The Weimaraner, also called Weimer or Weim for brevity, is a majestic German dog breed. The ghost-gray coat they are known for is almost as impressive as their hunting prowess. While this breed is steadfast, unafraid and sure, they also just want to be a part of the family.
Their personality and quirks help us to fall in love with them time and again. Our part is to make sure they get our love and attention as well as the best dog food for their specific needs. In this article, we will look at the Weimaraner breed and help you pick the best dog food for each life stage.
Why Quality Food Matters for Your Weimaraner
Weims are a large breed dog that grows very fast. This sporting group breed must maintain peak physical conditioning through daily exercise, and a lot of it. A simple walk around the park isn’t going to cut it here. They need constant running and jumping and playing to keep their bodies working as intended.
Because they grow so fast and so strong, you must ensure that they have a diet high in meat proteins, with added bone and muscle supporting vitamins and minerals. Their diets should also be low in fats and fillers to prevent bloating.
The Weimaraner is a big eater and will try to eat everything you put on their plate, including the plate and the mat underneath it. Providing a rich, wholesome and high-quality food will ensure they get everything they need to grow strong and healthy.
Because they can have a tenancy to overeat, you need to watch the crude fats and crude protein levels. The puppy life stage should have more fat than any other stage, but you cannot let it become a habit.
Into adulthood, the Weim will need more crude proteins and vitamins from natural sources. By the time they are in the senior life stage, fewer proteins are okay if they are replaced by vitamins and minerals that protect teeth, bones, and muscles.
Top Foods for Weimaraners : Quick Look
We will look at the best foods for each life stage: puppy, adult, and senior. From our carefully cultivated list, you will have a better idea of what to look for and select when it comes to feeding your Weimer.
- Best Overall Dog Food – Merrick Grain-Free Real Chicken + Sweet Potato
- Best Premium Dog Food – NomNomNow Porkalicious Potluck
- Best Value Dog Food – Blue Buffalo Life Protection
- Best Dog Food for Seniors – Nutro Senior Hearty Stews Grandma’s Farm
- Best Dog Food for Puppies – Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy
Weimaraner Common Health Issues
Weims have several health concerns that you should have checked out. Most honest breeders will show you papers and records of both the mother and father to help alleviate some of the health concerns. However, even the purest of gene pools don’t always protect your pup from these conditions.
Eyelids are important to keep the eyes lubricated, clear of dust and debris and to help the eye recover from injuries. The eyelid, when affected by entropion, folds inward. This causes the eyelashes to rest and scratch on the eye surface.
Over time this can cause injuries to the cornea and iris which will need to be treated medically. Left untreated your Weim can experience keratitis or inner eye inflammation.
In large breeds like the Weimaraner, the most common tale-tell sign is pus or mucus constantly at the corner of the eyes. It is a genetic disease, for the most part. However, there are several other factors thought to be a secondary cause.
Poor diet, for example, can cause fat loss and muscle loss in the eye socket that can lead to the condition. The base treatment is careful monitoring and looking for a root cause. If none is found (meaning it is genetic) surgery is the only answer.
Hypertrophic osteodystrophy is the scientific term for bone inflammation. In large breeds, like the Weimaraner, this will affect the front legs of the growing puppy. Because the dogs grow fast, the bones need proper vitamins and minerals to grow properly.
With this condition, spurs or growths accumulate near the growing end of the bone and socket. The inflammation is non-infection, meaning it isn’t treated by antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications.
Most commonly the episode will stop on its own, and if your puppy is prone, there may be a few episodes. During the inflammation, your puppy may become listless, lose their appetite or get a high fever. If the condition worsens or happens frequently, the dog may be left with permanently bowed legs.
During an inflammation episode, high protein and high vitamin diets are needed. You should also supplement with vitamin C and restrict exercise to walking only.
There are several other conditions that are possible, though not as likely, to occur in the breed. Your vet can easily run urinary and blood tests as well as physical examinations to detect any of these conditions.
- Gastric Torsion
- von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD)
- Spinal Dysraphism
- Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD)
- Hemophilia A
What to Look for in Quality Dog Food for Weimaraners
High-quality dog food matters. The ingredients matter and where those ingredients are sourced matters. Let’s look at what you should be looking for on the ingredient list for your Weimer.
The most important aspect is the protein. Dogs are designed to eat and process meat proteins. This means that vegetables, fruits, and berries should be secondary in their diet. Most of the crude protein and fats need to come from real meat sources.
These sources can be chicken, beef, pork, game or fowl, but should be listed as which specific protein on the label. It should also be the first ingredient with most of the total crude proteins coming from this source.
Aside from meat proteins, carefully selected vegetables should be used to provide natural sources of vitamins and minerals. While there is nothing wrong with extra, or added, vitamins and minerals, the bulk should come from things like sweet potatoes, white potatoes, carrots, and kale.
Fatty acids, Omega-3s, and other vitamins may come from other sources. However, most of the essential nutrients (aside from protein) should be sourced from fruits, veggies, and berries.
Ingredients to Avoid in Your Weimaraner’s Dog Food
Just as there are things to look for to include in your dog’s diet, there are a few things you should look to avoid completely.
Anytime you see “meat byproduct” on the label: run. If the meat source isn’t listed (for example “chicken byproduct”), you should run faster. Byproduct is a food source that is essentially the waste portions of the animals at slaughter, animals that have died or become diseased and had to be put down, and expired meats added to the mixer that produces the byproduct (including the packaging it comes in).
The FDA has mandated that byproduct is non-consumable for humans. However, it is allowed for canines. Just because it is allowed, though, doesn’t mean you should allow your dog to eat it. There is zero to no nutritional value of byproduct, no proteins and can make your dog ill.
Artificial Colors and Dyes
Another thing to look for is artificial colors and dyes. You recognize these on the label as things like Blue 40, Yellow 5 & 6, and Red 2.
Not only can these additives stain your dog’s fur, feet and face, they can also cause allergic reactions. While most Weimers are not highly susceptible to allergens, it is still best to avoid the chance. Allergies can develop over time, and you don’t want to see your pup react because the last meal was one too many.
Bad Dog Food Brands
There are several brands you should avoid. Some on the list may surprise you, as they have a well-established name and presence in our cupboards and store shelves. However, marketing being what it is, the scary truth is that you don’t want to have these foods anywhere near your dog.
Each of the following brands is known to contain one or more of the ingredients you should avoid. This includes meat byproducts, artificial ingredients and may be lacking in any meat protein at all. Using grains for the protein is just as dangerous and unhealthy for dogs as giving them byproduct every day.
- Purina Beneful
- Ol’ Roy by Walmart
- Kal Kan
Always ensure you double check the ingredient list before making a final purchase. You should also recheck the ingredients of your favorite brand regularly as recipes and manufacturing processes are known to change (such as the case with Iams).
Weimaraner Feeding Chart
Individual dogs will vary on when and how much they eat. Even the gobble-prone Weims are known to be picky eaters. The following information is just a guide. If you think your dog may be eating too much or not enough, seek out the advice of your veterinarian.
Puppies should have between ¾ and one full cup of food per meal. Puppies grow fast and for the first six to 12 months will need this amount three times per day.
After the 12th month, you can increase the amount to 1 cup to 1 ½ cups per meal and feed twice a day. Some Weimers will need less, while others have been known to eat up to 4 cups per day.
Seniors will also need two daily feedings of about a full cup each. The amounts and frequencies of feedings will, of course, depend on the health, age and activity level of your specific pup.
Best Dog Food for Weimaraners
Finding your specific and favorite brand will be a matter of choice and trial and error. Some dogs will like the flavors of one brand while other dogs within the breed will not. Finding the perfect match is crucial, though. This list should help get you started.
Best Overall – Merrick Grain-Free Real Chicken + Sweet Potato
Merrick is well known for the attention to ingredients, only using what is essential to get the required proteins and fats. The new formula will net your dog a minimum of 38 percent crude proteins, 17 percent minimum fats and 3.5 percent fiber. – Buy It
Most Weimers love the flavors and will devour the bowl as soon as it is placed in front of them. For those looking to avoid peas or white potatoes, though, this isn’t the brand for you. The first five listed ingredients are deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, sweet potatoes, and peas.
What Customers Like
- Very high crude protein levels to ensure growth and nutrition for the adult life stage.
- Chicken and turkey proteins for essential nutrients.
- Easily digested for most all Weimaraners.
- Contains peas and white potatoes, which some choose to avoid.
- Mixing with a wet food topper can quickly become too rich for the dog.
- Overeating is possible, and high fat can lead to obesity.
Best Value – Blue Buffalo Life Protection
Blue Buffalo was one of the first brands on the market with high quality, naturally sourced ingredients for dog food. They have maintained their station and proven time, and again they deserve to be noticed, loved and used. Blue Buffalo never adds artificial ingredients and steers clear of the harmful grains that others use for filler, or to boost their content levels.
What you will find is a naturally sourced meat protein (chicken) along with easily digested grains (oatmeal, rice, etc.) along with a host of vitamins and minerals not found in some other high-end dog foods. Proper growth and bone support are inevitable with the Life Protection formula. – Buy It
The first five ingredients on the label are deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, and oatmeal.
What Customers Like
- Easy to add wet food as a mix or topper without adding too many rich proteins.
- Mixes well with just water for a softer, more flavorful gravy option.
- Completely digests, leaving little waste and high energy.
- Some Weimers avoid the food due to flavor or texture.
- Lower Crude protein to fat ratio than some other brands.
Best Super Premium – NomNomNow Porkalicious Potluck
NomNomNow is a dog food service that provides specific recipes based on whole, natural ingredients. The difference here is that everything that goes into the dog food is human grade foods for a more natural approach. – Buy It
Each recipe is handmade each week and portioned for you before delivery. The Porkalicious Potluck only has seven ingredients and gives you 78 grams of protein, 63 grams of fat and 56 grams of carbohydrates. The first five ingredients are pork, potatoes, kale, green beans, and mushrooms.
What Customers Like
- Food is delivered in portioned bags to avoid overfeeding or confusion.
- Orders are placed automatically, so you never run out.
- Most Weimers love all the flavors leaving zero waste.
- Buying in bulk is difficult for freshness and storage.
- Limited recipes to choose from for variety.
Best Puppy Food for Weimaraners
Best Dry Food – Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy
Taste of the Wild brings flavors from across the country to your dog’s bowl. They select various regions and pull their proteins, vitamins, and minerals from naturally occurring plants, animals and foods of that area. Considered a more exotic protein source, you will find foods like salmon, buffalo, and lamb. – Buy It
The first five ingredients of the High Prairie formula are buffalo, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, egg product, and pea protein.
What Customers Like
- Easily digested natural vitamins and minerals.
- Provides plenty of protein for fast-growing pups and keeps them active and alert.
- Mixes well with wet food or water.
- With so many regional varieties, not all puppies will like all the flavors.
- Lower crude fat levels (17 percent) than some other puppy formulas.
Best Wet Food – Nutro Ultra Puppy Chunks in Gravy
Nutro Ultra wet dog food has a high crude protein and fat content. The food itself is designed to be used as a stand-alone or mixed with a high protein dry food. The flavors are all natural, and there aren’t any additives to worry about.
The entire formula is designed for growing puppies, especially larger breeds that grow fast, like your Weim. The first five ingredients are chicken broth, chicken, chicken liver, potato starch, and wheat gluten.
What Customers Like
- Easily mixes with dry foods for more flavor and added proteins.
- Nine percent crude protein and seven percent crude fats give puppies energy and nutrition to grow.
- Flavors are full, rich and enjoyable.
- Does contain wheat, which some Weims are allergic to.
- Can provide too much crude fat leading to obesity if mixed improperly.
Best Senior Dog Food for Weimaraners
Best Dry Food – Nutro Wholesome Essentials Senior Pasture Fed Lamb & Rice
Nutro Senior formulas have all the nutrients your dog needs to continue his active and healthy lifestyle. With glucosamine and chondroitin added for proper bone health and teeth support. – Buy It
The dry food also mixes well with wet food and water for easier eating and protection of older teeth. The first five ingredients are deboned lamb, chicken meal, whole brown rice, brewers rice, and rice bran.
What Customers Like
- Easily digested for aging digestion tracts.
- Flavors all dogs seem to enjoy thoroughly.
- Mixes easily with wet food or plain water for easier eating.
- Higher in crude fats which can cause obesity in less active seniors.
- Doesn’t hold up well if not consumed right away after being mixed.
Best Wet Food – Nutro Senior Hearty Stews Grandma’s Farm
Nutro Senior wet food gives your senior the nutrition they need, and the support required for aging bones, teeth and digestion. Each container is properly formulated to include low crude fat and high crude protein ratio. – Buy It
Older dogs maintain a healthy appetite and active lifestyle with the naturally sourced items in the formula. The first five ingredients are water, lamb, lamb liver, ground rice, pea protein isolate, and sunflower oil.
What Customers Like
- Easily mixed with dry food for added nutrition where needed.
- Older Weimers enjoy the flavor of the lamb and rice.
- Included all the essential vitamins and minerals for older dogs.
- Lower in crude fiber than most other senior brands.
- Doesn’t work well for picky eaters as a stand-alone.