best dog food pitbull puppy

Best Puppy Food for Pitbulls (Buyers Guide and Reviews) 2019

Just so you know, this post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through links on this page, Canine Weekly may collect a share of the sale or other compensation. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Are you getting ready to add a Pitbull puppy to your family? You already know that Pitbulls make great pets and aren’t the vicious monsters the media sometimes portrays them as. But do you know the best puppy food for Pitbulls?

There’s a lot to learn about feeding a Pitbull puppy. You want to start them off with a healthy life so they can grow big and strong. Let’s talk about what you should know about finding the best dog food for Pitbull puppies.

What Is a Pitbull?

The term “Pitbull” 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 “Pitbull” 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 Pitbull Puppy 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 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.

Good food for Pitbull puppies tends to be expensive. However, it should keep your dog healthier, avoiding costly vet bills down the road.

best food for pitbull puppies

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 Pitbull puppies.

Protein

Most large breed puppies should eat a diet that’s less than 30% protein. However, Pitbull puppies should have a diet that contains a minimum of 30% protein. Knowing that changes what foods to consider for the best puppy food for Pitbulls.

Fat

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.

Carbs

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

Probiotics help with digestion. Food that contains probiotics should be easier for your puppy to digest, leading to less gas and diarrhea.

red nose pitbull puppy

Ingredients to Promote Muscle Growth and Function in Pitbull Puppies

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

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

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.

Should Pitbulls Eat Grain-Free 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.

different types of pitbulls

Signs of a Superior Dog Food: Separating the Good from the Bad

Here are things you should look for to spot the best puppy food for Pitbulls.

Whole Meat as the First Ingredient

Pitbull puppies need plenty of protein, and that protein should come from a whole meat source.

Good dog food for Pitbull puppies shouldn’t contain any animal by-products. By-products are the parts of the animals that humans typically don’t eat, like hooves, beaks, and feet. These don’t have much nutritional value for your Pitbull puppy.

Meat meals are not preferable in your puppy’s food since meal is made from bone rather than meat. However, it’s OK to have meal as an ingredient as long as it isn’t the first ingredient. The further down the ingredient list a meat meal is, the better.

However, it’s important to note that meat meals should be identified. For example, “chicken meal” is OK, but “animal meal” is too vague to be trusted.

Look for Antioxidants and Omega-3

Antioxidants help build your Pitbull puppy’s immune system. They’re found in a variety of fruits, especially berries. Omega-3 is great for brain development and healthy skin and coat. It’s found in things like salmon or flaxseed oil.

Check Where It’s Made

Sadly, not all countries have the same manufacturing standards. Many dog food recalls seem to stem from China, for example. Look for puppy food for Pitbulls that’s made in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Europe, or Australia for the best safety.

Avoid Artificial Ingredients

Be wary of artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. They aren’t necessary and may be harmful to your puppy.

best dog food for pitbull puppies

The Best Dog Food for Pitbull Puppies

(Our Top Choice)

#1 – ORIJEN Dry Dog Food, Puppy

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.

Noteworthy Features and Considerations:

  • 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

Top Ingredients: 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, mixed tocopherols (preservative), sea salt, freeze-dried chicken liver, dried kelp, zinc proteinate, kale, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens, whole carrots, whole apples, whole pears, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, copper proteinate, chicory root, turmeric, sarsaparilla root, althea root, rosehips, juniper berries, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product.

Customer Reviews: The occasional puppy has diarrhea after eating this food, but most puppies love the taste and have shiny coats after eating this food.

Bottom Line: 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 for your Pitbull puppy.

Vice Price and Reviews on Amazon

#2 – Merrick Grain Free Puppy Dry Dog Food Recipes

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.

Noteworthy Features and Considerations:

  • Deboned chicken is the first ingredient
  • No corn, wheat, soy, or gluten
  • No ingredients from China

Top Ingredients: 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 (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate), Choline Chloride, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product.

Customer Reviews: There seem to be some quality control issues, especially when purchased online. However, most dogs love the taste and thrive on this food.

Bottom Line: As long as you don’t get a bad bag, your Pitbull puppy will probably love the taste of this food and will be healthy with small, firm poop.

View Price and Reviews on Amazon

#3 – Taste of The Wild Grain Free Premium High Protein Dry Dog Food High Prairie Puppy

This food 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.

Noteworthy Features and Considerations:

  • Protein-rich and easily-digestible
  • Unique proteins with bison and venison
  • Contains probiotics – 80 million live cultures per pound of food

Top Ingredients: 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, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid. Contains a source of live (viable), naturally occurring microorganisms.

Customer Reviews: 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 this food.

Bottom Line: This 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.

View Price and Reviews on Amazon

#4 – Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food

This is a grain-free food that’s on the more affordable side. The LifeSource Bits are a great source of antioxidants and vitamins for your Pitbull puppy.

Noteworthy Features and Characteristics:

  • 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

Top Ingredients: 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), Dicalcium Phosphate, Salt, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, DL-Methionine, Potassium Chloride, Potatoes, Dried Chicory Root, Choline Chloride, Pea Fiber, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Calcium Carbonate, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vegetable Juice for color, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Niacin (Vitamin B3)

Customer Reviews: This food does cause digestive problems in some dogs. However, most dogs love the flavor and do well on this grain-free recipe.

Bottom Line: Most puppies love the flavor of this food, and it’s reasonably priced.

View Price and Reviews on Amazon

#5 – Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Puppy Food, Chicken, Salmon & Oatmeal

With 29% protein, your Pitbull puppy will get plenty of protein without overdoing it. If your puppy struggles with foods that are too high in protein, this one should be just right.

Noteworthy Features and Characteristics:

  • No meat by-products, fillers, or artificial preservatives
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • All-natural ingredients

Top 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, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins [Beta-Carotene, Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B-12 Supplement], Minerals [Zinc Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], Choline Chloride, Mixed Tocopherols (a natural preservative), Taurine, Chicory Root Extract, Garlic Powder, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Green Tea Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation products, Rosemary Extract.

Customer Reviews: While some dogs get diarrhea after eating this food, most pups do really well on it.

Bottom Line: If you’re worried about getting food for your Pitbull puppy that’s super high in protein, this is one of the best choices for you.

View Price and Reviews on Amazon

#6 – Earthborn Holistic Puppy Vantage Grain Free Dry Dog Food

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.

Noteworthy Features and Characteristics:

  • 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

Top Ingredients: 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, Zinc Sulfate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Cobalt Carbonate, Folic Acid, Sodium Selenite, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product.

Customer Reviews: 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.

Bottom Line: 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 food, too.

View Price and Reviews on Amazon

How Much Should I Feed My Pitbull Puppy?

The amount of food you should feed your Pitbull 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 Pitbull 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.

pit bull life expectancy

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.

Allergies

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:

  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Eggs

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

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.

Food gulping is a common cause of bloat in dogs, especially food-loving Pitbulls. Slow down their feeding with a clean rock placed in their bowl, a treat ball, or a puzzle bowl.

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

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.

best food for a pitbull puppy

FAQs

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 Food?

You should switch your Pitbull puppy to adult 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.

Wrapping Up: The Best Puppy Food for Pitbulls

Hopefully, this information has helped you find the best puppy food for Pitbulls. Only you can decide which food is best for you and your puppy. Now you know what to look for in making your decision.

You May Also Like…

How Long Do Pit Bulls Live? A Guide To The Pit Bull Lifespan

Red Nose Pitbull: Breed Facts, History and Differences

Blue Nose Pitbull: A Beautiful Dog with a Mixed Reputation

5 Best Dog Foods for Pitbulls (2019 Comparison and Reviews)

Leave a Comment: