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What Causes Upset Stomach in Dogs?

Nobody enjoys having an upset stomach—and that goes for dogs just as much as it does for people. But if your dog does have an upset stomach, the only way to help them find relief is to first figure out what’s causing their symptoms in the first place.

Unfortunately, your dog can’t simply tell you what’s wrong. Which means that in a lot of cases, you’ll need to do a little detective work to figure out what’s causing your dog’s upset stomach. But not to worry, because we’ve put together this guide to help you narrow down the cause of your dog’s problems as quickly as possible.

Let’s start with the most obvious question: how do you know when your dog has an upset stomach in the first place? Well, some of the warning signs could include:

  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain or swelling
  • Blood in the feces or vomit
  • Severe lethargy

But of course, this doesn’t tell you what’s really causing the problems. In order to figure that out, ask yourself the following questions.

Is Your Dog Eating Something They Shouldn’t Be?

Dogs are known for eating all kinds of things that they shouldn’t be—from grass and sticks to toys, bones, bugs, and more. If your dog has an upset stomach, that’s a good time to be a little more observant. Keep a closer eye on your dog than usual to make sure they aren’t eating anything that could be causing their upset stomach.

Here’s another tip: make sure your dog has enough healthy, nutritious food—such as this health-boosting raw dog food recipe. Getting enough good food might help discourage your dog from chewing on things it shouldn’t be.

Is Your Dog Drinking Something They Shouldn’t Be?

This is an extension of the last question, but it could also be part of the problem. Make sure your dog has clean, fresh water in their bowl, and make sure that’s the only water they drink. Keep the toilet seats down, don’t leave drinks out where they can get at them, and if you have a pool, make sure your dog doesn’t drink from it.

Has Your Dog Recently Taken Antibiotics or Other Drugs?

In the right situation, antibiotics can be a life-saving drug. However, they can also do damage to the delicate gut bacteria that are essential for optimal health. If your dog has taken antibiotics for a recent illness, their gut flora might be out-of-whack as a result.

Does Your Dog Have Food Allergies?

Just like people, some dogs just don’t get along well with certain types of foods. Common culprits can include ingredients like soy, wheat, gluten, and artificial products. Now, here’s the good news: here at Bully Max, we don’t use any of those unhealthy additives or fillers. So go ahead and feed your dog Bully Max products with confidence.

If you suspect allergies may be the source, try out this hypoallergenic dog food recipe.

Could Your Dog be Sick?

Of course, an upset stomach could also be a sign that your dog has some kind of illness. If you think this might be the case, it’s definitely time to take your dog to the vet. Sickness is nothing to mess around with. Whether it’s the common flu or something much more serious, only your vet will know how to diagnose the illness and create a treatment plan to bring your dog back to health.

Finally, here are 2 last tips when your dog has an upset stomach:

Tip #1: Do NOT try to diagnose and treat an illness yourself using OTC products.

While OTC products exist for vomiting and nausea, we recommend not using these to treat your dog’s upset stomach unless instructed to do so by your vet. Especially if it’s a product intended for use by humans, since some products that are safe for humans could be toxic for dogs.

Tip #2: DO give your dog plenty of fluids.

Vomiting can lead to dehydration, which can create further health risks. So if your dog has an upset stomach, make sure they have access to clean, fresh water to drink. This will at least help prevent them from getting too dehydrated until their upset stomach can be resolved.

How to Count Calories for Your Dog

If you’ve ever been on a diet (and who hasn’t?), then you’ve experienced the joy that is calorie counting. But what you may not have done is counted calories for your dog.

Believe it or not, though, counting calories for your dog is critical!

According to a 2017 survey conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, over 55% of dogs in the U.S. are either overweight or obese. And the health ramifications of carrying around too many pounds are clear: being overweight can lead to all kinds of problems, including…

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis

But you can reduce your dog’s risk for all these conditions by helping them to reach and maintain a healthy weight—and the best way to do that is to use calorie counting to make sure they’re eating the proper amount of food each day.

The Good News About Counting Calories For Your Dog

For millions of people around the world, losing weight is HARD. Whether you’ve tried the Atkins Diet, the Keto Diet, the Mediterranean Diet, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, or any of the hundreds of diets out there—you know that sticking to a diet isn’t easy.

Fortunately, it’s a lot easier to help your dog lose weight than it is to do it yourself.

There are a few reasons for this, but the main one boils down to willpower. As a person, you can make your way to the fridge anytime you want. This makes it easy to derail your diet by grabbing a snack when you shouldn’t be! Luckily, your dog can only eat when you feed them. Which means that once you determine how much they should be eating, you can feed them the correct amount and trust that they aren’t sneaking in late-night trips to the ice cream drawer.

The other convenient thing about counting calories for your dog? The fact that your dog eats the same food for every meal. Calorie counting for humans can get tricky when you need to figure out the calories in a hot dog versus a piece of pizza. But with your dog, all you need to do is find the calorie information from their bag of food and figure out how many cups of food that translates to. Then, simply feed them that amount each day at mealtime.

First, Find Your Dog’s Ideal Weight Range

The first thing we recommend you do is get an idea of how many calories your dog needs. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention has a handy chart to help you determine the ideal weight range for your dog. If you have a German Shepherd, for example, this chart reveals that based on its breed, your dog should probably weigh approximately 75-95 pounds.

Another helpful tool is the World Small Animal Veterinary Association Body Condition Score for Dogs. This visual guide can help you determine if your dog is overweight, underweight, or at a healthy weight.

And if your dog is a pitbull, check out our guide to average pitbull weight, height, and size.

Granted, this is all fairly generic information. But you can make adjustments based on your unique dog. Consider questions like this:

  • How much exercise does your dog get? If they’re very active, they’ll need more calories.
  • How old is your dog? Puppies need more calories to fuel their growing bodies, while older dogs may need less.
  • How is your dog’s weight right now? If your dog is already overweight, you’ll want to reduce their calories slightly to induce gradual weight loss.

Measure Your Dog’s Food for Every Meal

If you’re one of those people who just fills your dog’s bowl at mealtime, it’s time to stop that behavior. Counting calories meals you’ll need to determine exactly how many cups of food your dog needs to reach and maintain their ideal weight—and that means using a measuring cup when feeding them.

There’s no universal recommendation for how many cups of food to give your dog, because some foods are more calorie-dense than others. (Our Bully Max 30/20 Dog Food, for instance, is more calorie-dense—which means you can feed less food.) So use the nutrition information on your dog food’s bag to determine the proper serving size for your dog.

Make Adjustments as Necessary

If you initial attempts at calorie counting for your dog don’t work out the way you planned, don’t worry. It’s not uncommon for dog owners to need a few weeks to tweak and optimize their dog’s diet until they find the right serving size.

If your dog’s weight isn’t moving in the right direction after a week or two, try decreasing their calorie count by a small amount (say 2-3%). Don’t overdo it and reduce their food too much. It’s always better to induce slow and steady weight loss.

Remember to Exercise

Diet is important, but so is getting plenty of activity and exercise! You should be taking your dog for regular walks, and letting them let loose and play from time to time. Another great form of exercise is using a flirt pole for dogs to help build lean muscle that can increase their metabolism and help them stay at a healthier weight.

Is Food Coloring Safe for Dogs?

If you’ve ever opened a bag of dog food to reveal colored bits of kibble, it may have made you wonder if artificial food coloring is safe for dogs. Is it harmless, or something you ought to avoid? Here’s our two cents on the matter.

We’ll start by sharing two relevant facts that you probably need to know.

First, the food manufacturing process removes all color from food.

Your dog goof may contain beef, broccoli, and sweet potatoes, but that doesn’t mean your kibble is going to be colored red, green, and orange. That’s because the manufacturing process removes those colors from food. So, if your dog food has bits of green kibble meant to represent the vegetables inside, realize that the green color is added after the fact—after processing—via food coloring.

Second, dogs can’t see the full spectrum of colors.

Your dog’s eyes have only two cones, which means their ability to perceive colors is limited. They can’t see red or green, and they have a limited ability to discern subtle changes in a color’s brightness. This means that the color of your dog food doesn’t matter at all to your dog. These colors are added purely for the benefit of you, the owner.

(Related: 5 common feeding mistakes dog owners make.)

That might make you wonder if all those artificial colors are really necessary, or if they simply add unhealthy ingredients to your dog’s food.

The History of Food Coloring

Here’s an interesting bit of trivia: did you know that food coloring was first used to hide the fact that food might be spoiled, damaged, or otherwise less than fresh? To make matters worse, many of these early food colorings contained toxic chemicals like lead, arsenic, and mercury. As you might imagine, this practice was banned by the FDA (in 1906).

So food manufacturers started using different food coloring products, these ones made from coal-tar dyes. If that doesn’t sound very appealing, you might not be surprised to learn that these, too, were eventually banned by the Color Additives Amendments of 1960 for safety reasons.

The State of Food Coloring Today

Today, the FDA keeps a close eye on the food coloring additives used in food for both humans and animals. There are less than ten certified, manmade food coloring additives (although some uncertified food colorings are still used). Some manufacturers also use natural pigments that come from food or plants, although these are also monitored by the FDA.

So, Is Artificial Food Coloring Safe for Dogs or Not?

The answer is a little more nuanced than a simple “yes/no.” Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

There’s some evidence that food coloring may be linked to cancer, allergies, and hyperactivity in humans. However, these apply to the non-certified food dyes, and not the food coloring that is certified by the FDA. And we can’t say for sure whether the same thing is true of animals or not.

There’s very little research on the effect of food coloring on dogs. This means we don’t really know for certain if artificial food coloring is really safe for dogs—or not.

Good News: Manufacturers Are Moving Away from Artificial Food Coloring

Today’s consumers are more aware and educated than ever, and food coloring is one of the top 3 things that most people prefer to avoid in their products. As a result, many food producers have started moving toward the use of more natural food coloring agents—which are probably liable to be safer, since they come from safe foods in the first place.

So what should you, as a responsible pet owner, do?

All the evidence points to modern food coloring being quite safe for dogs. However, the matter has not been studied extensively, so no one can say for sure. Your best bet is to feed your dog the highest-quality dog food you can find—ideally, one without artificial dyes.

Our 30/20 High-Performance Dog Food is a great example of healthy dog food that doesn’t mess around with unnecessary food colors. Instead, it’s filled with healthy, natural ingredients that will help keep your dog feeling healthy and happy.

How to Put Muscle on Your Dog

If you want to learn how to put some serious muscle on your dog, you’ve come to the right place. Just like people, dogs can bulk up with increased muscle mass and strength. 

Want to help your dog bulk up?

Here at Bully Max, we produce some of the most effective and highly regarded dog foods and supplements intended to help dogs gain weight—so we know a thing or two about how to put muscle on your dog.

And in this article, we’ll share our 3 best tips to help your dog gain muscle.

Get Resistance Exercise

Just as you might go to the gym to gain muscle, your dog also needs resistance exercise to stimulate muscle building. But since your dog can’t exactly do bench presses, what kind of exercise should they do?

There are lots of exercises a dog can do, with running probably being the most obvious and common form of exercise. And while running is great, it’s typically considered more of a cardiovascular exercise—not ideal for adding weight. To build muscle, you need to find a way to add resistance to your dog’s exercise routine.

Here are 3 effective resistance exercises that can help your dog build more muscle:

Consider dog weight pulling. This is where you attach a harness to your dog and get them to pull a weighted cart with weight on it (often in the form of bricks or concrete). The added weight increases the resistance, helping to build stronger leg muscles in your dog.

Use a flirt pole for dogs. A flirt pole is an easy-to-build piece of equipment. Essentially, all you need to do is swing the pole and train your dog to run and leap after the toy at the end of the string. The goal is to get your dog to run and jump higher and higher. The jumping aspect, in particular, is what helps build powerful hind leg muscles.

Use a weighted vest for dogs. Similar to weight pulling, this adds resistance and makes it more difficult for your dog to run. A weight vest turns any movement at all into resistance training—you could do something as simple as playing fetch with your dog to help them build stronger muscles.

When doing these exercises, remember to take it slow and be careful not to overstrain your dog. Remember their bodies will need time to recover, so give them plenty of rest in between training sessions. The articles linked above contain more information about each exercise.

Want more ideas? Read more dog muscle-building exercises here.

Eat a High-Quality, High-Protein diet

Exercise is important to gaining muscle, but it’s not enough. Your dog will still need the raw materials necessary for actually building new muscle—and that means calories, nutrients, and protein.

Start by choosing an appropriate food. Our 30/20 High-Protein Dog Food is an excellent choice. It’s calorie-dense and contains a whopping 30% protein to help your dog repair and rebuild new muscle.

Next, make sure to give your dog a sufficient serving size. Remember that they’ll need extra calories to recover from their exercise and to build new muscle. Learn more about how to build muscle on a dog with food.

Add A Few Smart Supplements

Last but not least, high-quality muscle-building supplements can be a big difference-maker in helping your dog to bulk up. Good supplements will do just that: supplement your dog’s diet by adding essential nutrients their body needs to maximize its ability to build new muscle.

Here at Bully Max, we produce the highest-quality muscle-building supplements for dogs anywhere. Here are a few suggestions:

Give Your Dog Plenty of Rest

Last but not least, remember that muscle isn’t made during exercise—it’s made after exercising, when your dog is resting. So don’t push them too hard and make sure they get plenty of sleep. Let your dog recover in between training sessions so that they’ll have all the energy they need to perform at their best and gain the maximum benefit from their exercise.

How to Train Your Dog to Herd Chickens

Want to learn how to train your dog to herd backyard chickens? Then read on!

If you own a chicken coop, training your dog to herd your chickens is a win-win scenario. First, it allows your chickens to range safely in the backyard. And second, it gives your dog much-needed exercise and stimulation. (Related: how much exercise does your dog need?)

The first question to ask yourself is:

Do You Have the Right Breed for Herding Chickens?

Learning how to herd chickens is no easy feat. And while any dog can potentially learn this skill, some breeds are born herders—while others are liable to struggle.

Chicken-herding dogs need high intelligence and the right instincts for this task. Common breeds that fit the bill include:

  • Collies and Border Collies
  • Australian Shepherds
  • Shetland Sheepdogs
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Welsh Corgis

Next, let’s talk about some of the skills you’ll need to teach your dog.

The Importance of “Leave It”

If your dog already knows the “leave it” command, congratulations—they already grasp one of the most important skills needed for chicken herding. If not, don’t despair; there’s still time to teach this vital skill.

“Leave it” is one of the fundamental skills your dog should know, along with commands like come, heel, lie down, sit, and stay. “Leave it” is important for herding because it helps ensure your dog has the discipline and self-control to do their job.

Gauge Your Dog’s Instincts for Herding

Pay attention to how your dog interacts with others—both other animals and with you. If your dog has a tendency to walk in circles around you, trying to influence you to move in a certain direction, congratulations: this is a sign that your dog could be a great fit for chicken herding.

If not, don’t despair. Your dog may just need to be shown the kind of behavior you’re looking for. Once your dog is able to remain well-behaved around your chickens, let them watch you as you fulfill the desired herding behavior. Once your dog is able to understand what you’re up to, there’s a good chance they’ll take the cue and begin to follow your lead.

Play Catch to Teach Obedience and Chasing Instincts

“Catch” is one of the simplest and easiest games for both you and your dog—but don’t let that fool you! This game can be crucial in your dog’s development as a herder. More specifically, it teaches the critical skills of:

  1. Obedience, and
  2. Chasing

These are two instincts your dog will need to have drilled into them in order to be an effective herder.

In order to make this game even more effective, try adding this simple twist: make your dog fetch the ball only on command. This ties in some of the self-control from the “leave it” command and combines it with chasing.

This, in a nutshell, is how you train your dog to herd chickens: by teaching them the basic fundamental skills (like “leave it” and “chase”) then combining those skills into higher-level functions.

Another way to train chasing in your dog with with a flirt polelearn how to build a flirt pole for dogs here.

Be Careful About Introducing Your Dog to Your Chickens

Don’t make the assumption that your dog will automatically be friendly to your chickens. Remember, some hunting breeds may see your chickens as prey! So be careful and watch your dog’s behavior around your chickens. If your dog seems anxious, nervous, or overly excited, consider introducing your dog to your chickens slowly and gradually until your dog becomes used to them.

Continue to Watch Your Dog’s Body Language

Obviously your dog can’t tell you what they’re thinking, so watch their body language instead to get an understanding of how they’re feeling with their new herding task. 

What you’re looking for is your dog to approach the chickens with their tail down, and then to run circles around them to keep them together and safe. If your dog seems confused, unclear, or distracted, they may need more training—or they may simply not be a great fit for chicken herding.

Don’t Force Chicken Herding on an Uninterested Dog

Training your dog how to herd chickens can be one of the most useful tasks for both you and your dog. But chicken herding isn’t for every dog. Depending on your dog’s breed, intelligence, and temperament, it might simply be a bad fit.

So if you seem to be getting nowhere, don’t try to force the issue. If, on the other hand, your dog appears to be picking up the task, have patience with them. It can take some time for them to completely grasp the idea of chicken herding, but once they do, it will be a rewarding experience for the whole household.

Average Pitbull Weight, Height and Size

Wondering if your Pitbull is at a healthy size? Understanding the healthy pitbull weight is important because knowing how to monitor and adjust your pitbull’s size appropriately could be vital to their longevity and well-being.

Pitbulls are genetically built for muscularity and size. Because pit bulls have a unique body type, you can’t necessarily judge their weight based on that of other breeds. Being one of the most muscular dog breeds, they tend to be a bit heavier for their height than many other dogs.

Read on, and we’ll describe the average weight and height that healthy Pitbulls should be at during the different chapters of their life.

Is My Pitbull Growing Properly?

Pitbulls typically stop growing and reach their full adult size between 12 and 18 months. The first 9 to 12 months will be a wonderful time of growth and development for your pup. We’ll provide you with guidelines and averages concerning the height and weight depending on your dog’s age.

However, keep in mind that monitoring healthy physical development isn’t just about rigid numbers. Every dog is different, and it’s essential to consider your dog’s appearance, behavior, and weight. Also, keep in mind that growth isn’t always linear. It’s pretty standard for a dog to have overnight growth spurts followed by periods of plateaus.

Here’s a tip to help judge your dog’s size: look at their paws. Younger dogs will grow into their feet, and bigger dogs will have large paws even as young pups. If your puppy’s paws still seem large in proportion to its body, she probably still has some healthy growing left to do.

How Much Should My Pitbull Weigh?

It’s crucial to monitor your pitbull’s weight to make sure they’re remaining healthy. Being underweight could signify a serious medical condition, malnourishment, or both. Obesity comes with a long, long list of negative consequences.

At the same time, consider that Pitbulls vary considerably in their ideal height and weight, more so than many other dog breeds. Some Pitbulls could hit 80 or 90 lbs. Others may reach a healthy adult weight of only 45 pounds or so. This is perfectly normal, so be mindful of appearance, body proportions, and weight.

At two months, 15 to 20 pounds is typically a good healthy weight for your pitbull. For a 4-month-old, 35 to 40 pounds is approximately average. When your pitbull reaches six months old, 40 to 60 pounds is an average ballpark. At one year of age, that increases to 50 to 75 pounds.

Males often weigh a few more pounds than females.

Pitbull Weight Chart 

pitbull_size
Pitbull Weight Chart Source https://pitbullpuppies.org/pitbull-puppy-weight-chart/

What Is The Average Pitbull Height And Size?

Though healthy Pitbulls do vary in height and size, there is an average range that they generally fall under.

Refer to the table above for some specific average measurements and weights for a pit bull.

Oh, and in case you weren’t sure: to determine your pitbull’s height, measure from their shoulder (rather than the top of their head). When your pitbull is all grown up, the average size of its shoulders will be approximately 15 to 20 inches. It’s also pretty standard for males to be an inch or two taller than their female counterparts.

Factors That Can Stunt My Pitbull’s Growth

There are several ways a pitbull’s growth can be stunted. Some of the common causes include:

  • Intestinal worms
  • Internal parasites
  • Malnutrition
  • Liver shunt
  • Canine dwarfism

The good news is that stunted growth is usually treatable. If your pup shows a small change, you should talk to your veterinarian about it as soon as possible. A medical diagnosis is beyond the scope of this article.

What Should I Do If My Pitbull Is Underweight?

Understanding the different factors that determine your pitbull’s weight and size is essential. Monitoring your dog’s growth is part of responsible puppy rearing.

Besides, if your dog does have some medical condition, knock on wood; you want to determine that as soon as possible. Often it’s nothing too serious, and it might just be that your pup could benefit from putting on a few pounds. But putting it off could potentially lead to a much more difficult situation. 

Of course, there are dietary means to bulk up your dog. If your pup is underweight, ensure you provide plenty of healthy proteins and fats.

You can increase the portion sizes at mealtime. Just take care to do so gradually and thoughtfully. For more details, check out our guide on how much to feed your dog.

And if you’re looking for a high-calorie food full of healthy ingredients (no filler), check out our best-selling high-protein dog food. It’s an excellent choice for any pitbull—or any other breed, for that matter—that needs to gain a little weight.

We also produce an extremely popular weight gainer for dogs. It’s full of Natural with added vitamins, minerals, and trace nutrients, healthy ingredients, and has proven to be a safe and effective way to help even the pickiest eaters to reach a healthy weight.

Finally, check out our personalized nutrition plans if you’re not sure what foods and supplements you need to meet your dog’s unique health and weight goals. We created them based on shared goals to help make it easy for you to give your pitbull the healthy nutrition they need to grow and stay fit.

How to Treat Food Guarding in Dogs

Does your dog become overly protective or aggressive at the food bowl? Do they growl, lunge, or even bite at anyone—human or animal—who gets too close to their kibble?

It doesn’t have to be just food, either. Dogs can exhibit resource guarding—also called “possessive aggression”—over anything: a treat, a toy, or even a human. Some of the body language cues to watch out for include stiffening, growling, hard staring, and baring their teeth.

Food guarding in dogs can be an alarming behavior. But there’s good news: over time, and with the right techniques, you can train your dog to relax and stop freaking out when people get too close to their dinner.

We’ll tell you how in this article.

What Causes Food Guarding in Dogs?

We don’t know for certain what causes food guarding in dogs, but experts believe it could be due to a combination of both genetic predisposition and learned behavior.

If your dog was raised as part of a large litter that had to eat out of a single bowl, for instance, your dog may have learned as a puppy that they needed to compete for food and defend it from others.

Medical conditions are another possible cause. If your dog has pain—such as from a cavity or broken tooth—that could cause them to cry out while eating. If you suspect this could be the case, take your dog to the vet to rule out any medical causes first.

How Not to Treat Food Guarding in Dogs

So how do you stop your dog from guarding their food bowl? First and foremost, don’t try to punish them by taking the food away. This might seem like an effective strategy to you, but it’s only liable to increase your dog’s anxiety and exacerbate the food guarding behavior.

Similarly, don’t yell, scream, or hit your dog to try and exert dominance or “teach them a lesson.” These behaviors will also make the situation worse.

But at the same time, don’t retreat from your dog’s guarding behavior. This might send the signal that their aggressive behavior is working, thereby reinforcing in them the idea that they should continue barking and growing to keep people away.

How to Change Your Dog’s Food Guarding Behavior

For starters, if you ever become concerned about your safety over fears that your dog might actually attack, get in touch with a veterinary behavior specialist. These experts have experience in canine food guarding and will know the proper steps to decreasing your dog’s aggression. In more extreme cases, they might even recommend medication to help reduce your dog’s fear and aggression. Situations like these should be handled by a licensed or certified veterinary professional.

Otherwise, one step you can take at home is to consider putting your dog in a closed room to eat. If they’re locked away from other people and pets, they’re liable to feel more secure and stop being afraid that someone else is going to take their food away from them.

Another thing you can do is to gradually desensitize your dog to having others close to their food. You want to do this gradually, however, and with sensitivity to your dog’s feelings.

Start by standing a few steps away from your dog’s bowl. Talk to your dog in a friendly voice, and toss them a few treats. The goal of these treats is to teach your dog that they have nothing to fear by you being close to their bowl—and in fact, having you near can even lead to more food.

If you don’t know what kind of treat to give your dog, consider our delicious 9-in-1 Total Health Vitality Chews. Your dog is sure to love the meaty flavor, and the extra nutrition will help keep them strong and healthy.

Do this for a couple of days, until your dog is comfortable having you at that distance from their food bowl. Then take a small step closer, put a treat on the floor, and step away. Continue doing this for a few more days. As your dog becomes more comfortable, step even closer to the bowl. Eventually, you’ll be able to drop your treat directly into the food bowl while your dog is eating.

If your dog becomes comfortable with that, you can graduate to having your dog eat the treat from your hand. Eventually you should be able to touch and move the food bowl with one hand while your dog eats the treat from your other.

How to Prevent Your Dog’s Food Guarding Behavior from Coming Back

If you get to this point, congratulations! You’ve successfully desensitized your dog to having you near its food bowl.

But you’d still be wise to remain sensitive to your dog’s feelings. Remember that they were once afraid of having their food taken away from them. Keep that in mind, and don’t do anything that might cause their old anxieties to flare up again.

Top 4 Best Dog Food for Pitbulls (2022 Guide)

best dog food for pitbulls

The dog food you feed your pitbull matters. It can mean the difference between a happy, healthy dog that’s full of energy and vitality…and a skinny, lethargic dog that secretly wonders why his food tastes like cardboard.

But with all the different brands and marketing out there, how are you supposed to know what’s the best dog food for pitbulls?

We know it’s confusing, and that’s why we wrote this article. We’re going to cover some of the most important elements of pitbull nutrition, explain some things to keep in mind when feeding your dog, then dive into a comparison of some of the best dog foods for pitbulls in 2022.

Ready? Then let’s get started!

Pitbull Nutrition 101

It pays to start by understanding a little pitbull nutrition. What sort of nutrients and ingredients should you make sure your dog is getting? What kind of things should you be looking at when you evaluate a new pitbull dog food?

Here are some of the main things to keep in mind to help find which dog food will provide the best value for your pet.

Label Ingredients

The first thing you want to do when evaluating a dog food is to read the ingredients on the label. Ignore all the marketing-speak on the website and the front and sides of the label; the ingredients list is the only place where you can really, truly get the real measure of what’s in this dog food. And remember that ingredients are listed in order by weight, so the first ingredient is the one that’s present in the highest amount.

Protein

Your pitbull is primarily carnivorous, which means they need a lot of protein to build muscles so they can stay active. The best source of protein, not surprisingly, is real meat. And for dry foods, we highly recommend looking for a “meat meal” as the first ingredient on the label. (Find out why meat meal is actually the best protein source for dry dog food.)

Natural Fat

After protein, the next most important nutrient to look for is fat. Fat gets a bad reputation, but it’s a vital nutrient for dogs and people alike. Unfortunately, some dog foods use cheap vegetable oils. Instead, you want to look for an all-natural fat like chicken fat as a healthier choice.

High-Quality Nutrients

Your dog also needs vitamins and minerals, just like people, so scan the label for some of these too. Sometimes they can be hard to pinpoint because they often have scientific-sounding names like “ascorbic acid” for vitamin C or “niacin,” “thiamin,” and “biotin” for vitamin B, and so on.

Avoid Fillers and Questionable Proteins

Keep an eye out for common dog food “tricks,” like calling attention to a handful of healthy ingredients while ignoring the other filler ingredients. You also want to make sure your dog’s protein comes from real meat sources, and preferably from a “meat meal.” Keep an eye out for substandard proteins, like Pea Protein.

Avoid Overfeeding

This is an important point that many owners miss: you shouldn’t just feed your dog as much food as they want, or they’ll gain weight and develop joint problems. Instead, it’s your responsibility to make sure you’re feeding your dog the right amount of food for their breed, age, and size.

Most dog foods include a helpful table telling you how much food to give your dog based on their weight—but it’s also smart to check this for yourself to make sure. For more help, check out this weight chart to determine your dog’s ideal weight.

Health Problems

Certain ingredients can exacerbate health issues in dogs. Here are some of the most common problems and their offending ingredients:

Allergies

You might think only humans get allergies, but nope—dogs do too! And just as humans are allergic to some foods, dogs can also have a reaction to certain ingredients in their food. Not surprisingly, the best dog food for pitbulls with allergies is one filled with all-natural ingredients and lots of real meat. Fillers like corn, wheat, and soy, along with artificial flavors and preservatives, can wreak havoc on some dog’s allergies.

Bloating

Bloating isn’t just an inconvenience. Gastric torsion can actually be fatal to pitbulls! That’s why it’s important for dogs to separate their meals and stick to foods that are high in meat-based proteins.

Joint Problems

Pitbulls are an active breed, which means joint problems can often rear their head (especially as your dog gets older)—but a high-quality food with all-natural ingredients can really help. For more details, read about some common areas of joint pain in dogs.


Overview: Best Dog Food for Pitbulls Comparison Chart

In a rush and need a quick overview of our top ranked dog food for pitbulls? Here’s a chart to easily compare the top dog food for pitbulls based on different important features. 

Pitbull Dog Food

Price

Quality

Adult or Puppy

Main Protein

Calories/Cup

Bully Max 30/20 High Performance Dog Food

$44.99

5/5

Adults and Puppies

Chicken Meal

535

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Duck Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

$43.70

3/5

Adults only

Deboned Duck (not meal)

416

Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food

$48.99

5/5

Adults only

Buffalo (not meal)

370

Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food

$51.99

4/5

Adults and Puppies

Bison Meal

400


Now let’s take a closer look at these dog foods.

1. Bully Max 30/20 High Performance Dog Food

Simply put, Bully Max 30/20 High-Performance Dog Food is the best dog food for pitbulls on the market. We pack it full of 100% natural ingredients and no fluff, resulting in the highest calorie density you’ll ever see for a dog food this healthy and delicious.

And we’re not the only ones who think so! Ours is the only performance dog food with a 5/5 rating from DogFoodAdvisor, and it’s also been rated the best dog food for pitbulls by Spruce Pets!

Features

  • Price: $44.99 for 15 lbs., with 25% savings with subscribe & save! And because Bully Max is so calorie-dense (535 calories per cup), you can feed your dog less each day…which means it lasts a lot longer than other brands.
  • Quality: 5/5 We pack Bully Max full of the highest-quality dog food ingredients we can find…only natural, healthy ingredients, with no filler or substandard proteins.
  • Adult or Puppy: Puppies and adults.
  • Protein: The number-one ingredient in our formula is chicken meal, which is exactly what we recommend looking for in a dog food.
  • In addition to its high protein count, we also include healthy fats and carbs from sources like flaxseed, fish meal, brown rice, beet pulp, dried kelp, and many more.
  • Main Feature: Bully Max is the delicious, calorie-dense, high-protein dog food that gives your pitbull the energy they need to stay happy and healthy for years to come.

2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Duck Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Duck Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo is one of the biggest brands in dog food, so let’s take a look at how their ingredients stack up. Read on to learn more about this dog food, or check out the handy chart we created to help you compare Bully Max vs Blue Buffalo.

Features

  • Price: $43.70 for 24 lbs. With 416 calories/cup, it’s also a fairly dense food (though still about 25% less so than Bully Max).
  • Quality: 3/5. They don’t go the extra mile like some of the top foods, but fairly good protein sources with no corn, wheat, or soy make this a solid dog food for pitbulls.
  • Adult or Puppy: It appears this Blue Buffalo food is formulated for adult dogs only.
  • Protein: The top 2 ingredients listed are deboned duck and chicken meal, both of which get our thumb’s up…although we really recommend a meat meal as the first ingredient, as it’s much more protein-rich. We’re also not big fans of the inclusion of pea protein as #4 in the list—your dog’s protein should come from meat sources.
  • Main Feature: While the ingredients can be hit-and-miss, it does include a good amount of duck along with other healthy ingredients like cranberry and flax seed.

3. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Recipe Dog Food

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Recipe Dog Food

Taste of the Wild’s Canine Recipe is another solid choice for pitbulls, due to its high meat content and use of vegetables instead of grains. They do a good job of marketing their products to give them an all-natural look and feel…now let’s see if the ingredients line up with that image.

Features

  • Price: $48.99 for 28 lbs. This makes it a fairly expensive option, and it’s also less calorie-dense than Bully Max (370 calories/cup instead of 535, which means you have to feed your dog more food per serving to get enough calories).
  • Quality: 5/5. Taste of the Wild is indeed formulated with natural meats and grain-free recipes, making it a high-quality dog food choice for pitbulls.
  • Adult or Puppy: It appears Taste of the Wild is formulated for adult dogs only.
  • Protein: The top 3 ingredients on the label are buffalo, lamb meal, and chicken meal, making this a good protein-rich food. We would have preferred to see buffalo meal as the first ingredient (as it’s more protein-dense), but there’s no question that this is a high-protein food.
  • Taste of the Wild also includes a good amount of vegetables for antioxidants, along with pre- and probiotics for better digestive health. We approve.
  • Main Feature: Many people like Taste of the Wild for pitbulls due to fun and exotic-sounding ingredients like pasture-raised bison and venison. While venison isn’t present in a high amount (it’s the 10th item on the ingredients list), it’s still a natural meat that dogs will enjoy.

4. Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food

Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food

Earthborn’s dog food claims to fulfill your dog’s ancestral dietary cravings…what does that mean, exactly? Well, marketing speak aside, it’s a solid dog food with a good variety of proteins and vegetables. They didn’t blow us away—and the pricetag is also on the steep side—but it might be worth a try if you can find a bag on sale.

Features

  • Price: $51.99 for 28 lbs makes this the priciest food in our list, and with only 400 calories/cup, it’s middle of the road in terms of calorie density.
  • Quality: 4/5. Solid choice with several proteins and a good variety of fruits and vegetables including blueberries, cranberries, apples, spinach, and carrots.
  • Adult or Puppy: Puppies and adults.
  • Protein: Number-one ingredient is bison meal—finally, a dog food that gets it! Points there…although we’re not sure why they also felt the need to include pea protein as the #3 ingredient. Seems like a strategy to inflate their protein percentage.
  • Main Feature: When you strip away the marketing, you’ll find a fairly solid dog food choice with a good range of fruits and vegetables.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, there’s no “right” or “wrong” dog food for your pitbull. The best dog food for pitbulls is going to be a nutritious food whose taste your dog enjoys. That said, you definitely want to make sure to choose a healthy dog food that delivers enough high-quality protein from meat sources.

Keep a lookout for tricks like using non-meat meals and adding pea protein to inflate the protein count, and remember that the total price tag doesn’t tell the full picture. Only by factoring in the calories/cup can you really find out how much you’re really paying to feed your dog each day.

Of course we’re biased :-), but we hope you’ll consider our Bully Max 30/20 High-Performance Dog Food. It’s the top-ranked food by many dog food experts, and if you give it a try, we’re confident you’ll find out why.

Hypoallergenic Dog Food Recipe

Food allergies can express themselves through a lot of different annoying (or worse) symptoms, like itchy skin, rashes, hives, and even ear infections. It can be concerning and frustrating when your pup is having a reaction and you just don’t know what’s causing it.

Discovering and understanding your dog’s sensitivity to certain foods can go a long way in keeping your dog safe and healthy. And when so many of the dog food options out there are filled with additives and preservatives, filler ingredients, and questionable protein sources, making your own dog food (with the guidance of your vet) is a great way to narrow down ingredients and determine the culprit. 

In this article we’ll be discussing the process you’ll go through when working with your vet to diagnose food allergies. We’ll also be explaining how to prepare your own homemade, top-notch hypoallergenic dog food. Let’s get started!

Understanding Our Dog’s Food Allergy

To understand your dog’s food allergy, the first step is to figure out which specific foods are causing an allergic reaction in your dog. It is important that you work with your vet to determine and diagnose any food allergies. They can also help you to rule out other potential environmental causes, too.

There are hypoallergenic dog foods available in the market today, but making your own homemade dog food puts you in total control of your dog’s diet and everything that’s going into their food. This way you can really effectively observe their reactions to different ingredients and learn what is causing the allergy.

Some common allergic reactions to dog food include:

  • Itchy skin
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Diarrhea/Vomiting
  • Hair loss
  • Anxiety 
  • Saliva staining

(As a side note, even if your dog’s allergies prove to be environmental rather than dietary, providing a nutritious all-natural diet will still be helpful in improving their health and minimizing their symptoms.)

Dog Food Elimination Trial 

Once you’ve taken your dog to the vet to diagnose possible food allergies, they will have to undergo an “elimination trial.” This will involve following a special, closely monitored diet that you will feed your dog for a limited period of time, usually no longer than 12 weeks.

You’ll simplify what you’re feeding your dog, limiting ingredients and closely watching how your dog reacts to their diet. This simplified diet should alleviate the allergic response that your dog was having. From here, the purpose of this elimination trial is to slowly, gradually introduce more and more ingredients, observing your dog carefully as you go to discover what’s causing the reaction.

You might be surprised to hear that food allergies aren’t always caused by a new food source. It’s also possible that your dog has started to develop an allergic reaction to a food they’ve been eating for months or even years. Dogs are most often allergic to high-protein foods such as beef, pork and chicken. Wheat, dairy and soy can be problematic as well.

For this elimination trial to be effective, you have to feed your dog only the hypoallergenic meals. That means no treats and no table scraps! And be sure that your trash can is well secured, so your dog has no opportunities to get into anything they’re not supposed to.

Our Hypoallergenic Dog Food Recipe

Once you’ve confirmed that your dog has a food allergy, you can try our hypoallergenic recipe. This recipe will be avoiding all of the most common allergens for dogs, such as beef, pork, wheat, and soy.

We’ll begin by collecting and preparing the following ingredients:

 

 

  • 1-2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cooked through until the potatoes become soft
  • 2-3½ cups of our Bully Max Total Health Powder for a healthy protein source
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 cups of assorted vegetables (such as carrots, spinach, pumpkin, etc.)
  • 1 cup of Plain yogurt
  • ¾ tsp per cup of food of powdered eggshell

 

Once your sweet potatoes have cooled down to room temperature you’ll want to either mash em’ up, or chop them into small, bite-sized pieces. You’ll do the same with your veggies. Dogs aren’t always the most thorough chewers, so it’s important that you really chop everything up into pieces that they can digest and assimilate. You could put your homemade dog food through a food processor, but it isn’t necessary. Avoid all seasonings, including salt and sugar.

Preparing homemade meals for your pup is a healthy and loving thing to do. The only limitation is that homemade dog food almost never contains the full spectrum of different nutrients that are so necessary for your dog’s health and longevity. This is why our Bully Max Total Health Powder is so perfect to include in hypoallergenic recipes. It’s free of all of the more common allergens, packed full of healthy protein, and it also contains all of the essential nutrients for dogs, including omega 3 fish oils and calcium. 

To learn more about which vegetables are safe and acceptable to use, check out our article, What Fruits and Vegetables Can Dogs Eat?

Serve Up Your Hypoallergenic Dog Food

After preparing your potatoes and veggies, simply collect all of your ingredients, mix them up in a large serving bowl, and voila! Your leftovers will keep for 7 or 8 days as long as they’re kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It’s advisable that you avoid heating your dog’s food in the microwave. You can simply leave out the portion of food you plan to serve your dog for 20 or 30 minutes before dinner time to let it warm up a bit. You can also add some hot water to their meal. Just be sure it’s not too hot!

Supplement With Bully Max 30/20 High Performance Dog Food

Thank you for trying our recipe. We hope your furry best friend loves it! Remember that it’s important to work with your veterinarian when diagnosing allergies and reintroducing foods after your elimination trial. 

And if you haven’t already, you’ll want to take a look at our Bully Max 30/20 High Performance Dog Food. It’s an all-natural, top-rated dog food that offers full label disclosure. It’s also free of corn, wheat, and soy, so you might benefit from making the switch if your current brand of dog food is causing problems for your dog. It’s also great when used to supplement homemade meals with added nutrition.

Dog Training: 2022 Costs Analyzed

Are you wondering whether dog training might be a good investment for your pet? Obedience training can prove beneficial for most dogs and for various reasons. Dog owners may choose to engage in private training or in group training depending on their goals. 

Some pet owners just want the socialization aspect of having their dogs interact with other people and pets, while others may want to teach their dogs specialized skills to assist with specific needs at home — such as nighttime security or alertness to a family member’s status. 

In this article, Bully Max breaks down the costs associated with dog training in 2022 and what you can expect when you enroll your pet. 

General Dog Training Costs in 2022

The following breakdown shows what you can generally expect to pay for various age-specific dog training:

  • Puppy courses: $70-$125 per private hourly session
  • Comprehensive adult in-home obedience course: $200-$350
  • Advanced adult in-home obedience course: $400-$550
  • In-home behavioral modification packages:
    • 5 classes: $300-$375
    • 10 classes: $500-$700
  • In-home aggressive behaviors packages: 
    • 5 classes: $400-$650
    • 10 classes: $800-$950

Always check with dog trainers in your own area for the most up-to-date pricing pertaining to your location and your pet’s needs. It’s also wise to research dog trainers before enrolling in a course. Consider consulting your veterinarian for references and the most appropriate courses for your dog. 

Factors Influencing Dog Training Costs in 2022

labrador dog in training

The good news is that dog training is highly customizable to your dog’s needs. Several factors will determine how much you can expect to pay for dog training, including your dog’s age and your reason for seeking professional assistance. You may also decide to have your dog complete more than one type of training.

Another factor is whether you want to enroll your dog in group classes or take private lessons. Typically, private sessions are a bit more expensive than group classes. This also includes whether your dog stays with the trainer for a set period or you pay for classes in a more day care-style setting. 

You’ll need to be mindful of the number of sessions your dog requires and whether any materials are provided, such as specific learning or exercise tools. The cost of dog training may also go up for puppy training and other forms of learning where special skills are taught (such as vehicle or family assistance).

Where you live will have an effect on dog training costs, as well. For instance, dog trainers in Brooklyn, New York, might be slightly more expensive than those advertising similar services in more rural areas. 

Location will also impact your dog training in one more way: whether the training classes occur at your home or in a studio. Some professional dog trainers choose to work in a studio where they can exert the most control over what the dog is seeing, smelling, and experiencing. Others may work in highly public areas or come to your home where the dog is most comfortable.

What Goes Into Dog Training Classes?

While training methods are as varied as dog breeds, most reputable training classes focus on positive reinforcement to help your four-legged friend learn boundaries and basic commands. Adult dogs who haven’t been handled much may need to go through additional exercises to socialize them. 

If you have a puppy that you intend to use as a therapy dog or canine good citizen, more advanced training in “people skills” may be mandatory. Any animal going into service dog training will require a far more lengthy and in-depth boot camp, including exposure to crosswalks, loud children, door buzzers, and more. Ultimately, your dog’s training will be determined by what new skills you hope for them to learn at the training facility. Naturally, the more your dog learns and is able to do, the higher the average cost of the training programs.

How to Assess Whether Dog Training Is Right for Your Pet

Are there habits you would like your dog to pick up? Perhaps you’ve noticed your pooch is suffering from separation anxiety when you leave home each day and has begun to chew the rugs to cope. These reasons and more can help you assess whether and what kind of dog training may be right for your pet. 

The American Kennel Club (AKC) lists dog training as a fundamental part of responsible dog ownership. Think of dog training as being like crate training — sometimes time-consuming but generally necessary. In particular, rescue dogs benefit immensely from having a professional dog trainer teach them basic obedience. In many cases, this may be the first time a rescue dog has seen a kennel or been freely touched by humans. Imagine being thrown into an office job when you had no educational background or work experience; the effect of going from hard circumstances to a stable home can be very similar for many rescue dogs without dog training.

However, all sorts of dog owners may choose to educate their pets via some type of training. Pet parents who want their dogs to participate in AKC sports may find that private sessions, teaching everything from new skills to advanced training in endurance, are necessary. By the same token, you may not have any competition plans for your pup but just want them to stop barking in the middle of the night and need some professional assistance dealing with this type of behavior. 

You might also be a new parent who wants to ensure that your adult dogs learn gentleness around children and basic commands surrounding all the changes in your home due to the child’s environment. The old saying is not true: You absolutely can teach an old dog new tricks.

Remember that it’s not just your pet that can pick up new skills in a dog training class. Many private sessions and group classes encourage owners to participate so the dogs get more familiar with the sound of their master’s voice. Dog trainers often emphasize that the most important socialization any dog goes through is that with their owner. 

With this in mind, some dog owners may choose to glean what they can from online dog training courses and teach their pets basic obedience themselves. They may then seek professional assistance with more complex commands. Whatever path you and your pooch take toward dog training, it should always be one you’ve paved together.

Benefits of Hiring a Dog Trainer

german shepherd dog trainer

Whether you’ve got a new dog, an older dog, or need puppy classes thanks to your last trip to PetSmart, there is a dog trainer out there for you. The benefits of enrolling your pet in professional dog training are extensive. 

From increased sensitivity to basic obedience to learning how to behave well around other dogs in day care, dogs can better respond when they’ve had some kind of training. The following list provides some of the more immediately visible benefits of engaging your pet in basic obedience classes:

  • Increased adaptability in public situations
  • Heightened alertness to human tones of voice and facial expressions
  • Leash and ground manners
  • Responsiveness to potty and crate training
  • Ability to make other desired behavior modifications in the future

Set Your Dog Up for Success

No matter what type of training you decide on for your canine companion, don’t forget to feed them well. Bully Max’s high-quality dog food provides the foundation your pet needs when exercised. For example, Bully Max’s High-Performance Dog Food has 30% protein and 20% fat to keep your dog energized and full during any of their training sessions. The 535 calories per cup will be much appreciated after a long day at doggie school, and the fact that our meat-based formula is packed with replenishing vitamins and minerals means you can feel good about what your dog is eating while they’re learning.

While you’re at it, check out our other products to keep your dog healthy — whether they’re working hard in class or playing in the backyard.