And the sweetest and most thoughtful dog breed award goes to… the Pitbulls! Your children can very well attest to this. Pitbulls are naturally caring and protective. It’s not surprising why they earned the title nanny dogs. To return the favor, we provide them the best care and the best nutrition possible. Let’s start by buying them the right food.
Pitbulls are surprisingly picky eaters because of their sensitivity to a wide range of food allergens. They’re allergic to beef, corn, wheat, and even rice. We take allergies seriously as the resulting itchiness and swelling can lead to excessive scratching, which in turn causes secondary infections. Don’t let any harm come to your sweet pooch. They deserve better. Do your share and start selecting the best food for your thoughtful Pitbull.
The Best Dog Food for Pitbulls
Taste of the Wild High Prairie
The taste of smoky roasted bison and venison will surely have your young Pitbull salivating every time you pour into its food bowl the Taste of the Wild’s High Prairie Puppy Recipe. Inarguably one of the best dog foods for Pitbulls, this all-natural Pitbull food boasts of the finest quality, highly novel proteins sourced from real buffalo, lamb, bison, deer, cattle, and ocean fish and blended with the freshest garden vegetables and fruits that give it a nutrient profile that is simply superb for your be-muscled Pittie.
Nourishing your puppy friend with this well-balanced diet that follows what Mother Nature in the prairie regions has designed for man’s best friend is always a good way to start your young Pitbull’s energetic and fruitful life. The amino acid-chelated essential minerals ensure optimum developmental and health benefits while antioxidant vitamins guarantee stronger immune system and healthier coat and skin. It’s one of the best dog food for Pitbulls with skin allergies, too owing to the fact that it comes with highly-digestible ingredients but more so because it uses highly novel proteins.
This well-balanced and developmentally-appropriate and complete formulation has all the makings of a great puppy Pitbull dog food in a taste that will help them imagine being in the wild.
Calorie content for each serving size: 364 kcal per cup
Crude protein content at the minimum: 28%
Crude fat content at the minimum: 17%
Crude fiber and moisture content at the maximum: 5% and 10%
Ingredients listed as the dog food’s top 5: real buffalo meat, real lamb meal, egg product, sweet potatoes, and pea protein
DHA, omega fatty acids, probiotics, prebiotics, minerals, vitamins
- BrandTaste of the Wild
- Weight30 pounds
Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey & Potato Recipe
If your Pittie is having issues with skin allergies or any other type of allergy at all, the last thing you might think as the possible culprit will be its food. On the contrary, skin allergies are often a manifestation of allergenic food ingredients. It is, therefore, important that you choose only the best dog food for Pitbulls with skin allergies. Blue Buffalo’s Basics Limited Ingredient Turkey & Potato Recipe lays claim to one of the best food for Pitbulls, especially those with allergies.
What makes this Blue Buffalo quite unique is that it only includes very limited ingredients that include turkey, potatoes, and peas, but without compromising on the nutrients that your Pitbull needs. Of course there’s fish oil, canola oil, tapioca, pumpkin, and blueberries, but these are hardly allergenic. Its low-protein formulation and easily digestible nature of its ingredients make the Blue Buffalo Basics as one of the best dog foods for Pitbulls that experience food insensitivities.
Once your Pittie has acclimatized to its limited ingredient diet you can start introducing other ingredients one at a time to help determine which food is causing its immune system to go haywire. You can always give the Blue Basics as your regular Pitbull food, regardless.
Calorie content for each serving size: 357 kcal per cup
Crude protein content at the minimum: 20%
Crude fat content at the minimum: 12%
Crude fiber and moisture content at the maximum: 6% and 10%
Ingredients listed as the dog food’s top 5: real turkey meat, real turkey meal, potatoes, tapioca starch, and peas
Glucosamine, omega fatty acids, chondroitin, prebiotics, vitamins, probiotics, minerals, amino acids, taurine, biotin
- BrandBlue Buffalo
- Weight24 pounds
Wellness Core Grain Free Reduced Fat Formula
If your Pittie’s belly wags rhythmically at the same time that it wags its tail, it is usually a sign that your hound needs Wellness CORE’s best dog food for Pitbulls to lose weight. This reduced fat formula Pitbull food is perfect for dogs that need to watch their weight without necessarily putting them at risk to nutritional imbalances. With a high-protein, reduced-fat formula, Wellness CORE got this Pitbull dog food just right.
While the reduced-fat recipe is good for keeping your Pittie’s weight a lot closer to the ideal, the formula also comes with taurine that will play an important role in keeping the heart as healthy as possible. We all very well know the relationship between increased fat in the blood and heart problems. Not only is this diet great for dogs losing weight, it also helps reduce the impact of a hefty body weight on your Pittie’s joints by supplying your hound with ample levels of chondroitin and glucosamine. The probiotics and prebiotics in addition to the omega essential fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins in this Wellness CORE recipe also guarantee better all-around health.
This reduced-fat, protein-focused, and fiber-rich recipe is perfect for ensuring your Pitbull gets its healthier weight without reneging on your commitment to give it a tasty and nutritious meal.
Calorie content for each serving size: 360 kcal per cup
Crude protein content at the minimum: 33%
Crude fat content at the minimum: 10%
Crude fiber and moisture content at the maximum: 8.5% and 10%
Ingredients listed as the dog food’s top 5: real turkey meat, real turkey meal, real chicken meal, peas, and potatoes
Probiotics, prebiotics, omega fatty acids, chondroitin, minerals, glucosamine, vitamins, amino acids, taurine
- BrandWellness Core
- Weight26 pounds
Orijen Original Biologically Appropriate Dog Food
There’s no doubt that Pitbulls are highly energetic, very active hounds that require an exceptional balance of calories and proteins for energy and muscle development. And if it’s high protein dog food for Pitbulls that you’re after, then Orijen’s Original Biologically Appropriate formulation is always a good choice.
Containing nearly 44% proteins in dry weight basis, Orijen’s Original is the best dog food for Pitbulls to gain muscle especially since its unique formulation uses more animal ingredients and only a few from fruits, botanicals, and vegetables. Free-ranged turkey and chicken are what provides high-quality amino acids and peptides for exceptional muscle growth and organ tissue development while wild-caught fish supply the omega-fatty acids that your Pittie needs for a more responsive nervous and immune system. The nutrient-dense formulation also includes chondroitin and glucosamine from natural cartilage while probiotics lay the foundation for a healthier digestive system, making sure that every molecule of these nutrients are delivered to the cells of your Pittie.
Orijen continues to be one of the best dog foods for Pitbulls, supplying them with a diet that is rich in high-quality proteins and blended with fresh, all-natural ingredients the way Mother Nature wants your Pitbull to grow.
Calorie content for each serving size: 449 kcal per cup
Crude protein content at the minimum: 38%
Crude fat content at the minimum: 18%
Crude fiber and moisture content at the maximum: 4% and 12%
Ingredients listed as the dog food’s top 5: real chicken meat, real turkey meat, whole Atlantic flounder and mackerel, and whole eggs
Amino acids, chondroitin, DHA, omega fatty acids, glucosamine, vitamins, prebiotics, probiotics, minerals, EPA
- Weight4.4 pounds
Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast
Let your Pitbull savor the rich taste of authentic bison and lamb every time it takes a mouthful of the Earthborn Holistic preparation that celebrates the bountiful lands of the Great Plains. Each bite comes with nutrient-dense whole eggs and enriched with the antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins found in all-natural peas. Apples, spinach, carrots, cranberries, and blueberries are added to give your Pittie the nutrient-goodness of the Plains.
A high protein dog food for Pitbulls, the Great Plains Feast relies on the extraordinariness of real bison meat. It’s slightly sweeter than beef, more delicate in terms of its flavor. It’s something that Pitbulls will love to feast on, making this Pitbull dog food a worthy alternative to mainstream dog food recipes. The leanness of bison plus the addition of L-carnitine also makes this Earthborn Holistic recipe the best dog food for Pitbulls to lose weight. Its fat content is still higher than Wellness CORE’s Reduced Fat Formula, however. Regardless, its near-ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids can help ensure better lipid balance for your pet Pittie.
Whether it is for the maintenance of your Pittie’s ideal weight or simply to give it leaner sources of animal proteins, Earthborn Holistic’s Great Plains Feast is worth the try.
Calorie content for each serving size: 430 kcal per cup
Crude protein content at the minimum: 34%
Crude fat content at the minimum: 18%
Crude fiber and moisture content at the maximum: 4% and 10%
Ingredients listed as the dog food’s top 5: real bison meal, peas, tapioca, pea protein, and dried egg
DHA, linoleic acid, L-carnitine, beta-carotene, taurine, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, prebiotics, omega fatty acids, amino acids
- BrandEarthborn Holistic
- Weight28 pounds
Best Dog Foods for Pitbulls Buying Guide & FAQ
Benefits of Feeding Your Pitbull a Healthy Diet
Feeding your Pitbull a healthy diet can bring a lot of benefits for your pet. First, it develops stronger bones and muscles so that your pet will be able to move as freely as it can. Pitbulls are known to be very muscular breeds, a characteristic that is necessary for them to accomplish many of the tasks that their pet owners expect from them.
Second, a healthy Pitbull diet ensures all the different organ systems are functioning properly. From the nervous system right down to the immune, digestive, and cardiovascular systems as well as other body organ systems will be functioning normally because of the macro- and micro- nutrients supplied by a healthy and appropriate diet.
Third, a Pitbull that is fed a healthy diet is a lot easier to train. Why? The omega fatty acids that are contained in the best dog food for Pitbulls will ensure that the brain and its associated structures are fully functioning. Of course, the success of the training will still be dependent on the way you train your Pitbull.
Fourth, the nutrients contained in a healthy Pitbull dog food can help provide the necessary building blocks or substances that can help manage certain diseases such as hip dysplasia, arthritis, and heart problems. Other dog food diets can also help provide for a more ideal body weight.
Lastly, feeding a healthy diet easily translates to a healthier and happier Pitbull. A happy Pitbull begets a happy pet parent.
Nutritional Requirements for Pitbulls
Pitbulls require high quality proteins to help them grow and develop their muscles. While plant proteins can be a good addition to your Pitbull’s food, these should never comprise the main ingredient. The star ingredient of any Pitbull food should always be an animal protein that is clearly named.
Pitties will also require healthier amounts of fats in their food. Fats in your Pitbull’s diet should include omega-3 fatty acids as well as omega-6 fatty acids, but in a ratio that is a lot closer to the 1:1 ideal. The closer the ratio is to the ideal, the better it is for your pet Pitbull. Too much omega-6 fatty acids in relation to omega-3 fatty acids can favor the development of inflammatory conditions which we don’t want in our pets.
A healthy Pitbull also needs the right amounts of minerals especially calcium and phosphorus. However, it is crucial that puppies receive the correct proportion of these minerals since an overabundance of such substances can also have a negative impact in their bone development. The same is true with vitamins, especially the fat-soluble ones. The downside to fat soluble vitamins is that they can cause toxicity if given in excess. This is not so much of a problem among water-soluble vitamins like B-vitamins and vitamin C.
While not recognized as essential nutrients, your Pitbull can also benefit from glucosamine and chondroitin for healthier joints as well as prebiotics and probiotics for improved digestion and immune functioning.
Common Pitbull Health Problems
Hip dysplasia is a very common occurrence among Pitbulls. It is a developmental congenital disease that primarily affects the hip joints of your Pitbull. In this condition, the different structures that make up the hip joints do not form properly. And while puppies do not show any sign of joint problems, hip dysplasia is already present. By the time your dog reaches adult age the clinical manifestations will usually be in the form of arthritis since the hip joints will now have to bear the entire weight of your dog’s body.
Another health issue that many Pitbulls face is allergies. This can be caused by a variety of substances. It can be food-related or it can also be caused by certain parasites. These hypersensitivity reactions often bring a variety of manifestations that can range from mild yet irritating to serious and life threatening.
Demodectic mange is also quite common among Pitbulls. Normally, Pitbulls are able to manage the growth of the Demodex canis mite. Unfortunately, once the Pitbull’s immune system is compromised or weakened, these mites can wreak havoc and cause skin irritation, eruptions, hair loss, and even widespread inflammation. In some cases, secondary infections can occur. Aside from a compromised immune system, malnutrition and extreme stress can also favor the uncontrolled growth of these mites.
Other health problems that Pitbulls can be afflicted with include knee problems, hypothyroidism, degenerative myelopathy, skin allergies, and congenital heart defects, among others.
Best Dog Foods for Pitbulls FAQ:
Q: What is the best dog food for Pitbull with food allergies?
A: Even before you can identify the best dog food for Pitbull with food allergies it is imperative that you seek veterinary advice especially in the determination of the most likely culprit. Food allergies in dogs are almost always passed down from parents to offspring, although there are certain diseases or health conditions that can also predispose your Pitbull to food allergies.
Allergies occur because of sensitization of the cells of the immune system to protein markers on the so-called ‘allergen’. When these ‘markers’ are sensed by the immune system to be present in the blood, it immediately mounts an immune response which can be manifested on the dog’s skin such as dry and itchy skin, increased frequency of hot spots, and more frequent skin and ear infections as well as excessive licking or scratching of the skin. Vomiting and diarrhea may also be present.
This is very different from food intolerance whereby your dog’s tummy cannot fully digest food molecules. This is where the digestibility of an ingredient becomes more important than whether it is protein or not. You see, majority of the ingredients used in dog food formulations typically come in their ‘whole’ forms.
For example, you’ll get whole proteins instead of amino acids. Proteins are broken down into component peptides which are, in turn, broken down into amino acids. All food molecules, including carbohydrates and fats, undergo this process of digestion so that only the smallest possible nutrient element is absorbed. If the food molecule is not digested, then the nutrients are not absorbed and the undigested food molecule stays in the gut. This is what causes food intolerance.
We really have to point this out because most people we know confuse food intolerance for food allergy. We really cannot blame them since the clinical manifestations are virtually the same, except that in food intolerance cases the signs and symptoms are limited to the digestive tract. True food allergies, on the other hand, can involve other organs like the skin and the airways.
To put it simply, food allergies will almost always relate to the protein content of the dog food while food intolerance can be caused by just about any other ingredient including proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
Going back to our discussion on what dog food is best for Pitbulls with food allergy, it is important for your veterinarian to determine whether it is indeed a true food allergy or a simple case of food intolerance. This is where a review of your Pitbull’s dietary history can help vets understand what could be causing such symptoms.
Unfortunately, even the most comprehensive canine dietary history is not enough to determine which food is causing the allergy since a single dog food product can have a handful of ingredients. However, because food allergies are almost always related to proteins, your vet will usually focus more on the protein content of the dog food.
Your dog may have to be put on an elimination diet whereby it is given a dog food that have very limited or very simple ingredients. This typically contains a single novel animal protein and very simple carbohydrates. It is imperative that an unusual protein be used since the usual allergenic proteins include chicken and beef. The more unusual the protein used in the formula, the least likely is the Pitbull’s immune system to mount an allergic response.
So, the best dog food for Pitbulls with skin allergies or food allergies is one that contains unusual proteins like bison, venison, buffalo, duck, turkey, and rabbit, among others. The protein markers in these foods are not yet fully recognized by the dog’s immune system so it will not mount an allergic response.
Your dog will eat this limited ingredient diet for several weeks just to make sure that it will not develop an allergic reaction. If none occurs, another ingredient can be added into the dog food. The dog stays in this diet for several more weeks just to make sure no allergic response is noted. Every several weeks, for as long as there are no allergic reactions, you will be adding a new ingredient into the dog food.
If, however, upon the addition of an ingredient your Pitbull developed allergies within several days to a few weeks of introducing the additional ingredient, then you can say that your Pitbull is allergic to such food. This will help you choose the best dog food for Pitbulls with food allergies by avoiding dog food products that contain such an ingredient.
Q: How often should I feed my Pitbull?
A: Pitbull puppies should be fed 3 times a day. However, a more important consideration is their nutrient requirements. They need more calories, proteins, and fats than adult Pitbulls. As for mature Pitbulls, you should feed them twice a day. This is way better than giving them one large meal in a day.
Q: How much should I feed my Pitbull?
A: How much food you should give to your Pitbull depends on a number of factors such as your Pittie’s age, life stage, activity level, and weight. If you look at the back of any dog food product you will notice that the manufacturer already comes with a recommendation on the number of cups that you are going to give to your pet.
Sadly, these recommendations are based on what the manufacturer considers to be the ‘norm’. In the real world, your dog’s feeding requirements may be totally different from another’s even though both of you have the same breed of dog at exactly the same weight and age. What manufacturers fail to take into account in these recommendations are the dog’s activity levels and life stage; unless the formula has been specifically made for such a life stage.
It is for this reason that we strongly recommend doing the math yourself. Dog food brands always come with the amount of calories that each serving size supplies. This should be your basis in determining just how much food you should give to your Pitbull or any other dog for that matter. The question now is how do you determine the amount of calories that your Pittie needs?
Here’s a formula you need to remember: Calories needed per day = F x (BWKg3/4 x 70) where “F” is the number that needs to be multiplied to the RER or the Resting Energy Requirement. The RER is depicted by the second part of the equation where you raise the value of your pet’s body weight in kilograms to ¾ power. You will then multiply this by 70 to get the RER.
For the “F” values, here are some useful numbers to remember.
- 0 – if you want your Pitbull to lose weight
- 2 – if your Pittie is a couch potato
- 4 – if your Pitbull is prone to obesity
- 6 – if your Pittie is already neutered and has normal activity levels
- 8 – if your Pittie has not been neutered yet and has normal activity levels
- 0 – if your Pitbull puppy is less than 4 months old
- 0 – if your Pitbull puppy is more than 4-12 months old
- 8 – if your female Pitbull is in the early stages of pregnancy
- 0 – if your female Pitbull is in the late stages of pregnancy
- 0 to 6.0 – if your female Pittie is nursing; the “F” value is higher with more puppies being nursed
- 0 – if your Pitbull engages in light work
- 0 – if your Pittie engages in moderate work
- 0 – if your Pitbull engages in heavy work
- 0 to 8.0 – if your Pittie engages in super-heavy work
Let’s try to put this into an example, shall we?
Let’s pretend that you have a Pitbull that is already neutered with normal activity levels and that weighs about 60 pounds. Since the formula calls for the body weight to be taken in kilograms, we need to convert pounds into kilograms first by dividing 60 pounds by 2.2 to get 27.27 or simply 27 kilograms.
Next, we need to raise 27 kilograms to the ¾ power. Get your scientific calculator and key-in “27”. Press the “xY” button and key-in 0.75 in lieu of ¾. This gives us 11.84 or simply 11.8. We then multiply “11.8” by 70 to get 826. This ‘826’ is the Resting Energy Requirement of a 60-pound neutered Pitbull.
The last step is to multiply 826 by 1.6 (the factor for neutered dogs with normal activity levels). This gives us a final result of 1,321.6 calories per day.
Now, if your brand of Pitbull dog food comes with a calorie content of 400 kcal per cup, then you need to divide 1321.6 calories by 400 kcal. This will result in 3.304 cups or roughly three-and-one-third cups. If you intend to feed your adult Pitbull twice a day, then you can give about one-and two-thirds cups every meal.
Cool! Isn’t it? You can use this formula on any dog that you may have at home, not just Pitbulls.
Our Top Pick
Featuring just the right amounts of calories and proteins plus healthy fats that can ensure the best possible growth and development for your young Pitbull, the High Prairie formula of Taste of the Wild is, without a shadow of doubt, the best dog food for Pitbulls. The probiotics- and amino acids- enriched recipe is just what young Pitties need to start on a life of good nutrition and optimum health. The taste of buffalo, bison, deer, lamb, ocean fish, and beef is going to titillate your pet’s palate and send pleasures of goodness straight to the various organ systems that make it one of the most amazing breeds on the planet. It’s nutritionally-complete, well-balanced, and absolutely free of any allergenic cereals that can upset your Pittie’s young tummy
Picking the right Pitbull dog food should be fairly easy. Considering your pet’s weight, activity levels, life stage, and existing health condition can help you determine just what kind of dog food it needs. If you’re not sure your vet can always help.