Well, well, well, what do we have here? The famous question you hear all the time from new Pitbull owners, "what is the best dog food for Pitbulls?".
Props to you for asking this question, as this shows you're a very responsible dog owner for wondering about what food is best to feed your new Pitbull puppy/adult canine.
This article will be your ultimate go-to guide to discovering ALL you need to know about what to feed your Pitbull buddy, which just happens to be the most misunderstood breed out there known to mankind.
Our Top 5 Pitbull Dog Foods (Updated For 2018)
Top Pick: Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food, Hi Prairie Canine Formula
Pick #2: Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Pick #3: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Pick #4: Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food
Pick #5: Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food
*Note: The links in the table above, as well as several links in the remainder of the article below, will take you to over to Chewy.com where you can find out more information about the products, such as current prices and customer reviews.
A Closer Look Into Our 5 Favorite Picks
Searching for high-quality dog food for your Pitbull is certainly no walk in the park, but we've done our best to bring you this extensive list of our top picks to save your valuable time so you don't have to go through the agonizing research yourself.
Pitbull Allergies Begone: I always hear this over and over again from pet owners that recently switched from whatever dog food they were feeding their Pitbulls to Taste Of The Wild dry dog food:
The allergies are long gone in no time!
And in some cases, this happens in as little as 7 days.
If you do any kind of research for yourself on Taste Of The Wild dry dog food, you'll find that it's a blessing in disguise when it comes to curing those nasty skin and coat allergies that result in hair loss and bald patches running everywhere on your Pitbull.
Not to mention, the fact that your Pit's coat will get that shiny look back and will shed extensively less.
As we'll be covering in this article later on, many skin infections that Pitbulls suffer from are actually a result of allergies to certain food that has useless filler in it as an ingredient.
Less Veterinary Bills: You'll be paying the vet way more visits (and bills) due to those nasty rashes and skin infections your Pitbull is bound to get because of the allergies, so you might as well feed them a formula that does a very good job in limiting these allergies.
Very Long Lasting: Taste Of The Wild dry dog food will actually last you a fairly long time. You'll find that your Pitbull will actually be eating a fairly less amount of food than they used to, mainly because they're getting a much higher concentrated amount of the macro-nutrients they need in less amounts of food.
Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free dry dog food comes second on our list for the best dog food for Pitbulls, and is nothing short of a fierce competitor to Taste Of The Wild dry dog food which we chose as our #1 top pick.
Maintains High Energy Levels: Besides the perfect nutritional mix of macro-nutrients for your Pitbull, you'll notice that their energy levels are always kept at a high (and that's meant in a good way, not in a hyper-active sense) which goes hand in hand with the active lifestyle Pitbulls love to pursue.
Healthy & Consistent Pooping: Thanks to the premium quality you're getting with this, you'll also notice things like much more regular and consistent pooping, not to mention that the poop will be much easier given that Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free food is known to be a very helpful cure to Pitbulls suffering from constipation and/or diarrhea.
Grain Free: As you'll notice us stressing time and time again later on in this article, this is exactly what your Pitbull needs, grain-free (i.e free from useless filler that burns through your pocket and offers zero nutritional value to your Pit).
You've got many options to choose from depending on what you're exactly looking for, be it reduced-fat dry dog food, food for your young puppy Pitbull, food for your large adult Pitbull, and the list goes on.
Good For Pitbulls With Sensitive Stomach: If your Pitbull is known to have a sensitive stomach, Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein dry dog food is one of the best options you could go with.
Excellent Fur Condition: This formula contains specific properties that, as a result of Pitbulls consuming, many pet owners have noticed that their Pitbull's fur is soft again.
In addition, its coat is glowing more than ever, with this change sometimes happening in as little as a few week's time.
Clearing Up The Smell Controversy: If you're a newcomer, let's just say that Blue Buffalo Wilderness doesn't smell like the most delicious of dog foods at first, especially if you go with the Salmon grain-free formula.
However, don't worry about that, as Pitbulls go crazy over Blue Buffalo Wilderness no matter what flavor you give them, and it's up to you to find out your Pit's favorite formula and stick with that.
There's a whole host of options and recipes for you to choose from, so knock yourself out!
Expect a very energetic and playful Pitbull when going with this choice, just as any normal Pitbull should be.
High Protein: Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein dry dog food currently stands at 34% protein, which is a very good starting range for protein consumption you want your Pitbull to be on during their diet.
One Of The Tastiest Dog Food For Pitbulls: This particular choice is so delicious, expect it to be gone in no time once your Pit gets used to it.
Besides the Sweet Potato & Fish Formula, you can go with other formulas like Sweet Potato & Duck if your Pitbull prefers that.
More Protein - Less Filler: Barely any corn and wheat present as ingredients, which is always a good thing since that means that more protein content is prominent.
Not The Best For Allergies: However, with that being said, this particular choice does have a somewhat larger percentage of potatoes in its ingredients make-up, so that might spell some trouble for Pitbulls that have allergy problems.
Omega-3 Galore: This one is also an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids for your Pitbull, which will do their coats and fur a world of good.
Last But Certainly Not Least: Not taking any of its quality away, Merrick Real Buffalo and Sweet Potato is definitely up there with the rest of the giants when it comes to the best dog food for Pitbulls, even it we've chosen it as our #5 pick.
We've chosen Merrick as our #5 pick for premium Pitbull dog foods simply because the other 4 are currently doing wonders and receiving all the praise in the world among the Pitbull owners community.
One Of The Highest-Quality Protein For Pitbulls: Merrick state that the Buffalo used in this dog food is Bison (also known as American Buffalo), which is notorious for being one of the highest-quality protein sources available in contrast to other products which use lower-grade protein sources.
Very Good All-Round Macronutrients For Pitbulls: Not to mention the fact that this is one of the best all-around balanced dog food products in terms of macronutrients, getting the numbers perfectly right for a Pitbull's daily needs, especially when it comes to protein levels.
What's The Best Dog Food For Pitbull Puppies?
When choosing the best Pit bull puppy food, there's a whole world of difference between choosing the best food for an adult Pitbull and choosing the best dog food for a Pitbull puppy.
The nutritional requirements for Pitbull puppies are different than those of adults, and the two have different digestive systems because of the difference in age and size.
In our opinion and according to our research and findings, the top nutritionally-balanced and easy food on your Pitbull puppy's system that will ensure they get all they need to properly grow is the Blue Wilderness Grain Free puppy food.
The Best Dog Food For Pitbulls Explained
Given their strong build and muscular physique, many people choose to exploit Pitbulls and use them in unethical practices (such as engaging in underground fights and bull-baiting).
This is the cause that has greatly contributed to the bad rap around them.
And, speaking about large size, lean bodies and muscular physiques, Pitbulls need a proper diet that meets their nutritional requirements and their fairly-high day to day activity levels so they can stay in shape.
You can honestly tell that your companion is getting the best food a Pitbull can get from their athletic body. If this athletic body is gone and your pooch is either too thin or too overweight (both of which cases we will be talking more about later in this article), then you're obviously not feeding it the best food a Pitbull can get.
But, that's not all. Pitbulls are also known to be prone to a whole host of health problems, which means it's very important that you know exactly what you should and what you should not feed your Pitbull to avoid catastrophic health effects.
While some people will tell you that Pitbulls can and will eat anything you throw at them and be just fine, this couldn't be any farther from the truth. Just as you would do with any other breed, you always have to be on top of Fido's diet and know for fact exactly what's going in their system.
Only this way will you be able to make sure that your Pitbull goes on to properly grow and live a healthy life.
Why Most Dog Foods Are Bad For Pitbulls
Honestly speaking, most dog food available on the market today is pure garbage if you plan to feed it to your Pitbull.
Why? They contain mostly filler ingredients that are nothing but left overs from the human-food industry and provide no nutritional value whatsoever to Pitbulls, such as:
The meat portion that your Pitbull really needs and nutritionally benefits from (such as chicken) is only present in very small amounts.
What this ends up doing is causing you to spend more and more money on commercial dog food for your Pitbull so it can get the nutritional values it needs.
So, why not spend a little bit more money on premium, high quality food formulas that actually contains the nutrients that your canine needs?
This actually has a funny effect to it as well, as down the line you'll be spending way less money on food for your Pitbull overall because it won't be needing as much food as it used to back when it was eating all that useless filler.
How Can I Tell High Quality From Low Quality Dog Food?
With all the brands out there competing with one another and trying to convince you that they're #1, which should you really believe?
Starting off, you can do some fast and easy examination yourself to directly be able to tell garbage from quality.
Have a quick look at the top 5 ingredients you see on the bag, because those are often the most prominent ingredients in the product.
Do you see any wheat, corn, potato or soy? If so, then these are very low quality carbohydrate sources that your pooch will not benefit from nutritionally, so you should do away with that product.
You can always include other healthy sources of carbohydrates in their diet from time to time such as oatmeal, brown rice and apples instead of feeding them this useless filler that many products contain.
It's just that the dog food you buy for your Pitbull should be rich in meat-based protein sources and not useless carbohydrate filler ingredients.
You also want to make sure that the dry food you're getting for your Pitbull contains minimal levels of salts (such as phosphorus and nitrates), artificial sugars and colorings, all of which are found in low quality formulas and can lead to serious allergic reactions in your Pitbull.
Health Problems In Pitbulls
Pitbulls are more prone than other breeds to suffer from some health problems, some of which might even lead to death if not properly treated within time.
Pitbulls And Allergies To Dog Food
The first of these health problems is allergies to some dog foods.
For many Pitbulls out there, allergies to certain foods is certainly no stranger, especially skin and coat allergies that are oh-so common among this breed.
To avoid your Pitbull's allergies kicking in, you're going to want to make sure any dog food you feed your Pitbull is free from these usual culprits:
Pitbulls are more prone to bloating than other breeds, and let it be very clear that bloat is one thing you have to make an extra effort to make sure your pooch NEVER gets, as it can potentially lead to their death.
Bloating in canines can happen for many reasons, which are beyond the scope of this article right now.
However, check out some details about bloat in dogs and do your due diligence so you know how to act in case your Pitbull is affected by it.
One of the most important reasons it's always stressed that you should make sure to NOT give your Pitbull food rich in filler-grains is because these are very common culprits that lead to bloating in Pitbulls.
This is why the majority of the food you feed your Pitbull should consist of high-quality proteins and moderate amounts of fats.
Bloating in canines is also a very common reason it's always recommended that you avoid feeding your Pitbull one, humongous meal during a day, and opt to feed it multiple (2-3) equally-divided meals throughout the day instead.
One large meal a day stresses their digestive system way too much all at once, while 2-3 meals throughout the day makes it much easier for their digestive system to process the food.
Hip & Elbow Dysplasia
Hip and elbow dysplasia is more common among Pitbulls than you might think.
If you take into consideration the very high activity levels Pitbulls like to get day-in, day-out, which ultimately causes wear-and-tear symptoms just like it would do to our bodies, this is really only logical.
Other times, hip and elbow dysplasia is caused due to negligence or carelessness of the Pitbull's owner to stay on top of their pup's diet, which can easily lead the Pitbull to overeat and put on weight like there's no tomorrow.
Before diving deep into this section, it must be said that you must first consult with your veterinarian before you make any dietary changes to your pooch's lifestyle, as this advice (or any other significant advice you may find on the internet) is by no means meant to be in place of veterinary practice.
Pitbulls require a well-balanced overall diet to maintain a high quality lifestyle and live their normal lifespan.
And, the main staple of a Pitbull's well-balanced diet should revolve around high levels of HIGH-QUALITY SOURCE protein (which will maintain their muscle mass levels and ensure proper bone growth in young Pitbull puppies), very low grain levels and moderate fat levels.
First off, beware of dog food that contains low-quality protein, as it will barely benefit your Pitbull nutritionally and you'll only be wasting your money.
How exactly do you know that you're getting high quality-source protein? It's easy, just have a look at the list of ingredients and check out whether or not the first 5 ingredients are dominated by meat-source proteins such as chicken and beef.
If you see these ingredients way down the list, or see plant-source proteins dominating the top of the ingredient list, stay away from that specific product.
Perfect-case scenario is where around 70% of the protein found in a certain dog food comes from animal sources and not plant sources.
As for calorie requirments; on average, an adult Pitbull (which usually weighs between 30-70 lbs) needs anywhere between 900-1750 calories per day, given their very active lifestyle and the fact that they expend a lot of energy during the day.
Of course, this number somewhat varies between Pitbulls depending on their age (as growing puppies need much more calories than senior Pitbulls), health factors and activity levels, but this range is a good place to start from.
Speaking of protein levels, it's recommended that you feed your young Pitbull a diet comprised of at least 22% proteins (with the typical recommended range being between 25-30%) so they can adequately grow, and your adult Pitbull at least 18% protein so they can keep hold of their lean muscle mass and not lose it with age.
Don't be surprised if your veterinarian recommends that you feed your adult Pitbull a diet consisting of 30-40% proteins, sometimes even 50%, if they lead a VERY active lifestyle; their bodies need it.
As for fat, these are a very important part of your Pitbull's diet, and they will need a minimum of 8% of fat in their diet if they are still growing puppies and 5% if they are adult Pitbulls.
Fats, most importantly of which are omega-3 based fats (such as fish oil), are an extremely vital part of your Pitbull's diet, seeing as they are responsible for keeping their skin in healthy shape and their coat glowing.
As long as you're always measuring and calculating everything that's going in your Pitbull's diet on a day to day basis, and are providing your Pitbull with the adequate amounts of exercise they need each and every day, you won't have to worry about your Pitbull going obese or becoming too thin.
Remember, Pitbulls LOVE exercise!
Also, try to split your Pitbull's meals into multiple meals throughout the day instead of feeding it one large meal at once for a day, as this will be much easier on their digestive system and will make sure they don't feel lethargic because of all that food at once.
Ideally, you'll be feeding your Pitbull around 2-3 properly distributed meals a day so you eliminate the chance of overfeeding them on one meal and underfeeding them on the next.g
Again, and this must always be stressed, PLEASE always stay in constant contact with your veterinarian about any changes you make to your Pitbull's diet, as well as any suspicions you have about something fishy going on that might eventually lead to catastrophic effects on your Pit's health.
Professional guidance is needed at all times here and, the sooner you get it, the better!
Carbohydrates are the main energy providers to our canines, just like they are to us humans.
However, your Pitbull does not need the same levels of carbohydrates that you and I need to remain energetic throughout the day, even if it gets fairly high levels of activity in a day's time.
So, feeding your Pitbull a diet that consists of a fairly low amount of carbohydrates is completely fine.
A Note About Overweight Pitbulls
You should always stay on top of your Pitbull's diet and always measure and calculate everything that's going in their digestive system, as they can easily overeat and become overweight real fast.
The last thing you want on your hands is an obese Pitbull! Not only because that is terrible in and of itself; but combine obesity and the Pitbull's predisposition to major health problems, and you'll get a disaster.
And, another word of advice, take it easy on the treats! Many dog owners tend to get carried away when it comes to this, and decide to go on a I'm-happy-you're-happy, treats-for-everyone spree to show their Pitbull that they've been a good dog/girl.
Here are some ways you can make sure your dog is a healthy weight!
A Note About Underweight Pitbulls
And, just as you never want your Pitbull to go obese, you also never want them to under-eat and become too skinny. Just like obese canines, under-weight pups also face a whole host of health problems, some of which can even prove to be fatal.
Dealing with an underweight Pitbull isn't as easy as preventing one from becoming obese, the matter at hand is very delicate and most people who try to solve this issue completely mess it up by overfeeding their Pitbull in massive amounts and hoping they manage to put on some weight.
But, all that does is ADD to the health risks of your Pitbull because of massive floods of food entering their system all at once which, obviously, it can't properly process.
So, save yourself the extra money that you'll be shoving down the drain and SAVE YOUR DOG'S LIFE by talking to your veterinarian about your animal's situation with being underweight.
Your vet is probably the most capable person out there that's able to properly assist you with this issue in a safe and scientific way, and will tell you all what you need to know about gradually increasing your Pitbull's food consumption and taking it easy on the activity levels for a while so they can properly put on some healthy weight.