When feeding a Rottweiler puppy, you need to pick the right food
And give them the right size portions.
On a schedule that fits his tiny tummy.
So your little pup grows up to be a big, strong, healthy adult Rottweiler dog!
Yet everywhere you turn, you are reading confusing and conflicting Rottweiler puppy care information!
Every expert you consult has a different approach on how to take care of a Rottweiler puppy and properly feeding a Rottweiler puppy.
What should you do?
Let’s find out what veterinarians and canine health experts say about taking care of Rottweiler puppies.
Find answers to your questions about the Rottweiler puppy diet.
Including a handy Rottweiler puppy diet plan!
How much do you feed a Rottweiler puppy?
The question of how much food to feed your Rottweiler puppy is common.
It can also feel somewhat urgent as a new puppy owner.
All of a sudden you have this little furry armful.
And you are completely responsible for your new puppy’s daily care and health – yikes!
Breeders often remind new puppy owners that your pup’s entire system is still growing and developing.
This includes the gastrointestinal, digestive, and elimination systems.
You may not be able to peer inside your puppy to see what is going on from day to day.
But you may see some natural appetite fluctuations as your puppy grows up.
One day, your Rottie may eat like he hasn’t seen a meal in a month!
The next day, your puppy may seem uninterested in meals.
As long as this doesn’t become a pattern, this is probably normal.
And your pup doesn’t go more than a day without eating most of what you serve,
However, when in doubt, always contact your veterinarian for guidance!
Figuring out how much to feed a Rottweiler puppy will depend several things.
Your pup’s sex, height and weight.
As well as their estimated adult height and weight.
But even more than these, feeding a Rottweiler puppy will depend on what type of food you choose.
What to know about Rottweiler puppies’ dietary needs
Your Rottweiler puppy will need some very specific nutrients.
And he will need them in some very specific amounts.
This will give him the best chance of growing up with a strong, healthy immune system.
Plus strong and healthy bones, brain, and body systems!
Feeding a Rottweiler puppy should always aim to meet these guidelines:
This is vitally important.
It will help your dog develop strong joints and bones, eyes and teeth, brain, and immune system.
Calcium absorption can be increased or decreased by other nutrients in your dog’s diet, including phosphorus and Vitamin D.
Overall, aim for a calcium content of no more than 1.5 percent, or 3 grams per 1,000 kcal of food.
Phosphorus is an essential mineral to help your dog’s bones.
Making their joints, and skeletal system form and grow properly.
Phosphorus binds with calcium to do its job.
This is why the calcium to phosphorus ratio (often abbreviated as Ca:Ph) of your puppy’s food is so important.
The Ca:Ph ratio should always remain between 1:1 and 1:3 unless your dog’s vet advises otherwise.
How much to feed my Rottweiler puppy for healthy growth
Rottweilers are at an increasing risk for health issues related to obesity.
One research study estimated that obesity is now more concerning than joint issues for Rotties!
Rottweilers can be really big dogs that weigh 70 to 130+ pounds at maturity!
Feeding a Rottweiler puppy the wrong food can cause skeletal, bone, and joint problems.
Another serious health concern that Rottweiler dogs face is canine cancer.
The choice of what to feed yourRottweiler puppy can contribute to stronger immune health.
This can in turn guard against neoplasia (cell mutation that can lead to cancer).
A Rottweiler puppy should not put on weight at a rate of more than four pounds or so per week.
Choose a large-breed puppy food.
It might also help to weigh your pup regularly.
Rottweiler puppy food amount
Don’t free feed your pup.
Instead, you can work with your dog’s vet to create a Rottweiler puppy diet chart.
Use that as your go-by for daily feedings.
Here, it may be tempting to take a “more is better” approach to vitamin and mineral supplements.
But veterinarians and researchers caution against this!
Feeding your Rottweiler puppy an overly enriched diet can produce joint, bone, and skeletal malformations that are just as concerning as how malnutrition might impact your pup’s growth and health.
The two most influential growth-related dietary vitamin and minerals are calcium and phosphorus.
Rottweiler puppies need less of each in more measured quantities than would a smaller-breed puppy.
They will grow up faster than a large breed like a Rottie.
Feeding a Rottweiler puppy to adulthood
Rottweiler puppies take longer to grow up – up to 18 months in most cases!
The most important growth periods for a Rottie puppy are before weaning.
Ages three to eight months, and 12 to 18 months of age.
This is when most Rotties will finally grow into their full adult height and weight.
You may want to keep your growing pup on large-breed puppy food for this time period.
When your Rottie has reached between 90 and 99 percent of her adult height, weight, and size, it is time to begin the transition from feeding a Rottweiler puppy food to feeding an adult large breed dog food.
What is the best diet for Rottweiler puppy dogs?
As you are wondering what you should feed your Rottweiler puppy?
Let’s take a closer look at the four main types of puppy food: dry kibble, wet food, homemade food, and raw food.
Commercially-prepared dry kibble in a “complete and balanced” large breed puppy food recipe is still considered the best and safest food for large breed puppies.
As a side benefit, when you feed a commercial complete and balanced dry kibble, you typically won’t need to add any vitamins or minerals in supplement form unless your veterinarian specifically recommends otherwise.
Large breed puppies typically do not need a diet supplemented with wet puppy food so long as their puppy kibble is complete and balanced to their dietary needs.
The exception might be if your pup falls ill and loses his appetite.
Wet food is highly palatable and contains more hydration than dry kibble.
So it can be a good idea to feed wet puppy food every now and then to get your pup used to eating it just in case the need arises!
Otherwise, use caution when topping your puppy’s dry kibble with wet food to avoid a nutrient excess that could cause health and growth issues for your puppy.
As more pet dogs begin struggling with environmental and dietary allergies, more dog owners are turning to homemade food diets to ease symptoms.
However, this type of feeding plan is still very new and much more research is needed to help owners be sure their pups are taking in sufficient daily and balanced nutrition!
Veterinarians generally advise against feeding a fully homemade diet for large breed puppies because the risk of dietary-related health issues is so high.
Right now, the raw food diet is arguably the most popular diet among dog owners.
But here again, it is wise to proceed with caution when starting a large breed puppy on a raw or a homemade food diet.
Canine researchers state feeding a large breed puppy a raw diet can cause a dangerous calcium to phosphorus ratio.
That may lead to thyroid dysfunction as well as developmental orthopedic disease (DOD).
Also, there is a higher risk that raw foods may contain bacteria or microorganisms your young puppy’s still-developing immune system may be less well equipped to guard against.
If you feel strongly about feeding your Rottweiler puppy a raw food or homemade food diet, talk with your veterinarian about how best to supplement with vitamins and minerals to guard against these known dietary-related health conditions.
As another option, you may want to consider feeding a commercial whole and complete large breed puppy food diet until your Rottie is fully grown and then transitioning to a raw or homemade food diet at that time.
Rottweiler puppy feeding schedule
This Rottweiler puppy feeding chart will give you a very general outline to work from as you learn how much to feed your Rottweiler puppy.
Remember, your puppy’s estimated adult height and weight may vary depending on gender, birth order, and each parent dog’s size.
Ideally, you want to work with your vet to find the perfect portion for your dog’s growth.
Most puppies come out of the weaning phase and begin eating three to four small meals per day.
It is important not to free-feed your Rottweiler pup to avoid issues of overweight/obesity and nutrient imbalances that can cause permanent growth malformation.
For a young puppy, aim for three meals per day until your pup turns six months old, then two meals daily from there forward.
During house-training, make sure the last meal is a few hours before bedtime to avoid night-time “accidents.”
In general, puppies need to take in more calories per day in a different nutritional formula than do adult dogs.
The exact amount of food you offer may change as often as monthly as your puppy grows up.
If you are feeding a whole and complete, balanced large breed puppy food, always follow the manufacturer’s feeding suggestions unless your vet advises otherwise.
If you are feeding a raw or homemade food diet, it is advisable to work with a canine nutritionist to ensure your puppy is taking in the right number of calories.
As well as the right balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, produce, vitamins, and minerals each day.
The best way to gauge your Rottie’s hunger is to offer food for only a set period of time and notice how fast your pup consumes it.
For example, let’s say you decide mealtimes will be 15 minutes long (this is a standard time period many puppy owners use).
So you put the food down and set the timer for 15 minutes.
If your Rottie rushes over and gobbles it all down in 3 minutes flat and looks around for more, you may want to talk with your veterinarian about increasing portion sizes or feeding frequency.
However, if your puppy doesn’t consume all the food after the 15 minutes are up, this might indicate you are providing too much food at mealtimes and you can scale it back until you find the perfect portion size.
Unlike food, fresh water should always be available to your puppy!
The one exception might be during the house-training stage, when you may want to remove water a few hours before bedtime each night to avoid night-time “accidents.”
Feeding a Rottweiler puppy
We hope this article has helped you feel confident and informed about feeding a Rottweiler puppy!
References and Further Reading
- O’Neill, D., et al, “Rottweilers under primary veterinary care in the UK: demography, mortality and disorders,” Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, 2017.
- Newman, C., DVM, “The Remarkable Rottie,” Harlingen Veterinary Clinic, 2018.
- Kane, E., PhD, “Developmental orthopedic disease in large-breed puppies,” Veterinary Practice News, 2013.
- Cornelisson, S., et al, “Dietary hyperthyroidism in a Rottweiler,” Vlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift/Ghent University – Belgium, 2014.
- Wynn, S., DVM, “Feeding Large Breed Puppies,” Innovative Veterinary Care Journal, 2013.
- Newman, C., PhD, DVM, “Large Breed Puppies: What Is an Appropriate Diet?,” Newman Veterinary Hospital, 2017.