Best Dog Foods for Pitbulls to Gain Weight and lean Muscle

Is your Pitbull having a hard time gaining weight and lean muscle? Please take a look at the ingredients in their daily feed.

Is it high in protein and fat, without useless fillers? It might be the time to find the best dog food to build muscle in your pooch.

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 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 increased body size.

Best Dog Foods for Pitbull

Picking the Best Dog Food for Pitbulls to Gain Weight

Picking the Best Dog Food for Pit Bulls' Weight GainFirst, you'll need to discuss this with a veterinarian to rule out any possible health problems in your Pit Bull that may be causing weight loss or lack of weight gain.

Pitbulls have been overbred, causing many genetic issues and health ailments in the breed, interfering with their muscle and weight gain. Their common disorders include skin conditions, allergies, thyroid disease, knee problems, 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 growth post-exercise) and high fat (for energy and recovery).

Pit Bulls are in the intermediate athlete's category. Studies show that 70% to 90% of their energy will be sourced from fat metabolism (not carbohydrates, unlike endurance athletes or sprint athletes).

Besides 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 Bulldog food, you can also supplement 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 Pitbull gain weight.

Benefits of Choosing the Best Food for Pitbulls

If you are still hesitating about getting the best food for Pitbulls, check the benefits of getting the right dog food for them to gain healthy weight:

  • Improved strength
  • Increased energy levels
  • Lean muscle mass
  • Longer lifespan
  • More developed cognition for training
  • Healthier well-being
  • Better protection for you and your family

Note: Discuss 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

Bully Max High Performance Super Premium Dog Food (15 lbs.) The now-famous Bully Max has 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 formulated this recipe since 2008. After having tested, tried, analyzed, and reviewed this brand, it claims the first spot among the best dog foods for Pitbulls to gain weight on our list.

Bully Max dog food provides far more calories than a regular brand at 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 with only 100% natural and human-grade ingredients, with chicken meal as the first ingredient on the list.

Bully Max - best dog food for pitbulls weight gain review

The size of the kibble is also fantastic, particularly for younger and growing Pit Bulls. The formula contains 30% protein and 20% fat, both considered on the somewhat higher end. It's also fit for multiple life stages, from puppies that are over four weeks old to nursing and pregnant dogs. It's free of fillers like soy, wheat, or corn and made in the USA.

What Customers Are Saying

The downside is its price point. If you choose this recommended dog food for Pitbull's weight gain, it's likely to add to your monthly budget visibly. 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.


  • Calorie-dense: great for weight gain, and you also need to feed less of this food
  • High protein and moderate fat
  • Packed with vitamins and minerals
  • Excellent track record with other Pit Bulls and a company with a good reputation

  • Expensive


2High Protein Real Meat Recipe
by Taste of the Wild

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Grain-Free Recipe with Roasted Bison and Venison Adult Dry Dog Food, Made with High Protein from Real Meat and Guaranteed Nutrients and Probiotics 28lb 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 his body needs at every stage of his life.

Taste of the Wild is made with natural 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.

What Customers Are Saying

Dog owners who regularly use Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food say it is cost-effective. The high protein content and lack of fillers mean that dogs don't need to eat as much food as 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 significant improvements in their dog's skin and coats. Although Taste of the Wild is a prevalent 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.


  • Made with natural roasted meats, fruits, and vegetables
  • Choose from protein sources, including bison and venison, salmon, boar, lamb, venison, or wildfowl
  • Natural ingredients include highly digestible protein and fats to support weight maintenance and muscle growth
  • Grain-free and doesn't contain fillers

  • In rare instances, it may cause minor bouts of diarrhea when the formula doesn't agree with the dog


3Sport Formula Dry Dog Food
by Purina Pro Plan

Purina Pro Plan High Calorie, High Protein Dry Dog Food, 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula - 37.5 lb. Bag The best dog food for Pitbulls to gain weight is 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. Your Bully will develop strength by containing 30% protein and 20% fat to optimize metabolism and lean muscle development.

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 complete the package, glucosamine and omega-3 fatty acids aid joint health and mobility. Fans of this best dog food for pit bulls to gain weight say that they have seen a marked increase in their bullies' energy levels and endurance at work and play.

What Customers Are Saying

Critics of Purina Pro Plan Sport Dry Dog Food are mainly concerned with the high amount of grain, gluten, and by-products in premium-priced dog food. Some owners have found that their dogs 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.


  • AAFCO is approved as a feeding regime that provides complete balanced nutrition for every stage of life
  • Contains 30% protein and 20% fat
  • Concentrated nutrition will maximize oxygen metabolism
  • Amino acids will nourish muscles before, during, and after exercise – aiding recovery
  • Glucosamine and omega-3 fatty acids aid joint health and mobility

  • The high amount of grains
  • There's an overpowering odor of this food, and some dogs may dislike it.


4Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
by Earthborn Holistic

Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Great Plains Feast is a premium grain-free food from Earthborn Holistic that 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 a lean red meat bison meal. That's a good start if you're looking for a high-protein diet that will build skeletal 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.

What Customers Are Saying

Owners have found that their overweight bullies have lost weight on this food. The high protein levels 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.


  • The first ingredient is lean bison meal
  • Grain-free
  • Contains lamb meal and egg protein for muscle growth
  • Rich in amino acids

  • The texture of this food is dryer and crumblier than some alternative brands
  • Tapioca is a controversial ingredient, as it can trigger allergies and yeast infections


5Grain Free Recipe Dry Dog Food
by Merrick

Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food Real Duck & Sweet Potato Recipe - 22 lb Bag 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 massive 38% protein in each serving of this food. The meat and fish proteins promote healthy lean muscle development, and omega-six and omega-three 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.

What Customers Are Saying

Merrick Grain-Free Recipe Dry Dog Food is particularly popular with bully owners who say 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 had become sick of this food in the last year when they thrived on it previously. The jury is currently out on whether or not this is coincidental.


  • Manufactured in the USA using locally sourced ingredients and high-quality protein sources
  • All-natural and made with 70% meat proteins and 30% fresh produce
  • 38% protein in each serving

  • Less than one year ago, Merrick was taken over by Purina, and some buyers had claimed their pet had gotten sick after eating the food in the last year when they thrived on it before


6Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
by Wellness CORE

Wellness CORE Grain-Free High-Protein Dry Dog Food, Made in USA with Real Meat & Natural Ingredients, All Breeds, Adult Dogs (Turkey & Chicken, 26-lb) With Nutrients for Immune, Skin, & Coat Support Wellness CORE is a 100% natural, grain-free food 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 needed 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 your Bully's coat shine. Without any wheat, corn, soy, gluten, or by-products, this product is suited to dogs with sensitive digestion and skin.

What Customers Are Saying

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 excellent 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 the packaging, too. Several customers have reported receiving damaged sacks containing moldy and foul-smelling food.


  • 100% natural, grain-free food that is made in the US from US ingredients
  • Carefully selected antioxidants, omega oils, and probiotics in this Pitbull dog food will make a dog's coat shine
  • Contains wheat, corn, soy, gluten, or by-products

  • Some dogs may have a gastric reaction to this dog food, resulting in minor diarrhea
  • Some shipping issues: packaging that was damaged and contained foul-smelling, moldy food

Essential Nutrients to Look For in the Best Dog Food to Build Muscle

To make sure your pitbull gains enough weight and stays healthy, their dog food should have all the necessary nutrients.

Here are the nutrients that should be in the best dog food for bullies to gain weight.

Protein. This is a macronutrient responsible for building muscle mass. They are served in high contents in the best food for Pitbulls. 

Carbohydrates. This refers to the source of energy that your pitbull puppy needs to gain weight. 

Complex carbs in the best dog food for building muscle also provide endurance and strength to your pooch as they grow.

Fat. Quality facts are important in pit bulls since they help them build strong muscles, strengthen their joints, and keep their coat shiny. 

Fiber. Grains and fiber in the best dog food for bullies keep their digestion smooth and healthy. However, be on the lookout for fillers and choose only quality brands.

Vitamins and Minerals. The right balance of vitamins and minerals ensures the growth and health of your pitbull. You may want to include minerals like phosphorous, calcium, and magnesium into their diet.

Best Food for Pitbulls: Buying Guide

Have you decided on buying the best dog food for Pitbulls? Aside from choosing one or more from this list, here are a few buying tips to help you out!

Consult With A Vet

As a pet owner, you want to acquire the best dog food to build muscle that also ensures good health for your pooch. To do that, you can consult with the vet and ask for suitable dog food and diet for your Pitbull.

Identify the Health Conditions of Your Pitbull

Just like other dogs, pitbulls may be prone to certain health conditions. When choosing the best dog food for bullies, choose those that have the right amount of nutrients. 

Choose a Quality Brand

There are so many dog food brands in the market that it is difficult to decide which one is best. Fortunately, the list of the best dog food for Pitbulls above will help you pinpoint the right one for your pooch.

Still, it pays to do some research and see if your chosen dog food brand meets the AAFCO guidelines. You may also want to check their reviews online. 

Check the Labels

Labels are very important when you're looking for the best dog food to build muscle. While it's important to choose high-protein feeds, you would also want to avoid fillers and additives.

best food for pitbulls

Common Questions About The Best Dog Food for Pitbulls to Gain Weight

Just like a few pet owners, you might have questions about choosing the right dog food for Pitbulls to gain weight and the things to consider. Here are some questions people ask and their respective answers:

Can I Feed my Pitbull Raw Meat?

Yes, but it’s recommended that you consult with your vet first. Still, most pet owners can attest that feeding raw meat helps your Pitbull build healthy muscles.

You can feed your pitbull meats like chicken, duck, turkey, beef, pork, tuna, salmon, and other selected seafood to bulk them up.

Am I Allowed to Give my Pitbull Peanut Butter?

Peanut butter is high in protein and healthy fats. As long as you feed your pitbull with the right proportions, you can give them peanut butter.

Pitbulls and most dogs love the taste of peanut butter, and it works great as a treat, too!

Can I Feed My Pitbull Veggies to Gain Weight?

Vegetables are not only rich in vitamins and minerals but also have good starch that gives your dog the energy they need. Veggies are the best dog food to build muscle that is natural, safe, and additive-free.

Keep in mind that you can’t feed all types of vegetables. Safe veggies for your Pitbull include sweet potato, carrots, broccoli, green beans, pumpkin, and cucumber.

What Foods Are Bad for Pitbulls?

Just like other dogs, Pitbulls have sensitive stomachs and may be prone to food allergies. That’s why it’s important to choose only the best dog food for bullies. 

Other foods may be toxic and poisonous to dogs without you knowing. For instance, dangerous foods include chocolates, mushrooms, garlic, onion, leeks, nuts, and poorly cooked meat.

How to Feed the Best Dog Food to Build Muscle

Feeding your dog with the best dog food to build muscle takes commitment and diligence. After all, if you want to get the right results, you have to be consistent with their meal plan.

  1. Follow the instructions as per the vet or on the dog food label
  2. Set a feeding schedule for your pooch
  3. Ask for recommendations on protein shakes for dogs
  4. Stick to your dog food meal plan, and don’t mix the ingredients
  5. Make clean water accessible all the time

The Best Dog Food for Pitbulls to Gain Weight – Final Thoughts

Pitbulls are genetically muscular and known for their lean body structure. However, if they don't seem to be gaining enough weight, you might need to find the best dog food for Pitbulls.

By choosing the best dog food for bullies, it is packed with all the macronutrients they need to develop healthy muscle. Your Pitbull will also have a good source of energy and nutrients for their growth.

The best dog food for Pitbulls to gain weight offers numerous health benefits for your pooch. You can also consult with your vet to further improve your dog's well-being.

Disclosure: We may earn affiliate commissions at no cost to you from the links on this page. This did not affect our assessment of products. Read more here and find full disclosure here.

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Best Dog Foods for Pitbulls to Gain Weight Quickly

Patrick has been a long-time dog adopter and currently lives with his two dogs - Tarzan and Loki - in Brooklyn, NY. He is a certified dog trainer, writer on all things dogs, animal shelter volunteer, freelancer researcher of animal sciences and aspiring author.