From the looks of their muscles, there’s no doubt that Pitbulls need food with a high protein consistency. Their diet is supposed to sustain the growth of their bodies, much so from puppyhood and adulthood. Pitties are strong, agile, and energetic dogs all because they have more muscles compared to other breeds. With that, you should serve them the best high protein dog food for Pitbulls:
|Orijen Regional Red |
|Instinct’s Nature’s |
High in protein, low-grain – this is a simple formula for a Pitty’s diet. As you supply them with muscle building blocks, you also have to limit the ingestion of grains. Grains, especially “unwhole” ones, are difficult to digest. Still, it doesn’t mean you’re going to ditch grains entirely. The extensive protein profile of the food can still be paired with grain-based carbs like brown rice and sweet potatoes.
How much protein does a Pitbull need?
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Protein is one of the most important food components for dogs. It’s also as important as it is for us humans so we can stay healthy and lean. Since Pitbulls are high-energy breeds, they have a much greater need for complete protein.
For puppy Pitties, protein intake ranges from 22%-32%. The more active the Pitty is the bigger protein allotment it should be. This same protein intake applies to performance dogs or those that are involved in shows and active drills.
As for adult Pitbulls, the protein intake is a bit lower at 15-30%. Depending on the exact breed, the protein level should be adjusted accordingly.
Remember that as the Pitbull gets older, the lower the amount of protein it needs.
This is the reason why senior Pitties need more carbs than proteins. Since they aren’t as active as younger pooches, excess protein will just result in health problems.
If in case your Pitty is joining racing competitions, the suggested protein requirement is at a high of 28%-34%. Still, the amount of protein should be based on the protein and calorie ratio.
For lactating mom Pitbulls, the protein intake should be around 25%-35%. This is why nursing, racing, and performance Pitties are fed with puppy food. Such a meal has considerably higher protein than usual adult dog food.
Regardless of age, some weak dogs will need additional protein too. Pitties who are lethargic without any underlying disease might be lacking protein to sustain their muscles.
Benefits of high protein dog food
You always have to keep up with a growing Pitty. Be it their yappy nature, their pesky chewing, or their body’s need for fuel. As for the latter, amino acids is one of the crucial body fuel you need to provide. And since Pitbulls are stocky, it makes perfect sense why there’s a need for a high-protein diet.
However, protein isn’t just about bulking up. This food component also improves satiation and fat burns. For Pitties who are a bit beyond their recommended weight, more protein and more exercise would be an excellent pair.
Protein also contributes to repairing cells, skin, glands, and organs.
But like how the Harvard Medical School says it, never overdo the serving.
Aside from that, the protein content of the dog food makes your Pitbull feel fuller. As you know, these doggos are hefty eaters. It’s important to keep them full without giving excess portions.
If you choose the right protein source (which I’ll be discussing later on), your doggo will also experience minor benefits. Protein can help improve coat condition, boost the immune system, and reduce vet visits. Remember, though, that these benefits fall in a case to case basis.
But as much as it’s a good idea to give protein to Pitties, we should know the difference between high levels and excess levels.
Things to watch out for
Protein is an indispensable food component but it can also pose threat to your dog if fed haphazardly. Pawrents who have Pitties with lingering kidney disease should be careful in feeding high-protein diets to their dogs. The excess protein can worsen the situation, thus hurting more than helping. At this point, what your Pitbull needs is a high-quality protein source in small portions.
As for healthy doggos, you should still be mindful of the amount. Always follow the vet’s recommendation based on your Pitty’s activity level and body size.
Feeding your pooch excessive amounts of protein daily will likely trigger kidney issues.
Remember, too, that a Pitbull’s diet isn’t just about combining high protein with other nutrients and minerals. Also, the extra protein level will make calcium and phosphorus control a bit of a challenge. Excess protein that’s not suited for your dog’s age and size would make them grow faster than they should be.
Take note that Pitbulls are prone to skeletal issues. If you have a pup, it’s never a good idea to serve him food fit for a racing dog. This will land you to endless vet visits and an overgrown pooch.
As you see, feeding the best high protein dog food for Pitbulls isn’t a black and white concept. You always have to consider the recommendations of your vet or a pet nutritionist if need be.
Protein can be a case of extremes. It’s a staple for dogs, but it can also trigger allergies. Unfortunately, Pitbulls have this hard-wired sensitivity, causing a host of allergies. Food allergy, for one, is the most notorious case among veterinarians.
Each Pitbull dog will have unique reactions to various food components.
The only way to know if your doggo is allergic to a certain protein source is to put him on it. Wait for a week and see if there will be adverse effects.
Somehow, this is a hit-and-miss process for some owners. The guidance of a veterinarian will make the selection for best high protein dog food for Pitbulls easier.
Based on my personal experience, Pitties tend to be less allergic to “rare” and “exotic” protein sources. The likes of venison, bison, wild boar, and duck are just some of the best options. But not to discount the quality of other sources, turkey, chicken, beef, and pork can still be great sources.
Pawrent alert: Pitbulls have high allergy risk to beef, rabbit, and pork. Still, this doesn’t mean your doggo is already allergic to these by default.
Checking the protein source
Protein sources aren’t made equal. Each meat cut will have its own protein profile. What’s important is you stick to ‘complete’ protein sources that bear all the amino acids your dog needs.
Right now, you can find almost all meat-type possible in commercial dog food. Each of these products is packed with different levels of protein and meat sources. So instead of manually preparing your dogs’ meal at home, you can simply shop based on the protein source that you deem perfect for your pooch.
So what’s the best protein source? Generally, these are the best finds for my Pitties:
>>Eggs. A lot of pet owners overlook how nutritious and healthy eggs are. Although this is a dairy food item and can be an allergen, nothing beats its protein profile. If your dog doesn’t have an adverse reaction to eggs, you can even pop a raw piece on his meals. Digestibility level: 100%
>>Real meat. Never, ever purchase a dog food that uses meat by-products as protein sources. These are inferior food components that are less digestible than quality cuts. Yes, there’s still protein on this component but it will only pass through stool when left undigested. With that, opt for high-quality and real meat. Digestibility level: 92%
>>Fish. Protein isn’t just the thing of red meat. You can also find a reasonable amount of protein in fish together with the much-needed Omega-fatty acids. Wild Alaskan salmon is one of the best examples as well as anchovies and other smaller fishes. Digestibility level: 75%
>>Meat meal. Never confuse meat meal with meat by-products. Meat meal is actually pulverized real meat. The powder will then have a very concentrated level of protein sans the moisture. This is usually added to dry food. Digestibility level: 90-92%
How about plant-sourced protein?
It’s important to recognize that plants, too, can be great sources of protein. This is the reason why vegans get to live despite ditching meat for good. But when it comes to our Pitties’ diet, plant-sourced protein isn’t always an amiable choice.
Plant protein has the lowest digestibility level for dogs. The likes of chickpeas, quinoa, spirulina, and lentils are all nutritious but it only has 54% digestibility. Some plant sources can have 75% tops.
Still, it’s not pure evil to mix a little of plant-sourced protein with red meat. Veggies are the best sources of fiber and minerals which your doggo needs. However, don’t rely on it as the main source of protein for their growing bodies.
Surprisingly, some vets still attest to the fact that a vegetarian diet can still be sustainable for dogs. For some medical reasons, a vegan Pitbull can grow healthy. However, this is an unchartered territory for most pet owners. Even if you know much about dog food, you will need the dedicated assistance of a pet nutritionist to succeed on turning your Pitty into a full vegan.
Top Picks for High Protein Dog Food
Orijen Regional Red Dog Food
For racing and competing Pitties, the Orijen Regional Red Dog Food is a protein powerhouse. This best high protein dog food for Pitbulls has 38% protein content from sources including Angus beef, wild boar, free-range bison, ranch-raised lamb, and heritage pork. All of these sources are antibiotic and hormone-free.
Aside from the main meat ingredients, this dog food is also packed with 25 different fruits and veggies for optimal nutrition. Some of which are juniper berries and sea vegetables. It also contains grasses to mimic what dogs eat in the wild.
This Orijen dog food also has 18% lower glycemic carbs so you can control your dog’s blood sugar. Also, about 2/3 of the meat components are fresh and flash frozen but without any preservatives.
This meal also contains freeze-dried liver for an added taste that your Pitty will love. As a whole prey diet, this is an excellent option for pawrents looking for a quality protein source. Everything is fresh and organic except for a dash of additional zinc to compensate the deficiency of your pooch.
Take note that this is a dry food. If you’re planning to feed this to a pup, you might as well soak the kibble in water.
Instinct’s Nature’s Variety Ultimate Protein Food
Does your dog need a higher protein intake? The Instinct’s Nature’s Variety Ultimate Protein Food is probably a product that has one of the highest protein content. It boasts 47% of crude protein sourced from cage-free chicken. This also has chicken liver and heart for the best taste. Around 95% of the protein here is from chicken alone and the rest is from veggies and meat meals.
Although this is a champ in protein, Nature’s Variety dog food is highly digestible. In fact, it also contains substances that support digestive health including live cultures. It also has loads of antioxidants and Omega fatty acids for coat and immune health.
Take note that the meat component here is raw; something that imitates dogs’ diet in the wild. This is grain free, too, which is added peace of mind for Pitbulls with sensitive tummies.
But before you feed your Pittie with this, seek the advice of your vet first. The 47% protein level is really high and it’s important that it suits your dog’s body and activities.
The best high protein dog food for Pitbulls shouldn’t just contain tons of amino acids. It should also be a good source of vitamins and minerals. In the end, overall wellness is the winner here.