The Top 3 Best Dog Foods For Pitbulls

best dog food for pitbulls

The Pitbull are one of the United State’s most popular dog breeds as of late. Fans of the breed are fiercely loyal to these awesome pooches, and they often act as such for good reason. This breed has been under fire in recent years due to the perceived “danger” of the breed. However, I’m a firm believer that there are no bad dogs, just bad owners. The Pitbull is a muscular dog breed with powerful jaws. Most often they are quite stout in appearance, and not as bulky as other dogs favored for protection like the Rottweiler, but they make up for that in pure muscle. In fact many bully owners take pride in their dog’s muscular physique, and they are looking to sculpt it with their diet. While the Pitbull is not officially recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club, this term is more of an umbrella term to describe dog breeds with similar traits. When people refer to Pitbulls they could be talking about one of three distinct breeds that are in fact recognized by the American Kennel Club, and other dog organizations as breeds.

(Pictured: The American Staffordshire Terrier)

  • The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) – Recognized by the ADBA and UKC
  • The American Staffordshire Terrier (AmStaff or AST) – Recognized by the AKC
  • The Staffordshire Bull Terrier (SBT) – Recognized by the AKC and UKC.

These three breeds share many characteristics that inspire people to group them together under the umbrella term “Pitbull”. Typically these dogs are of medium size build, but very strong. These dogs are descendants of dogs who were originally bred to bite and hold large animals like bulls or bears. As a result these breeds are fearless, and they don’t back down even when facing a threat far larger than themselves. Unfortunately, humans soon found other ways to utilize their unique skills for unsavory activities such as dog fighting which leads to many innocent dogs of this breed being injured, killed or abandoned when they are no longer useful. This fact is doubly sad when you realize just how loyal these dogs are. They are known to be not just strong, but they are are very dedicated to their owners. Pitbulls are highly intelligent dogs that make amazing companions, even to humans who do not pay them the same courtesy.

What Type Of Nutrition Does A Pitbull Need?

When choosing a food for your dog it’s important to realize exactly what nutritional benefits you’re looking for. In the case of a dog such as one grouped under the “Pitbull” family it’s important to have a very high protein food. These dogs need to feed the massive amount of muscle that they pack on to their frames, and a high quality protein is the best way to do that. In addition, a food that contains excellent sources of fat for energy and brain power are also great for their health. This is especially important for younger dogs that are under a year old. These animals are still developing, and they need these healthy fats and proteins to reach their full potential. For this reason it’s advisable to avoid foods that are full of fillers like grains. It’s common for wheat products to take the place of protein in cheaper dog foods for manufacturers to save money. When reading the ingredients on a bag of dog food you’ll want to pay close attention to the ingredients that are mentioned first. The ingredients list is meant to display the most important ingredients as the first in the list. If a high quality protein is the first item then it’s a good sign that you’re purchasing a high quality dog food. If it takes you a while to find anything that sounds edible, I’d look elsewhere. Below we’ll have three recommendations for some great foods for Pitbulls. I’ll go over the ingredients, and explain what makes them the best food for pitbulls.

Zignature Chicken Free Dog Food

best food for pitbulls

best dog food for pitbulls

best dog food for pitbull

I’ve done a full review of all the Zignature dog food flavors before, and they’re one of my favorite dog food brands. They have some of the highest quality ingredients available, and all of their recipes are grain free. This food also doesn’t use chicken. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with chicken it’s not the best protein available, and it’s used so often because it’s the cheapest. Even in foods that are not “chicken flavor” often times chicken meal is used to boost the protein levels. Some dogs also have problems digesting chicken, so if your dog does this is a great option. While the flavor itself is mostly up to you or your dog’s preference I prefer a fish flavor, because these also contain salmon oil. This is a very healthy fat, and an excellent source of nutrients and energy for your dog, but it’s up to you. Some animals can have an upset stomach if they eat too much fish. That’s up to the individual though. Let’s take a look at the ingredients for the Zignature Trout and Salmon Recipe Dog Food.

Trout, Salmon Meal, Peas, Pea Flour, Pea Protein, Flaxseed, Chickpeas, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Natural Flavors, Salmon Oil, Sunflower Oil (preserved with Citric Acid), Dried Beet Pulp, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Chloride, Salt, Chlorine Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Cobalt Proteinate), Vitamins (Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3, Vitamin E, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12), Blueberries, Carrots, Cranberries, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite. Naturally preserved with Mixed Tocopherols.

As you can see from the ingredient list above the first two items on the list are high quality fish proteins. There’s whole salmon meat, and then salmon meal. At first glance this seems like an unsavory ingredient, but it’s actually an excellent one. Salmon meal is really just dehydrated salmon. All of the moisture is removed leaving behind a high quality protein “meal”. This product actually has 4-5 times the nutritional benefit of the whole meat product of the same weight, because it’s not full of water. Premium fish products like salmon and trout are full of healthy fats and proteins. This is excellent for building muscle, providing omega 3, and it gives your dog a super shiny, healthy coat! This food is my top choice honestly. Zignature makes some very high quality products, and all of their recipes are limited ingredient which is great for digestion. If you’re big on USA only products keep in mind that they do get some meat from other countries. This flavor sources all of its meat from the USA, but some other recipes also use meat from New Zealand, France and Australia. This is dependent on the flavor which is covered in my full Zignature dog food review here. All of the food is manufactured in the United States though.

Zignature Dog Food Guaranteed Analysis

Crude protein (min.) 31.00 %
Crude fat (min.) 18.00 %
Crude fiber (max.) 6.50 %
Moisture (max.) 10.00 %
Calcium (min.) 1.0 %
Phosphorous (min) 0.9%
Omega 3 Fatty Acids* (min.) 1.0 %
Crude fat (min.) 18.00 %

*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.

This is the guaranteed nutritional analysis for Zignature Brand Dog Food. As you can see these recipes all have a minimum of 31% protein which is excellent. This is definitely at the higher end of the protein spectrum for dog foods, and it’s an excellent choice to nurture muscle growth. It also has a nice 18% fat content. In addition you’re getting omega 6 and omega 3 which not every dog food provides. This food has an excellent nutritional profile.

Zignature Dog Food Reviews Important Take Aways

  • Made in the USA
  • High quality proteins like salmon, venison and duck
  • High quality fats and omega 3
  • Chicken Free
  • No wheat, corn, soy, or potatoes
  • No artificial ingredients


Merrick BackCountry Raw Dog Food

best dog food for pitbull puppies

best puppy food for pitbulls

what's the best dog food for pitbulls

Merrick is one of the most widely recommended dog food brands, and this is for good reason. Their food provides very high quality nutrition. While they have many great flavors you have to be more careful if you want to feed your dog a grain free diet. Not every food in their catalog is grain free, so you’ll have to make sure the one you choose is if that’s important to you. For me, I think grain free is the way to go for dog food in almost every case. The only exception being if maybe your dog for whatever reason has an upset stomach when ingesting too much protein. The above is Merrick’s Backcountry Raw Mixer. This food is composed completely of freeze dried meat products. It contains no grains or poultry. Instead these foods focus on high quality proteins like venison, fish, duck, ect.

You have the option to feed this diet in two ways. This product is nutritionally sound, and it can be fed to your dog as his sole diet. This is great if you like feeding real meat only. The only problem with this is that it can get expensive pretty quickly, especially with a dog that has a high calorie need. You can also optionally mix this food with your favorite dry kibble brand for a protein boost, or you can purchase it pre-mixed with Merrick’s Backcountry Raw + freeze dried diets. I prefer the Zignature dog food, but I feel that this would be excellent mixed in with it. Especially if you wanted to add some fish oils into your dogs diet as their is a salmon flavor available. This would allow you to add some high quality fish proteins and fats to your dogs food. Let’s take a look at the ingredients for the Merrick Backcountry Mixers. This is the ingredient list for the Beef flavor as pictured above. They also have a Salmon recipe and a chicken flavor if you’d prefer those.

Deboned Beef, Beef Liver, Dried Potatoes, Gelatin, Potato Protein, Beef Broth, Dried Kelp, Mixed Tocopherols (a preservative), Apples, Carrots, Blueberries, Potassium Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Chloride, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Choline Chloride.

Much like the Zignature dog food the first items on the list are high quality beef products in the form of deboned beef and beef liver. Organ meats are always an excellent choice as they’re typically very healthy. While humans tend to shy away from these excellent sources of protein your dog will love it. The only thing I don’t particularly like about this food is the inclusion of potatoes. These can often be as bad as grains honestly, and some pups have problems digesting them. This will of course be dependent on your dog as an individual.

Merrick  Backcountry Raw Guaranteed Analysis

Crude protein (min.) 40.00 %
Crude fat (min.) 18.00 %
Crude fiber (max.) 3.00 %
Moisture (max.) 6.00 %

The good thing about this particular food is that it has the highest protein percentage of any dog food I’ve reviewed. A whopping 40%! It also has an 18% fat portion which is equally nice. If your objective is to feed your dog the highest protein diet possible then this is probably your best option. Merrick makes high quality foods, and this one has an excellent nutritional profile. If you opt for the dry kibble and freeze dried mixed option instead you’ll lose 2% of the protein, but you’ll get some other nice additions. That recipe includes omega 3, omega 6, and it includes glucosamine. This is a great nutritional supplement for dogs who you might be concerned about their joint health. It’s especially important for older dogs, so if you’re not supplementing them in another way it could be a selling point for you.

Merrick Dog Food Reviews Important take aways

  • Made in the USA
  • High quality proteins like beef and salmon
  • High quality fats and organ meat
  • Real freeze dried meat
  • Grain free (no wheat, corn or soy)
  • No artificial ingredients


Taste Of The Wild Dog Food

best food for pitbulls

best dog food for pitbull

what's the best dog food for pitbulls

Looking to treat your dog like he’s a wolf hunting the great plains of the west? Taste of the Wild can bring that to you. This dog food is very popular among pet owners wanting to give their dogs the most natural diet possible. This food features a lot of higher priced meats like bison, lamb, and salmon. Keep in mind that these recipes are not limited ingredient like the Zignature dog food flavors are. While this is no problem for most dogs it might be a consideration for you if your bully has digestive problems. A dog food with a lot of ingredients, even if their all high quality can be hard for them to process efficiently. If that doesn’t bother your pooch then Taste Of The Wild is a great choice. They have a lot of excellent flavors to choose from too.

In addition to the excellent ingredients and a favorable nutritional profile Taste Of The Wild has another benefit up its sleeve. This manufacturer includes probiotics in their recipes. What are probiotics? These are what are known as good bacteria. These help maintain your dog’s intestinal tract which is important for healthy pups. These are the company’s own brand of living cultures that work behind the scenes to help your dog stay healthy. Let’s take a look at the ingredient list for the Taste Of The Wild High Prairie Dog Food Recipe. This flavor includes some high dollar proteins like venison and bison.

Buffalo, lamb meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, canola oil, egg product, roasted bison, roasted venison, beef, natural flavor, tomato pomace, potato protein, pea protein, ocean fish meal, salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus reuteri fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.

Contains a source of live, naturally occurring microorganisms.

The first three items from the ingredient list are some nice proteins. The first being whole buffalo meat. This is a great start to a great dog food. You’ll see that there are actually a lot of proteins in this food including buffalo, lamb, chicken, bison, venison, beef and fish! A lot of these take a back seat to the first three. They are present, but in lesser quantities. The first three will be where most of the protein is derived, but I like that they included the fish meal. That adds some very nice high quality fats and oils for healthy skin and coats. This food included sweet potatoes which isn’t as bad as regular starchy white potatoes, so that’s nice as well. Let’s take a look at the nutritional profile.

Taste Of The Wild Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein 32.0% minimum
Crude Fat 18.0% minimum
Crude Fiber 4.0% maximum
Moisture 10.0% maximum
Zinc 150 mg/kg minimum
Selenium 0.3 mg/kg minimum
Vitamin E 150 IU/kg minimum
Omega-6 Fatty Acids* 2.8% minimum
Omega-3 Fatty Acids* 0.3% minimum
Total Microorganisms*
(Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium animalis, Lactobacillus reuteri)
not less than 1,000,000 CFU/lb

*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.

This food has a nice nutritional balance at 32% protein and 18% fat. It doesn’t have quite as much protein as the Merrick food, but it’s still at the top of the spectrum when it comes to protein content for dog foods. This brand is definitely top shelf in that department. There’s not much fiber in it which is fine for most pups, but if your dog has a tendency to have runny stools he might need more fiber. In which case the Zignature is most likely a better choice. All in all Taste of The Wild has an excellent nutritional profile, and I’d recommended to most dog owners. The protein and fat ratio is excellent for most any dog to enjoy. Unless you’re going for a super high protein option which would most likely be Merrick.

Best Dog Food For Pitbull Puppies

Best Dog Food For Pitbull Puppies

best puppy food for pitbulls

If your Pitbull is still a puppy you’ll be happy to know that Taste Of The Wild also makes their high prarie recipe in a version specifically for puppies! It’s the same great food specifically formulated to provide the best possible nutrition for growing pups. In addition to the high praire formula they also make their Wild Pacific Salmon flavor in the puppy variety as well! This is an excellent puppy food with healthy ingredients and a great nutritional profile.

Taste Of The Wild Dog Food Reviews Important take aways

  • Made in the USA
  • High quality proteins like bison, venison and lamb
  • High quality fats and omega 3
  • Grain free (no wheat, corn or soy)
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Beneficial Probiotics

Considerations For Choosing A Food For Your Pitbull


While it’s tempting to lump all dogs of a certain breed or even dogs in general into the same category we all need to remember that dogs are individuals. There is no one “best dog food for pitbulls”. Instead there are many options that depend on your dog’s own body and preferences. Any time you give your dog a new food you should monitor them carefully for a few weeks after. Dogs can have allergic reactions or food intolerance just like people do! If you notice your dog itching, they have an upset stomach, or they are throwing up, their food should be the first thing that you question. While it can be hard to determine exactly what is effecting your dog it can be done with trial and error. A change of food can quickly lead to a dramatic transformation of your dog’s health.

If your pup is experiencing any of these problems you should try switching them to a grain free or limited ingredient diet. These foods are typically engineered to be easy on their digestive tract, and to avoid common allergens. These can often come from chicken products, wheat, corn, soy or even potatoes. If you suspect a certain ingredient is causing your dog to be ill then try switching them to a food that excludes this ingredient for a few weeks to see if they improve. A limited ingredient recipe makes it easier to start excluding things which is why I recommend it so often. If your pup’s problem is diarrhea then they might need more fiber. Try a food that has more healthy vegetables like peas or sweet potatoes in it. While most pups do well on high protein diets some of them don’t handle it as well.