The Best Dog Food for Pitbulls – Our Top 7 Picks

pitbull eating

The health and overall wellbeing of a pitbull is highly dependent on nutrition and exercise. Therefore, you must offer high-quality food that is nutrient-dense and provides adequate energy.

This article will review the 7 best pitbull dog food options, including details essential for any pitbull diet, along with a handy buyer’s guide to help you narrow down your choices for the best dog food for pitbulls.

7 Best Dog Food for Pitbulls

1. Best Pitbull Dog Food Overall: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

  • Type: Dry dog food
  • Form: Kibbles
  • Flavor options: Chicken
  • Top 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, peas, pea protein, and fish meal

This is a natural dry dog food specially formulated for adult dogs. It is high in protein and grain-free. The manufacturer indicates that its formula is inspired by a wolf’s diet to satisfy your pitbull’s inner carnivore.

It is a nutritious blend of healthy proteins, carbohydrates, and fats for the optimal wellbeing of your dog. The main source of protein is real deboned chicken meat complemented by chicken and fish meal.

The main sources of carbohydrates are peas, potatoes, and sweet potato. These complex carbohydrates provide your pitbull with sustained energy for its active lifestyle and high-energy personality.

It is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables (carrots, cranberries, and blueberries) as well as Blue Buffalo’s exclusive LifeSource Bits. The LifeSource Bits blend various micronutrients, which are cold-formed to retain their potency.

Ultimately, the micronutrient and macronutrient formula promotes optimal health by boosting immunity, promoting healthy growth and development, and maintaining a healthy oxidative balance.

Pros

  • Wide range of nutrients
  • Suitable for adult pitbulls
  • LifeSource Bits are highly potent
  • Grain and allergen-free
  • No chicken by-products
  • No artificial preservatives
  • Up to AFFCO standards

Cons

  • Not suitable for pitbull puppies

2. Best Pitbull Puppy Dog Food: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula

  • Type: Dry dog food
  • Form: Kibbles
  • Flavor: Brown Rice and Chicken
  • Top 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, brown rice, oatmeal, barley, and peas

The Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula is the most highly-rated and popular puppy dry dog food on Amazon. It is specifically formulated for puppies to support them in their growth.

It has DHA and ARA – crucial fatty acids found in the mother’s milk that boost puppies’ retinal health and cognitive function. It is also rich in other micronutrients.

It has a unique blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that promote wholesome growth at every stage of your puppy’s life. The antioxidants boost immunity and ensure a healthy oxidative balance.

It is high in protein and contains some carbohydrates. The main protein source is real deboned chicken, while carbohydrate sources include whole brown rice, oatmeal, barley fruits, and garden veggies such as whole peas, sweet potato, and carrots. It is also made with blueberries and cranberries, which provide the much-needed antioxidants.

Overall, the Life Protection Formula offers numerous health benefits, including healthy muscles, bones, teeth, cartilages, skin, and coat. It will provide your puppy with adequate energy for day-to-day living and optimal growth and development.

This formula does not contain any chicken by-products, artificial flavors, preservatives, or common allergens such as soy, wheat, and corn. It is made into small kibbles that are easy for the puppies to chew.

Pros

  • High-quality blend for puppies
  • Contains a wide range of nutrients
  • Tasty natural flavor
  • Does not contain chemicals or preservatives
  • Adult and senior blends are available

Cons

  • May cause diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach upset in some puppies
  • Contains grains

3. Best Wet Dog Food for Pitbulls: Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy Adult Wet Dog Food

Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy Adult Wet Dog Food
  • Type: Wet dog food
  • Form: Meat cuts in gravy
  • Flavor: Beef, chicken, and filet mignon
  • Top ingredients: varies for each pack

The Pedigree Choice Cuts in gravy are a bestseller. The wet dog food is suitable for all types of dogs. It is a variety pack with chunks of beef, chicken, and filet in gravy or sauce. Each chunk of food is made of real high-quality meat, which is juicy, tasty, and has a soft texture. The wet dog food is best consumed mixed with dry food kibbles.

Pros

  • Made with high-quality ingredients
  • Suitable for all dog sizes
  • A variety of flavors
  • Tasty and soft
  • Can be mixed with dry dog foods

Cons

  • Each portion size is too small for large adult dogs. May have to up each serving

4. Best Dog Food for Pitbull Puppies and Adults: Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food
  • Type: Dry dog food
  • Form: Kibbles
  • Flavor: Rice and Chicken
  • Top 5 ingredients: Chicken, rice, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, poultry by-product meal

The Purina Pro Plan is a dry dog food suitable for large breeds and puppy food. It is formulated with a high protein content to support the growth of your pitbull at every stage.

The main protein ingredient is real chicken, including some chicken protein by-products. Other protein sources in this dry dog food include dried egg, fish meal, and beef. Carbohydrates include whole grain wheat, corn, rice, while fat sources are fish oil and soybean oil. It also contains pea fiber to aid in digestion.

The chicken by-product and fish meal provide glucosamine to support joint and cartilage health. They also provide calcium for strong bones and teeth. The fish oil has omega fatty acids to nourish the brain and promote vision development. The grains produce antioxidants that support pitbull puppies in developing the immune system.

The formula is fortified with vital nutrients and minerals. It contains Vitamin B-1, B-2, B-3, B-5, B-6, B-7, B-9, D-3, E, K, manganese, copper, calcium, zinc, and iron. It also has live probiotics for improved digestion and immunity.

The packaging provides clear nutritional information, including a guideline for the amounts to give your dog depending on its size and weight.

Pros

  • High-quality dry food formula
  • Suitable for both pitbull puppies and adults
  • Provides a wide range of nutrients
  • Does not contain artificial flavors and colors

Cons

  • Not AFFCO certified
  • Contains grains and other allergens

5. Best Dog Food for Pitbulls Overall #2: Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Type: Dry dog food
  • Form: Kibbles
  • Flavor: Chicken and Turkey
  • Big 5 Ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, lentils, and peas

Wellness Core is an advanced nutrition formula for large dog breeds. It is expertly composed with superfoods that are nutrient-dense to provide your adult and senior pitbull with balanced and adequate energy.

This particular formulation is grain-free to cater to dogs with a sensitive stomach. However, the line of products includes dry dog foods with grains.

The Wellness Core is high in protein for a lean body mass and mass tone. It also contains sufficient amounts of fat and carbohydrates for a healthy coat, enhanced cognitive functions, and sustained energy.

The main protein sources are deboned chicken, chicken meal, and turkey. Sources of healthy fats incorporated in dog food include flaxseed and salmon oil, which supply omega fatty acids.

Vegetables such as peas, potatoes, spinach, broccoli, and carrots, supply antioxidants and a wide range of micro-nutrients. All ingredients are Non-GMO.

Pros

  • Non-GMO ingredients
  • High-quality blend
  • Does not contain grains
  • Wide range of nutrients
  • Suitable for all large pitbull breeds
  • No preservatives, artificial flavor, or meat by-products

Cons

  • Not suitable for puppies

6. Best Dog Food for Pitbulls Overall #3: Natural Balance Limited Ingredients Diet / Adult

Natural Balance Limited Ingredients Diet
  • Type: Dry dog food
  • Form: Kibbles
  • Flavor: Beef and Brown Rice
  • Top 5 ingredients: Beef, beef meal, brown rice, brewers rice, and rice bran

The Natural Balance Limited Ingredients Diet is a dry dog food formulated to cater to all dog breed sizes. It is a high-protein dog food containing whole grains to support the all-around development of your pitbull.

The #1 ingredient is real beef, which supplies a wide range of essential amino acids to help healthy muscle growth. It also contains brown rice in various forms, including brewers rice, whole grains, and rice bran for sustained energy. All the ingredients are easy to digest and support digestive health.

The diet is rich in a wide range of micronutrients, including Vitamin C, E, D3, and B12, folic acid, biotin, copper, manganese, calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, and many more.

Pros

  • Suitable for all dog breeds
  • Contains a wide range of nutrients
  • High quality
  • Easily digestible
  • Does not contain meat by-products
  • Does not contain additives or preservative

Cons

  • Contains grains

7. Best Dog Food for Pitbulls Overall #4: Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast

Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast
  • Type: Dry dog food
  • Form: Kibbles
  • Flavor: Bison and beef
  • Top 5 ingredients:  Bison meal, peas, pea protein, canola oil, and beef meal

The Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast is a grain-free dry dog food suitable for small and medium-size dog breeds. It is formulated to meet all the AAFCO standards to provide nutrition for your dog at all stages. However, it is not recommended for large size dogs.

The blend is highly nutritious, tasty, and easy to digest. It is a high-protein, grain free-alternative. The manufacturer aims to fulfill your pitbull’s ancestral craving as the main protein sources in this dog food are lean bison and beef meat.

It is packed with a wide range of micronutrients from the whole fruits and vegetable blend for optimal everyday health. The fruits and vegetables included in this dog food include blueberries, cranberries, apples, carrots, peas, flaxseeds, spinach, and carrots. The formula also contains adequate fats from canola oil and dried egg.

The Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast provides key vitamins and minerals, including potassium, l-lysine, beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin D-3, zinc, iron, copper, calcium, niacin, folic acid, biotin, manganese, riboflavin, cobalt, and vitamin B12. It is also fortified with lactobacillus acidophilus and lactobacillus casei probiotics to enhance digestive system health.

Its packaging is well thought out. It is BPA-free, recyclable, and resealable.

Pros

  • Suitable for small and medium-size dog breeds
  • Suitable for puppies
  • Tasty and palatable
  • Contains a superfood blend
  • Offers a wide range of micronutrients
  • High quality, resealable packaging
  • Grain-free
  • Adheres to AAFCO standards

Cons

  • There have been incidents of FDA violations

Pitbull Diet Guide: Understanding Your PitBull’s Dietary Needs

dog eating food on the floor

Nutritional Needs

Pitbulls such as the American pit bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, bull terriers, American dog, boxer, and German shepherds are highly energetic, athletic, and have a muscular body tone. They require a nutritious diet rich in macro-nutrients, vital minerals, and vitamins.

Protein

Protein is the most important macronutrient in a pitbull’s diet as it supports muscle growth and development. Proteins also contain essential amino acids that aid in digestion, hormone balance, and promote a healthy metabolism.

Pitbulls require 10 different types of amino acids from protein for optimal health. However, no single protein source can supply all. So, you should incorporate proteins from different sources in your pitbull’s diet.

Carbohydrates

The right amount and type of carbohydrates will help keep your pitbull energized and promote digestion. The right amount mainly depends on your pup’s activity level. If she is a couch potato, then provide a low carbohydrate diet and vice versa.

Most pitbulls do well with about 30% carbs, but the amount can be adjusted depending on whether you want the dog to gain, lose, or maintain weight.

There are two main types of carbohydrates in dog food – soluble and insoluble. Soluble carbohydrates provide energy, while insoluble carbohydrates are high in fiber and aid in digestion. The top sources of carbohydrates in dog food include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These sources also provide essential minerals and vitamins.

Fats

Fats are often looked down upon in a dog’s diet, yet they play a crucial role in the body. They provide a cellular barrier for organs and cells throughout the body. They promote normal body functions such as developing the nervous system and absorbing minerals. They are also a significant source of energy.

However, if taken in huge amounts, they can be detrimental and cause digestive issues. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommends 5% fat content in dog food, but it can be up to 20% for pitbulls.

Minerals and Vitamins

Micro-nutrients are essential for all body functions in a dog ranging from oxygen transportation to bone and muscle growth. They come from various foods, including fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, etc.

However, you may need to supplement to meet the required range and amounts. Always consult your vet on the right type and quality of supplements to give your dog.

Wet vs Dry Pitbull Food

Pitbull dog food can be broadly categorized as either wet or dry dog food. Each type has its pros and cons and may be most suitable in specific circumstances.

Wet Dog Food

Normally, wet dog food is made by grinding dry meat ingredients and adding a gravy rich in vitamins, minerals, and sometimes grains. The food mixture is cooked, sterilized, and canned.

It provides high-quality nutrients and adds moisture to the dog’s diet, enhancing digestion and hydration. In most cases, wet dog food is high in protein. It has a pleasant taste that makes it palatable for most dogs. The high moisture content makes it easy to chew and swallow.

Wet food is most suitable in situations where the dog has medical conditions such as dental caries and other dental issues that make it difficult to chew. It is also ideal if your dog does not like drinking water as it provides hydration. Furthermore, wet dog food increases satiety and is suitable for dogs with a huge appetite or those who need weight management.

Dry Dog Food

As the name suggests, this dog food is dry. It does not contain gravy and is low in moisture. It is made with similar ingredients as dry dog food. However, its production process involves pulverizing the meat and other ingredients to make a dough.

The dough is cooked and then shaped to make kibble. The kibble is dried, sprayed with oils, infused with vitamins, minerals, or probiotics, then packaged for sale.

Dry food offers dental health benefits as it encourages the dog to chew. Most dog owners prefer to give their dogs dry food. Besides, most pit bulls such as the Staffordshire terrier have a powerful jaw and like to chew.

Therefore, they may prefer dry foods over wet foods. The repetitive chewing also helps prevent tartar build-up, consequently preventing periodontal disease and caries.

Generally, dry dog foods are more affordable than wet dog foods. They also offer convenience as they are easy to carry even after opening. Besides, spillages are easier to clean up. Another advantage is that they are fun to eat as they are kibble-shaped and fit in food puzzles.

On the downside, they are too dry and may be difficult to digest, causing bloating. Also, they are not suitable for dogs with health issues such as dental caries, throat pain, or a sensitive stomach.

Ultimately, the ideal pitbull diet should incorporate both dry and wet dog food. You can offer each type separately at different meals or mix them up when portioning food at each meal.

Grain vs. Grain Free Pitbull Food

Whether to put your pitbull on a grain-free diet depends on how sensitive its digestive system is and if it has had an allergic reaction to a brand that contains grains before.

Generally, pit bulls are predisposed to food allergies. Therefore, a good number may not do well on a diet that contains grains. The most common grain allergens for pitbulls are wheat and corn.

With that said, if your pit bull has been fairly healthy and has not exhibited any allergic reactions or food sensitivities in the past, you can offer foods with grains. Ensure that the food has a low content of grains and keep a close eye after the meal.

Notice if your pit exhibits any allergy symptoms such as constipation, stomach upset, bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, or pain. If any arise, take the pet to the vet immediately. Eliminate foods with grains completely. You can substitute the grains with other vegetables such as sweet potatoes and carrots.

Otherwise, you can incorporate grains into your pitbull’s diet but in small quantities. Studies have shown that a dog diet containing grains can help reduce the risk of dilated cardiomyopathy, a life-threatening heart disease.

Buying Guide: Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Dog Food for Pitbulls

dog paws near dog food bowl

Your Dog’s Caloric and Nutritional Needs

Your dog’s calorie requirement depends on its breed, age, size, level of activity, and health condition. Consult with your vet about the recommended daily calorie intake for your dog. You should aim to meet the recommended amount each day.

Exceeding it consistently may cause your dog to be obese, while going below may cause malnutrition. Keep in mind that your dog’s calorie needs keep changing, so adjust the amount of food you offer according.

When buying a given brand of dog food, check the nutritional information to establish if it provides the necessary nutrients and meets your dog’s caloric needs. Ideally, it should be high in proteins, moderate carbohydrates, and low fats. It should also contain minerals and vitamins.

Dog food with a variety of high-quality proteins is most preferable. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommends that dog food should have at least 18% protein content.

However, since pitbulls have more muscle mass and are quite active, a 25-35% protein content is recommended. If your pup is quite active, go for 40% protein. Protein sources should be listed among the top 5 ingredients in the dog food nutritional information.

Ingredients

Next, check the ingredient list. You want pitbull food that is made with natural, whole ingredients. Avoid foods made with meat by-products and those that contain high levels of chemicals, additives, and artificial flavor.

Rather, go for those that are made with real meat. Organic, non-GMO foods are most preferable. Although they are pricey, they are better for your dog’s health in the long run.

Also, purchase dog food that is made to the highest standards. It should meet the AAFCO standards and have a certification stamp.

Vet Recommendations

If your dog has a pre-existing health condition or a history of illness, it is important to ask for your vet’s recommendation on food choice. Some ingredients can make certain health conditions worse, and you want to prevent such a scenario.

Even if your dog is in perfect health, it is prudent to consult with your vet about the best dog food options.

Dog Breed

Although a pitbull diet is mainly the same for most breeds, there may be slight differences from one breed to another. For instance, a bulldog may require more carbohydrates than a Staffordshire bull terrier or an American Staffordshire terrier due to its larger body and aggressive temperament.

Age

There is a significant difference between the dietary needs of a pit bull puppy and an adult. Adults have a well-established digestive system and teeth, making it easy to eat and digest most commercial dog foods.

Conversely, pitbull puppies should only be fed with the best puppy food. In the early ages, 6 months and below, they should be weaned gradually.

Their digestive system is sensitive to extremely high protein, carbohydrates, and fats. High fat can cause pancreatitis, while excess protein can be too tasking for their developing kidneys.

On the other hand, excessive consumption of high fiber can lead to bloating and constipation. Since most pit bulls are prone to excessive weight gain, high-calorie consumption will quickly cause a pitbull puppy to be overweight or obese.

The best puppy dog foods are specially designed to provide just the right amounts of macronutrients. They are also fortified with minerals and vitamins to support the growth and development of your pup.

Similarly, a senior pitbull may have special dietary needs. Their activity and energy levels reduce as they age, reducing their recommended calorie intake. They may also develop health issues such as loss of appetite, periodontal disease and loss of teeth, slower metabolism, sensitive stomach, and indigestion.

Therefore, you may find that a dog that previously preferred dry food can no longer chew, making wet food a more suitable option. Those that lose appetite may require tastier foods that are naturally flavored.

Food Allergies, Sensitivities, and Preferences

Pay attention to how your dog reacts to certain dog food. Do they like it? Does it cause any allergies or stomach issues? Incorporate more of the foods your dog likes and eliminate those it doesn’t like or those that cause allergies and sensitivities.

Aside from grains, pitbulls can be allergic to other ingredients commonly used in making their food, including top protein sources such as soy, chicken, and beef.

Remember that some allergies can be fatal or cause permanent immunological damage. Therefore, if you notice an adverse reaction from your dog after eating, call or visit the vet immediately.

The best way to prevent accidental allergic reactions is to have your vet run allergy tests on your dog. Also, check the dog food’s package for any indication of allergens.

Expiration Date

This factor is often overlooked when buying dog food both online and offline. If buying at a physical store, check both the expiry and packaging date. Unfortunately, you cannot tell the packaging and sell-by date for online purchase.

However, check if the manufacturer has indicated how long the food is safe after opening. Once it is delivered, check the indicated expiry date. It should be at least 2-3 months after the delivery date.

Also, pay attention to the type of packaging. It should be BPA-free and meet nutrition packaging quality standards. Resealable packaging is best as it allows you to store the dog food safely even after opening it. Other qualities to look out for in good dog food packaging includes puncture resistance, clear labeling, and portability.

Conclusion

Most dog owners prefer to give their pitbulls dry dog food. However, wet dog food still has a place in a pitbull’s diet. It is best mixed with dry food. When choosing the best dog food for pitbulls, consider your dog’s dietary needs according to breed, age, size, and other factors discussed above.

The 7 brands highlighted above are great options for your pitbull. However, if you cannot find a suitable option, ask your vet’s recommendation.

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