The keys to a healthy and happy Pit Bull include a balanced diet and plenty of exercise. The American Pit Bull Terrier, throughout all of its life stages, requires structure and repetition especially when it comes to diet and exercise. Food quality is an important factor as is the amounts of food the dog is given. From the time a Pit Bull is weened to its senior years, its dietary needs fluctuate as its needs fluctuate as well.
As stated above, a solid schedule is necessary when it comes to properly feeding your American Pit Bull Terrier. Some pet owners choose to "free feed" their pets, which involves keeping a bowl of food filled for the pet's convenience. "Free feeding," however, creates problems such as overeating. Another problem associated with "free feeding" is that the dog will try to eat after it has been out for a run or other type of exercise. Pit Bulls, as with all dogs, shouldn't eat for up to a half hour after exercise.
Pick a feeding schedule that corresponds with your own to make it easier to get your dog on a feeding routine. An adult American Pit Bull Terrier maxes out, ordinarily, at 68 pounds -- Administer a cup of high quality food at breakfast, lunch and dinner to maintain a healthy weight. Stick to the schedule as strictly as possible, and enrich the time between feedings with exercise and training.
Transitioning a grown Pit Bull that is accustomed to "free feeding" requires patience and determination as the dog may refuse to eat when the food is placed in front of it. Do not leave the bowl of uneaten food available to be eaten at your dog's leisure. Instead, offer it to the dog three hours later to begin the schedule.
Feeding schedules vary depending on the age of your Pit Bull. Puppies require more frequent chances to eat, as they are constantly growing and burning calories with their heightened energy. A quarter of a cup of puppy food, administered up to six times a day, keeps your American Pit Bull Terrier puppy healthy and well fed without overfeeding it.
Not only is scheduling and serving size important in feeding a Pit Bull, the quality of ingredients in your dog's food is just as important in maintaining a healthy and happy pet. A Pit Bull's nutritional needs aren't much different than the needs of an athletic person, meaning protein, carbohydrates and various vitamins and minerals play an important role in the dog's health.
Vitamin D and calcium also make for vital nutrients for a growing puppy, as well as a mature adult. Choose the food you feed your Pit Bull puppy wisely, and pay extra attention to the ingredient labels on commercial foods.
Canned foods are heavily marketed and pricey, but aren't entirely beneficial to a dog's diet. In fact, over-feeding your Pit Bull, or other dog breed, of canned food can result in premature tooth decay as well as irritable bowels. Canned foods make ideal treats when added by the tablespoon to a half-cup of dried commercial dog food. It adds flavor and texture to your Pit Bull's food while giving it a boost of nutrition. The hard chunks of dried food allow for the removal of the soft food particles that wind up between the dog's teeth.
Raw feeding, although a debatable practice among various dog owners, offers further nutrition and variation to your Pit Bull's diet. Raw feeding, not to be confused with giving your pet table scraps, involves the incorporation of fresh diced vegetables and meats with high quality dog food. The extra nutrients found in carrot shavings, diced potatoes and raw egg improve the shine of the Pit Bull's coat and builds healthier muscle mass. Regardless of the age of your American Pit Bull Terrier, introducing raw foods to their diets makes for a healthy improvement on the quality of its life.