Rottweilers and ferocity go hand in hand. This robust breed with an intimidating appearance ranks relatively high for the most ancient breeds. They are great family dogs when socialized in the right way. But there is no denying that the Rotties are fierce protectors as well.
So, it is evident that such a powerful breed of the Rottweiler’s stature needs adequate nutrition. It will help them stay physically and mentally stimulated. Coming to the topic, right from their puppy days, the Rotties must be fed well to grow up as strong adults. Puppies need more food than their adult counterparts. It’s because they are in their growing stage. Proper nutrition will cater to the better development of their body.
So, in this article, we will look at the diet of Rottweiler puppies, particularly homemade food.
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What Are The Benefits of Giving Rottweiler Puppies Homemade Food? 6 Possible Explanations
Now comes the most vital question. What should you feed the Rottweiler puppies store bought food or a homemade diet? Well, the tiff between homemade and store-bought food is unending. Each of them has their pros and cons. So, if homemade food is our topic of discussion, let;’s consider its benefits first.
1. Your Dog Gets Fresh Food
The biggest advantage is that your pup will get fresh food every day. The veggies and meat come straight from the grocer and butcher. Fresh food always comes with a better taste than preserved ones. They will also be less harsh on your dog’s tummy.
2. It’s Free of Artificial Preservatives
Many pet food companies add artificial preservatives to the kibble. It helps in increasing the shelf life. Prolonged exposure to preservatives hurts the digestive system of dogs. It even damages their skin and coat and hampers bowel movement as well.
3. A Boon For Fussy Eaters
If your dog finds little interest in the kibble in his food bowl daily, then mealtime could be challenging. At this point, you would need to rethink his diet plan. What could be better than fresh food at home?
In this way, you can alternate your dog’s meals daily. So he wouldn’t have to eat the same thing day after day and will take more interest in his food. Just add all the essential nutrients your pup needs to remain healthy.
4. Good For Allergy Sufferers
Your dog may be allergic to foods like dairy products or veggies. If you know which food your dog is allergic to, then be extra cautious not to include that ingredient in its food. It may not be possible when you buy commercially manufactured food. You could miss checking some of the ingredients on the packaging, which your dog could likely be allergic to.
When it comes to the cost factor, homemade food wins all the way. They are affordable, and most ingredients are easily available in local groceries. Unlike food bought from the store, you will have fresh food that won’t cost much.
However, there’s a point of contradiction here. Homemade food can cost more than the store-bought variant depending on the choice of ingredients.
If you opt for lamb instead of chicken, it will cost more. While if you buy kibble that has a chicken meal, chicken by-products, and chicken flavoring, that would cost comparatively less.
6. Positively Impacts Your Dog’s Longevity
Belgian researchers Dr. Gerard Lippert and Bruno Sapy studied over 500 dogs over five years. It was to show the impact of a dog’s diet on his lifespan. The result of the study was that dogs put on a homemade diet survived for 13.1 years on average. Canines given commercially manufactured food lived for approximately 10.4 years.
What Are The Risks of Giving Rottweiler Puppies Homemade Food: 3 Probable Risks
Now that we have learned the benefits of homemade food for Rottweiler puppies, it’s also essential to know the other side of the coin. So, let’s consider the risks associated with giving homemade food to the Rottie puppies.
Here are the reasons:
1. You Are at Risk of Missing Out on Essential Nutrients
A dog needs a combination of vitamins, protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and other essential nutrients to stay healthy. When you buy commercially manufactured food, there is an increased chance of most of the nutrients being present in measured amounts.
However, it isn’t possible to add all the essential nutrients in one go when it comes to homemade food. So, your dog may receive a few nutrients but may be deprived of some.
Certain research mentions that around 48% of the food prepared at home lacks accurate nutrients. It also states that 71.3% of pet parents weren’t aware of the exact measurement to serve in each meal. The study further states that 40% of dog owners don’t measure the ingredients. Then, 28.3% of pet parents missed out on amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
You must keep altering your recipes if you prepare food at home. For example, if you’re giving your dog Rottie rice and chicken one day, add veggies the next day.
2. You May End up Using Improper Ingredients
The internet is flooded with umpteen recipes, and not all will suit your Rottie pup. Remember that Rotties are more prone to developing food allergies than most other breeds.
So, including any improper ingredient could affect your dog adversely. Also, it’s important to remember that before putting your dog into a homemade diet and introducing any new ingredient in its food, you must always have a word with the vet.
3. It Will Not Cater to Your Dog’s Needs
When you choose kibble, you will get a lot of varieties as per your dog’s age and weight. Each dog also differs from the other in the health conditions it may suffer from. While some dogs are more prone to allergies, a few might suffer from sensitive stomachs.
Store-bought food comes with all of these specifications, as per the individual requirements of different dogs. However, it’s impossible to cater to all your dog’s needs when preparing food at home. Puppies will need a high-protein diet in comparison to senior dogs. Certain breeds are more prone to obesity and bloating than others. Keeping all of these in mind when making food at home is challenging.
Health Dietary Changes in Rottweiler Puppies
Rottweilers are deep-chested breeds and more susceptible to torsion and bloating. That is why taking good care of the Rottweiler’s diet from the time they are puppies is essential. Besides maintaining a healthy diet for your pup, monitoring them closely from time to time is also essential.
Suppose you see any changes in your dog physically or from a behavioral point of view. In that case, it’s essential to contact the vet. He may check your dog and, if needed, prescribe a diet change. Certain conditions like an upset stomach or dullness in their skin and coat get better with a diet change. Let’s look at some of the conditions dogs might suffer from and how an alteration in diet can help to make it better.
1. Change in Coat Color And Skin Texture
If your dog’s skin and coat become dull and brittle, the reason could be that your dog isn’t receiving the right nutrition. Your dog might be suffering from an allergic reaction that has affected its skin and coat color.
- Dietary changes: You would need to increase amino acids in his diet that help repair the body tissues. It even works towards the formation of healthy coats and skin.
- Foods rich in amino acids: Food that is high in protein, like chicken, duck, turkey, etc., are rich in amino acids.
2. For Repeated Episodes of Bloating
Rotties are highly prone to bloating, which can become life-threatening if not addressed at the earliest.
- Dietary changes: Increase the calcium content in your dog’s diet.
- Foods rich in calcium: Vegetables like broccoli, beans, and spinach, meat products like chicken meat.
3. Dermatitis And Itching
Dogs could be affected with dermatitis due to a bacterial or fungal infection or food or environmental allergies. It could result in inflammation, redness, and itching. At this time, it’s extremely important to take utmost care of his diet.
- Dietary changes: You should ensure that your dog gets moderate amounts of Vitamin B, Vitamin E, zinc, omega 3, and omega 6 fatty acids.
- Foods rich in these nutrients:
- Vitamin B – Meat, fish, egg, poultry, leafy greens, beans.
- Vitamin E – Spinach, peanut butter, safflower oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, salmon, eggs.
- Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids – fish oil
4. For Dandruff And Scaly Skin
When the sebaceous glands produce too much oil, an imbalance leads to dandruff on your dog’s skin, alongside other problems.
- Dietary changes: Add vitamin A and zinc to your dog’s diet.
- Foods rich in Vitamin A and zinc:
- Vitamin A – Carrot, liver, spinach, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, turnip greens, eggs.
- Zinc- Broccoli, fish oil, spinach, sardine, salmon, duck
NOTE: Before including or adding anything new to your dog’s diet, consult the vet first.
3 Best Homemade Recipes For Rottweiler Puppies
Upon consulting your vet, if you have been approved for preparing your Rottweiler puppies’ food at home, here are some interesting options.
1. A Turkey-Veggie Meal
- Water (4 cups)
- Ground turkey (one pound)
- Brown rice (2 cups)
- Chopped carrot (1 cup)
- Chopped green bean (1 cup)
How to Make
- Use a skillet to cook the turkey.
- Then, take another pot and fill it with water. Also, add brown rice and the cooked turkey to it.
- Boil the contents in the pot at low heat for 15 minutes. Continue for a little long if the rice does not soften then.
- Now add the veggies and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
- Before adding it to your dog’s bowl, let it cool for a while.
Note: While turkey is a good source of protein, the veggies included in this dish help your dog to meet his vitamin and mineral requirements. If your dog is allergic to turkey, you can substitute it with venison or lamb. How much of it you would have to serve your pup depends on his weight. A vet will be able to help you better regarding the same.
2. Beef-Veggie Stew
- Beef stew meat (one pound)
- Sweet potato (one of a smaller size)
- Diced carrot (½ cup)
- Diced green beans (½ cup)
- Premade gravy
How to Make
- Microwave the sweet potato for 5-8 minutes till it attains a firm and tender texture. Next, cut it into small blocks and keep it aside for now.
- Cut the beef into small chunks and cook it over the skillet.
- Add the beef, sweet potato, and other veggies in a large pan. Include the premade gravy. Cook for 5-10 minutes.
Note: This is a perfect example of a high-protein homemade diet. Many owners often prefer shifting their dogs from a dry-food diet to a wet diet. This homemade stew would be a better substitute for commercially manufactured wet food.
3. Chicken And Rice
- Chicken breasts (skinless and boneless; (2)
- Dry white rice (one cup)
- Medium-sized carrots (2)
- Medium-sized zucchini (1)
- Coconut oil (1 tablespoon)
How to make
- Boil the rice and chicken breast in a large pot filled with water
- Simmer for 20 minutes till the ingredients are cooked, and the rice attains a fluffy texture
- Allow it to cool for a while after you remove it from the heat source. You can shred the chicken with the help of folks
- Peel the carrots, and grate both the veggies
- Add the coconut oil to the skillet and put it on medium heat
- Sautee the veggies for 5 minutes till they turn soft
- Now add the veggies to the rice and chicken and serve when cooled
Note: This will comfort your Rottie pup if he has a sensitive stomach. Refrigerate the food after sealing it in a container. It will stay for as long as four days.
What Foods Should Your Rottweiler Puppies Never Eat?
You need to be extremely careful regarding the kinds of food that you have to feed your puppy. When it comes to human food, many things are a strict no-no for them. Consuming even a small amount of it may produce toxic effects on your dog. Here are some of the foods that your Rottie pup or, for that matter, any pup or dog shouldn’t have. Listed below are some of the foods.
If you are munching on a bar of chocolate, and you see your dog attempting to get a bite, be careful. You might be tempted to pamper it with a bit of it, but before you do that, it’s important to know that chocolate is harmful to your dogs. It contains theobromine which has a toxic effect on dogs if ingested. It will affect the dog’s brain and heart, leading to severe symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, panting, restlessness, etc.
Dark chocolates and baking chocolates have an increased percentage of theobromine than white chocolates. That doesn’t mean you can give your dog white chocolates. It is heavily concentrated with fat and sugar, leading to adverse effects.
Avocados contain persin, a fungicidal toxin that’s harmful to dogs. However, vets believe canines are more resistant to avocados than other animals. Yet, it’s better not to give this fruit to your dog. It may lead to choking, especially if your dog has eaten the pit.
3. Onion And Garlic
Onion and garlic contain the compound thiosulfate, which may damage your dog’s red blood cells and result in anemia. If your dog has ingested any form of onion and garlic – cooked, powdered, or fresh it can cause severe side effects. These include diarrhea, restlessness, loss of appetite, and vomiting.
4. Xylitol-Based Foods
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is a basic ingredient in several products like over the counter medications, toothpaste, mouthwash, baked items, etc.
Xylitol is extremely harmful to dogs as it could lead to a sudden decrease in the dog’s blood sugar. It can give rise to symptoms like weakness, lethargy, and uncoordinated movement. Your dog may even suffer from seizures and collapse in extreme cases.
5. Macadamia Nuts
Keep your pup away from the macadamia nuts that might lie scattered across the baking trays in your home during fall. Remember, even small amounts of this nut may lead to severe symptoms in your dog.
Macadamia nuts could cause serious symptoms like vomiting, loss of appetite, restlessness, and severe stomach pain.
6. Coffee And Other Caffeinated Products
Coffee and anything else containing caffeine should never be given to your Rottie pup. There could be various side effects of coffee for your dog. These include restlessness, a jittery feeling, increased heart rate, etc. That’s why it’s advisable to do away with the coffee cups when you are done with them. Otherwise, your dog would not think twice before licking the leftover coffee in your cup.
Other Foods That Your Dog Must Avoid
The list of foods your dog must avoid isn’t just confined to the abovementioned list. Here are some other foods that should also be avoided.
- Cooked bones
- Uncooked meat
- Salty foods
- Seeded fruits
- Corn on the cob
- Milk and dairy products
- Yeast dough
An adult Rottweiler weighing around 80-135 pounds needs around 1650-2450 calories daily. However, pups are in their growing stage. So they need more calories than their adult counterparts.
The puppies need to eat 4-5 times each day. You should reduce the amount to thrice a day at 6-12 months of age. So, follow this practice when feeding your Rottie pup at home.
The Rottweiler Club mentions that the Rotties are more prone to suffer from conditions like elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, and osteochondritis dissecans. They are also at an increased risk of bloating since they have deep chests.
So you must be extra cautious about the food you give your Rottweiler puppy. Taking care of their diet since their puppy days will help them grow as healthy adults. If you are contemplating giving your Rottie puppy homemade or store-bought food, it’s better to consult your vet first. A combination of both won’t be a bad idea though.
Dr. Lillian is a D.V.M. passionate about promoting awareness of dogs. She shares her expertise through her blogs on canineweekly.com and provides animal care services, including internal medicine, dermatology, and emergency care. Dr. Lillian is committed to contributing to animal welfare.