If you are the owner of a pit bull, which can include breeds such as American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, as well as American Bulldogs and Bull Terriers, then you well aware of the unique feeding needs when it comes to these dogs. Pit bulls are active, muscular canines that have voracious appetites and typically high metabolisms. They can be food motivated, and will overeat if allowed. Pit bulls, like all dogs, should be fed a high quality food in order to maintain healthy skin and coat, as many terrier breeds are prone to skin allergy. The best dog food for pit bulls at every stage of their development and care is described below.
Best Dog Food for Pit Bull Puppies
Pit bull puppies should be placed on a high quality diet as soon as they are weaned, which is typically around 8 – 10 weeks of age. The best puppy foods contain a high protein, calorie, and mineral content in order to support the puppy’s rapid rate of growth. Pit bull puppies are extremely playful and active, which can increase their caloric needs. To decrease the incidence of skin allergy or digestive
distress caused by dog food, a grain free diet is recommended. For these reasons, Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Dry Puppy Food is the recommended option for pit bull puppies.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Dry Puppy Food is a top-rated brand and for good reason. Five of the top six ingredients are high quality proteins, which is necessary for a pit bull puppy to grow into a strong, healthy adult. These ingredients are among the best sources of protein found in dog foods, including deboned chicken, chicken meal, peas, turkey meal, and pea protein. The only non-protein ingredient listed the first six is tapioca starch, which is a grain-free source of carbohydrates. Other top ingredients include flaxseed, which provides necessary omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, fish oil for bone, brain, and joint health, and a number of antioxidant-providing fruits and vegetables, such as pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsley, blueberries, apples, spinach, blackberries, and pomegranate. Probiotics are also included in this formula in order to assist in the puppy’s digestion.
This food is guaranteed to support brain and eye development, thanks in part to the fatty acids and choline found in the food by encouraging cognitive learning and retinal function. The addition of calcium and phosphorous promotes bone growth, while omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are important for the development of a shiny coat and healthy skin. Finally, the kibble is specially designed to be the perfect size for the small mouths of puppies, with a unique shape to promote the removal of tartar build up.
Another merit of this dog food brand is its excellence rating on dogfoodadvisor.com of 5 stars, which is the site’s top rating. This brand of food received this rating due to its higher than average fat-to-protein ratio of 41%, as well as a high protein content of 37%, most of which comes from animal sources. Blue Buffalo’s commitment to formulating food without the use of by-product meal, corn, wheat, soy, or artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors also garners an exceptionally high rating for this food.
As a brand, Blue Buffalo is well-respected, with its product exclusively made in the United States. With only one recall to its name, which occurred in 2010, Blue Buffalo is also a brand that has a high safety rating. There are few disadvantages that exist, with one being the inclusion of a controversial ingredient, caramel, used solely as a coloring agent. In addition, this food is somewhat pricey, at $69.98 for a 24 lb bag. However, high quality foods are well worth the price, as they directly contribute to the continued health of pets.
Best Dog Food for Adult Pit Bulls
As pit bulls age and become adults their needs change from those of their puppy days. For instance, they require fewer calories with respect to their size, since their metabolism will slow down as soon as they are done growing. In addition, their vitamin and mineral requirements decrease, as well. When your pit bull reaches approximately 10 – 14 months of age, he or she should be switched to a high quality adult formula. This food should continue to support the unique needs of an adult pit bull, such as bone, joint, and skin health, as well as weight management.
Best Grain-Free Adult Dog Food for Pit Bulls
A highly rated dog food specifically recommended for the needs of pit bulls is Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food, especially the High Prairie formula. This dog food contains buffalo and lamb meal as the top two ingredients, which are not only great protein sources, but lamb meal is especially good for dogs who suffer from dry skin and allergies, due its high content of beneficial fat. Like all Taste of the Wild foods, this formulation is also grain free, which is an important consideration for most pit bulls. Other quality sources of protein include egg, bison, roasted venison, beef, flaxseed, and ocean fish meal.
In addition to protein, this High Prairie formula is also high in antioxidants, thanks to the addition of tomatoes, blueberries, and raspberries. Probiotics are also an integral part of this food, which improves canine digestion and general wellness.
Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food in the High Prairie flavor is an especially great food for your pit bull’s diet because it has received the highest rating possible among dog food experts at dogfoodadvisor.com of 5 stars. With a protein level of 31% and a fat-to-protein ratio of 57%, with protein coming from high quality meat sources, this food is a meat based formula that is enthusiastically recommended for adult dogs.
Taste of the Wild is also a well-revered company, largely in part to their vision of providing dogs with premium quality food that is highly digestible, made from the finest ingredients. Since dogs evolved from carnivores who hunted meat and had with no fillers or preservatives in their diets, Taste of the Wild seeks to provide the same type of diet for your pet in order to ensure optimal health. All products are manufactured in the United States, and only one food recall has occurred, which happened in 2012.
Few downsides exist for this formulation, given its high rating. However, it does contain three ingredients that consumers may find controversial, including pea protein, canola oil, and tomato pomace. Pea protein, while a good source of protein, does not have as high of a biological value as meat and is used to boost protein content. Canola oil, while providing a dose of healthy fats, may be derived from genetically modified organisms. Finally, tomato pomace is a tomato by-product that is considered a filler ingredient, despite its abundance of lycopene.
Regardless of these so-called “controversial” ingredients, Taste of the Wild High Prairie formula is still one of the best foods available for pit bulls due to its exceptional protein content, as well as quality grain-free ingredients. At $131.88 for 60 lbs, the price is extremely affordable for a food of such high quality.
Best Biologically Appropriate Adult Dog Food for Pit Bulls
Unlike humans, dogs do not require carbohydrates as their energy source. Instead, energy comes from fat and protein. A recent trend has been the development of food formulations that better emulate the ancestral needs of dogs, such as high protein, grain-free, carbohydrate limited formulas. Your pit bull will thank you for the nod to his ancestors, which he readily resembles with his cunning intelligence, muscular build, and amazing athleticism.
The best food that is considered biologically appropriate for your pit bull is Orijen Adult Dry Dog Food. Fed in the same ratios as would be found in nature, ingredients are meat (i.e. “prey”)-heavy. The first fifteen ingredients include boneless chicken, chicken meal, chicken liver, whole herring, boneless turkey, turkey meal, turkey liver, whole eggs, boneless walleye, whole salmon, chicken heart, chicken cartilage, herring meal, salmon meal, and chicken liver oil, all of which comprise 80% of the food. Additionally, each of the ingredients is locally sourced and fit for human consumption. The remaining supplemental ingredients include fruits and vegetables, such as lentils, apples, pears, blueberries, kelp, peppermint leaf, and dandelion, among others. To ensure your dog does not need additional supplementation, vitamins such as selenium, zinc, iron, and manganese are also added. Overall, the company ensures that each bag of dog food is “80% meat, 20% fruits and vegetables, and 0% grain, potato, or GMO.”
Not surprisingly, this food receives a high rating of 5 stars on dogfoodadvisor.com thanks to its above average amount of meat-based protein at 42%, above average fat-to-protein ratio of 46%, and history of zero food recalls. Overall, this food is a close representation of the raw food diet, but in a convenient dry food package.
As a brand, Orijen is highly respected in the pet food industry. Their dog food is treated similarly to high-end human food, with ethical and fresh sourcing. Indeed, they are a unique brand that truly has the needs of pet in mind, with an impeccable record of safety.
The biggest drawback associated with this food is the price tag. As can be expected of locally sourced, fresh, never frozen ingredients, the food demands a premium price. At $113.90 for a 29.7 lb bag, this food is on the highest end of the price scale. However, for a true raw food diet, owners would easily spend $5 – $10 a day feeding a 70 lb dog. According to the feeding guidelines for Orijin, an active 66 lb dog would require 2.5 cups of food per day, which equates to approximately $2.70 daily. In this regard, the food is well worth the price.
Best Dog Food for Pit Bulls with Skin Allergies
Pit bulls commonly experience skin and food allergies which often necessitate a limited ingredient diet. Healthy foods for your allergy stricken pit bull include high-fat meats and limited grains, especially wheat and corn. The best food should also be without soy, preservatives, and artificial colors or flavorings, which may react negativity with a sensitive dog. For optimal health, your pit bull should be given a food that contains probiotics and plenty of antixodants.
The common allergens found in dog foods include beef, chicken, lamb, fish, corn, wheat, soy, and yeast. For dogs that have allergies to one or more of these ingredients, it is recommended to limit their exposure to only one or two ingredients that are known to agree with the dog. Taste of the Wild is a great food for allergy suffering dogs, because certain formulas (Salmon, Lamb, Boar, and Vension) each contain only one of the listed allergen ingredients. For instance, the salmon formulation only contains fish as the protein source, with salmon, ocean fish meal, garbanzo beans, salmon meal, and smoked salmon comprising the main sources of protein. Taste of the Wild is also grain free, replacing common carbohydrate ingredients such as wheat or corn with sweet potatoes and potatoes. Antioxidant content is high due to the addition of blueberries, raspberries, and tomatoes. The remaining ingredients are supplements, such as probiotics, vitamins, and minerals.
Depending on the formulation, this food receives a 4- or 5-star rating on dogfoodadvisor.com, making it a highly rated food that consumers should feel confident in feeding to their dogs. As previously mentioned, Taste of the Wild is a respected company, with few complaints regarding the quality, ingredients, or effectiveness of their product.
For an allergy-friendly food, the price of Taste of the Wild is an incredible value. A 30 lb bag is only $47.69, making this premium quality food extremely reasonably priced. Other brands of similar quality of limited ingredients often charge considerably more, which is one reason why Taste of the Wild is the best food for pit bulls with allergies.
Best Dog Food for Pit Bulls to Gain Weight
Unfortunately, pit bulls are one of the most common breeds of dog to wind up in shelters, which means that many adopted pit bulls need to gain weight. Fortunately, food supplements are available to help these pets safely gain muscle mass and bulk. Additionally, for athletic pit bulls, such as Agility competitors or dogs that frequently join their owners in vigorous activities such as running or cycling, this supplement can also promote appropriate build up of muscle.
Formula Mass Weight Gainer for Dogs is the best way to safely put weight and muscle mass on your pit bull. This supplement is simply added to your pet’s food bowl, where it immediately binds to the kibble or wet food. Each scoop of Formula Mass Weight Gainer for Dogs contains 26% protein and 56% healthy fat to help increase weight while also improving your pit bull’s skin and coat and strengthening teeth, bones, and nails. This supplement is especially recommended for puppies and nursing mothers to help these dogs maintain energy and grow. A major difference between this supplement and others that are available on the market is that it works to improve a dog’s muscle mass – not simply add fat to the dog. This is important because pit bulls are naturally well-muscled, and simply adding additional weight to their frame can cause them to suffer bone and joint issues.
Formula Mass ingredients include whey protein, which is easier to digest than and has a higher biological value than common protein sources, such as eggs or meat. Whey protein is used to help build muscle mass quickly among human athletes, and works in a similar manner for dogs. In addition to protein, healthy fat is an important component of this supplement. Eighteen branched chain amino acids are added to Formula Mass to supplement the building and repairing of muscle mass. The food contains a flavor and aroma that dogs find appealing, ensuring that even the pickiest of dogs will not turn their up their noses at this supplement.
Satisfied customers report that this supplement can provide visible results for dogs within a matter of weeks. Owners of nursing pit bulls praise this product for restoring worn out mothers to optimum health, while other owners enjoy how healthy their dogs have become as a result of this additive. The crude fat content of 40% ensures weight is put on safely and efficiently, and a single bag of 90 servings is typically all that is required to add weight to a skinny or malnourished animal.
Few disadvantages to this product exist. Like all food or nutritional supplements, results may not be seen in all animals. For pets with sensitive stomachs or those with dairy allergies, this product may not be right for them. However, for dogs that can tolerate the ingredients in the formula, it is a highly recommended supplement that can save a dog’s life if dangerously underweight. At only $39.99 for a 90 serving bag, the price is well worth the benefits for a dog needing to add bulk to its frame.
|Best Dog Food for Pit Bull Puppies||Best Grain-Free Adult Dog Food for Pit Bulls||Best Biologically Appropriate Adult Dog Food for Pit Bulls||Best Dog Food for Pit Bulls with Skin Allergies||Best Dog Food for Pit Bulls to Gain Weight|
Featured image credit : Marion Michele