Home Best Dog Food The Best Dog Foods and Supplements for Pitbulls in 2018

The Best Dog Foods and Supplements for Pitbulls in 2018

Pitbulls are one of the most common breeds out there currently, and it’s easy to see why: these fun loving, mid-sized canines tend to make great family companions even if they do get a bad rap from the media sometimes.

While they do require a bit of specialized care, they’re just a particularly large terrier after all, we feel the bad rap they get from bad owners isn’t quite deserved. If you’re willing to put in the time to wear them out then you’ll be in good paws with a pitbull of any size.

Do Pitbulls Have Special Nutritional Requirements?

While pitbulls generally do fine on a “normal” diet, it’s important to take into consideration that their nutrient distribution is actually closer to that of a terrier than of a larger dog.

That means that they need a higher percentage of protein than most breeds of the same size, especially since they tend to be extremely active.

They also have the potential for pretty impressive muscular mass, which means an even higher percentage of their food than ordinary should be utilized while they’re puppies.

In addition, pitbulls commonly suffer from food allergies, which can cause a wide variety of different problems which generally form as issues with the skin and coat, but can lead to more serious complications.

Basically, you should keep two things in mind when choosing food for your pitbull: you need to make sure the primary ingredient is a meat product and that the food has a higher percentage of protein than average.

Special Considerations When Feeding Pitbulls

Pitbulls should be fed twice per day, a healthy dog will pretty much demand it. Puppies may even need to be fed three times per day in order to ensure that they develop the thick muscles that the breed is known for as an adult.

There’s a problem though: pit bulls tend to wolf down their food without chewing. This can lead to a variety of problems while they’re feeding, including the often-fatal bloat.

In order to avoid this, it’s best to make sure that your pitbull is eating softened food. This can help keep things moving and prevent problems with choking or additional air intake if you’ve got a particularly enthusiastic little buddy.

Caloric Intake

Pitbulls require a slightly higher caloric intake than you’d expect from a dog of their size. This is mainly due to their terrier roots, they’ve got a quick metabolism and a high energy level which means they need a little bit more food than you’d expect.

A normal pitbull male will reach about 70lbs as an adult, and you’ll probably want to aim for about 35 calories per pound in order to maintain an optimal weight, as opposed to the usual 30 calories per pound you’d want for a dog of that size.

As a puppy, something in the realm of 40-45 calories per pound is pretty much ideal and as your dog ages, they’ll likely be going down to around 20-25 calories per pound since their metabolism will slow down.

This is a lot of information to take in, and most of us don’t have time to precisely measure our dog’s caloric intake. Due to differences in individual metabolisms, your best approach is most likely observation: a pit bull adult should be lean enough you can see the muscles through their short fur but not make out their ribs.

If you can’t see their muscles then you’re probably feeding too much, but if the ribs are prominent then you’ll want to adjust things upwards.

Since they have a quick metabolism as a general rule, it’s also a good idea to split their meals into two or even three times a day. Just remember that you need to split up the total daily food allowance instead of feeding it all at once.

Nutrient Distribution

Since they’re technically terriers, and anyone who’s had a lively adult pitbull can testify to their energetic nature, you’ll want to go as high as possible on the protein.

Protein is always the most important part of a dog’s nutritional regimen, it provides them most of their energy, unlike humans who get their day-to-day energy primarily from carbohydrates.

Most commercial dog foods will range from 15%-25% protein, but higher is better for your pit bull with an optimal distribution being at about 35%. This usually means that meat-based foods are the way to go, and they should be the first ingredient listed on the packaging for the best results.

Fats are almost as important since they also provide a readily available energy source in canines. While a typical dog will be fine with around 12% fats, you’ll want to go as high as 25% for your pitbull, although you may want to lower this as they age.

Carbohydrates are also important, but try to find something lower than 30%. This is hard when you’re working with only commercial dog foods, but if you’re paying for quality food then this is often an easily attainable goal.

Micronutrients

The most important micronutrient for most dogs is calcium. You’ll want to aim for around 2% for adults, but 1-1.5% for puppy foods. Indeed, apart from protein content, this is going to be the biggest difference in the requirements for puppies and adults.

Fiber is also important, but most foods will meet or exceed the 4% optimum with ease.

Top Foods for Your Pitbull

We’ve done the footwork for you and found foods which meet the required nutrient variety for any age or class of pitbull. Let’s dive right in and you’ll see which are the best doggone food for your beloved pet.

Best Overall Pitbull Food

CRAVE Grain Free High Protein Dry Dog Food

CRAVE has a range of high protein dog foods which are just about perfect for an adult pitbull. Coming in with an almost optimal 34% protein and 3.5% fiber, it’s a great food to ensure a healthy weight in an adult dog.

This was our favorite, and even better the primary protein source can vary without a real change in the nutrients overall. All of this is bundled together in an “all-natural” package, forgoing things like artificial flavors and ingredients in favor of delivering real health to your pitbull.

CRAVE’s line of grain free, high-protein foods is probably the best around for the average adult pitbull. Just keep in mind the expense when you’re figuring it out since most pitbulls will be going through at least a bag a month.

OUR RATING:

Pros

  • Excellent nutrient profile for pitbulls
  • Contains Omega fatty acids for health
  • Available in different flavors without changing nutrient profile

Cons

  • Rather Expensive

Pitbull Puppies

Victor Dog Food Select Hi-Pro Plus Formula for Active Dogs and Puppies

When it comes to puppies, you’ve got a couple of things to keep in mind: for larger breeds, it’s important to make sure that the calcium content is 1.5% or lower and you want a lot of protein and fat to keep up with their high energy levels.

This food comes in at 30% protein, putting it at the top end of what’s available for most commercial foods and also has the extra nutrients and Omega fatty acids which are required for the optimal growth of your pup. It also has a pretty awesome micronutrient profile.

If your young pitbull needs optimal nutrition, then you’ll be stoked on this puppy chow from Victor Dog Food. It’s simply the best around for your active puppies.

OUR RATING:

Pros

  • Optimal nutrient profile for puppies
  • Great micronutrient profile
  • Additional Omega fatty acids

Cons

  • Rather Expensive
  • Could be higher in protein

Senior Pitbulls

BLUE Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Senior Dry Dog Food

Senior dog foods are differentially formulated, having lower sodium and higher protein than those which are formulated for adult dogs. This was undoubtedly our favorite of the senior dog formulations, at least when it comes time to feed an aging pitbull.

It also has higher fiber content, hitting in at 7% in order to ensure easier bowel movements for those dogs who are getting a bit long in the tooth. It also has an increased glucosamine level in order to help with bones and joints as your dog ages although most people will still want to supplement.

If you’ve got an aging pitbull, then this food from BLUE Wilderness might be just the thing to keep them healthier for longer.

OUR RATING:

Pros

  • High protein and fat levels
  • Higher fiber levels for easy bowel movements
  • Added glucosamine for joint health

Cons

  • Rather Expensive
  • Not good for adult or puppies

Working Pitbulls

EUKANUBA Premium Active Adult Dry Dog Food

There’s a slightly different balance required for those dogs who are seriously working, and pitbulls are some of the most famous catch dogs around. If your pitbull is more than just a lovable family companion and instead finds itself in the field with you, then you should definitely take a look into specialized food.

This food is primarily formulated for working dogs, which would be a trained adult who’s in the field alongside their human or participating in sports regularly. It’s probably a bit too calorie dense for the average household pet, but the nutrient profile is perfect if you’re using your pitbull as a hunting companion.

For active, working dogs EUKANUBA presents this excellently formulated food. Just be aware it’s a bit too calorie dense and the nutrient balance is off for the average pitbull who’s likely just getting walks and romping around the backyard.

OUR RATING:

Pros

  • Excellent nutrient profile for working dogs
  • High protein at 30% and high in carbohydrates for field work
  • Incredible protein quality for maximum absorption

Cons

  • Rather Expensive
  • Too high in calories for your average pet

Best Budget Pitbull Food

Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Turkey and Venison Formula Dry Dog Food

Purina definitely wasn’t at the top of our minds when we were picking out high-quality dog foods, but the price is right and the nutrients spot-on with the SmartBled True Instinct series of foods. With a great 30% protein and real turkey as the primary ingredient.

Now, the profile isn’t going to compare to the others on our list but it costs around half as much while still providing a great diet for an adult pitbull, which we’d say is a proper bonus. For the money, you won’t be able to beat the nutritional value.

For those on a tight budget with their dog, Purina makes this excellent, low-cost dog food which is sure to keep your pitbull happy and healthy.

OUR RATING:

Pros

  • Good nutrient profile
  • Made primarily with turkey
  • Cheap compared to other options

Cons

  • Definitely not the highest quality
  • Relatively high in carbohydrates

Pitbull Health Issues and Diet

Pitbulls tend to be fairly healthy dogs, especially those of mixed lineage due to hybrid vigor. As such, they tend to only suffer from the normal doggy issues and don’t have nearly as many specialized issues as more inbred canine lineages.

Most of the issues they do tend to suffer come from obesity, which is hard on their joints and a serious problem in such a stocky dog.

Some of these issues include:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Food Allergies
  • Skin Infections
  • Bladder Stones
  • Thyroid Disease

Many of these common health issues can be handled with different supplements, or at least help to manage the conditions. We’ll touch on these after the foods.

To avoid dealing with food allergies entirely, we strongly recommend going with grain-free foods for the most part. Almost all food allergies a pitbull will deal with are going to come from foods which contain grains.

Remember that food is the most important part of the equation, however, without a high-quality food in your pitbull’s bowl, you’ll find that supplements really aren’t going to do much.

Supplements for Your Pitbull

Pitbulls don’t have a ton of health issues that require separate supplementation, but a few of the common dog health issues can be mitigated through the wise usage of supplements.

We’ve picked out the best of the best for you, in order to help you make sure that your beloved pit stays in the best shape possible throughout its lifespan.

Best Supplement for Preventing and Helping Hip Dysplasia

VetPro Complete Maximum Strength Hip and Joint Supplements For Dogs

Of all the supplements we looked at for joints and bones, this one stood out head and shoulders above the rest. It contains glucosamine, chondroitin, turmeric, vitamin C, and Omega-3 fatty acids.

All of this together adds up to a supplement which both strengthens joints and reduces inflammation wherever there’s already damage and the fact that they come in chicken flavored gummies makes them a stand-out option since many dogs won’t take normal supplements.

The Omega-3 fatty acids can help with heart health as well. It’s a good way to go for the majority of dogs, and the doses are of just the right size for a pitbull adult.

This vet-formulated and approved supplement is a great way to approach keeping your dog’s joints in good health as they approach old age and it can also provide pain relief for those dogs who already have damaged joints.

Best Supplement for Thyroid Problems

Pet Wellbeing Thyroid Support Gold

If your pitbull is having thyroid problems, then you’ll be well served with this supplement. Despite the misleading label it’s for both dogs and cats and supports normal thyroid function. The two biggest indicators of compromised function are weight gain with no change in diet and lethargy.

This supplement can help to relieve these conditions in canines who are unlucky enough to be afflicted with them. It’s a relatively common problem with pitbulls as they age, and it’s a great way to restore the lively pup that grew up with you.

This is an herbal medicine, with a proprietary blend of thyroid supporting herbs but the reviews are great and many people swear up and down that it’s restored their dog to liveliness and a healthy weight after a troubling period.

If you suspect that your pitbull has thyroid problems, then you’ll be quite pleased with this herbal medication. Lacking harsh chemicals but with tested effectiveness, it’s one of the best ways to go.

Best Multivitamin for Pitbulls:

Vita Bully Vitamins for Bully Breeds

Formulated specifically for bully dogs, Vita Bully produces this excellent multivitamin which can help to cover any gaps in diet and maintain optimal health. It’s perfect for that, as well as any of the skin and coat issues which can occur in a pitbull.

The truth is that even the best dog food is going to have a couple of nutrient gaps, and while they may not cause any serious issues they can definitely affect your dog over time. If you can afford these vitamins, we strongly recommend adding them to your dog’s diet.

This multivitamin was veterinarian formulated specifically to face the issues which can occur in pitbulls, bulldogs, and other breeds of bully dog which puts it head and shoulders above the rest of the dog multivitamins on the market.

While a bit pricey, adding this multivitamin to your dog’s feeding time once per day can help them to maintain optimal health with no side effects. Keep your pitbull not just healthy, but in superb health, with this simple to use, specially formulated vitamin.

What Exactly is a Pitbull?

A large number of different formal breeds actually fall underneath this classification.

  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • American Bully
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier

In addition to the above breeds, there are a few others and mixed breed dogs which resemble them are quite often labeled as “pit bulls” by the general populace.

The one thing all of these dogs have in common is that they’re descendants of a mix of terrier and bulldog breeds. Many of these dogs were originally bred for activities such as bull or bear baiting, primitive bloodsports in which the dogs were set upon animals.

As time went on, these sports fell out of public favor, and many of the dogs currently used in illegal and unethical fighting rings fall under the pit bull classification. Which is rather unfortunate, since the dogs themselves tend to be lovable family companions and for the majority of American history they could be found in rural homes across the continent.

The original idea behind breeding them this way was that they would have the strength of a bulldog and the agility of a terrier. Their larger size often leads to people treating them not quite the same way as they would a high-energy terrier, which also causes problems.

However, in the proper hands, they’re great companion dogs and they’re also quite intelligent. Some even find work as “catch dogs” in hunting circles, where they’re equipped with armor and used to pin boars while hunting as well as being able to herd larger animals like cattle.

They’re a versatile, high-energy breed, that’s for certain.

Conclusion

Pitbulls are one of the most lovable and common breeds of dog, and keeping them in perfect health instead of just great health is as simple as making sure that you have the right food for them and possibly the right supplements to address their health issues.

Whether your dog is a puppy, an adult, or a senior, they deserve the right food and supplements to keep them going even if things get a bit rough. Use our guide wisely and your dog is well on their way to a level of health neither of you has dreamed of.

[Total: 2    Average: 5/5]

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