Weimaraners are large sporting dogs that have traditionally been bird-hunting dogs from the 19th century Germany. This is an active and energetic breed, and the best dog food for Weimaraner dogs will need to meet the requirements of this working breed.
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The Weimaraner is a fearless companion, but not the easiest dog to care for. Large, standing 23-27 inches at the shoulder and weighing 55-90 pounds, this breed has a presence. Their facial features are almost “aristocratic” with a sloping forehead and long snout. Their body composition is lean, muscular and long.
As a veterinarian, I had the privilege to work with numerous Weimaraner owners in the past. I educate them on the specific nutritional needs of this active breed along with some of the common health conditions seen in these dogs. I also recommend some of these best Weimaraner dog food brands listed below.
When choosing the best dog food for Weimaraner dogs, you need to take the breed’s common health concerns into consideration. These dogs are generally healthy, but they may have a few specific genetic health issues. Some of these conditions can be managed with a specific diet and meeting their nutritional needs.
Most Common Health Problems in Weimaraners
The Weimaraner is generally a healthy breed. There are few reported breed-associated diseases in scientific literature and veterinary publications, and some of the more common ones can be prevented with an appropriate diet.
1. Canine Bloat
Weimaraners, like other deep-chested large breed dogs, are prone to developing bloat. Bloat is otherwise known as “GDV” or gastric dilatation and volvulus. This occurs when the stomach fills with gas and then turns on itself.
When the stomach turns on itself, the blood supply to the stomach and other nearby organs can be compromised. Sometimes, the stomach can simply fill up like a balloon and it does not make the turn.
Canine bloat is a very serious condition. Symptoms of this condition include:
- retching without producing vomit
- darkening of the mucus membranes
- distended abdomen
The exact cause of bloat is still unknown. Bloat cannot be prevented 100%, but there are measures that can be taken to reduce your Weimaraner’s risk. When your Weimaraner puppy is spayed or neutered, consider having the veterinarian perform a gastropexy at the same time. A gastropexy permanently “tacks” the stomach to the abdominal wall, preventing a bloated stomach from turning on itself.
Proper dietary management can also help prevent bloat. Always feed a life stage appropriate diet with an adequate amount of fiber. Be careful when feeding “grain free” diets. Some of these diets are lacking in fiber content. Feed Weimaraners of all ages two or three small meals throughout the day to help minimize their risk.
Don’t exercise your Weimaraner within an hour or two after feeding either. Slow, light walks are fine after a meal, but long runs should be done long before or after mealtime.
2. Hip Dysplasia
Like many other large breed dogs, Weimaraners are prone to developing hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a developmental orthopedic disease in which the “ball and socket” joint of the hip does not form properly.
Genetics play a large part in the development of the disease. While screening is helpful in eliminating the genes in breeding stock, often using the PennHip technique in puppies, it is still possible for any Weimaraner to develop hip dysplasia.
While there is a genetic component to these diseases, there are significant nutritional risk factors that play a part during puppyhood. These risk factors are rapid growth and excess dietary calcium intake.
The Best Dog Food for Weimaraner Puppies
Before switching your dog to any new diet, always consult with a veterinarian. Remember that no article on the internet, including this one, can replace a consultation with a vet.
Weimaraner puppies have voracious appetites, but you should not cater to it! Be sure to follow the feeding instructions based on their current age and/or body weight. Weimaraners are naturally thin and muscular dogs, but they can become overweight when overfed.
Hill’s Science Large Breed Puppy Food
Keeping their body condition optimal will also encourage the development of healthy hips. It is recommended to feed Weimaraner puppies a “large breed” specific diet. There are many available on the market, but I recommend Hill’s Science Large Breed Puppy Food as the best dog food for Weimaraner puppies.
If you are interested in a natural dog food with real meat as the first ingredient, look no further than Hill’s Science Diet’s Ideal Balance Line. Hill’s has been a leader in pet nutrition since the early 1900’s.
This all-natural large-breed puppy formula contains real chicken, rice and omega-3 fatty acids like DHA to promote healthy brain, joint and skin development. All Hill’s Science Diet products are made in the USA from North American, European or New Zealand raw materials.
Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy Food
The Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy Food is another good option for the best dog food for Weimaraner puppies. Eukanuba’s large breed puppy formula is a great value. It’s large-shaped kibble perfect for larger puppy mouths and an impressive nutritional pedigree.
All dogs, but especially large, bloat-prone dogs can benefit from this puppy food’s prebiotic ingredients for optimal digestive health. High levels of DHA from fish oil will have your Weimaraner’s coat shining like a newly minted coin.
The Best Dog Food for Weimaraner Adults
Weimaraners, like other large breeds, mature a little later than smaller dogs. It is recommended to switch them to the best dog food for Weimaraner adults around 12 months of age. Each brand is slightly different, so do a little research before selecting a food from a different line.
For adult Weimaraners that live the good life as family pets, their activity level is likely to be low to moderate. This includes daily walks, playing at the dog park or in the back yard a few hours a week and otherwise lounging around on the couch. These Weimaraners don’t need as many calories and a more moderate protein level.
Nutro Large Breed Adult Formula
For dogs in this category I recommend Nutro Large Breed Adult Formula. Nutro’s large breed adult is a tasty, moderate protein (21%) dry dog food with a good track record. Large breed dogs tend to eat a lot, so this food will give you the most “bang” for your buck.
Whole oatmeal and brown rice help to keep your dog feeling fuller for longer and the first ingredient is whole chicken. Ingredients like chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine will help to keep your dog’s joints healthy as he ages.
One of the reasons I like this best dog food for Weimaraner dogs is because Nutro has a clever, easy-to-follow feeding chart. The dog’s daily ration is determined not only by their body weight, but by their activity level. They also include a body condition guide to help you tweak your dog’s nutrition based on if they are underweight, ideal or overweight.
If your Weimaraner is very active, enjoying running a 5K a couple of times a week or is an avid hunter – invest in a food that will keep up with them. Dogs primarily burn carbohydrates and fat as fuel at rest and during short, intense bursts of exercise.
Eukanuba Premium Performance Sporting Food
If your Weimaraner is working all day in the field or enjoying long runs at your side, consider a higher protein food, such as Eukanuba Premium Performance Sporting Food. Eukanuba is the premium line from dog food maker Iams.
Their sporting dog formula has excellent reviews and contains a higher level of protein (30%) and fat (20%) to keep your Weimaraner running strong. Eukanuba also has crafted this food with their 3D Dentadefense kibble structure, which has been clinically shown to reduce dental tartar in 28 days.
Natural Balance L.I.D. High Protein Formula
If your sporting dog has tummy troubles or sensitive skin, it may be best to try a high protein diet that contains fewer potential allergens. If your dog falls into this category, I would recommend Natural Balance L.I.D. High Protein Formula.
Natural Balance is a leader in limited ingredient diets. While these diets are not hypoallergenic, they can help improve certain conditions such as sensitive skin or dietary intolerances to certain grains or proteins. This high protein food (32%) is free from grains, fillers, potatoes and chicken. This tasty formula boasts 48% real lamb and healthy fats and 49% plant-based ingredients.
The Best Dog Food for Senior Weimaraners
Weimaraners become “seniors” around 7-8 years of age and can be prone to dental disease and arthritis. It is possible to support them with easy to chew foods that can also support their aging joints. If your dog seems to be moving a little bit slower, or drops food while they eat, have your veterinarian perform a detailed exam. Their findings can help guide you to finding the best dog food for Weimaraner dogs like yours.
Natural Balance’s Synergy
If your senior is doing well and isn’t showing signs of aging, it is best to continue to support their body systems the best you can. For adult and senior Weimaraners, Natural Balance’s Synergy formula stands out.
It contains a high level of fiber from flaxseed, oat fiber, beet pulp and psyllium. High fiber in this diet helps feces pass more easily and makes clean-up easier for you.
Eukanuba Senior Large Breed
If your senior has mild arthritis or seems to be a little “stiff” after exercise, consider feeding a diet fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, such as Eukanuba Senior Large Breed. Eukanuba does not disappoint with this senior food for large breed dogs. It contains higher levels of antioxidants for brain aging support and a minimum of 375mg/kg of joint supporting glucosamine.
If your senior has dental tartar accumulation, this diet may help reduce tartar buildup by up to 46%. Important ingredients like whole grain barley and beet pulp will help keep digestion regular and efficient.
Purina Pro Plan Additions
Antioxidants are important for aging large breed dogs. Many owners like to pack these for travel or other times of stress, as they may help to entice your senior to dinner. I recommend Purina Pro Plan Additions as an addition to the best dog food for Weimaraner seniors.
Tasty chicken and a vitamin-packed whole food blend of berries will not only entice your senior but provide important antioxidants. High levels of antioxidants in the diet may help slow aging changes by preventing oxidative damage to cells.
Hill’s Prescription Joint Care Diet j/d
If your Weimaraner suffers from more significant arthritis pain, please to talk to your veterinarian about this this best dog food for Weimaraner dogs. Hill’s Prescription Joint Care Diet j/d has one of the highest levels of chondroitin, glucosamine and omega-3s out there on the market.
It has been clinically shown for over 10 years to help preserve cartilage and decrease inflammation naturally. Hill’s boasts that it can improve your dog’s mobility in as little as 21 days. With the help of j/d, you can keep your dog “med-free” and comfortable for as long as possible.
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