As the owner of a pitbull, you know what unconditional love looks like. Now it’s time to return the favor by feeding your beloved pup the best stuff possible. Below is a guide to choosing the best food for your pitbull, whether he’s a puppy, a juvenile, or a full-grown adult.
Top 10 Best Dog Food for Pitbulls 2019
Pitbulls are a robust breed, but that doesn’t mean that you should just feed your pitbull anything. As a pet owner, you want your doggy to thrive, not just survive. Below are the top 10 dog foods that experts recommend for pitbulls.
Good for the Brain & Body
Taste of the Wild
A Superior Grain-Free Food
A Powerful Start for Puppies
Premium Food for Optimal Health
All-Natural Dog Food
Great Food From the Experts
Good for Dogs With Tummy Issues
Never Outsourced, Always Delicious
Prebiotics, Protein, and More
1. Blue Wilderness – Pure Protein
Blue Buffalo’s Blue Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe is a top choice for puppies and adults. This red meat recipe includes deboned beef, lamb, and venison, and no grain. Along with chicken meat, dogs don’t take too well to grains, so this Rocky Mountain Recipe is a win-win.
Besides meat, the formula also includes bits of fruit and veggies, which adds an extra helping of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to the mix. Omega-3 and 6’s support a shiny, healthy coat, while DHA and ARA help with retinal functioning and brain development.
This puppy food will support healthy growth and ensure that your pup develops into a strong pitbull adult.
- Contains fruits & veggies for antioxidants
- Plenty of protein for pitbull puppies
- Soy, corn, and gluten-free
- Some dogs don’t take well to the LifeSource kibble bits
2. Orijen – Good for the Brain & Body
The Orijen Six Fishes flavor is a great pitbull dog food choice because it provides diverse and nutritious ingredients. We’ll start with the fish. This Orijen blend includes wild flounder, herring, mackerel, monkfish, redfish, and silver hake.
All of the fish is wild-caught and then dried before they are prepared at 200°F for greater nutrient concentration. Freeze-dried cod liver is added to the formula for extra flavor and health benefits. The only nutrient that needs to be added to this dog food is some extra iron and zinc; everything else is provided by the ingredients themselves.
This dog food is absolutely free of preservatives, just as their ancestors would have had it. Orijen prides itself on its WholePrey ratios, which ensures that the food retains all of its nutrients.
- Grain-free and biologically appropriate
- Great for all life stages
- Regional ingredients
- Dogs might not like the fish taste
3. Taste of the Wild – A Superior Grain-Free Food
Taste of the Wild prides itself on feeding dogs the ingredients that their ancestors thrived on. Therefore, the Sierra Mountain flavor included pasture-raised lamb, chicory root, and salon oil. These ingredients support healthy eyes, extra energy and protein, and prebiotic fiber.
Additional ingredients include sweet potatoes, eggs, lentils, peas, blueberries, raspberries, and an omega fatty acid blend for a healthy and shiny coat. The combination of protein, fruits, and veggies means that your dog is getting all of the antioxidants and nutrients that he needs to stay strong.
- Easy on dog’s digestion
- Grain-free and delicious
- Trusted, family-owned company
- Some ingredients are imported from overseas
- Very expensive
4. Natural Balance – A Powerful Start for Puppies
Natural Balance’s Lamb and Brown Rice formula is made with growing puppies in mind. It includes carefully-selected proteins and carbohydrates to support your pup’s growth while contributing to their healthy development.
The top ingredients include lamb, pea protein, brown rice, and rice flour to support good digestion, a shiny coat, and enough fiber for your puppy. A 2:1 ratio of protein to fat means that your little guy (or girl) will grow up to be strong and vital. Keep in mind that Natural Balance has dog food formulas for adult dogs, too.
- Good protein-to-fat ratio
- Nice choice for dogs with food allergies
- Higher carb count than other brands
5. Nutro – Premium Food for Optimal Health
For dog owners who are always checking the ingredients list on Rover’s bag of food, Nutro is sure to please. Its Limited Ingredient Diet venison formula is not only grain-free, but it only includes ingredients that are key to an adult dog’s health. This includes venison, potatoes, lentils, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and alfalfa meal.
This dog food is also a great choice for pitties with sensitive skin, and there are never any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Some of the supplementary vitamins and minerals include Biotin, Folic Acid, Manganese, Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3, Vitamin E, and Zinc.
- Free of common food allergens
- Lamb is #1 ingredient
- Range of plant foods for more vitamins and minerals
- Not the best-tasting dog food out there
6. Earthborn Holistic – All-Natural Dog Food
The Earthborn Holistic Venture formula of rabbit meal and pumpkin will have your dog’s mouth watering as soon as you open the bag. Another limited-ingredient formula, it is free of grains and includes rabbit meal from French rabbit farmers. The vine-ripened pumpkins in this dog food come from California’s Central Valley.
Pumpkin is such a great ingredient for dogs, as it supports digestive health and immunity and provides ample fiber. Peas, flaxseed, and supplemental vitamins and antioxidants create an ingredient list that you can feel good about.
- Great for digestion and immunity
- Lots of plant-based nutrition
- Meat from sustainably-raised rabbits
- Hard to find
7. Natural Ultramix – Great Food From the Experts
Castor & Pollux’s Natural Ultramix is a formula that includes added vitamins and minerals for even more nourishing and satisfying dog food. They never use corn, soy, or wheat, and their Red Meat Recipe is a meaty and nutritious treat.
The grain-free kibble is mixed with raw freeze-dried bits of red meat, including beef, lamb, and pork.
Pea protein, salmon meal, pork fat, and beef liver add even more flavor.
Additional good-for-Rover ingredients apples, blueberries, peas, potatoes, and alfalfa meal. This supports healthy digestion and a shiny coat. Organic ingredients will have your pup feeling his or her best, and the freeze-dried bits of meat keep all of the flavor and nutrients sealed in.
- Freeze-dried meat for optimal nutrition
- Supports healthy bones and teeth
- Trusted brand with a long history
- Beef is not grass-fed
8. Canidae Pure – Good for Dogs With Tummy Issues
The Canidae Pure line of dog food is free of grains and includes high-quality ingredients that can support large dog breeds such as pitbulls. The Real Duck & Sweet Potato Recipe contains whole food ingredients to go easy on your pup’s digestion, making it a good choice for dogs who are picky eaters or have trouble keeping food down.
The key components of this formula are duck, duck and turkey meal, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, alfalfa, and a Canidae probiotic mix. Added vitamins (A, B6, B12, D3, and E), as well as Biotin, Calcium, Niacin, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Zinc, and more ensure proper nourishment.
- Duck is first ingredient
- Excellent digestive aid
- Whole foods and antioxidants
- Hard to find
- Very expensive
9. Acana – Never Outsourced, Always Delicious
Acana Grass-Fed Lamb dog food is designed for all dog breeds and is inspired by the natural habitat of their ancestors. Made up of about 50% lamb, half of the meaty goodness in this dog food is fresh and the other half is dried.
Acana uses something called WholePrey ratios, which relate to the meat, cartilage, organs, and bones of the animal. The Grass-Fed Lamb formula is so good that it is safe for human consumption, too. That being said, your pup will appreciate having it all to herself.
This recipe includes some out-of-the-ordinary ingredients that make for extraordinary dog food. Things like kelp, marine algae, garbanzo beans, red delicious apples, green lentils, and yellow peas add tons of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- High-quality protein
- Grass-fed lamb & regional ingredients
- Limited ingredients for easier digestion
- Hard to find
10. Annamaet – Prebiotics, Protein, and More
You might not have heard of this brand of dog food but it has got over 30 years of experience feeding all dog breeds. Annamaet has specific formulas dedicated to adult dogs, working dogs, puppies, performance dogs, small and large breeds, and those that need to go on a little doggy diet.
For a strong pitbull, you might want to try out the Annamaet Extra Formula, which contains 26% protein, 16% fat, and 3.5% fiber. Added prebiotics help with gut health, chelated minerals help with mineral absorption, DHA is anti-inflammatory and promotes brain health, and L-Carnitine contributes to better fat utilization and lean muscle mass. Plus, the formula is free of corn, soy, and wheat.
- Healthy fatty acids for brain function
- Made of sustainably-raised fish
- Prebiotics for better digestive health
- Higher in carbohydrates
- Very expensive
Pitbull Dog Food Buying Guide
You need to ensure that you’re giving Rover quality nutrition.
1. Steer Clear of Fillers
Unfortunately, a lot of dog food brands out there – especially the bargain brands – rely on fillers, such as corn and wheat. The problem with this is that dogs aren’t meant to subsist off of things like corn and wheat. Moreover, corn and wheat are starchy and heavy on the carbs, so they don’t provide the quality protein that dogs need to function at their best.
Besides feeding high-quality dog food to your pitbull, you may want to consider giving him some fresh, raw meat as a side treat. This doesn’t have to be an everyday thing, but fresh, raw meat is a nutritious way to feed your dog, and they’ll love you even more for it.
2. Pay Attention to Protein
Pitbulls are dogs with a lot of muscle mass, so they need protein to support muscle health. Pitbull puppies are growing into full-size adults and as such, they are expending a lot of energy and eating a lot. You need to make sure that their food contains ample protein for their developing bodies and brains.
According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials, pitbull puppies should get at least 22% protein in their daily diet, while adults need a minimum of 18%. Protein supports muscle growth and recovery as your active pup moves around and explores.
3. Don’t Forget About Fat Content
Fat is another crucial component of a healthy and thriving pittie. Puppies should get about 8% while adults can do with 5% total fat in their daily diet. Fat is another form of energy, and different types of fat – such as omega fatty acids – contribute to better brain health.
Of course, carbs are one of the macronutrients you might be thinking of but don’t overdo it for your pitbull. Good carbohydrate sources include potatoes and brown rice.
While we’re on the subject of ingredients, you will notice that many of our recommendations include fruits and veggies. They’re not essential to a pitbull’s diet, but they sure as heck give them additional vitamins and health benefits.
4. Do Dogs Need to Count Calories?
As for total daily calories, your pitbull puppy will need more calories since they are expending a lot of energy just growing. Even into young adulthood, they will need a higher calorie intake, especially if they are an active pooch. An active adult pitbull’s calorie needs fall within the range of around 900-1700 calories per day.
For best results, you should weigh your pup and check the feeding instructions on your dog food package to get a better idea of the calorie range that best suits him or her. Consider that puppies need even more calories!
5. Emphasize Bone and Joint Health
On a side note, the pitbull breed is prone to arthritis as well as elbow and hip dysplasia. Therefore, bone and joint health should be a priority, and you can look for ingredients like chondroitin and glucosamine in your dog’s food. Calcium and phosphorus will also contribute to strong bones and joints.
So, to recap, you want around 20% protein in your dog’s food, between 5% and 8% fat, and a small portion of carbohydrates. Steer clear of filler ingredients like corn, soy, and wheat to keep allergies at bay. Finally, you can’t go wrong with added vitamins and minerals.
Foods for Pitbull FAQs
Below are some frequently asked questions related to pitbulls and feeding instructions. Hopefully, they’ll fill in any blanks that you still have about properly nourishing your pittie.
1. How Long Should My Puppy Eat Puppy Food?
You should feed your pitbull puppy food until it is about eight months old. Keep in mind that you don’t want to feed a puppy (or an adult) excess protein, even if your dog is on the meaty side. Excess protein can spur on early growth and development, which can lead to weak bone structure. Once your pitbull is eight months old, feed them junior formula until they are two years old, and then switch to an adult formula.
2. How Do I Switch My Pitbull’s Dog Food?
After reading this guide, you might want to switch your pup’s dog food, but perhaps he or she is hooked on the current food. You can start by mixing the two dry kibbles. Or, if your dog is used to eating two times a dog, feed her more often, but in smaller quantities and make one of those meals the new food.
Be aware that if you want to give your dog raw food, then you shouldn’t mix his raw food with dry kibble. Eating both at the same time will require a lot from their digestive system, and could lead to an upset tummy and gas. Keep in mind that your dog doesn’t need to eat raw!
Also, pitbull puppies shouldn’t eat raw meat, but they can tolerate raw bones, organ meat, and eggs. Cooked bones can splinter and get stuff in your dog’s throat.
3. Is My Dog’s Food Causing Allergies?
Maybe. Pay attention to things like skin rashes and ear infections, which are often signs of a food allergy. Remember that corn, soy, wheat, and sometimes chicken, are common allergens in dogs.
4. How Do I Feed My Overweight Dog?
If your pitbull is getting a bit too round, then you may want to try reducing the number of calories she eats each day. It can be as simple as consuming less and burning more.
Hopefully, you feel better prepared to take care of your beloved pitbull. Just like other members of your family, your pup deserves high-quality food as well. After making the switch, you might even notice that he or she has a shinier coat, more regular bowel movements, and more energy.