Is your Pitbull having a hard time gaining weight and lean muscle? Take a look at the ingredients in their daily feed. Is it high in protein and fat, without useless fillers? Pit bulls are naturally athletic and muscular dogs, and need a special diet for weight gain. Some of the best dog foods for Pitbulls to gain weight will include a blend of macronutrients designed for this.
Unlike with many other breeds, the body of a Bully dog needs a specific ratio of nutrients to maintain energy, gain lean muscle, maintain optimal weight and recover from strenuous exercise, which must be performed for muscle gain and increase body size.
Picking the Best Dog Food for Pit Bulls' Weight Gain
Pitbulls have been overbred, causing many genetic issues and health ailments in the breed, which can interfere with their muscle and weight gain. Some of their common ailments include skin conditions, allergies, thyroid disease, knee problems and hip dysplasia, nerve disease, and bladder stones. Adjusting their diet may help with some of these issues, which subsequently will help with weight gain.
Feeding athletic dogs like Pit Bulls is not the same as feeding a mostly sedentary home pet. If you're focused on muscle gain, you'll need to balance between high protein (for muscle recovery and gain post-exercise) and high fat (for energy and recovery).
Pit Bulls are in the intermediate athletes category, and studies show that 70% to 90% of their energy will be sourced from fat metabolism (not carbohydrates, unlike it is for endurance athletes or sprint athletes).
Other than high protein and high fat, your Bully's food will need to contain a higher than average calorie content per meal. The protein source must be meat-based (not plant-based). Additional vitamins and minerals (particularly for joint and hip protection) are just as crucial if your Pit Bull is exercising regularly.
Other than a specific brand of Pit Bull dog food, you can also supplements to achieve the results. For example, Bully Max ($69.99) weight gainer or MVP K9 Supplements ($44.99) muscle builder are two of the most popular ways to help a Pitbull gain weight.
Note: Have a discussion with a vet or canine nutritionist. These experts can help you find a diet that will meet your individual Bully's specific nutritional requirements and they can guide you in finding the best dog food for Pitbulls to gain weight specifically.
The Best Dog Food for Pitbulls to Gain Weight
1High Performance Super Premium Dog Food
by Bully Max
- Find it on Amazon ($49.99)
- Unavailable on Chewy
The now popular Bully Max have developed their High Performance dog food formula specifically for Pit Bulls and other highly active dog breeds. The company claims that over 22,000 hours of research have gone into formulating this recipe since 2008. After having tested, tried, analyzed and reviewed this brand, it claims the first spot among the best dog food for Pitbulls to gain weight on our list.
Bully Max dog food provides far more calories than a regular brand at a 535 calories per cup. As you can see in our video review here, both dogs we've tested this with, although not Bullies, love the taste of this kibble as well. It's made only using 100% natural and human-grade ingredients, with chicken meal as the first ingredient on the list.
The size of the kibble is also fantastic, particularly for younger and growing Pit Bulls. The formula contains 30% protein and 20% fat, both of which are considered on the somewhat higher end. It's also fit for multiple lifestages, from puppies that are over four weeks old, as well as nursing and pregnant dogs. It's free of fillers like soy, wheat or corn, and made in the USA.
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The downside is its price point. If you choose this recommended dog food for Pitbulls weight gain, it's likely to visibly add to your monthly budget. The good thing is that because this is a high quality, performance dog food that's calorie-dense, you don't need to feed as much of this as with regular kibble. For example, if you have a Bully that weighs approx. 36 to 50 pounds, they will need to consume about 2 to 2.5 cups per day.
2High Protein Real Meat Recipe
by Taste of the Wild
Taste of the Wild offers the sort of natural, balanced diet that your canine friend would find in the wild. This premium food provides the flavors that your bully craves and the nutrients that his body needs, at every stage of his life.
Taste of the Wild is made with real roasted meats, fruits and vegetables. Choose from bison and venison, salmon, boar, lamb, venison or wildfowl. The carefully selected natural ingredients include highly digestible protein and fats to support weight maintenance and muscle growth. Antioxidants promote healthy skin and a healthy immune system. Taste of the Wild is grain-free and doesn’t contain fillers, making it an ideal choice for bullies with food allergies.
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Dog owners that regularly use Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food say that it’s cost effective. The high protein content and lack of fillers means that dogs don’t need to eat as much of this food as some other brands. It’s great for supporting a healthy weight too. Owners have reported that overweight dogs have lost weight and gained energy on Taste of the Wild, while underweight dogs have gained weight and muscle.
Owners of dogs with allergies have been thrilled to see great improvements in their dog’s skin and coat. Although Taste of the Wild is a very popular food that can provide excellent health benefits, it doesn’t suit all dogs. A significant number of bullies that have tried this kibble have suffered varying degrees of vomiting and diarrhea.
3Sport Formula Dry Dog Food
by Purina Pro Plan
This best dog food for Pitbulls to gain weight is from Purina Pro Plan, the food of choice for breeders and more than 50% of the top 100 show dogs. Its superior formula is AAFCO approved as a feeding regime that provides complete balanced nutrition for every stage of life. Pro Plan Sport is designed for performance and endurance. Containing 30% protein and 20% fat to optimize metabolism and lean muscle development your bully will develop strength.
Your pup's endurance will improve due to concentrated nutrition that will maximize his oxygen metabolism. Amino acids will nourish his muscles before, during and after exercise, aiding recovery. To compete the package, glucosamine and omega-3 fatty acids aid joint health and mobility. Fans of this best dog food for Pitbulls to gain weight say that they have seen a marked increase in their bully’s energy levels and endurance at work and at play.
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Critics of Purina Pro Plan Sport Dry Dog Food are mainly concerned with the high amount of grain, gluten and by-products in a premium priced dog food. Some owners have found that their dogs simply don’t like the taste of this strong smelling food.
Purina’s Pro Plan Sport is a premium food with a good reputation amongst professionals in the canine world. For many, it provides the results that you would expect from a superior performance diet. Whether it’s the choice of food for you will probably depend on your opinion of additives that it contains and whether or not your bully looks forward to mealtime.
4Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
by Earthborn Holistic
Great Plains Feast is a premium grain-free food from Earthborn Holisticthat comes with a more modest price tag than most. Providing a reliable source of lean proteins and natural ingredients it’s the food of choice for many bully owners. The first ingredient listed in this best dog food for Pitbulls to gain weight is lean red meat bison meal. That’s a good start if your looking for a high protein diet that will build lean muscle and mass.
It also contains lamb meal and egg protein – the highest regarded protein for muscle growth. This mix of rich protein sources is also rich in amino acids to support a healthy body. This diet is rated highly for its palatability and performance. Being grain-free and without potato fillers it suits dogs with food allergies and sensitive stomachs.
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Owners have found that their overweight bullies have lost weight on this food. The high levels of protein mean that less food is needed to satisfy your bully’s hunger. Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is also excellent for dogs that struggle to put muscle on.
There aren’t many loud voices of criticism for Great Plains Feast. The kibble is dryer and crumblier than some alternative brands and this hasn’t gone down well with some owners. There is one controversial ingredient – tapioca. This can trigger allergies and yeast infections so this might not be the best food if your dog is susceptible.
5Grain Free Recipe Dry Dog Food
Merrick is an industry leader in natural, high protein dog foods for optimum health at every stage of your bully’s life. This US manufacturer uses locally sourced farm fresh ingredients and high quality sources of meat.
Merrick Grain Free Recipe is all-natural, containing 70% meat proteins and 30% fresh produce. The first ingredient on the list of each recipe is deboned meat. There’s a huge 38% protein in each serving of this food. The meat and fish proteins promote healthy lean muscle development and omega 6 and omega 3 oils condition your dog’s skin and coat.
The addition of high levels of glucosamine and chondroitin in this best dog food for Pitbulls to gain weight will look after your bully’s hips and joints. Carefully selected fruits and vegetables provide the essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for optimum health. Potatoes and sweet potatoes provide easily digestible carbohydrates as a source of energy that is gentle on the digestive system.
Merrick Grain Free Recipe Dry Dog Food is particularly popular with bully owners who say that their dogs are very well muscled, with gleaming coats and vitality. Dogs with allergies do well on this food too and it is reported to have cleared up many skin conditions and yeast infections.
In the last year there have been growing criticisms of Merrick following its takeover by Purina. Customers are questioning whether the ingredients are still the same, and locally sourced. There are increasing concerns from owners whose dogs have become sick on this food in the last year when they thrived on it previously. The jury is currently out on whether or not this is coincidental.
6Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food
by Wellness CORE
Wellness CORE is a 100% natural, grain-free food that is made in the US from US ingredients. It’s available in a range of formulas to meet your dog’s specific health and fitness needs. Each formula adheres to the philosophy that a meat-based diet is the healthiest choice for dogs. Premium meat proteins are the foundation of Core formulas, giving your bully’s muscles the nutrients that they need to develop.
Natural salmon oils, fruits, and vegetables fortified with nutrients provide the support that your bully needs for optimum health. The carefully selected antioxidants, omega oils and probiotics will make you bully’s coat shine. Without any wheat, corn, soy, gluten or by-products this product is suited to dogs with sensitive digestion and skin.
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Advocates of Core have seen significant improvements in their dogs’ lean muscle growth, energy levels and overall condition. This food has resolved many allergic reactions and allowed dogs with pancreatitis to live as pain free and active a life as possible. Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food offers great value for money too.
Not all dog owners have had such success with Core. Some dogs have had significant gastric reactions to it, resulting in severe and persistent diarrhea and, in some cases, vomiting. There have been issues with packaging too. A number of customers have reported receiving damaged sacks containing moldy and foul smelling food.