Best Dog Food for Rottweilers in 2021

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rottweiler dog

As Rottweilers are bred to be both playmates and protectors, these dogs are easily classified as a working breed. 

With large stocky bodies and thick muscular hind legs, Rottweilers can weigh up to 130 pounds when full grown. Because of this, they require a high calorie and high protein diet.

But, because of their common health problems — obesity, joint issues, dysplasia, and even bloat — they’ll need food filled with the right nutrients to keep them from becoming overweight. 

If you’re looking for the best dog food for Rottweilers, I’ve got you covered — I’ve reviewed 10 of the best formulas and recipes out there, and my personal pick is Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula dog food

I’ve also reviewed nine other dog foods that support Rottweilers from puppyhood into their senior years, including an option for those that may need to lose weight. 

Our Best Dog Food for Rottweilers  

10 Best Dog Foods for Rottweilers Reviewed 

Every dog food formula on this list meets the AAFCO nutrient profile guidelines. Before you switch your dog’s food, consult with your veterinarian. 

Best for Adults

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal
  • Key Feature: High protein dog food with real chicken and anti-inflammatory ingredients

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula focuses on being holistic. This supports the overall well-being of your dog — and it also means the formula is made with real ingredients that all serve a specific purpose in supporting your Rottweiler’s health. 

All formulas, including the chicken and brown rice recipe, start with real meat, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

They also add their proprietary blend of “LifeSource Bits,” or vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant-rich additives. Just a few of these include cranberries, turmeric, and kelp

All of these ingredients can even help prevent cancer — a common disease amongst Rottweilers.  

Calcium and phosphorus are added to help support strong bones and teeth. Glucosamine, a natural sugar, also helps with joint health and mobility support, which is extremely important for larger breeds like Rottweilers. 

This formula is free of corn, wheat, soy, and chicken (or poultry) by-product meals.


Best for Puppies

Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food

Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn, Wheat
  • Key Feature: High protein dog food with DHA for Rottweiler puppies

Larger breeds require more calories, fat, vitamins, and minerals than their smaller counterparts. Because of this, Eukanaba’s Large Breed Puppy dog food was created to support their fast growing bodies. 

Made with high-quality animal proteins, including real chicken as the first ingredient, this high protein food is a great choice for growing pups. And, it includes 14% of Crude Fat as well, offering omega fatty acids — specifically DHA, an acid that supports brain and cognitive function.  

In addition, natural fiber and prebiotics from ingredients like beet pulp help keep your puppy’s tummy happy, while vitamin E helps support their developing healthy immune system and reduces inflammation. 

Proper levels of calcium and phosphorus from the chicken and egg also helps support muscle growth and bone health. 

This food is not grain or wheat free, and includes corn. However, as long as your Rottweiler puppy isn’t allergic to these, it’s a great option. 

Not only is the food made for breeds that will be 55 pounds or more in adulthood, it also includes more of the most important vitamins and minerals that your Rottweiler needs to grow properly.


Best for Seniors

Orijen Senior Dry Dog Food

Orijen Senior
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Turkey, Atlantic Flounder, Whole Atlantic Mackerel, Turkey Giblets
  • Key Feature: High-Protein and grain-free dog food for senior Rottweilers 

As you can see, Orijen takes their protein seriously — the first five ingredients are all fresh and real meat products. These fixings are so good, they even eliminate the need for extra additives and fillers. 

And, there are no meat meals or meat by-products, so you can feel good about feeding your senior the essential amino acids and quality ingredients in this recipe. 

This formula was specially created to help support lean muscle mass and weight maintenance in senior dogs. It’s also freeze-dried coated for flavor, to entice older dogs to eat all of their meals.  

The fresh proteins  used relied on refrigeration as the sole method of preservation, with many being raw ingredients frozen at their peak freshness. So, if you want to feed your dog a raw diet with the convenience of dry dog food, this is the best choice. 

Whole chickpeas and lentils provide higher fiber content to help improve digestion, and rosehips and collard greens provide vitamin C for immune support and to help protect joints. 

Orijen is made in the USA, and is gluten, corn, and soy free. 


Best for Active Dogs

Ziwi Peak Beef Air-Dried Dog Food

Ziwi Peak Beef Grain-Free Air-Dried
  • First 5 Ingredients: Beef, Beef Heart, Beef Kidney, Beef Tripe, Beef Liver
  • Key Feature: High protein dog food for Rottweiler

If your Rottweiler is super active, underweight, or is picky with their food, they may enjoy a high protein dog food made with real meats. 

With that in mind, Ziwi Peak Beef Grain-Free Air-Dried dog food is the best option.

At 38% Crude Protein, this recipe is made with fresh meat, organs, bones, and green mussels — ingredients that provide a natural source of chondroitin and glucosamine to support joint and heart health, without the need for extra supplements. 

It contains natural levels of taurine to promote heart health, and kelp and chicory provide prebiotic fiber to help regulate digestion. There are also no additional fruits and veggies, which means this recipe is considered a raw and carnivorous diet

Ziwi Peak’s gentle, twin-stage air-drying process naturally preserves all of the ingredients and eliminates pathogenic bacteria, so you can feel safe feeding your dog raw meat. And, there’s no need to rehydrate. 

There are no added preservatives, sugars, or glycerines, and it’s both grain and gluten free. Their meats are also all ethically and sustainably sourced without added hormones, antibiotics, or growth promotants.


Best for Allergies

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Merrick LID Grain Free Real Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Peas
  • Key Feature: Limited Ingredient dog food for Rottweilers with food sensitivities 

Just like humans, Rottweilers can have allergies. The most common are wheat, corn, and dairy, so finding a dog food that eliminates all of them can be difficult. That’s where Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free dog food comes in. 

It includes real deboned chicken as the first ingredient, and has only nine others on the list. It’s naturally gluten-free — including no common allergens like grains, soy, corn, wheat, dairy, or eggs. 

The recipe is also free of artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors, which are other common allergens and fillers that can affect your Rottweilers energy levels. 

Potatoes and sweet potatoes offer complex carbs that provide fiber and antioxidants. These help benefit energy levels, aid in digestion, and also give protection against the environment

On top of that, chicken fat and flaxseed are added for extra omega fatty acids, supporting joint health and protecting the heart — which is especially important in larger dogs. 

Merrick is made right in Hereford, Texas at their family-owned facility. 


Best Wet Food

Farmina Natural & Delicious Prime Lamb & Blueberry Wet Dog Food

Farmina Natural & Delicious Prime Lamb & Blueberry
  • First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Herring, Sweet Potatoes, Eggs, Herring Oil
  • Key Feature: Limited ingredient wet dog food with real meat 

This high-protein and low-carb wet food is free of sugar, guar xanthan, cassia, industrial gums, and carrageenan — all unnecessary fillers that can cause sluggishness and even obesity. 

Instead, this food includes real ingredients that have been steamed lightly right in the can. This keeps all the essential nutrients and vitamins, but provides a safe and BPA-free canned food. It’s also processed without water, so it’s moist but higher in protein than some other canned foods. 

This recipe includes lamb and blueberries, which is great if your Rottweiler is allergic to poultry items. It also includes herring and herring oil, providing DHA which supports both heart health and cognitive function. 

Sweet potatoes provide a natural source of magnesium and potassium as well, which aid in producing energy and in bone support. This is the only carbohydrate in the recipe. 

It’s grain-free, GMO-free, and chicken free. It’s also complete in nutrition, which means you can feed this wet food on it’s own, without any extra supplementation or dry kibble added. 


Best Fresh Food

Ollie Customized Fresh Dog Food (Lamb Recipe)

Ollie Lamb
  • First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Butternut Squash, Lamb Liver, Kale, Rice
  • Key Feature: Fresh dog food delivered right to your door 

As pet owners, we want to provide our dogs with the best food possible. But raw and fresh diets aren’t easy on our time or our budgets. 

If you want to feed your dog fresh food with good value, try Ollie Customized Dog Food. 

Ollie starts with a quiz about your Rottweiler. You’ll answer questions about their gender, weight, activity level, and what they love to eat. You’ll also include if they have any food sensitivities, and if they’re neutered or spayed. 

Once you complete the quiz, the perfect diet for your Rottweiler is created. 

There are four recipe options — lamb, beef, chicken, and turkey. These are shipped, freshly made, every two weeks. And everything is made in small batches, so it will come as nutritious and tasty as possible when you open your box. 

You can choose just one recipe per shipment, or a combination of all four. You’ll be notified and given the option to choose before each order. 

The lamb formula, in particular, includes wholesome ingredients like chia seeds and cod liver oil, offering healthy omega fatty acids and antioxidants to support your dog’s immune system and joints. 

All formulas also come with a storage container and scoop, plus a customized feeding guide so you know exactly what your Rottweiler needs day to day. 


Best Budget Food

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Dog Food

Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Adult Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Sorghum, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal
  • Key Feature: High-protein and budget friendly dog food 

“Budget” doesn’t mean low quality — especially with Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed dog food. 

The recipe starts with real chicken, and includes other high quality ingredients like flaxseed, beet pulp, and even kale to start your dog’s day off right. 

Made for large breeds that are 18 months or older, this formula is packed with both nutrition and flavor. Besides chicken, the recipe also includes peas and chia seeds for protein. These ingredients provide a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin to support healthy joints. 

Following that, ingredients like pumpkin and spinach provide essential antioxidants to support immunity and natural fiber for healthy digestion. 

This affordable dog food formula is made with non-GMO ingredients and doesn’t include any chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat, or soy. 

There are no artificial preservatives either. Instead, the food is preserved with vitamin E and rosemary extract, which are all natural and provide anti-inflammatory compounds. 


Best for Weight Loss

Royal Canin Rottweiler Adult Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Rottweiler Adult
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken By-Product Meal, Chicken Fat, Brown Rice, Corn, Brewers Rice
  • Key Feature: Breed specific weight loss dog food for Rottweilers 

If your Rottweiler is overweight, you’ll need to lower their calorie intake. Royal Canin Rottweiler dry food can help. 

Not only is it formulated specifically for Rottweilers and their needs, but it’s also lower in calories and fat without sacrificing on vitamins and minerals. This option is great if your Rottweiler is older, doesn’t exercise as much, or needs to lose significant weight. 

The larger kibble size helps your Rottweiler focus on chewing their food versus wolfing it down, which can also help deter them from overeating. It also offers a great source of protein, providing energy and keeping your Rottweiler’s muscles lean and strong. 

Taurine, EPA, and DHA from fish oil help maintain a healthy heart and protect joints. This is especially important with overweight dogs, as a lack of joint support can cause arthritis and lethargy.  

L-carnitine is also supplemented for extra protein and to keep lean muscle mass even during weight loss. 

And to add to that, beet pulp and brown rice offer fiber and magnesium to reduce possible heart disease and to keep their digestive tract healthy. 


Best for Bloat

Forza10 Nutraceutic Active Line Intestinal Support Diet Dry Dog Food

Forza10 Nutraceutic Active Line Colon Diet Phase 1
  • First 5 Ingredients: Hydrolyzed Fish Protein, Brown Rice, Rice Flour, Ground Rice, Dried Kelp
  • Key Feature: Low fat dog food for Rottweilers with bloat 

Rottweilers are highly susceptible to bloat — a disease that causes gas and possible obstruction of blood-flow to organs. 

Because they’re a larger breed, they’ll naturally eat more food. Some Rottweilers do better with larger kibble and a lower fat diet. With Forza10 Nutraceutic Active Line Intestinal Support Diet dog food, you get both. 

This food was specially designed for dogs with food intolerances and digestive diseases. Plant and fruit extracts help improve colon issues and the limited-ingredient formula is easier to digest. 

It’s also great for adult and senior dogs, so you can stick with it long term to provide digestive support. It includes a single-source of protein with fish, which is also high in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids help keep Rottweilers satiated while also keeping their gut healthy.

The formula is free of corn, soy, wheat, by-product meals, antibiotics, GMOs, and artificial preservatives, colors, and artificial flavors.


rottweiler dog

How to Choose The Best Food for Rottweilers

Because of their larger stature, Rottweilers need more calories and a higher protein diet to sustain their lifestyles. Here’s what to keep in mind before choosing your Rottweiler’s food. 

High Quality Proteins

AAFCO recommends 18% to 22% Crude Protein for a dog’s diet, but Rottweilers need even more. Due to their activity level and size, their required average is about 25% to 30% Crude Protein. 

This is to provide fuel and the building blocks that their muscles need to thrive.

Focusing on real animal proteins — especially ones like liver — is ideal. Preferably, they’ll also be listed as the first ingredients in your dog food. 

Moderate Levels of Fats

Unlike protein, Rottweilers don’t need as much fat. For many, obesity can still be a common issue, so focus on providing omega-3 essential fatty acids and keep to no more than 10% Crude Fat if possible. 

Omegas help protect joints, boost heart health, and can also lower blood pressure. 

Focus on dog food that includes fish or salmon oil and/or flaxseed oil. These ingredients are full of omega-3 fatty acids. 

Digestible Carbohydrates

To keep up with their energy and brain function, Rottweilers need carbs — but they don’t have to be the main part of their meal. Instead, focus on higher protein, moderate fat, and carbohydrates as an added bonus. 

When looking for carb sources, focus on whole and complex carbs — brown rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, and legumes are better options than wheat or corn. 

Vitamins and Minerals

Because Rottweilers have many common health problems that affect their digestive system and weight, vitamins and minerals are extremely important. 

The most important vitamins and minerals include calcium, glucosamine, and chondroitin. 

Calcium and phosphorus help build and maintain strong bones, which is extremely important in large breeds like Rottweilers. Rice, broccoli, and kale offer natural sources of both, and these are found in many dog foods. 

Glucosamine and chondroitin help support joints, especially in senior dogs. These are naturally found in real meat proteins, but can also be supplemented. 

Real protein is available in all of the foods that were listed above. 

Your canine also needs antioxidants and probiotics, and these can be found in ingredients like berries, pumpkin, and legumes such as beans and lentils. 

Calories

A dog needs to eat 30 calories per pound that they weigh. So the average Rottweiler, at around 120 pounds, would need 3,600 calories a day. That’s more than the average 150 pound woman! 

Of course, if you notice your Rottweiler needs to lose weight, you can lower this to about 20 calories per pound, or 2,400 calories a day. But no matter what, your Rottweiler needs a lot of fuel. 

Always consult with your veterinarian before changing your Rottweiler’s diet or starting a weight loss plan. 

Ingredients to Avoid

Because dogs have simpler digestive systems, they need simpler food without fillers and unnecessary ingredients. 

Artificial ingredients like food dye and added flavors, plus fillers like corn and wheat gluten, aren’t always the best option. And — at all costs — it’s important to avoid preservatives like Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and ethoxyquin. 

Unidentified or untested meat meals and by-products should be avoided as well. Generally speaking, meat meals aren’t bad for your dog — they should just always come from a trusted and verifiable source, like the meat meals in recipes on this list do. 

rottweiler puppy

Common Rottweiler Health Problems

Unlike other dogs, Rottweilers can be prone to a lot of health problems. This is due to the fact that they were overbred for years after almost being lost entirely. 

While your Rottweiler may be completely healthy, here are some common health problems to look out for. 

Joint Problems

Like most dogs their size, Rottweilers can suffer from joint problems in their shoulders, elbows, and hips — with one of the most common being hip dysplasia. 

Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease in pets, especially large breeds, that affects the hip joint and causes it to align poorly in the body. This friction can become extremely painful for your Rottweiler, and will wear their body down over time, causing other issues like arthritis. 

However, joint problems are mostly preventable. Keeping your Rottweiler at a healthy weight will  help their joints move smoother, and focusing on fats like omega-3s and glucosamine for joint support can make a huge difference. 

Bloat

Bloat, also known as “Gastric Dilation Volvulus” (GDV), is a condition where a dog’s stomach fills up with air or fluid. In worst case scenarios, a dog can die because their bloat caused the stomach to completely twist itself and cut off blood supply to other organs. 

While there is no one cause for bloat, experts recommend feeding larger kibble to large breeds to prevent them eating too fast. Feeding more frequent meals can also help. 

If you notice your Rottweiler is showing symptoms like excessive drooling, frequent gas, or a swollen abdomen — or if they wince in pain when moving around — see their veterinarian immediately. 

If you get your dog spayed or neutered, you can also ask for a gastropexy to take preventive steps against bloat. 

Obesity

While Rottweilers are typically very active and burn energy easily, they can still become overweight. Of course, this is easily manageable and shouldn’t cause too much worry as long as they are otherwise healthy. 

To prevent obesity, or help your Rottweiler lose weight, focus on lowering their calories and fat, and focus more on a higher protein diet. Also, be sure to actually measure their food, and avoid free feeding if possible. 

Food Allergies

Rottweilers don’t usually have allergies or sensitivity to their environment, but they may suffer from some food allergies. The most common are against fillers and grains, food additives, and dairy. However, some Rottweilers may also be allergic to turkey and chicken as well. 

If your Rottweiler has a sensitive stomach or allergies to any of the above foods, a bland and hypoallergenic diet (with limited ingredients) is best. Consult with your veterinarian and get their recommendations based on your Rottweiler’s intolerances. 

Cancer

Unfortunately, Rottweiler’s can be extremely prone to cancer. In fact, lymphoma or lymphosarcoma tends to afflict Rottweilers more than other breeds. 

This disease makes the body form abnormal lymphocytes — a white blood cell. This then spreads and mutates rapidly, causing the cancer to spread just as fast. Because of this, treatments like chemotherapy are common. 

If you notice your dog’s lymph nodes under their jaw are swollen, this may be a sign of cancer. Other symptoms include lethargy, sudden weight loss, and an increase in thirst. 

Choosing a more holistic food that focuses on the overall well being of your dog can help your Rottweiler absorb more of the vitamins and minerals they need while going through chemotherapy. 

FAQ About Rottweiler Food

Have questions about your Rottweiler? Don’t worry, we’ve got the answers. 

How much should I feed my Rottweiler puppy?

Puppies, especially Rottweiler puppies, tend to eat more than adults. Because they need the fuel to support their rapidly growing bodies, you should focus on 3% of your dog’s desired weight. This helps them grow at an even pace, without pushing their joints and bodies too fast.  

As an example, a Rottweiler can grow to 130 pounds — so you’d need to feed them around four pounds of food. 

How many times should I feed my Rottweiler?

In order to keep their calories up and make sure they’re satiated, it’s important to feed your Rottweiler at least twice a day. 

If you need to break up their calories and size of their meals, feed around 3 to 4 times a day. 

When to switch from puppy food to adult food?

Usually, a veterinarian would recommend waiting until at least 12 months to switch your dog to adult food. However larger breeds like Rottweilers are still puppies at that age! 

Instead, it’s better to switch them one they reach 16 to 18 months old. 

Of course, you can always consult with your veterinarian to see what they recommend. 

Our Verdict

Rottweilers require a lot of calories and protein to keep their build. They also need more vitamin and mineral support than other dogs their size. 

Because of this, a good option is to feed them Blue Buffalo Life Protection dog food — they’ll get the protein and calories they need, without sacrificing on quality and other micronutrients. 

Rottweilers are family, and the food you choose — especially the one’s on this list — can help keep them around for years. 

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AUTHOR
Kim Studdard is a freelance writer for many websites in the pet universe. When she isn't spending time with her family and pets, or saying "Look a dog" everytime she sees one, you'll find her reading a book or traveling the U.S.

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