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Best Dog Foods For Rottweilers: Puppies, Adults & Seniors

Emma Braby

Last Updated: March 23, 2020 | 15 min read

Best Dog Food For Rottweiler

The Rottweiler is a feisty and large lump of a breed, but one that is secretly a big softie at heart. At maturity he will find himself anywhere between 80 and 135 pounds in weight, so it is safe to say that he is a large, and sometimes, giant dog breed. For this reason, he has unique nutritional needs which will determine the food choices you make for him.

Whilst he makes a loving family pet, he is a robust working breed that was traditionally used to herd and protect cattle, and he is now often worked in the personal protection arena, and as such he needs a lot of energy and protein to keep him sustained. Large breed foods with higher levels of protein are the key to keeping this big boy happy and healthy, and with the first 10 ingredients known to make up 80% of the kibble, it is super important to look at these ingredients.

After reading this Rottweiler nutrition guide, you’ll understand all you need to know about the Rottweiler and his unique breed needs, what nutrients he needs at each of his life stage, and ultimately which brands are the crème of the crop. So you don’t have to spend hours and hours trawling through hundreds of products, so we’ve made it nice and simple!

At a Glance: Our Favorite Foods for the Rottweiler

Puppies: Science Diet Large Breed Puppy
Adults: Purina Pro Large Breed Kibble
Seniors: Nutro Adult Large Breed Senior
Weight Management: Purina Pro Weight Management

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Rottweiler Puppy Nutrient Needs

The Rottweiler puppy needs a high-quality kibble that is specifically designed for large breed puppies, because not only do they have a higher number of calories that will help him to achieve full Rottweiler growth, but the calcium, phosphorus vitamin D and fat levels will provide his growing bones with the strength that they need to be healthy. They will also control how quickly he grows, and this is important for large breeds such as the Rottweiler because if he grows too quickly, he is more likely to develop osteopathic diseases such as Hip Dysplasia, so standard ‘all-breed’ puppy kibbles should be avoided at all costs.

The Rottweiler puppy needs a lot of protein, because not only does protein provide him with the energy and puppy power he needs to grow, but it also ensures that it keeps his muscles lean and strong. The MSD Veterinary Manual recommends that puppy kibbles should provide a minimum protein content of 22%, but larger dogs such as the Rottweiler should look for a minimum protein level of at least 26%. It also recommends that a minimum fat content of 8% is needed too.

Healthy carbohydrates are important because they will provide him with energy whilst keeping him feeling full, which will hopefully lower his snack begging and the chance of him becoming obese. Because the Rottweiler is known to suffer from a variety of cardiac concerns, he should never be allowed to become overweight or eat fatty human foods. For this reason, plenty of omega fatty acids should be looked for, such as Salmon oils and flaxseed, as well as the ingredient taurine, which all help to look after his cardiac health, as well as overall coat and bone health.

Other vitamins and minerals will also help to support his developing immune system and keep him fighting fit against diseases, and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and arachidonic acid (ARA) are amino acids that are naturally found in mothers’ milk, and they all support healthy brain development and eye function.

Adult Rottweiler Nutrient Needs

From the age of 18 months the Rottweiler nears maturity and as such he should be switched to an adult kibble. Again, it is important that the Rottweiler is fed a high-quality kibble that caters to the unique nutritional needs of a large breed. Sometimes, with larger Rottweilers, many owners find that it is more suitable to feed them a giant dog breed, and this is normally saved for those pooches who exceed 100 pounds and more in weight. With that weight comes bone and joint pressure, so optimum calcium and phosphorus levels are key.

Protein is still an important factor to consider here, but typically he needs less than a puppy Rottie. Whilst the MSD Veterinary Manual recommends that adult dogs need a protein content of at least 18%, a larger, giant or more energetic breed such as the Rottie should be fed a higher protein content of at least 23%.

Ingredients such as fish oil and flaxseed will nourish his thick and dense coat, as well as keeping his brain functioning healthily. Again, with the threat of cardiac issues the ingredient taurine is favorable and be sure not to feed him too many treats, no matter how much of a good boy he is!

Senior Rottweiler Nutrient Needs

A Rottweiler becomes a senior pooch around the age of 6 or 7, and at this time you should really look to change him to a kibble designed just for large breed seniors, or those that tick certain ‘large breed’ boxes, which we will talk you through.

As dogs age, they become less active, so it is important to put less calories into his bowl to ensure that he doesn’t become overweight. It is also important to ensure that the kibble contains less fat as his aging digestive system will struggle to break it down efficiently.

Higher levels of glucosamine and chondroitin are key because of his weakening joints. Good sources of these can be found in meat and fish meals, as well as extra supplements. Again, the ingredient taurine is beneficial, as is L-carnitine as it helps to stimulate his metabolism, and it is also important to look for plenty of vitamins and minerals to help to boost his aging immune system so he can continue to fight illnesses.


Best Food for Rottweiler Puppies

Best Rottweiler Puppy Food
Rottweiler puppies need nutrient-dense foods as they grow.

Rottweilers between the ages of 8 weeks and 12 to 15 months, they will need dry kibbles that can meet an aggressive puppy’s growth needs during that timeframe.  This is the time where your dog’s nutritional needs are extremely important to meet in order to set their growth and bones on the right path from a young age.

There are a number of different brands that can fulfill your Rottie’s puppy food needs.  We’ve done the heavy lifting for you, so let’s dive in and take a look at our five favorite Rottweiler puppy food, as well as a comparison of each brand.  You’ll find dog owner favorites, like Nutro or Blue Buffalo and more.

 
Science Diet
Wellness Puppy
Blue Buffalo
Nutro Max
Orijen Puppy
Protein
24.5%
35%
35%
26%
38%
Fats
12%
14%
14%
14%
16%
Fiber
3%
5.5%
6%
3%
6%
Moisture
10%
10%
10%
10%
12%
Kcal/Cup
373
387
411
344
449

Science Diet Large Breed Puppy

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Puppy,...
  • A large breed puppy food specially made with an optimal level of...
  • Uses a balanced set of minerals to promote strong bones and teeth...
  • Uses DHA from fish oil to support healthy brain and eye...
  • High-quality protein helps your large pup build and maintain lean...

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This diet is grain inclusive, and wholesome oats will provide him with energy to keep him bouncy and full of beans. The first ingredient is Chicken meal, which is the main source of protein and provides his bones with glucosamine that helps to keep them supple and strong. Flaxseed and fish oil will ensure that his coat is nourished from the inside out, and along with the ingredient taurine his cardiac health will also be well cared for.

We love that this kibble is made by and recommended by canine nutritionists and Veterinarians alike, so you can be sure that your Rottweiler puppy is in good hands with this recipe.


Wellness Core Large Breed Puppy

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Puppy...
  • ADVANCED NATURAL NUTRITION TO FUEL YOUR LARGE BREED PUPPY'S BEST...
  • SUPPORTS HEALTHY GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT: Guaranteed levels of DHA...
  • LEANER BODY MASS AND MUSCLE TONE: Wellness CORE dog food is made...
  • SUPPORTS HEALTHY SKIN AND COAT with guaranteed levels of omega...

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Deboned Chicken, Chicken and Turkey meal are found within the first 5 ingredients, which not only provide a high amount of protein, but plenty of glucosamine for his joints. Salmon oil also provides DHA for his brain development and eye function, as well as his coat health which was the most common positive comment on the reviews. This kibble is fortified with vitamins and minerals to strengthen his growing immune system, and with superfoods such as banana, spinach and kale his nutritional needs are met, and taurine is also listed high up in the list.

We love that this is one of the grain free recipes on this list, which is great for those Rottweiler pups who have grain intolerances.


Blue Buffalo Large Breed Puppy

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain...
  • PACKED WITH REAL CHICKEN: A recipe made to satisfy your puppy’s...
  • GRAIN FREE PUPPY FOOD: BLUE Wilderness grain free large breed...
  • WITH LIFESOURCE BITS: This formula contains BLUE’s exclusive...
  • NATURAL DOG FOOD: BLUE dry dog food is formulated for the health...

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Deboned Chicken, Chicken meal and fish meal are the main protein sources in this kibble, and some of the reviews referred to how well their Rottie was developing on this kibble. Fish oil and egg products also provide him with the all-important DHA, ARA and EPA. Dried kelp provides him with calcium for strong teeth and bones, and blueberries, carrots and sweet potatoes provide him with a bowl full of vitamins and minerals for his immunity. L-carnitine is listed which stimulates his metabolism, which naturally helps to prevent him from becoming too porky.

We love that this recipe has a mixture of kibble pieces and LifeSource Bits, which are packed full of life-stage nutrients for the large breed puppy, and they are cold-formed to retain their potency.


Nutro Max Large Breed Puppy

NUTRO MAX Large Breed Puppy Recipe With Farm...
  • DISCONTINUED BY MANUFACTURER, Recommended Replacement Item: NUTRO...
  • Nutro Max Large Breed Puppy Food Supports The Healthy Development...
  • Our Great-Tasting, Quality Food For Large Breed Puppies Is Made...
  • Our All Natural, Affordable Dog Food Contains No Artificial...

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Chicken meal is the first listed ingredient, and Nutro guarantee that all of their Chicken ingredients are farm-raised, so if this is an important factor for you this kibble is ethically sourced. This kibble also lists an optimum blend of added supplements for his immunity and overall health. Wholesome oats, brown rice and chickpeas provide him with plenty of energy and despite having the lowest fiber content, many reviewers commented that this product resolved their large pups sensitive stomach issues.

We love that despite being the most affordable kibble on this list, it still provides a lot of protein and even more than some of the more expensive alternatives.


Orijen Large Breed Puppy

ORIJEN Dry Dog Food, Puppy Large,...
  • ORIJEN Puppy Large dog food delivers a diet rich and varied in...
  • With 85% quality animal ingredients, ORIJEN nourishes dogs...
  • Using fresh and raw animal ingredients, including meat, organs,...
  • Our Fresh Regional Ingredients are supplied by people we know and...

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Never mind about the first 5 or 10 ingredients, this kibble lists the first 15 ingredients as high-quality proteins that follow a whole-prey diet. So, not only will he receive a high amount of protein meat, but he will also receive organs and cartilage that are full of nutrients. In addition to the superior quality and supreme ingredients, this recipe was super tasty for those fussier pups, and with the Rottie’s love for food you can be sure that this will go down a treat. With pumpkin, collard greens, and apples this kibble provides your pup with the antioxidants he needs for a healthy oxidative balance.

We love that this is the most premium kibble on this list, and with leading levels of high-quality protein your Rottweiler pup is bound to fall in love with this recipe.


Best Food for Adult Rottweilers

Best Dog Food For Adult Rottweilers
As Rottweilers grow, they need less calorie dense foods when they reach adulthood.

Once your Rottie hits between 12 and 15 months, you’ll want to start the transition to an adult food.  You’ll want to do this slowly, as doing it too quickly can make your Rottweiler get an upset stomach.  Typically you’ll want to blend the puppy food with the adult food first, and then gradually migrate over completely to the adult food.

Because Rotties are a large breed, you’ll want to make sure you monitor their food intake so that they don’t overeat.  Rottweilers are not typically picky eaters, but every dog is different.  Their activity levels as adults will slow as they age, so it’s always best to break up feeding into 3-4 different sessions through the day if possible.  Let’s look at our five favorite Rottie foods for adult pups.

 
Eukanuba Rottweiler
Wellness Core
Merrick
Purina Pro
Blue Buffalo
Protein
25%
34%
31%
26%
28%
Fats
13%
12%
15%
12%
13%
Fiber
5%
6%
3.5%
4.5%
6%
Moisture
10%
10%
11%
12%
10%
Kcal/Cup
309
342
372
383
374

Eukanuba Adult Rottweiler

Eukanuba Breed Specific Rottweiler Dry Dog...
  • EUKANUBA Rottweiler Dog Food features 3D DENTADEFENSE System,...
  • EUKANUBA Dog Food guaranteed levels of vitamin E and...
  • Our premium Rottweiler dog food contains calcium to support...
  • Our breed specific dog food has proprietary levels of L-carnitine...

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The first ingredient on this list is Chicken meal, and with fish meal being listed slightly further down, you can be sure that there is plenty of protein and glucosamine for his larger muscles and bones. It lists beta-carotene and other select vitamins that promote a healthy immune system, and Eukanuba also state that it has a unique ‘3D dentadefense’ system which is proven to reduce the buildup of tartar within just 28 days.

We love that this recipe is specific to the Rottweiler, and with over 45 years of scientific research on dog nutrition, you can be sure that this kibble is suited to him.


Wellness Core Large Breed

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog...
  • ADVANCED NATURAL NUTRITION TO FUEL YOUR LARGE BREED DOG'S BEST...
  • SAVORY FOOD DOGS LOVE: Wellness CORE is available in grain and...
  • LEANER BODY MASS AND MUSCLE TONE: Wellness CORE dog food is made...
  • SUPPORTS HEALTHY SKIN AND COAT with guaranteed levels of omega...

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Deboned Chicken, Chicken meal and Turkey meal are the first three ingredients, and with healthy complex carbohydrates such as potatoes, sweet potatoes and peas your Rottie will feel full of energy. The meat meals and ground flaxseed will nourish his skin and coat. There are a lot of listed fruits and vegetables that provide vitamins and minerals, such as kale, blueberries and apples, and with taurine and L-carnitine listed his cardiac and metabolic health will stay healthy. This kibble has the highest fiber content, and this was the most common comment from reviewers, in that kept their pooches digestive tract regular and in turn they pooped firmer stools.

We love that this recipe has the highest protein content, which is important for the muscular Rottie, particularly if he is a working or seriously energetic one.


Merrick Large Breed Formula

Merrick Grain Free Large Breed Dry Dog Food...
  • The Merrick Grain Free dog food story is one of superior...
  • HEALTHY SKIN AND COAT, HIPS AND JOINTS: These grain free dog food...
  • REAL WHOLE FOODS FOR OPTIMAL NATURAL NUTRITION: Merrick Grain...
  • At Merrick, we promise your pet will not only love the taste of...

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This kibble has the highest fat content, which is great if he is active and will keep his beautiful black and tan coat soft and shiny, and it was this that reviewers noticed. With a high protein content from deboned Chicken, Chicken meal and Salmon meal comes plenty of glucosamine for his joints, especially as he nears his senior years. This grain free recipe is made with wholesome vegetables, and it is these that provide healthy carbohydrates and antioxidants, such as sweet potatoes, peas, apples and blueberries. DHA and ARA are found in the egg products, and Salmon oil supports hips and joints.

We love that this recipe is made with leading levels of glucosamine and chondroitin, and with the highest levels on this list it makes this kibble a great option for those larger Rottweilers whose joints need that extra bit of support.


Purina Pro Plan Giant Breed

Purina Pro Plan High Protein Giant Breed Dry...
  • One (1) 34 lb. Bag - Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Giant Breed Formula...
  • Made with high-quality protein, including real chicken as the #1...
  • Formulated for giant-breed adult dogs weighing over 100 pounds
  • Glucosamine and EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid, help to support your...

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This formula is made with the unique nutritional needs of giant breeds, and often the Rottweiler falls into this category. It has an optimal ratio of protein to fat, but with the highest number of calories per cup you can be sure that he will get all the energy that he needs. Chicken is the first ingredient on the list, and with that comes the power to maintain his large muscle mass and muscle repair. Glucosamine, omega fatty acids and EPA help to support his heavily laden joints too.

We love that this is a fantastic option for those Rottweilers who lean towards the larger end of the weight scale and are considered to be a giant breed.


Blue Buffalo Large Breed Adult

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe...
  • PACKED WITH REAL BISON: A recipe inspired by the Rocky Mountains,...
  • GRAIN FREE DOG FOOD: BLUE Wilderness large breed dog food is made...
  • WITH LIFESOURCE BITS: This formula contains BLUE’s exclusive...
  • NATURAL DOG FOOD: BLUE large breed dry dog food is formulated for...

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Following on from the puppy recommendation, this formula is made with real Bison meat, and it is Chicken and poultry free, which provides a big meaty taste that large breeds love. Deboned Bison, fish meal and Beef meal are the protein sources, and with that comes a lot of glucosamine and oils to maintain healthy hips, joints and coat. Taurine and L-carnitine are listed, and with plenty of vitamin supplements his immune system is strengthened. This recipe still has the LifeSource bits, but this time with optimum adult nutrients, which also add texture and extra taste to his bowl.

We love that this Bison flavored recipe is made with zero Chicken or poultry ingredients, which makes a great option for those Rottie’s who are particularly fussy or have intolerances to these common ingredients.


Best Food for Senior Rottweilers

Food For Senior Rottweilers
As Rottweilers enter their senior age range, they need fewer calories and carbohydrates.

Once our pup hits around 8 years of age, you’ll want to start considering your pup eat a food that has a food formula specific for seniors.  Rottweilers can also have joint and hip issues, so you may want to consider food with glucosamine as an option.  It’s also possible your Rottie might have issues being “regular” so a higher fiber food might also be something advised by your vet.

Because your Rottweiler’s metabolism slows, you’ll want to make sure your pup has a lower calorie count or is just fed less food during feeding frequencies.  Overeating typically isn’t a problem with Rotties, but you’ll know by adulthood if you need to deal with this issue later on in life as well.  Below are our favorite foods for Senior Rotties.  Let’s dive in!

 
Science Diet Senior
Merrick Senior
Nulo Senior
Nutro Ultra
Blue Buffalo
Protein
19.4%
32%
30%
22%
20%
Fats
15.6%
12%
12%
12%
10%
Fiber
3.3%
3.5%
5%
4%
7%
Moisture
10%
11%
10%
10%
10%
Kcal/Cup
364
372
396
315
344

Hill’s Science Diet Senior Formula

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Large Breed...
  • A synergistic blend of easily digestible ingredients to support...
  • Supports your grown dog's joint health with natural sources of...
  • Uses a balanced set of minerals to promote heart and kidney...
  • Nourishes your big dog's skin and supports a shiny coat with...

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This diet is made with larger breeds in mind, and despite having the lowest protein content it still fares well for aging large breeds. It also has a high fat content, but thanks to the optimized calories and L-carnitine ingredient it means that his metabolism is kept in check and he shouldn’t pile on too many pounds which is important in his senior years. It also has an optimum blend of easy to digest ingredients, which reviewer’s dogs loved, and a balanced set of minerals that will take care of his heart and kidney health.

We love that this recipe is made by Veterinarians and canine nutritionists who have studied the unique needs of larger breeds, so you can be sure your Rottie is in safe hands with this kibble.


Merrick Senior Formula Kibble

Merrick Grain Free Senior Dog Food
  • #1 INGREDIENT: DEBONED MEAT, FISH OR POULTRY: This Merrick Grain...
  • HEALTHY SKIN AND COAT, HIPS AND JOINTS: This grain free senior...
  • REAL WHOLE FOODS FOR OPTIMAL NATURAL NUTRITION: The Merrick Grain...
  • At Merrick, we promise your pet will not only love the taste of...

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This kibble is for all breeds, and whilst we don’t normally recommend ‘all-breed’ kibble, because it has exceptionally high glucosamine levels it is ideal for larger breeds. Deboned Chicken and Chicken meal are the first two ingredients and being a grain free recipe, it provides your Rottie with the energy he needs with sweet potatoes, peas and potatoes. Many reviewers commented that the high levels of glucosamine and fish oils means that their pups coat was still glistening in their older years, and it was super tasty too!

We love that this recipe has the highest protein level, and with the protein meals and fish oils this kibble has the highest content of glucosamine and chondroitin for his weakening joints too.


Nulo Senior Formula Kibble

Nulo Senior Grain Free Dog Food With...
  • Included Components: Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Trout & Sweet...

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This recipe uses deboned Trout, Turney meal and Salmon meal as its first three ingredients and main protein sources, so your Rottie is bound to love this recipe. It has the highest protein content, and with lower glycemic ingredients it is much easier to digest, especially when combined with patented probiotics that help to support a healthy gut flora. It has the highest calorie count per cup which means that if you have an energetic Rottweiler who loves to play he’ll be energized for his day ahead, and sweet potatoes and chickpeas will keep him feeling full.

We love that this recipe uses no egg or Chicken protein, which makes this a great option for those fussier Rottweilers, or those who have particular food intolerances.


Nutro Wholesome Large Breed Senior

NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Senior Large Breed...
  • Contains one (1) 30 lb. bag of NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Natural...
  • Farm-Raised Chicken Is The #1 Ingredient To Deliver Great Taste...
  • Nutro Food For Large Breed Senior Dogs Is Made With Natural...
  • Crafted To Help Maintain Cognitive Health And Is Made With...

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The first protein ingredient on this list is Chicken, and with Chicken meal listed as the third it provides your Rottie with glucosamine for his joints and oils for his skin. Nutro also states that this recipe is crafted to help maintain cognitive health. Dried apples, blueberries and carrots also provide him with a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, and sweet potato and dried beet pulp will assist in the regularity of his aging digestive system.

We love that this recipe has the lowest calorie count per cup so if you have an elderly Rottweiler that isn’t as active anymore this would make a great option.


Blue Buffalo Large Breed Senior

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large...
  • REAL MEAT FIRST: Blue Buffalo foods always feature real meat as...
  • FOR LARGE BREED SENIOR DOGS: BLUE Life Protection Formula Large...
  • WITH LIFESOURCE BITS: This formula contains BLUE’s exclusive...
  • A NATURAL DOG FOOD: Formulated for the health and well-being of...

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Deboned Chicken is the first ingredient listed, and again, with Chicken meal following shortly after you can be sure that his hips, joints, muscles and skin are supported and nourished. Many reviewers loved that it gave their aging pooch a lot of energy too! Blue Buffalo have mixed in their exclusive LifeSource Bits into this kibble mix, and with a precise blend of nutrients needed for his aging immune system, you can be certain that his immunity is strengthened.

We love that this has the highest fiber content on this list, so not only is his digestive system well looked after, it also ensures that it keeps him feeling fuller for longer without the need for lots of naughty treats.


Food for Overweight Rottweilers

At some point during their lifetime, many Rottweilers will find themselves on the porky side of the weight scales, and if this does happen, you need to take action to get him back to a healthy weight. The best thing you can do, along with daily exercise, is to take some calories out of his bowl and switch him to a weight management kibble. Extra unnecessary weight is associated with a wide variety of health problems, particularly for larger breeds, so be sure to take it seriously. Here are our top picks for the overweight Rottweiler.


Earthborn Holistic Weight Control

Earthborn Holistic Weight Control Grain-Free...
  • Grain, gluten, potato-free, this unique low-fat, low calorie...
  • Premium chicken meal provides a high-quality protein source to...
  • Fibers from vegetables and fruits, like peas, apples,...
  • L-Carnitine helps burn fat and maintain lean muscle mass to...

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With a protein content of 25%, a fat content of 7% and 325 calories per cup, this weight management kibble ensures that your big boy will still get all he needs, but with far fewer calories. This is a grain free formula that also lists L-carnitine to boost his metabolism.

We love that Earthborn holistic provides a grain free option for Rottweilers that have a more sensitive stomach, while still supporting weight control and lower calories. They also have bison flavored formulas, which are popular with many dog owners.


Purina Pro Plan Weight Control

Purina Pro Plan Low Fat Large Breed Weight...
  • One (1) 34 lb. Bag - Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Weight Management...
  • High-quality protein, including chicken as the #1 ingredient
  • 15% less fat than Pro Plan Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula...
  • EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid, and glucosamine help to support joint...

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The protein content here is 26%, the fat content is 9% and the calorie count is 374 per cup. Whilst this recipe is slightly higher in fat and calories, Purina have made this with larger breeds in mind. This is a grain inclusive recipe, but protein is still the first ingredient.

We love that Purina Pro seems to set the bar with many of their offerings.  They are one of our favorite brands for other giant breeds like Mastiffs, and also a top food brand for smaller breeds like Yorkies.


Final Thoughts

The Rottweiler is a huge dog with an equally huge heart, and being such a loyal pooch we owe it to him to feed him the very best nutrition. Follow the advice and recommendations in this guide and both you, and your Rottie, will be pleasantly surprised at how good nutrition can really make the difference to his health and happiness!

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