doberman itch-free and shiny.
And meat meals from lamb and chicken provide healthy and hearty proteins, as well as include high levels of glucosamine to protect joints.
Holistic Select food is made in the USA and doesn’t include any unnatural preservatives, food dyes, or fillers.
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Split Peas
- Key Feature: Low fat dog food formulated for large breed seniors like Dobermans
Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Senior dog food was formulated for large breed senior dogs to provide the nutrition they need with the flavor they crave.
With real chicken as the very first ingredient, your Doberman will get all the best protein as well as glucosamine and chondroitin to support their aging joints.
Antioxidants from dried beet pulp, pumpkin, and kale support their immune systems, while also providing fiber for good digestion. Plus, this formula is made without GMO ingredients, chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat, and soy.
This food also includes both brown rice and brewers rice, which provide energy while also being low on the glycemic index — which can help older dogs with thyroid issues and diabetes.
The best part about this food is that it’s specifically designed for large breed seniors. This means that while it offers moderate amounts of protein to keep lean muscle mass, it is still lower in calories and fat.
This helps keep your Doberman’s weight in check, especially as they’re slowing down in life.
- First 5 Ingredients: Beef Meal, Grain Sorghum, Chicken Fat, Pork Meal, Chicken Meal
- Key Feature: High protein dog food for Dobermans
Dobermans are energetic — which means lots of exercise and lots of needed protein. Because of this, you may be leaning more towards a higher protein dog food with higher quality meats.
Victor Classic Hi-Pro dog food is a nutrient-dense formula made with premium-quality beef, chicken, fish, and pork meals. These provide energy for your Doberman’s high physical demands, while keeping their muscles lean and strong.
Organic dried seaweed, carrot powder, and tomato pomace offer antioxidants, vitamin A, and vitamin C for immune support and eye health.
This food is also ideal for all life stages, including growing puppies, pregnant and lactating females, and even senior dogs. With this being the case, you could feed this food to your Doberman their entire life and always watch them thrive.
It’s gluten free and doesn’t include any corn, peas, wheat, or soy. It’s also free of meat by-products and artificial preservatives and flavors.
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Yellow Peas, Potatoes, Potato Starch, Chicken Meal
- Key Feature: Sensitive stomach formula for Dobermans with allergies and food sensitivities
Common allergens for Dobermans include beef, milk, and corn. And if your Doberman is allergic to multiple ingredients, it can be even harder to find a dog food that fits their needs.
This recipe comes highly recommended by many veterinarians for dogs with allergies and food sensitivities. It can also be beneficial for dogs who have environmental allergies, due to the oils and minerals added.
The first ingredient is fresh chicken to help maintain a healthy heart. Beet pulp then offers natural prebiotics to nourish the digestive tract and promote nutrient absorption from the other ingredients in the food.
Potatoes and yellow peas round out the major nutrients, offering carbohydrates and further promoting gut health and cholesterol control.
Apples and cranberries are packed with antioxidants and vitamins E and C to promote healthy immune function. And flaxseed provides both omega-3 and 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.
The formula is also grain-free, and doesn’t include any of the top allergens that Dobermans can suffer from.
- First 5 Ingredients: Organic Chicken, Ocean Whitefish, Organic Brown Rice, Carrots, Oat Bran, Flaxseed
- Key Feature: Holistic wet dog food with organic ingredients
While they are well known for their human food options, Newman’s Own also makes wet dog food with the same wholesome ingredients. Their holistic wet foods are super simple — besides added vitamins, each formula only includes 10 real food ingredients.
Organic chicken and ocean whitefish offer protein, DHA, and omega fatty acids to assist in heart and brain health. Organic brown rice and oat bran provide complex carbs, as well as help in controlling blood sugar levels.
Kelp, flaxseed, and carrots offer plenty of vitamins and minerals — including manganese for cardiovascular health, vitamin A for healthy eye support, and also extra protein.
Due to their size and being prone to dilatation cardiomyopathy, focusing on cardiovascular health for your Doberman is especially important.
However, keep in mind that even though this formula has both chicken and fish, it’s not a high protein food. If your Doberman requires a higher protein diet (30% or more), this food should be used in addition to their kibble.
This food is suitable for all life stages. It doesn’t include wheat, corn, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
It’s also made with natural and organic ingredients entirely in the USA.
- First 5 Ingredients: Ground Beef, Russet Potatoes, Eggs, Carrots, Peas
- Key Feature: Dog food made with real and fresh ingredients
Raw and fresh food can add up in cost. But if you want to offer your Doberman a customized diet filled with healthy and fresh meats, fruits, and vegetables, Nom Nom Now offers it for an affordable price.
First, you’ll get started by taking a quiz about your Doberman. You’ll be asked specific questions so that they can offer the best complete and balanced diet tailored to your dog.
Just a few of the questions include their weight, body type (and if they need to lose or gain weight), how they eat, if they’re picky, and any health issues they may have.
From there, Nom Nom Now will calculate the perfect diet for your Doberman.
You can choose between beef, turkey, chicken, or pork — or a combination of all of them. You can also choose the full meal size (if fed exclusively) or half portions if you’re mixing the food with your dog’s regular kibble.
The recipes are formulated and scientifically evaluated for nutritional balance by the company’s veterinary nutrition experts. This includes two Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionists and several PhD nutritionists.
The meals are individually portioned to fit your dog’s needs, and ship fresh whenever you request them. Each order also comes with a feeding guide, so you know exactly what your Doberman needs on a daily basis.
- First 5 Ingredients: Turkey Meal, Dried Peas, Pea Starch, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Chicken Fat
- Key Feature: Budget friendly grain-free dog food with limited ingredients
Quality dog food can be affordable, and Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Grain Free Turkey Meal & Pea dog food proves it.
Made with only six simple, natural ingredients — along with added vitamins and minerals — this formula provides your dog with exactly what they need day to day. And because it’s simple, it’s also another great option for food allergies or sensitive stomachs.
This recipe starts with turkey meal as the first ingredient, which provides protein along with zinc and vitamin B12 for metabolism support. Then, the Dried peas and pea starch add extra protein as well as reduce inflammation.
Chicken fat rounds out the formula. It’s an unsaturated fat, which makes it a great choice in dog food — and not only does this lower blood pressure, it also includes omega fatty acids for joint and heart support.
This food doesn’t contain any grains, corn, wheat, soy, filler ingredients, or artificial flavors.
It’s also prepared and cooked in the USA, and follows 3rd party safety and quality guidelines to ensure that your dog only gets the highest quality, wallet friendly food.
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Rice, Whole Grain Wheat, Poultry By-Product Meal, Corn Gluten Meal
- Key Feature: Weight Loss
While Dobermans aren’t more inclined to deal with weight gain, other health issues or lack of exercise can play a part. If you find yourself trying to get your Doberman to lose weight, try out Purina Pro Plan Weight Management Large Breed dry dog food.
Each serving of this dog food contains high-quality protein, with chicken as the first ingredient. And, due to its low fat content at 9.5% Crude Fat, you can easily help your dog maintain their ideal weight and body condition.
The fat that is present in this food comes from more natural sources, like fish oil and beef fat — both of which offer healthy omega fatty acids for joint support. Beef fat is also high in vitamins D and K for calcium absorption and increased bone health.
Wheat bran offers natural prebiotic fiber helping stimulate digestion, and it’s also fortified with live probiotics to boost immune support.
- First 5 Ingredients: Pollock, Pollock Meal, Pea Fiber, Pearled Barley, Brown Rice
- Key Feature: Low fat dog food for Dobermans with hypothyroidism
Dogs with hypothyroidism have a harder time maintaining a healthy weight due to their thyroid not regulating their metabolism properly. While medication can help with this imbalance, a food that is low calorie and low in fat is helpful too.
Solid Gold Fit & Fabulous Low Fat/Low Calorie dog food is a great solution. This low-fat formula features fresh-caught Alaskan pollock, which is chock-full of probiotics and omega fatty acids for gut health and overall immune support.
It also contains brown rice and pearled barley for fiber and B vitamins to reduce fatigue, which is common with hypothyroidism.
To add to things even more, carrots, pumpkin, and blueberries provide antioxidants to boost your dog’s immune system and their energy levels. These ingredients are also high in vitamin A, which helps support proper eye function.
This formula is free of potato, corn, wheat, soy, and artificial preservatives, and it’s made in the US.
How to Choose The Best Dog Food for Your Doberman
Unlike other dogs their size, Dobermans don’t require more or less of any particular food source.
They need moderate levels of protein, fats, and carbohydrates, which makes picking a food for them easier. However, there are still a few things to keep in mind.
High Quality Proteins
Dobermans can thrive on a diet that is at least 22% of Crude Protein — but the key with this is high-quality protein. Focus on real meats and fish.
Other protein sources like pea protein, quinoa, and even meat meal are great options, especially if you’re on a budget. Just make sure that these ingredients are some of the first listed on a dog food to ensure that the protein content is sufficient.
Dobermans are active and fairly healthy dogs. Fat content isn’t as much of a concern since they aren’t as likely to gain massive amounts of weight.
Stick to a moderate amount of fat at about 12% to 15%. And, again, focus on healthy fats — oils like fish oil or flaxseed offer vitamins and minerals, along with omega fatty acids for heart and joint health. Meat fat (like chicken or beef), and fattier meats themselves (like liver) can also be beneficial.
Dogs don’t need as many carbs as humans do, but their diet should still consist of enough to provide them energy and fiber for healthy digestion.
However, some carbohydrate sources are better than others. Look for ingredients like sweet potatoes, oats, and for other whole grains like barley and quinoa.
Wheat, corn, and white rice are less desirable, but don’t have to be completely avoided unless your dog has an allergy or sensitivity.
Ingredients to Avoid
While most dog foods are made with wholesome and nutritious ingredients, some may have ingredients that you’d rather avoid.
A few examples include artificial preservatives, artificial flavors, artificial colors, and lower quality ingredients like meat by-products and grain fillers.
Ingredients like food dye, MSG, sugar, and preservatives like nitrites and BHT should be avoided at all costs. Other ingredients like wheat gluten, lecithin, and BHA may not adversely affect your Doberman, but are still known to cause food allergies and sensitivities.
It’s best to avoid these whenever possible.
In the worst case scenarios, these ingredients have been known to cause respiratory problems, itchy skin, insomnia, and cancer or kidney disease. So avoiding as many unnatural things as possible is undoubtedly preferred.
Calorie Intake and Feeding Guide
Now that you know about the proper nutrients to feed your Doberman, you may be wondering how many calories you should be feeding them. Here are our guidelines.
Puppies tend to need more fat and calories than their adult counterparts. This is due to the fact that they are quickly growing and need nutrients to sustain that growth.
For the average Doberman puppy at about 40 pounds, they’ll need around 1,400 to 1,500 calories a day, as well as about 25% of Crude Protein and at least 12% Crude Fat in their diet.
Adult Dobermans follow the same guidelines as other dog breeds, which is about 30 calories per pound of weight. The average Doberman is around 90 pounds, which means they’ll need about 2,500 to 2,700 calories a day.
For all other nutrients, you can follow your veterinarian’s advice and our guide above.
Since many dogs, including Dobermans, become lower in energy as they get older, you’ll want to lower your dog’s calories to make up for this.
You will also want to focus more on lower protein and fat as well, while supplementing a dog food that’s higher in vitamins and minerals.
Many senior dog foods already calculate the proper nutrients for you, but you’ll still need to focus on calories.
Senior Dobermans, especially if they’re overweight, only require about 20–25 calories per pound of body weight. On average, this is around 1,800 to 2,200 calories a day.
Common Doberman Health Issues
Doberman are generally healthy dogs, but there are a few diseases to keep an eye out for. Common health issues include heart problems, joint issues, and bloat.
Here are some common health issues your Doberman may experience.
Cardiomyopathy is defined as degeneration of the heart muscle. Dilated cardiomyopathy, also known as DCM, takes this a step further and causes an enlarged heart with thin walls.
It is the most common cause of heart failure in large breeds like Dobermans. It’s also more likely to be diagnosed in males than females.
This is a genetic condition, so food and diet can’t treat or cure it. However, a diet with whole grains and taurine can help ease symptoms.
It’s important to get your Doberman tested for dilated cardiomyopathy if you notice any of the following symptoms: rapid breathing when resting, coughing or gagging, weakness, reduced ability to exercise, sudden weight loss, and/or a distended belly.
Dobermans are among the breeds that are more likely to develop autoimmune thyroiditis — a type of hypothyroidism. This happens when the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland.
Autoimmune thyroiditis isn’t the exact same as hypothyroidism, although many Dobermans have both or are misdiagnosed for hypothyroidism first. However, both diseases affect the thyroid and immune system.
Most dogs that do have hypothyroidism develop the condition before they are 6 years of age, and it is another genetic disorder. It’s not life threatening, but will need to be managed with hormones and medications.
A lower calorie and carb diet filled with lean proteins, as well as fruits and vegetables (like the Nom Nom recipes) can help ease symptoms like lethargy.
Bloat, also known as GDV (Gastric Dilation Volvulus) is common amongst Dobermans and is potentially one of the most dangerous diseases. In worst case scenarios, bloat can cause death.
The condition happens when a dog’s stomach fills up with air or fluid. In less severe cases, this usually contributes to gas and farting. But when it gets worse, the stomach can twist itself, and will cut off the blood flow to other organs.
In these scenarios, it must be treated with emergency surgery.
Although diet isn’t known to cause bloat, the way your Doberman eats can affect their chances. Preventative measures like using a slow bowl, feeding more frequent meals, and feeding larger kibble can help prevent bloat.
Chronic Active Hepatitis
Chronic hepatitis happens when there is inflammation in the liver and possible necrosis (cell death). Symptoms of canine hepatitis can vary widely from just a slight fever to death.
In chronic cases of active hepatitis, it’s important to note that life spans may be shortened. But diet can help manage symptoms, along with medication. With liver diseases, a lower protein and higher fat diet is usually helpful. And focusing on fats like omega fatty acids (found in fish and flaxseed oils) is the best option.
The first sign of these diseases is usually skin issues, so be sure to take your Doberman to the vet immediately if you notice any changes in their skin.
Large breeds are more common to have Wobbler’s Syndrome — also known as cervical spondylomyelopathy. This syndrome affects the spine, starting at the neck, and causes the dog to develop a wobbly walk.
Other symptoms include a stiff neck, weak front limbs, partial or complete paralysis, and potential muscle loss. If you notice these symptoms, take your dog to the veterinarian for a check up.
If your dog is diagnosed with Wobbler’s syndrome, surgery is their best option. Because of this, movement and exercise is usually restricted, so a lower calorie but higher protein diet is helpful.
Due to their size, Dobermans can suffer from hip dysplasia — a disorder that affects the hip joint being aligned poorly in the body, causing friction in the hips.
The best preventative measure that you can take for hip dysplasia is to keep your Doberman at a healthy weight. Focusing on higher protein foods, with building blocks like omega fatty acids and glucosamine, can be beneficial in properly taking care of their joints.
FAQ About Doberman Food
If you have questions about your Doberman, and how to feed them, here is what you need to know.
How much to feed a Doberman puppy?
This will depend on the calories, protein, and fat in their food. But, typically, a Doberman puppy needs at least 1,400 calories a day. This can be split into three meals at a little under 500 calories each.
How often should I feed my Doberman puppy?
You should feed a Doberman puppy at least 3–4 times a day — slightly more than an adult.
This is so you can monitor their eating, and so they can digest their food easier. Just make sure to feed them a smaller portion than you would if feeding them twice a day.
When to switch from puppy food to adult food?
Because Dobermans are a larger breed, it’s best to switch them from puppy to adult food around 18–24 months of age.
If you’d like to switch earlier, be sure to consult with your veterinarian.
Is grain free dog food good for Dobermans?
Due to potential issues with cardiomyopathy, it’s actually considered safer to make sure your Doberman eats a diet filled with whole grains.
If your Doberman doesn’t have the genetic mutation, grain free isn’t a bad choice! Be sure to consult with your veterinarian and get an ultrasonography to see if a grain free diet is a good choice for your canine.
Dobermans may have a few more potential health issues than other dogs, but they can thrive on a diet with moderate protein and fats. They’re also one of the smartest and most loving breeds out there.
AvoDerm Original dog food offers both protein and healthy fats, plus vitamins and nutrients that will keep your Doberman in peak health. Plus, it will help protect their joints and keep their heart healthy and happy.
No matter what food you choose from this list, you can feel comfortable knowing that it is a top choice for your Doberman.