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 a good 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 2020.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
Certain ingredients can exacerbate health issues in dogs. Here are some of the most common problems and their offending ingredients:
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 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.
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: 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
Adult or Puppy
Bully Max 30/20 High Performance Dog Food
Adults and Puppies
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Duck Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Deboned Duck (not meal)
Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food
Buffalo (not meal)
Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food
Adults and Puppies
Now let’s take a closer look at these dog foods.
Simply put, Bully Max 30/20 High-Performance Dog Food is the best high-protein dog food 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 overall dog food for pitbulls by Spruce Pets!
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
At the end of the day, there’s no “right” or “wrong” dog food for your pitbull. The best choice 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.