Would it surprise you that a 25-pound Rottweiler puppy eats almost as much as a 75-pound adult?
However, the ill effects of overfeeding and adding too many supplements to the diet of a large-breed puppy leave many pet owners in a quandary.
How do you solve the confusion around how much to feed a Rottweiler puppy?
How much to feed Rottweiler puppies depends on several factors, including the quality of food, how old your pup is, and its weight.
Once you figure out a starting point based on caloric needs or body weight percentages, you must assess your puppy’s body condition to adjust feeding amounts.
Rotties generally require one to three cups of kibble as young puppies. They need three to five cups when first entering adolescence and four to six cups after eight months.
What should you feed a Rottweiler puppy?
Puppies require the same nutrients as adult Rotties, albeit in different proportions. Growth necessitates an increased intake of calories, fats, and proteins.
Proteins and Fats
While mature dogs need a diet with a protein composition of at least 22%, puppies require food that is 24% to 28% protein. Pups also require a diet that is 14% to 18% fat, compared to 12% to 16% for adults. The added proteins and fats accommodate the increased energy needs of growing muscles.
Regarding nutritional deficits in large- and giant-sized pups, AAFCO set minimal amounts for the macronutrients protein and fat at 22.8% and 8.5%, respectively.
Keep in mind that minimal specs do not equate to optimal nutrition. That is why the numbers above are significantly higher than AAFCO requirements.
Since protein amounts in puppy food tend to be much higher than the minimum prescribed levels, the main concern becomes avoiding overweight and obese puppies. Another priority is the source of the food’s amino acids.
Animal proteins remain the gold standard for puppy food because meat, unlike plant material, supplies all the essential amino acids a dog needs. Moreover, the proteins in meat are bioavailable to dogs, while a dense cellular wall protects plants.
This does not stop some commercial diets from using corn, peas, or potatoes as their primary proteins, as these foods are significantly cheaper than meats.
Therefore, you must keep in close contact with your veterinarian or a nutritionist or learn how to read dog food labels.
Animal fats are more species-appropriate for dogs than plant oils. However, many premium dog foods successfully use coconut, safflower, hemp, and olive oil. These fats are more stable than some fish oils and have the benefit of being mercury free.
Fats are essential to growth but are high in energy relative to their nutritional value. Therefore, they are more likely to contribute to obesity than proteins if the quantities are excessive.
Moreover, one of the overlooked side effects of providing a diet too high in fat is that it depletes other nutrients, such as calcium. This is most likely if the diet is over 20% fat.
Nevertheless, fats can benefit puppies with difficulty maintaining weight during rapid growth.
We have all seen the Pit Bull or Rottweiler puppy that looks too thin despite its ribs showing high caloric intake.
Among the more crucial fats are Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. The unique benefits of animal fats become evident when comparing omega fatty acids.
Plant products, apart from coconuts, generally are comprised of ALAs or short-chain fatty acids.
Coconut oil is composed of medium-chain fatty acids, while fish oils have long-chain fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
DHA, especially, is crucial for brain development. So much do omega-3s affect training that AAFCO has finally prescribed a minimum recommended intake of 40mg per kg of EPA and 25 mg per kg of DHA for puppies.
Calcium and Phosphorus
Also essential in Rottweiler puppy food are vitamins and trace minerals. Calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium are among the crucial micronutrients in growth.
The phosphorus-to-calcium ratio is incredibly vital, and dog owners frequently disrupt it by attempting to supplement calcium.
The ratio of dietary phosphorus to calcium should be approximately one to one. AAFCO has set minimal phosphorus amounts at 1% of the diet and calcium at 1.2% of total food consumption.
Calcium imbalances can be particularly detrimental in large-breed, rapidly growing puppies.
After some studies showed a link between excess dietary calcium and joint and bone growth abnormalities (hip dysplasia and panosteitis), AAFCO set maximum daily calcium levels at 4,500 mg per 1,000 calories or 1.8% of the diet.
How Much to Feed Rottweiler Puppy
There are two primary ways to determine how much to feed a Rottie puppy. Both methods consider the pup’s age and activity levels and rely on body scoring.
Body scoring assesses your pup’s condition and is an effective means to gauge whether you are feeding too much or not enough.
Body Condition Scoring
There are two body scoring methods. The difference is one is scaled from one to nine and the other one to five. The former allows the evaluator to include more details and subtleties.
A significant feature of puppies to recognize is that they do not have much of an abdominal uptuck. The presence of one, especially in a young pup, can indicate a severely underweight animal.
Assessing Body Condition Score (BCS)
|Emaciated – ribs, spine, pelvis pronounced, no muscle mass, exaggerated waist
|Very Thin – ribs, spine, pelvis visible, minimal loss of muscle mass, pronounced waist
|Thin – ribs, spine, pelvis barely visible, drastic waist
|Ideal – ribs, spine, pelvis easily felt, noticeable waist
|Ideal – ribs, spine pelvis palpable with a thin layer of a fat, noticeable waist
|Overweight – slight fat layer; ribs, spine, pelvis challenging to palpate, waist less defined
|Heavy – thick fat layer over ribs; no waist
|Obese – thick fat layer over ribs, spine, pelvis and can palpate with high pressure
|Severely obese – abdominal distension; cannot palpate ribs or spine; fat deposits on legs, face, and base of the tail.
The other system scores your pup’s condition from one to five.
- BCS 1/5 – emaciated to very thin
- BCS 2/5 – Underweight
- BCS 3/5 – Ideal
- BCS 4/5 – Overweight
- BCS 5/5 – Obese
Since Rottweilers are deep-chested large dogs requiring large amounts of food, you should feed your puppy multiple times a day. Divide your dog’s daily ratio into however many meals you will provide.
- 8 to 16 weeks old – 4 to 6 times daily
- 4 to 6 months old – 3 to 5 times daily
- 6 to 8 months old – 3 or 4 times daily
- 8 months through adulthood – 2 or 3 times daily
Feeding Rottweiler Puppies Based on Calories or Volume
You can calculate how many calories to feed your puppy and then transform that into volume or weight. Most commercial labels display how many calories are in a cup of food and how many kilocalories (1,000 calories) are in a pound.
Some charts tell you how many cups to feed your Rottie, but this is a less accurate way to determine how much food to give. Such instructions are based on how many average calories are in an ounce of dog food.
Caloric Needs of Rottweiler Puppies
|12 to 20 lbs
|750 to 1,080
|1.75 to 2 cups
|21 to 33 pounds
|1,140 to 1,590
|2 to 3 cups
|34 to 43 pounds
|1,640 to 1,950
|3.1 to 3.75 cups
|44 to 53 pounds
|1,986 to 2,284
|3.75 to 5 cups
|54 to 63 pounds
|1,929 to 2,166
|3.75 to 4.75 cups
|64 to 70 pounds
|1,754 to 1,876
|3.5 to 4 cups
|71 to 80 pounds
|1,895 to 2,073
|3.75 to 4.5 cups
|75 to 89 pounds
|1,975 to 2,246
|4 to 5.35 cups
|90 to 105 pounds
|2,264 to 2,542
|4.25 to 6 cups
|10 to 12 months
|90 to 135 pounds
|2,100 to 2,455
|4 to 6.5 cups
All dog feeding charts are approximate, so body scoring is so important. Assessing your pup’s body condition weekly allows you to adjust feeding amounts accordingly.
Exceptionally active puppies may require 25% more calories, while sedentary individuals usually need up to 30% fewer. Males burn more energy than females, and neutered animals generally need less food than intact ones.
Body Weight Percentage feeding
You may feed your puppy a percentage of her weight instead of calculating calories. This method is especially helpful if you provide homemade or commercial fresh, lightly cooked, or raw food.
You may still have to convert the food’s weight to calories if your puppy has trouble gaining or maintaining weight.
While the weighted method may cross over to canned food, it does not work for kibble or dehydrated raw food. With the moisture removed, dehydrated patties and dry dog food weigh only a third of the same quantity of whole ingredients as meat.
Percentage of Body Weight to Feed According to Age
|percentage of body weight to feed
|8 to 10 weeks
|10 to 12 weeks
|4 to 5 months
|5 to 6 months
|6 to 9 months
|9 to 14 months
|14 to 17 months
|3% to 4%
An example of calculations based on a percentage of your pup’s weight is as follows. We will use a three-month-old Rottie that weighs 40 pounds.
- Looking at the chart, your pup’s starting percentage is 8% of his body weight.
- Multiple 40 lbs. x 0.08
- Your dog’s ration is about 3.2 pounds of food per day
As you can see, feeding large-breed puppies fresh food can get expensive.
Always consult an experienced veterinarian who specializes in canine nutrition before taking the plunge to feed your dog a raw or homemade diet. This is especially true of puppies, whereby balancing their diet for growth is tricky.
This is a fitting video of two eight-week-old healthy Rottweiler puppies that makes no specific food recommendations. Feeding your pup is one of your most personal and influential decisions.
We chose not to add to the plethora of online feeding videos that can be overwhelming, confusing, and inaccurate.
Notice these puppies have no abdominal uptick, which is typical for dogs their age. Their ribs and pelvis do not stick out and exhibit well-fed pups’ vigor and activity levels.