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Best Dog Food For Pit Bulls: Our Top Picks For All Ages, Skin Allergies & Affordable Options

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Last Updated: May 10, 2024 | 12 min read | Leave a Comment

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Pit Bulls aren’t an officially recognized breed but rather a term we use in the U.S. for several breeds or mixed-breed dogs with similar physical traits, such as a muscular, stocky body, broad head, and short hair. The breeds most commonly called Pit Bulls are the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Bully, American Staffordshire Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Despite the bad rap Pit Bulls get in the media, they’re extremely popular family pets due to their loyal and highly affectionate personalities. If you’re a proud Pittie parent, you know your pup is a muscular powerhouse who burns a lot of energy. This requires a diet higher in calories, protein, carbohydrates, and fats than many other dogs need.

I’ll explain the nutritional needs of Pit Bulls for each life stage and give you my top picks to help you find the ideal diet for your furry friend. I also highlight food that’s ideal for some common health concerns with pitties, such as skin allergies and joint problems.

OverallPuppiesAdultsSeniorsFor Skin AllergiesMost Affordable
The Farmer's Dog packagesORIJEN Puppy Grain-Free Dry Dog FoodTaste Of The Wild Roasted Bison & VenisonNulo Freestyle bagCanidae Pure Limited IngredientPurina Pro Plan Performance 30-20
The Farmer’s DogOrijenTaste of the WildNulo SeniorCanidae PurePurina Pro Plan
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Read ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead Review

All of the dog foods I’ve included in my reviews meet or exceed Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) nutritional guidelines, are made in the U.S., and contain no by-products, preservatives, or artificial ingredients. Also, several of the dog foods our team often recommends are grain-free. While the FDA has not found a significant link between grain-free dog food and heart health, it’s wise to talk with your vet before switching your dog’s diet. You might also consider using a fresh, grain-inclusive food as a topper on grain-free kibble or mixing in rice with grain-free food.

Best Overall (For All Life Stages): The Farmer’s Dog Review

The Farmer's Dog packages.

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I’ve chosen The Farmer’s Dog as the best overall food for Pit Bulls for several reasons. First, The Farmer’s Dog offers fresh, human-grade meals that contain whole-food protein, vegetables, fruits, and fish oil fortified with vitamins and minerals appropriate for every life stage. All meals contain no grains, soy, corn, preservatives, or artificial ingredients.

Second, they personalize your dog’s food for his life stage and specific dietary needs. How does this work? You create a profile of your pup by filling out a brief survey, which includes your dog’s age, breed, current and target weight, and whether he has any health conditions (e.g., allergies, digestive issues, joint problems, etc.).

The ultimate benefit of The Farmer’s Dog is that they take the guesswork off your plate to make sure your puppy, adult, or senior dog is getting the ideal portions and nutrition your Pittie needs.

Another big plus is that The Farmer’s Dog offers beef, chicken, pork, and turkey recipes developed by board-certified American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN) nutritionists, and all of their meals meet AAFCO guidelines for a balanced diet for all life stages.

  • Price: Starting at $2/day for small dogs, but varies based on each dog’s weight, age, and other factors (e.g., $51.74/week for mixed-breed male, one-year-old, 38 pounds, healthy size, neutered, no health problems, or allergies) 

Our readers have access to 50% off your first box. No code is needed; just use this link, and the discount will be applied!

In-Depth Review Of The Farmer’s Dog

Be sure to read our full review of The Farmer’s Dog for details on formulas, ingredients, dog profile screenshots, and more. Also, check out more fresh dog food reviews.

Best Puppy Food For Pit Bulls

Pit Bull puppies require puppy-specific food that has a different balance of vitamins and minerals essential for puppy growth compared to adult dog food. They also need 22-32% protein, 35-45% carbohydrates, 2.4-5.6% fiber, and 14-17% fat content to help them grow.

Orijen Puppy Large Grain-Free Review

Orijen large breed puppy.

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Orijen’s philosophy is that our pets should eat ingredients that reflect the diet nature and evolution intended them to eat. Their dog food contains 85% premium animal ingredients, including highly nutritious meat, organs, and bones. This grain-free large-breed puppy formula is packed with protein, fat, and calories to fuel active and growing Pit Bull puppies.

Healthy legumes, whole vegetables and fruits, and essential vitamins and minerals round out an all-natural, nutritious blend that’s ideal for your puppy’s development. This formula is also fortified with glucosamine for joint health, omega fatty acids for skin and coat health, and probiotics for easy digestion and gut health. And pet parents say their puppies love the taste.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Puppy Review

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Puppy.

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This high-protein recipe features deboned beef as the first ingredient to fuel your energetic, growing Pittie puppy and help build lean muscle mass. It also contains easy-to-digest grains, including oatmeal, barley, and brown rice, that Pit Bull puppies need for their high energy levels.

If your pup has shown signs of food sensitivity, this recipe could be a great alternative. It’s free of any chicken products, corn, soy, wheat, preservatives, and artificial ingredients. It features Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits, which contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants optimized for growing puppies. DHA and omega-3 and 6 fatty acids help support cognitive development, immune health, and skin and coat health.

Wellness CORE High Protein Puppy Review

Wellness CORE High Protein Puppy

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Wellness CORE is an excellent line of dog food that contains carefully crafted ingredients for whole-body health. This high-protein puppy formula packs a powerful punch of 36% protein, 17% fat, 457 kcal/cup, nutrient-dense superfoods, and other natural ingredients to support lean body mass and muscle tone.

It’s fortified with omega fatty acids, antioxidants, glucosamine, probiotics, and taurine to support your puppy’s developing immune system, heart, brain, joints, gut, skin, and coat. And if you’re wary of grain-free puppy food, this puppy food contains low-allergen, wholesome grains such as barley, oatmeal, and quinoa.

Best Adult Food For Pit Bulls

Between 12 and 18 months, you’ll need to transition your Pit Bull to adult food. Adult Pitties still need higher levels of protein, fats, carbs, and calories than some other dogs. Just make sure you’re not overfeeding your furry friend. Pit Bulls have a tendency to gobble up their food quickly. If this sounds like your pup, you may want to get a slow-feed dog bowl.

Taste Of The Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Review

Taste Of The Wild High Prairie Grain-Free

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Taste of the Wild High Prairie is a popular choice for many Pitties, including those who have sensitive stomachs and itchy skin. With loads of healthy fat and protein from novel sources like water buffalo, bison, and venison, this food provides your active pup plenty of fuel while keeping tummy troubles at bay.

It also includes an excellent blend of probiotics and prebiotics in chicory root for optimal digestion. Omega fatty acids boost skin and coat health, and real fruits and vegetables provide natural antioxidant support. Grain-free with no corn, wheat, or soy, this recipe features sweet potatoes and peas for easily digestible energy.

  • Price: starting at (14-lb bag)

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Plus Wholesome Grains Review

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Plus Wholesome Grains

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If you prefer a grain-inclusive diet, this Blue Buffalo formula is an ideal choice for adult Pit Bulls. Featuring an optimal blend of high protein (chicken, duck, or salmon options), fat, and easy-to-digest complex carbohydrates, such as oats, barley, and sweet potatoes, this recipe provides your Pittie plenty of energy and lean muscle development.

Real fruits and vegetables, plus Blue Buffalo’s antioxidant-rich LifeSource bits, support your pup’s immune system health. A blend of other vitamins and minerals, glucosamine, probiotics, and omega fatty acids keeps your Pittie’s whole body as healthy as possible.

Crave High Protein Grain-Free Review

Crave High Protein Grain-Free

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Crave is a lesser-known pet food company that develops high-quality food based on evolutionary nutrition. This grain-free dog food features 34% protein, 17% fat, and plenty of carbohydrates your pup needs to maintain a lean, healthy body and the energy to run and play. We recommend the whitefish and salmon recipe, particularly if your dog has sensitive skin.

The limited ingredients, including protein sources, lentils, peas, and omega fatty acids, are also ideal for skin issues. It also contains no chicken by-product meal, soy, corn, or wheat and no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

Best Dog Food For Senior Pit Bulls

Pit Bulls are considered seniors around eight or nine years old. At this time, you may want to switch your Pittie to a dog food made specifically for the nutritional needs of older dogs. Most senior bullies don’t require as many calories and fat because they’ve slowed down their activity. However, research has shown that older dogs don’t metabolize proteins as efficiently as younger dogs, so you’ll still want to ensure your senior bully’s diet is high in protein.

Older dogs are also prone to more sensitive stomachs and arthritis, so if your pup has these issues, look for food fortified to address these problems. Weight control is also important as dogs age because they’re more susceptible to weight gain as they become increasingly less active.

Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Senior Review

Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Senior

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Nulo Freestyle’s Senior formula contains fewer calories and fat than adult food, but it’s still high in animal protein to support Pitties’ muscular bodies. This grain-free recipe features deboned trout as the first ingredient and is chock full of easy-to-digest legumes, fruits, and vegetables.

It’s fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin to support aging hips and joints. It also includes L-carnitine, which helps the metabolism of fats in older, less active dogs. Pure probiotic strains aid in digestion and keep the gut healthy. And trout is an excellent natural source of omega fatty acids for skin and coat health.

In-Depth Nulo Review

Our full review of Nulo dog food provides more details on all of this premium brand’s formulas, ingredients, and more.

Diamond Naturals Senior Review

Diamond Naturals Senior

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Not into grain-free dog food? We’ve chosen Diamond Naturals Senior formula as the best grain-inclusive senior chow for Pit Bulls. It contains easy-to-digest grains such as barley, oatmeal, quinoa, and rice with no corn, wheat, or soy. Real, cage-free chicken is the first ingredient, and it’s packed with antioxidant-rich real fruits and vegetables.

This recipe is fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin, omega fatty acids, prebiotics, probiotics, and L-carnitine, ideal ingredients for bullies in their golden years. Diamond Naturals is among the most affordable dog foods for the level of quality you get. While it contains a bit less protein (25%) than our other top picks, that level should be adequate for most older Pitties.

  • Price: starting at (6-lb bag)

Go! Solutions Carnivore Grain-Free Senior Review

Go! Solutions Carnivore Grain-Free Senior

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With 32% protein from such sources as chicken, turkey, duck, salmon, and trout, this grain-free formula is ideal for older Pit Bulls who are still fairly active. Another benefit is the addition of green-lipped mussels, plus glucosamine and chondroitin, to help maintain your pup’s joints and mobility.

This recipe is also packed with such superfoods as pumpkin, carrots, broccoli, bananas, blueberries, and cranberries — excellent natural sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Prebiotics, probiotics, and L-carnitine benefit your dog’s digestion and metabolism. And taurine supports your pitty’s heart and eye health.

Best Dog Food For Pit Bulls With Skin Allergies

Skin allergies are a fairly common problem for Pit Bulls. If your pup suffers from chronic itchy skin, certain ingredients in his dog food or environmental allergens, such as dust mites or pollen, could be to blame. A limited-ingredient diet containing a novel protein (one he’s never eaten before) could help ease his skin troubles and go a long way in promoting healthy skin. You may also want to consider a dog allergy supplement, with your vet’s okay.

If you suspect your bully has a food intolerance or is allergic to environmental factors, you may want to consider an at-home dog allergy test to uncover the source of his skin issues. You send a saliva or hair sample to the company’s lab and get results within a few weeks. You can then share these results with your vet to help further narrow down possible causes.

Canidae Pure Limited Ingredient Review

Canidae Pure Limited Ingredient

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If you’ve been feeding your dog chicken or beef, those are the two most common ingredients dogs are allergic to (along with dairy products, wheat, corn, and soy), Canidae’s Pure Limited Ingredient adult recipes may help your pup achieve the healthy skin you both want. You can choose from duck, bison, wild boar, lamb, goat & venison, and more. Each formula is grain-free with no corn, wheat, soy, or fillers and contains only seven to 10 whole-food ingredients. And they have enough calories, protein, and fat to fuel active Pitties.

An excellent blend of probiotics, antioxidants, and omega-3 and 6 fatty acids can go a long way in helping your dog’s itchy, dry skin. It also includes glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health and taurine for heart health. Canidae Pure comes in grain-inclusive kibble and wet dog food.

Nulo Freestyle Limited+ Review

Nulo Freestyle Limited+

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Nulo offers another excellent limited-ingredient formula, suitable for puppies and adult dogs. We recommend the salmon recipe, which is the only animal protein source to help with intolerances and allergies. It also has higher caloric, protein, fat, and fiber content than many other limited-ingredient dog chow, making it a good choice for Pit Bulls.

This grain-free recipe includes such healthy carbohydrate and fiber sources as chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and miscanthus grass. Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, and it’s fortified with prebiotics and probiotics, which can also help ease allergy symptoms.

Best Affordable Dog Food For Pit Bulls

If you’re on a tight budget, here’s our top pick for the best high-quality dog food at the most affordable price.

Purina Pro Plan Performance 30/20 Review

Purina Pro Plan Performance 30/20

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Purina’s Pro Plan line of dog food comes highly recommended by veterinarians. And we think it’s the most affordable you can find for high-quality, high-protein dog food. With real chicken as the #1 ingredient, this food is formulated with 30% protein, 20% fat, and 489 kcal/cup to fuel active dogs and help maintain lean muscle. Fortified with glucosamine, probiotics, omega fatty acids, EPA, DHA, and amino acids, Performance 30/20 supports your pup’s whole body health.

Take note, however, that this formula contains grains and corn in case your dog has sensitivities. If your dog doesn’t tolerate chicken well, it also comes in beef & bison, salmon & cod, turkey, duck & quail recipes. Purina also offers this line in a Puppy formula and an Adult 7+ formula, which contains less fat to help with weight control once older dogs become less active.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions pup parents ask most often about feeding Pit Bulls. Don’t see yours here? Ask me in our comments.

What Should A Pit Bull Eat Daily?

The most important thing to keep in mind for Pit Bulls and any other breed is that they should eat well-balanced, high-quality dog food for their meals every day. All vets agree that this is the cornerstone of your pup’s nutritional needs. Find out how much your should feed your Pit Bull.

What Can I Mix In My Pit Bull’s Food?

As long as your vet approves, you can mix in extra protein boosts like freeze-dried food toppers or partial portions of similar dog food. Stella & Chewy’s and Dr. Marty brands have some excellent options if you feel your Pittie needs more fuel during the day.

If your Pittie is a picky eater or you don’t think he’s getting the ideal nutrients from his kibble, you can also consider topping off his kibble with fresh dog food like The Farmer’s Dog or similar brands.

What Foods Can Pit Bulls Not Eat?

Foods Pit Bulls cannot eat include several human foods that are unsafe for all dogs. See our comprehensive guide on foods that are and aren’t safe to feed our furry friends. If you would like to share fruit snacks with your pup, check out our article on which fruits are safe for dogs.

Should I Consider A Hip & Joint Supplement?

Pit Bulls are prone to joint problems, particularly hip dysplasia and arthritis. So you may want to consider adding a daily joint supplement to your Pittie’s diet. The best joint supplements for dogs help maintain joints in healthy dogs, and for dogs with joint problems, they help improve joint health and relieve inflammation, stiffness, and pain. As with all supplements, you should get your vet’s okay first.

Our Methodology

We analyze hundreds of dog food brands and individual formulas to provide our recommendations for the best nutrition. Each of the following elements helps us determine the best dog food for any dietary need. Our in-depth research includes:

  • Scrutinizing all ingredients included in every formula
  • Having firsthand experience with our dogs for many of the foods we recommend
  • Assessing the guaranteed analysis for every formula, including protein, fat, fiber, and caloric content
  • Investigating the latest scientific studies on dogs’ nutritional needs and benefits of ingredients
  • Researching the specific dietary needs for breed sizes and health conditions
  • Reading hundreds of customer reviews
  • Staying informed on every dog food recall
  • Diving into every pet food brand’s history and reputation
  • Keeping on top of pet food trends

Unlike many other review sites, we give unbiased reviews based on countless hours of research. Our goal is to provide our readers with the healthiest options for their pups.

Why Trust Canine Journal?

Sally has researched and reviewed hundreds of different dog food brands and specific formulas. She’s an expert at analyzing dog food ingredients based on current nutritional guidelines and scientific studies for the healthiest food for our pups. She’s part of a team of dog specialists at Canine Journal who have over a decade of experience in researching, testing, and writing about everything you need to know to keep your pup healthy and happy.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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