Pitbulls are strong, muscular, high-energy dogs that often receive an undeserved bad rap. This bad reputation comes from the day when Pitbulls were used for bear and bull baiting in England. However, modern Pitbulls are far from their ancestors. What used to be feared dogs have evolved to become one of the most loyal and loveable companion pets.
Because of the dogs’ origin, traits, and needs, finding the best dog food for Pitbulls can pose some challenges. To answer that challenges we have prepared this 40 hours’ worth of article to help you find the best food for your Pitbulls.
Best Dog Food for Pitbulls – Comparison Table
**Below, you’ll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
How Much Food do Pitbulls Need?
To find out how much food do Pitbulls need, there are at least four things that we need to consider: their weight, activity level, age, and condition.
In terms of weight, Pitbulls are classified as a medium-sized dog with a weight between 30 pounds for a small female and 70 pounds for a large male. Normally, a healthy adult Pitbulls with ideal weight will need an average daily caloric intake between 922 and 1740 calories. You may need to adjust how much food that you should give based on their level of activity and metabolism.
Growing puppies require even more calories than young adult dogs and adult dogs. As for older dogs or dogs that have been spayed/neutered require fewer calories, an average daily caloric intake in the range of 875 calories is enough for these type of dogs.
Ingredients to Look For
The best dog foods for Pitbulls should consist the right balance between protein, fats, and carbohydrates.
Protein is the first thing that you should look for. Protein is important for healthy growth and development. If you have a puppy, you should look for puppy foods which contain high protein content. Meanwhile, for adult dogs, protein is important for maintenance, repair tissue, reduce injury, assist bone growth, and also support the immune system.
AAFCO recommends a minimum 22% protein for puppies and 18% protein for adult dogs. However, for a highly energetic and active dog such as Pitbulls, a protein content of 30%-40% is necessary for growth (puppies) whereas an adult dog needs only 25%-30%.
When scanning through the ingredient list, you should look for two or three whole meat or meat meals. Whole meats like beef, chicken, lamb, turkey, or fish are ideal sources of protein.
Fat is the second most important thing on the ingredient list. Fat serves as the primary source of energy in your dog’s diet and helps to maintain dog body’s temperature.
Additionally, a high-quality dog food will also provide healthy supplementary fats which contain a high level of fatty acids such as fish or flaxseed oil. These fatty acids are beneficial to keep your dog’s skin and fur healthy. Fat is also used to enhance the taste of the foods with a certain flavor — such as chicken or beef.
Ideally, the recommended Pitbulls’ fat content should comprise between 15% – 25%. 15% for adult Pitbull and 20%-25% for growing puppies. Excessive fats can cause obesity and lead to many health problems such as heart problem, therefore, you should carefully maintain your dog’s fat level.
A sufficient amount of carbohydrates must be available in the dog foods. Pitbulls need carbs for energy and when there is not enough amount of carbs available, they will start to use their own muscle as an energy source which leads to muscle loss.
However, you should strike the balance between sufficient and too many. Too many carbs can make your dog get some digestion problems and also prevent the absorption of vitamins and nutrients in the dog’s diet.
Sweet potatoes, oatmeal, brown rice, and barley are an excellent choice of high-quality carbs.
Mineral and Vitamin Requirements
Top high-quality dog foods provide lots of essential vitamins and minerals from a wide range of fruits and vegetables. The most important minerals include calcium, phosphorus, iron, and sodium. Aside from supplying the necessary fruits and vegetables, some top dog food brands also supply the foods with unique ingredients like carrot and blueberries.
Pitbulls are one of those breeds with a higher risk of getting numerous skeletal problems such as arthritis, hip and elbow dysplasia. For a breed with a high chance of getting skeletal problems, it is better to grow slowly. And one way to encourage slow grow is by paying attention to calcium and phosphorus ratio in the dog food.
Adult Pitbulls require at least 2 percent calcium in their diet while puppies require 1.1 to 1.5 percent calcium.
Ingredients to Avoid
Knowing what ingredients to avoid is as important as (if not more) knowing what to look for. These low-quality ingredients are used by cheaper dog foods to cut down production cost.
Meat and Poultry Byproducts
Meat and poultry by-products are unhealthy sources of protein that comes from expired and dead meat. These low-quality protein sources should be avoided as they don’t contain the essential amino acids that Pitbulls need.
Corn, Soy, and Wheat
You should avoid corn, soy, and wheat in your dog’s diet. These ingredients don’t offer real nutritional value and only used as a cheap filler. What’s more, these ingredients can upset the dog’s stomach, and lead to many digestive problems, such as bloating. It’s better to pick a dog food that uses an alternative source of carbs such as sweet potatoes.
Grain is also used in the same way with corn. It is used as a replacement for high-quality carbs and proteins and doesn’t offer any calories or nutrients. You should be careful when you feed this ingredient to your dog as grain is known to trigger many allergic reactions.
Color and Flavor Additives
Color and flavor additives are often used to enhance the taste and make the dog food more appealing. These artificial ingredients should be avoided as they are actually harmful to your dog’s health, they can trigger many allergic reactions and lead to obesity. The only source of flavor in your dog’s diet should come from high-quality sources such as chicken or beef.
The Best 5 Dog Foods for Pitbulls
1. Taste of The Wild Grain Free High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food – The Winner
- A taste of the wild with ROASTED BISON; REAL MEAT is the #1 ingredient; optimal amino acid profile, protein rich for LEAN, STRONG MUSCLES
- High protein ingredients with added vitamins & minerals; fruits and vegetables as SUPERFOODS for hard-working ANTIOXIDANTS; fatty acid blend for SKIN & COAT
The Taste of The Wild (link to Amazon) is the best dog food for Pitbulls. This is a quality dog food at an affordable price.
This dog food offers high-quality proteins that come from bison, venison, lamb meal, and chicken meal. These four ingredients made up 28 percent of this dog food composition. There are additional ingredients such as fruits and vegetables which provide the necessary protein and mineral, fatty acid blends for skin and coat, and probiotics for the health of your dog’s gut.
Not forget to mention, this dog food contains no grain, corn, soy, wheat, and color and flavor additives.
2. Blue Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Adult Dry Dog Food – Runner-Up
- PACKED WITH REAL SALMON: A recipe made to satisfy your dog’s natural love for meat, this high protein dog food features real salmon to help build and maintain lean muscle mass.
- GRAIN FREE DOG FOOD: BLUE Wilderness large breed dog food is made with the ingredients to help support your large breed’s unique needs including glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health. Plus, it contains omega 3 & 6 fatty acids for skin and coat health.
The Blue Wilderness High Protein Dog Food (link to Amazon) is made to mimic the diet of a wild wolf and has been proven to be enormously popular. This dog food offers one of the best combinations of protein, fat, and carbs for your Pitbulls.
The sources of protein come from deboned duck, chicken meal, and fish meal, which are ones of the best sources of protein for Pitbulls. And just like Taste of The Wild, this dog food is grain-free, which is good for dogs with a sensitive stomach or allergic reaction.
The food also includes BLUE’s exclusive LifeSource Bits, a unique recipe from Blue Buffalo, which contains a precise blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
3. Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Dry Dog Food – Also Great
- With lean red meat bison meal as the first ingredient your dog is ensured high protein levels
- Bison meal and lamb meal are lean red meat proteins
The Earthborn Holistic Dog Food (link to Amazon) contains one of the highest protein content among many dog foods on market — with lean, red meat bison as the top ingredients. This dog food is an ideal food for dogs like Pitbulls which require a high-protein content for building muscle and maintaining a high level of energy.
It also contains Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy, and shiny coat, and not forget to mention lots of essential vitamins and minerals from plenty of vegetables and fruits.
4. Bully Max High-Performance Super Premium Dog Food – Upgraded Pick
- The ONLY 5 Star rated performance dog food. Rated by the world's #1 online dog food review site.
- The ONLY Meat Based formula in its class. Unlike other brands which are plant based, Bully Max dog food uses real meat as the #1 ingredient.
The Bully Max Super Premium Dog Food (link to Amazon) is a high-quality dog food that receives 5-stars performance from Dog Food Advisor. It contains 535 calories per cup, 30% protein and 20% fat, which makes it an ideal dog food for an active Pitbulls.
The price is not cheap, but if you have an active Pitbulls that require more calories such as contest Pitbulls, you should seriously consider getting this dog food.