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Best Food For Pitbulls – The Ultimate Guide To A Pitbull’s Nutrition

Written by: Kristina Lalovic
Pitbulls are active, muscular dogs that enjoy numerous athletic activities. Since they burn a lot of calories throughout the day, their owners are often worried that the food they eat doesn't satisfy all of their energy and nutritional needs. Are you a Pitbull owner? We're giving you complete insight to how your Pitbull's nutrition should look like. Read on and learn all you need to know.

Pitbulls are known to be muscular, energetic dogs of a strong temperament. Despite their reputation of being aggressive, these dogs are far away from their dog fighting history and are considered to be a quite affectionate breed today.

However, these dogs need a lot of exercise and activity time in order to be completely healthy. As a Pitbull owner, you’re probably aware that your dog is sometimes unstoppable when he gets the chance to be let off the leash. You might also wonder what’s the best food for Pitbulls that will provide them with sufficient energy and nutritional sources.

We will save you some time and tell you everything you need to know about your Pitbull’s nutrition. First, we will explore all the necessary ingredients a dog needs in order to be fully developed and healthy. Then, we will tell you more on Pitbull common health issues and things you have to be cautious about when choosing your dogs food. Finally, we will make a list of best dog foods you can get for your Staffy or Pit bull Terrier during all stages of his growth.

You might be aware that Pitbulls don’t all belong to a single breed, but they are rather a part of the large pitbull family that includes different kinds of breeds such as Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, the American Pit Bull Terrier, and mixed breed dogs. So if you’re lucky to be the owner of some of the breeds we just mentioned, you might wonder how to provide your dog with the best possible nutrition.

Through no fault of their own, Pitbulls are widely depicted as vicious, angsty animals that are often very aggressive to other dogs and humans. While it is true that they might be vicious when trained to be fighting dogs because of their muscly build and strong jaws, they are far from being hostile dogs when socialized well and trained properly.

However, they are indeed differently built than most dogs. Just at the look of them, you can see how their bodies are sturdy, stable and very muscular. This usually means that such dogs need extra exercise time and a very well balanced nutrition. By providing a Pitbull with enough exercise each day, you will guarantee that he doesn’t develop any destructive behavior.

Since these dogs love to get involved in all sorts of activities and athletic competitions, it will also be crucial to provide them with sufficient energy sources and various nutrients that will help them maintain their body fit and healthy.

Based On What Factors Should I Choose My Dog’s Food?

The first factor that influences the choice of dog food is your dog’s breed size. In this case, we’re talking about medium sized dogs that can weigh from 30 to 70 pounds depending on the sex, level of activity and the height of the Pitbull.

A medium sized dog shouldn’t eat small breed’s dog food that is specifically designed to treat health issues in small dogs. Similarly, a medium-sized dog should only take food that is created for canines of his size and shape. It’s not only the nutritional value that changes between these types of foods, but it’s also the size of the kibble. In order to prevent choking hazards, kibble shouldn’t be too tiny for your dog, on the other hand, dry dog food that’s too big might make chewing almost impossible.

However, apart from their similar height and size, Pitbulls don’t share much with other medium-sized dogs such as Dalmatians, Collies, Poodles, Huskies or Basset Hounds. Their energy levels, exercise needs, their temperament and type of body are very different from breed to breed which is why Pitbull’s body won’t be nurtured enough with the food suitable for a Basset Hound, and vice-versa.

Therefore, energetic and agile Pitbulls need a protein-packed diet that will provide him with other nutritive values as well.

Another crucial factor when choosing your dog’s food is its age. If you have a Pitbull puppy, you probably won’t feed him with the same food as you would feed an adult Pitbull. The food can also likely change when your dog gets to his senior years too.

How Much Should My Dog Eat Every day?

In order to determine how much your dog should eat, there are several things you should keep in mind. Your vet will likely ask you all of these questions in order to tell you how much you should feed your pup on a daily basis. How old is your dog? Or rather is he a puppy or an adult dog? Is your dog spayed/neutered? How active is your dog? Is your dog pregnant? Does your dog have any metabolic problems?

Answers to these questions will give your vet a clear image of how much food intake should your dog get on a daily basis.

If you’re looking for more approximate values for now, according to the National Research Council of the National Academies, an active adult Pitbull should have between 922 and 1,740 calories per day.

We established that Pitbulls need more food than other medium-sized dogs. Being highly active dogs, Pitbulls can usually eat quite a lot. But you shouldn’t let their strong appetite end up in potential overeating and obesity. This is also a reason why free feeding is not recommended for Pitbulls.

What Should A Pitbull’s Dog Food Contain?

Dry dog food is made to resemble a dog’s natural diet with the addition of some crucial nutrients and supplements that each modern dog needs. But what nutrients and ingredients should you look for when buying your dog’s food? We’ll list those that are absolutely necessary in every dog’s nutrition.


Healthy canine nutrition should be based on a good mix of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. The percentage of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates is what changes based on your dog’s circumstances and additional factors.

For dogs such as Pitbulls, the most crucial ingredients are undoubtedly proteins and fats. So, basically, if you want to make sure your Pitbull is looking fit and muscly, always check if the food you’re buying him contains a good source of protein and fats.

The composition of your Pitbull’s food should more or less look like this:

45% protein, 30% carbohydrates, 25% fats

Let’s take a deeper look at the ingredients that are often included in most dog’s food and discover what is their role in your Pitbull’s nutrition.


Good-quality dog food should contain two or three meat proteins. Whole meats such as whole chicken, beef, lamb, fish, white meat should be the top ingredient of your Pitbull’s food.

But why is protein so important for your Pitbull? Well, the thing with protein is that they are crucial for the formation and maturation of structural and protective tissues. Not only, but they also contain amino acids that make necessary components of hormones and enzymes.

Since a dog’s body can’t produce all amino acids needed for different hormones or enzymes, he should be able to get his intake of them through a well-balanced diet. Protein is also crucial for building muscles and providing energy, which is probably the main reason why this is should be an essential component of your Pitbull’s diet. They are active dogs that need a lot of energy and that look and feel their best only when they’re fit and muscular.

Why is choosing a dog food with a two or three protein source recommended? All amino acids that your dog needs can’t be found in a single protein source. For instance, amino acids found in soy can’t be found in other protein sources. The same is true for most other protein-rich sources. Therefore, the more you combine protein sources, the better the amino acid profile will be.

Best protein sources for Pitbulls are:

Another thing you should pay attention to is that the protein source should be easily digestible for your dog.

These benefits confirm how important a good protein source is for your dog:

  • Repairs cells and other tissues
  • Provides energy
  • Helps to support the immune system
  • Makes hormones, antibodies, and enzymes
  • Improves skin and hair quality
  • Improves Muscle development

Our dog food comparisons will help you easily see what’s the best option for your Pitbull.


Dietary fats are a crucial element of good nutrition, in both dogs and humans. Although they are often perceived as “unhealthy”, this belief is far from reality. Fats have an important function in your dog’s body too. They ensure the integrity of cells and organs by protecting the cell walls, and they are also very important for the development of the nervous system.

Also, nutrition with sufficient healthy fat percentage will make the digestion easier and will also enable a more successful absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. When these vitamins are not absorbed by the body, vitamin toxicity might develop due to an excessive percentage of vitamins found in the blood.

Your dog needs Omega-3 fatty acids and Docosahexaenoic acid – DHA in order to have a perfectly balanced diet. These can be found in:

  • Chicken Fat
  • Fish Oil
  • Salmon
  • Whitefish
  • Flaxseed
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Herring Oil

Since fish is also a good source of protein and fat, it might be wise to make sure that the food you decide to feed your dog with contains some sort of good-quality fish.

However, if you’re asking yourself what are the benefits of omega-3 acids and healthy dietary fats for canines here’s a little preview:

  • Improved coat and skin
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Improved Cognitive function
  • Lowered blood pressure


Carbohydrates included in the dog food usually come from grains and plants. They can be divided into simple (fructose, lactose, sucrose) and complex carbohydrates (fiber).

The importance of carbohydrates in dog nutrition is often debated among vet experts and nutritionists. Some claim that carbs are absolutely unnecessary for dogs as they don’t bring any nutritional value to dogs. Others, on the other hand, support the theory that carbs are an important part of a healthy dog’s nutrition since it’s ancestors used to eat carbs through fruits and vegetables.

Whatever the truth is, most dog foods today contain between 30% to 70% of carbohydrates. Although wild canines definitely get some carbs through berries they find, these compounds will unlikely constitute 30% of their diet.

So, why do most dog foods contain carbs, then?

There’s a health-related motive and an economical reason behind it. First of all, after the consumption of large quantities of protein canines can convert protein into energy and muscle. Similarly, they have the ability to convert most of the carbohydrates into an energy source.

On the other hand, carbohydrates are less expensive than relative protein sources for the manufacturer, which is why all dog foods contain a large portion of carbs.

Therefore, it is much cheaper for dog food producers to satisfy your Pitbull’s protein intake with a good source of protein, and provide carbohydrates to meet its energy requirements instead of increasing the meat/fish quantity that would provide the dog with the equal amount of energy at a higher cost.

The best sources of carbohydrates to look for in your Pitbull’s dog food are:

  • Whole wheat
  • Bulgur
  • Oatmeal
  • Corn
  • Brown Rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Barley
  • Millet
  • Quinoa

Although the value of carbs in a dog’s nutrition is still disputed, dog food manufacturers claim that carbs bring these benefits:

  • Provides energy
  • Improves digestion
  • Maintains colon health
  • Controls blood sugar levels

Vitamins & Minerals

You won’t need to pay too much attention to veggies and fruits when looking for the best food for a Pitbull dog since they are not a necessary component of a healthy dog diet. However, vitamins and minerals found in these foods make crucial additions to a healthy diet. But, despite the common belief, important vitamins and minerals aren’t only found in vegetables or fruits.

Foods that contain fats and proteins can also be quite rich in different minerals or vitamins that are essential to dogs.

Minerals are essential elements of a healthy, balanced diet. Not only do they help in your pup’s proper development, but they make most of your dog’s bodily functions possible. Therefore, it’s no wonder that minerals are an inevitable part of your dog’s food.

What are some good sources of minerals dogs need most? First of all, let’s see what are the minerals that your Pitbull dog (and any other dog) needs:

  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Chloride
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Iron

On the other hand, your Pitbull will also need certain vitamins that will ensure his immune system is in peak.

Here are the most important Vitamins that only the best dog foods for Pitbulls contain:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Choline
  • B Vitamins

We won’t get too much into details, but it is more than obvious that all these minerals and vitamins provide your dog with numerous and essential benefits. Each of these compounds is crucial for some type of bodily functions and processes which is why all dog owners should ensure their pets are getting their daily dose of them.

Now that we know what a good quality dog food for Pitbulls should contain, let’s present you the best dog foods for Pitbulls!

1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

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The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dog Food is created with the goal of imitating the diet of ancestral wolves. It has everything a Pitbull might need: plenty of protein, the right amount of good carbohydrates, and a lot of fruit.

The source of carbohydrates comes from sweet potatoes, peas, and potatoes which make a healthier energy source of grain-based carbohydrates. This terrific dog food that your dog will surely love, has a perfectly balanced ratio of protein and carbohydrates which makes it an ideal source of energy for an active Pitbull.

Apart from protein and carbohydrates, The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken contains all vitamins and minerals that help promote stronger bones, teeth, a better joint function, and the omega 3 & 6 fatty acids make coat shinier and skin healthier.

2. Victor Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food

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Victor Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog food is also created for dogs that need a lot of protein in order to satisfy their activity and energy requirements. There are only 30% of carbohydrates in this dog food, and as with all Victor dog foods, there are no bad or processed grains or GMO ingredients.

This premium food has also all vitamins, minerals and other nutritious compounds your dog needs in order to have a strong immune system and a good digestive system. But what’s also very beneficial for dogs is that 83% of the protein found in Victor Hi-Pro Plus Formula comes from meat and fish.

This means that Pitbulls fed with this food will have a high source of energy and will also get the proper amount of omega 3 & 6 fatty acids that will ensure their coat is healthy and shiny. All the nutritious needs of an active, adult Pitbull will surely be met with this protein-packed food.

3. Victor Professional Formula Dry Dog Food

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We’re still with Victor, but with a slightly different formula. Victor Professional Formula Dry Dog Food is the best option for highly active Pitbull dogs that need a richer resource of energy while getting enough nutrients that will help their muscles grow and develop.

Just like the previous Victor dog food, Victor Professional Formula is a low-carb & high-protein recipe that contains no corn, wheat, soy or gluten. However, all-natural and healthy carbohydrates are still included in this formula to ensure your Pitbull gets a higher amount of energy sources.

In this case, 78% of protein comes directly from meat and poultry. It contains no fish sources which minimally decreases the intake of Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids. But that doesn’t mean this formula doesn’t contain any of these important fats. In fact, fatty acids along the Vitamin E will support your Pitbull’s skin and coat healthy and shiny.

4. Zignature Trout and Salmon Dry Dog Food

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If you believe that fish is the best source of protein and fatty acids for your dog, then you can’t go wrong with Zignature Trout & Salmon Meal Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. This powerful formula is mixed with some healthy, delicious carbs such as peas, chickpeas, and flaxseed.

This recipe is magical for all Pitbulls that might need hypoallergenic, low-glycemic nutrition in order to thrive. Zignature Trout & Salmon doesn’t contain potential canine allergens such as corn, wheat, chicken, dairy, or soy.

Still, this formula is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids which will ensure your dog gets exactly what he needs. If your Pitbull is sensitive to some of the ingredients mentioned above, or is simply a picky eater, then feeding him with this recipe is definitely a safe bet.

5. Taste of The Wild Grain-Free Premium High-Protein Dry Dog Food – High Prairie Adult – Roasted Bison and Venison

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Looking for a highly-digestible energy source for your dog that doesn’t contain unhealthy grains? Try out the Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. The proteins in this recipe come from Buffalo and bison meat which makes this dog food a great choice for dogs that are allergic to other common sources of protein.

The carbohydrates contained in this formula come from peas and sweet potatoes, which will deliver the necessary amount of energy to your pup while being extremely light for digestion.

Taste of the Wild High Prairie is rich in antioxidants, as well as in probiotics that will ensure your Pitbull’s digestion is healthy and complete. Thanks to the high value of amino acids the absorption of minerals will be optimized which will inevitably result in a healthier and happier dog.