Despite having a notorious reputation for being aggressive, pit bulls are one of the sweetest, silliest breeds around, and any owner can attest to that!
If properly cared for and trained well, they can make perfect canine companions.
Whether you’ve got an American or Staffordshire bull terrier, American pit bull terrier, or American bully - the term Pit Bull encompasses all of these breeds - it’s important to feed your dog exactly what it needs to grow and thrive.
But what does that mean?
Don’t worry! We’ve done all of the research for you.
As an especially stocky, muscular breed, they benefit from protein-rich diets, so here are five of our favorite foods to provide your pup with just that, and more.
The comprehensive buyer’s guide outlines nutritional advice based on common pittie problems, needs, and desires, as well as outlining more specific suggestions suited to the age and breed style of your precious pup.
If you have any remaining questions, doubts or concerns, you may find what you’re looking for in the FAQs at the end of the article, in which we’ve provided responses to the most persistent queries from fellow pit bull lovers.
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Designed especially with pit bulls in mind, if you’re looking for the ideal diet for your perfect pittie, the search is over.
Bully Max High Performance kibble is appropriate for any stage of life, and though it’s a little pricier, it’s certainly the best you can put in your large dog feeder.
Superior to plant-based options, meat is the primary ingredient, with a super premium chicken blend that doesn’t rely on artificial colors, flavors, preservatives - no hidden nasties, and all natural mix that really packs a punch.
Boasting 30% more protein and 20% more fat than competing brands, your pup needs less food to sustain plenty of energy, which saves you money with every serving without hindering your dog’s nourishment.
At either a 15, 30 or 40lb bag, it’s possible to stock up for a long time or pick up a fresh batch as and when you need it.
At 535 calories in every cup, they promise it offers more of an energy boost than any other food on the market.
Every single batch of Bully Max is tested three times before it even leaves the manufacturing facility to ensure there are absolutely no traces of anything undesirable, providing peace of mind to the most anxious of owners.
- Suitable for all ages (from 4 weeks old)
- 50% less food required thanks to 535 calories in every cup
- Meat-based, all natural ingredients list
- Variety of sizes to suit your budget and storage space
- The most expensive brand on our list - a premium choice
Whether your pup prefers beef or chicken, they’ll be super happy to chow down on either option from CRAVE with their choice of high protein dry foods, full of all natural ingredients, ample protein and a truly meaty flavor they are sure to love.
By using real chicken as their first ingredient, this food satisfies your dog’s natural desire to consume animal protein, whilst supporting a strong, lean body and the development of natural muscles that pitbulls are known for.
Inspired by the diet of their wolfy ancestors, this is a formula free of corn, wheat and soy, without any nasty artificial colors or flavorings and absolutely no grain.
Energy is sourced from alternative carbohydrates, such as the humble garden pea!
Thanks to plenty of added vitamins and amino acids, your favorite canine will have access to all of the nutrients they need to be healthy, and you can grab either a 4lb, 12lb, or 22lb bag to meet your needs.
There’s even a handy guide on the back of each bag that provides advice on how best to transition your pittie to eating CRAVE from their previous food choice, so that you don’t interfere with their all-important feeding schedule.
- Primary ingredient is real chicken
- Additional vitamins and minerals to help your dog thrive
- Grain free to focus on proteins
- Inspired by the diet of their doggy ancestors
- Adult only food - not safe for pups!
With five recipe variants to choose from, owners are spoilt for choice when they opt for Blue Buffalo’s natural, life protection formula food, which not only promotes a healthy skin and coat but protects the immune system and helps muscle growth too!
As with all foods from Blue Buffalo, real meat is always the first ingredient, providing high levels of protein to build muscle and retain it, as well as wholesome grains, garden veggies and fruits to meet all nutritional requirements.
Containing Blue’s exclusive LifeSource Bits, a specific blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals selected by vets and animal nutritionists - this food is more than fuel, but also supports the immune and digestive systems and all life stage needs.
Whether you go for a tasty chicken and brown rice or switch it up a little with lamb or fish, you can get your hands on each in either a 6lb, 15lb or 30lb bag, so there’s plenty of variety size-wize, whatever your dog’s appetite is.
You’ll find that every bag contains essential proteins, carbohydrates and both omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, in order to encourage a shiny coat and reduce irritation should your pittie succumb to those classic pit bull allergies.
- Real meat first, then grains, veggies and fruits
- Supports building AND maintaining muscle mass
- Encourages a shiny, healthy skin and coat
- All of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants a happy dog needs
- Recently saw a price increase
From prominent TV personality and celebrity chef Rachael Ray comes this premium food for pampered pooches, featuring flavors inspired by real recipes straight out of her kitchen, ensuring every ingredient is delicious and has a purpose.
We’ve chosen the Beef, Pea and Brown Rice recipe, a tasty and canine-friendly take on a classic human dinner, made with real US farm raised beef as the number one ingredient and combining hearty vegetables with additional vitamins and minerals.
Providing plenty of protein to support lean muscle building with fiber to support healthy digestion, there is no wheat, corn, soy or gluten to be found, nor will you see any artificial flavors or preservatives. Just all natural, super tasty goodness.
Customers can choose between a 6, 14, 28 or 40lb bag depending on their needs or budget, and every single one is filled with natural prebiotics to boost that digestive system, whilst avoiding the poultry byproducts used as fillers by other brands.
If that wasn’t enough to convince you, a portion of every sale from all Nutrish products, including dog food, cat food and treats, goes to the Rachael Ray Foundation, which works to provide food and medical supplies to animals in need.
- All natural ingredients from a reputable figure you can trust
- Plenty of sizes to choose from
- US raised beef as the primary ingredient
- No artificial preservatives or additions
- On the pricier end of our list
Crafted from chicken, turkey, lamb or fish, All Life Stages premium food promises a vet-formulated diet for dogs of any age, breed and size, a “one bag fits all blend” to make mealtimes in multi-dog families so much easier.
The nutritionally dense formula has been designed so that you provide the optimum level of protein to your dog, but require less food per day - this means you also need to buy a fresh bag less frequently, and save you cash in the long run.
As their ethos is all goodness and no fillers, meat is the primary ingredient in every bowl, and you won’t find any wheat, soy or corn in their food.
What there is, however, is plenty of omega 3 and 6, the fatty acids that make for a beautifully shiny coat.
The CANIDAE HealthPLUS Solutions is applied to their kibble following the cooking process, including a variety of probiotics for healthy digestion and lots of antioxidants for a thriving immune system.
Each mealtime is like a natural booster shot!
Since it's suitable for all dogs, mealtimes will be an absolute breeze if you have multiple pups; whether you go for a 5, 15, 30 or 44lb bag, there’ll always be plenty to go around, and everyone’s happy too!
- No fillers - that means zero wheat, corn or soy
- Vet formulated and nutritionally dense
- HealthPLUS Solutions added to every batch for even more vitamins
- US based production with a cookery in Texas
- Not pit-bull specific like other options above
Best Dog Food For Pit Bulls Buying Guide
Pet professionals and veterinarians alike suggest that generally, most dogs will thrive on a diet that is 45% protein, 30% carbohydrates and 25% fats. Like humans, they need a balanced and healthy mix of different ingredients to stay fit and well.
However, there are some considerations to bear in mind for feeding pit bulls more specifically, so be sure to read the following carefully before you make your choice. Remember: every dog is different! Consult your vet if you’re worried about your pup.
Pitties should, in general, follow a diet similar to that of other working breeds, enough to sustain their active nature without being overfed. They do, however, require some more specialized nutritional considerations, for several reasons:
Whilst, like all dogs, pitbulls come in a variety of shapes and sizes, they are naturally bulkier, muscular dogs, an active breed with a high drive to hunt prey. To ensure you provide them with enough energy, protein-rich foods are recommended.
As hip dysplasia is common in pitbulls, ensuring they get an adequate amount of both calcium and vitamin D is vital. Too much or too little of both can inhibit the development of bone and cartilage, leading to some serious problems later on.
This is especially important when your beloved pooch is still a puppy, as the early stages of canine life are a crucial stage in their growth - around 1 to 1.5% of calcium is the benchmark, but visit a vet for advice based on your pup’s size and weight.
Should your pitbull begin exhibiting signs of joint problems, or when they reach their twilight years, it’s common to use glucosamine, an amino sugar their bodies produce naturally to stimulate cartilage cell growth, as a food supplement.
Allergies plague pit bulls and intolerances to food are especially prevalent, so some owners avoid common allergens such as beef, pork, chicken, corn and soy and substitute with more suitable alternatives - though we aren’t saying you have to!
Similarly, you might also want to consider a grain-free diet, which makes food digestion easier for dogs, more so if they appear to be sensitive to a certain ingredient. Skin issues as a result of allergies can be combated with fatty acids.
Puppy or adult?
It might surprise you to learn that pitbull puppies actually require more nutrients than their adult counterparts, and you should be feeding them three times a day with food that’s appropriate for younger dogs, which is usually clearly stated on the packaging!
Once they’re about fully grown, it’s time to reduce their food intake to two meals a day and gradually wean your furry friend from puppy food to one made for fully grown pups, adding a little at a time of the new one to the old until fully transitioned.
Similarly, a pregnant bitch will also need to harness more nutrients than, say, a fully grown male pit bull, as she also has several other tiny mouths to feed! Be sure to adjust her diet accordingly to ensure mom and babies are well fed.
Watch out for bloating!
Pitbulls have a tendency to gobble their food down whole. They get so excited that it’s mealtime, they don’t stop to chew properly, which results in rapid consumption of both food and air and causes the stomach to bloat.
This is common in dogs, but it can have fatal consequences. Though for us humans, a simple burp is enough to solve feeling gassy, when a dog’s bloated stomach twists, it blocks the flow of blood to the rest of the body.
Many owners aren’t aware of bloating, but it is the second most prevalent cause of death for pooches behind canine cancers, as the interruption to blood supply prevents oxygen from reaching their vital organs.
Symptoms of bloating can include a visibly tight or distended abdomen, stress or hiding away, gagging or trying to vomit, and though dogs with bigger chests are more susceptible, it can affect pups at any size or age.
Preventative measures revolve around attempts to slow down food consumption rates. For instance, by feeding a few times slowly from one smaller bowl, as opposed to putting all of the food in one large one. Inverted or elevated dishes can help too.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should you feed pit bulls to make them muscular?
The easiest way to encourage muscle growth in pitties is to feed them a diet full of protein, which you should be doing already!
Natural, organic kibble full of amino acids and packing plenty of meat are ideal, and better for their teeth too!
You could also try the raw meat diet, though those owners who are squeamish should stay away, as it often involves handling some unpleasant mush!
Either supplement their existing diet or go the whole hog, it’s up to you.
Additionally, ensure your pittie gets lots of exercise on a daily basis by going for a nice long walk, but also encourage active time at home too - play some fetch, have a tussle with a chew toy or just a good old fashioned run around the yard.
Why does my pit bull not want to eat?
A reduced appetite is a big warning sign for pit bull owners, as they are naturally great lovers of food and will often prove that to you by wolfing it down!
It could be simple, but it may also be a sign of something more sinister.
First and foremost, it might be that they are unwell. Monitor their behavior and note down any other potential signs or symptoms and then book an appointment with the doggy doctor, who can perform a thorough checkup to see if anything is wrong.
Dental issues could possibly be the root cause if your pup appears to be in pain if they do attempt to eat or whilst going about their day - whether that’s tooth pain or gum problems, a trip to the vet is in order here too.
Have they recently had a vaccination or received any other kinds of medication? It could be that this is what’s reducing their desire to eat, as they feel queasy in the same way we might if we had to visit the doctor for treatment.
Likewise, if you’ve recently switched to a new food, it may be that they aren’t used to the new taste or smell or prefer their old one.
Try switching more gradually, by mixing both old and new foods, so they can acclimatize to the new flavors and sensations.
Sensing a theme here? Dogs, like us, can really dislike change, so if you’ve been on a trip, are visiting a new place, or have changed the room they eat in at all, it could be that this newness is making them feel uncertain.
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