Rottweilers are muscular, energetic dogs that require a high-quality diet rich in protein to maintain their health and their shiny, short coats. This breed may suffer more often from food allergies, and those dogs affected require a hypoallergenic diet to avoid such problems as vomiting, gas, and dry, itchy skin. A special hypoallergenic diet can also help Rottweilers with sensitive stomachs that result from conditions such as canine inflammatory bowel disease.
Adult Rottweilers need a diet containing between 22 and 26 percent protein from whole proteins such as chicken, turkey, lamb, or herring. Rottweiler puppies often do well if fed adult food to prevent the rapid growth that can cause joint problems in large breeds. Whether or not your dog has food allergies, avoid chemical preservatives including BHA, BHT, Ethoxyquin, and foods high in sodium.
Rottweilers generally weigh between 85 and 125 pounds, and an active Rottweiler requires at least 2,100 calories per day. Do not allow your Rottweiler to become obese. There should not be so much fat on your dog's ribs that you cannot easily feel them under the skin. Obesity can also lead to or worsen joint problems that are common in this breed, including hip or elbow dysplasia. When feeding your Rottweiler, watch for signs of upset stomach, vomiting, flatulence or skin problems that are symptoms of larger problems.
Rottweilers can suffer from food, skin or inhalant allergies. If you notice that your dog is experiencing sensitivity to certain foods, dietary changes may be recommended by your veterinarian to prevent these issues. Some ingredients tend to irritate food allergies more than others. These ingredients include protein sources that your dog has already been eating or those common in dog foods, such as beef, chicken, or turkey. Dairy products and high amounts of animal fats can also upset dogs with food allergies.
Sensitive Stomach Issues
Rottweilers suffer from sensitive stomach issues resulting not only from food allergies, but also canine inflammatory bowel disease and colitis. Allergies and immune conditions are more frequent in the Rottweiler breed than other breeds. Because the symptoms of these autoimmune disorders are similar to food allergies, consult with your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.
A hypoallergenic diet often is part of the treatment of food allergies, IBD, and colitis. After eating foods that trigger either a food allergy or irritate a bowel condition, these dogs can become gassy and have loose stools; dietary management helps alleviate these symptoms. Hypoallergenic diets that contain one protein and one carbohydrate can help alleviate these conditions and prevent an upset stomach, the Rottweiler Health Foundation reports. After eating one protein and one carbohydrate for a period of a few weeks, other ingredients can begin to be added back into your dog's diet, one at a time, to determine if one or more of them is the cause of a food allergy.
A diet of raw ingredients and low amounts of carbohydrates may reduce your Rottweiler's stomach issues. It is important to consult with your veterinarian before feeding your dog raw meats or homemade meals.
Fillers and grains such as corn, soy, wheat, yeast and all spices can trigger food allergies in Rottweilers and should be avoided. Barley and potatoes used as the carbohydrates in your Rottweiler's diet may reduce allergic symptoms. Soy products and table scraps can cause flatulence in your Rottweiler. Fish oils that contain omega-3 fatty acids can help alleviate stomach inflammation caused by food allergies or sensitive stomachs, so salmon and other types of fish may be a good choice as your allergic dog's primary protein. Fish and venison both are considered hypoallergenic meats, according to "The Everything Rottweiler Book."
Rottweilers share with other large, deep-chested breeds a heightened risk of gastric dilation and volvulus, commonly referred to as bloat. This is a true medical emergency caused when a dog's stomach fills with food and gas and then turns, blocking the release of the building gases. The dog will die without fast medical help. The risk that this condition will occur is worsened by rapid gulping of food and by consuming a single large meal per day. Divide your Rottweiler's ration into at least two meals per day; three is preferable. Don't feed your dog in elevated dishes, and avoid feeding less than an hour before or after strenuous exercise. Give your dog a constant supply of fresh, clean water so that the dog does not feel the need to drink large quantities of water at mealtime.
If you notice that your Rottweiler is experiencing skin problems or gastric distress, consult a veterinarian to determine whether allergies to food or to something in the dog's environment is the cause. Skin conditions may result from flea allergy dermatitis and can be eliminated through the use of topical flea preventatives. Other health conditions can mimic allergy symptoms in Rottweilers.
Homemade dog food or raw diets may help alleviate allergy symptoms, but if you wish to try such a diet, it is important to consult your veterinarian to ensure your dog will receive a well-balanced diet that contains all of the vitamins and minerals a dog must have to thrive. When feeding raw meat, always thoroughly wash your hands, kitchen utensils and surfaces that come in contact with the meat to avoid bacterial contamination.
When feeding your dog, use stainless steel or glass dishes instead of plastic, which sometimes can contribute to skin allergies.