How To Choose The Best Dog Food For Pitbulls

 pitbull protein food

What’s a good dog food for pitbulls?

It is no secret that the pitbull is one of America’s favorite canines. Despite relentless efforts by some to brand this animal as a dangerous killer, Americans have consistently rejected the demonization of this breed. Unfortunately, the breed is so popular that some pitbull owners have forgotten about the unique characteristics of the breed. When it comes to food, selecting the proper diet for your broad-headed friend must be done with careful consideration.

In this article, we are going to take a look at the features you should use as criteria to evaluate any dog food you might consider buying. The energetic and engaged nature of the pitbull is arguably its most distinctive quality. However, this aspect of their personality depends on good nutrition. A pitbull who isn’t getting the proper nutrition will tend to lay on the couch and sleep all day. It is also generally true that pitbulls have a fast metabolism that requires plenty of fuel to keep your little ball of energy looking strong and healthy. I hope the following guide will be useful as you seek to find the best dog food for pitbulls.

Buyer’s Guide

Deciding what to feed pitbulls can be difficult, with the overabundance of options you can find on the shelves at the store. Every brand promises to be the best brand with the best ingredients, and offers the greatest health benefits for your dog. However, you should not listen to marketing, and instead, make your decision based on knowledge of your dog’s dietary needs. Much of this will depend on your ability to educate yourself about the essentials of canine nutrition. The rest will depend on observing your dog’s individual qualities. For instance, if your dog seems to be itching and scratching all the time, it might be the result of a food allergy.

How Much Should a Pitbull Eat?

best pitbull food

First, let’s talk about what you should not do. You should never allow a pitbull to free-feed. That is to say; you should never just leave the food bag open and allow the dog to eat as it pleases – All too often, they will have a tendency to stuff themselves. This is a natural behavior for all dogs, because of the way they eat in the wild. A pack of wild canines has to eat ravenously when they eat because there is no way to know when the next meal will be.

It is best to feed your dog three small meals a day rather than giving them one large meal, as it will balance their metabolism and keep them happy and energetic all day long. For puppies, each meal should consist of about half a cup of dry food. For adults, three cups per meal would be the preferred amount. As your pitbull grows older, you may notice their metabolism slowing, resulting in weight gain. This doesn’t happen to all pits, but it is common. Keep your eye out for any weight issues with your dog so you can adjust their food intake accordingly.

So what is the best food to feed a pitbull? The best diet for pitbulls is a diet rich in protein, carbohydrates, and fat. However, these nutrients are not all created equal.
High-quality sources of these three nutrients are an essential part of your dog’s health. In choosing the best food for pitbull puppies and seniors, you need to be especially careful about nutrient quality because of their digestive and immune systems are not as strong as those of an adult dog. You must also consider any allergies your dog might have. In our experience, pitbulls are not particularly prone to allergic food reactions, but it is still something you need to consider.

Allergies are usually not life threatening for an adult dog, but they can be a risk to the life of a puppy. The trouble is, you never truly know your dog’s allergies until they are exposed and show a reaction. In the case of a small puppy, you cannot afford to take this risk. As such, you should go ahead and buy hypoallergenic (low risk of allergic reaction) puppy food to be on the safe side. You can always experiment later when they are old enough.

Any food you select should contain:

  • 45% protein
  • 25% fats
  • 30% carbohydrates

Protein Requirements

Pitbulls are an active and muscular breed that requires plenty of protein. AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) recommends a minimum of 18% protein content for adult dog food and a minimum 22% for puppies. However, a pitbull needs a bit more. 45% protein is ideal, but it is wise not to exceed this number. If you do, your dog can experience serious health problems, and you will experience some problems of your own due to horrible flatulence issues!

Some dogs are allergic to beef or other common meats. If your dog is among them, you will need to choose a fish based dog food for allergies. For a pitbull, the protein in food must come from good sources like meat, eggs, and fish, not low-quality sources like wheat and bone meal.


You might be surprised to find that it is perfectly natural for dogs to ingest plant-based carbohydrates. For instance, coyotes have been known to raid watermelon fields. Some people consider carbs to be filler because dogs do not require complex carbohydrates to survive. When trying to find a great dog food for pitbulls, you need to make sure the carbohydrate level is not higher than 30%. Any more is just waste. The most common source of carbohydrates in dog food is grain. This may work well for humans, but it isn’t so good for dogs. Grain can sometimes cause skin infections (i.e. yeast infections), so the best dog food for healthy skin should derive its carbohydrates from elsewhere.

Carbohydrates are also very important for maintaining the muscular appearance that is desirable for this breed. When your pitbull’s body cannot get enough energy from carbohydrates, they will start burning fat and muscle. This results in a skinny pitbull.


Fats are essential for canine digestion and nutrient use. It is no coincidence that dogs love to eat anything that is greasy or fatty. Their bodies require fat reserves to make use of certain essential vitamins. Naturally, you don’t want to overdo it, lest you’ll wind up with a big fat dog that looks like a barrel with legs. As a short-snouted animal, pitbulls can develop breathing problems if they become overweight due to their relatively narrow nasal passages.

Common sources of fat for dog food include chicken fat, pork fat, cottonseed oil, vegetable oil, soybean oil, fish oil, safflower oil, and a whole lot more. Virtually any fat can be safely ingested by dogs, but we personally prefer to stick with simple fat from meat. This is more like the diet that they would eat in the wild. What’s a good dog food for pitbulls? When it comes to fat content, a healthy dog food for pitbulls should contain at least 25% fat.

Minerals and Vitamin Requirements

When choosing the best pitbull food, you should not concentrate only on the “big three” (fats, proteins, and carbs). Canine bodies require vitamins and minerals just like we do. Vitamin K, for instance, is important for blood clotting and healthy bone growth. Likewise, vitamin B1 is essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates and even has a slight effect on brain functions. Vitamin B6 is important because of its role in glucose generation. As glucose is the primary source of cellular energy, your dog’s activity level will be directly affected by this nutrient or the lack of it. A healthy dog food for pitbulls should contain a wide assortment of various vitamins that are deemed essential.

Food Allergies

Skin allergies in pitbulls are somewhat common. These can sometimes be mistaken for mange, but are distinctly different in their effects. Mostly, these are the result of dogs eating things that nature had never intended them to eat. Unfortunately, there is no way to ensure a dog food will be completely hypoallergenic. You can also avoid obviously allergenic dog food.

The recommended food for pitbulls is a grain-free food. Grains like wheat and corn make great energy sources for us, but dogs need a food for sensitive skin like one made with oats and quinoa. Pitbulls are not known to have a sensitive stomach. Mine sometimes seem like garbage disposals in he will eat nearly anything. However, this does not mean you should let them do so. Control all known allergens as soon as you notice even the slightest symptom of a reaction.

What dry dog food is best for pit bulls?
We have already discussed the qualities you should look for when trying to select the best dog food for pitbulls. Now, we’re going to look at ten contenders to see who is worthy to feed your furry knuckleheaded friend.

  1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food – best food for pitbulls

This brand is designed for maximum nutritional benefit. While Blue Buffalo food tends to be expensive, we wouldn’t call the extra money a waste. They have gone through great lengths to make sure that their food conforms to a high standard, and this one is no exception. For a dog as active as a pitbull, a higher standard of nutrition will help to lead their typical rambunctious lives. This product is best-suited for an animal with high nutrient requirements, such as older dogs or those recovering from illness.

dry dog food is best for pitbulls

Key Features And Benefits:

  • Designed to be holistic
  • Made from whole deboned chicken
  • Contains no artificial preservatives or flavors
  • Includes whole grains like rice and oatmeal
  • Contains a wide range of fruits and vegetables
  • Includes omega-3 fatty acids for healthier hair and skin
  • Glucosamine added for joint health
  • Contains Lifesource Bits, which are basically concentrated balls of nutrition


  • 100% natural ingredients
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Sourced from actual meat rather than meat by-products
  • Heavy on vitamins, especially B vitamins
  • Rich in omega fatty acids


  • Expensive
  • This is one of the company’s cheaper products

Blue Buffalo is a good brand, and its food is natural and holistic. That being said, there are too many ingredients. Although most dogs should be fine, the list of ingredients increases the risk of food allergy. We recommend giving this one to your dog in small amounts at first for proper evaluation of the results.

2. CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Dry Dog Food – best dry food for pitbulls

Like Blue Buffalo, Canidae also puts a lot of emphasis on pure ingredients. The most distinctive feature about this product is that it is made with wild boar meat. This is probably why it is so expensive. It contains many vegetables such as sweet potatoes, peas, and alfalfa. This brand is advertised as having a simple recipe, making it a good choice for a dog with a sensitive stomach or allergy problems.

Canidae Grain Free Pure Wild Dog Dry Formula With Fresh Wild Boar


Key Features And Benefits:

  • Made with wild boar meat
  • Recipe is based on just 7 key ingredients
  • Probiotics added to every grain
  • Includes fresh vegetables
  • Refund guaranteed if you are not satisfied
  • Made with a simple recipe



  • Made with nutrient rich meat
  • The company stands behind their product
  • Simpler recipe means less likelihood of allergies
  • Made with healthy probiotics for proper gut health
  • All-natural


  • Very expensive
  • Contains complex vitamins that may upset some dogs
  • Some reviewers reported gas and diarrhea
  • Meat may be more likely to contain parasites

This product is a step in the right direction, due to its simple recipe.

3. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food – best food for a pitbull

Like our previous choice, Natural Balance provides a simple dog food made from limited ingredients. Aside from a few tocopherol preservatives, this is a natural diet. Being made from fish, it is lean and full of antioxidants. It is also high in omega-3 and omega-6 acids. The other primary ingredient is sweet potato. Dogs are known to love sweet potatoes, and they have a very high potassium content which is an excellent choice.

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food

Key Features And Benefits:

  • 100% grain-free
  • Mostly based on two ingredients: fish and sweet potato
  • Mix of vitamins and minerals
  • Sourced from whole salmon and salmon oil
  • Designed to be a simple blend


  • Limited ingredients equals less chance of a bad reaction
  • No grains at all
  • Сontains few complex vitamins
  • Company invests in research
  • Product has mostly good reviews


  • Relatively low percentages of protein and fat


This product isn’t bad and is a more affordable.The nutritional content for this brand doesn’t seem to be particularly high compared to our other choices. Protein and fat are too low, and we have to ask: Why on earth did they add taurine? This ingredient is normally found in energy drinks. Would you give an energy drink to your dog? Yeah, me neither. Avoid this one.

4. Hill’s Science Diet Healthy Mobility Dry Dog – good food for pit bulls

As the name implies, this product from Hill’s is intended to encourage the good healthy function of bones and joints. The addition of chondroitin and glucosamine are the main ingredients that are said to fulfill this purpose, along with high levels of omega fatty acids. Nutritional figures for this brand show a very high carbohydrate content, but this can be explained by the fact that this product is made specifically for dogs over 55 pounds who require a little bit of extra energy.

Hill'S Science Diet Healthy Mobility Dry Dog Food For Joint Health

Key Features And Benefits:

  • Meant to encourage good bone health
  • Ingredients are all-natural
  • Recommended for dogs over 55 lbs
  • Uses fish oil as a source of omega-3 and omega-6 acids
  • Contains an antioxidant blend
  • Only a few vitamins added
  • Main ingredient is chicken meal


  • Good brand for large dogs
  • Good blend of natural ingredients
  • Doesn’t seem to be overloaded with vitamins
  • Great for the skin and coat


  • Only ideal for large dogs

Verdict: This is a decent choice. we can’t find any serious negatives, and the brand seems to fulfill its claims without an overload of ingredients. We would recommend this one for large breeds, though it would be best to supplement with some beef stock for extra protein.

5. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free – best pitbull food

Here we have another offering from Blue Buffalo, and it shares many of the same qualities that we saw before. The main difference is that this product derives most of its protein from duck, though chicken and fish are also used. Other than that, it contains a simple blend of fruits and vegetables.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Dog Food


Key Features And Benefits:

  • Made primarily with duck
  • Contains Lifesource Bits
  • Grain-free
  • Glucosamine added
  • High in calcium and phosphorous
  • Meant to simulate a wolf diet




  • Completely natural
  • Extremely high in protein
  • Duck is a rare treat for dogs
  • Formulated for good bone health


  • Might be too high in protein for some pits
  • Expensive

This is an excellent brand of food if you can afford it. With a simple high-protein mix based on quality ingredients, it’s hard to find a problem here. The only possible issue is the fact that this food is extremely high in protein, which might give some dogs a bad case of gas and/or diarrhea.

6. Purina Beyond Grain Free Natural Recipe – best dog food for pit bulls sensitive stomach

If you have a pit that doesn’t deal well with gluten (as indeed, some of them do not), then you are the target demographic for this product. Made with eggs and beef, it delivers great protein and fat content. Its carbohydrates are derived from pea flour, cassava flour, and other vegetable sources.

Purina Beyond Grain Free Natural

Key Features And Benefits:

  • Grain free
  • Gluten free
  • Made primarily from dried eggs and beef
  • Intended for dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • Very high in protein, low in carbs and fiber


  • Very high in protein
  • Great for sensitive stomachs
  • Sourced from pure ingredients
  • Dogs seem to like the taste


    • Only comes in small bags
    • Might be too much protein for some
    • Possible safety concerns about using egg material

This one isn’t bad. It has a high protein content, which is great for a pit bull, but a little more fiber would help for digestive issues. Our only real problem is that we have some serious doubts about the safety of using egg material, as it can be a carrier of salmonella.

7. AvoDerm Natural Health Solutions for Senior Health – best food for pit bulls with skin allergies

Avoderm is a little bit different as dog food companies go. Their products contain avocado oils and extracts, having gotten the idea from an avocado farmer. The main ingredient of this dog food is lamb, and it is intended for senior dogs.

Avoderm Natural Advanced Senior Health

Key Features And Benefits:

  • Formulated for older dogs
  • Contains chondroitin and glucosamine for bone health
  • Contains avocado extract
  • High in protein, low in fat
  • Contains DHA to promote eye and brain health


  • Exceptional nutritional value
  • Well-formulated to meet the needs of senior dogs
  • Nice and lean


  • Mainly intended for older dogs
  • Might be too crunchy for dogs with dental issues

This seems like a well-made dog food, but do bear in mind that it is a specialized product intended for one type of dog only.

8. Natural Ultramix Grain – best food for a pitbull

This product from Castor-Pollux intends to provide a balanced mix of the simplest and best dog food ingredients. We like the fact that there is no real gimmick to this product, other than the fact that it has bits of dried veggies.

Natural Ultramix Grain Free Duck, Sweet Potatoes And Whole

Key Features And Benefits:

  • Primary ingredient is duck meat
  • Loaded with good probiotics
  • Grain-free
  • Made to be rich in antioxidants
  • Made with care in the USA
  • Really high in protein


    • Purity of ingredients
    • Good safety factor
    • Good variety
    • Extremely high protein


    • Too low in fiber and carbs for active dogs

This product is a pretty good value for the money. It delivers all the essentials in a no-frills package. Our only possible issue is the possibility that the claims on the label are too good to be true.

9. High Performance – best food to feed my pitbull

This is meant to be some kind of super-fuel for dogs. Based on the packaging, it is being marketed to those who want maximum performance in their dogs. With high levels of both fat and protein, it will surely pack the weight. Speaking of which, it reminds me of a weight gain product.

Key Features And Benefits:

Bully Max High Performance Super Premium Dog Food

    • Meat-based, with very few vegetables
    • Loaded with omega acids
    • Grain-free
    • No corn, wheat, or soy
    • Contains helpful probiotics


    • Definitely good for building muscle
    • Very high caloric value makes it worth the money
    • Contains good, organic brown rice as a carb source
    • Vey high in both protein and fat


    • Probably not suitable for older dogs

We put this one in the same category as taurine. You don’t give energy drinks to a dog, and you don’t give weird workout supplements to dogs, either. We recommend you pass on this one.

Q/A section

Here are a few of the more common questions we have received on this subject:

1. What is the best puppy food for pit bulls?

Once a pup is weaned, the very best dog food on the market for them is probably Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy Chicken Formula. It is specifically made for active pups and contains nothing but the finest ingredients. The total lack of GMO’s or chemicals is also a big plus.

2. What’s the best dog food for pit bulls to lose weight?

If you are dealing with an overweight pit bull, you should definitely switch their food. One of the best choices would be Wellness Core. This reduced-fat blend does a good job of giving your dog the nutrition that they need without the fat that they already have.

3. How much dog food should a pit bull eat?

There is no one right answer to this question, as it all depends on the specific food that you are feeding them. We recommend about 6 cups per adult dog, per day.

What is the best dog food for pitbulls?

Assuming that price isn’t an issue, we would recommend the Blue Buffalo Wilderness High-Protein Diet. This product is packed with lean protein, without being packed with a whole lot of fat, due to its’ use of lean meats like duck. There are no weird or questionable ingredients as far as we can see, and it comes from a trusted name. Pitbulls need a good high-protein diet and plenty of good carbs. The well-rounded mix of fruits and veggies make it the best dog food for pit bulls.

Other Recommendations:
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food: A close second place for many of the same reasons that we chose its cousin.
CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Dry Dog Food: This one offers wild meat, something the others do not.
Hill’s Science Diet Healthy Mobility Dry Dog: A good all-around healthy choice