Congratulations! You’ve decided to share your life with a pitbull. As a responsible pet owner, you want to make sure that you know which is the best dog food for pitbulls. I’ve put this guide together to help you make the right choice for your pet.
Quick Picks: The 5 Top-Rated Dog Food for Pitbulls
Last update on 2020-08-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Check our best pick above, or keep reading for product reviews and buying guide!
Review of the 5 Best Dog Food for Pitbulls
To help you decide which food is the best dog food for pitbulls, I’ve selected five of the top-rated pitbull dog foods on the market and reviewed each one in detail.
Featuring roasted bison as the first ingredient, Taste of The Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe, 32 percent of the formula is a protein to give your pitbull the energy to exercise and play. Taste of the Wild also includes canine-specific probiotics and prebiotics for digestive health and immune system support.
Healthy fats are essential for your dog’s skin and coat. Since pitbulls are prone to allergies and skin conditions, balanced omega fatty acids are especially important. Taste of the Wild includes marine-sourced omega-3 from ocean fish meal, salmon oil, and smoked salmon.
Customers who have purchased it say their dogs love the taste and gobble up their food. One reviewer mentioned he needed to buy a special bowl to keep his dog from eating too fast. Many pet owners have found their dogs coats and skin look healthier with less dry skin and itchiness after switching to Taste of the Wild.
- Dogs love the flavor, even the pickiest eaters seem to go for this dog food.
- No grains and low on allergens.
- Family-owned company located in the United States.
- Added probiotics and prebiotics for digestive and immune health.
- Carefully balanced formula with 32 percent protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants.
- Based on natural canine diet, such as they would have in the wild. Hence the name, Taste of the Wild.
- Some customers report a less-than-stellar experience with recalls and replacements for unsatisfactory product.
Completely free of allergens, Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food Real Buffalo and Sweet Potato is a great choice for pitbulls with sensitive skin or allergies. Some customers compare the quality of Merrick Grain Free Dog Food with more expensive, specialized veterinarian-prescribed dog foods.
The number one ingredient and source of protein is bison and chicken is the second. Salmon meal is used as a source of Omega 3 fatty acids for healthy joints, skin, and coat. According to Merrick, their dog food contains industry-leading amounts of Omega fatty acid, plus chondroitin and glucosamine for joint health.
For natural sources of minerals, vitamins, and dietary fibers, Merrick uses healthy vegetable choices, sweet potato and peas, in this instance.
It offers 38 percent protein and 17 percent healthy fat.
Merrick’s is also certified Safe Quality Foods (SQF) Level 3. Like TOTW, Merrick’s dog foods are produced in the USA. All ingredients in this dog food are also sourced in the United states.
- High protein content, with deboned buffalo as the main ingredient.
- Avoids allergens with grain and gluten-free recipe.
- High food safety rating.
- All food is sourced and produced in the United States.
- Industry-leading levels of Omega fatty acids, chondroitin and glucosamine.
- High-quality vegetables, no fillers.
- A few dogs have experienced noxious gas episodes upon switching to this food. Some customers could not live with the fumes and found another brand of dog food.
Listing chicken as the number one ingredient, Wellness CORE supplies 34 percent protein and 12 percent healthy fat and no measurable carbs.
Wellness CORE supports the raw feeding philosophy and is made with 80 percent more meat than typical dog foods that contain grains. This food is also 100 percent free of animal by-products. Like TOTW, Wellness core includes probiotics, plus omega fatty acids and antioxidants.
Most of the protein comes from chicken and chicken meal. Peas also contribute protein and healthy fiber to this food.
Wellness CORE also contains some controversial ingredients, primarily tomato pomace, which is a by-product created when tomatoes are processed to make soup, ketchup, and juice. It is included in some dog foods as a source of fiber. A study on the digestibility of tomato pomace indicated that it is digestible for dogs.
- High protein levels from quality meat ingredients, turkey and chicken.
- Allergen-free recipe based on turkey and healthy brown rice for fiber.
- Consistent pricing and quality.
- Dogs like the taste, and no reports of gastric distress or obnoxious fumes.
- Formula includes healthy omega fats, antioxidants, and probiotics.
- Food manufacturing process follows rigorous, scientifically-based safety and quality protocols.
- Dogs like the flavor, but will get bored with the food. Owners use flavor enhancements, like broth to increase palatability.
- Includes controversial ingredient, tomato pomace.
4. Diamond Naturals Adult Large Breed Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food With Real Cage Free Chicken
If you are the kind of pet owner who cares about the quality of life for all animals, then you will like the fact that Diamond Naturals Chicken Flavor Formula is made with cage-free chickens. This formula was developed with large breed dogs in mind and features an amino acid profile for lean muscle development.
Diamond Naturals includes added superfoods for their antioxidants, plus additional minerals and vitamins. Diamond is focused on creating highly digestible foods, and their formula boasts proprietary probiotics for healthy digestion.
Diamond Naturals is a family-owned company and manufactures all food in the USA. Ingredients are sourced from around the world, but the company takes care to purchase from sustainable and trusted sources.
This food contains zero grain fillers, no artificial colors or flavors, and no preservatives. Scientifically advanced safety protocols ensure food quality.
Customers who buy Diamond Naturals Chicken Flavor appreciate the quality and affordability of this brand. Some pet owners report that their dogs like the food at first but then lose interest.
- Cage-free chicken is the main ingredient.
- Includes proprietary probiotics for digestive health.
- Affordable price point for high-quality dog food.
- Zero fillers and no artificial preservatives or ingredients.
- Family-owned and manufactured in the United States of America.
- Manufactured under strict scientific food safety protocols.
- Some dogs seem to like Diamond at first, but then grow disinterested.
Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast is made with lean bison protein and eggs for a high-quality and high-density protein profile. Customers report few, if any, digestive issues and healthy skin and coats. Dogs love the bison flavor, and even picky eaters finish their bowls.
Some dogs who were self-feeders on other foods need portion control with Earthborn Great Plains Feast because they love the taste a little too much.
This dog food offers plenty of high-quality protein, and additional antioxidants, omega fats, minerals, and vitamins.
However, it also includes a controversial ingredient, canola oil. Many experts agree that this oil is a wonderful source of healthy fatty acids, it comes from the rapeseed, which is often genetically modified.
For those pet owners who feel strongly about ecology, Earthborn uses Bpa free packaging and offers a recycling and carbon offset program.
- The main ingredient is high-quality bison meal and also includes egg, another healthy protein source.
- Grain-free with a guaranteed protein ratio of 32 percent and fat ratio of 18 percent.
- Earth-conscious company with recycling program and Bpa-free packaging.
- Dogs love the taste.
- Family-owned and manufactured in the United States of America.
- High-quality minerals, Omega fatty acids, and vitamins for healthy skin, coat, joints, and eyes.
- Free of grains, gluten, and other allergens.
- Contains the controversial ingredient, canola oil, made from genetically modified rapeseed.
Diet & Pitbull Nutrition Guidelines
When you consider which food is best for your dog, the main factors to think about are, weight, build, energy level, and breed-specific health concerns. Pitbulls, like many modern purebreds, have unfortunately been overbred and as a result can suffer from allergies, skin conditions, hip dysplasia, and thyroid problems. A good diet will help your pitbull avoid these common ailments. Read on to learn more about the relationship between food and health in dogs.
Size & Weight
Pitbulls are a medium sized breed. Females weigh between 40 – 50 pounds and males can reach up to 70 pounds. They are well known for their muscular and stocky build.
Many pitbull pup owners are concerned with feeding their pitbull the right nutrition to gain muscle mass. For muscles and energy, you will want to feed your dog a food high in good quality protein.
One caution here though, pitbulls have tremendous appetites and are known beggars. They will certainly overeat if you let them.
The American Pit Bull Terrier was originally bred for farm work and hunting. Because of their history, these dogs have very high energy levels. They love active sports like agility and flyball. Since they have high exercise requirements, pitbulls need a food that is dense in protein and contains healthy fats.
To maintain a healthy body weight and have the fuel for exercise, they should eat between 1,000 and 1,800 calories per day. The exact amount of calories depends on several factors, whether the dog is spayed or neutered, exercise regimen, and even environmental temperatures. Your veterinarian can help you determine the right calorie count for your dog.
Common Health Conditions & How Food Can Help Them
The most common health conditions for pitbulls have to do with their ravenous appetites. If they are allowed to get overweight, pitbulls can suffer from a variety of related conditions, like hip dysplasia, diabetes, and joint issues.
To avoid weight gain in your pet, choose a food that is high in nutrition and low in fillers and avoid overfeeding. An average pitbull should eat a diet that is 25 to 35 percent protein. If your pet is highly active, a higher protein percentage, up to 50 percent, would be beneficial.
Just like their human caregivers, pitbulls are known to develop food allergies. Some owners choose to avoid the allergy concern entirely by sticking to brands that avoid common allergens, such as pork, beef, chicken, corn, soy, and wheat. Non-allergenic foods for dogs are salmon, venison, sweet potatoes, and lentils.
Ingredients to Avoid
All modern dogs, like the pitbull, share their ancestry with wolves. Their wild cousins live on a diet of mostly meat protein with some vegetables, and no grains. Many dog food brands, however, use grains as fillers.
Luckily, there are several newer brands on the market which use no grains at all and also avoid allergenic foods. Later in this article, I’ll review 5 of the best brands so you can decide for yourself which one is the best dog food for pitbulls.
Best Dog Food for Pitbulls FAQ:
What is the best food for pitbulls to gain weight?
If you’re concerned about your pitbull reaching a good weight with plenty of muscle, then you want a food that offers lots of high-quality protein and healthy fats. Although grain fillers add bulk to the food, they won’t add bulk to your dog.
Dogs didn’t evolve to eat grains, and their bodies have trouble digesting it. If your pitbull is having trouble putting on weight, switching food brands might be a good idea.
A good friend of mine had a young pitbull who couldn’t put on weight. He was skinny no matter how much he ate. After several visits to the veterinarian, he learned that his pitbull was allergic to grains. Once he switched over to a grain-free diet, pitbull gained weight and became a beautiful, healthy example of his breed.
Be sure to talk to your veterinarian before changing dog food brands. Your vet can guide you through the transition.
How much should a pitbull eat?
The amount you feed your pitbull is affected by several factors, including age, activity, and environment. A very active pitbull should get around 1700 calories. A pitbull with an average activity level should eat around 1100 calories, and older, less active dogs should eat around 875 calories. Your veterinarian can help you figure out how many calories to give your dog.
What is the best feeding schedule for a pitbull?
If your pitbull is still growing, then three feedings a day is the recommended schedule. A full-grown pitbull should eat two meals a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.
Is it ok to feed my pitbull “people food”?
While an occasional bit of bacon or hamburger as a treat is ok for your pitbull, human food is not a good idea. Today’s pet foods are developed using the best scientific research on canine nutrition. They are carefully balanced to offer your pitbull the right amounts of protein, healthy fats, and vitamins for each stage of life.
After reviewing the five foods listed above, we had to choose Taste of the Wild as the clear winner of the roundup. With a high protein content, prebiotics and probiotics, plus a taste that dogs love. TOTW has everything that conscientious pitbull owners look for in a quality dog food.
Your pit bull terrier will love the wild taste, and you’ll feel good knowing you’ve chosen an excellent food for your best friend.