15 Best Dog Foods for American Pitbull Terriers: Our 2019 Feeding Guide

When you hear the word “Pitbull,” do you picture an aggressive guard dog?

Chewy Online Dog Supplies


30% Off at Chewy.com

+ Free Shipping

Save Now

It is unfortunate but true that Pitbulls get a bad rap for being mean when, in fact, aggressive behavior is more often a result of mistreatment than actual temperament. Something else you may not realize is that the word “Pitbull” does not refer to a breed but rather to a type of dog descendant from terriers and bulldogs. The American Pitbull Terrier is one such breed.

The American Pitbull Terrier is a medium-sized pure breed that has a solid build and a short coat. Though his muscular body may look intimidating, these dogs are in fact some of the friendliest and most people-oriented dogs on the planet. Keeping an American Pitbull Terrier as a pet can sometimes be a challenge due to their high energy levels and the stigma attached to the breed, but they are worth it.

If you want to keep your American Pitbull Terrier healthy, feed him a high-quality diet. Keep reading to learn more about your dog’s dietary requirements and to see our top 15 picks for the 2019 best dog food for American Pitbull Terriers.

Understanding an American Pitbull Terrier’s Diet Requirements

All dogs require a balance of the three macronutrients in their diet – protein, fat, and carbohydrate. The first two of these are best when they come from animal-based sources because dogs are evolved to derive nutrition more efficiently from animal sources than from plant sources. This simply means that your dog’s food should be built around meat, poultry, or fish with animal-based fats (like chicken fat and salmon oil) for energy and essential fatty acids.

It is important to feel your Pit Bull a high-protein, low-grain dog food with meat as the first ingredient. – PetCareRX.com

Dogs do not have any specific requirements for carbohydrates in their diet and, in fact, some American Pitbull Terriers have trouble digesting certain carbs. Your best bet is to stick to a grain-free diet to reduce the risk for digestive issues (including food allergies) and look for digestible carbs like starchy vegetables, beans, and legumes. Your dog’s diet should also contain vitamins and minerals with beneficial supplements like probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin.

  • Puppy American Pitbull Terriers – Puppies require a minimum of 22% protein and 8% fat in their diet. Protein provides the building blocks for healthy muscle and fat is a concentrated source of energy to fuel growth. Make sure both of these ingredients come from quality animal sources to maximize bioavailability and choose a grain-free recipe if you can. You may also want to consider a large-breed formula because they contain controlled levels of calcium and phosphorus to prevent the overgrowth that could predispose your American Pitbull Terrier puppy to skeletal issues in adulthood.
  • Adult American Pitbull Terriers – As an adult, your dog requires a minimum of 18% protein and 5% fat in his diet. Because American Pitbull Terriers have so much muscle mass, however, more protein is better – aim for 25% to 30%. Your dog also needs plenty of fat for energy, but you don’t want him to gain too much extra weight. A large-breed adult recipe may be just what you need.
  • Senior American Pitbull Terriers – When your American Pitbull Terrier starts to get older, his metabolism may slow down. This means that he’ll need fewer calories on a daily basis, but his needs for protein will remain high. You can choose to simply feed him less or switch to a senior or weight management formula, as long as his basic needs are still being met.

If you’re not sure what type of diet is best for your American Pitbull Terrier, talk to your veterinarian! Your vet will be able to help you guess at your dog’s adult size to help you choose between a regular or a large-breed kibble. He’ll also be able to make specific dietary recommendations based on your dog’s health status and age.

Pit Bull laying on the ground waiting for food

Special Dietary Considerations for American Pitbull Terriers

The American Pitbull Terrier is a fairly new breed in terms of AKC recognition, though the type has been around for many years. Due to the breed’s varied history, there is a lot of potential for this breed to develop health problems.

Here is a quick list of the health problems to which the American Pitbull Terrier may be prone:

  • Allergies
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Demodectic Mange
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Heart Disease
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Tumors

Most of the American Pitbull Terrier’s health problems can be divided into categories for allergies or skin problems, musculoskeletal issues, and heart problems. Let’s take a closer look at these categories.

All dogs have the potential to develop allergies, but the American Pitbull Terrier seems to have a higher risk than many breeds. In most cases, these allergies are caused by environmental allergens such as grass, pollen, dust, and fleas but they can also be related to food. Some of the most common food allergies in dogs include wheat, corn, and soy as well as common proteins like beef, chicken, and pork. Untreated allergies can lead to chronic skin problems including recurrent ear infections.

The American Pitbull Terrier ranges greatly in size from 30 to 60 pounds which puts him in the middle of the spectrum from being a medium-sized to a large-breed dog. Even so, this breed experiences skeletal problems at a higher rate than many other breeds – bout 24% for hip dysplasia and 16% for elbow dysplasia. These dogs may also develop patellar luxation and osteochondritis. Maintaining a healthy body weight is essential for joint health but choosing a pitbull diet supplemented with glucosamine and chondroitin may help as well.

When it comes to heart disease, there are several different types to which the American Pitbull Terrier breed may be prone. Subaortic stenosis and cardiomyopathy are two of the most common. Aortic stenosis is a type of congenital heart defect that is characterized by a narrowing of the connection between the aorta and the left ventricle in the heart. Cardiomyopathy typically affects large and giant breeds but has also been seen in American Pitbull Terriers – it involves progressive dysfunction of the heart muscle and eventual heart failure.

American Pitbull Terrier Feeding Chart

Because the American Pitbull Terrier walks the line between being a medium- and a large-breed, you may need to do a little tinkering to find the right amount to feed him. When your dog is still a puppy, feed him a high-quality puppy food formulated for large breeds. This will ensure that he gets adequate protein to develop strong muscles, but the fat and calorie content is controlled so he won’t grow too quickly. This is essential because overgrowth in puppies greatly increases the risk for skeletal problems.

At 12 months, you can switch your American Pitbull Terrier to a high-quality adult diet. Again, your dog’s needs will vary depending on his size, so you may want to start with a regular adult dog food. If you know your dogs breeding and expect him to be 50 pounds or more, however, you might want to choose a large-breed specific recipe. Whatever you are feeding your dog, follow the feeding recommendations on the package. Puppies should have 3 meals per day and adult dogs 2 meals.

The Best Dog Food for American Pitbull Terriers: Our Top 15 Picks for 2019

Now that you have a better understanding of your American Pitbull Terrier’s nutritional needs, you have the tools you need to choose a high-quality dog food. Remember, protein is the most important nutrient, but your dog also needs fat for energy and carbohydrates for fiber and nutrients. To get you started, here are our top 15 picks for the 2019 best dog food for American Pitbull Terriers:

American Journey Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Food

Most Affordable Food: If you want to give your American Pitbull Terrier a high-quality diet but you don’t have a big budget to work with, this American Journey Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Food is an excellent choice. In addition to being affordable, it is grain-free and rich in glucosamine and chondroitin. This recipe features protein-rich chicken as the main ingredient with grain-free carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and peas. There are also fresh fruits and vegetables to provide natural sources for key nutrients as well as animal-based fats for energy and skin/coat support. You’ll also be glad to know that this formula contains chelated minerals to ensure maximum nutrient absorption.

  • Pros: Affordable price, naturally-grain free, rich in glucosamine and chondroitin, real chicken as the main ingredient, fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy animal fats, chelated minerals
  • Cons: Some dogs are sensitive to chicken ingredients, not large-breed specific

Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Game Bird Recipe

Overall Best Food for American Pitbull Terriers:  When it comes to the best dog food for American Pitbull Terriers, you need a recipe that is loaded with protein and healthy fats but won’t trigger any food allergies or sensitivities. This Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Game Bird Recipe is an excellent option because it contains 38% protein and 17% fat from several sources of premium animal ingredients. This recipe is also entirely grain-free and free from artificial additives that could upset your dog’s stomach. It features high-protein kibble mixed with freeze-dried raw pieces to ensure the maximum flavor and nutrition. Plus, it is supplemented with fresh fruits for antioxidants and other essential nutrients, the chelated minerals and probiotics.

  • Pros: High-protein kibble and freeze-dried raw, premium animal ingredients, grain-free carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables, chelated minerals, probiotics, 38% protein
  • Cons: Some dogs may be sensitive to chicken ingredients, very expensive

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Food

Most Popular Food: Easily one of the most popular dog food brands on the market, Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Food would be a good choice for your American Pitbull Terrier for many reasons. First and foremost, it is rich in premium animal protein from novel sources like salmon and ocean fish. It is also a grain-free recipe, completely free from corn, wheat, and soy ingredients as well as other common allergens. This formula is fortified with chelated minerals to ensure optimal nutrient absorption with vitamin supplements for balance and dried fermentation products for probiotic support. All in all, it is a healthy and high-quality recipe loaded with natural flavor.

  • Pros: Premium novel proteins, grain-free carbohydrates, rich in healthy fats, chelated minerals, dried fermentation products for probiotics, highly digestible
  • Cons: First source of fat is plant-based, could be higher in crude protein

NomNomNow Fresh Dog Food

Super Premium Food: If you want to feed your American Pitbull Terrier the best dog food money can buy, consider NomNomNow Fresh Dog Food. NomNomNow offers freshly prepared dog food made with only the finest ingredients. Not only is the quality of their products difficult to match, but they deliver right to your door so you never have to navigate the pet store again. Simply fill out a profile online with your dog’s information then choose a recipe. NomNomNow will customize the recipe according to your dog’s unique nutritional needs, then deliver it weekly so your dog can enjoy it fresh each time.

  • Pros: Freshly prepared each week, delivered right to your door, wholesome and high-quality ingredients, catered to your dog’s needs, easy to order
  • Cons: Very expensive to keep up with, limited number of recipes to choose from

Zignature Duck Formula Limited Ingredient Dry

Best Food for American Pitbull Terriers with Allergies: Because American Pitbull Terriers are at-risk for food allergies, you may want to feed your dog a recipe designed specifically to prevent allergies. This Zignature Duck Formula Limited Ingredient Dry Food is a great choice for many reasons. First and foremost, it contains a limited number of main ingredients which reduces the risk for triggering allergies and sensitivities. Second, it features a single source of novel protein, duck, to provide a full 27% protein. This recipe is completely grain-free, made with digestible carbohydrates like chickpeas and peas with plenty of healthy fats and natural fibers to support healthy digestion. It also contains fresh fruits and vegetables as well as chelated minerals.

  • Pros: Limited number of main ingredients, novel source of protein, rich in healthy fats, grain-free digestible carbohydrates, fresh fruits and veggies, chelated minerals, rich in antioxidants
  • Cons: Very expensive, main source of fat is plant-based

Nulo Freestyle LID Grain-Free Salmon Recipe Puppy & Adult Food

Best Food for American Pitbull Terriers with Sensitive Stomachs: If your American Pitbull Terrier has a sensitive stomach, you want to choose a recipe made with a limited number of highly digestible ingredients. This Nulo Freestyle LID Grain-Free Salmon Recipe Puppy & Adult Food is a good option because it is formulated for both puppies and adults – this means that you won’t have to upset your dog’s stomach by changing his diet. It features a single source of animal protein (salmon) to provide 30% crude protein as well as plenty of healthy fats. This recipe is completely grain-free, made with digestible carbohydrates like chickpeas and sweet potatoes. Plus, it is fortified with chelated minerals and vitamin supplements for nutritional balance with probiotics for digestion.

  • Pros: Formulated for puppies and adults, limited number of main ingredients, single source of protein, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, chelated minerals, probiotics
  • Cons: Very expensive, main source of fat is plant-based

3 more Top Rated (5 Star) American Pitbull Terrier Adult Foods

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Ocean Formula Dry Food

If you’re looking for a grain-free diet for your American Pitbull Terrier with a low risk for triggering food allergies, consider this Wellness CORE Grain-Free Ocean Formula Dry Food. This recipe features whitefish, herring meal, and salmon meal – all of which are rich in protein and healthy fats but less likely to trigger allergies than common proteins like chicken or beef. This recipe is also loaded with natural fibers to support healthy digestion with probiotics to help.

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Salmon & Potato Recipe

Another way to reduce the risk of triggering your American Pitbull Terrier’s food allergies is to feed him a limited ingredient diet like this Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Salmon & Potato Recipe. This formula features salmon and salmon meal as the main ingredients which provide plenty of protein as well as omega fatty acids. This recipe is completely grain-free and highly digestible, plus it is supplemented with chelated minerals and probiotics.

Nature’s Variety Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe

If you want to keep things simple but know that the food you’re feeding your dog is of the highest quality, consider this Nature’s Variety Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe. This recipe features 70% real animal ingredients with 30% fruits, vegetables, and other wholesome ingredients. It is entirely grain-free and highly digestible, made with cage-free chicken and chickpeas. It is rich in healthy fats and supplemented with dried organ meats for a boost of nutrition and flavor.

3 More Top Rated (5 Star) American Pitbull Terrier Puppy Foods

Merrick Grain-Free Chicken & Sweet Potato Puppy Recipe

If you want to get your American Pitbull Terrier started off on the right foot, try this Merrick Grain-Free Chicken & Sweet Potato Puppy Recipe. This recipe features 55% protein and healthy fat ingredients with 45% from produce, fiber, and beneficial supplements – it is entirely free from grains and artificial additives. This recipe is made with real chicken as the main ingredient with sweet potato for digestible grain-free carbohydrates. It is also supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables, chelated minerals, and dried fermentation products which act as probiotics.

Earthborn Holistic Puppy Vantage Grain-Free Dry Food

For a healthy recipe that nourishes your American Pitbull Terrier puppy’s body from the inside out, try this Earthborn Holistic Puppy Vantage Grain-Free Dry Food. This formula features chicken meal as a concentrated source of animal protein with grain-free carbohydrates like peas and flaxseed. It is loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables to provide fiber and to act as natural sources for key nutrients. Plus, is contains chelated minerals to ensure nutritional balance and probiotics for healthy digestion.

Victor Active Dog & Puppy Formula Grain-Free Dry Food

If you’re worried about upsetting your American Pitbull Terrier puppy’s stomach, this Victor Active Dog & Puppy Formula Grain-Free Dry Food might be a good option. Formulated for both puppies and active adult dogs, this could be the only formula you ever need to feed your dog. It features beef, chicken, pork, and fish to provide 33% protein with numerous sources of healthy animal fats. Plus, it is rich in fiber for healthy digestion with dried fermentation products for probiotic support.

2 More Picks for Senior American Pitbull Terrier Foods

Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Organic Senior Recipe

As your American Pitbull Terrier gets older, his metabolism may slow down but his need for high-quality nutrition won’t change. This Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Organic Senior Recipe is a great choice for older dogs because it is made with high-quality, organic, digestible ingredients. This recipe features protein-rich chicken as a single source of animal protein with grain-free carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and chickpeas. It is loaded with superfoods as well and supplemented with chelated minerals and probiotics to boot.

Solid Gold Young at Heart Senior Recipe Grain-Free Dry Food

When your American Pitbull Terrier starts to get older, switch to a senior recipe to ensure that his nutritional needs are met without putting him at risk for obesity. This Solid Gold Young at Heart Senior Recipe Grain-Free Dry Food is a great choice because it features all-natural ingredients such as chicken, sweet potatoes, peas, and lentils. It is highly digestible and contains plenty of healthy fats as well as fresh fruits and vegetables to provide natural sources for key nutrients. It contains 27% crude protein and 9% fat, plus it is supplemented with probiotics to support healthy digestion.

Our FAQ and American Pitbull Terrier Feeding Guide

Breedsy Guide to Feeding a Pitbull

Once you’ve gone through the hassle of finding the best dog food for American Pitbull Terriers, you want to keep it fresh, so your dog gains the maximum benefit from it. Rather than pouring the food into a plastic tub, find one large enough to fit the whole bag. Dog food bags are treated on the inside to keep the food fresh, so you don’t want to lose that by emptying it into another container. You should also make sure that whatever container you choose is airtight.

In addition to storing your dog’s food properly, you should also think about how you serve it. Eating too fast or too much at once can be bad for your dog, so find a bowl large enough that it spreads the food out a little bit or try a slow-feed bowl. In terms of materials, look for something that won’t harbor bacteria and is easy to clean – stainless steel and ceramic are good options.

And now, here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about feeding an American Pitbull Terrier:

  1. How much food should I feed my American Pitbull Terrier? – The amount of food you offer your American Pitbull Terrier will vary depending on his size which can range from 30 to 60 pounds. Generally speaking, however, you can expect to feed him between 3 and 5 cups per day, depending on the calorie content of the food you choose. The best way to determine how much to feed your dog is to follow the feeding recommendations on the package according to his age and body weight. If your dog weighs over 50 pounds, you might consider a large-breed dog food just to make sure he gets the right nutrients in the right amounts.
  1. How many times a day should I feed my American Pitbull Terrier? – The American Pitbull Terrier walks the line between being a medium and a large-breed dog, but dogs in both categories do best with two meals per day. If your dog is particularly active or you train him for dog sports, a small third meal or a snack between meals may be appropriate. You should also consider feeding puppies three meals a day to make sure they have a steady influx of energy to support their growth and development.
  1. What kind of food do American Pitbull Terriers eat? – Most dog owners agree that dry food is the most cost-effective and convenient option in dog food. You need to make your own, decision, however, and you should consider your dog’s individual needs and preferences. Raw food is the most nutritious food out there, though it is extremely expensive. Dehydrated and freeze-dried foods offer similar quality at a somewhat more affordable price point, and they have a longer shelf-life. Because the American Pitbull Terrier is a medium-to-large breed, you might be able to afford feeding him one of these foods. If he simply eats too much to make it affordable, however, look for a high-quality dry food instead.
  1. What vegetables are good in a American Pitbull Terrier food? – Because American Pitbull Terriers often have trouble digesting grains, vegetables are an important ingredient to look for in dog food. Vegetables can be used as a grain-free source of carbohydrate energy in addition to providing fiber and essential nutrients. Here are some of the best vegetables for dogs:
    • Asparagus
    • Broccoli
    • Brussels sprouts
    • Carrots
    • Cauliflower
    • Cucumber
    • Green beans
    • Peas
    • Pumpkin
    • Spinach
    • Sweet potato
    • Zucchini

    Not only should you look for vegetables in your dog’s food, but you can also feed him fresh vegetables as a low-calorie snack. Not all dogs like vegetables, but you can make them more palatable by freezing them for a refreshing snack in the summer or mix them into his food.

  1. Do American Pitbull Terriers need grain-free dog food? – There is a great deal of controversy regarding the benefits and long-term safety of feeding dogs a grain-free diet. Though the jury is still out, one thing that is for sure is that American Pitbull Terriers have a higher risk for allergies than many breeds. It is also a known fact that grains are among some of the top food allergens for dogs, so even if your dog doesn’t have allergies now, he may develop them in the future. If you want to spare yourself the hassle of changing your dog’s diet several times over the course of his life, you may want to start with a grain-free diet.

A Final Word

No one knows your American Pitbull Terrier as well as you do so, while the breed itself may sometimes get a bad rap, you know your dog to be a loving and faithful companion. As such, you should do whatever it takes to make sure he stays happy and healthy for as long as possible.

By now you’ve learned all you need to know about your dog’s nutritional needs in order to buy the best dog food for American Pitbull Terriers that you can afford. Take what you’ve learned here and put it into action while also considering your dog’s individual preferences.

As always, if you’re still not sure where to look, try one of the top 15 best dog foods for American Pitbull Terriers that we’ve reviewed above!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *