Dog Food

The Best Dog Food for Pitbulls

Author: Serena Law

Pit bull terriers are widely portrayed in the media as vicious and aggressive dogs towards other animals and humans. The truth is that pit bulls are like all other dog breeds. They’re trustworthy, reliable, loving and great with children. In fact, pit bulls are often used as a therapy and service dog.

As part of their nature, pit bulls are very determined to seek dominance in the home. Therefore, pit bulls need assertive owners who are willing to provide the correct training, guidance and nutrition.

Optimum health begins with good nutrition. As with all dogs, the most important macronutrient in a diet is protein. This is particularly true for large, strong and high-energy dogs like pit bulls. Protein is vital for building and sustaining the muscles and other organs.

With so many options to choose from, it can become stressful trying to shop for pit bull food when you’re unsure what to look for. That’s why we’ve reviewed 5 best dog foods for pitbulls, along with a complete buyer’s guide.

The best dog foods for pitbulls

We’ve listed 5 of the best dog foods for pitbulls below, that we’re sure your pitbull will absolutely love. Our top picks are all highly rated and free of corn, wheat and soy.

1. Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost

This dog food uniquely combines dry kibble with freeze-dried raw meat.

It contains the highest amount of protein and healthy fats on the market, ranging between 35-28% and 19-22%, respectively. The amount depends on which flavor you choose.

It also has a wide range of vitamins, minerals, vegetables, fruit, antioxidants and omegas.

All these nutrients are vital for promoting a healthy diet for pitbulls, making this the perfect and best dog food for pitbulls.

Plus, it’s free from preservatives, artificial colors and by-product meals.

2. CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Dry Dog Food

This product uses recipes specifically designed for sensitive dogs, making this the ideal dog food for pitbulls.

Out of all the variety of formulas to choose from, we highly recommend fresh lamb or fresh salmon. Both of these flavours offer many of the sufficient nutrients for pitbulls.

This includes 32% protein, 18% fat, 4% calcium, healthy fats and a large range of vitamins and minerals.

3. Bully Max High Performance Super Premium Dog Food

This performance-based dog food was designed with the “bully” in mind– to increase strength, energy and alertness.

Its all-natural ingredients include 30% protein, 20% fatand amino acids to support muscle development.

Each cup contains 535 calories, which is significantly higher than other brands. This means you can keep your pit bull nourished with high quality ingredients, while using less quantity per serving.

4. Rachael Ray Nutrish PEAK Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

This easily affordable dog food has high protein, relatively high fat and most of the important nutrients necessary for your pitbull. This includes some vegetables, fruits, vitamins, minerals, calcium and fibre.

All flavors contain 3 meats in the top 8 ingredientsand free from artificial flavors, colors and artificial preservatives.

With every item sold, a share of proceeds is donated to charity aimed at helping pets in need.

5. CANIDAE All Life Stages Dry Dog Food

This dog food is another recommended product from Canidae.

The recipe includes a multi-protein formula, including chicken, turkey, lamb and fish meals. Chicken, turkey and lamb meal are the first 3 ingredients.

Its nutritionally dense formulas are made up of relatively high protein and fat, with a wide range of fruit, vegetables, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

This is the perfect food for pitbull puppies, adults and seniors.

As this dog food is also suitable for all dog breeds, it’s great for households with multi-dogs.

Best food for pitbulls: buyer’s guide

Picture of a pitbull puppy.

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Pit bulls are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, both of which can be intensified by obesity. Providing a healthy diet for your pit bull has many benefits. It can prevent obesity, improve the health of the skin and coat, and ultimately ensure a long and healthy life for your pup.

A high quality diet formulated for active dogs is recommended for pit bulls. According to PetGuide, dry kibble is fundamental as it prevents tooth decay, build-up of plaque, gum disease and bad breath.

All dogs need a healthy diet with the appropriate macronutrients. The calories required for your pitbull, as with any dog, depend on many factors including weight, age and activity level.

An incorrect calorie intake can affect your pooch’s weight overtime and lead to adverse health consequences. So, it is important to contact your veterinarian for an accurate calorie calculation.

For your pit bull to maintain a healthy immune system, coat and skin, they need a high-quality diet. This needs to consist of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Achieving the right balance between these three types of food is essential for your pooch to receive sufficient nutrition.

High protein

Pitbulls are active, full of energy and are part of a muscular breed. So, they need a diet that consists of more protein than most adult dogs.

Most dog breeds require 25-30% protein in their diet. In comparison, active pitbulls need as much as 40-50% protein to ensure muscle growth and maintain overall development.

A high protein count is essential because it helps to repair tissue, supports bone growth, reduce injuries and provides your pup with the energy they need.

Not only is protein quantity important, but also quality. High quality pitbull foods should contain proteins from whole meats or meat meals such as chicken, beef, duck, salmon or whitefish. Meat meals contain a greater amount of protein.

Ingredients on food packaging are listed in order by weight. Look for products that list at least 2 or 3 of these meats in the top ten ingredients. Avoid foods that don’t have a meat product in the first few ingredients.

Healthy fats

Fat provides energy, regulates body temperature and promotes a shiny coat. Given how active most pitbulls are, adequate amounts of fat is vital.

Most dog breeds require 10-12%. For pitbulls, it should be 15-25% of their diet.

Healthy fats, such as chicken fat and fish oil, are essential during a pitbull’s lifetime to help the body absorb vitamins and nutrients. They also reduce the likelihood of developing fat-related and joint problems.

Low carbohydrates

Carbs provide energy and aid in digestion. Pitbulls tend to do well on a lower carbohydrate diet. Look for high-quality carbohydrates such as brown rice, oats, barley and sweet potato.

Grain-free

Many pitbulls are vulnerable to food allergies, most commonly corn, soy and wheat. Therefore, a grain-free dog food is recommended to prevent any adverse effects.

Vitamins and minerals

Fruit and vegetables provide the best nutrition for dogs.

The majority of high-quality dog foods contain the necessary vitamins and minerals that enhance your pooch’s immune system and support overall health.The most important minerals for dogs include calcium, phosphorus, iron and sodium. These are essential for hemoglobin production.

Pitbulls need at least 2% calcium in their diet to prevent skeletal abnormalities. Luckily, most low carbohydrate and high protein dog food contains enough calcium. As well as calcium, pitbulls need 4% fiber in their diet.

Look for a product that contains a wide range of fruits and vegetables so your pitbull receives its nutrition from diverse sources.

What guidance should I follow when feeding my pitbull?

Picture of a puppy.

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Guidance for how often you should feed your pitbull depends on whether they’re a puppy or adult.

Pitbulls typically weigh between 30 and 70 pounds. As well as weight, daily calorie consumption depends on activity level and metabolism. On average, a pit bull should consume anywhere between 745 and 1,740 calories a day.

They absolutely love their food, so it’s important to monitor and measure their food.

Feed treats to your dog in moderation and keep food intake the same when gradually increasing your pooch’s exercise.

Puppies and young dogs

Puppies are still growing, so they burn a lot of energy. To start your puppy’s life on the right path and grow at a healthy rate, puppies should eat 3 meals of softened dry food a day.

Continue using a high quality puppy food made for large breeds until the dog is about 12 months of age.

Adult dogs (over 12 months)

Adult pit bulls can eat once or twice per day. If you choose to feed your dog twice per day, make sure you give your dog half of their daily allowance at each meal.

Obese dogs are likely to benefit from eating once a day. However, other pooches tend to become whiny and agitated.

As your pitbull grows older, daily food intake generally drops to 875 calories per day.

Feeding your dog at specified times will help train your dog and provide you with control – an essential part of having a pitbull!

Treats

It’s important to keep treats to a minimum to maintain a healthy diet. Providing lots of treats adds more calories to a dog’s diet that day. This can increase their weight and the likelihood of obesity.

Both puppies and adult pitbulls can have healthy treats. But when you do provide treats, try to reduce their food intake at feeding times. Also, don’t feed more than 10% of your dog’s total calories for the day. 

Feeding problems and allergies

Pitbulls are prone to stomach sensitivity and have a tendency to eat their food without stopping to chew. This can cause many adverse problems, including diarrhea, gas and bloat.

Bloat, also known as gastric torsion, is a life-threatening condition that can kill a dog within an hour. So it’s extremely important to avoid this at all costs.

The best way to avoid bloat is a high-protein and grain-free diet. Avoid feeding your pit bull a dog food that contains corn, wheat or soy. These grains are present in many low quality dog foods because of how inexpensive they are.

Compared to other breeds, pitbulls are especially vulnerable to food-related allergies. Watch out for signs of an allergic reaction such as licking, scratching and rashes.

If you find your dog eats very quickly, give them 2-3 small meals daily rather than one large meal. Never allow them to run immediately after they have eaten, as this causes the stomach to sway which leads to bloat. We recommend waiting at least 30 minutes. 

Other diet options

Most dog owners feed their dogs store-bought food. They contain the necessary nutrients to keep a dog healthy, and it’s also convenient for busy bodies.

However, if you wish to make homemade food for you pup then the raw food diet is highly recommended for pitbulls. Homemade diets should consist of at least 70% protein.

For more information on what types of human foods dogs can and can’t eat, check out our useful guide here.

Feeding summary

Choosing the best dog food for pitbulls requires knowledge of their nutritional demands and potential health issues that may arise. Transitioning any dog breed onto a food that is best for them may take some time.

Monitor your dog’s food intake to help keep your pit bull at an ideal weight.

Set a specific feeding time so your pooch can receive an appropriate amount of food at the right time. You can also have a better control over the situation, which can help with training.

Reduce the amount of daily treats. When you do feed treats, reduce the food intake at feeding time.

Our favorite dog food for pitbulls

Overall, we’ve chosen Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost as the best dog food for pitbulls. It has the highest amount of protein and healthy fats that we could find on the market.

As raw food diets are recommended for pitbulls, this dog food contains a mix of dry kibble with freeze-dried raw meat. This provides the extra nutrition your active pitbull needs.

It also has a wide range of vitamins, minerals, vegetables, fruit, anxtioxidants and omegas – all nutrients that are vital for promoting a healthy and long life for pitbulls!

Final thoughts on the best dog food for pitbulls

Picture of a dog with its tongue out.

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When it comes to taking care of a pit bull, it’s essential to select a high protein, low fat and low carbohydrate diet.

Generally, quality food comes with a higher price tag. People may be purchasing cheap food without knowing the true health costs.

Cheap food is made with low-quality ingredients that will lead to health issues in the future. By switching to a higher quality food, your dog’s health is likely to increase. This also means fewer veterinarian visits.

Pitbulls really enjoy their food. So we recommend setting specific feeding times and measuring food portions. This would prevent obesity, overeating and fat-related problems such as joint pain.

Providing your pit bull with the necessary nutrients will promote a longer, healthier and happier life for your canine companion!