Pitbull Terrier Diet & Meal Plan Advice
By Hungry Bark | September 26, 2021
The Pitbull is one breed with an unwarranted reputation. Tough, loyal, playful, yet loving are the traits that any Pitbull owner would tell you if you asked.
As a breed, the American Pitbull Terrier was bred to bait bears in the wild, and eventually, their strength and energy made them desirable as a general farm dog.
In time, the Pitbull took on a “nanny role” with young children due to their gentle, caring natures.
There’s no surprise then that a Pitbull can require a lot of maintenance due to its strength and stature, including the type of meal plan you provide for them.
While some human food may be alright to eat, most of our food is not the best for your pet’s health. We have different nutritional needs and an overabundance of seasonings we use, some of which may be toxic for your Pitbull.
According to the American Kennel Club, there are even some foods that you must not feed your dog as they may create health complications.
For example, many forms of fruits and vegetables can cause severe health complications in your pup.
With some uncertainty of the correct type of foods to feed your Pitbull, you need to educate yourself on the best kind of meal plan to meet your dog’s energy, nutrition, and overall health needs.
Before we discuss the ideal meal plan for your Pitbull, understanding the importance of exercise, the type of nutrition it needs will inform you of the best kind of meal plan to get for their health and nutrition.
The Importance Of Getting Enough Exercise
Bred to engage with bears, Pitbulls are by nature strong and tenacious. Those characteristics require that a Pitbull eats the proper amount of nutrition and requires plenty of exercise from vigorous running to long extended walks.
Every breed has different exercise requirements, but Pitbulls require more exercise than others.
As a pet parent, you need to dedicate at least 30-45 minutes a day to vigorous activity so that your furry companion can live a full, healthy life.
Pitbulls are a dependent breed, meaning that their humans’ interactions are an essential aspect of their personality. How you interact, train, and reinforce behaviors will determine how your pet interacts with the world around them.
Exercise is one of the best ways to interact with your Pitbull, both for their health and the bonding rituals you make with them.
As the saying goes, “a tired dog is a happy dog.”
Here are a few of our favorite activities for you to exercise and bond with your pup;
Walks: Dogs rely on their sense of smell to understand the world around them. It’s instinctual to sniff around their environment to discover and understand everything around them and determine if there are threats or food sources nearby. Taking brisk walks together for an extended period of time will help create a calm behavior in your Pitbull and be an excellent opportunity for you to train them to reinforce proper behaviors.
Runs: Pitbulls are strong, anaerobic animals meaning that they are powerful and strong for short durations of time. Taking them for runs is a great way to hit peak heart rate with your pup, as well as help them build and maintain their explosive muscle. Don’t expect them to go on a marathon run. It’s not optimum for them, but short, vigorous runs are precisely what they need.
Hikes: If you get tired of walking around the neighborhood, consider taking a drive out to the hills or beach and take a stroll in new surroundings. The stimulation of new sights and smells paired with the exercise will burn more energy than a daily walk around your neighborhood.
Tug-of-War: As a breed, Pitbulls have some of the most robust jaws. Playing a tug-of-war game is a great way to bond with your pup while providing them with some resistance. Resistance training helps break down muscle tissue and, after some time, helps build more muscle as a by-product.
Dog Park: One of the misconceptions with the breed is that Pitbulls are aggressive. Before you take your pup to a dog park, be sure that they’ve had some regular interactions with other dogs and can infer some of the social cues necessary to interact safely.
Because of the misconceptions associated with Pitbulls, be aware of how other pet owners may perceive your dog, and little socialization skills and dog training before running free at the park would be excellent.
The Type Of Nutrition Your Pitbull Needs
All dogs need a certain percentage of essential ingredients to have optimum nutritional benefits. What you feed your Pitbull will add years and quality of life and eliminate some common issues with the breed, like hip dysplasia.
In general, your Pitbull’s diet should be protein-heavy with carbohydrates, fat, and vitamins. Like people, dogs may be susceptible to food-borne allergies, which may be more prevalent in low-quality food sources.
Grains such as corn, soy, and wheat act as a cheap alternative in some food brands, and these ingredients may cause allergic reactions in some dogs. Once a dog develops a particular food allergy, it may be more prone to other food-borne allergies in time.
Why Your Pitbull’s Food Ingredients Are Important
Some dog food has added fillers and an unclear source of nutrition.
The key to your Pitbull’s optimal health is to provide a meal plan based on superfood ingredients from a primary source, such as Salmon, Chicken, Turkey, and Lamb, fortified with essential vitamins and minerals.
By choosing a dog food that has a high-quality protein source as well as listing the specific sources of carbohydrates, fats, and other nutrients, you can have peace of mind that what your Pitbull is eating is designed for its optimal health.
The importance of the food ingredients really can’t be understated. By offering superfoods that are high in protein, fats, and carbohydrates, you’ll be providing all the nutritional needs for a growing and maturing dog, as well as help them avoid any food-borne allergies or other health issues.
By taking a holistic approach to your dog’s health, from getting enough exercise to proper nutrition, will promote a long, happy life to share with you.
How To Read The Ingredients Label
Pet food labels are written so that the ingredients are listed by weight, meaning that the order they are written on the label is the percentages the ingredients have in the recipe.
For example, if you see the word “meat meal,” you should know two things; First, “meat meal” is not a clear protein source. You need to ask yourself what type of protein is this derived from, and that wording means that it’s not as pure as if the label said, “turkey.”
Second, as the “meat meal” is listed first, it is the recipe’s primary ingredient. So if you feed your Pitbull a food source of “meat meal,” what it means is you are giving it an unclear source of protein that they may pair with additives, all of which can be detrimental to your dog’s overall health.
The food label should be written in obvious ways to know exactly what is being fed to your dog. According to the American Kennel Club, food labels are written to allow some flexibility in the number of ingredients included. Those terms to understand are:
The 95 percent rule: If an ingredient is named, then it must be 95% pure. For example, if your dry food includes the term “lamb,” then 95% of the protein must be lamb sourced.
The 25 percent rule: If a food label includes language that is less than clear, for example, “Chicken and Sweet Potato entree,” it means those ingredients are approximately 25% of the makeup of the food, which is a sign that there are a lot of additives and fillers included.
The “With” rule”: if the food label includes the term “with” in the ingredients, then it will only need to have 3% of that ingredient. The rest is filler and other additives.
- Flavor rule: Any ingredient listing that uses the term “flavor” means that the ingredient is scarce. For example, “beef flavor” means that the total ingredients only need to have “beef” included enough to be traceable.
Understanding how ingredients are included in your food label will help educate you on the brand’s potential issues and nutritional failures.
Instead, you want to find ingredient lists that include superfoods with a clear source of nutrition, such as “chicken and rice” rather than “with chicken flavor.”
Selecting The Right Meal Plan For Your Pitbull
In selecting your meal plan, you want a label to be as direct and straightforward as possible. You want to look for ingredients that are explicitly named.
You want an ingredient list that includes:
- Real Meat Proteins
- All-Natural, No preservatives, additives, or fillers
- Made in the USA
- Vet Approved
- Listed supplements for nutritional health
High-quality food manufacturers aren’t shy of being transparent or listing the ingredients that are included.
Their ingredient list is clear, and the sources of nutrition aren’t hidden in terms like “with or flavor,” which should give you confidence that what your dog is eating is precisely what they need.
If you need help deciding on the correct type of meal plan for your Pitbull, the Hungry Bark Meal Planner can help!
In as little as 1-2 minutes Hungry Bark can take all the factors of your Pitbull’s health and provide you with a custom meal plan made from the highest quality sources so you can enjoy more years together.