yourpurebredpuppy logo

Rottweiler Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Breed Selection Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books


Start your Rottweiler off on the right foot by feeding the right food, giving the right vaccinations, finding the right vet, and if you're going to spay or neuter, don't do it too early.

Jump down to this list of
Rottweiler Health Problems

Or check out my advice for raising a healthy Rottweiler puppy or adult dog:

Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Rottweiler lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet... [read more]

numeral 33 Best Ways To Feed Your Dog Healthy Food
You can dramatically increase your dog's chances of living a long, healthy life by feeding the right food. Cutting right to the chase, the best foods for your Rottweiler are... [read more]

Real homemade dog food A Quick Way To Make Homemade Dog Food
Your Rottweiler will love real chicken, turkey, beef, fish, eggs, yogurt, broccoli.... this is not just "people food" and I'll tell you why... [read more]

Dry kibble and canned dog food 5 Best Kibble and Canned Dog Foods
Some are better than others, but I must be honest – I'm not a huge fan of dry or canned dog food. Here are my concerns... [read more]

Information on booster shots for your German Shepherd. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Rottweiler puppy really need? Does your adult dog need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed! Find out what some vets aren't telling you... [read more]

Information on spaying Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Should your female Rottweiler be spayed? Current research says, "The AGE at which you spay can be vitally important to your dog's future health." So what's the best age? [read more]

Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Have you been told that you must neuter your male Rottweiler? Current research shows that the issue is not so simple. Pet owners are not being told about some risks associated with neutering male dogs, especially neutering too early... [read more]

Information on choosing the best vet Make Sure Your Vet is the Best!
Is your current veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Here's how to tell... [read more]

Assisi Loop Assisi Loop Review
Does your Rottweiler suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, colitis? My honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to reduce inflammation and pain. [read more]


Complete list of Rottweiler health problems

The Rottweiler Club conducted a health survey of 225 owners who gave information about more than 1000 Rottweilers.

Of the deceased dogs in the survey, cancer claimed the lives of 43% of them.

The most common cancer in Rottweilers is osteosarcoma (bone cancer), followed by lymphosarcoma, then mastocytoma, melanoma, histiosarcoma, and hemangiosarcoma.

Orthopedic diseases are rampant in Rottweilers:

  • hip dysplasia
  • elbow dysplasia
  • cruciate ligament rupture
  • panosteitis
  • osteochondritis
  • intervertebral disk disease
  • wobbler's syndrome

The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of 99,000 Rottweilers and found 21% dysplastic. That's bad. Elbows are much worse – 39% of 18,000 elbow X-rays were dysplastic – the 3rd worst rate of 123 breeds.

Heart disease (mostly sub-aortic stenosis, but also cardiomyopathy) is a very serious problem in Rottweilers.

As with all deep-chested breeds, Rottweilers are at higher-than-normal risk for the emergency gastrointestinal syndrome called bloat or gastric torsion. In fact, of all breeds, they are the 11th most likely to develop it Gastric torsion is frequently fatal within just a few hours.

In Rottweilers, the most common disease of the hormonal/endocrine system is hypothyroidism. According to the Michigan State University Thyroid Database, up to 14% of Rottweilers have low thyroid levels. Addison's disease is a growing concern in the breed, and diabetes occurs occasionally.

Skin diseases in Rottweilers include allergies (which cause itchy skin) bacterial skin infections (pyoderma), non-tumorous growths (sebaceous cysts), demodectic mange, and occasionally vitiligo.

Colitis (inflammatory bowel disease) is a common cause of chronic diarrhea in Rottweilers. Pancreatic insufficiency is another digestive disease that has been reported.

Three neurological diseases occur in Rottweilers:

  • epilepsy
  • degenerative myelopathy, which slowly progresses to paralysis
  • juvenile laryngeal paralysis/polyneuropathy, which is fatal

Veterinary ophthalmologists report that 1 in every 4 Rottweilers has an inherited eye disease, especially cataracts, retinal dysplasia, eyelid abnormalities (entropion or ectropion), or progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).

Rottweiler puppies seem to inherit "iffy" immune systems and are more susceptible to parvovirus/coronavirus than most other breeds.

Other health problems reported in Rottweilers include von Willebrand's blood-clotting disease, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, urinary infections, and kidney disease.

Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if your dog inherits from his parents the genes for an eye disease called PRA, he will go blind and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

Dog feeding and health book by Michele Welton But most health problems can be prevented by the ways you raise your dog.

FREE eBOOK! My free online health care program, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to raise your Rottweiler in all the right ways that help prevent health problems. Become your dog's health care champion!

Michele Welton with BuffyAbout the author: Michele Welton has over 40 years of experience as a Dog Trainer, Dog Breed Consultant, and founder of three Dog Training Centers. An expert researcher and author of 15 books about dogs, she loves helping people choose, train, and care for their dogs.

My best-selling books – now available  FREE  on my website

book coverRespect Training For Puppies: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved puppy is for puppies 2 to 18 months old. Your puppy will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know. Click here to read for free.
book coverTeach Your Dog 100 English Words is a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your adult dog to listen to you and do what you say. Click here to read for free.
book cover11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy helps your dog live a longer, healthier life. Get my honest advice about all 11 Things before you bring home your new puppy, because some mistakes with early health care cannot be undone. Click here to read for free.