US Vet: “This is the Best Dog Food for Pitbulls”

Picking the best dog food for your Pittie can be a challenging task. As the owner of a medium-large muscular build doggie, you need to keep your Pittie’s diet balanced so that she wouldn’t gain too much or lose weight. Therefore, you have to make plenty of decisions, from considering Fido’s life stage and health requirements to ensure that she gets all the proper nutrients from the highest quality sources. All of this with the abundance of information might be overwhelming.

I used my 12 years of Veterinary experience and reviewed over 30 dog food products to find the best dog food for Pitbulls.

After considering the nutritional needs along with genetic health conditions that Pitbulls tend to have, I found that “Acana Heritage Dry Dog Food” is the best overall food for adult Pitbulls. In addition to meeting my dietary criteria for Pitties, it has the best combination of nutrients and quality sources.

But I understand that no two Pitbulls are alike, and your Pittie might have a different life stage or have different needs. That’s why I prepared a shortlist of the best Pitbull foods that address the most common Pitbull needs. 

In addition to picking the best products for your pooch, I outlined my process for choosing dog food. I want you to know what gets inside the furry stomach. The process is written in plain & simple English that will help you make wiser dietary decisions for your Pittie.

I encourage you to read our review process and check out our in-depth reviews below so that you’ll be able to come up with your own dietary decisions.

Let’s get started.

Before You Pick The Best Food For Your Pitbull

Handsome Pitbull with a bandana scarf is posing to the camera on an incredible view

There’s no such thing as one food that fits all Pitbulls. While I did my best to find the best food for most Pitbulls, you might prefer to pick a more specific formula.

That’s why I elaborate here our main considerations while reviewing the best dog foods for Pitties.

You can divide your research journey into 3 steps:

The rest of the guide will show you how to pick the right food for your Pitbull’s life stage, how diet helps in common Pitbull health issues, and what to look for on the label.

For your convenience, I (Dr. Libby Guise) shortlisted 15 dog foods. These foods were carefully selected and should satisfy your Pittie’s needs. I also noted which food is best for certain life stages or particular health issues.

After going through the shortlist, you can find additional considerations that might be of interest to you and your fur-baby.

Finally, I answered the most popular questions that I’m being asked regarding Pitbulls’ nutrition and diet.

Please keep in mind, while I tried to do my best to find the best food for your Pitbull, it would be a good idea to understand how and why we made our decisions.

The recommendations in this review are not intended to replace the doctor-patient relationship. Always consult your veterinarian before making major adjustments to your furbaby’s diet.

The Right Diet For Puppies, Adults, And Senior Pitbulls

Two Pitbull puppies playing

Muscular and full of energy, the medium-large pitbull requires animal-based proteins and healthy fats to support lean muscle mass and help provide needed fuel for their activity level. 

Levels of proteins, fats, carbs, and other macronutrients will vary depending on your furbaby’s age and stage of life.

  • Puppies- When it comes to puppies, you’ll want to feed a diet that’s protein-rich and moderately high in fat to fuel growth and activity. Rely on animal-based ingredients to provide both protein and fat. Meats such as beef, chicken, fish, and lamb are rich in amino acids and other essential nutrients. 

    Digestible carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains provide essential vitamins, minerals, and additional energy for highly athletic pups. Like many large breeds, these dogs need the right balance of calcium and phosphorus to help ensure proper long bone growth. Products formulated for large-breed puppies should provide the correct levels of these minerals.
  • Adults- As your pooch enters the adult years, he’ll continue to require a high-protein diet from real meat sources. Animal-based proteins provide the essential amino acids to support healthy muscle mass. You’ll also want to ensure that the fats include omega fatty acids, which help ensure brain, coat, and skin health.

    For other macronutrients, look for whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in the ingredients. These digestible ingredients offer rich sources of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Again, you want a complete balance of essential nutrients. 
  • Seniors- Pitbulls may slow down when they reach about 7 years or older. As a result, they’ll need less energy to fuel their decreased activity level. Look for moderate fat diets with lower carbs, but don’t skimp on the protein. Your furbaby still needs essential amino acids to maintain and repair muscle in his senior years. 

Daily Calorie Requirements

Pitbulls can range between 30 and 85 pounds as adults, so their caloric needs will vary.

Adults: 

  • For an average-size pitbull (about 45 pounds) with normal activity levels, the caloric requirements are about 1100 kcal/day 
  • An active pitbull needs approximately 1750 kcal/day.

Seniors: A 45 pound senior would require approximately 875 calories per day

Feeding Quantity & Frequency

The amount of food that you feed your pitbull every day will depend on your pal’s age, sex, weight, and activity level. By using the number of calories per day above and dividing the value by the number of calories per cup of food, you can get a starting point for feeding your pup. The package label should also have general feeding guidelines.

Targeted Diets

As a stocky, well-muscled breed, Pitbulls may require targeted diets to keep them in peak condition. Owners who desire to add bulk to their pooch so that they fit the breed standard may choose diets that help add muscle or weight to their pup.

Diets to Build Muscle Mass:

First off, you should wait until your Pitbull has a mature body frame before trying to add bulk. Then you can select food with high-quality ingredients. Focus on macronutrients that support lean muscle mass and a strong bone structure:

  • Protein – Use animal protein sources for essential amino acids.
  • Vitamins – B complex and E Vitamins aid proper absorption of other macronutrients. B vitamins are water-soluble and help the growth process. As an antioxidant, Vitamin E supports cell membrane formation and helps to slow the development of muscle conditions.
  • Calcium – Calcium and phosphorus are necessary for strong bones, and they play a role in proper muscle function.
  • Choline – Choline is a vitamin found in organ meats and spinach that appears to help with normal muscle movement.

Diets for Weight Gain:

  • Protein – To gain weight safely, Pitbulls need a protein-rich diet that provides essential amino acids for building lean muscle mass. Otherwise, you may be packing on excess fatty tissue which can cause obesity and health problems. Don’t go below 30% protein when your goal is weight gain.
  • Fats – Healthy fats including omega fatty acids provide fuel for your active dog, and they also help support the skin and coat. Don’t overdo the fats, but aim for a moderate level around 14-17% of the diet.
  • Carbohydrates – When it comes to carbohydrates, avoid fillers and aim for complex sources such as carrots, potatoes, and whole grains. These ingredients take longer to digest and provide more consistent energy throughout the day. Keep carbs in the 20-30% range. 

The Appropriate Nutrition For Common Pitbulls Issues

Sporty Pitbull trying to lose some calories by exercising with a small basketball in the dog park

Some health conditions are more popular among Pitties than other dog breeds. Each breed inherits some genes that can be associated with certain health issues. 

It doesn’t mean that Fido is going to develop these conditions, it just means that Pitbulls have a higher chance as compared to other breeds.

However, it’s possible to reduce the risk by proactively feeding Pitbull with the right nutrients. Here we list the most common Pitbulls health issues and how certain nutrients can reduce risk.

A quick reminder: if you think your special pal suffers from any of these conditions, schedule an exam with your veterinarian to confirm your suspicions. Even with healthy dogs, these dietary recommendations may help prevent future problems. Always check with Fido’s doctor before making changes in his diet.

Skin Problems

Ichthyosis – Usually an inherited condition, ichthyosis involves abnormal development of the outer skin. With this disease, the top layer of the skin and footpads is extra-thick and becomes scaly. It can cause discomfort, open wounds, and infections as the skin continuously cracks and peels. There is no cure for ichthyosis, but diet can help manage it. Look for food that includes omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E to support skin health.

Skin Allergies – As a breed, Pitbulls commonly suffer from food and environmental allergies. Either way, symptoms include itchy skin, excessive stretching, and scratching. If your pooch shows signs of allergies, talk to your veterinarian. It may be time to switch to a grain-free or limited ingredient diet. You should also check the ingredients for sources of omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E.

Hip Dysplasia/Joint Problems

Like many large-breed dogs, Pitbulls can have a genetic predisposition to develop hip dysplasia. With this condition, the hip socket forms abnormally, leaving a shallow cup. As a result, the head of the femur moves around too freely in the joint and damages the cartilage. A Pitbull with hip dysplasia may show lameness, chronic limping, or have difficulty climbing stairs. You may be able to reduce the chances of hip dysplasia by controlling your puppy’s rate of growth and weight gain. Use a restricted feeding schedule rather than free-choice and select a lower to moderate calorie diet.

But dysplasia isn’t the only problem Pitbulls may encounter. Their energetic personality can also set them up for injuries including sprains and torn knee ligaments, such as the cruciate ligaments. Later in life, these pups may develop degenerative arthritis.

Diet can help prevent joint disease or at least minimize the effects:

  • Food that’s high in protein can support lean muscle mass 
  • Moderate fat helps to fuel your active pooch without packing on the pounds. 
  • A proper balance of calcium and phosphorus helps maintain strong bones. 
  • Natural sources of omega fatty acids such as fish or fish oil provide anti-inflammatory benefits. 
  • Sources of glucosamine and chondroitin such as chicken meal provide nutrients that help support cartilage health and repair.

Eye Problems

Cataracts – Pitbulls are at high risk for developing cataracts earlier than many breeds. It can be genetic or linked to another condition such as diabetes. If your pooch’s cornea appears cloudy, set up an appointment with your veterinarian. 

Corneal Ulcers – Pitbulls are also prone to corneal ulcers. They often occur after an injury and can be extremely painful. 

Other conditions – Some other eye conditions that these dogs can experience include infections and clogged tear ducts. If your pup has watery eyes and discharge, take him to the vet. 

Allergies – A common cause of runny, crusty eyes is a diet that’s high in carbs and processed ingredients. 

There are some essential nutrients and foods that can help support your pup’s eye health. Look for ingredients such as:

  • Carotene-rich foods such as pumpkin and carrots (think orange colored)
  • Blueberries and other antioxidant-rich ingredients
  • Leafy green vegetables like kale and broccoli that are packed with phytonutrients
  • Natural sources of omega fatty acids such as sardines or salmon

Hypothyroidism

With hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland fails to produce enough thyroid hormone for the body. A Pitbull with this disease usually results in weight gain, skin problems and may lead to anxiety and fear-based aggression. If you suspect that your special pal has hypothyroidism, your veterinarian can run blood tests. Dogs with the disease need hormone replacement therapy.

Although hypothyroidism isn’t curable, you can help manage the symptoms with a proper diet. Look for food with high-quality ingredients:

  • High-protein from animal-based sources, including lean chicken, fish, and turkey
  • Whole fruits and vegetables – except cruciferous vegetables, strawberries, pears, and peaches
  • Free from soy, starchy foods, artificial ingredients, and GMO foods
  • Healthy carbs
  • A balanced blend of vitamins and minerals including iodine, selenium, and zinc

Food Allergies

What pooch isn’t prone to food allergies? Pitbulls are particularly prone to sensitivities to wheat and other grains but can suffer from other food or environmental allergies. So, if your pooch has excess drooling, licking, scratching, or shedding, talk to your veterinarian. You may be able to pinpoint the cause with an elimination diet, or you can try switching to a grain-free food with limited ingredients. 

In addition to going with a hypoallergenic diet, look for ingredients that support healthy skin and coat. For example, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and foods that are rich in antioxidants can help manage allergy symptoms.

Heart Disease

Aortic stenosis Aortic stenosis is a genetically inherited disease that can affect Pitbulls. In this disease, the connection between the left ventricle and the aorta is narrower than normal and the ventricle can’t empty properly. Pups with aortic stenosis may or may not have symptoms. 

Valve Conditions – Pitbulls can also have valve conditions that cause heart murmurs. If your pooch shows coughing, difficulty breathing, collapse during exercise, or muscle weakness, set up an appointment with your veterinarian. 

High blood pressure – High blood pressure can plague Pit Bulls, particularly if they’re overweight.

For Pitbulls with heart conditions, start with a diet that‘s low in sodium and calories. You should also look for protein-rich food with meat as the first ingredient. Limited ingredients products with whole foods such as fruits and vegetables can help add fiber and keep the caloric content down. 

Obesity

Obesity is one of the top health concerns for Pitbulls. In addition to keeping these dogs active, you should:

  • Avoid feeding extra table scraps
  • Feed your furbaby controlled portions on a schedule 
  • Use food that’s high in protein and packed with whole food ingredients for a balanced blend of essential nutrients.

If your pooch needs to drop a few pounds, look for lower calories and carbs and as a moderate fat content.

Bloat/Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV)

As a breed that tends to wolf down its food, Pitbulls are prone to a GDV or bloat. When a voracious eater eats too fast, they tend to gulp air with the kibble. Excess gas in a full tummy can lead to the stomach twisting on itself. Untreated, this is a life-threatening condition. If your pup acts anxious or uncomfortable and has a distended stomach after eating, call your vet.

Some ways you can help prevent bloat include:

  • Using a slow-feed dog dish to keep your pal from gulping dinner
  • Dividing Fido’s daily food into two smaller meals 
  • Limit activity before and after meals
  • Avoid foods with animal fats or oil in the top four ingredients

Ensuring High-Quality Nutrients

Pitbull is drinking water from the fountain

Now that you have information about the basic nutritional needs of Pitbulls and how to adjust their diets if they suffer from some common conditions, we can talk about dog food. 

  • Whole Proteins – Protein from animal sources should be the main ingredient on the label. Meats and meat-based meals provide essential amino acids for healthy muscles.
  • Moderate Fat – Pitties need a moderate-fat diet to fuel their muscles and activity level. Look for ingredients that provide healthy sources of omega fatty acids to promote the skin and coat.
  • Digestible Materials – Look for rich sources of fiber and complex carbohydrates that are easy on the gut. Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables also supply essential nutrients such as vitamins and antioxidants.
  • Includes Probiotics and Other Helpful Supplements – The formula should include digestive support from live probiotic cultures and/or prebiotic fiber. Supplementation with taurine for heart health and glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health are also valuable to help head off common Pitbull issues.
  • Limited Ingredients – Dogs don’t need a smorgasbord of ingredients for a balanced diet. By using food with limited ingredients, you should be able to avoid any foods your pal’s system doesn’t tolerate. 
  • Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food – The AAFCO is a voluntary group of scientists, veterinarians, and nutritionists that has developed balanced nutritional profiles for pet foods. Look for a statement on the label.
  • Ingredients to Avoid
    • Artificial additives, colors, and flavors – Additives can be problematic for pups with food sensitivities, and some artificial ingredients may trigger cancer or other health problems.
    • Simple carbs – Avoid grains like wheat, gluten, corn, and soy as they can cause food sensitivities.
    • Meat by-products – While these foods are a source of amino acids, they have few other nutritional benefits. What’s more, they can be hard to digest and contribute to gut issues.
    • Chemical preservatives – The chemicals BHA, BHT, Ethoxyquin, propylene glycol, and sodium nitrate/nitrite may cause cancer. It’s better to look for foods with natural preservatives such as tocopherols and herbs like rosemary.
  • Manufactured in One of a Limited Number of Countries – Check the label for the manufacturing country to make sure it comes from a nation that uses safe practices. Countries such as the United States, Canada, and Australia use food manufacturing practices and reliable sources for their ingredients.

Our 2022 Review For 15 Dog Foods For Pitbulls

Impatient Pitbull excessively chewing his toy while waiting for his parents to pick him a healthy dog food

We reviewed over 100 products by following the process presented above and classified the best of them based on everyday Pitbull needs. 

We considered the life stage, common Pitbull health issues for each pick and ensured it has the best nutrient sources.

Acana Heritage Dry Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: deboned beef, deboned pork, beef meal, red lentils, pinto beans
  • Key feature: high protein, high fat
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 29% Crude Protein, 17% Crude Fat, 6% Crude Fiber, 12% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 388kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: grain-free, high protein
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Best Overall for Pitbulls
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional level established by the AAFCO Dog food nutrient profile for all life stages

With real beef and pork at the top of the ingredient list, this protein-rich food offers a balance of nutrition to power your Pitbull. The digestible carbohydrates make up 28% of the caloric content to provide needed energy for an active pooch.

Healthy sources of omega fatty acids offer support for the skin and coat. Fruits and vegetables including collard greens, carrots, and apples provide antioxidants and contribute to the balanced blend of nutritious vitamins and minerals.

There are no artificial ingredients, grains, gluten, or fillers in the food. Organ meats provide sources of taurine for heart health and glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support. This product is made in the USA using trusted sources.

Owners say their dogs love the flavor, and it helps clear up allergies and digestive issues.

Diamond Naturals All Life Stages Chicken and Rice Formula

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, Chicken Fat
  • Key feature: nutrient-rich, moderate fat and protein
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein,16% Crude Fat, 2.5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 368al/cup
  • Type of Product: Dry large breed adult food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for Budget
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional needs established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance

With whole chicken as the top ingredient, this food offers animal-based protein to support lean muscle mass. The chicken meal adds a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health.

Salmon oil and flaxseed in the formula are rich sources of omega fatty acids which foster healthy skin, coat, and brain. 

The formula is packed with superfoods for antioxidants and essential nutrients. These whole food ingredients are easy to digest and provide healthy carbs and fiber. The formula also includes probiotics for better gut function.

Customers say the food offers well-balanced nutrition at an affordable price, and dog’s coats are smooth and shiny.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food, Chicken

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Pea Protein, Tapioca Starch
  • Key feature: high protein, moderate fat
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 36% Crude Protein,16% Crude Fat,5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 423 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: grain-free dry food
  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Best for Pitbull Puppies
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional level established by AAFCO Dog food nutrient profile for growth, including the growth of large-sized dogs

With 36% protein from real meat sources, this grain-free puppy food from Blue Buffalo provides the amino acids your growing Pitbull needs to build healthy muscles. The fat content comes from healthy sources of omega fatty acids to support the brain, coat, and skin.

This product has a balanced blend of calcium and phosphorus to support proper long bone development in the growing years. The formula includes other essential minerals and vitamins for health.

Other macronutrients include DHA and ARA for cognitive and retinal development. Whole fruits and vegetables including cranberries and carrots provide antioxidants and other nutrients.

Owners who fed this product to their Pitbull puppies report that their dogs are energetic, look healthy, and grow well.

Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Large Breed Recipe Dry Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, sweet potatoes, potatoes
  • Key feature: high protein, moderate fat 
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 38% Crude Protein,17% Crude Fat,3.5% Crude Fiber, 11% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 386 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free Raw-Infused Dry Dog Food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Adult
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional needs established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for Maintenance

This food starts with deboned chicken as a real meat source of proteins. The chicken and turkey meal add to the protein content and provide sources of glucosamine and chondroitin. With these ingredients, your pal has the nutrients he needs to support healthy muscles and joints.

Salmon meal and lamb provide natural sources of omega fatty acids to bolster skin and coat health in your pooch. Apples and blueberries add antioxidants for cellular health and function.

The ingredients are all-natural and digestible for gut health. There are no grains or gluten in this freeze-dried kibble. It has a balanced blend of essential nutrients.

Owners say the food is fresh, their dogs love it, and it’s easy on the tummy.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Senior Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Pea Protein, Tapioca Starch
  • Key feature: high protein, lower fat
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 30% Crude Protein,12% Crude Fat,7% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 387 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: grain-free dry food
  • Life Stage: Senior
  • Best for: Senior Pitbull
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional level established by AAFCO Dog food nutrient profile for maintenance

This protein-rich food relies on real chicken meat as the first ingredient. The 30% protein content provides essential amino acids to maintain muscle mass in the senior years.

The fat content in the formula is reduced from adulthood to prevent unwanted weight gain. It includes healthy sources of omega fatty acids from Menhaden fish meal and flaxseed to support the skin and coat. There are also natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin to promote healthy joints.

Digestible whole food ingredients provide needed carbohydrates and fiber. The formula includes prebiotic fiber and probiotic microorganisms for proper gut function. To support the heart, taurine is part of the ingredients.

Customers report that their dogs like to eat this food, and they thrive on it.

Bully Max High-Performance Super Premium Dog Food. for All Ages

  • First 5 Ingredients: chicken meal, brown rice, chicken fat, beet pulp, grain sorghum
  • Key feature: high protein, performance
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 30% Crude Protein, 20% Crude Fat, 3.8% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 535kcal/can
  • Type of Product: Dry performance food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for Active Pitbulls
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional level established by AAFCO Dog food nutrient profile for maintenance

This protein-rich food includes whole grains for carbohydrate energy to power your pooches activities. With real meat sources from chicken meal, menhaden fish meal, and egg products, the formula provides essential amino acids to help power and maintain your pal’s muscles.

The high-fat content includes healthy omega fatty acids to support the skin, coat, and brain. Packed with energy, this food will satisfy your pup’s needs when he’s performing.

There are no artificial ingredients in the formula, and it has no corn, wheat, or soy.

Customers who feed this food to their dogs say it helps dogs maintain a high-energy lifestyle without losing weight.

Wellness – CORE Grain-Free Reduced Fat Turkey & Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: deboned turkey, turkey meal, chicken meal,lentils, peas
  • Key feature: high protein,low fat
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 33% Crude Protein,10% Crude Fat,12% Crude Fiber, 8.5% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 366 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-free, protein-rich dry dog food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for:  Weight Loss
  • AAFCO Statement:  formulated to meet the nutritional level established by AAFCO Dog food nutrient profile for maintenance

With this protein-rich, low fat food, you can help your pudgy puppy shed extra weight while maintaining healthy lean muscle mass. Real meat sources comprise the top 3 ingredients to provide essential amino acids.

Digestible carbohydrates and whole foods including broccoli, carrots, and apples provide antioxidants and key vitamins and minerals. The formula includes prebiotic fiber and probiotic microorganisms to support gut function.

The ingredients provide natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health along with omega fatty acids to support a healthy coat and skin. Taurine supplements the formula for heart health.

Owners say the food helps keep their dog’s weight under control and their pups love the flavor.

ORIJEN Original Dry Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Deboned Turkey, Flounder, Eggs, Whole Atlantic Mackerel
  • Key feature: High-protein, moderate-fat for active dogs
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 38% Crude Protein, 18% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 12% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 449kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: grain-free, high protein
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Muscle Gain
  • AAFCO statement: formulated to meet the nutritional level established by the AAFCO Dog food nutrient profile for all life stage

With 38% protein from six animal sources, this food is packed with the nutrients your Pitbull needs to add and fuel healthy lean muscle mass. The fat content comes from natural sources of healthy omega fatty acids.

The grain-free formula uses whole fruits and vegetables including pumpkin, carrots, and apples to supply antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals. Digestible ingredients and probiotics promote gut health. 

There are no rendered meat by-products or artificial ingredients in the formula. The product includes natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health.

Customers say their pups love the kibble and they are happy and healthy.

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: water buffalo, chicken meal, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, peas
  • Key feature: high protein, moderate fat
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Crude Protein,18% Crude Fat,4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 370 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-free dry dog food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Sensitive Stomach
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional level established by AAFCO Dog food nutrient profile for maintenance

With real meat as the first ingredient, the formula provides a protein-rich food for your active Pitbull. Chicken and lamb meals provide digestible sources of protein as well as glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint health.

The natural ingredients are designed to be gentle on your pal’s sensitive stomach. There are no grains, fillers, or artificial additives that can cause digestive upset. Real fruits and vegetables provide sources of antioxidants and essential nutrients.

The formula includes prebiotic fiber and probiotics for digestive support. Rich sources of omega fatty acids help to prevent inflammation. 

Customers say this food has helped clear up allergy and stomach issues in their pups.

Canidae Grain Free Pure Dry Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: Salmon, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
  • Key feature: limited-ingredient
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Crude Protein,18% Crude Fat,4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 496cal/cup
  • Type of Product: Dry LID adult food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for Allergies
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional needs established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance

This food features limited ingredients to help manage your pup’s food allergies. With fish-based protein as the top ingredients, the omega fatty acids provide support for healthy skin and coat. 

With high protein and fat content, this food offers the nutrients your Pitbull needs to maintain lean muscle mass and power an active lifestyle. 

The natural, grain-free product includes natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin for normal joint function. The food is fortified after processing with probiotic microorganisms and antioxidants. 

Customers report that their dogs love the flavor and the food helps clear up skin problems and hair loss in their pups.

Merrick Grain-Free Recipe Dry Dog Food (duck)

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Duck, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes
  • Key feature: grain-free
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 34% Crude Protein,17% Crude Fat,3.5% Crude Fiber, 11% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 389cal/cup
  • Type of Product: Dry adult food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for Skin Allergies
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional needs established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance

This product contains rich sources of omega fatty acids to support healthy skin and coat. The formula is free of grains, gluten, and artificial ingredients that can trigger allergic reactions.

With deboned duck as the top ingredient, the food is protein-rich to power your pooch’s muscles. The fat content comes from healthy sources to provide energy.

Natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin support joint function. The formula includes taurine supplements for the heart. Prebiotic fiber and probiotic microorganisms work with digestible ingredients to promote gut health.

Customers share that their dogs love the flavor and thrive on the formula.

Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: Bison Meal, Peas, Pea Protein, Tapioca, Dried Egg
  • Key feature: Holistic food 
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Crude Protein,18% Crude Fat,4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 400kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Dry Food
  • Life Stage: Adults
  • Best for Heart Health
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional level established by AAFCO Dog food nutrient profile for maintenance of adult dogs

Packed with protein from real meat sources, this formula provides the amino acids to support your dog’s muscle mass. The beef product and taurine supplement help to ensure heart health.

With sources of L-carnitine, the food can help your pal burn fat and maintain a healthy weight. Fat sources include healthy omega fatty acids for skin and coat. 

The formula is grain-free and contains no artificial additives. Whole foods provide digestible fiber along with a balanced blend of vitamins and minerals. Probiotic microorganisms support proper gut function.

Owners say their dogs love this and it helps pups maintain a healthy weight and have firm poops.

Rachael Ray — Nutrish PEAK Grain-Free Natural Open Range Recipe with Beef, Venison & Lamb Dry Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: Beef, Chicken Meal, Whole Dried Potato, Natural Pork Flavor, Tapioca
  • Key feature: Grain-free, nutrient-dense
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 30% Crude Protein,15% Crude Fat,5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 338cal/cup
  • Type of Product: Dry Food
  • Life Stage: Adults
  • Best for Joint Health
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional level established by AAFCO Dog food nutrient profile for maintenance of adult dogs

With beef as the first ingredient, this grain-free food is protein-rich for healthy lean muscle mass. Natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin from chicken meal, beef meal, and lamb provide support for joint function and repair.

The formula includes digestible ingredients and healthy fiber sources. Natural sources of omega fatty acids support healthy skin and coat.

There are no artificial ingredients, additives, or gluten in this food. It includes taurine for heart health and prebiotic fiber to promote digestion.

Customers say their dogs like this food, and it helps them stay healthy and active.

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Large Breed Chicken & Turkey Recipe Dry Dog Food

  •  First 5 ingredients: deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, lentils, peas
  • Key feature: high protein, moderate fat
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 34% Crude Protein,12% Crude Fat,6% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 342 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-free, protein-rich dry dog food
  • Life Stage: Adult Large Breed Dry food
  • Best for Grain-Free
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional level established by AAFCO Dog food nutrient profile for maintenance

With real chicken as the top ingredient, this food offers a protein-rich formula to support your pup’s muscle mass and active lifestyle. The chicken and turkey meal supplement the protein content and add natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint function.

With a moderate fat content that includes healthy sources of omega fatty acids and digestible carbohydrates, the grain-free formula provides energy and essential nutrients for your Pitbull.

The ingredients include real fruits and vegetables for vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. There are probiotic microorganisms and prebiotic fiber in the formula to foster digestive health. 

Owners report that picky eaters love the taste, and it helps clear up allergy symptoms.

Blue Buffalo Freedom Grillers Grain-Free Natural Adult Wet Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: beef, beef broth, water, chicken, chicken liver
  • Key feature: high protein, grain-free
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 7.5% Crude Protein, 3.5% Crude Fat,1 Crude Fiber, 82% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 332 kcal/can
  • Type of Product: grain-free wet food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Wet Food
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional level established by AAFCO Dog food nutrient profile for maintenance

Real beef chunks and beef broth are the first two items listed on this protein-rich wet food. Chicken also appears in the top five ingredients. Together these meat sources provide essential amino acids for lean muscle mass support.

This food features digestible ingredients to support gut health. There are no artificial additives or preservatives and no corn, soy, or poultry by-products in the formula. 

A blend of vegetables and fruits provides your pooch with a balanced source of essential minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.

Owners say the food smells delicious, and even picky eaters come running for this food. Some use it to coat dry kibble so their pups will gobble dinner up.

Is Grain-free Food a Good Option for Pitbulls?

Because some Pitbulls can suffer from food allergies, grain-free dog food may be a viable option for your pup. Before making a switch, talk to your veterinarian to ensure the ingredients in a grain-free formula are the right choice for your furbaby. You may be able to select products with omega fatty acids to address skin conditions in your Pittie.

Some Pitbulls develop a rare type of heart condition known as aortic stenosis. If your pup suffers from this defect, work with your veterinarian. Your dog’s doctor can prescribe medications and monitor the situation. With aortic stenosis, you should feed your furbaby a well-balanced, low-sodium food that has healthy fats. If the formula lacks omega fatty acids, you can supplement with fish oil.

Foods a Pitbull Should Not Eat

Our pups are family members, and we like to share our lives with them. That often goes for favorite foods. Before you share a tidbit with your pooch, check this list of items that you should never feed your pup: 

  • Alcohol, including beer and liquor
  • Seeds from apples, persimmon, peaches, plums
  • Bacon and other fatty meats
  • Candy, gum, mouthwash, and other products that contain xylitol
  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine including coffee and tea
  • Cooked bones
  • Corn on the cob
  • garlic/onions/chives
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • old/spoiled food
  • Rhubarb
  • Tobacco
  • Tomato leaves

Frequently Asked Questions

Adorable Pitbull is staring at the camera and wondering when I'm going to get my food

What can I feed my pitbull to make it big and muscular?
A well-balanced protein-rich diet can help you build muscle in your Pitbull. Look for a high-protein formula with complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. The minerals calcium and phosphorus help to ensure strong bones, and B-complex vitamins, vitamin E, and choline help to provide key nutrients for muscle mass and function.

Is Wet food good for Pitbulls?
Wet and dry foods that are nutritionally balanced are equally good options for Pitbulls. If you have a picky eater or a pup with digestion issues, wet food or a wet-dry mix may be helpful. 

What happens if I try to increase my pitbull puppy’s muscle mass when he’s young?
Puppies need to devote their energy and nutrients to the growth process. If you attempt to build muscle mass in a dog before they reach their mature size, you may damage their bones and muscle tissue. Let your puppy stop growing and give the bones time to harden first. We recommend waiting until your pooch is 18 months to 2 years old.

What foods are Pitbulls allergic to?
The most common food allergies for Pitbulls are wheat, gluten, corn, and soy. However, they can also develop reactions to protein sources from dairy, beef, lamb, pork, and fish. 

How many calories should I feed my Pitbull?
The number of calories your Pitbull requires will vary depending on age and activity level. Refer to the section above on caloric requirements for Pitbulls for some feeding guidelines.

What ingredients are bad for Pitbulls?
In addition to the foods you should never feed your pitbull listed earlier in this review, you should avoid any potential allergens if your pup has food sensitivities.

What vegetables can I feed my Pitbull?
Vegetables that are safe and nutritious for your Pitbull include broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrots, celery, green beans, peas, and spinach.

How do I stop my pitbull from gulping his food too quickly?
Dogs that gulp their food are more likely to get a twisted stomach, so it’s important to slow down the eating process. Some tricks you can use to put the brakes on your pup’s rapid eating include using a slow-feed dog dish, dividing the daily food into smaller portions to feed less at one time, using a timed feeder to control portion sizes, and food-puzzle dog toys.

Can I change his menu to a brand of dog food that’s specifically designed for Pit Bulls?
You should be able to change to a Pitbull-specific food brand, but we urge you to discuss any changes with your veterinarian first. When switching foods, make the change gradually over a few weeks. You can do this by adding a small portion of the new food to the current kibble and slowly changing the ratio until you’re feeding only the new product.

When should a Pit Bull puppy be switched over to adult dog food?
Pitbulls will often reach mature size by one year. At this point, you can begin a gradual change to adult food.

How should I introduce a different food to my dog’s diet?
Some dogs can handle an abrupt change, but for others, it can cause digestive upset. When changing foods, we recommend a gradual introduction. Mix about 20% of the new food with 80% of the old product for 2-3 days then slowly increase the ratio of new kibble every few days until you are feeding only the new food. 

How can I tell if I am feeding the right food to my Pitbull?
The best way to know if you’re feeding the right food to your Pitbull is by ensuring you have a nutritionally balanced product that has quality, whole-food ingredients. You can also monitor your furbaby to ensure that they aren’t showing any symptoms of health issues including allergic reactions, digestive upset, or heart problems. If your furbaby is maintaining a healthy weight and muscle mass, acting bright and energetic and likes his food, you’re on the right track.

The Final Woof

Brown Pitbull is smiling widely after playing with a ball for long time, he's about to get his post workout meal

Pitbulls need a high protein diet with moderately high-fat content to support their bulk and activity level. In addition, as with most larger dogs, rich sources of glucosamine and chondroitin can help prevent common problems with joint disease.

Because these dogs can suffer from food sensitivities and allergies to grains and other foods, grain-free diets with limited ingredients are warranted.

We recommend Acana Heritage Dry Dog Food as the best dog food for Pitbulls based on these nutritional requirements.

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