“Pitbull” is an umbrella term for a number of breeds including the American Pitbull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Bully. All originating from experimental breeding done in 19th century England, Ireland, and Scotland, the Pitbull’s ancestors were mixes of terrier breeds and early bulldogs, bred to drive livestock.
Today, Pitbulls are one of the most common pets in American homes, and a growingly popular breed thanks to their goofy looks, loving personalities, and dedication to their families. Don’t let their love of snuggling fool you–the Pitbull is still a strong, muscular breed that needs proper nutrition to maintain good form and health.
Here, we’re going over our picks for the best dog food for pitbulls. Each option is biologically appropriate, and most importantly, super delicious!
Pitbull Nutrition Needs
Pitbulls have the same basic nutritional needs as all dogs: a high-protein diet with a healthy portion of fat and dietary fiber. Dogs are carnivores, but not obligate carnivores like cats who exclusively get their dietary needs met by eating animal protein. Dogs need animal protein, but have adapted over thousands of years of domestication to easily process fibrous foods like fruits, veggies, and grain, and benefit from the additional nutrients.
When choosing a food for your dog, start by asking yourself these questions:
- Is your Pitbull a puppy (3–14 months), an adult (Up to 7), or a senior (7+)?
- How big is your Pitbull? Most are either medium or large.
- How active is your dog?
- Does your Pitbull have any health concerns?
These four factors will determine what and how much you feed your dog, and will help you to narrow down your decision.
Pitbull-Specific Health Concerns
It’s important to note that nutrition can also help to prevent health issues as your dog ages, particularly if you know what to look out for and how to supplement for those specific needs. Some Pitbull specific health concerns include:
- Hip dysplasia
- Kneecap dislocation
- Skin irritation
- Heart defects
- Thyroid disease
By choosing a diet that includes ingredients to support healthy joints, heart function, skin health, and so on, you can help to keep your dog healthier for longer and reduce the risks of your pup experiencing health issues in their golden years.
Best Dog Food for Pitbulls
Our picks for best dog food for pitbulls all include high-quality ingredients and biologically appropriate formulas compatible with the needs of a medium-large breed. Each option includes healthy sources of fat and protein, plus added nutrients that target specific health concerns like joint function, heart health, and immunity.
1. Best Raw: Raw Wild
Give your dog a taste of their wolf ancestors’ diet with Raw Wild’s premium organic elk formula. We’ve put this option in the running for best dog food for pitbulls because of its super clean formula, and the addition of one very special ingredient: wild-caught Alaskan pollock fish oil!
Fish oil is a multi-beneficial dietary supplement that helps to promote cardiac health, healthy skin and coat, and allergy management. Omega-3 fatty acids–which are abundant in fish oils like pollock oil–are also known to promote joint health, so this one ingredient can be a serious game changer in your pitbull’s diet.
- First 5 Ingredients: Elk, Deer, Sunflower Seed Oil, Wild Caught Alaskan Pollock Oil, Potassium
- Food Type: Raw, grain-free
- Guaranteed Analysis: 18% Protein – 10% Fat – 0.45% Fiber – 70% Moisture
- Feeding Instructions: Feed 1–1.5 lbs. per day, or 0.5–0.75 lbs. per meal*
- Cost Per Meal: $10–$15 per meal* – $465.12 for 48 lbs. (best option for savings)
- What Reviewers Say:
2. Best Air-Dried: Front of the Pack
If you like the convenience of kibble, but your dog just never seems to enjoy it, a switch to Front of The Pack might just do the trick. Their dog food is air-dried and looks like little pieces of jerky that dogs absolutely love. For pitties it has lots of clean protein and nutritious sources of dietary fiber that help keep your dog’s tummy regular.
You can choose from chicken or beef, but we’re focusing on the beef recipe.
- First 5 Ingredients: 90% USDA Grass-Fed Beef, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Organic Oats (Gluten Free), Organic Guar Fiber, Organic Beets, Organic Pumpkin
- Food Type: Air-dried, grain-free
- Guaranteed Analysis: 30% Protein – 20% Fat – 4% Fiber – 15% Moisture
- Feeding Instructions: A 50 lb. Pit Bull should eat 1 1/2 cups per day
- Cost Per Meal: $2.70 per day
- What Reviewers Say:
3. Best Fresh Frozen: JustFoodForDogs Beef & Russet Potato
Fresh frozen dog food is a fantastic option if your pitbull has a sensitive stomach, or needs an extra-fibrous diet. Packed full of healthy veggies and dietary fiber, JustFoodForDogs is still protein forward, and will make your dog feel like they are eating human food! If you’ve ever considered making dog food at home, this is the next best thing.
- First 5 Ingredients: Ground Beef, Beef Liver, Russet Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots
- Food Type: Fresh frozen, rain-inclusive without corn, peas, wheat, or soy
- Guaranteed Analysis: 9.5% Protein – 10% Fat – 1.5% Fiber – 65% Moisture
- Feeding Instructions: Feed 1 lb. per day, or 8 oz. per meal*
- Cost Per Meal: $3.82 per meal* – $244.65 for 31.5 lbs. (best option for savings)
- What Reviewers Say:
4. Best Healthy Kibble: Spot & Tango UnKibble Beef & Barley Recipe
Give your Pittie whole, fresh ingredients without any of the mess of fresh-frozen or raw! UnKibble includes zero meals or filler, and their Beef & Barley recipe includes flax seed and fish oil with Omega-3 fatty acids to support healthy joints, skin, and coat. Super affordable and super healthy, this healthy kibble is also suitable for growing pups and seniors.
- First 5 Ingredients: Beef, Barley, Flax, Carrots, Green Beans
- Food Type: Kibble, grain-inclusive without wheat or corn
- Guaranteed Analysis (crude): 26.58% Protein – 16.43% Fat – 3.18% Fiber – 2.04% Moisture
- Feeding Instructions: Precise serving size customized according to your dog’s details!
- Cost Per Meal: $2.05 per meal* – $72.18 for two weeks of food*
- What Reviewers Say:
Have more questions about feeding your Pitbull? Let’s dive into some frequently asked questions!
Raw Wild’s formula includes pollock oil, an omega-3 rich ingredient that can help to soothe itchy skin, promote a healthy coat, and much more. If your pooch is itchy all the time, this could be the solution.
To help an underweight Pitbull gain muscle they will need a high-protein diet combined with exercise. Any of the options on this list will work well for this, but we especially recommend the option from Raw Wild.
Unkibble from Spot & Tango is a super-affordable high-protein option that can be customized to suit the needs of your pup!
You can, but it can be difficult to get the right nutritional balance, and the process is very time consuming. Instead, try a fresh frozen dog food like JustFoodForDogs.
Also, check out Top 3 Dog Foods for Healthy Huskies.