One of the biggest factors in being a responsible pitbull owner is
providing your pet a healthy diet. Developed initially for sports like
bull baiting and dog fighting, pitbulls are high energy and athletic
dogs that require plenty of exercise. To gain the energy needed for
their activities, pitbulls require a balanced diet of proteins,
carbohydrates, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Providing your
pitbull regular meals that meets its basic diet requirements will not
only keep your dog happier, but also help to avoid long-term health
problems. Here are factors to consider when choosing the best diet for
Provide A Balanced Diet -
Regardless of the type of dog food you offer your pitbull, it needs to contain the proper ratio of nutrients needed for keeping it strong and healthy. Choose a quality food that provides the essential ingredients needed for pitbulls within these general percentage ranges:
35-40% High Quality Protein
14-17% Animal Fat
Do Not Overfeed -
Unfortunately, pitbulls have a tendency to overeat and become obese when given the chance. A healthy pitbull should be lean and well-muscled. Just like humans, the metabolism rate of individual dogs will vary so the diet should be structured to meet your pet's basic needs without overfeeding. It is best to feed your pet at least twice a day in amounts that do not allow for food to be available on a constant basis. Free feeding can lead not only to weight problems, but also long-term health problems such as joint and digestive tract disorders. It is best to set exact times for daily feedings and stick to them. On average, adult pitbull requires around 20 ounces of food a month and should have a body with a tucked-in stomach and ribs that can be easily felt through the muscles.
Like all dogs, pitbulls are carnivores that require diets consisting of mainly high quality animal source proteins. Most experts agree that pitbulls like a variety of texture and recommend diets that are a combination of both dry and wet dog foods. Regardless of the type of food you offer your pitbull, the following should be kept in mind.
Food For Pitbull Puppies -
Pitbull puppies require higher amounts of nutrients than mature dogs. It is best to feed a developing puppy on high quality dry kibble created especially for large breed dogs. Wet food can also be mixed with the dry kibble, but should be added sparingly. Too much wet food can result in plaque formation on the teeth. It is also important that you not feed human table scraps to puppies as they can easily lead to digestive health problems in younger dogs.
Dry Dog Food -
Dry dog food is convenient to store and usually less pricy than other types of food. But the quality of commercial dry dog foods can vary greatly because many are manufactured from low quality grain fillers and meat by-products. Premium dry dog foods should consist of human-grade sources of protein like chicken, lamb, beef and venison. Ideally, 70% of the food's protein should come from quality animal sources and not from plant sources like rice, soybeans, corn or peanuts. These plant sources of proteins provide little or no nutritional value and will not meet the energy demands required for a healthy pitbull. Check the ingredients of any dry food you use to make sure it is manufactured with the highest quality ingredients that are derived from animal protein sources.
Semi-Moist and Wet Dog Food -
Semi-moist dog food is a combination of dry food mixed with water or wet dog food and is highly preferred by pitbulls for its variety of texture. However, many wet foods often contain high amounts of sugar that can affect your dog's long term health. Always check the ingredients of any wet food you use to be sure that it does not contain sugar or is comprised of mostly plant fillers. It is also not recommended that a pitbull diet consist entirely of wet food as this can lead to teeth and digestive tract problems.
Raw Foods -
A raw food diet for pitbulls, consisting of uncooked red or game meats, can have beneficial health effects for your pet's teeth, coat, skin and digestive tract. The main focus in a raw food diet is the meat itself. It is important that a raw food diet for dogs include not just the meat and bones, but also other organs like the liver, kidneys and heart. Pitbulls love raw meat and they love to chew, so a raw food diet can be a viable option. However, keep in mind that any raw meat you provide your dog should be as fresh as any type of meat you would consume. It is also recommended that you not offer you pitbull cooked bones; especially chicken bones as they can easily splinter and cause chocking or swallowing problems.
Pitbulls love treats, but treats should be offered sparingly so they do not interfere with your dog's primary diet. Surprisingly, pitbulls love vegetables. In addition to meat flavored treats and chew-bones, providing your pet with tasty vegetables like uncooked greens or carrots several times a month will keep them happier and healthier. As with all dogs, human table scraps should not be given to your dog for health reasons.
Vitamin and Mineral Supplements -
As long as you provide your pitbull with a well-balanced diet, it should receive all of the vitamins and minerals needed for good health. If, however, your dog is showing signs of lethargy, dry skin or other health problems, a liquid supplement may need to be added to the food. This should only be done when necessary and is best undertaken in consultation with a veterinarian.
Making sure your pitbull receives a well-balanced diet that is high in protein is the best thing you can do for its long-term happiness and health. Whether you serve your dog dry, wet, raw or a combination of these types of dog food, make sure the diet is comprised of the proper ingredients as described above and offered in amounts that do not lead to overeating. By doing so, you can be assured that your pitbull will have a happy and healthy life.
View all articles on Pitbull Diets.