If you have adopted or are considering adopting a Pitbull puppy, you will want only the very best for this growing member of your family. But you need to know what to expect to encourage positive growth.
This includes knowing how much to feed a Pitbull puppy, how often to feed your puppy, and even what food is the right choice for your puppy.
Regardless of the age of your puppy, you will need to feed your puppy with care, helping ensure that he grows steadily into a healthy adult Pitbull. This is what you should know.
|Age||Type of Food||Cups a Day|
|7 – 12 weeks||Puppy Food||2 – 3|
|13 weeks – 6 months||Puppy Food||3 – 4|
|7 – 15 months||Puppy Food||4 – 5|
|Adult||Adult Dog Food||4 – 5|
Is My Puppy the Right Weight?
Weighing your Pitbull pup regularly—at least once a week—is very important.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your puppy’s body condition score.
The body condition score is a hands-on way to determine how much “fluff” is on your puppy.
Watching the weight development and the body condition score, you can react early if your puppy’s growth comes to a halt.
What happens if your puppy is too skinny?
Being underweight can interfere with your pup’s healthy growth.
Also, there might be an underlying reason why your pooch is not gaining weight like she should.
If your puppy is too skinny despite eating a hearty appetite, have your veterinarian check for parasites.
You might think being a bit too “fluffy” won’t harm your Pitbull puppy.
But being overweight during the growth period can put a lot of stress on the bones and joints of your Pitbull.
It’s never too early for good weight control.
What if your puppy is always begging for food?
First off, make sure your pup is not underweight and is getting the right amount of calories.
When that’s settled, and your pooch is still hungry, try distributing the total daily food portion onto more feedings throughout the day.
If that still doesn’t help, you could try some treats in between meals. But make your puppy work for them.
Kibble is very handy to use for puppy training. It can also be filled into food balls or dog puzzles to exercise your puppy’s developing brain.
It’s not advisable to just give your puppy treats whenever she is begging.
This teaches your pup really quickly that the begging eyes work, and you won’t get another quiet minute.
It’s normal to get worried if your puppy refuses a meal.
Maybe your pup is just too overwhelmed from learning, playing and all the new experiences to get hungry.
If it’s just one meal that your pup skips, no need to fret.
Should your Pitbull pup miss more than two meals—or go without food for more than 12 hours—it might be a cause for concern.
Check if your puppy has any other symptoms, such as:
Then, give your vet a call to discuss whether an emergency visit is warranted.
Feeding a Puppy a Homemade Diet
What about feeding your dog home-cooked meals?
If raw feeding isn’t for you, cooking for your pup can be an option.
Also consider this if there are immuno-compromised individuals or small children in your household that are in danger of meat-borne pathogen infections.
Just as with raw diets, ensure your puppy is getting all the necessary nutrients in the right ratios and amounts.
Your vet can help you with a meal plan.
What to Feed a Pitbull Puppy
Now that we’ve seen the nutritional needs of a Pitbull puppy, let’s have a look at how to meet them.
There are two different ways to go.
You can choose a commercial dog food (kibble, wet food, or both) or you can prepare your puppy’s meals yourself (either cooked or raw).
If you choose the latter option, it will be your own responsibility to put together a complete and well-balanced meal plan.
It must meet all the AAFCO requirements for growing puppies.
Pitbull puppies might sometimes have a “sensitive stomach.”
Pitbulls also have a high incidence of food-related allergies that manifest as skin problems.
They might react to certain ingredients, so searching for the food your Pitbull puppy thrives on can require a bit of experimentation.
But don’t despair; it can be done.
When you’re in doubt, talk to your vet and try out different options. Let’s see the various types of puppy food in detail.
Kibble is the most convenient dog food.
It’s easy to store, can be used as treats or fed on the go, and it comes in all sorts of different flavors.
If you’d like to feed your Pitbull puppy kibble, it’s worth spending a bit more for an all-natural brand with premium ingredients.
Studies have shown that more expensive kibble is often more easily digestible.
Try to avoid ingredients like corn, soy, wheat, and fructose or glucose syrups.
And let’s not forget the most important thing.
To make sure your puppy has all the nutrients it needs to grow up healthy, choose a kibble designed specifically for medium-sized puppies to large breeds.
Wet food is also a commercial type of dog food. The difference from kibble is that wet food contains about 75 percent water.
The moisture unfolds all the aromas in the food, making wet food extremely palatable for most dogs.
The downside of the moisture is that wet food spoils more easily.
Additionally, there is no mechanical abrasion of your puppy’s teeth, so there is no “teeth-cleaning effect” as there is when feeding kibble.
Many dogs have loose stools when fed wet food in large amounts.
Could you feed your Pitbull puppy only on wet food, in spite of this?
Yes, it’s possible to feed a puppy only on wet food, as long as the packaging says “complete” food (and not “complementary”).
However, we recommend only using wet food as an occasional treat or to mix it together with kibble.
The biologically appropriate raw foods (BARF) takes a different approach: It tries to mimic what your dog’s wild ancestors eat.
These diets contain mostly raw meats, bones, and some vegetables and fruits.
Supporters of raw feeding claim that it makes their dogs healthier and the coat shiny.
The veterinary community is still rather divided on this subject.
Studies haven’t been able to conclusively prove that raw feeding is better than commercial diets.
They haven’t been able to refute it either, though.
The most important thing to pay attention to if you want your Pitbull pup to thrive on a raw diet is meeting the AAFCO nutrient requirements.
We suggest working closely with an experienced vet or canine nutritionist to put together a complete and well-balanced meal plan.
There’s a stubborn myth out there that raw feeding makes dogs more likely to bite, as it’s said to “bring out their wild side.”
In a breed like the Pitbull—that already has an unwarranted bad reputation, and certainly a dangerous bite—this is often used as a key argument against raw feeding.
We can put your mind at easy, though.
This theory has absolutely no scientific truth to it. Your dog will not become “blood-thirsty” because of a BARF diet.
Anecdotally, though, some dogs are more defensive of their food bowl on a raw diet.
It’s certainly a good idea to keep children away from your puppy’s food bowl at meal times, anyway.
One last important thing to pay attention to when feeding a raw diet is hygiene.
We can’t stress this enough, as raw meat is frequently contaminated with harmful bacteria and parasites.
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