Of course you want your best friend on four legs to be healthy, so it’s extremely important to make sure that you’re feeding him the right food. There are dozens of different types of commercially prepared dog foods, and choosing the right food for your dog can be confusing if you don’t know what to look for.
Fortunately, there are a few tricks that can help you out. First, you should determine which type of food is best for your dog. If your pit bull is just a puppy, you need to buy him a puppy-specific food until he is about a year old. This will be easier on his teeth and on his digestive system, and will give him higher levels of the nutrients he needs to grow. Adult pit bulls are a mid-size to large breed, so you will probably do best with a large dog food if your dog is full grown. These foods are packed with the protein and nutrients that your dog needs to stay healthy. He won’t get them in a food that is formulated for small breeds. The large kibbles are also better for his teeth, and he won’t be able to swallow his food whole as easily as he might with smaller kibbles. You can try feeding your dog a wet dog food if you like, but they tend to be more fattening, and with a dog the size of a pit bull, you would have to prepare a lot of food to fill him up. Dry dog food would probably be easier on your dog’s waistline and your wallet.
Dogs require a lot of protein in their diet. This is particularly true of relatively active dogs like pit bulls. Before you buy a dog food, look at the list of ingredients on the packaging. Choose a brand that lists a meat, such as chicken, lamb, or beef as the first ingredient. This means that the meat and all of its proteins make up the largest part of the dog food. Ingredients on dog food packages are listed by weight and foods that are largely made up of meat are going to be the healthiest for your dog. Dogs are, for the most part, carnivores. You will see carbohydrates in most dog foods as well. Rice is the most commonly included carbohydrate, which is great, because it’s also much less likely to cause an allergic reaction in dogs than soy or wheat.
Like humans, dogs need vitamins and minerals, so try to find a brand of dog food that provides as many of these as possible. They too, should be listed on the package. If you aren’t sure that the food you have chosen offers enough of the right nutrients, talk to your vet. You can find multi-vitamins that are formulated specifically for dogs and that can help make up for any deficiency in the food. You can also try supplementing your dog’s diet with vegetables, but you should do so only after discussing it with your vet. He can help you come up with a feeding plan that will help fill your dog’s needs without risking weight gain or an unbalanced diet that can cause health problems down the road.
It’s important to make sure that you are feeding your dog the right amount, because over- and underweight dogs can experience decreased energy, increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems. An American pit bull terrier should weigh, on average, between 35-55 pounds, although some individual dogs can have much larger statures, causing them to weigh more. A staffordshire bull terrier (the English version of the pit bull) is smaller, weighing about 24-38 lbs. If your dog is too far outside of his weight range in either direction, you might want to talk to your vet about adjusting his diet and exercise routine.
A good guideline for feeding is to look at the feeding guide on the back of your dog food package. This will tell you how many cups of food you should feed your dog, based on his weight range. Keep in mind that there are other factors to consider as well. If your dog is not active, he can probably eat a bit less than the recommended amount. If he gets a lot of exercise and uses a lot of energy, he might need more than what the package directs. The best way to determine if you need to determine the among you are feeding your dog is to pay attention to what his body shape looks like. If he starts to look too skinny, feed him more. If he starts to look plump around his ribcage and belly, feed him less. This technique may seem primitive, but it is effective. If you still have questions, you can certainly talk to your vet, who will be able to help you make healthy decisions about your dog’s diet.
A proper diet is essential to keeping your pit bull healthy. In many ways, he really is what he eats, and if his diet is well balanced, he will have more energy and a lower risk of illness. Good nutrition will also help to extend his life to its fullest, and he will be your faithful companion for many years to come!