Best Dog Food for Pitbulls - Comparison and Reviews

Becky - author

Author: Becky Roberts
Last Updated: December 2019​

Category: Best Dog Foods

Pitbulls are a misunderstood breed. Sadly, that is because of the way they’re portrayed in the mass media as vicious dogs you can’t really trust. While energetic and aggressive, Pitbulls can also be gentle and extremely loving.

amstaff pitbullAmerican Pitbull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, American Bulldogs, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers are all often considered under the Pitbull umbrella. Many of these breeds were originally developed as fighting dogs, and from here a great deal of the stigma against pits sprang up.

So, what is the best food for Pitbulls? We’re here to help you every step of the way with that today. A typical healthy adult pitbull will need upwards of 1,000 calories a day, although particularly active dogs could need as many as 1,700 calories. You should split this over at least two meals.

You’ll need to focus on protein-rich foods to help build your dog’s muscles along with high-quality carbs and plenty of healthy fats. We’ll get straight down to business now with a curated selection of the ten best dog foods for Pitbulls. After that, we’ll round out with all you need to know about buying this food the easy way.

Best Dog Foods for Pitbull 2019 - Reviews

1. Bully Max Super Premium Dog Food – Best for Muscle Growth and Weight Gain 

Bully Max dry dog food works well for any active and healthy athletic dog, making it a great fit for your pitbull.

The 30% protein from real meat sources will help your pitbull gain weight and build strong muscles without getting obese in the process. The 20% fat content consists of the good sources of fat any healthy, growing dog needs. The high-protein, high-calorie food keep working dogs energetic and healthy. That’s why we have rated Bully Max as the #1 dog food for Pitbulls because other regular brands could be high-protein but, at the same time, don’t have high-calories like Bully Max.

On top of it, there are no artificial additives, grains, corn, wheat or soy in the ingredients.

While you might shy away from some brands of dog food purely based on how many product recalls they’ve experienced, Bully Max has never suffered this fate. Their rigorous triple layer of monitoring keeps their standards beyond reproach.

This high-performance mix works with all life stages from puppies to seniors but is ideally suited to adult Pitbulls.

If you shy away at the price of this food, consider the fact you might actually end of using less food due to the high calorific content. So, why not give some a try and see if you notice any added muscle on your beloved pit.

Bully Max High Performance Super Premium Dog Food (15 lbs.)


  • More calories per cup than any other food in its class
  • 30% protein from all-natural sources to give your pit all the power he needs
  • This food has never been subject to recall thanks to a triple-check quality control system


  • Expensive

2. Taste of the Wild High Protein Dry Dog Food – Good for Strong and Lean Muscles

The philosophy underpinning Taste of the Wild (TOTW) dog food is simple yet effective. The range of dog food is developed to replicate what dogs would eat if left to roam wild. The Prairie formula is a neat match for an active adult pitbull with no health issues. The flavors of bison and roasted venison deliver your dog a real treat without any overpowering or unpleasant smell.

Containing 32% protein derived from these high-quality sources, the chelated minerals present allow these proteins to be readily absorbed. Your pitbull will benefit in terms of muscle growth as well as skin and coat health.

It has a grain-free formula so your beloved canine will grab his carbs from sweet potato and peas instead of allergenic grains. Animal and plant products come together to deliver plenty of fiber, and your pit will also get a great dose of healthy fats and Omega-3 fatty acids for a well-rounded nutritional package.

Watch out if your dog has kidney or liver issues due to the extremely high protein content of TOTW. For healthy pits, though, this is one of the best foods in a glutted market.

Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe High Prairie Premium Dry Dog Food


  • Unusual and high-quality protein sources including venison, wildfowl, and bison
  • Real meat as the primary ingredient to help your bully develop healthy muscle
  • Grain-free with vegetables used as a source of carbs


  • Some owners report digestive issues with occasional batches of TOTW

3. Blue Buffalo Wilderness – Best Budget-Friendly High-Protein Grain-Free Food for Pitbulls

You need to make sure your pitbull gets enough protein, but it’s also important to ensure that protein comes from the right source. Blue Buffalo Wilderness comes with 24% protein from real chicken. You can also opt for duck or salmon.

The LifeSource Bits much touted by the manufacturer are grain-free kibble jammed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to keep your pitbull’s immune system and oxidative balance in check.

You won’t be plagued by poultry by-product meals, and there’s no cheap filler either—no soy, no corn, no wheat. Carbs are delivered through sweet potatoes and peas giving your bully all the energy he needs with none of the additives he doesn’t.

Available in 4.5-, 11-, or 24-pound bags, this grain-free dry dog food represents quality and taste on a budget, so what’s not to love?

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken 4.5-lb


  • Packed with healthy carbs but absolutely no grains
  • Contains protein from real chicken and is loaded with vitamins and minerals
  • Antioxidant-rich kibble to help support your dog’s immune system


  • Some owners report skin reactions in their dog​​

4. Purina ONE SmartBlend – Most Affordable

Protein content should be uppermost in your mind when you’re looking for dog food, especially for Pitbulls, even if you are on a budget.

Purina’s ONE line punches above its weight here with an impressive 30% protein content in this salmon and tuna feast with the best price in the market. We have found it to be one of the most affordable food for Pitbulls that is high in protein and has other added values as explained below.

The SmartBlend formula is designed so there’s no filler and absolutely every ingredient counts. It’s useless for your dog to pack on lean muscle if his joints can’t cope. This food includes a source of glucosamine to keep your pooch’s joints perfectly lubricated and supportive.

Your dog will also benefit from a range of B-vitamin supplements among the power-packed ingredients. Keep your pitbull healthy in general and not just strong.

Bear in mind that this dry food contains soy by-products, and there’s also gluten in the mix. If this sits OK with you, your dog will be greedily slurping down fresh tuna goodness, and his overall health will feel the benefit.

Purina ONE High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food, SmartBlend True Instinct With Real Turkey & Venison - 27.5 lb. Bag


  • Made from real salmon and tuna to give your pit bull 30% premium protein for packing on more muscle
  • No unhealthy filler just prime ingredients for the whole health of your beloved dog
  • Antioxidants and healthy Omega-3 fatty acids along with glucosamine for joints, serving up a complete nutritional package


  •  Relatively strong-smelling food

5. AvoDerm Advanced Grain-Free Dry Dog Food – Best for Senior Pitbulls

Is your pitbull getting on in years now? If so, it’s more important than ever to focus on giving him the best possible food. As your dog ages, you’ll want to make sure his skin and coat are adequately nourished. Packed with avocados and stripped of all unnatural fillers, AvoDerm’s dedicated Senior Health line encourages a healthy coat.

Lamb and chicken-derived proteins will give your senior Pitbull the energy he needs in tandem with enough carbs to keep him going all day. DHA from natural fish sources will give your dog’s eyes and brain function a helping hand as he moves into his golden years.

As long as your pitbull doesn’t mind chewing up larger pieces of kibble, this protein-laced taste sensation should keep him satisfied and in peak condition.

The 4-, 12-, or 24-pound bags come in very keenly priced, too. What are you waiting for?

AvoDerm Natural Advanced Senior Health Dry Dog Food, Grain Free, Lamb Recipe


  • Ideal for Senior Pitbull Dogs
  • Avocados work to improve your aging dog’s coat and skin
  • Protein from lamb and chicken to give your pitbull all the power he needs
  • Free of wheat, corn, and soy while packed with vitamins and minerals to boost your dog’s immune system


  • Very large pieces of kibble

6. Natural Balance LID (Limited Ingredient Diets) – Best for Pitbulls with Skin and Food Allergies

Sometimes less is definitely more. That’s the case with this grain-free limited ingredient dry dog food from Natural Balance. It’s ideal for energetic medium breeds like Pitbulls. It’s one of the top quality dog food that you should feed your pitbull if it has any skin or food allergies. 

Protein comes from a single source – salmon, in this version – while sweet potatoes are used for an easily-digestible and premium source of carbohydrates. This combines to give your pitbull all the essential amino acids he needs along with a healthy dose of potassium.

This grain-free food is designed for adult dogs. You should find your pitbull has an abundance of energy, and you should also notice a marked difference in the quality of his coat and skin after eating Natural Balance. Alongside all the macronutrients your dog requires, this formula is also packed with vitamins and minerals to boost your pitbull’s overall health as well as his musculature and coat.

With over three decades of experience producing dog food based on sound nutritional science, Natural Balance is a brand you can trust.

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Fish Formula Dry Dog Food, 26 Pounds, Grain Free


  • Huge array of flavors to choose from— something for all palates
  • Perfect for puppies and adults while also suitable for seniors
  • Premium sources of both protein and carbs


  • Some dogs might find this formula awkward to digest

7. Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free Dog Food – Healthy and Balanced Nutritional Diet

Another superb grain-free dry dog food tailor-made for medium-large, energetic breeds, this Wellness Complete Health Formulation comes packing plenty of goodness. What makes it so good for Pitbulls, though?
All pits need plenty of protein as you’ll be well aware. Using premium sources like deboned fish and chicken as the first ingredient leaves your beloved pet in safe hands. With no soy, wheat, meat by-products, or any other nasty additives and preservatives, you’ll be serving your Staffie up with all the nutrients he needs but none of the filler he doesn’t.

The best protein, carbs, vitamins, and minerals are not much use if your dog can’t digest them. A powerful combination of prebiotics and probiotics promote digestion. This formula is also riddled with antioxidants boosting your dog’s immune system and general health.

The super-shot of protein your pitbull needs is nicely balanced out with a selection of healthy fats and carbs to keep energy levels up and a nutrient-dense batch of prime ingredients. This is one of the premium dog food brands which offers a balanced nutritional diet for medium-large breed dogs like Pitbulls.

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Large Breed, 26-Pound Bag


  • Chicken as the first ingredient and a fine source of lean, prime protein
  • Formula contains spinach and blueberries, both rich in antioxidants to help your Pitbull’s skin and coat health
  • Easily digestible thanks to probiotics and prebiotics along with chicory root and plenty of fiber


  • A few reports of bad batches with moldy food, so check contents closely upon arrival

8. Diamond Naturals – Affordable High-Calorie Dry Food for Pitbulls 

All Pitbulls require a diet that’s rich in protein derived from worthwhile sources. With 23% of the content of Diamond Naturals sourced from cruelty-free chicken, you can relax knowing your pit is getting all the great protein needed to pack on some lean muscle.

Each cup of this premium food serves up 329 calories, and the probiotics ensure this is easily digested and metabolized. As Pitbulls age and become less explosively active, joint problems frequently manifest. The ingredients of Diamond Naturals help to ease this.

Fat levels are kept nicely balanced with carbs coming from sources other than corn and wheat. The formula also contains all the vitamins and minerals your pitbull needs for a healthy coat and overall vigor.

Diamond Naturals Adult Large Breed Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food With Real Cage Free Chicken 40Lb


  • Protein-rich formula sourced from cage-free chicken ideal for muscular Pitbulls looking to get even bigger
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin to help mitigate the joint issues that plague Pitbulls in later life
  • 329 calories per cup and 13 grams of healthy fats


  • Some issues with consumers unhappy with changes to the formula

9. Purina PRO PLAN Focus Sensitive Skin and Stomach

The Focus formula from Purina is a good fit for large breeds of all ages. It also works very well if your dog suffers from sensitive skin as so many Pitbulls do.

With this flavor, the protein comes from real salmon, so you’re off to a good start. This formula is not grain-free, but you won’t get corn, soy, or wheat. Carbs come from oatmeal and rice so your pitbull should be filled with energy all through the day.

As long as you don’t mind your dog wolfing down a few grains, the overall nutritional profile of this formula is solid. Laden with antioxidants and rich with prebiotic fiber, minerals, and vitamins, you’ll be giving your pit a real treat if you invest in this lip-smacking food.

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food, FOCUS Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula - 30 lb. Bag


  • A winning formula if your pitbull has any type of skin sensitivity
  • Contains real salmon or lamb as the first ingredient, guaranteeing prime protein for your pit
  • Prebiotic fiber encourages digestive health and overall wellbeing


  • Quite a pronounced smell

10. Taste of the Wild Canned Stew Dog Food

Rounding things up with another Taste of the Wild offering, this wet food is an acquired taste. Some delighted pet owners find their pits wolfing down these cans of wet food while others find their pooch turns his nose up. Taste of the Wild is rated by us as the top wet food for Pitbulls. 

This Pacific Stream formula takes protein from real salmon. Quality, not just quantity, counts with this macro profile, and your pit will be thanking you as he slurps this down. You’ll be rewarded as you see his muscles increase in size. It’s extremely good dog food for weight management. Skin and coat health also get a nice jolt with the fatty acids in the ingredients working to achieve this.

If your pit isn’t too keen on fish, there’s a wide array of meat-based recipes including wild boar, lamb, roasted duck, bison, and venison. Whatever tickles your pitbull’s taste buds, you’re in safe hands with this formula.

Taste Of The Wild Grain Free Real Meat Recipe Premium Wet Canned Stew Dog Food (12) 13.2 oz. Cans


  • Formula packed with protein from real salmon as the primary ingredient to make it easy for your pit to pack on lean muscle
  • Highly beneficial fatty acids ensure your pet has a resplendent coat
  • Supremely digestible formula to give your dog’s stomach a helping hand as well as piling on those muscles


  • Watch for dented cans as this will compromise the seal

How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Pitbulls

When you’re looking for the best dog food for your pitbull, you need to take the amount of energy this muscular breed burns through into account. You’ll need to provide a protein-dense diet packed with nutrients. How can you best achieve this?

Related: Best Large Breed Dog Food

pitbull puppy

To replicate a natural canine diet, you should ensure protein and healthy fats are the core ingredients. For adult dogs, AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) recommends a minimum of 18% protein for adult pitbulls and 5% fat. These are minimums and can be increased substantially.

Pitbulls have monstrous appetites so you shouldn’t struggle getting your pet to consume 922 to 1,740 calories a day. We appreciate this is a very wide band, but, as we said earlier, there are many variables at play.

Rather than free feeding, you should limit your pitbulls to two meals a day after eliminating the third meal puppies enjoy.

With those basics in place, what should be in the food to hit those macros and overall goals?

What Ingredients to Look for in a Pitbull Dog Food

Rather than specific ingredients, think about the main macronutrients:

  • Premium Protein
  • Healthy Fats and Fatty Acids
  • Quality Carbs
  • Vitamins and Minerals

Premium Protein

Not all protein is created equal. To give your pitbull all the amino acids he needs to build lean muscle, you’ll need to ensure high-quality protein from a number of sources. Protein from real meat and fish is generally recognized as the best option for pitbulls—and all dogs actually.

While protein is critical throughout a pitbull’s life, with puppies, you should really ramp up the protein intake even further. The minimum suggested protein for a pitbull is 18%, but this can easily be jacked up to 25% or 30% if your dog is highly active and always primed for action.

Beyond that point, don’t go overloading as this can aggravate kidney problems in pitbulls.

What else apart from plenty of protein, then?

Healthy Fats and Fatty Acids

Forget the notion that fat is bad. It’s not all bad, but you certainly need to ensure it’s the right kind of fat. With plenty of healthy fats and Omega-3 fatty acids, you’ll ensure your pitbull’s skin is supple and well-nourished while he’s also got plenty of energy.

How else can you make certain he’s got all the energy he needs?

Quality Carbs

As with all macros, you need to get carbohydrates from good sources. Cheap grain and filler are not good sources.

Increasingly, you’ll find food for pitbulls where carbs come from sweet potato and peas. Not only will your pitbull feel full and energized, but these foods are also packed with other nutrients, too. You shouldn’t overlook those other unsung heroes in pursuit of protein.

Vitamins and Minerals

While pitbulls obviously don’t eat a vegetarian diet, you can find vitamins in minerals in proteins and fats as well. Pitbulls need calcium, phosphorus, and iron on board. Vitamins A, B, C, and E are also vital for overall wellbeing.


What can I feed my pitbull to make it big and muscular?

The main thing to concentrate on is delivering a high-protein diet. Go with a 40% protein content if you’re looking to increase your pitbull’s size. Add 40% carbs and 20% healthy fats to the mix, and you’ve got all you need in terms of macros. Make sure you feed him at least 1,000 calories a day across two meals. With plenty of exercises and the above slant to his diet, you should watch your pitbull’s muscles continue to grow.

What happens if I try to increase my pitbull puppy’s muscle mass when he’s young?

This is not advisable. Stick to a balanced diet. If you attempt to load up your pitbull puppy too young, you can certainly accelerate growth, but it might come at the cost of the bone structure at a later stage. You should stick to standard puppy food in normal quantities to 8 months then switch to junior food until the age of 2.

What foods are pitbulls allergic to?

While pitbulls don’t top the list as far as breeds prone to allergies, they do often have skin issues with certain ingredients. When introducing a new food, watch closely for any signs of your pitbull vomiting or sneezing. Look out for any hair loss or skin problems, too.

If you notice any signs of an allergy, this could be an ingredient in the kibble your pitbull can’t tolerate. You should get your dog straight to the vet so you can have a test performed and hopefully isolate the sensitive ingredient. There’s no specific food notorious for bringing on allergies in pitbulls, but it’s quite common for them to be sensitive to any number of ingredients.

Is chicken bad for pitbulls?

No, it isn’t. Pitbull foods frequently use chicken as a protein source. It’s also no problem to feed your pitbull some unseasoned cooked chicken for a treat as a shot of extra protein.

What ingredients are bad for pitbulls?

Poor sources of protein – meat by-products, for example – can be damaging. Corn and grain are low-caliber fillers that should be avoided. Additives are normally bad news as well.

What’s the problem with cheap filler and grain in dog food?

These are certainly not the type of foods your dog would eat if he were left to a wild, natural diet. These ingredients can lead to weight gain, upset stomach, and digestive issues. Beyond this, these ingredients are often used in place of quality sources of protein and carbs so your pit could also be left flagging with inadequate energy and even malnutrition.

My Pitbull eats too much too quickly?

Gastric dilation is a condition that can occur with potentially damaging consequences if your pitbull eats too much too quickly. Make absolutely certain your dog doesn’t wolf down his food. Space meals apart and keep a close eye out for vomiting or bloating.

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