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Understandably, you want to feed your Pit Bull a nutritious, tasty and complete high-quality dog food. But you don’t just want to pick any food, you want to pick the best dog food brand and recipe that addresses the specific biology and nutrition needs of Pitbulls.
We’ll help you do exactly this below.
In this comprehensive Pit Bulldog food buying guide, we’ll start by recommending the best dog food for Pitbulls with 5 top recommendations. Then, we’ll follow with reviews of the best food for Pit Bull puppies with 6 top-rated picks.
In addition, we’ll discuss the health issues and characteristics of Pitbulls that should influence your choice of dog foods, as well as the basic things you’ll want to seek out in any dog food brand.[toc]
What Is a Pit Bull?
The term “Pit Bull” is thrown at a variety of dog breeds. The American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and American Bulldog are all different types of Pitbulls.
Most commonly, the term “Pit Bull” refers to the American Pit Bull Terrier. However, all the “bully breeds” have similar nutritional needs, so we’ll use the broader Pitbull term to refer to all of them.
Benefits of Feeding Your Pit Bull a Healthy Diet
Cheap dog food is the equivalent of junk food for people. Sure, it will keep you alive, but it won’t keep you healthy. To help your Pitbull have a long, healthy life, you want to feed your Pitbull puppy the best dog food you can.
You should look for food with quality ingredients and no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Also, avoid fillers like corn and soy – they don’t offer any nutritional value.
The best dog food for Pitbulls tends to be expensive. However, it should keep your dog healthier, avoiding costly vet bills down the road.
Best Dog Food for Pitbulls
(Best Affordable Dog Food for a Pit Bull)
Taste of the Wild is a high-quality Pitbull dog food brand that is designed to mimic the diet of your dog’s wild ancestors.
A grain-free recipe, this dry dog food is made with premium proteins, nutritious carbohydrates, antioxidant-rich fruits, and vegetables. Taste of the Wild High Prairie is also fortified with three different probiotic strains, to help ensure proper digestion.
- Made in the USA
- Contains tasty protein sources your dog will love, such as roasted bison and roasted venison
- Formulated with salmon oil (a good source of omega-3 fatty acids)
- Grain-free dry dog food utilizes sweet potatoes, peas, and potatoes to supply the carbohydrate content
Buffalo, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, egg product, pea protein, peas, potatoes, canola oil, tomato pomace, roasted bison, roasted venison, beef, flaxseed, potato fiber, natural flavor, ocean fish meal, salmon oil (a source of DHA), salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, Yucca schidigera extract, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus reuteri fermentation product, vitamin E supplement.
CRUDE PROTEIN 32.0 % min
CRUDE FAT 18.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 4.0% max
MOISTURE 10.0% max
ZINC 150 mg/kg min
SELENIUM 0.35 mg/kg min
VITAMIN E 150 IU/kg min min
OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS 2.8% min
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS 0.3% min
TOTAL MICROORGANISMS 80,000,000 CFU/lb
Most dog owners report being very satisfied with Taste of the Wild dry dog food, and many become long-term devotees to the brand. Several mentioned improved skin and coat conditions after switching to this recipe and a few even noted improved elimination habits and increased energy levels.
But in addition to these tangible benefits, many owners simply appreciated the chance to feed their dog a biologically appropriate diet for their pet.
Taste of the Wild is made with the types of protein sources wild canines consume, and it also provides the types of fruits (primarily colorful berries) that wolves and prehistoric dogs likely included in their diets.
Dogs, for their part, appear to love the way the recipe tastes. Given the impressive collection of protein sources included in the formula, this is hardly surprising.
Taste of the Wild is often recommended for a variety of medium and large breed dogs, and there’s a good reason for it: It is simply one of the finer mass-produced dog food brands on the market for most canines (especially Pitbulls and other big breeds).
It satisfies almost all the criteria you’d want in a Pitbull dog food, and it is reasonably priced for the quality of the product. It also includes a number of specific things that may benefit your Pitbull, including the use of sweet potatoes and peas, rather than grains, and relatively high protein content to ensure your Pit can build strong, healthy muscles. It may just be the best affordable dog food for Pitbulls on our list.
Blue Buffalo manufactures a number of very nutritious dry dog foods, and they have recipes designed to suit a variety of different dogs.
We’d recommend their Life Protection Formula Lamb and Brown Rice Recipe for Pitbulls, as neither lamb nor brown rice is likely to trigger food allergies, which are frequently a problem for Pitbulls.
- Made in the USA
- Fortified with glucosamine to promote joint health
- Contains Blue Buffalo’s patented LifeSource Bits, which are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
- Contains five different probiotic strains to help regulate the digestive process
Deboned Lamb, Menhaden Fish Meal (Source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley, Pea Starch, Peas, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Flaxseed (Source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Dried Tomato Pomace, Lamb Meal, Pea Protein, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Potatoes, Dried Chicory Root, Pea Fiber, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Dl-Methionine, Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Garlic.
CRUDE PROTEIN 22.0% min
CRUDE FAT 14.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 5.0% max
MOISTURE 10.0% max
CALCIUM 1.0% min
PHOSPHORUS 0.7% min
OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS 0.75% min
OMEGA 6 FATTY ACIDS 2.0% min
GLUCOSAMINE 400 mg/kg min
Blue Buffalo is one of the best-reviewed commercial dog food brands on the market, and the vast majority of owners rave about these foods. Many dog owners report improvements in elimination habits (likely due to the inclusion of five different probiotic strains), and a large number of owners noted improvements in skin and coat health too.
Most dogs seem to love the way Blue Buffalo’s lamb recipe tastes, and many owners reported the apparent reduction in their dog’s hip and joint pain after feeding this food to their pet for several weeks. This is likely due to the inclusion of glucosamine, as well as the food’s rich omega-3 content (which helps to reduce inflammation).
Just about any Pitbull would benefit from eating Blue Buffalo Lamb and Brown Rice Recipe. It has all of the things you’d want in the best food for Pitbulls, including glucosamine, which may help reduce the symptoms associated with hip and elbow dysplasia and omega-3s, which will improve skin health.
However, it is likely the best dog food for Pitbulls who often struggle with intestinal issues, as this is a very easy food for dogs to digest, thanks to its reliance on brown rice as the primary carbohydrate.
Note that this is not a grain free recipe. That is not necessarily a problem (most dogs — including pit bulls — will digest grains without problem), but if you would prefer a grain-free formula (or you know your dog is allergic to rice, barley or oatmeal), you may want to opt for one of the grain free products, such as Blue Wilderness, instead.
Made without grains, fortified with three probiotic strains, and stuffed with antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, it is easily one of the best dog foods on the market, and it should make an excellent dry dog food choice for most Pitbulls.
- Made in the USA
- Made with peas, potatoes, and sweet potatoes, rather than corn or wheat
- Fortified with both chondroitin and glucosamine for joint health
- Contains flaxseed and salmon oil, which are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids
Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas, Potatoes, Dried Ground Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato Pomace, Chicken Liver, Natural Chicken Flavor, Flaxseed, Salmon Oil, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Broccoli, Spinach, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Beta-Carotene, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Biotin, Folic Acid].
CRUDE PROTEIN 34.0% min
CRUDE FAT 16.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 4.0% max
MOISTURE 10.0% max
CALCIUM 2.0% max
PHOSPHORUS 1.40% max
VITAMIN E 400 IU/kg
OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS 3.25% min
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS 0.5% min
GLUCOSAMINE 250 mg/kg min
CHONDROITIN SULFATE 200 mg/kg min
BETA-CAROTENE 5 mg/kg min
TOTAL LACTIC ACID MICROORGANISMS* +80,000,000 CFU/lb min
Most dog owners were very pleased with Wellness CORE. Several mentioned drastic improvements in coat health and a few mentioned that their dog’s energy level improved once they began eating this dog food.
A few owners noted that their dogs produced less waste after switching to Wellness CORE, and others noted a reduction in gas. This is likely due to the relatively modest nutritional fiber content of the food and the use of potatoes, rather than grains, as the primary carbohydrate source.
On the other hand, a few owners did note minor digestive issues after feeding their dog Wellness CORE, but that can occur anytime you switch dog foods, and it usually resolves quickly. Just be sure to transition your dog’s diet slowly, and you can reduce the likelihood of these types of problems occurring.
Wellness CORE is one of the best dog foods for Pitbulls available, and it has a number of features that are especially helpful for the breed.
For example, it has more protein than many other dog foods, and it is formulated with both chondroitin and glucosamine to help support joint health. And, because it is made without grains, it may help support skin and coat health.
Wellness CORE is more expensive than many other dog foods, but as with any other consumer product, you usually get what you pay for – and in the case of Wellness CORE, this means premium-quality grain-free dry dog food.
(Best Dog Food for Pitbulls with Sensitive Stomach)
This makes it one of the best dog foods for Pitbulls suffering from skin and coat problems. But it’s also a good choice for dogs that don’t suffer from these types of problems, given the quality of the ingredients used in the recipe.
- Real lamb is the first listed ingredient
- The grain-free formula uses sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and peas rather than corn or wheat
- Contains five different probiotic strains to help promote proper digestion
- Formulated with menhaden fish meal — a great source of omega-3 fatty acids
Lamb, turkey meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, peas, chicken fat, menhaden fish meal, potatoes, suncured alfalfa, natural flavor, minerals (iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid)
CRUDE PROTEIN 32.0% min
CRUDE FAT 18.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 4.0% max
MOISTURE 10.0% max
VITAMIN E 50 IU/kg min
OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS0.4% min
OMEGA-3 0.5% min
TOTAL LACTIC ACID MICROORGANISMS* 100,000,000 CFU/lb min
Most dog owners were quite pleased with CANIDAE dog food. Several reported that the PURE LID DIET recipe helped alleviate their dog’s problems with itchy skin, and a few even noted improved digestion and elimination habits after making the switch — likely due to the impressive collection of probiotic strains present in the dog food. Most dogs seemed to love the taste, which isn’t surprising, as many dogs tend to relish lamb.
Conversely, a few dogs experienced intestinal upset after trying this food, but this seemed to be the exception, rather than the rule. Such problems can likely be limited by transitioning your dog’s diet slowly (scroll down to see the recommended transition protocol).
CANIDAE PURE LID is one of the best dry dog foods for Pitbulls with itchy skin or food allergies. This recipe is not only free of corn, wheat, and other grains, but it has a relatively simple ingredient list, which helps eliminate potential allergic triggers from you Pitbull’s diet.
However, this also means that some of the nutrients found in other foods are lacking in CANIDAE PURE LID. For example, owners seeking a dog food full of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables may want to look for a different product, as this recipe lacks things like carrot, leafy greens, and colorful fruits.
(Best Dog food for Pitbulls with Skin Allergies)
Blue Wilderness with Chicken Grain Free is based on the evolutionary diet of wild-living canines, so it is made with plenty of nutritious proteins and things like peas and tapioca, rather than grains.
Also, like many other Blue Buffalo products (Blue Wilderness is manufactured by the same company that Blue Buffalo is), it contains LifeSource Bits, which provide antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
- Made in the USA
- Made without corn, wheat, soy or artificial flavors
- Fortified with five different probiotic strains
- Made with antioxidant-rich ingredients, including blueberries and cranberries
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine), Peas, Pea Protein, Tapioca Starch, Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Dried Tomato Pomace, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Pea Starch, Natural Flavor, Dried Egg, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, DL-Methionine, Dried Chicory Root, Potatoes, Pea Fiber, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Caramel Color, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement.
CRUDE PROTEIN 34.0% min
CRUDE FAT 15.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 6.0% max
MOISTURE 10.0% max
CALCIUM 1.4% min
PHOSPHORUS 0.9% min
OMEGA 3 0.5% min
OMEGA 6 FATTY ACIDS 2.75% min
GLUCOSAMINE 400 mg/kg min
The overwhelming majority of dog owners who tried out Blue Wilderness Grain Free were very pleased with their choice. Many noted improvements in skin and coat health and most dogs appear to love the way this recipe tastes.
Additionally, Blue Wilderness appeared to help a lot of dogs enjoy more energy, and some owners noted that their dog seemed to get around better after making the switch. This may be due to the glucosamine and omega-3s included in the formula, as these can help reduce the symptoms associated with joint problems (including the apparent lack of energy).
A few dog owners noted digestive problems upon making the switch, so it is wise to make the transition slowly. Nevertheless, the majority of owners actually reported that their dog’s elimination habits improved after transitioning to this dog food. This is probably due to the food’s grain free formulation.
There aren’t many things to complain about with Blue Wilderness with Chicken. It satisfies nearly all of the things most Pitbull owners would want in a pet food, and it provides probiotics, glucosamine and more than one source of omega-3 fatty acids.
But one of the most impressive things about Blue Wilderness (as well as Blue Buffalo’s other recipes) is the inclusion of their patented LifeSource Bits. These are tasty little bits of kibble included in the recipe, which are made from vitamin-, mineral-, and antioxidant-rich ingredients, that’ll support your Pitbull’s immune system.
You will, however, have to pay for such a high-quality dog food for your Pitbull, as Blue Wilderness with Chicken is a relatively expensive option.
Best Puppy Food for Pitbulls
(Our Top Rated Dog Food for Pitbull Puppies)
Orijen puppy food is expensive, but you’re getting quality ingredients for the price. The food is 85% meat and organs, 15% fruits and vegetables, and 0% anything else. As an example, the first 3 ingredients are all whole meat: deboned chicken, deboned turkey, and flounder.
- Protein-rich (38% protein, 20% fat)
- WholePrey ratios of fresh meat, organs, and cartilage or bone supply virtually every nutrient your puppy needs
- Lots of fresh and raw meats
Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, Atlantic ﬂounder, cage-free eggs, whole Atlantic mackerel, chicken liver, turkey liver, chicken heart, turkey heart, whole Atlantic herring, dehydrated chicken, dehydrated turkey, dehydrated mackerel, dehydrated chicken liver, dehydrated egg, whole red lentils, whole pinto beans, whole green peas, chicken necks, chicken kidney, chicken fat, lentil fiber, pollock oil, whole green lentils, whole navy beans, natural chicken ﬂavor, whole chickpeas, ground chicken bone, chicken cartilage, whole pumpkin, whole butternut squash
The occasional puppy has diarrhea after eating this dog food, but most puppies love the taste and have shiny coats after eating this food.
Yes, this food is expensive, but you are paying for quality ingredients that your puppy will thrive on. If you can afford it, this food is the cream of the crop and it tops our list as the best dog food for Pitbull puppies.
Looking for a grain free puppy food with quality ingredients? This may be the one for you. It’s somewhat cheaper than our top choice, but it still has quality ingredients, including deboned chicken as the first ingredient.
- Deboned chicken is the first ingredient
- No corn, wheat, soy, or gluten
- No ingredients from China
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Sweet Potatoes, Natural Pork Flavor, Potato Protein, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Natural Chicken Flavor, Deboned Salmon, Apples, Blueberries, Yeast Culture, Organic Alfalfa, Flaxseed Oil, Potassium Chloride, Salmon Oil, Salt, Minerals
There seem to be some quality control issues, especially when purchased online. However, most dogs love the taste and thrive on this dry dog food.
As long as you don’t get a bad bag, your Pitbull puppy will probably love the taste of this dog food and will be healthy with small, firm poop.
This dry dog food from Taste of the Wild has everything you want in puppy food for Pitbulls. It has probiotics, omega-3, antioxidants, DHA, and even a small kibble size for small puppy mouths.
- Protein-rich and easily-digestible
- Unique proteins with bison and venison
- Contains probiotics – 80 million live cultures per pound of food
Buffalo, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, egg product, pea protein, peas, potatoes, canola oil, tomato pomace, roasted bison, roasted venison, beef, flaxseed, potato fiber, natural flavor, ocean fish meal, salmon oil (a source of DHA), salt, DL-methionine, choline chloride, taurine, dried chicory root, yucca schidigera extract, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries
There are some reports of diarrhea and variable quality control. However, most puppies experienced improved stools, shinier coats, and overall better health after switching to Taste of the Wild High Prairie dog food.
Taste of the Wild High Prairie is an excellent grain-free option for your Pitbull puppy. It has quality ingredients with unique proteins, so it’s great for dogs who are allergic to chicken.
This is a grain free dry dog food from Blue Buffalo that’s on the more affordable side. The LifeSource Bits are a great source of antioxidants and vitamins for your Pitbull puppy.
- Contains LifeSource Bits – a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to support immune system health, life stage requirements, and a healthy oxidative balance
- Has no chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives
- Grain-free, with 36% protein
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, Peas, Tapioca Starch, Pea Starch, Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Egg Product, Dried Tomato Pomace, Flaxseed (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Natural Flavor, Fish Oil (source of ARA-Arachidonic Acid and DHA- Docosahexaenoic Acid)
This dog food does cause digestive problems in some dogs. However, most dogs love the flavor and do well on this grain free recipe.
Most puppies love the flavor of this food, and it’s reasonably priced.
With 29% protein, your Pitbull puppy will get plenty of protein without overdoing it. If your puppy struggles with dog foods that are too high in protein, this one should be just right.
- No meat by-products, fillers, or artificial preservatives
- No corn, wheat, or soy
- All-natural ingredients
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Barley, Salmon Meal (a source of DHA – Docosahexaenoic Acid), Ground Brown Rice, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a natural source of Vitamin E), Tomato Pomace, Rice Bran, Tomatoes, Natural Chicken Flavor, Rye Flour, Carrots, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Apples, Blueberries, Ground Millet, Ground Flaxseed
While some dogs get diarrhea after eating this food, most pups do really well on it.
If you’re worried about getting dog food for your Pitbull puppy that’s super high in protein, this is one of the best choices for you.
One thing that sets this food apart from the others is that you can send the empty bag to the company for it to be recycled. Earthborn tries to be very eco-conscious with its food manufacturing processes, too.
- Rich source of DHA for healthy brain development
- Grain-free, gluten-free, potato-free
- Balanced ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 for healthy skin and coat
Chicken Meal, Whitefish Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Barley, Ground Brown Rice, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Rye Flour, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato Pomace, Ground Flaxseed, Natural Flavors, Apples, Blueberries, Cranberries, Carrots, Peas, Spinach, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, L-Lysine, Taurine, Yucca Schidigera Extract, L-Carnitine, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement
As with most dog foods, there are occasional complaints of pups having diarrhea when switched to this food. Most puppies grow, thrive, and have great bowel movements with this food, though.
If you’re concerned about your impact on the environment, you should support a company like Earthborn Holistic. Your Pitbull puppy will probably thrive on this dog food, too.
Nutritional Requirements for Pitbull Puppies
Pitbull puppies have very specific nutritional needs. While you can often generalize that “large breed puppies need this” and “small breed puppies need this,” Pitbull puppies have unique nutritional requirements.
That’s because Pitbulls have more muscle than many other dog breeds, so they need more protein. Pitbulls can be medium- to large-sized, but there is less concern about them growing too quickly compared to other large breed dogs.
Here’s a little more information about the specific nutritional needs of Pit Bull puppies.
Most large breed puppies should eat a diet that’s less than 30% protein. However, Pit Bull puppies should have a diet that contains a minimum of 30% protein source. Knowing that changes what foods to consider for the best puppy food for Pitbulls.
You may think of fat as a bad thing, but Pitbull puppies actually need a certain amount of fat to help them grow. The best dog food for Pitbull puppies should contain around 14-20% fat. This fat often comes in the form of salmon oil or chicken fat.
Dogs don’t really need to eat carbohydrates. However, they are necessary to help bind together dog kibble. Look for puppy food for Pitbulls that contains low levels of carbs, preferably no more than 25-30%.
Vitamins and Minerals
All dogs need plenty of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. Vitamins may be added to dog food artificially. Look for a puppy food that contains fruits and vegetables, because those are natural sources of vitamins and minerals.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin are necessary for proper joint health. Since Pitbulls may get hip dysplasia, arthritis, or other painful joint conditions, they should start their life with a puppy food that contains glucosamine and chondroitin to help them build strong joints.
Probiotics help with digestion. Food that contains probiotics should be easier for your puppy to digest, leading to less gas and diarrhea.
Ingredients to Promote Muscle Growth in a Pit Bull Puppy
Beyond these general nutritional requirements for Pitbull puppies, they need something a little extra to help promote muscle growth and function. Here are some other important ingredients to look for in your Pitbull puppy’s food.
B Complex Vitamins
Various B vitamins have different functions related to muscle health, so it’s a crucial vitamin for puppy food for Pitbulls. B vitamins can be found in foods like beef, fish, organ meats, poultry, leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, and nuts.
Vitamin E helps increase cellular metabolism and promotes tissue repair. This vitamin is crucial for building and maintaining muscle. Vitamin E is found in foods like nuts, kale, spinach, and broccoli.
Choline helps break down fat for energy, so it helps maintain your Pitbull’s weight. Choline is found in foods like cauliflower, nuts, and organ meat (like liver).
Calcium and Phosphorus
Not only is calcium necessary for bone health, but it also helps support muscle contraction. Phosphorus is also useful in building strong bones, and what is a strong muscle with weak bone under it? You can find calcium in ingredients like leafy vegetables, seeds, nuts, and fish.
How Much Should I Feed My Pitbull Puppy?
The amount of dog food you should feed your Pit Bull puppy varies too much to give you an exact answer here. Factors that can impact how much you should feed your Pitbull puppy include:
- The dog food brand
- Your puppy’s age and weight
- Your puppy’s activity level
- Whether your puppy is intact or not
Consult the bag of puppy food you buy for some general guidelines, then talk to your vet about how much you should feed your Pit Bull puppy.
You will increase how much you feed your puppy as it grows. Increase how much you feed gradually. For example, go from feeding just shy of a cup to a level cup to a heaping cup.
Common Health Problems in Pitbulls
Pitbulls are prone to several health problems, and some of them can be impacted by the food they eat. Here are some common health problems in Pitbulls.
Pitbulls are prone to allergies more than many other breeds. Those allergies may be environmental (like grass) or food (like grain). A lot of common food ingredients may cause allergies in Pitbulls.
Some fog food ingredients that commonly trigger food allergies include:
If you suspect your Pitbull puppy has a food allergy, you should put them on a limited ingredient diet to try to find out what they’re allergic to. Trying to discover what allergens trigger a dog can take time and patience, but relieving your Pitbulls allergy symptoms is well worth it.
Bloat is a condition where a dog’s stomach fills with air and rotates, often blocking blood flow to the intestines. Half of all dogs who get bloat will die from it, including 1/3 of dogs who get emergency surgery to try to fix the problem.
The best way to prevent bloat is to feed your Pitbull at least twice a day. Big meals are more likely to cause bloat. You should also keep your Pitbull calm for at least 20 minutes after they eat.
Joint Problems or Arthritis
Sadly, Pitbulls are prone to arthritis and other joint problems as they age. One way to help prevent or minimize pain is to make sure your Pitbull puppy maintains a healthy weight.
Obesity causes a wide variety of health problems, including putting extra weight on sore joints. You should be able to feel, but not see, your Pitbull puppy’s ribs when they are standing up straight.
Hip dysplasia is more common in larger breeds of Pitbulls than smaller ones. It’s a condition where the hip joint doesn’t form properly, and it’s extremely painful.
Growing too quickly can be one cause of hip dysplasia, or could make it worse. Make sure your Pitbull puppy’s food contains a calcium to phosphorus ratio of about 1.2 to 1. A higher ratio than this can lead to a puppy growing more quickly than it should.
Should Pitbulls Eat Grain Free Dog Food?
There has been a lot of debate recently about the risks and benefits of grain free food for dogs. However, there is little scientific research to back up either side of the debate.
Having said that, Pitbulls are highly susceptible to allergies, and grains are a common allergen for dogs. If your Pitbull puppy seems to be struggling with allergies, you may want to try a grain-free food.
How to Pick the Best Dog Food for a Pit Bull
‘Pit Bulls’, which we also describe to include the American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and Bull Terrier, have a variety of physical traits and characteristics that should be considered when picking out their food. Accordingly, you’ll want to look for dog food for your Pitbull that satisfies the following criteria whenever possible.
Try to Pick a Dog Food Fortified with Joint Supplements
Pitbulls are pretty susceptible to elbow and hip dysplasia – two conditions in which the joints don’t form properly. Dogs with either type of dysplasia will often suffer from a significant loss of joint cartilage, pain and reduced mobility.
Fortunately, foods that are fortified with glucosamine or chondroitin can help repair some of the damage and prevent the loss of additional cartilage.
As an added measure, you can use a standalone joint supplement for dogs containing glucosamine and chondroitin to help keep your pitbull feeling his best.
Avoid High-Calorie “Muscle-Building” Foods
In an effort to help make their Pitbull look bigger and more muscular, many owners turn to “muscle-building” foods (we’ve reviewed the best dog food for weight gain), which claim to help add mass to your pet.
Simply put, this is generally a bad idea and it won’t work anyway. It is extraordinarily difficult to get a dog to build high levels of muscle mass, and it may even cause health problems.
For example, muscle-building dog foods tend to have higher caloric values than typical foods. This can lead to weight gain and obesity – two problems Pitbulls are naturally predisposed too.
Instead, just pick a dog food for your Pitbull with a normal caloric value and get him plenty of exercise.
Look for Foods That Are Fortified with Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Skin and coat problems are also extremely common in Pitbulls. Many experience itchy or dry skin, while others struggle with hair loss. And while these problems may require veterinary treatment if they become serious, one of the most effective first-line treatments involves increasing the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your dog’s food.
Omega-3 fatty acids help to prevent inflammation and they usually improve coat and skin health. Most of the high-end dog foods produced in the modern world contain omega-3-rich ingredients, such as salmon, trout or menhaden fish meal, and others simply fortify their foods with fish oils.
Try to Stick to Single-Protein Dog Foods
Aside from omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies, food allergies are another leading cause of skin and coat problems in Pitbulls. Skin allergies usually start occurring in response to one (or rarely, more than one) protein in your pet’s food.
The best way to treat them is usually through the use of an elimination-challenge diet, which helps to identify your dog’s allergic trigger. The best dog food for Pitbulls with skin allergies is determined by simply selecting a food that doesn’t contain this ingredient.
Accordingly, you’ll want to make sure that you have the most options available, should this need arise. And the best way to do this is by embracing a diet with a single protein source.
Some Pitbull owners also have success in treating food allergies by simply switching to a limited-ingredient diet (LID). Such foods are made with relatively few ingredients, and they typically avoid some of the most common allergy triggers, including:
READ MORE: The Best Hypoallergenic Dog Food
Fortified with Probiotics
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are incorporated into many high-quality large breed dog foods. They often help improve the way your Pitbull digests his food and improve elimination habits. They also often help reduce the likelihood that harmful bacteria will be able to colonize your dog’s digestive tract through competitive exclusion.
There are a variety of probiotic strains used in different dog foods. Because veterinarians and researchers don’t yet understand which strains are most effective, many manufacturers incorporate several different strains.
There are a number of good dog food brands on the market, but the following five are among the best dog foods for Pitbulls. Just be sure to review each recipe carefully, so that you can arrive at the best choice for your pet.
The Right Way to Feed a Pit Bull
Pitbulls have a few unique requirements that you’ll want to be sure you address when feeding your pet.
Whether you have a Pitbull puppy or adult, these will help ensure that your dog gets all of the nutrition and calories he needs, and it will also help avoid medical problems that may arise from improper feeding.
Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind include when feeding your Pitbull:
Make Sure That You Provide Enough Calories
Pitbulls are high-energy dogs, and you’ll need to make sure that your canine consumes enough calories on a daily basis to support an active lifestyle.
Generally speaking, average-sized Pitbulls require between 900 and 1800 calories of food each day. This obviously represents quite a range, so you’ll need to tailor the amount of food provided to your pet.
You can do so in part by considering your dog’s size. Pitbulls typically weigh between about 40 and 70 pounds, so if you have a 65-pound pit bull, you’ll want to provide enough food to approach the 1800-calorie-level, while Pitbulls weighing only 45 pounds may only require 900 to 1,000.
Additionally, you’ll have to factor in your dog’s typical activity level. Couch-potato dogs may become overweight if provided with too many calories, while active, working dogs will need plenty of calories to provide the energy they need.
Ultimately, you’ll want to monitor your dog’s body condition to ensure he is obtaining a proper amount of calories. You can learn more about body condition score by reviewing this resource, provided by the Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center.
Ensure That Your PitBull Obtains the Proper Ratios of Macronutrients
Caloric content is important, but it is not the only factor you’ll need to consider when selecting a dog food. You also need to select a dry dog food with a proper balance of macronutrients.
Generally speaking, Pitbulls will thrive best on dog foods that provide the following ratios:
Pitbull Protein Requirements
Minimally, adult dogs require foods that have protein levels of at least 18%. However, because Pitbulls are typically active, muscular dogs, they’ll remain healthier if provided a diet that contains more than 30% protein.
Pitbull Fat Requirements
Adult dogs typically do best with foods containing 5.5% fat content. You don’t want to dip below this level, as it could cause health problems for your pet, but it is wise to avoid foods with drastically more fat than this, as Pitbulls can be prone to obesity.
Pitbull Carbohydrate Requirements
Carbohydrates are incorporated into dog foods to help provide enough calories for your dog and ensure his energy levels remain consistent. In a perfect world, you would give your Pitbull a food with as little carbohydrates as possible, but this would be cost-prohibitive. You just need to make sure that you select a food that derives no more than 55% to 65% of its calories from carbohydrates.
Do Everything Possible to Help Avoid Bloat
Pitbulls, like most other big, large-chested breeds, are susceptible to bloat — a potentially life-threatening condition in which a dog’s stomach fills with air and twists, thereby trapping the gas inside. Without emergency medical treatment, bloat is almost always fatal (and medical treatment isn’t always effective).
You’ll want to do everything you can to help reduce the chances of bloat occurring. A few of the best ways to do so include:
- Feed your dog several small meals, spread throughout the day, rather than one large meal. Minimally, you’ll want to split your dog’s daily food ration into two separate meals, but three is even better.
- Ensure that your dog rests for about 30 minutes after each meal before allowing him to run around in the back yard or taking him on a walk. His body needs time to digest his food, so be sure to provide him with this opportunity.
- Try to discourage your dog from gulping down his food without chewing. Look for foods made with relatively large kibble, which will often encourage your dog to chew more thoroughly.
- Consider using a specially designed food bowl that’ll make it more difficult for your dog to get the kibble in his mouth. This will help slow down the eating process and prevent him from swallowing as much air, which should reduce the chances of bloat.
Be Sure to Switch Your Pitbull’s Food Gradually
Anytime you switch your dog’s food you want to do so gradually. Failing to do so may stress your dog’s digestive tract, leading to excess gas, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
Typically, this requires you to switch your Pitbull’s food over the course of five to six days. A basic regimen would require you to feed your pitbull meals consisting of the following ratios:
- Day One: 90% old food, 10% new food
- Day Two: 75% old food, 25% new food
- Day Three: 50% old food, 50% new food
- Day Four: 25% old food, 75% new food
- Day Five: 10% old food, 90% new food
- Day Six: 100% new food
If at any time during the process, your pittie starts exhibiting digestive problems, slow down and incorporate less of the new food when making your dog’s breakfast or dinner. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, or your dog’s intestinal difficulties do not stop, contact your vet.
Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the best dog food for Pitbull puppies.
When Should I Switch My Pitbull Puppy to Adult Dog Food?
You should switch your Pitbull puppy to adult dog food when they are just about done growing. For smaller Pitbull breeds, that will be when they’re around 1 year old. For larger ones, they may grow until they’re 2.
Ask your vet when you should switch your Pitbull puppy to adult food.
How Much Should I Feed My Pitbull Puppy?
There is no simple answer to this question. The answer varies widely depending on your puppy’s food, weight, and activity level. Take your bag of puppy food to the vet and see what they recommend for your Pitbull puppy.
How Often Should I Feed My Pitbull Puppy?
When you first bring your Pitbull puppy home, you should feed them 4 times a day. They need plenty of food, but their tiny tummies can’t handle too much at once.
At 4 months, reduce to 3 feedings per day. From 6 months of age onward, feed your Pitbull twice a day.
Summing Up the Best Dog Food for Pitbull Puppies and Adults
There are certainly a number of excellent dog foods on the market, but the options listed above stand prominently as the best dog food dog for Pitbulls, including both adult and puppy Pitbulls.
Just be sure to select the food that best meets the needs of you and your dog, and don’t forget to make the switch to your dog’s new food gradually, to help avoid the digestive problems that can occur during rapid food transitions.