A Pitbull is not a breed but, instead, a type of dog, at least according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). It’s worth noting that the United Kennel Club (UKC) recognizes the American Pit Bull Terrier. Our guide will stick with AKC’s classification since it’s what most people understand. Therefore, it includes several breeds of varying sizes, from the French Bulldog to the American Staffordshire Terrier.
Usually, we focus on foods for specific weight classes. The broad description of Pitbulls means we’re looking at diets that are appropriate for a range of sizes. We’ll cover everything you need to know to pick the best one for your pooch with detailed reviews of our favorite products.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites (2023 Update)
|Best Overall||Purina Pro Plan Complete Essentials||
|Best Value||Pedigree Complete Nutrition||
|Premium Choice||Royal Canin Boxer Adult Dry Dog Food||
|Best for Puppies||Purina Pro Plan High Protein Puppy||
|Hill's Science Diet Perfect Weight||
The 10 Best Dog Foods for Pitbulls at PetSmart
1. Purina Pro Plan Complete Essentials Adult Dry Dog Food – Best Overall
|Calories per cup:||387 kcal/cup|
|Available sizes:||6, 18, 35, and 47 pounds|
Purina Pro Plan Complete Essentials Adult Dry Dog Food offers an enticing take on the canine diet with a protein-rich recipe that is sure to please your pet. It includes both shreds and kibble to make it more palatable while boosting its fiber content. Omega-6 fatty acids offer skin health support with probiotics to keep digestive issues to a minimum. It is our choice for the overall best dog food for Pitbulls at PetSmart, although there have been reports of quality control issues, so be sure to keep an eye on that.
2. Pedigree Complete Nutrition Adult Dry Dog Food – Best Value
|Protein source:||Meat and bone meal|
|Calories per cup:||332 kcal/cup|
|Available sizes:||18 and 44 pounds|
Pedigree Complete Nutrition Adult Dry Dog Food proves that affordable doesn’t mean skimping on nutrition. This diet uses meals and byproducts are its main protein sources to keep the price in line. It’s also rich in grains that supplement the protein while providing bulk. It includes the necessary nutrients without designer ingredients. It’s our pick for the best dog food for Pitbulls for the money. The biggest downside is that there isn’t a smaller size, but who doesn’t love a product that lasts long?
3. Royal Canin Boxer Adult Dry Dog Food – Premium Choice
|Protein source:||Chicken, pork, fish|
|Calories per cup:||335 kcal/cup|
|Available sizes:||17 and 30 pounds|
Royal Canin Boxer Adult Dry Dog Food caters to one of the Pitbull-type breeds with tailored nutrition, which is the hallmark of this manufacturer. It includes multiple protein sources to increase its palatability. It also has added taurine to address one of the risk factors of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). The formula is straight protein and nutrients, with no added fluff. It’s best suited for larger Pitbulls. As a warning, it is a bit more expensive than other brands but is still worth it due to the high protein content.
4. Purina Pro Plan High Protein Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula – Best for Puppies
|Calories per cup:||406 kcal/cup|
|Available sizes:||6, 18, and 34 pounds|
The Purina Pro Plan High Protein Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula covers the bases with a highly nutritious diet to give your pet the best start in life. Chicken is the main protein. However, beef, eggs, and soy also add value to the food. The fiber content is spot-on, with rice, corn, and wheat providing bulk. It has a high protein percentage without designer ingredients. It’s best for larger Pitbulls and puppies with its higher calorie content.
5. Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight Adult Dry Dog Food
|Protein content:||24.0 %|
|Calories per cup:||299 kcal/cup|
|Available sizes:||4, 15, 28.5 pounds|
The name of Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight Adult Dry Dog Food tells it all. Its goal is to provide a healthy diet that helps prevent obesity. It starts the ball rolling with a healthy caloric content per cup. The food contains several fiber sources to complement its chicken protein base. It includes some familiar food choices to please pet owners. Unfortunately, peas are one of them, which have some negative associations when it comes to dog food.
6. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe
|Protein content:||20.0% min|
|Calories per cup:||394 kcal/cup|
|Available sizes:||4. 15.5, and 30 pounds|
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe has a lot to offer, with multiple protein sources, including chicken as its main one. That improves its taste, making it a highly palatable and digestible formula. It also packs plenty of fiber for good digestive health. Omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E ensure that your pet’s coat will look its best without ingredients that offer little nutritional value. However, the fat content is high. Plus, peas are in the ingredients, which is questionable when it comes to dog nutrition.
7. Purina ONE SmartBlend Adult Dog Dry Food
|Calories per cup:||383 kcal/cup|
|Available sizes:||16.5 and 31.1 pounds|
Purina ONE SmartBlend Adult Dog Dry Food contains multiple protein and flavor sources to make it as palatable as possible for dogs. The protein content is high and in line with what your pup needs for optimal health. Vitamins and minerals complement the other ingredients. It only comes in two sizes, which is a con if you have a smaller pup. It also contains peas, which haven’t proven to be completely safe for all dogs.
8. IAMS Proactive Health Adult Dry Dog Food
|Calories per cup:||380 kcal/cup|
|Available sizes:||15, 30, and 44 pounds|
IAMS Proactive Health Adult Dry Dog Food provides an excellent diet with multiple protein sources. It works because it makes the recipe more palatable. The high protein content keeps your pup sated longer, which can help your dog maintain a healthy weight. It also has omega-6 fatty acids to support good skin and coat health. It is grain inclusive to provide the necessary fiber for digestive health despite its high fat content.
9. Eukanuba Fit Body Dry Dog Food
|Protein content:||27.0% min|
|Calories per cup:||254 kcal/cup|
|Available sizes:||15 and 28 pounds|
Eukanuba Fit Body Dry Dog Food has a good message with its emphasis on fitness. Some Pitbulls aren’t as energetic as others, making it a decent choice for less active dogs. It has a high protein content to keep your pet sated longer. The fat percentage is just about the recommended minimum, something we don’t often see in these products. This diet is appropriate for medium-sized breeds, so try not to feed it to larger or smaller Pitbull breeds.
10. Wellness CORE High Protein Adult Dry Dog Food
|Calories per cup:||422 kcal/cup|
|Available sizes:||24 pounds|
Wellness CORE High Protein With-Grain Adult Dry Dog Food is an interesting addition to this manufacturer’s product line. It is a high protein offering that includes whole grains to improve its fiber content. The fat content is a bit high, with some questionable ingredients higher on the list than we usually see. It also includes probiotics to mitigate this fact and improve its digestibility.
Buyer’s Guide: Finding the Best Food for Your Pitbull
A nutritious diet is the foundation of good health. That makes your choice of food a vital part of your pet’s well-being. Dogs have come a long way from eating scraps in the early days of domestication. Pet food is a big industry, with dry food alone tallying over $5.3 billion in 2020. It makes up a significant chunk of the annual expenses of owning a dog, accounting for nearly 40%.
The industry has seen tremendous growth with the humanization of the market. It no longer suffices to give your pet ordinary dog food. The result is a dizzying array of choices, making it difficult for pet owners to choose the best product for their pups. Unfortunately, the quest for giving your dog the ideal diet has driven manufacturers to use sometimes misleading marketing.
Pet food has evolved from the doggie bag to a broad range of choices, from dry to canned to food toppings to veterinary diets. Most dog owners prefer to offer their pups dry food. It’s hard to beat the convenience. It’s also easier to control your pet’s intake by measuring it out to the correct portion size. It ensures your pooch is getting the right amount for its size and lifestyle to prevent obesity.
Canned diets provide the same convenience. However, some people find the smell unpleasant. They are often more expensive, especially if you have a larger Pitbull. Many pet owners give their dogs a mix of canned and dry food to make it more affordable.
It’s worth mentioning that we don’t recommend feeding your pup a raw diet because of the risk of foodborne illnesses for you and your pet. This is a stance that the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the FDC have both taken.
Protein sources include familiar ones like beef and poultry and branch out into exotic offerings, such as lamb, duck, venison, and buffalo. While these choices may seem over the top, they give pet owners more options if their pet has a food allergy. The most common triggers are chicken and beef, which usually take up most of the real estate in the pet food aisle.
Many manufacturers use other ingredients labeled by-products or meals. These are not inferior choices. Instead, you can think of them as the scraps leftover from the meat’s primary use. Another term you may see is “human-grade.” No formal definition exists for this labeling. It is merely marketing to pet owners. It doesn’t imply superior quality.
You can determine the best food for your Pitbull by the nutritional content of a particular diet. Luckily, authoritative guidance exists with the standards developed by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) in conjunction with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Puppies’ and adult dogs’ nutritional needs differ from humans. The AAFCO is your best guide for product comparison.
The protein and fat content give an excellent indication of a product’s quality. The minimum percentages set by the AAFCO are 22.0% and 18.0% for protein, respectively. The figures for fat are 8.0% and 5.0%. You’ll likely find that most foods exceed these amounts. You won’t see carbohydrates listed because the requirements are undefined for dogs and cats, although you will see fiber listed.
A food that meets a pet’s nutritional needs will have a statement about being complete and balanced. The former covers what your pup must get out of a diet. That latter refers to the amounts in the correct proportions for optimal health.
Manufacturers will provide the calories per cup or similar terminology to define the energy content of a particular diet. It will be the basis for the required feeding instructions. The amount typically goes by the weight of the animal. That’s helpful, given the range of sizes with Pitbulls. Some products may further clarify the directions with activity level. An active pup will likely need more food than a sedentary pet.
We recommend letting your dog’s body condition guide your feeding plan. Remember that growing puppies will need more food to support their development than adults. Also, smaller breeds mature quicker than larger ones. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention has information on the ideal range for various breeds, including some Pitbull types.
Manufacturers know that pet owners like to read labels. Perhaps you also make it a point when selecting foods for your family. You’ll likely notice many familiar ingredients, such as cranberries, potatoes, and legumes. The purpose of these items is to appeal to dog owners instead of providing significant nutritional value. Bear in mind that ingredients are listed in the order of the amount.
The placement toward the bottom of the list is a good indication that only a tiny amount exists in a diet.
Many manufacturers bill their products as grain-free or gluten-free, claiming it’s for your pet’s health. It’s misleading, given the rarity of these food allergies in canines. Again, it’s a shout-out to humans and not a better offering for your pet. You’ll probably see ingredients with seemingly unpronounceable names. Many are the chemical terms for many vitamins and other nutrients.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t discuss ingredients, such as chickpeas and peas, which often exist in the so-called boutique dog foods. Manufacturers often substitute grains with these foods. Recently, the FDA launched an investigation into these types of products following a spike in cases of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Data suggest a possible link between DCM and grain-free diets.
While the jury is still out, the investigation is ongoing. We recommend discussing your pup’s diet with your veterinarian since genetics play a role in your pet’s risk of DCM.
After completing our reviews and analysis, Purina Pro Plan Complete Essentials Adult Dry Dog Food came out on top as the leader of the pack. It ticks off all the boxes we like to see in a maintenance diet. Pedigree Complete Nutrition Adult Dry Dog Food is a value-priced product that delivers a nutritional boost for your pup. It’s grain inclusive with any fancy extras that offer little for your pet.