Pitbulls tend to have big appetites to match their big personalities. And this beautiful dog breed will eat just about anything you put in front of it. If you’re like most new Pitbull puppy owners, you are probably wondering what kind of food you should be feeding your pooch to ensure that they grow strong and healthy as they age into adulthood. There are many interesting options available on the market, each claiming to provide optimal nutrition for dogs of all shapes, sizes, and breeds.
But no two dog food brands are created equally. A package may say that a food includes complete nutrition, but that doesn’t mean that it will provide your Pitbull pup with all the vitamins, minerals, and protein they need to thrive. We know how tough it can be to figure out what kind of quality food to feed a Pitbull puppy, so we’ve taken the time to review several brands to see which come out on top and which should be skipped. Following are reviews for our eight favorite types of dog food for Pitbull puppies.
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.
How Much Should I Feed My Pitbull Puppy?
If you’re feeding your puppy a commercial diet, this question is easily answered.
Commercial puppy foods come with empirically determined daily amounts—just check the packaging.
The amount of calories your Pitbull pup needs depends on her age and weight.
If you think that the amount on the packaging is too much or not enough, double-check with your vet.
Don’t forget to account for treats. Ideally, these should be deducted from your puppy’s daily calorie “allowance.”
If you are feeding your pup a raw or home-cooked diet, calculate the daily calorie need yourself.
Weigh your dog often and adjust accordingly.
How Much Should A Pitbull Puppy Eat?
Pitbull puppies need food with a higher calorie and fat content to help them grow. An ideal diet would include 22% to 32% protein. Protein is pivotal in muscle and bone growth. Ideally, Pitbull puppies should be on their mother’s milk for the first six weeks of their life. Pitbull puppy formulas can be used as a substitute if the mother cannot nurse puppies for this long. Males tend to be larger and will need more sustenance.
Newborn Pitbull puppies are blind and deaf at birth. Their eyes and ears will open in the next few weeks. At this time, puppies will spend most of their time asleep or eating. Despite seeming like they are not doing much, puppies are growing quite rapidly at this time. They will stick very close to their mothers and rely on their mother’s milk for their nutrition.
The mother’s milk has everything puppies need. It is high in colostrum, which gives pups antibodies. Colostrum is the first milk produced by a momma dog directly after birth. It is custom-created to fulfill the unique needs of puppies and is full of antibodies, hemoglobin, and other growth factors. Colostrum cannot be recreated artificially. If possible, mother dogs should breastfeed puppies right after birth to get this nutrient-rich health supplement that is important to their development.
Mother dogs should be encouraged to nurse their puppies as long as possible. However, unfortunately, some mother dogs will reject their pups or not be able to produce enough milk to sustain them. If this happens, contact your vet as soon as possible. They can help you choose the right supplements and substitutes to ensure your puppy gets everything she needs.
By two weeks old, puppies will start to look and feel a little sturdier. Their eyes and ears will open. You will see which puppies are the strongest and most active. Make sure all puppies are getting the opportunity to nurse from their mom. Smaller pups who may not be getting enough milk may need to be given formula as a supplement. It is a lot of work for puppy owners in these first few weeks to ensure that puppies are getting enough appropriate nutrition. This is a vital time in their development and sets the stage for a healthy life.
At three weeks old, Pitbull puppies will have found their feet. They will start taking exploratory steps around their mothers and will likely be off-balance and a little UN sturdy. They should still be entirely sustained on the mother dog’s milk. Do not attempt to wean a puppy just yet. If a puppy needs to be put on formula, try to stick to one kind. Ask your veterinarian for the best milk substitute. Do not try to introduce a three-week-old puppy to any type of solid food. A Pitbull puppy’s appetite will start to increase as they burn off extra energy learning how to use their legs.
At four weeks old, your Pitbull puppy will be reasonably sturdy on her feet. She should still be nursing if possible. If weaning needs to start at this point, there are a couple of ways to do it. The substituting of formula for breast milk, as we mentioned before, will provide a puppy with the same nutritional sustenance she will get from her mother. It is okay at this time to introduce a tiny amount of puppy food mixed with water. The mixture should be mostly water, with a ratio of about three times as much water as dog chow.
Puppies may or may not be interested in puppy chow at this time, and it is perfectly normal for them not to be. Her mom’s milk is still the best choice, and instinctively she may know this. When she is ready to move on to dog food, she will let you know. Do not stop trying to introduce it, but do not force the issue. They will likely have a set of puppy teeth at least partially grown in by now.
By five weeks of age, Pitbull puppies will be a little more curious. They will want to explore around them more and will have mastered their legs and feet. They should also be growing some teeth by this time, which may coincide with their interest in solid dog chow. Again, puppies at this age should be fed a mixture that is mainly water. They should still get most of their nutrition and food from their mother’s milk.
At six weeks (about one and a half months), old Pitbull puppies should be interested in a mixture of water and dog food. You can reduce the amount of water in the mix if your puppy is eating well. She will still be nursing and getting the bulk of her sustenance from her mother. However, if this is not possible, continue to supplement with puppy formula. Keep in close touch with your vet to make sure that your puppy is getting the right amount of nutrients and vitamins crucial to her development if she cannot nurse.
By seven weeks (about one and a half months) of age, Pitbull pups should start weaning from their mother. They will likely be eating puppy chow. You can cut out most of the added water at this time and work on getting your puppy to eat the dog food more rather than relying on their mom’s milk. By now, mother dogs will likely tire of nursing, and their bodies will need replenishing.
Pitbull puppies should be 100% reliant on puppy food by eight weeks of age. They should get offered meals about four times a day. It is best to get your puppy on a consistent feeding schedule. Even if your puppy whines a little bit between mealtimes, it is okay to let her get a little bit hungry rather than give in to the whining. By this stage, pups should not be getting formula and should not be bothering mom for milk anymore. They are also old enough to go to new homes. Before eight weeks of age, it is really best that they stay close to mom.
Nine-week-old pups will be 100% on solid puppy chow. There are plenty of options for both dry and wet kibble. About two cups of chow a day divided into three or four servings is what they need right now. Puppies will be highly active at this stage, and you may see some fluctuations in appetite. There may be some days when she wants to eat everything in sight and other days when she seems a little less hungry. If your dog refuses to eat, reach out to your veterinarian to figure out the problem.
Puppies that go off to new homes or come into your home at this age might be switched from the food the breeder was using to the food their new owners choose. Keep in mind that this switch may cause them a little bit of tummy trouble. If possible, try to wean them off the old food by introducing a mixture of old puppy chow and new puppy chow. You can gradually phase out the old food. Make sure not to do this too quickly, as it can cause a puppy digestive distress.
A ten-week-old Pitbull pup can only be described as a handful. She will be full of energy and curious as can be. She may try to investigate the great big new world she lives in by trying to eat everything in sight. This includes people’s food, puppy chow, and household items that might not be edible. Keep a very close eye on her, and make sure to keep your home as clean as possible. Your pup will have a bigger appetite now than you have ever seen. This is because she is burning a lot of energy playing, exploring, and learning new things. Your puppy should have been to the vet to talk about puppy shots and any nutritional or other health concerns by ten weeks.
At this age, puppies may start to develop an attitude and a little bit of a stubborn streak. This can sometimes affect mealtimes. If she refuses to eat at mealtime, it is recommended to leave the food out for 10 minutes and then put it away. There is nothing like a growling tummy to teach your puppy that mealtimes are when we eat. It is vital to establish these set mealtimes and limit your pup’s control of her food. She may be cute, but she does not know what is best for her well-being and long-term health.
At eleven weeks (about two and a half months), your Pitbull puppy should still be on a regular feeding schedule. Four times a day is ideal. Three times a day is okay if four is not possible. Limit mealtimes to about 10 to 20 minutes. Make sure to clean up any leftovers that she does not eat. Leaving chow out all day sends a message that she can eat whenever she wants to. It is essential to keep her on a regular feeding schedule to monitor how much she is eating, teach her to eat the food you offer, and see how well she reacts to it.
At twelve weeks (about three months) old, your Pitbull pup will be a bundle of energy. Periodic snacks and treats throughout the day are okay. Try not to overdo this. Stick to regular mealtimes. Three meals a day is perfect at this point. Keep your Bully pup on puppy chow, even though she might seem ready or interested in adult dog kibble. Puppy formulated dog food contains the perfect balance of nutrients to ensure your puppy’s health. She should stay on puppy chow for the first year of her life. Puppy kibble has a higher calorie count, and with a large amount of energy she is expending, she will need that specially formulated puppy diet.
A general guideline for Pitbull puppy eating schedules is as follows:
Remember, as your puppy gets older, she will need fewer calories. Younger puppies need more, so they will need to eat more periodically throughout the day. Very young puppies will need meals offered to them every few hours to ensure that their blood sugar stays at a healthy level.
Pitbull pups will reach an adult weight at about 13 or 14 months old. So, you can expect rapid growth for the first few months and then growth to taper off as they reach a year old.
Newborn Pitbull puppies weigh about 7 to 10 ounces. By two months of age, they will have reached about 7 pounds. At four months, Pitbulls can weigh in their range of 18 to 21 pounds. Around six months, they will reach 30 pounds. Between 6 and 8 months, Pitbulls will reach on average 35 pounds, and by a year or 14 months, they will reach 38 pounds.
Some Pitbulls will weigh much more than that. Many reach 60 or even 100 pounds. It all depends on their specific bloodlines, whether they are purebred, and the genetic makeup of their parents. The information we are presenting is a general guideline.
Regardless of the size, your Pitbull reaches as an adult, the most important thing to remember is that she is healthy and receives proper nutrition from newborn to adulthood.
What kind of food should I feed my pitbull puppy?
What can I feed my pitbull puppy to get big?