Knowing how much to feed your Doberman Pinscher is one of the most important things that every dog owner should know the moment they decide to take home this breed.
Regardless if you are an experienced dog owner or a newbie, you might still need guidance in figuring out your Doberman’s feeding requirement.
In this guide, we will go through the Doberman’s feeding guidelines — from how much you need to feed your Doberman according to its age, the best food for your Doberman puppy, to the foods you should avoid giving them.
Doberman Feeding Chart by Age: How Much to Feed Your Doberman?
Generally, an adult Doberman consumes around 4 to 7 cups of dry dog food, while Doberman puppies require between 1 and 7 cups each day. Senior Dobermans, on the other hand, may need a lesser amount of food intake.
Aside from the food portion or size, your Doberman’s dietary requirements also change as it ages. This is because a Doberman puppy and an adult have differences in their nutritional needs.
Note that Dobermans may also require a different quantity of food depending on their size and activity level.
Nonetheless, this should also not be the sole basis for the amount of food you provide your Doberman. Instead, consider your dog’s needs, preferences, and vet recommendations.
Doberman Puppy Feeding Chart (2 to 12 months old)
A newborn Doberman puppy should receive mother’s milk up until a few weeks old. This is because a mother’s milk is enriched with complete nutrients that help them while their immune system is developing.
However, if breastfeeding isn’t feasible, you can call your veterinarian so they can assess the newborn’s needs to survive. Often, they are given a dog milk replacer or a puppy formula specially made for canines.
Puppies start to wean at around three weeks old, but it is ideal that you start introducing puppy food to a four-week-old Doberman puppy.
By this time, you can give your Doberman puppy very small amounts of high-quality puppy food and assess your dog’s interest. Ensure the food is soft enough not to hurt the puppy’s tender mouth.
You can refer to the chart below to know how much Doberman puppy food you should feed your pooch:
|Age||Daily Food Quantity|
|2 months||1 – 2.5||649 – 1294||25 – 30%||12 – 18%|
|3 months||2 – 3||1100 – 1843||25 – 30%||12 – 18%|
|4 months||3 – 3.5||1294 – 2016||25 – 30%||12 – 18%|
|5 months||3.5 – 4||863 – 1667||25 – 30%||12 – 18%|
|6 months||4.5 – 5||1350 – 1875||25 – 30%||12 – 18%|
|7 – 8 months||5 – 5.5||1115 – 2070||25 – 30%||12 – 18%|
|9 – 10 months||5.5 – 6||1344 – 1875||25 – 30%||12 – 18%|
|11 – 12 months||6 – 7||1456 – 2260||25 – 30%||12 – 18%|
The puppy stage is the most crucial part of your Doberman’s growth since this is the time their bones grow.
While you should ensure that they receive the nutrients they need, it is important that you watch your dog’s weight to avoid obesity which may lead to a bigger health problem.
Puppies require high-quality dog food containing the correct percentages of proteins and fats. You can also add whole grains to your dog’s diet but be careful since some dogs are sensitive to this.
Additionally, water is just as important for a Doberman puppy as dry dog food or kibble. Ensure that your dog has access to fresh and clean water at all times.
Adult Doberman Feeding Chart (1 to 7 years old)
Although Doberman puppies are considered adult dogs once they reach one year old, they continue to grow in height and size until they reach two years old.
Regardless, your Doberman will need to transition from puppy food to adult dog food around this time. This is because Doberman puppy foods may not have the nutritional value that an adult dog needs.
The table below will help you determine your adult Doberman’s daily consumption needs:
|Age||Daily Food Quantity|
|1 – 7 years||3 – 7||1300 – 2700||30%||15 – 20%|
Since Dobermans are active and working dogs, they will require more calories than many other dog breeds. This is especially true if your Doberman is a performance dog.
Remember that a huge part of a dog’s nutritional needs depends on its activity level and not just merely on its size, weight, and age.
In addition to monitoring their calorie intake, ensure that they also meet their protein and carb intake requirements. This will help regulate their energy and sustain their body mass.
Like most dogs, Dobermans need the right amount of vitamins and supplements in their diet to aid in their growth. Omega fatty acids and antioxidants are known to do wonders for the immune system.
Senior Doberman Feeding Chart (8 years and above)
Like other dogs, your Doberman’s level of activity will drastically drop as it ages. Moreover, its bodily function gets slower, and it starts to develop health problems. This is evident in senior Doberman Pinschers.
That said, feeding your Doberman Pinscher during these years can be quite tricky. You need to take into consideration a lot of things to avoid jeopardizing your dog’s health.
The chart below shows how much food a senior Doberman Pinscher should consume in a day:
|Age||Daily Food Quantity|
|8 years and above||2 – 2.5||900 – 1000||20%||10%|
As a general rule when feeding older dogs, you need to reduce and carefully check your senior Doberman’s calorie consumption. Older dogs are susceptible to obesity as a result of slowed metabolism.
Provide them with high-quality protein sources as this helps them maintain their body weight and muscles. Likewise, since senior dogs are prone to constipation, you can add natural fibers to help aid their digestion.
Dogs at this age may not have the big appetite they used to have, so they may no longer be able to finish full meals. You can try experimenting with different foods to entice them when this happens.
If you want more info on how much to feed your Doberman, you can watch this feeding guide video featuring a European Doberman:
Doberman Feeding Frequency: How Often Should You Feed Your Doberman?
The frequency of feeding your Doberman breed depends on its age. Puppies should be given small portions of food up to four times daily, while adult and senior Dobermans should be fed once or twice daily.
While this may not always be the case for every Doberman, it all boils down to making sure you are not underfeeding or overfeeding your dog, as this can be harmful to their health.
Here’s a quick look at the recommended Doberman feeding frequency for both male and female Dobermans according to their age:
|6 – 12 weeks||Three to four times a day|
|12 weeks – 1 year||Three times a day|
|1 – 7 years||Twice a day|
|7 years and above||Once or twice a day|
A Doberman puppy should be fed often since they need enough nutrients. Even so, you still need to follow the recommended feeding amount and divide this into three to four smaller meals a day.
As your Doberman puppy grows, you can adjust its feeding frequency while gradually increasing its food consumption. At around 12 weeks, you can begin feeding them twice a day.
Finally, senior Dobermans should be fed even less than adults and puppies. At most, they can be fed twice per day, but veterinarians recommend feeding them only once.
Older dogs must have a strict routine to maintain a healthy weight and overall health. This will also help them maintain regular bowel movements.
Optimal Feeding Times for Doberman Pinschers
Generally, Doberman puppies need to be fed at a four-hour interval daily, while adults should be fed 12 hours apart, with their first feeding schedule in the morning and the other in the evening. On the other hand, senior Dobermans can be fed once, either in the morning or in the evening.
Sticking to a schedule for feeding will allow owners to dedicate time to the dog. It will also prepare your dog’s digestive system for the food it will receive and establish healthy habits like regular pooping.
Refer to the table below for the optimal feeding times for a Doberman Pinscher:
|Age||Optimal Feeding Times|
|6 – 12 weeks||7:00 am, 11:00 am, 3:00 pm, and 7:00 pm|
|12 weeks – 1 year||7:00 am, 1:00 pm, 7:00 pm|
|1 – 7 years||7:00 am, 7:00 pm|
|7 years and above||7:00 am or 7:00 pm if fed once a day;|
7:00 am and 7:00 pm if fed twice a day.
Note that your dog’s schedule may not be exactly like the one above. You must remember to give food to your Doberman within a few hours of interval.
Doberman pups need all the nutrients they can get to support their growth, so it is just right to feed them healthy amounts often.
Adult Dobermans should be fed 12 hours apart. Meanwhile, senior Dobermans fed once can be given food either in the morning or in the evening. For those fed twice, you can just follow the adult’s daily feeding schedule.
Remember that while you can tweak this schedule, it is unhealthy to feed your dogs too soon or when it is too late at night as they may suffer from indigestion and loss of appetite.
Likewise, make sure that your exercise activities are not scheduled right away after a meal. By doing so, you are putting your dog at risk for bloating and other serious digestive problems.
Best Dog Foods for Doberman Pinschers
In general, Dobermans are not fussy eaters and will happily consume any meal you give them. But like many dog owners, we want to provide the best food to feed a Doberman.
Here’s a list of the best food choices for your Doberman:
- Dry Food: Dry dog food or kibble is the most convenient choice for your Doberman’s food. It is generally cheaper and easier to prepare compared to raw dog food or other Doberman puppy or adult food. It also has benefits for your dog’s oral health since it is proven to reduce plaque and tartar buildup. You can opt for grain-free foods, but it’s best to discuss this with your vet first since grain-free kibble has been controversial as it is linked with heart disease.
- Canned Wet Food: Canned wet dog food is the best option for picky-eater Dobermans since it is appetizing. This is what dog owners often give to pups, seniors, and sick dogs, as these are very easy to chew. In fact, wet food is believed to be the best puppy food because of its softness that aids a growing pup with its developing teeth. Mixing other dog foods with wet food makes it more palatable as well.
- Raw Diet: A raw food diet involves giving your dog fresh uncooked foods, much like what your dog would consume in the wild. Also known as the Biologically-Approved Raw Food Diet or BARF Diet, raw food includes muscle meat, ground bone, organ meat, vegetables, and fruits. While this diet may not be as popular as the dry and wet food diet, raw foods have a lot of benefits to give your dog.
- Home-cooked Dog Food: Home-cooked dog food is great for Dobermans. However, the preparation can be tricky since dog nutrition is different from human nutrition. Owners opting for home-cooked diets should make sure that they provide the nutrients that their dog needs.
Regardless of whether you decide to feed a Doberman wet, dry, raw, or homecooked meals, it all comes down to making sure that it receives all the nutrients it needs to avoid worrisome health conditions.
Nutritional guidelines recommend giving good quality grains like brown rice in addition to meat products, vegetables, fruits, vitamins, and minerals. As much as possible, avoid grain-free puppy food.
If you’re still unsure what is best for your Doberman, you can always visit your vet. They can assess your dog’s nutritional needs, make a personalized diet plan, and suggest the best food for your dog’s conditions.
Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Doberman
Like other breeds, your Doberman Pinscher is not allowed to eat several human foods. Although these are very healthy for humans, these foods are harmful to dogs.
First on the list is chocolate. Chocolates contain theobromine, which dogs cannot metabolize.
If your dog consumed chocolate, immediately call your veterinarian and watch out for signs like vomiting, diarrhea, seizure, and increased heart rate.
Macadamia nuts are the second on the list. Many cases of macadamia nuts ingestion show a good prognosis, but these nuts can be very lethal to dogs.
So, make sure that this food is out of your dog’s reach.
Not all fruits can be healthy for dogs. Grapes, raisins, and prunes contain an unknown toxic substance that triggers choking and kidney failure. The same is true for avocados and cherries, which contain toxins harmful to dogs.
Meanwhile, onions and garlic contain a thiosulphate compound that may cause weakness and pale gums in dogs. Owners should also avoid giving foods with onion and garlic ingredients.
Likewise, soda and alcoholic drinks are also very harmful to your Doberman. The carbonation of soda can be too much to handle for dogs which may lead to gastrointestinal problems, flatulence, and diarrhea.
It’s best to start rearranging your home to ensure that these foods are not in any way accessible to your dog.
READ NEXT: Can Dogs Eat Crackers? Answers for 45+ Types of Crackers
How to Transition Your Doberman to a New Food
Introducing a completely different diet should be done gradually, even more so since your Doberman puppy is notorious for having a sensitive stomach.
It is recommended to have a 10-day transitioning period to help your dog adjust to the new food until its body is completely comfortable with it.
Here’s a transition chart that you can use as a guide for your Doberman:
|Day||Old Food||New Food|
|Day 1 – 2||90%||10%|
|Day 3 – 4||75%||25%|
|Day 5 – 6||50%||50%|
|Day 7 – 8||25%||75%|
|Day 8 – 9||10%||90%|
|Day 9 – 10||0%||100%|
Gradually mixing the new dog food and old dog food over the course of 10 days lessens the risk of an upset stomach.
Start by adding 10% for the first few days and increase it to 25% later on until your Doberman puppy has adjusted.
Still, remember to monitor your dog’s response and eating habits even after the 10-day transitioning period. Should you notice any signs of sensitive stomach or diarrhea, immediately contact your veterinarian.
Feeding an Overweight Doberman
While Dobermans are not as susceptible to obesity compared to other breeds, this doesn’t mean that this dog breed cannot be overweight.
Some factors on why your Doberman is obese could be feeding them too much adult or puppy food, as well as excessive treats.
While most Doberman puppies with a little weight can look cute, obesity will lead to a lot of other health problems. You must keep your puppy’s weight within the normal range.
Feeding an overweight Doberman is straightforward. You don’t have to be aggressive in cutting back on its food, as this may cause your dog to get sick. Slowly decrease how many cups of food your dog gets.
If your senior Doberman eats 2 cups of adult dog food and is fed twice daily, you can cut it back and give a half cup of good quality adult food each meal.
Likewise, you can also opt for healthy, high-quality food options such as low-calorie, high-fiber foods. This way, your dog eats less but still feels full.
If possible, stop giving treats to your obese dog. If not, you can switch to healthier alternatives such as pre-packed treats and raw fruits, as these are often low in calories.
It is also good to check with your vet regarding health conditions leading to obesity for your dog. They can provide useful advice, including the best food to give and how much exercise your dog needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is My Doberman Not Eating?
Dobermans are not picky eaters, so there is a huge chance that if your dog is skipping its food, there might be an underlying issue. The good thing is that the reasons could be just as minor as still being full.
Another reason could be due to a sudden change of diet or boredom with the same food. As long as your dog is not experiencing signs of distress, vomiting, and lethargy, there is nothing to be worried about.
Do Dobermans Eat a Lot?
Yes. Dobermans, especially puppies, tend to eat a lot. In fact, they will eat everything that is provided to them. This is also because they are highly active dogs which means they need these to sustain their energy.
The good thing is that being active dogs lessens their chance of developing obesity. Still, owners must set a specific feeding schedule and be strict about their food intake.
Can Dobermans Eat Bones?
Dobermans can eat bones. However, vets do not advise it as it is not always safe because dogs cannot eat all kinds of bones.
Cooked bones, ribs, and pork bones should be avoided at all costs since these could cause serious injuries in your Doberman. Doberman owners can instead give raw bones, including lamb, chicken, beef, and oxtail.
Can Dobermans Be Vegetarians?
Yes, Dobermans can thrive on a vegan diet. However, since this dog breed is prone to dilated cardiomyopathy, switching to vegan food may disrupt your dog’s protein balance.
You should check with your veterinarian first if you ever plan on switching to this diet. They will run blood tests to make sure that your new diet will not trigger this problem.
Doberman feeding can be tricky and overwhelming for everyone. As owners, we want to ensure we give our dogs the best that sometimes we overthink, even the most minor thing.
However, one must remember that feeding them should not be complicated. Like humans, they just need enough nutrients and food to help them grow and nurture.
Providing them with the best dog food, a strict feeding schedule, and lots of love and care will help them thrive and be better dogs for the family. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll understand it’s easy and rewarding.
Are you ready to nurture your Doberman with food, love, and care? Let us know in the comments.
My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially cats and dogs. I’ve got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.