Pit Bull puppies are known for their high levels of energy. They will typically spend their days running around your home, exploring, and looking for ways to play. With all that hard play comes a hard crash at the end of the day. They can be a handful as young puppies, but all that energy means that there's never a dull moment in your home.
To keep your little furball happy and healthy well into adulthood, you're going to need to provide them with a high-quality diet from the get-go.
Pit Bulls are very muscular canines that develop quite rapidly. As a result, they need some top-notch fuel to support their growing bodies. Here's a collection of some of the best dog foods for Pit Bull puppies and information on how to find an option that's right for your young pooch.
5 of the Best Dog Foods for Pitbull Puppies
1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
This puppy formula from Blue Buffalo is designed to meet the needs of growing canines. Not only does have optimal levels of calcium and phosphorous, but it also contains DHA.
DHA supports the development of your puppy's brain and eyes. When it comes to protein, this dry dog food is very impressive. It has 36 percent. Most of that percentage comes from deboned chicken. Though, chicken meal and fish meal are also used for a complex amino acid profile.
The kibble itself is small, manageable, and completely grain-free. Mixed in with the standard kibble pieces are Blue Buffalo's LifeSource Bits, which contain a blend of antioxidants, omega fatty acids, and vitamins.
2. Merrick Grain-Free Real Buffalo, Beef + Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food
The grain-free recipe from Merrick can support your dog's health through their puppy years and beyond. It's made up of 38 percent protein. Protein sources include deboned buffalo, chicken meal, turkey meal, deboned beef, and a selection of fish meals.
The fat content is also considerably high at 17 percent, which is great for growing puppies. A great selection of plant-based ingredients is added as well for plenty of vitamins and minerals.
The kibble has blueberries, alfalfa, apples, and much more. Healthy calcium and phosphorous levels, as well as a healthy dose of omega fatty acids, make this food a great option for Pit Bull pups.
3. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Deboned Turkey & Chicken Meal Recipe
Your puppy's muscles can grow to be big and strong with the Wellness Core grain-free dog food. It has 34 percent protein coming from great ingredients like deboned turkey, turkey meal, and chicken meal.
The great thing about this dog food is that it's specifically designed to make your dog lean and strong. There are no grains, artificial preservatives, or unnecessary fillers. Only wholesome ingredients are used, ensuring that your pup's whole body is supported as they grow.
Each piece of kibble is coated in probiotics as well, which help to keep your dog's digestive system in check.
4. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Designed to give your puppy a diet that's similar to their ancestors, the Taste of the Wild puppy formula has everything your dog needs. In fact, it meets all of the AAFCO's guidelines for large dogs.
It has 28 percent protein from a number of different sources. You'll find buffalo, lamb meal, bison, venison, and much more. Healthy complex carbohydrates are also included with sweet potatoes and peas. To help your pup's digestive tract, prebiotics and probiotics are included as well.
The kibble is completely grain-free and has no unwanted ingredients that could potentially upset your dog's stomach or cause an allergic reaction.
5. Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food
This dog food from Earthborn Holistic is a great option for Pit Bull puppies because it's formulated with lean muscle mass in mind. It contains bison meal, beef meal, and fish meal to provide a balanced amino acid profile.
All of those protein sources make up about 32 percent of the recipe. As for fat, this kibble has 18 percent. It has that perfect calcium and phosphorous ratio as well to ensure that your pup grows at an appropriate rate.
Like the previous dog foods, this option is grain-free so that you don't have to worry about allergic reactions.
Recommended Wet Canned Food for Pit Bull Pups
Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Plate Recipe Canned Dog Food
The grain-free Puppy Plate from Merrick is perfect for puppies who need something a bit softer to chew on. Deboned chicken and turkey are the primary protein sources.
Your pup can also take advantage of the chicken broth, which is both delicious and full of important nutrients. Protein makes up about 10 percent of the food while fat makes up 5 percent.
The great thing about this wet food is that it has healthy ingredients you can see, such as peas, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Plate Beef Recipe Canned Dog Food
Another great wet option from Merrick, this food offers a unique taste and host of healthy ingredients. The wet food contains larger pieces of protein, making it a great meal to help your puppy transition to dry kibble.
Roughly 9 percent of the recipe is protein, which comes from deboned beef and beef liver. Healthy sweet potatoes are used for carbohydrates while carrots, peas, and apples give your pooch a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals.
Flaxseed oil and salmon oil are also thrown into the mix for omega fatty acids that can keep your dog's skin healthy.
The Importance of a High-Quality Diet
While many new owners don't realize it, the dietary needs of young puppies are much different than that of an adult dog. Pit Bull puppies go through some significant changes as they transition into adulthood. As an owner, it's your responsibility to support those changes with an appropriate diet.
Puppies actually need a lot more food, as well as all the essential nutrients that come with it, than adult dogs do when compared to their overall weight.
Your young puppy will probably only weigh a few pounds when you first bring them home. However, in about a year's time, they can weigh as much as 60 pounds. Most of that weight is going to be pure muscle.
While Pit Bulls are classified as a medium-sized breed, all of those muscles they are going to develop will actually require a diet that's usually reserved for large breeds. With a poor diet, your precious pup isn't going to have the nutritional support they need to grow up healthy.
This could lead to malnutrition, skeletal issues, and a host of health problems later on in life. Needless to say, it's crucial that you put a lot of thought into your puppy's diet. By being careful during the puppy stage, you can set your dog up for a life of good health and happiness.
Nutritional Requirements for Pit Bull Puppies
The dog food industry is quite vast. You won't be hard-pressed to find a great puppy-specific formula. With that being said, not all dog food options are made the same. If you want your puppy to be healthy, you need to dig a bit deeper and look out for the following nutritional requirements.
According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials, or AAFCO, puppies need a dog food that's made up of at least 22 percent protein. This is much higher than the 18 percent required for adult dogs. Because Pit Bulls are known for their muscular build, it's recommended that you go beyond that 18 percent.
Puppies can benefit greatly with foods that contain over 30 percent protein. When it comes to providing quality food for your pup, you really can't go wrong with more protein.
It's the single most important protein dogs need. Meat-based ingredients like chicken, beef, lamb, fish, and more contain muscle-building amino acids.
Not only do they support muscular development, but protein also helps to provide a steady supply of energy and creates essential hormones for proper organ function.
Examine the Ingredient's List
You should always examine the ingredient's list of any dog food you're interested in purchasing. A real meat-based protein source should be the first thing on the list. This indicates that the ingredient is the most prevalent. You should stick with foods that contain wholesome meats.
Avoid anything that utilizes byproducts or mystery meats you can't identify. They come from questionable sources, which may result in an unwanted reaction in your puppy's digestive tract. Remember, their immune system and gut are still developing. It's more important than ever to provide your growing puppy with food that's made up of healthy ingredients.
A Variety of Sources
As we mentioned earlier, protein is the prime source for amino acids that your puppy needs for proper development and organ function. Many of these amino acids can't be produced by your dog's body naturally, so they need to get them from their food.
No single source of protein is going to have them all, so it's a good idea to supply food with multiple sources of protein. Many manufacturers include complementary protein sources in addition to the one named in the recipe.
One common tactic for introducing a complex amino acid profile is to utilize different species of fish.
Some brands also utilize meat meals. Meat meals are simply ground up bones and organs from an animal. As long as that animal is identified, meals can be an excellent secondary source of protein for your puppy.
Contrary to popular belief, not all fats are bad. In fact, Pit Bull puppies benefit quite a bit from a healthy dose of fat. It helps your dog's body absorb nutrients, nourishes the cells, and keeps the skin supple.
Pit Bulls are prone to experiencing skin issues as they get older, so you should start introducing fat into their diet early on to ensure that their coat stays nice and shiny.
Pit Bull puppies need food with at least 8 percent fat. However, you can go as high as 18 percent. Healthy sources of fat include fish oil, flaxseed oil, and natural animal fat from the protein source. Fish oil and flaxseed oil are preferred, as they contain healthy omega fatty acids.
There are no official guidelines for the percentage of carbohydrates that canines should have. In fact, most manufacturers don't even specify how many carbs are in their products. As a result, it's important that you scrutinize the ingredient's list.
All dog foods contain carbohydrates. However, some utilize higher-quality sources than others.
Carbohydrates play an important roll in how much energy your pup will have. It's always better to go with complex carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes, oats, and legumes. These ingredients are broken down slowly in the body, providing a steady supply of energy that lasts throughout the day.
On the other side of the spectrum are simple carbs. Things like corn, wheat, and soy should be avoided. Not only do produce a quick energy spike and subsequent crash, but they're also not the easiest for puppy's delicate digestive system to process.
Pit Bulls do very well on a diet that has fewer carbohydrates. So, you should make the most out the carbs that your dog does consume by going with a food that has healthy ingredients.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are always a good thing. These macronutrients can come from plant-based ingredients or supplements that are added to the food mixture. Vitamins and minerals support your dog's entire body and help to ensure that the various bodily functions are operating efficiently.
Two of the most important minerals your puppy will need are calcium and phosphorous. Calcium and phosphorous are crucial for your pup's developing bones. If they get too much, they may grow up too fast and suffer from joint problems as an adult.
If they don't get enough, their growth may be stunted. It's a fine balance that you should be wary of.
Thankfully, most puppy foods have the appropriate amounts. In fact, the increased amounts of these nutrients are a big part of what makes puppy formulas different from standard recipes.
Check with the ingredient's list and make sure that the two minerals are included. Ideally, calcium and phosphorous should be included with a 1.2:1. ratio. So, for every gram of phosphorous, there are at least 1.2 grams of calcium.
Pit Bulls are very susceptible to allergies. The breed is notorious for being intolerant to many different types of grains.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction can range from mild to serious. The most common reactions to grains are excessive gas and diarrhea.
The problem with food allergies in puppies is that they can quickly associate that discomfort with their meals. They may start to avoid eating altogether just so that they don't have to worry about dealing with all that pain.
Because grain allergies are so prevalent among the Pit Bull breed, it's recommended that you provide your puppy with a grain-free recipe. Avoid foods with ingredients like wheat, soy, or other grain-based fillers. Instead,
stick with an option that uses complex carbs like pumpkin or sweet potato. They're easier to digest and have plenty of vitamins to benefit your puppy.
Pit Bull puppies grow up very fast. Before you know it, your adventurous puppy will be flashing that signature Pit Bull smile as an adult. Because the puppy stage is so short, you need to make the most out of that developmental time.
With a high-quality dog food that supports their growth, you can rest easy knowing that your pooch will have the strong and athletic body that adult Pit Bulls are known for.