Food is fuel for the body and mind. Just like humans like to take care of their own eating habits, dogs love enjoying their food and feeling energetic while their stomachs are full. Most commercial food is packed with fillers and you might think it is unhealthy. You would be right to an extent.
There are many factors that influence your dog’s choice of food with money, free time and the dog’s preference being the top three. If you have a Rottweiler, you probably see, every day, that their appetite is rather big. All that muscle requires proper nutrition and ingredient quality and quantity is key.
So, is a Rottweiler raw diet something you should consider? Let us explore the benefits, downsides and check out expert opinions on the topic.
Is Raw Food Diet Good For Rottweilers?
We started off with a seemingly straightforward question that gets more complex the deeper you go with your research. Rottweiler raw diets can be very beneficial to the dog but only if executed properly. What does “proper execution” entail? We will answer that soon.
First we need to consider an answer that will either immediately put you off from considering a raw diet or make you curious about implementing it in your pet food regime.
Truth is, it depends on a few things. Firstly, do you have the budget to sustain a long term raw diet? Certified raw meat, fresh supplemental ingredients such as greens and fatty food are expensive.
In case you can financially manage feeding raw meat to your Rottweiler, then consider how much time you have to find, acquire, adequately dose and distribute the food into comprehensive meals. It is not just a matter of putting some high-quality raw meat in the bowl and calling it a day.
Not many people consider if their dog has allergies or is susceptible to bacteria found in raw food. That is why a test period, after the vet has given the green light, is good to zero in on your Rottweiler’s needs. Short answer: it can be good with some situational but serious drawbacks.
Raw Food Diet Explained
How does a raw food diet differ from kibble or canned wet food? Well, the nutrients are raw which means the scales of nutrients are more balanced within each ingredient. Raw meat will have more protein while keeping a decent amount of minerals and vitamins that kibble, for example, will have in traces.
Kibble and canned wet foods have everything mixed up into one container. You do not need to worry about nutrient balance or combining it all into a single meal. Just grab a cup and read the dosing instruction.
There are four types of raw food diets for your Rottweiler: homemade, store-bought, freeze-dried and dehydrated. Let us see what each of these means.
Homemade Raw Food Diet
You must have heard about the BARF diet. It used to stand for “bones and raw food” but, recently, has been changed to “biologically appropriate raw food”. This type of diet is pretty self-explanatory.
Adult Rotties need to consume protein in an amount of at least 2-3% of their ideal body weight. Rottie puppies should eat 5-6% of their current body weight but you have to monitor their growth to get the estimated amount. Raw food diets are not recommended for puppies.
Homemade raw food meals usually consist of muscle meat as a key protein ingredient. Muscle meat should be 70% of the entire meal, followed by 10% raw meaty bone, 7% vegetables, 5% liver and 5% kidney, heart or pancreas.
Two percent of seeds or nuts can help provide omega 6 and 9 fats with fruit having the least important role in this diet at 1%.
Large breeds have different requirements due to their growth speed. Calcium and phosphorus are crucial for bone health but excessive amounts of either can cause skeletal deformities or joint problems in Rottweiler puppies.
Variety is extremely important with raw meat protein diets. Switching up the kind of animal meat your Rottie eats makes sure it benefits from the different nutrient contents of each type of animal.
Store-bought Raw Food Diet
Store bought means exactly that – you buy raw diet meals for your dog that have already been packaged for your convenience. This is a tricky one.
No company does things from the goodness of their heart and dog food companies are the same. While there are highly nutritive and healthy store-bought raw foods, dog owners should check for origin certification.
These premade meals usually come frozen or freeze-dried. Keep in mind that frozen food can possibly lose some of its nutritional value.
Freeze-Dried Raw Food Diet
We already touched on this type of raw food diet. The upside is that you have ready-to-serve meals for your Rottie and do not have to go shopping around different butcher shops to get quality ingredients.
Freeze-dried food is a more efficient way of preserving nutrients than dehydration. Dry-freezing removes more moisture and gives it a longer shelf life.
Dehydrated Raw Food Diet
The process of dehydrating raw food has the same goal as freeze-drying, and that is to remove moisture from the food so that bacteria cannot thrive inside the package.
Warm air is used to slowly remove the moisture from the food without cooking it. This removes the liquid content of the food in the 90th percentile while freeze-drying reaches the 97th and 98th percentile.
Prey Model Raw Diet (PMR)
This model was created to “bring back” the natural way dog’s ancestors used to eat tens of thousands of years ago. It relies on the assumption that wolves ate exclusively what they found on their prey or carcasses.
However, tracking a wolf and looking at every second of its life to see what it had eaten was never a thing so the whole “model”, to me, is just a fad.
Some claim there are advantages like higher energy levels, better quality of coat etc., but there does not seem to be any large-scale research confirming it. I would not advise going for this rather radical raw diet.
Must Know Nutrient-Rich Foods In A Rottweiler Raw Diet
Rottweilers are a large breed that requires careful planning before switching to a raw diet. Puppy Rottweilers need more protein because of their speedy growth. Reaching that adult weight of 135 pounds would be difficult if they did not grow quickly.
The 5-6% of their current body weight as a general rule to what amount of food to feed a Rottweiler puppy can be misleading. While puppies require more protein in their diet, supplements are crucial for healthy growth.
Raw muscle meat is the protein king but organ meat plays a major role in a balanced raw dog food diet. The liver, for example, has plenty of zinc, iron, selenium, magnesium, vitamin B (B12), folate and much more. Organ meat, arguably, has a higher nutritive value than muscle meat.
Canines are carnivores whose main diet includes meat, organs and bone. However, carbohydrates give dogs the fuel to keep energy levels high for prolonged periods. Glucose is a sugar that can be quickly and easily transformed into energy so it is important in an active dog.
Some grains can be excellent additions to your adult dog’s meat diet. Brown rice, whole wheat and corn, millet or potatoes are some of the people’s favorites.
Secret Power Foods On A Budget
If you are into homemade dog food but have a restricted budget, adding some “unconventional” sources of nutrients can help your wallet.
Livers, kidneys and heart can be quite expensive if you look in the high-quality bracket of farmers market or butcher’s shop. To ease the spending you can look for tripe as an alternative source of fat and minerals/vitamins.
It has vitamin B, some saturated fat and most of the supplements that the liver provides: zinc, iron, calcium and phosphorus.
Another great supplement-rich source of healthy fats like omega-6 and omega-9 is fish oil. Yes, humans use it as an addition to their diet too. Whether liquid or in pills, it is a great “hack” to fool your dog into eating some fatty acids.
Avoid These Ingredients
Even the best dog foods can have ingredients that are not healthy for your Rottweiler such as high amounts of starch and processed grains. I do not recommend raw eggs and dairy.
Though there are many proponents of implementing these ingredients for coat shine, it might not be worth the risks including salmonella infections or digestive system complications such as excessive gas, vomiting or diarrhea.
A dog’s stomach is better equipped to handle certain bacteria in foods but breeders have lowered their natural resistance by intensifying the domestication levels in many breeds.
Pet owners should also avoid giving their pooches salty food, grapes, avocado and similar fruit. When buying raw foods for your Rottie, a visit to the grocery store needs to be systematic and planned out.
Here are a few links in case you were wondering about certain veggies’ effect on your Rottie:
Certain dogs can have food allergies that can include protein (the staple of raw food diets). Consult your vet before deciding on a raw diet.
How Much Raw Food Should I Feed My Rottweiler?
Amounts depend on the age, size and breed type. Adult Rotties should eat 2-3% of their ideal body weight per day. You can structure the meal as one big portion but two smaller ones are usually better for large breeds. Remember that 70% of the meal needs to be muscle protein.
Rottweiler puppies should eat 3-4 times a day. The amount of food can be calculated according to the standard formula of 5-6% of their current body weight. The protein percentage should be slightly higher for puppies.
A raw diet is not recommended for puppies because their stomachs cannot fully regulate the absorption of minerals such as calcium or phosphorus, causing an imbalance that can create health problems.
Think you can handle the puppy raw diet no problem? Here is a detailed guide on how much raw food a puppy should eat.
Do not overdo the meat amount as it also contains fat which can cause obesity in large breeds. They have large appetites that do not give a damn about the nutritive value of the food they eat. Adding the best Rottweiler treats into the mix should all be counted among the daily calorie count.
Opinions Are Split On Rottweiler Raw Diets
Raw food diets have been scrutinized by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Kennel Club, the Center for Disease Control, the Association of American Feed Control Officials and many more animal and health authorities.
There are multiple answers to this. The first one has been in the spotlight for a while now and includes salmonella, listeria and e. choli bacterial infections.
Raw meat, dairy and raw eggs can all have either bacteria present in them. You cannot get rid of bacteria by freezing it so even a freeze-dried raw diet is potentially dangerous.
Uncooked food is dangerous to humans too and, just because it is designated for your dog, it does not mean you cannot get infected. Touching the food while unpacking and not cleaning your hands can easily spread the bacteria around the house.
Families with small children that still do not walk are highly discouraged from feeding their Rotties a raw diet. Crawling around the floor increases the chances of coming into contact with the bacteria as the dog can spread it through saliva, feces, or direct contact with the child.
This holistic approach seems to be based on the need to make up for the years breeders spent trying to make dogs more accustomed to the way of man. The sudden onset of raw diet trends and recipes not approved by veterinarians is cause for concern.
What Are The Benefits Of Raw Food Diet
Raw foods indeed do preserve the nutrients in their most natural form. Even though pet owners would need a solid game plan for switching to a full raw food diet, doing it might reinvigorate your Rottie.
If you want your Rottie to have that lavish, shiny and thick coat a raw diet might be the best way to go. There are indications that chances of skin problems can be reduced with a holistic diet. Some suggest they might even be cured, though, I would take that with a grain of salt.
Immune system improvement is also popular among raw food supporters but again, there is no large-scale study that can confirm or deny this. However, your dog might just benefit from a raw meat diet.
Has your dog ever approached you with all the happiness in the world and then opened its mouth? Well, I understand how smelly their mouths can be and that is why raw foods can make your dog’s breath less stinky.
While we are on the topic of smells… Your Rotties substantial poops will probably become smaller because there will not be a lot of nutrients its stomach cannot process. The effectiveness of raw food diets in dogs is in the high amount of nutrients absorbed.
Because the food stays in the digestive tract for a shorter period of time, your dog will likely be more lively and have higher energy levels on a raw food diet. Nothing better than a good meal that does not slow down your rampaging sessions.
There Are Drawbacks To It
I mentioned some of the drawbacks already and they should be taken seriously. Bacterial infections are quite frequent with raw food diets. Even if you buy fresh meat from the best butcher’s shop, there is still a chance bacteria will develop on it.
This is why the AVMA opposes uncooked, partially cooked or raw diets for dogs. There are many risks that you cannot predict and can cause more damage than good, especially if a family member or the dog itself are immunocompromised.
Storing raw food takes a lot of space and buying and preparing it takes a lot of time. Your wallet will get lighter though. If you spend a lot of your time outside the house, a raw diet will put lots of stress on you.
Raw food diets are difficult to get right. Forgetting a single ingredient every other day because you could not find it in the grocery store or butcher’s shop can have detrimental consequences on your dog’s health.
Even if you do everything by the book, the book might be wrong. There are many recipes and “guides” for Rottweiler raw diets written by people who are not experts or only speak from personal experience.
What Dog Food You Should Choose Instead
A safe bet would be sticking with high-quality commercial foods or a home cooked diet. Commercial foods have the advantage of convenience while home cooked meals can provide a blend of nutritional value and safety.
From my experience, home cooked dog food can be mixed with commercial food to great success. You will definitely have more ground covered in terms of nutrients without worrying about bacterial infections.
Here are some home cooked diet recipes we liked and would like to share with you:
For more information on the best Rottweiler raw diet alternatives visit our Best dog food for Rottweiler article.
The Raw Finale
Right. We went through some intense food talk here and I am starting to get hungry. Do not worry. I am not planning to eat raw drumsticks or tripe… Back to your Rottweiler raw diet thoughts.
A raw diet can be excellent if you dedicate yourself 110%. If you are as busy as I am, then you probably dedicate less time to your OWN eating regime than your Rottie’s. This type of diet can tire you quickly and a tired mind is no good when bacteria are around.
Home Cooked dog food diets are a great alternative if you have the time and involve none of the risks raw dieting does. I would go for this one if I were having any doubts about a raw diet.
Whatever your choice, I am sure you found something helpful in the article that will point you in the direction best suited to you and your pet.