Cramatte Kennels
Mission , BC , Canada
  604 826-6878
Rottweiler Health and Nutrition

Health and  Nutrition :

Along with the mental well being of your Rottweiler, you are also responsible for your dog's physical well being. It is your responsibility to your Rottweiler and to NERR&R to keep your dog in the best physical condition you can. This includes regular veterinary care, grooming, and feeding your dog the best food you can.

The Raw Edge - Proponents of BARF (bones and raw foods or biologically appropriate raw foods) say it's the best diet for your dog. There are several maxims to keep in mind in addition to the old proverb KISS (keep it simple stupid)

The dog's digestive system is short. Therefore, if you want your dog to access the nutrients of a particular plant food, break it down--process it or blend it.

Variety is good because it ensures a wide and varied range of nutrients, just as if the dog were feeding in the wild.

Fresh animal protein and fat is still the centerpiece of the dog's diet.

Fresh is superior to frozen which is superior to canned which is superior to powder (e.g., garlic).

Fresh water, good nutrition, exercise, herbs to promote healing from the inside out, and patience are valuable.


aids digestion,

  is a potent immune system stimulant,

is a potent anti-microbial (parasites),

contains an amino acid derivative, allium. When garlic is consumed, an allinase enzyme that converts allium to allicin is released. Allicin has an antibiotic effect; its antibacterial action is equivalent to one percent that of penicillin.

is also an anti-fungal agent effective against candidiasis, vaginal yeast infections, and most pathogenic fungi,

  is good for the heart and colon,

is effective in the treatment of arthritis and circulation problems.

You might make a teaspoon of garlic-roughly a clove - a regular component of your dog's daily diet. While fresh food - processed garlic is best, minced.jar works well, too. Some people add yogurt to their dog's diets to counterbalance the garlic's anti-microbial effects on the digestive system's good bacteria.

Many commercially prepared dog foods are not acceptable foodstuffs for Rottweilers-or any dog, for that matter. Often pet foods are made from waste and byproducts from the human food industry. Because the pet food industry is under regulated and uses by products of human food, pet food often contains contaminants having little or no nutritional value and may be harmful to your dog.

Read the ingredient listing on the bag. A good kibble contains as its first ingredient a named meat, such as "lamb" or "chicken." "Meat by-products" or "poultry by-products" aren't equivalents. You want the named meat to be listed as "meal" (as in "lamb meal") because meal has no water. Since ingredients are listed in order of their abundance, you don't want to feed a food in which water is the most abundant ingredient, post processing.

The next ingredient of importance is the carbohydrate source. Corn, wheat, and rice are the major ones. Rice is preferable because it is easily digested and rarely allergenic. Corn is very difficult for dogs to digest because of their short digestive systems. Many dogs suffer from wheat allergies. Good kibble will not contain chemical preservative such a BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin; vitamin E or C, both natural preservatives, will be listed instead.

You can perform a simple test to determine the quality of the ingredients in the food you feed: Soak a cup of the food in two cups of water and cover the bowl. Check the food after six hours. If it has swollen more than half its dry size, it contains too much fiber and bulk (indigestible matter of no nutritional value) and may cause your dog to bloat.

Any hair and foreign bodies you find are by-products of processing; these too provide no nutritional value and can be harmful. You pay for these ingredients - they are part of the food you'll be feeding your dog, yet they offer no nutritional value to your Rottweiler. Foods high in bulk with little nutritional value deprive dogs of amino acids and minerals. Your dog will have to consume more food to make up for this deprivation. Purchase quality kibble if you're not feeding a natural diet. Doing so is less expensive in the long run because you feed less and your dog will likely have fewer health problems. And since you can feed less of a quality kibble, less going in means less coming out, too. Every year Whole Dog Journal lists what it considers the top 10 dog kibble brands. 

General Health Care :

While arecommended health care reading list is provided at the back of this manual, we offer basics in this section.

Regular veterinary check ups are mandatory under NERR&R contract. Immunizations and de-worming schedules will depend on your geographical location and veterinarian's recommendation. Home health care should involve daily grooming and inspection for external parasites such as ticks and fleas, as well as cuts, abrasions, and lumps. Weekly ear cleaning, nail trimming, and dental inspection are also mandatory.

Beyond Basics:

This section gives you a general idea of some ailments with which your Rottweiler may be afflicted and how to live with these chronic conditions.

HD (hip dysplasia) is a painful arthritic condition caused by a deformation of the hip joint. IHD may be accidental, but is most often hereditary. Symptoms are characterized by pain and limping on one or both sides, difficulty sitting or standing from a down position, and an unsteady gait. Treatment may entail surgical removal of the femoral head, a shortening of ligaments or muscles to hold the femoral head in place, or reconstructive or replacement surgery.

OCD (Osteochondrosis dissecans) usually affects growing puppies between four and 12 months old (Carlson, 1980) and typically affects the shoulder joint. Stress caused by over activity and weakness causes the cartilage to separate form the long bones, sometimes chipping into the joint requiring surgical removal. Treatment involves restricting activity or confinement.

Ruptured cruciates involve the cruciate (cross) ligaments, which stabilize the knee joint become ruptured under great stress or over activity. Nearly always requiring surgical repair, symptoms of a ruptured cruciate include lameness in a hind limb, which is held abnormally straight with the toes pointed straight to the ground.

Entropion and ectropion are deformities of the eyelid. In the former, eyelids roll inward; in the latter, lower eyelids roll out from the eye's surface. Both conditions cause severe eye irritation. Corneal injuries are common in dogs with entropion and chronic conjunctivitis is a problem in dogs with ectropion. Surgery is usually recommended to remedy either condition.

Underactive thyroid is a problem for many Rottweilers. The thyroid gland, located in the neck, affects the dog's metabolism. Symptoms of an underactive thyroid include obesity, lethargy, thinning coat, drooping eyelids, irregular heat cycles, and mental dullness (Carlson, 1980). Fortunately, this condition is easily treated with a daily hormone tablet given for the rest of the dog's life.

Several types of heart conditions can affect Rottweilers and each must be diagnosed and treated by a veterinarian, preferably a cardiac specialist. Symptoms of heart disease include shortness of breath, retention of water (edema), coughing after exertion, and lethargy.

Bloat -gastric dilation- is an often fatal disorder of the digestive system characterized by expansion of the stomach with gas or frothy material (dilation). The stomach will not empty normally and it is difficult for food to advance into the intestines, or reverse its direction as vomit.

Dilation can be followed by a rotation of the stomach, called volvulus, which closes both entry to and exit from the stomach, so that relief to the distended state is impossible. This rotation compresses one of the major veins carrying blood to the heart. Since normal blood circulation is severely affected, shock and death can quickly follow. Bloat primarily affects deep-chested, mature members of large breeds, but it also has been reported in smaller dogs. More cases are reported between April and August, when dogs are likely to be more active. Immediate veterinary care is necessary if you notice your dog's abdomen swelling, or if he has abnormal pain in this area. Suggested precautions to decrease chances of bloat are:

Keep your dog's weigh under control-don't allow your dog to become overweight
 Feed several small meals throughout the day instead of one large meal

If you have more than one dog, feed the dogs individually in a quiet place to help calm eager eaters who may swallow quantities of air as they eat their food.

Do not feed your dog immediately before or after vigorous exercise.

Do not vigorously exercise your dog after he or she has eaten a meal.

Since sudden diet changes can trigger gastric upsets, change your dog's diet gradually over a period of seven to 10 days. Begin with a small amount of the new food, gradually increasing the amount each day.

Be alert to symptoms such as abdominal swelling and unproductive vomiting.

Immediately consult your regular veterinarian if you suspect bloat.

Icco von der Donnereiche BH HD-free ED-free ZtP
Pictured above is the father of Anka vom Bullenfeld

back to top


Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape
Copyright 2006 Cramatte Kennels.
All Rights Reserved.