How to Choose the Best Dog Food for American Pit Bull Terriers
The handsome American Pit Bull Terrier is a dog that often gets a bad rap. A dog categorized as a “bully breed,” this dog type is often confused for many others including the Bull Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and its closely related cousin: the American Staffordshire Terrier.
Much controversy exists as to whether or not there is any true difference between the American Staffordshire Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier. This confusion exists as a result of events that occurred when official recognition for this breed was sought by the American Kennel Club. Not wanting the breed to be associated with its past as a pit fighting dog, the AKC removed the words pit bull and renamed the dog the American Staffordshire Terrier. Some differences do exist between these two breeds with the two primary ones being the Amstaff is slightly smaller and maintains a slightly softer temperament than the American Pit Bull Terrier.
A game breed, the American Pit Bull Terrier is a high drive dog that is full of tenacity, spirit, and spunk when at work. However, this breed is very soft hearted, affectionate, and gentle with people, particularly its family and friends. The American Pit Bull Terrier does not always get along with other animals, and dog aggression can be common in the breed. It is this natural tendency that man exploited by pitting this breed against other equally game dogs in pits.
The American Pit Bull Terrier is a people pleaser. Highly intelligent, this breed is a true joy to train. Though many believe the American Pit Bull Terrier to be a dangerous dog, only its appearance is intimidating as this dog loves the company of people and is unlikely to guard anything with the exception of its family if a threat is perceived by the dog.
One of the most beloved traits of the American Pit Bull Terrier is its ability to retain its puppylike ways well into adulthood. The breed is highly active and does best when vigorously exercised and/or given a job to do. The American Pit Bull Terrier is a very strong dog and excels at such sports as agility, obedience, Rally, and weight pull. Because of its high drive and natural athleticism, the American Pit Bull Terrier is not prone to becoming overweight.
The American Pit Bull Terrier typically enjoys good health. However, as with all breeds, this dog type can be predisposed to several genetic conditions including hip dysplasia, allergies, hypothyroidism, and heart disease. Though diet alone cannot prevent genetic illness, it can lay an excellent foundation for future health in dogs. The best dog foods for American Pit Bull Terriers include supplements to support hip, skin, cardiac, and immune system health.
A power breed, the American Pit Bull Terrier does best on a diet that includes approximately 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for American Pit Bull Terriers
The American Pit Bull Terrier is a high drive dog, requiring a high performance food that is well-balanced and nutritionally sound to thrive. Once the ideal diet for this dog has been selected, owners will then need to determine how much food their dog should receive per meal. The best dog foods for American Pit Bull Terriers offer suggested serving sizes that owners can use as a starting point. Adjustments can be made to these recommendations until the appropriate portion is found.
Though the American Pit Bull Terrier is not likely to become overweight, the breed is prone to hip dysplasia, meaning maintaining a healthy body weight is critical. Free feeding this breed is strongly discouraged. Instead the American Pit Bull Terrier’s daily meals should be measured and all intake monitored to achieve a healthy body condition.
Dietary Requirements for American Pit Bull Terrier Dog Foods
High drive dogs like the American Pit Bull Terrier require an exceptional quality diet based on a lean meat to thrive. Whole meats or meat meals make the best foundation for this active breed. By-products and plant proteins such as soy, corn, and wheat are not as nutritionally viable and can be common allergens for many dogs. Since the American Pit Bull Terrier can suffer from allergies, avoiding these types of diets is recommended.
Healthy fats are an important part of the American Pit Bull Terrier’s diet, providing this dog with the essential fatty acids required for optimal coat and skin health. The ideal sources for these fats are found in such foods as oily fish and chicken fat or the plant-based oils canola, coconut, safflower, or sunflower.
Carbohydrates help to boost the American Pit Bull Terrier’s digestion and immune system through their abundance of antioxidants and dietary fiber. These carbohydrates can come from fruits, vegetables, or whole grains. Dogs with sensitivities to grains may do best on a grain-free diet.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Foods for American Pit Bull Terriers
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in the best dog food for a American Pit Bull Terrier:
Lean, meat-based proteins heading up the ingredients list
A true athlete with energy to spare, the American Pit Bull Terrier requires a diet based on a lean meat to enjoy optimal health and wellness. Whole meats or meat meals make the ideal basis for a diet for this powerful breed.
Diets including by-products and plant proteins are not of sufficient quality to fuel this busy breed’s daily lifestyle and may provoke an allergic reaction in this skin sensitive breed. These foods are best avoided.
Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavorings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
Chemicals, fillers, artificial flavorings and colorings, and mystery ingredients provide no nutritional benefit to an American Pit Bull Terrier. Diets containing any of these items are best left on the shelf.
Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
Supplements help a food to work its most effectively. The most beneficial supplements for the American Pit Bull Terrier are glucosamine, chondroitin, prebiotics, and probiotics.
Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
All foods appropriate for the American Pit Bull Terrier should bear the AAFCO seal of approval, indicating it meets the standards for a complete and balanced food.