Top 5 Best Dog Foods for Pitbulls
Pitbulls are active and energetic dogs known for their muscular build. While these dogs do have a unique history of aggression, modern Pitbulls are lovable pets that have adapted to domestic life
Technically speaking, there are multiple different dog breeds that fall under the umbrella moniker of "Pitbulls," inlcuding the American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bulldog, and more.
While these dogs have evolved drastically throughout history, the one thing that hasn't changed is their need for high-quality foods. The right food will keep Pitbulls healthy throughout their lives while also helping to alleviate common health concerns.
In a hurry? Here's a quick overview of the recommended formula's
How Much Food Do Pitbulls Need?
While the ideal weight of a Pitbull depends on the specific breed, a healthy Pitbull weighs around 45 pounds on average. Most of that weight comes from their muscles.
Pitbulls are quite active and need the fuel to exercise and play. These dogs have a voracious appetite and do require a significant amount of food per day.
Typically, a healthy adult Pitbull will need upwards of 1,100 calories per day. This requirement may go up or down depending on the activity level of the dog.
This should be spread out into at least two meals to avoid overeating. Pitbulls are known to eat beyond what they need if given the opportunity, leading to weight gain.
Active dogs will require much more food. A dog that spends most of his day exercising or working may need up to 1,700 calories. On the other hand, it's important to decrease the dog's caloric intake as they age to avoid weight gain. Older dogs that are less active will do well in the range of 875 calories.
It's important to monitor the dog's activity and response to the food to adjust their daily intake accordingly. Because of their healthy appetites, owners should measure their food and avoid free feeding.
5 of the Best Dog Foods for Pitbulls
Here are some great dog food formulas that can help Pitbulls thrive. They are rich in proteins and contain a bevy of ingredients that help to improve the dog's overall health.
As always, it's good to go over individual ingredients prior to introducing the food into a dog's diet to ensure that allergens and unique issues are avoided.
1. Wilderness Blue Buffalo High Protein Dry Adult Dog Food
This dog food from Blue Buffalo is designed to imitate that of a wild wolf, so it contains a lot of meat. This particular formula utilizes deboned duck, chicken meal, and turkey meal as the main sources of protein.
This combination is a great source of energy and muscle-building amino acids. As a carbohydrate, the food has potatoes and peas. It's free of harmful corn and grains to help alleviate bloat. There's also a healthy mix of vegetables and fruits, including carrots, blueberries, and cranberries.
The inclusion of Blue Buffalo's unique LifeSource bits ensures that the dog is getting a healthy dose of nutrients and antioxidants as well.
2. Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Chock full of protein, this formula from Earthborn Holistic is great for lively Pitbulls. An outstanding 42% of this dog food is made up of protein. These sources include lean red meat bison, bison meal, lamb meal, and eggs.
The lean meat is ideal for building muscles and maintaining a high level of energy throughout the day. Flaxseed is used as a source of healthy fat. It helps to keep the skin healthy and smooth.
The formula utilizes cranberries, blueberries, apples, spinach, and more to introduce essential vitamins and nutrients to the dog's diet as well. The manufacturers also went with natural flavors to keep the formula safe and healthy.
3. Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food
Taste of the Wild dog food is a great option for any dog because of it's natural and grain-free formula. Instead of utilizing grains, the dog food has sweet potatoes and peas to help with digestion. The carbohydrates dissolve slowly to minimize bloat.
The main sources of protein in this option are roasted bison and venison. There's also lamb meal and fish meal. The proteins are supplemented with a variety of fruits and vegetables, including raspberries, tomatoes, and chicory root. There's also a number of ingredients packed with antioxidants to help with immune health.
4. Merrick Grain Free Recipe Dry Dog Food (duck)
This food from Merrick contains roughly 43% protein. It has deboned duck, turkey meal, lamb meal, deboned chicken, and salmon meal. The diverse selection of natural meats provide dogs with a healthy dose of amino acids.
The inclusion of salmon meal and oil also helps to keep their skin and coat beautiful. Sweet potatoes and standard white potatoes are used for the carbohydrates. Blueberries, apples, and organic alfalfa provide important nutrients.
The unique thing about this formula is that it also contains glucosamine. This ingredient is beneficial to Pitbulls because it can help strengthen the joints and alleviate pain.
5. Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Senior Dog Food
Specifically formulated for senior dogs, this food from Wellness can help dogs age gracefully with its high-quality ingredients. It doesn't contain harmful wheat or corn. Instead, it has barley, brown rice, and flaxseed.
For protein, the manufacturers went with deboned chicken, whitefish, and ground millet. The ingredients that make this formula ideal for older dogs is the glucosamine and chondroitin. They can help with hip and joint issues.
Another unique aspect is that the kibble contains up to 9% fewer calories. Instead of cutting back on volume, dogs can eat the same amount without having to worry about weight gain.
Ingredients to Look For
Because of their unique build, high-quality dog food is a must-have. Cheaper foods filled with unnecessary ingredients will only hinder the dog's athletic performance. It could also lead to weight gain that can result in a host of health issues. Pitbulls have a variety of macronutrient requirements that every owner should look for.
It should go without saying that protein is the first thing owners should look for. Every dog should have a diet that consists of mainly protein sources. With Pitbulls, proteins are a necessity. Protein helps to build those strong muscles the breed is known for while also providing them with the fuel they need to stay active.
While most dog foods contain protein as the first ingredient, it's important to go with high-quality sources of protein. Natural sources like chicken, beef, lamb, and fish are all ideal. In fact, it's always good to go with a dog food that has more than one type of protein source.
Pitbulls will thrive with a dog food that's made up of 40% protein or more. At the very least, the dog food needs to have at least 25% percent protein to keep the dog healthy. However, the more the merrier.
Fats are good for providing Pitbulls with energy while infusing the food with flavor. Additionally, healthy natural fats contain Omega fatty acids. Typically found in fish oil or flaxseed oil, these fatty acids can do wonders to a dog's skin and fur. With Pitbulls having relatively short fur, the acids will keep the skin supple and free from a variety of skin conditions.
Pitbulls don't need a high amount of fat due to their muscles. However, a typical amount of natural fat found in the protein source is healthy. Some high-quality foods also contain supplementary fat rich with fatty acids. If the main protein source is fish, those fats are already present.
Quality Carbs and Nutrients
Carbs are often included to make the food more filling. They don't need much, so it's important to look for good sources. High-quality carbs like sweet potatoes are an excellent choice. Not only do they make the food filling, but they have added nutrients.
Nutrients from fruits and vegetables can help a dog achieve a balanced diet. Dog food formulas filled with a wide range of natural ingredients will supply dogs with all they need to thrive. Unique ingredients like carrots will provide beta-carotene to improve their eye health while blueberries provide a boost of antioxidants.
Ingredients to Avoid
There are a number of ingredients that can be detrimental to a Pitbull's health. These ingredients are used by cheaper foods to cut down production costs. While the food may be enticing due to its low price tag, these ingredients are harmful to dogs.
Unfortunately, cheaper dog food formulas contain bad sources of protein that do more harm than good. Meat and poultry byproducts are all heavily processed and don't contain the beneficial amino acids that natural sources do. Pitbulls won't experience the same health benefits. In fact, these sources may even cause health problems.
Byproducts contain a variety of unspecified ingredients, including random dead animals and leftovers from slaughterhouses. It's best to go with natural sources or meat meals, which are simply ground up.
Corn and Grain
Corn and cheap grains are fillers that Pitbulls can do without. They're one of the cheapest fillers available. If corn or grains are listed as one of the first ingredients, it's best to keep looking. These ingredients can upset the dog's stomach, lead to digestive issues, and cause them to gain weight. Because it's often used as a replacement to high-quality carbs and proteins, the dog may also experience malnutrition.
Color and flavor additives are far too common among manufacturers. They're incorporated to make the food more appealing for dogs. Unfortunately, they're almost always made from chemical ingredients concocted in a lab.
They're not natural by any means and can actually cause allergic reactions in dogs. If the dog food contains natural high-quality ingredients, it shouldn't need any additional chemicals to be enticing to a Pitbull.
Common Health Problems in Pitbulls
Like any other dog, Pitbulls are susceptible to a variety of health problems. Due to their active lifestyles, these dogs may experience additional issues as they age. While not entirely avoidable, many problems can be alleviated with the help of a good diet.
Allergies are quite common among Pitbulls. Much like humans, Pitbulls can be allergic to a wide variety of things. Furthermore, allergies can develop over time. Symptoms include vomiting, sneezing, hair loss, skin issues, and much more.
The specific cause of the allergic reaction can be difficult to pinpoint. Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for Pitbulls to develop an allergy to an ingredient in their kibble, even if it's a great ingredient.
Diagnosis of the allergy requires a specialized test from a veterinarian. Once the culprit is found, owners will need to develop a unique diet to help the dog avoid flares and illness.
While bloating may not seem like a huge issue, it can be fatal for Pitbulls. Officially called Gastric Torsion, the problem occurs when the stomach twists and prevents gas from being released. If left untreated, the dog will continue to bloat until serious complications occur. It requires immediate veterinarian attention.
This often occurs with Pitbulls because of their healthy appetite. They'll scarf down food without chewing, resulting in a quick buildup of gas. Luckily, there are a number of steps owners can take to avoid potentially dangerous bloating.
Firstly, meals should be separated to prevent the dog from eating too much at one time. At the very least, Pitbulls should eat two meals a day. Pitbulls should also avoid rigorous activity for at least an hour after eating. In terms of their diet, it's good to avoid corn and cheap carbs. Stick to a formula that's high in protein and has complex carbohydrates that dissolve slowly.
Joint issues are common among active dog breeds like Pitbulls. They may develop slowly over time because intense physical activity is a regular occurrence. Unfortunately, the problem is only apparent as the dog gets older.
They may start limping in pain or have trouble getting around. There are a number of unique diets to help tackle the issue and alleviate pain. Medications are also available from veterinarians to treat pain and relieve symptoms.