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Rottweiler food issues

Dutchess' Human
February 11th, 2008, 06:45 PM
After lots of searching both this site and in general on the internet, I'm looking for help with my rottie.

She's a 5 year old girl who I adopted last summer. She's perfect in just about every way, but she's got some food issues and I'm running out of ideas for her.

When I got her she was on a Walmart brand, I don't recall the name but it may have been Authority. A big green bag (40lbs) was about $15 - real top shelf stuff.

Being a firm believer in good dog food, I asked my vet what brand she would recommend. She recommended Medi-Cal preventative and I put my dog on it for 3 months or so. Over this period of time my dog got bad breath, terrible gas, and frequently got the runs. I slowly transitioned her over to it over probably 3-4 weeks but it didn't help.

So I figured it might be some sort of problem with the food or allergy, and changed again to Wellness (the whitefish formula). Again it was a slow transition, but there didn't seem to be any improvement. Fast forward another 3 months and here we are - dog with bad breath, stinky coat, TERRIBLE gas (you have no idea), and has from loose to very loose stool to the runs almost constantly. She's had a fecal test, bloodwork and a urinalysis and everything is well within norms.

I know I'm not supposed to keep changing food, which is why I don't want to do anything else without finding out. Can anyone suggest what I should do? Should I tough it out with Wellness? Should I go back to the Walmart brand? Is there another alternative?

February 11th, 2008, 06:59 PM
Coming from another rottweiler owner, with a dog with IBD. I would recommend you switch her to a lower protein source food, preferably with 1 meat source protein. I have tried everything under the sun with holistic, nothing worked.
I sucked it up and bought Nutro large breed( other dog did well on it).
Well this is the only food that he can digest. Or raw, with 1 source protein( thanks LP)
Do not switch too often, it will make things worse.
Look for 1 source, low protein, and after 3 weeks if no changes in stool, or gas, then go back to what she does well with, just make up for it with a little raw, like I did

By the way, she is GORGEOUS

Dutchess' Human
February 12th, 2008, 08:27 AM
Thank you for the reply and the kind words about my dog. You've got a good looking pup there too. Is he from German lines? He looks like it with the blocky head, but without the tan patches over the eyes I'd guess he was American.

Are you concerned at all that Nutro was one of the brands which were involved in the Menu Foods petfood recall last year? I know it was the wet food only, but I think it speaks to the overall QA/QC of the company. If their food works for my dog, that may be the way to go, I just thought I'd ask of your opinion.

Is your dog on either the Lamb & Rice or Weight Management version of Nutro's Large Breed formula (green or yellow), or just the regular one (blue bag).

What is it about low protein that is good for the IBD? I looked it up and read about it and the symptoms seem to be very similar to what my dog experiences. Do you allow treats for your dog? If so, what do you use that doesn't bother him?

Taken from:


"A food trial using hypoallergenic diets is usually one of the first steps in the initial treatment, and is used to verify the diagnosis...

...When the colon is the major portion of the digestive tract that is involved, diets high in fiber such as Hill's r/d have been beneficial. Oat bran could also be added to the diet to increase the fiber content. When the small intestine is the primary site of involvement, some animals benefit from a highly digestible, low-fiber (low-residue) diet.

Diets low in fat are generally better tolerated in dogs with IBD. Carbohydrates low in gluten may also be helpful; avoid wheat, oats, rye, and barley. Homemade diets are sometimes used, however, they often are not completely balanced and commercial diets are preferred for the long term..."


My Wellness contains both barley and rye. The medi-cal had oats, rye and barley. Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of the Walmart food she was originally on, or I'd google it's ingredients. It can't be Authority as that's Petsmart's brand. I'll have to stop by this evening and check it out. Perhaps it's as simple as avoiding rye and barley, which would be just great in my books.

Dutchess' Human
February 12th, 2008, 09:09 AM
Here I go spamming my own thread :sorry:

The reason Iím asking about protein levels is that Iím considering trying Wellness Core low fat. I know it has lots of different protein sources, but it also has no grains which may be the source of my problem.

This thread suggest Wellness Core for gas

And this one says it can be good for IBD

Mind you itís the same poster saying both thingsÖ

He (?) goes on to recommend it to your dog in this thread

It seems to fit the bill, did you ever try it?

Iím looking for a top quality food that I wonít have to worry about the ingredients. Wellness is human grade and in particular was recommended by my brotherís wife whoís a Vet Tech, so Iím trying to stick to it if possible.

February 12th, 2008, 09:33 AM
WalMart's brand is Ole Roy and is just about the WORST food out there. I can't recall the ingredients and it has been forever since I looked at a bag but I do recall that there is no real meat in it. Just meat by products which could be anything from a rendering plant - including euthanized pets and road kill.

I fed my girl Canidae before switching her to raw. She did wonderfully on a raw diet and I was able to control literally everything that went into it. If you keep an eye open for decent butchers and sales, you can do a raw diet for a reasonable amount of money per month.

RottieLover has a Canadian Rottweiler, if I am not mistaken. You will find that the breed standard for the breed in Europe, Canada, and the U.S. is identical except for the tail - no docking in most European countries anymore. Since the breed originated in Germany, all dogs have German blood in the lines. When you start looking at things like darker markings, the blockier head and such - you are simply looking at different lines.

Thank you so much for rescuing a rottie! With love and training - you will have a friend for life.

February 12th, 2008, 11:59 AM
Yes I do own a canadian rottweiler he was whelped in canada. LOL
I was just letting you know what has done well with my boy. He has had stomach issues since a year old.

Dutchess' Human
February 12th, 2008, 01:12 PM
Yes I do own a canadian rottweiler he was whelped in canada. LOL
I was just letting you know what has done well with my boy. He has had stomach issues since a year old.

I didn't mean anything by asking about your dogs heritage, I'm Canadian too (Dutchess was whelped in Ontario). Forgive my ignorance of the breed (I'm a relatively new owner) but I was made to understand that there were two different types.

Thanks for your help.

February 12th, 2008, 04:11 PM
I didn't mean anything by asking about your dogs heritage, I'm Canadian too (Dutchess was whelped in Ontario). Forgive my ignorance of the breed (I'm a relatively new owner) but I was made to understand that there were two different types.

Thanks for your help.

Please, don't appologize! The only way to learn is to ask questions!

If this is your first rottie - you have a lot to learn. LOL!! There are a ton of people out there who would love to give you free (not so great!) advice.

One of the many ways that trash breeders attempt to make more money is to claim that their dogs are "special". Beware of anyone who tells you they have German or American Rottweilers. Remember - ALL rottweilers come from German lines, the only difference is if they have a tail (and a TRUE German born dog WILL) and where they were born. Also, any claims of extrodinary size, rare color or coat should be a HUGE red flad. Large dogs have major problems with hip and joint problems as a general rule and special care must be taken that they are exercised properly and kept lean. The genetics of the breed can cause a puppy in a litter to be born "red" or with a long coat. This is VERY undesireable as they are not allowed according to the breed standard. Any red or long coated puppy should be spayed/neutered and the parents shouldn't be bred again (or at the very least, bred to each other again).

"The Idiot's Guide to the Rottweiler" is an excellent book despite the title. Just about everyone that I know who has a rottweiler (and I know a ton of people in the breed) has at least one copy.

And don't be afraid to ask a ton of questions. Remember, the only stupid question is the one you didn't ask.

February 12th, 2008, 05:02 PM
As lavenderott said no dumb questions, I was only being a smart ass sorry, so many people have asked me. LOL
Welcome to worlds greatest dogs. I myself own rottweilers for dummies, love it.

February 16th, 2008, 05:02 PM
I think trying a grain-free kibble is a great idea.

I have a GSD, and they tend to be known for digestion issues. I went through Nutro, Science Diet (2 kinds), Canidae, and Purina Pro Plan. Soft stools meant a really good day for us...but most were cowpies to diarrhea. Although mine was not a rescue, I didn't get him til he was over a year old and I have no idea of his food/digestion history before I got him. For some reason, he did the best on Pro Plan, but it still wasn't great and I didn't like the ingredients.

I finally decided to put him on a grain-free kibble that had only 2 protein sources. I wanted to try to knock out as many potential issues at one time, since I didn't like changing foods over and over. I put him on Solid Gold Barking at the Moon (Beef & Fish) and he did much better. Since then, I have transitioned him to Orijen (regular formula) and he's done even fact, between the Orijen and the probiotic I have him on, it's like he's a normal dog for once :D

Since you've already tried a fish based kibble, grain-free would be my direction. Nature's Variety Instinct is another grain-free that has a couple novel protein formulas I believe.

If your dog is not already on a probiotic, I'd think about adding that too. I use one by NOW. There are others out there, but I looked for the simplest one I could find and it has been great for my dog:

Dutchess' Human
February 17th, 2008, 09:18 AM
I didn't want to jinx it, but she's been on Canidae All Life Cycles for 4.5 days now and everything has turned around 100%.

I should have mentioned earlier, I live in the sticks and my only option for dog food is to purchase it from Pet Valu. The nearest distributor for Innova, EVO and Orijen is 300km away.

So I looked at what they had that didn't have barley, rye or oats (I know she's fine on rice as I've fed it to her before with eggs). Which is how I was fixed on Wellness Core. There didn't seem to be much support for it here, and LavenderRott had used Canidae before with good results, so I figured I'd give it a shot.

The first day I put maybe 10% Canidae in with 90% Wellness, and the dog picked up a mouthfull of food at a time, spit it all on the floor and picked out just the Canidae. From that point on she's refused to eat her old Wellness (I've got 30lbs of it going to the SPCA on Tuesday). Within 24 hours she got solid poo and it hasn't changed since. It's been pretty exciting.:party:

She still gets a little bit of gas, but only for about the hour after she eats and it doesn't smell anything at all like how it used to. I think it's because she's gobbling her food - hopefully as she gets used to it she slows down and that'll go away too.

It might be my imagination, but I think her coat smells better too. She's also started blowing her winter coat though, which may have something to do with it. It was -25 degrees (plus whatever windchill) yesterday, so I have no idea why she's losing her coat so early.

I haven't tried a probiotic, I didn't realize that they were all the same. If I read your post accurately mika140, it looks like you're giving your dog pills daily? How do you know what amount to give based on your dog's weight? I've been considering purchasing some prozyme online, but with the way things are going I'm not sure I'll need it.

FYI for anyone following the thread, the original food she was on was Actrium, a Walmart brand found only in Canada apparently. I found the thread on it here at and it's got some pretty scary ingredients. I'm glad that I got her off that, I just wish she didn't have to go through 6 months+ of stomach problems for it. :o

Also I picked up a copy of Rottweilers for dummies. Idiot's guide to Rottweilers isn't in print any more, but the same author wrote Rottweilers for Dummies so it can't be all that bad.

February 17th, 2008, 09:45 AM
About the gas - it may never go away. My Chase could clear a room! Of course, she always blamed me on her way out. :D

You could try adding a spoonful of Non-Fat Plain Yogurt to her food. That helped Chase a ton.

If she continues to gobble her food, you can do a couple of things to slow her down. If your dish is large enough, you can put a large rock in the middle of it so she has to pick around it to get the food. Just make sure the rock is big enough that she can't eat it! Or you could feed her out of a bundt cake pan.

Glad to hear the Canidae is helping.

Now if you could just post pictures of your girl so we could all ooooh and ahhhh over her. ;)

February 17th, 2008, 09:49 AM
Or if you have a kong, that is what my friend does, she puts a kong in the bowl. LOL

Dutchess' Human
February 17th, 2008, 11:23 AM

Now if you could just post pictures of your girl so we could all ooooh and ahhhh over her. ;)

That I can handle :)

February 17th, 2008, 11:29 AM
Thank you for sharing her, she sure is a beaut..

February 17th, 2008, 11:39 AM
Now THAT is a very sweet looking girlie!! If I lived closer, I would smoosh her face. LOL!!

February 17th, 2008, 03:35 PM
Nice looking dog :thumbs up

She's also started blowing her winter coat though, which may have something to do with it. It was -25 degrees (plus whatever windchill) yesterday, so I have no idea why she's losing her coat so early.

Funny you mention this, cause my GSD boy has started blowing his undercoat. My older GSD is an inside dog, so I've never really dealt with that and I've been very confused because although it's in the low 30's (F) today, tomorrow will be around 5 degrees F. But perhaps they know something we don't about weather patterns? At least that's what I'm hoping, rather than it being another issue to deal with.

As for the probiotic, I give him one pill each day. I tried giving him yogurt before, but it didn't do much for him and then I read that the acidophilus, etc strains in it aren't high enough to have much of an effect as a probiotic. I stayed away from Prozyme, Canine Complete, etc because my boy is just too sensitive for the different ingredients in those. And I think all he needs is the probiotics, not any enzymes.

Glad to hear that everything is going well on Canidae though. That's great :D Keep us updated.