Doberman pinschers are medium-sized dogs that are known for their sleek, muscular build and undeniable loyalty to their companions. Being a Doberman parent means having a best friend, and protector, for life. But Dobermans are also known for many medical problems, which can be avoided by providing the proper, high-quality diet.


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Because Doberman Pinschers have a sleek, muscular body, they must have the proper diet to maintain a healthy physical appearance; and to get the correct nutrition. Due to genetic predispositions to certain illnesses, pet parents of Dobermans have to be careful.

As your Doberman is growing from a puppy into an adult, you have to be careful of allowing large growth spurts, which can put your pooch at risk for severe complications in later years. If you’re not ready to be vigilant about your pet’s diet and health, a Doberman is not the right pet for you.

Dobermans have a lifespan of 10 to 13 years. When full-grown, they stand between 25 and 28 inches tall and weigh anywhere from 60 to 80 pounds. Keeping your pet’s weight under control is a primary concern for owners of Dobermans. Obesity can cause numerous problems in this breed, including a shortened life span.

What is the Best Dog Food for a Doberman Pinscher?

When it comes to being the parent of a Doberman Pinscher, there are some factors to consider when it comes to buying the right dog food. Dobermans require a diet that is higher in protein due to their sleek body style. Having an obese Doberman is dangerous to their health. We’ve found eight of the best dog foods to keep your Doberman Pinscher healthy and happy.

5 Key Nutritional Needs of a Doberman Pinscher Diet

When it comes to your pet’s dietary needs, they are different than your own. But like humans, there are daily requirements that should be met to keep your pet healthy. Your pet’s health, age, and activity level can all affect the type of diet your Doberman needs. Be sure you always check the ingredients list before you buy a bag of food.

Protein

Dogs need protein, just like humans do. Protein helps provide energy, builds muscles, and keeps your pet happy. Most dog food companies use animal-based protein, which is easier for pets to digest. However, there are plant-based proteins as well, which you often see more in grain-free products. Dobermans need at least 18% protein in their daily diet.

Amino acids

These are a crucial part of your pet’s diet. To be healthy, there are 22 amino acids that your dog needs. Your pet’s body produces twelve of these. But the other ten comes from your pet’s diet and are called essential amino acids. Some plant-based proteins contain a few but not all ten acids. However, an animal protein will, which is why veterinarians recommend a meat-based diet over a vegetarian or vegan one.

Carbohydrates

While there isn’t a recommended amount of carbs for your pet to consume daily, your pet must be getting some in their diets. It’s ideal to find 20% to 30%, but most dog foods have higher counts. Carbohydrates help build energy as well as provide fiber. Examples of carbs you might find in dog food include grains, vegetables, legumes, and beans.

Fats

You might think that it would be unhealthy to give your pet a food that contains fat, but you’d be mistaken. Dogs need between 10% to 15% fat to have a properly balanced diet. So what does fat do? It gives your pet twice as much energy as protein or carbohydrates. They’re easy to digest and the first source of energy the body uses. Chicken fat and salmon oil are most commonly used.

Fatty acids

A balanced blend of Omega-3 and Omega-6 (1:10 or 1:5 ratio with more Omega-6 than Omega-3) is a significant part of your pet’s health. Fatty acids help with a shiny coat, provide energy, support the immune system, and help with the development and functioning of muscles, tissues, and cells. Omega-3s often have EPA and DHA, which promotes healthy brain function and hormone development.

6 Special Dietary and Nutritional Considerations of Dobermans

Doberman Pinschers require a high-quality diet. They need a lot of animal-based protein that is easily digestible. Some dogs will require a low-phosphorus diet, while others might need lower protein. There are some illnesses that the breed is prone to, which can be impacted by your pet’s eating habits.

The Doberman breed is commonly known for a serious and often fatal condition known as gastric dilation and volvulus. This occurs when a dog’s stomach fills with gas – which is called bloat – and then the stomach twists up so that there is no way for anything to enter or exit. Experts recommend feeding your pet small portions with multiple feedings to reduce bloating.

Dobermans are also known for a disease called Wobbler’s Syndrome. With this condition, which appears later in life, roughly four to five years of age, your pet will have some stability problems. You might notice some wobbling, clumsiness, falling, or walking funny.

To avoid this illness, you have to start your pet out with strict weight control from the age of a puppy. This keeps your pet from having rapid growth spurts, which increases the chances of developing Wobbler’s syndrome.

A condition that starts to affect Dobermans at a younger age is Canine Juvenile Renal Disease, which usually occurs before two years of age. This disease is hereditary and can cause early death by kidney failure. Dogs who have this condition require a low protein, low phosphorus diet. Symptoms of the illness include vomiting, weight loss, lethargy, and increased thirst.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy is another condition that is common in Dobermans. This illness affects the heart and is thought to be hereditary. Symptoms of this disease include lethargy, weakness, inability to exercise or do physical activity, and low oxygen.

Some pets may even start coughing or have shortness of breath or swollen stomachs. Grain-free dog foods have been linked to causing DCM, including in Dobermans. This is due to plant-based proteins like legumes and lentils.

Arthritis is a condition that frequently occurs in large breed dogs, typically due to their large size. Most Dobermans won’t develop this condition until they’re older than six. However, genetics and injuries with bones or joints can cause earlier development.

Symptoms include difficulty moving, fever at joints, limping, stiffness, inability to exercise or walk, and swelling. To reduce the pain of arthritis, be sure your pet’s diet has plenty of omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin – both are good for strengthening cartilage. As well as calcium, iron, and Vitamins C and D. Avoid artificial ingredients, sugar, salt, and corn.

Hypothyroidism is another condition that frequently presents in Dobermans. This condition occurs when there is a problem with the thyroid hormone. It’s also a condition that affects many humans. Symptoms include obesity, lethargy, anemia, weakness of joints, slow heart rate, hair loss, dry coat, and skin infection.

This condition usually occurs in middle to old age due to the normal breakdown of the thyroid gland, or as a result of an iodine deficiency. If your pet has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, your vet will likely recommend a diet to help reduce your pet’s weight.

Dog Food Feeding Schedule

The amount of food your dog will eat per day will depend on factors like age, activity level, and weight. To keep your pet healthy, it is recommended to break down meals into smaller portions throughout the day. And to keep the feed bowl at a low level, which reduces the chances of bloat.

Doberman Pinschers require between 1800 to 2200 calories a day to maintain a healthy weight, which is between 70 to 100 pounds for an adult dog. In total, your pet might consume between three to five cups of dry dog kibble a day, depending on individual needs.

Use your pet’s weight to determine the amount of kibble he should be eating a day and find ways to break this down into smaller portions throughout the day. Be sure you limit exercise for one hour before and one hour after eating so your pet can have proper digestion. Failure to do so can cause health problems.

Weight in pounds (lbs)Amount in cups (c)
3 lbs⅓ c
6 lbs⅔ c
10 lbs1 c
15 lbs1 ¼ c
20 lbs1 ½ c
30 lbs2 c
40 lbs2 ½ c
50 lbs3 c
60 lbs3 ½ c
70 lbs4 c
80 lbs4 ⅓ c
90 lbs4 ¾ c
100 lbs5 cups

For every extra 10 pounds, add ¼ cup. But most Dobermans won’t weigh over 100 pounds, so you shouldn’t have to exceed 5 cups. If your pet does weigh more than a 100, you might want to talk to a vet about starting your pet on a diet.

Overall Best Dog Food for Doberman Pinchers

Wellness Complete Health Whitefish and Sweet Potato Adult Dog Food

Best Overall Pick

When you’re looking for the best dog food for your Doberman, you should start with our Best Overall pick, Wellness Complete Health. This recipe only contains one source of protein – whitefish, which is also a source of Omega fatty acids. It also has a fish meal, which is another excellent protein. We love that the protein count is just 22%, which is within the recommended range for Dobermans.

If your pet has a sensitive stomach or allergies, this is the ideal food for you. It includes easy to digest carbohydrates like barley and sweet potatoes and no wheat, corn, soy, animal by-products, or artificial ingredients. It’s also not grain-free, which is ideal for large dogs who might be prone to DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy).

It also contains taurine, which is good for your pet’s heart. Prebiotics and probiotics aid in digestion and improving the immune system. Biotin helps with a healthy coat and skin. And calcium and phosphorus, which are suitable for bones.

But beware that some Dobermans need a low phosphorus diet, so talk with your vet before choosing this product. It’s also got Vitamins A and E, which help the immune system.

If you’re looking for a well balanced, limited protein dry dog food for your Doberman, you can’t go wrong with our Best Overall Pick, Wellness Complete Health.

7 More Top Rated Dog Foods for Doberman Pinschers

Fresh/Super Premium—NomNom Fresh Food Delivery

Key Features:

  • Fresh food delivery
  • Made with highest-quality ingredients

Our super-premium pick for owners who want only the very best for their pet is NomNomNow Fresh Food Delivery. It’s exactly what it sounds like—NomNomNow delivers fresh, custom dog food meals right to your door. All you have to do is fill out an online profile, select the food you want, and you’ll receive shipments every month.

This company makes it easy to personalize your doberman’s food to their needs. Just let them know about any dietary restrictions through your convenient online portal. There’s also no worrying about portion sizes as everything arrives at your door pre-portioned. And you get only the highest-quality, freshest ingredients to keep your dog healthy and happy.

Pros:

  • Food is portioned
  • Meals are delivered to your door
  • Customization according to dietary restrictions

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Not available in all areas

Taste of the Wild Ancient Stream with Ancient Grains Dry Dog Food

One of the most popular dog foods on the market for large breed dogs like Dobermans is Taste of the Wild. Our favorite is the Ancient Stream, which has smoked salmon as the first ingredient, which helps build lean muscles.

It also has a lot of whole grains like quinoa, chia seed, sorghum, and millet, which are all high in protein. These grains are less likely to cause allergic reactions. There’s no corn, wheat, filler, or artificial ingredients, so you can be sure your pet is consuming only healthy ingredients.

Taste of the Wild does include salt in their products, which can be a problem for pets who are on strict diets. It has a protein count of 30%, which is ideal for Dobermans, and a fat count of 15%, which also isn’t bad. And there are only 392 calories per cup.

Pros

  • A proper amount of protein and fat
  • Balanced diet
  • Free of allergens like corn and soy
  • Ancient grains
  • Added minerals, vitamins, and supplements

Cons

  • Contains salt
  • Lots of plant-based protein

If you prefer to pick a dog food that is commonly known and trusted, we recommend our Most Popular pick, Taste of the Wild.

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Formula Duck & Potato Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food

Best Value

Buying high quality dog food that would provide all the proper nutritional needs to your Doberman Pinscher doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Just check out our Best Value Option, Blue Buffalo.

Dobermans are known for having sensitive digestion, which is why we recommend Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Dog Food. This dry kibble is grain-free, which does reduce the chances of your pet having an allergic reaction to their food, and makes it simpler on their bellies.

This formula is made with deboned duck meat, lots of pea products – plant-based protein, Omega-3 and Omega-6s, fish and canola oil, supplements, antioxidants like blueberries, and kelp, and cranberries, and chicory root, among other ingredients. There is more plant-based protein in this product than animal-based, which is a factor to consider.

This brand has 20% protein, which is ideal for Dobermans, 13% fat, which is also great, and 6% fiber, which we also love. It does contain 0.7% phosphorus, so if your pet’s on a diet that limits phosphorus, this might not work for you.

Pros

  • An ideal amount of protein and fat
  • Limited ingredients – great for sensitive digestion
  • Added supplements, vitamins, and minerals

Cons

  • Most of the protein in this product is plant-based
  • Contains phosphorus

If you’re looking for a quality dog food for a steal of a deal, check out our Best Value pick, Blue Buffalo Limited Ingredients.

American Natural Premium Legume-Free Duck Recipe with Butternut Squash Premium Dry Dog Food

Pea Free

When you have a larger breed dog like Doberman Pinschers, you have to keep good control over their diet and weight. Many owners also prefer to avoid peas and other legume products, which have been linked to multiple cases of dilated cardiomyopathy, which Dobermans are susceptible to contracting.

If you’re looking for a pea-free product, we recommend American Natural Premium Legume-Free. Made with duck meat, butternut squash, and pumpkins, this formula is excellent for sensitive digestion. It also does not contain any corn, wheat, soy, potatoes, chicken, or flax – all common pet allergens.

There’s plenty of supplements, vitamins, and minerals added to give your Doberman a well-balanced, healthy diet and proper weight. There’s 25% protein, 15% fat, and 5% fiber, which are ratios we like to see for Dobermans. However, it does contain 1% phosphorus.

Pros

  • Free of peas and other common allergens
  • The proper ratio of protein, fat, and fiber.
  • Lots of animal-based proteins

Cons

  • Contains 1% phosphorus
  • Higher cost

If you’ve decided that you want to keep peas and other legumes out of your Doberman’s diet, try our recommendation for the Best Pea-Free dog food, American Natural Premium Legume-Free.

Merrick Classic Puppy Recipe

Best for Puppies

If you’re looking for a yummy, healthy dry kibble for your puppy, we recommend Merrick Classic Puppy Recipe. Merrick knows how to make quality dog foods for all types of pets, including young Dobermans, who need to have a slow growth rate and weight gain.

We decided to feature a puppy food that contains grains, as grain-free can be dangerous, especially for young dogs under one year of age. This recipe contains healthy whole grains like brown rice, barley, and quinoa.

It’s made with deboned chicken as the first ingredient. It also includes animal fats and meals; eggs- the number one best source of protein; multiple oils (Omega-3 and Omega-6); fruits and veggies; and added minerals, supplements, and vitamins—everything your pet needs to grow up healthy and strong.

There is 28% protein, which is ideal because puppies need a higher count than adults, 16% fat, which we can work with, even though it’s a bit higher, and 3.5% fiber, which is excellent for young dogs. It also has glucosamine and chondroitin for bone development and protection.

It has 406 kcal/cup, which is a lot higher than most dog foods. But since puppies need more energy, there’s no issue with a higher calorie count, as long as your pet isn’t having rapid weight gain or sudden growth spurts.

Pros

  • Proper protein, fat, and fiber ratios
  • Rich in animal-based protein
  • No corn, wheat, soy, or gluten

Cons

  • Higher calorie count
  • Contains grains, which might not be suitable for pets with allergies

Start your puppy’s diet off right by using the Best Puppy Food, Merrick Classic Puppy Recipe.

Victor Senior Healthy Weight Dog Food

Best for Seniors

Senior dogs require a different diet than younger pets. Most often, as dogs get older, they require less protein. They might also need added supplements and vitamins to help with their aging bones and decreased metabolism. Victor Senior Healthy Weight Dog Food has ensured the formula is just right for aging dogs.

This formula is packed with animal-based proteins like beef, chicken, and animal meals like fish and pork. It contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which are ideal for reducing aching joints and improving the health of bones. L-carnitine helps convert fat to energy, so your pet keeps his lean muscular build, even when he’s a senior.

Designed with your pet’s immune and digestive systems in mind, this brand is full of fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, supplements, prebiotics, and probiotics. There isn’t a part of your pet’s body that this company didn’t consider.

The protein count is 27%, which is excellent for senior Dobermans. There’s a low 11.5% fat count, and 4.5% fiber, which is on the higher side. It also contains DHA, which helps boost the immune system and brain development. And it only has 360 kcal/cup.

Pros

  • Proper protein, fat, and fiber percentage
  • Added supplements for healthy joint and bone management
  • Gluten-free grains

Cons

  • Contains grains, which some pets have an allergy to
  • Doesn’t use actual meat – only meat meals, which are more concentrated forms

If you need a quality dog food for your Senior Doberman, we recommend our Senior Pick, Victor Senior Healthy Weight.

Nutro Ultra Weight Management

Best for Weight Management

Keeping your Doberman’s weight under control is a massive part of their overall health care. If your pet struggles with his weight, we recommend our pick for the Best Weight Management dog food, Nutro Ultra Weight Management.

This product was designed for less active dogs who struggle with weight control. It’s full of lean proteins, antioxidant fruits, and veggies, whole grains, and added supplements, vitamins, and minerals. There’s even glucosamine and chondroitin to help keep your pet’s joints healthy.

There’s zero corn, wheat, soy, or artificial ingredients. Added taurine helps your pet’s eyes, heart, and hearing – all areas that fade with age. The first ingredient is chicken. There’s also lamb and salmon meal for extra protein. It has a total count of 23% protein, 10% fat, and 4% fiber.

Pros

  • Made with lean proteins
  • Ideal for weight management
  • Contains ingredients to boost the immune system, bone growth, and healthy vision and hearing

Cons

  • Contains grains – some dogs might have an allergy
  • Has salt

If you’re looking for the best dog food to feed your Doberman to help control their weight gain, you can’t go wrong with our Best Weight Management pick, Nutro Ultra Weight Management.

Our 2019 Feeding Guide

Pet owners often have a ton of questions about the proper nutrition of their Dobermans. Here are some questions we frequently see Doberman owners asking. As we’ve demonstrated, it takes a lot of care and attention to be the pet parent to this medium-sized breed of dog. Be sure you know what to expect before you adopt.

Is Grain-Free Safe? 

One of hte most common questions we see revolves around the use of grain-free dog foods. Some dogs do have allergies to certain ingredients found in grain-inclusive dog foods, such as corn, soy, or wheat. Many companies have started to substitute grains for legumes like peas, lentils, and chickpeas.

While these make excellent plant-based proteins, these ingredients can also cause health problems with some pets. The FDA has linked hundreds of cases of pets with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) to grain-free dog foods. It’s best to talk to your veterinarian before making the switch to grain-free. The formula isn’t ideal for all dogs.

What are some common food allergens for Dobermans?

Dobermans don’t frequently suffer from food allergies, so the majority of pet parents don’t have to worry about trying to find a high-quality grain-free dog food. However, most experts would recommend finding a dog food that doesn’t contain cheap fillers like corn and soy, just because these types of ingredients don’t help your pet’s nutritional needs.

You also want to avoid animal by-products, which are usually the scraps and leftovers from animals. These types of additives aren’t healthy for your pet and are just put into the food to stack numbers. Instead, look for real deboned meats or even animal meals, as these are higher in protein than the actual meat, which retains a lot of water and loses nutritional value when it’s cooked.

When should I put my Doberman puppy on adult food?

Puppy food is specially formulated to provide the proper nutrition for growing dogs. As such, it’s often higher in protein, calories, and fats. But Dobermans have to be under strict supervision as they’re maturing from a puppy to an adult dog, so they don’t grow too fast, which could put their health at risk later on in life.

It’s generally recommended that you start to transition your puppy to adult dog food around six months of age, although it is okay to wait until around 12 months if you prefer. Check with your veterinarian for advice, as they may have a different time frame in mind, depending on your pet’s weight and growth.

How do I transition my Doberman to a new food?

When you’re switching your pet to a new type of food, it’s best to do so gradually. A sudden switch can cause digestive distress, which results in gas, stomachache, diarrhea, and vomiting. Don’t put your pooch’s health at risk.

Instead, transition your pet slowly over a week. Follow this helpful guideline, and your pet is sure to be able to switch to a new formula without experiencing any digestive issues. If your pet does show disagreement after they’re entirely on the new brand, there might be a problem with an intolerance to the ingredients.

  • Day 1 – 2 = 25% new food/75% old food
  • Day 3 – 4 = 50% new food/50% old food
  • Day 5 – 6 = 75% new food/25% old food
  • Day 7 = 100% new food

Keep Your Doberman Healthy with Our Food Recommendations

We’ve given you all the information you could need to keep your Doberman healthy as they grow from a puppy into a senior dog. Doberman Pinschers require a lot of attention and supervision, so they need pet parents who will be devoted to providing proper care. Each of the products we’ve recommended is top-rated to provide the proper nutritional needs of your Doberman Pinscher. Which one is right for you?

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