Best Puppy Food for Pitbulls: 9 Best Choices for Active Bully Pups

By Coty Perry

Choosing the best puppy food for pitbulls is important because you want to give your Bully pup the nutrition they need to grow up big and strong. These pups need a lot of protein and calories to maintain their active lifestyle. 

In this guide, you’ll learn the best practices for choosing dog food and a few options we recommend. 

Common Nutritional Needs of Pitbull Puppies

Pitbulls are a large and muscular breed with high amounts of energy. Since they are such a large and energetic breed, Pitbulls have different nutritional needs than smaller breeds with a lower energy level, so it is essential to understand what dog foods work best for your Pitbull. Your Pitbull or large dog breed requires a diet that consists of protein, fruits, and vegetables.

Here are some nutritional needs that are unique to Pitbulls. 

High Protein – Pitbulls require a high protein diet because they need the protein to help keep them strong and active. Since Pitbulls are such a muscular breed, you want a dog food that helps them gain muscle and gives them energy. Their dog food should contain about 20 to 25 percent high-quality protein.

Carbohydrates – Pitbull puppies require about 25 to 30 percent carbohydrates in their daily diet. Your dog can consume foods that contain complex carbs (whole grains, quinoa, green vegetables, and sweet potatoes), simple carbs (fruits), and fibers (vegetables). A reasonable amount of carbohydrates in your Pitbulls diet helps complement the high amounts of protein it is being fed.

Calcium – Pitbull puppies should consume about 2.0 to 4.5 grams of calcium per 1,000 calories. This is about 1 to 1.5  percent of their diet for your Pitbull. Calcium is responsible for keeping your dog’s bones strong and is especially important for your pup’s bones if they are still growing. 

Animal Fat – Your pitbull requires 14 to 17 percent animal fat on a daily basis. Some common forms of animal fat include chicken, beef, eggs, fish, pork, lamb, and plant-based proteins like vegetables, grains, and legumes.

Animal fat helps provide energy, keeps the musculoskeletal and immune systems strong, builds and repairs muscles, and helps form nail cells, new skin, and hair.

Best Dog Food for Pitbull Puppies – Top Picks

These are our top picks for the best dog food for Pitbull puppies.

Nutro Ultra Puppy Dry Food

Best Overall for Pitbull Puppies

4.8 out of 5

  • High in protein, containing lamb, salmon, and chicken
  • High-quality ingredients
  • No artificial ingredients, flavors, preservatives, or colors

The Nutro Ultra Puppy Dry Food is the best overall dry food to give to your Pitbull puppy. This food is rich in protein and contains chicken, salmon, and lamb. In addition to the three main ingredients, it also has 15 superfoods, such as kale, coconut, chia, and blueberries. The ingredients in this puppy food help promote healthy skin for your puppy and a healthy coat. 

Your Pitbull pup will enjoy this kibble, made from non-GMO ingredients. The Nutro Ultra puppy food has everything your puppy needs: high protein, minimal carbohydrates, calcium, and animal fat.

Instinct Original Puppy Grain-Free Chicken Wet Food

Best Wet Dog Food for Pitbull Puppies

4.6 out of 5

  • Chicken is the first ingredient and also includes beef, liver, and salmon
  • Loaded with fruits and vegetables
  • Grain-free, with no artificial colors or preservatives

Your Pitbull puppy will love the taste of Instinct Original Puppy Grain-Free Chicken wet food. This wet dog food is packed with protein to ensure that your Pitbull puppy grows to be strong and muscular. 

It contains natural DHA, which helps to support your pup’s eye development and brain development. It includes vegetables like peas, carrots, artichokes, pumpkin, cranberries, blueberries, tomatoes, etc. 

This dog food is especially helpful for those puppies with sensitive stomachs or grain allergies because it is grain-free and does not contain any wheat, potatoes, corn, soy, or by-product meal. The serving size of this canned dog food depends on your Pitbull’s age, activity level, and environment. There are feeding instructions listed to ensure you feed your pup the proper amount given the circumstances.

Merrick Grain-Free Real Texas Beef and Sweet Potato Puppy Food

Best Dry Dog Food for Pitbull Puppies

4.7 out of 5

  • Provides your puppy with 75 percent protein from animal sources
  • The first ingredients are real deboned beef and sweet potatoes
  • Includes chondroitin and glucosamine to help maintain healthy joints and hips

Merrick Grain-Free Real Texas Beef and Sweet Potato Puppy Food is a great dry food for your Pitbull puppy. It is loaded with protein and healthy fats to help your puppy maintain an ideal weight and have increased energy. In addition to helping your puppy maintain healthy joints and hips, this dry food also contains omega fatty acids to help support a shiny coat and healthy skin.

Your puppy will not only enjoy the taste of Merrick Grain-Free dry dog food, but it will benefit from what the food offers. Your puppy will be on track to develop healthy joints, hips, bones, healthy energy levels, muscles, healthy brain development, healthy skin, and a shiny coat. 

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Best Grain-Free for Pitbull Puppies

4.8 out of 5

  • It contains high protein from roasted bison and venison as the main ingredients
  • Many vitamins and minerals support a healthy coat and skin
  • Contains species-specific K9 strain proprietary probiotics, antioxidants, and prebiotics to support healthy digestion, overall health, and a healthy immune system

Your puppy will enjoy the Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, as it features many benefits for your pup’s health. This dry food is made from roasted bison and venison and is grain-free. It contains many vegetables, like sweet potatoes and peas, to help nourish your growing Pitbull puppy. 

These ingredients will help provide your puppy with abundant energy while also supporting your pup’s digestive health. Since this food contains natural antioxidants and essential minerals, your pup will receive the maximum benefit this food provides: high energy, healthy digestion, and a healthy immune system. 

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy Chicken Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Best High-Quality Protein for Pitbull Puppies

4.6 out of 5

  • Made using high-quality protein to help promote strong muscle growth
  • Contains ARA and DHA, found in mother’s milk, to support renal health and cognitive development
  • Provides excellent sources of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals 
  • First ingredients are chicken and peas

The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy Chicken Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is made using high-quality protein to ensure your Pitbull puppy grows to develop strong muscles and high energy. The DHA and ARA found in mother’s milk are included in this recipe, which helps support your puppy’s renal and cognitive health. 

This dry dog food for puppies does not contain any poultry by-product, wheat, corn, soy, or artificial preservatives or flavors. This food is explicitly crafted for large breed puppies, like Pitbulls. Chicken is the number one ingredient in this recipe, contributing to the high-quality protein this food provides.

Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Holistic Puppy Diet Dry Dog Food

Best for Food Allergies

4.8 out of 5

  • All-natural balanced diet to promote the healthy development of large breeds
  • Made using easily digestible energy sources and protein, like chicken, egg, and menhaden fish
  • Rich in protein, calcium, phosphorous, and antioxidants to support overall health for puppies with sensitivities

Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Holistic Puppy Diet Dry Dog Food is holistically formulated to promote the healthy development of your growing Pitbull puppy. It uses proper amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fat, calcium, and phosphorus to ensure your puppy achieves optimum growth. 

This food is perfect for puppies with stomach sensitivities, as it is made from menhaden fish, chicken, and egg, which are all easy for your puppy to digest. In addition to healthy digestive health, this dry food also supports healthy joint health, a healthy immune system, healthy brain development, and healthy nervous system development. 

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Puppy Gastrointestinal Dry Dog Food

Best for Healthy Digestion

4.6 out of 5

  • Great for puppies with short term or long term digestive sensitivities
  • Promotes healthy digestive health and optimal stool quality
  • Helps manage GI health with easily digestible ingredients and electrolytes

The Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Puppy Gastrointestinal Dry Food is the best food to give to your puppies with digestive sensitivities or sensitive stomachs. However, you will need to obtain a prescription from your pup’s vet to purchase this food. 

You need the prescription because this food is made explicitly for puppies with digestive sensitivities, and not all puppies will benefit from using this food. Your puppy’s vet will allow your pup to have this food if they feel your pup will benefit from this diet. This dry food contains many easily digestible prebiotics and proteins and also contains high energy. 

The light ingredients and electrolytes will allow your puppy to grow, without worrying about their sensitive stomach getting in the way. If you believe this food will benefit your pup, contact your dog’s vet to inquire about a prescription for this food.

Castor & Pollux Organix Healthy Grains Organic Puppy Recipe 

Best for Healthy Skin and Coat

4.5 out of 5

  • Made using healthy grains, but no wheat, corn, chickpeas, soy, or lentils
  • No artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors
  • Organic, free-range chicken is the first ingredient.

The Castor & Pollux Organix Healthy Grains Organic Puppy Recipe is made from nutritious ingredients, such as chicken, flaxseed, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and blueberries. This dry food helps promote healthy skin and coat for your growing pup. In addition, the Castor & Pollux dry food contains DHA, which supports your puppy’s brain development. 

Your puppy will enjoy the flavor of this food and will grow to be a strong and healthy Pitbull with a beautiful coat and healthy skin. This food is made in the USA and does not contain any artificial ingredients, GMO, chemical pesticides, or synthetic fertilizers.

Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Chicken and Barley Entree

Best for Supporting Healthy Immune System 

4.3 out of 5

  • Balanced nutrition is great for overall health
  • Loaded with vitamins and minerals
  • Contains grains as a healthy source of carbohydrates 

This recipe from Hill’s is great by itself or as a complimentary food to go along with dry kibble. It contains a balanced formula to help with your dog’s immunity and mobility. The high-quality protein sources are great for dogs with allergies and it promotes general digestion. 

The Science Diet uses scientific evidence to back all the ingredients they put in their food so you know you’re feeding your puppy something that is going to promote their growth and development.

Choosing the Best Dog Food for Pitbull puppies 

Now that you’ve seen examples of our favorite puppy food, let’s talk about how we came to these conclusions. There are fewer times more important than the puppy stage of your dog’s life so giving them the fuel they need to grow up big and strong is important. 

What Kind of Dog Food Should I Feed My Pitbull Puppy?

Pitbulls are a muscular breed that desire a lot of protein and fat in their diet. It’s recommended that adult Pitbulls get between 34-40% animal protein and the number is approximately 25% for Pitbull puppies. 

That said, feeding your Pitbull grain-free food is still up in the air. There is very little medical evidence that states that grain-free is a better choice for Pitbulls, but it does generally result in a higher protein content. 

The most important thing above all else is that you’re feeding your dog a food that is rich in high-quality ingredients with real meat being the priority above all else. Look for great complimentary ingredients like potatoes, vegetables, and berries as well. 

Should Puppies Eat High Protein Dog Food?

Pitbull puppies, unlike most puppy breeds should still have a high amount of protein in their diet. This doesn’t mean that you need to go out of your way to find some type of special formulated food for your dog, but it’s important to keep in mind. 

To help foster healthy muscles in your dog, feeding them a diet that is rich in protein will help them grow. Again, protein is merely one piece of the puzzle. What’s most important is that the dog food contains high-quality ingredients with real meat, real vegetables, and a lot of vitamins. 

What Should I Feed a Pitbull Puppy at 8 Weeks?

During the period of 6-12 weeks you want to feed your pitbull puppy something specific for puppies. They generally prefer to eat wet dog food at this stage but you can start introducing hard kibble as well. 

It’s important to understand that puppy foods are naturally higher in calories than adult dog foods because you’re dealing with an active pup that is trying to grow. They can have a lot more calories than an adult dog because they’re moving around a lot more and their body requires it. 

The general measurement is approximately two cups of dog food divided into equal meals throughout the day. 

What Do You Feed a 9 Week Old pit bull Puppy?

You will feed a 9 week old Pitbull puppy the same as an 8 week old puppy. Nothing has changed in a week and you should certainly follow the same regimen as you have been. 

It’s also essential to realize that puppies and even adult dogs thrive with expectation so they do well when they know what’s happening. Feed your dog at the same time everyday, the same amount, and continue this process as they age into adulthood. 

These types of routines not only help your dog’s health but it helps their behavior as well. It will result in less begging, nagging, and bad biting behavior because your dog will know exactly when mealtime is and won’t expect to eat outside of that time. 

Can Pit bull Puppies Eat Dog Food That Has Brown Rice?

Yes, young puppies and adult Pitbulls can and should have brown rice in their diet. Dogs are not generally strict carnivores and while Pitbulls require a little more protein than a lot of other breeds, you still don’t want to restrict healthy carbohydrates from their diet. 

That said, there are some concerns with brown rice. Some dogs have a hard time digesting it and it can also lead to food allergies. If you notice your dog experiencing allergies, you may want to consider switching them to a grain-free diet or consulting the wet. 

Brown rice has a seed coat on it which can make it more difficult to digest. While brown rice does have more nutrients and minerals than white rice, it’s not always the best choice for dogs. The reality is, you have to feed it to them to know if there is a problem or not.  

What Brand is the best dog food for Pitbulls?

This is an incredibly subjective question and can vary dramatically from one dog to the other. Generally, you want to stay away from brands that put out a low-quality product. There are also “middle of the pack” brands like Purina that claim to be healthy but their ingredients say otherwise. 

In our opinion, some of the best brands are: 

  • Wellness 
  • Instinct 
  • Taste of the Wild 
  • Blue Buffalo
  • Orijen
  • Nulo
  • Nutro
  • Diamond Naturals 

Some of the worst brands are:

  • Iams
  • Purina
  • Kibbles ‘n Bits
  • Gravy Train

What Can I Feed My Pitbull Puppy to Get Big?

Adjusting their diet to something with high-quality protein and low-carbohydrates is a way to make them grow bigger and stronger. Of course, this isn’t always better or necessary for their health so we wouldn’t recommend doing so unless consulted by a veterinarian first. 

Is Chicken Good for Pit bulls?

Many dog foods contain chicken because it’s a good and lean source of protein. In many cases, chicken is the primary ingredient and it doesn’t typically result in allergies so it’s a popular option. 

Pitbulls need a lot of protein and chicken is one of the best options for it. We recommend feeding your Pitbull puppy food with chicken as the main protein source. As long as they like it, you have nothing to worry about. 

What Foods Can a Pitbull Not Eat?

This breed can have a delicate stomach at times so there are quite a few things you can’t give them. The good news is, most of the foods you won’t want to feed your pitbull aren’t too different from foods you wouldn’t typically give a dog anyway. 

Here are some foods that are poisonous to Pitbulls:

  • Chocolate
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Artificial Sweetener
  • Avocado
  • Grapes
  • Nuts
  • Mustard

Now, here are some foods that are not poisonous, but are generally bad for your Bully

  • Dairy
  • Salt

Final Thoughts 

You love your pitbull puppy and that’s what brought you here. Feeding them any of the high-quality dog foods listed in this guide will help them develop and grow at a healthy rate, you don’t have to worry about that. 

Nutro Ultra Puppy Dry Food is our favorite pick though because we think it combines all the best elements to really get your pup started out in the right direction. If you’re more interested in wet dog food, Instinct Original Puppy Grain-Free Chicken Wet Food is also a great option! 

Photo of author
Coty Perry
Coty is a self-proclaimed cat whisperer and animal lover. Growing up his mom ran a dog training business out of his childhood home so you can say it was complete chaos 24/7. Today, when he comes home after a long day of writing about animals, he’s greeted by his two loving cats Marley and Cozmo.