Best Dog Food for Pitbulls in 2021

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pitbull puppy

Read our review for help with picking the best dog food for Pitbulls. 

After all, your fun-loving canine only deserves the best! 

Pitbulls were originally a mix between the Old English Bulldog and the Old English Terrier. Meaning they have terrier-level energy — but with the bulk of a bulldog. 

This hyperactive breed needs a high-protein diet to support their active lifestyles and large muscle mass. 

Nature’s Logic Canine Beef Meal Feast All Life Stages Dry Dog Food matches these requirements perfectly — which is why we recommend it for most pitbulls.

As a dog owner, I know just how hard it can be to select a quality dog food for your canine. We all want only the best for our dogs, but sorting through ingredient lists can seem nearly impossible. And what is perfect for one dog isn’t necessarily the best option for all dogs. 

Below, we’ve included many different categories of dog food, allowing you to select the best one for your pitbull.

Our Best Dog Food for Pitbulls

10 Best Dog Food for Pitbulls Reviewed

All dog foods included on this list meet the standard AAFCO nutrient profile guidelines for dogs. Always consult with your veterinarian before making changes to your dog’s diet.

Nature’s Logic Canine All Life Stages Dog Food

Nature's Logic Canine Beef
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, turkey meal
  • Key Feature: High protein diet formula
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 27% crude protein, 16% crude fat, 3.5% crude fiber, 11% moisture
  • Caloric Content: 304 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: High protein; pea-free; no corn, wheat, or soy
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Overall

This formula by Nature’s Logic contains high-quality ingredients, such as beef meal and chicken fat. The high levels of fat and protein create a tasty, nutrient-dense meal. 

The beef meal is derived from USA-raised cattle and concentrated on providing more protein per ounce than whole meat. 

Select veggies and fruit are included to provide a complete diet — including blueberries, spinach, cranberries, and dried kelp. Plus, the kibble is coated with digestive enzymes and plasma protein for increased digestibility. 

Not only is this dog food more nutrient-dense than many options, but your canine will also digest more of what’s included. 

This formula is completely free from potatoes, peas, lentils, wheat, corn, rice, soy, and other low-quality ingredients. 

While it doesn’t include low-quality grains, this recipe is grain-inclusive. It features non-GMO millet, which is low-glycemic grass seed. Millet is a rarer ingredient in dog food and is usually associated with higher-quality brands.

This ingredient provides extra calories and carbohydrates without the added gluten and a high-glycemic-index. 

Many dog owners will also appreciate that this food is made using only 100% renewable energy. If you’re trying to be more environmentally conscious, we highly recommend this dog food.


Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Formula Dog Food

Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Food
  • First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, lamb meal, whole grain brown rice, cracked pearled barley 
  • Key Feature: Lamb recipe designed specifically for large breed puppies 
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 27% crude protein, 15% crude fat, 3.5% crude fiber, 10% moisture
  • Caloric Content: 342 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product:  No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Best for: Puppies

Pitbulls may not be the largest breed out there, but they are large enough to justify feeding them puppy food designed for large breeds. 

Large breed puppies grow bigger and longer than smaller breeds. Due to this rapid and elongated growth, they require specific nutritional requirements. [1]

Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Formula commodates these specific nutritional needs. It is designed specifically for large breeds, like pitbulls.

Lamb is the first ingredient, followed by lamb meal — ensuring that your canine gets plenty of protein and fat for their growing muscles. 

This formula contains everything your canine needs to grow big and strong. Nutrients are added from real fruits to improve digestibility. High levels of omega-3s and omega-6s can improve your dog’s skin and coat health, as well as support their growing brain. [2]

Each piece of kibble is coated with a probiotic blend to improve digestibility. With these probiotics, your dog will have an easier time digesting their dog food and avoiding upset stomachs. 

While this formula is grain-inclusive, it is free from many lower-quality ingredients like corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavor, colors, and preservatives.


Go! Solutions Carnivore Grain-Free Senior Recipe Dog Food

Go! Solutions Carnivore Grain-Free Chicken Senior
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken meal, turkey meal, salmon meal, deboned chicken, deboned turkey 
  • Key Feature: Adds nutrients like a green muscle, taurine, and antioxidants to support senior dog health
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% crude protein, 14% crude fat, 4.5% crude fiber, 10% moisture
  • Caloric Content: 394 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product:  Grain-free, gluten-free; weight-control; no corn, wheat, or soy
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Seniors

You don’t necessarily need senior food for your aging dog — a pitbull’s nutritional requirements don’t suddenly change when they reach a certain age.

However, it may be helpful for seniors encountering some of the more common old-dog problems, like doggy dementia and eye problems. 

This recipe by Go! Solutions is specifically designed for senior dogs. It contains many meat ingredients, ensuring that your seniors consume enough protein in their twilight years. 

Instead of including grain, this formula features a variety of fruits and veggies. These ingredients support the dog’s immune system with antioxidants. [3]

No by-product meals, growth hormones, artificial preservatives, wheat, corn, or soy are included. 

Green mussels are included to support hip and joint health, alongside added glucosamine and chondroitin. [4]

Probiotics and prebiotics are added to support your dog’s digestive and immune systems, which will help you avoid tummy troubles. 

For dogs with eye problems, owners will appreciate the added taurine. This nutrient can help aid in eye and heart health into your dog’s twilight years.


Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Formula Dog Food

Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Formula
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken meal, chicken, ground white rice, chicken fat, cracked pearled barley 
  • Key Feature: High levels of fat and protein with added calories
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% crude protein, 25% crude fat, 4.0% crude fiber, 10% moisture
  • Caloric Content: 470 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product:  Grain-free, gluten-free; weight-control; no corn, wheat, or soy
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Muscle gain

If you want to help your dog gain muscle, they need three main things — extra protein, extra fat, and extra calories. 

All of these features work together to ensure that your dog’s muscles have enough fuel to work and rebuild. 

The Extreme Athlete formula by Diamond Naturals features all three of these necessary nutrients. The fat content, in particular, is very high compared to other formulas, helping your dog consume enough calories to build and maintain muscles. 

Probiotics are also added, providing digestive support, as all the added protein and fat doesn’t do much if your canine can’t digest it properly. [5]

Cage-free chicken meal is the first ingredient. While there are some misconceptions about meat meals, chicken meal is simply concentrated meat. It contains more protein and nutrients than whole meat. 

Real fruits and veggies are included throughout the formula. Plus, many of the vitamins and other nutrients come from real fruits. 

There is no corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives included in this formula. It also contains added glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support — an important consideration for very active dogs. [6]


Natural Balance L.I.D Grain-Free Salmon & Sweet Potato Formula Dog Food

Natural Balance LID Grain Free Salmon
  • First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, menhaden fish meal, sweet potatoes, cassava flour, potatoes
  • Key Feature: Limited-ingredient diet free from chicken and beef
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 24% crude protein, 10% crude fat, 4.0% crude fiber, 10% moisture
  • Caloric Content: 373 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Limited ingredient diet; sensitive digestion; grain-free, pea-free, chicken-free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Allergies

For pitbulls with allergies, finding an appropriate food can be difficult. 

Luckily, this formula by Natural Balance includes very few ingredients — and the only protein source is salmon. If your dog isn’t allergic to salmon, we highly recommend this formula. 

If your dog needs a different protein source, this company does craft other L.I.D recipes for you to choose from, including ones that contain duck or venison. 

Included in this formula are a range of digestible carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes. It is completely grain-free — a great option for dogs with grain allergies. 

A team of board-certified animal nutritionists, veterinarians, and scientists designed this food, unlike most of the other dog food formulas on the market. With professionals creating the formulas, you can be rest assured that it is nutritionally complete and suitable for your dog. 

Furthermore, there are no peas included in this food. Peas are a prevalent ingredient in L.I.D recipes. However, they have also been linked with heart problems in dogs by the FDA, so we try to avoid them where possible. 

This company produces their foods in the USA, though they use ingredients from around the world. 


Purina Beyond Beef Ground Entrée Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

Purina Beyond Beef Wet
  • First 5 Ingredients: Beef, beef broth, chicken, liver, potatoes
  • Key Feature: Wet dog food high in animal protein
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 8% crude protein, 6% crude fat, 1.5% crude fiber, 78% moisture
  • Caloric Content: 450 kcal/can
  • Type of Product: Grain-free; high-protein
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Those who prefer wet food

The Beyond line by Purina is an affordable option for dogs that prefer wet food. 

It includes a surprisingly high amount of animal protein for the price. Beef is the first ingredient, followed by a long list of other meats, like beef broth, chicken, and liver

The whole beef included in this formula comes from Texas — or at least, the cows are raised in Texas for a minimum of 100 days before being included in this dog food. Other ingredients may come from other countries, though. 

Potatoes and green beans make up the few non-meat ingredients listed on this dog food can. 

Of course, various vitamins and minerals are also included, ensuring complete nutrition for your pitbull. 

With so many high-quality ingredients, there is no more room for corn, wheat, or soy. This grain-free formula may be helpful for canines that are sensitive to grains. 

Purina makes all of its foods in the USA, including the Beyond line. They are currently working to reduce the amount of water they use at their facilities, so many consider this a good option for environmentally friendly consumers. 


Canidae Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredients Dog Food

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE LID Salmon
  • First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, salmon meal, menhaden fish meal, sweet potatoes, peas
  • Key Feature: Limited-ingredient recipe featuring plenty of fish protein
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% crude protein, 18% crude fat, 4% crude fiber, 10% moisture
  • Caloric Content: 496 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-free, gluten-free, chicken-free; limited ingredient diet
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Those without a budget

If money isn’t an issue, you may want to consider this dog food by Canidae. It contains premium ingredients only — but it does have a price to match.

In total, this recipe includes only eight ingredients, plus various added vitamins and minerals. 

Many of these ingredients are animal protein, including three different fish ingredients. 

While this food is made for dogs with allergies, it is equally as suitable for those without. Any dog can thrive off of the high-quality ingredients included. 

Your canine will enjoy a wide variety of veggies, including things like potatoes and peas

With salmon as the main ingredient, this food is also quite high in omega fatty acids and fish oil, which may help improve your dog’s skin and coat. [7]

This food contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. It also includes a wide variety of other helpful ingredients, like probiotics and antioxidants. 

All Canidae’s foods are made in their Texas facility.


American Journey Active Life Formula Dog Food

American Journey Active Life Formula Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, rice bran, peas
  • Key Feature: High-quality ingredients at an affordable price
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 25% crude protein, 15% crude fat, 6% crude fiber, 10% moisture
  • Caloric Content: 342 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No corn, wheat, or soy; high-protein
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Dog owners on a budget

Not everyone can afford hundreds of dollars in dog food. Luckily, American Life is high-quality and affordable. 

We recommend their Active Life line for pitbulls — as the breed tends to be quite active. 

This dog food includes real, deboned chicken as the first ingredient, followed by chicken meal. Both of these ingredients add high-quality protein to the food. 

A careful blend of nutrients and antioxidants are also included. These additives help support a healthy immune system. 

This recipe is not grain-free, but the grains included are easy to digest and provide extra fiber. 

There is no corn, wheat, or soy included, and no artificial flavors, preservatives, and colors. 

A blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids helps support your dog’s skin and coat. While this formula may benefit all dogs, it could be especially beneficial for those with existing skin problems. 

Because chicken is the main ingredient in this dog food, it is not suitable for canines that are allergic to chicken. However, the company makes other recipes in the Active Life line that feature other protein sources. 


Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight Adult Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight Adult
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, pea fiber
  • Key Feature: Protein-packed recipe for weight loss
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 20% crude protein, 9% crude fat, 10% crude fiber, 10% moisture
  • Caloric Content: 326 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Weight control
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Overweight and obese pitbulls

Blue Buffalo is well-known for crafting high-quality foods, and their weight loss recipe is no different. 

This dog food includes deboned chicken as the first ingredient — a high-quality option for any canine. L-carnitine is even included for extra muscle maintenance, since losing muscle mass is a common problem with dogs on weight loss diets. 

Many different vitamins are also included, as well as a range of antioxidants to support a healthy immune system. And the minerals are chelated, which helps with their absorption. 

Glucosamine and chondroitin are added for joint health. Pitbulls are prone to problems like hip dysplasia, so this is an important feature to consider. 

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are included for healthy skin and coat. If your dog has existing skin problems, these added ingredients may help improve the symptoms. 

This recipe includes absolutely no corn, wheat, or soy. Chicken by-product meal is also not included in the ingredient list.


Go! Solutions SENSITIVITIES Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dog Food

Go! Solutions SENSITIVITIES LID Turkey
  • First 5 Ingredients: Turkey, turkey broth, tapioca, pork plasma, cranberries
  • Key Feature: Limited-ingredient recipe designed for sensitive stomachs
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 8.5% crude protein, 5.5% crude fat, 1% crude fiber, 82% moisture
  • Caloric Content: 327 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-free, gluten-free, chicken-free; limited ingredient diet; sensitive digestion
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Pitbulls with sensitive stomachs

For dogs prone to tummy troubles, we recommend this recipe by Go! Solutions.

Cage-free turkey is the first ingredient, providing your dog with high-quality protein to support their muscle mass and activity level. 

To help your canine’s tummy, this recipe includes pumpkin. Cranberries are also added to support their immune system and prevent urinary tract infections. Omega oils help with skin and coat problems — which often go hand-in-hand with skin sensitivities. [8]

Taurine is added to improve your dog’s vision and heart functions. [9]

There is absolutely no chicken, by-products, soy, wheat, corn, or artificial preservatives. This recipe is grain-free, making it a great fit for canines with grain and gluten sensitivities. 

While this food isn’t technically limited-ingredient, it does include very few ingredients compared to some other dog foods. Therefore, it may be suitable for dogs with allergies as well. 


pitbull chewing bone

Guide to Buying Dog Food for Pitbulls

Pitbulls require top-notch nutrition to keep their muscles healthy and strong. They have a considerable activity level, which can put a strain on their diet. 

When you’re shopping for the appropriate dog food, there are several things you need to keep in mind. 

Nutritional Requirements

All dog breeds have about the same nutritional requirements — especially where macronutrients are concerned. 

According to studies, dogs, by energy levels,  thrive best on a diet containing about 30% protein, 63% fat, and 7% carbohydrates. 

Sadly, many dog foods do not come close to containing this amount of protein or fat. In most cases, they include substantially high carbohydrates instead — which our dogs don’t need. 

This study found that this macronutrient content was “remarkably similar across breeds.” However, it is essential to meet a pitbull’s protein and fat needs, as they tend to be far more active than other breeds. 

Protein

Preferably, you want a dog food that is at least 25% protein. Any less than that, and you risk not meeting your pitbulls’s needs. 

30% protein is far better and recommended when possible.

Also, aim to choose a protein that comes from animal meats instead of plants, as these are complete. (In other words, they have all the necessary macronutrients.) 

Fats

Fats are vital for pitbulls. They should be the primary source of energy — not carbohydrates. 

Omega fatty acids are also essential, as they support a healthy coat and skin. 

All types of fat are better than none. And, where possible, choose recipes that are much higher in fats than carbs. 

Pitbulls are quite active, often needing more energy than your average dog. Therefore, they will benefit from a diet that is extra high in fat. 

Carbohydrates

Pitbulls do need some carbs. This macronutrient provides a quick boost of energy, which we all know our pitbulls need. 

However, they don’t need as many as most dog foods include. 

Complex carbohydrates include fiber and provide your pitbull with easy-to-digest energy. 

Most dogs are wonderful with grain-inclusive diets. Unless your dog is allergic to grain, there is little reason to avoid it. 

In fact, avoiding it may cause some health problems. 

However, if you do need to avoid grain, be sure to seek out a dog food that includes fruits and veggies. These are important for the added carbohydrates, and they provide important nutrients. 

Vitamins and Minerals

Any diet you feed your pitbull should match American Feed Control Officials’ nutrient profile. These profiles help ensure that your canine is getting all the vitamins and minerals they need — as well as avoiding too many dangerous vitamins. 

Vitamins can be provided through whole foods, such as fruit, or they can be added in at the end. 

Much of a dog food’s ingredient list will likely be vitamins and minerals. These usually appear at the end, since only a small amount of each vitamin needs to be added. 

There are many different vitamins and minerals your dog needs, including vitamin E and C. Calcium and phosphorus are also important. 

Without these nutrients, your dog can suffer from deficiencies. Though, on the other hand, with too many certain nutrients, your dog can also suffer health problems. The balance needs to be just right. 

On top of these nutrients, pitbulls may benefit from added omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin. These nutrients can help support their joints — which is especially important due to their predisposition to joint problems. 

Many of the dog foods we recommended include these nutrients. 

pitbull dog

Common Health Issues and Diet

Pitbulls are prone to a few different health problems — just like all breeds. Diet can play a role in preventing and treating many of these issues. 

Food Allergies

Some pitbulls are affected by food allergies. Typically, these stem from animal proteins, though gluten can be a problem as well. 

Food allergies can develop throughout a dog’s life. Even if your dog isn’t allergic to chicken today, they may be allergic tomorrow. 

Avoiding your dog’s allergen is the only way to prevent symptoms. Limited-ingredient dog foods can be helpful with this.

They aren’t required, but it is much easier to avoid an allergen when the ingredient list is shorter. 

Joint Problems

Pitbulls are prone to joint problems, like hip dysplasia. These usually pop up as the dog is growing, but symptoms usually only appear in adult dogs.

Joint problems can be genetic, but environmental factors like diet do play a role. 

It is essential to feed your pitbull a puppy food designed for large breed puppies. Small breed formulas just don’t have the nutrition these canines need to thrive and grow their joints correctly. 

You should also avoid feeding them too much. The extra calories can mess with their growth proportions, causing joint issues. 

Bloat

Like most larger dogs, pitbulls are also prone to bloat. 

Not much is known about why this condition occurs. Diet may play a role, but nothing is for certain yet.

There isn’t much you can do diet-wise to prevent bloat — simply because we don’t know which dog foods decrease the risk. 

This condition is extremely deadly, though vet care can help.

Obesity

All dogs are prone to obesity. In fact, most dogs in America are either overweight or obese. 

You should be sure to feed your pitbull the correct amount of food. 

Carefully read through the instructions on the back of the bag. Different foods have different calorie contents, which will affect how much your dog needs to eat. 

In some cases, pitbulls may need weight control food — especially if they aren’t getting the exercise they need. 

Keep a close eye on your dog’s weight. If they are obese, speak with your vet about bringing their weight down. 

Is a Grain-Free Diet Good for Pitbulls?

Not necessarily. Dogs do get some benefits from high-quality grain. 

Grain-free dog food usually isn’t high in meat or protein. And instead of using grains, the company typically just uses high quantities of cheap veggies like peas and sweet potatoes. 

These aren’t necessarily better for your dog than grain is. In fact, they may be linked to certain heart conditions. 

In the end, we only recommend grain-free diets for dogs with gluten intolerances. If your dog is allergic to grain, you obviously don’t want to feed it to them. 

Beyond that, pay more attention to the quality of the ingredients and the nutrient content — not whether or not the dog food happens to have the “grain-free” label.

Our Verdict

Pitbulls are extremely excitable, friendly dogs.

They don’t have any special nutritional needs beyond the usual dog breed. However, their high-energy nature often means that their muscles require extra support. 

We recommend looking for foods that contain high levels of protein and fat. Nature’s Logic Canine All Life Stages Dry Dog Food meets this requirement, making it the best dog food for pitbulls.

If you need extra help picking a diet for your pitbull, be sure to talk to your veterinarian. 

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AUTHOR
Kristin has been writing about dogs and their nutrition for the last four years. She enjoys educating pet parents on the best things to feed their beloved furry friends using the latest scientific research.

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