You love your pit bull with all of your heart. You want nothing more to make sure that he lives a long, happy and healthy life, and in order to do that, you need to ensure that he receives adequate nutrition.

Properly feeding your pit bull is not only an important part of responsible pet ownership, but it will ensure he maintains optimal health – and that he remains active and happy. A well-balanced diet will help your bully avoid common health problems, like arthritis, obesity, being underweight, joint problems, hip and elbow dysplasia and tummy troubles.

Whether you have an American Staffordshire terrier, here are some tips to help you ensure you are feeding your four-legged family member a health, well-balanced and nutritious diet.

The Basics of Nutrition

The important element of any dog’s diet is protein, and it is especially true for dogs that have high energy levels and are larger in size, like the pit bull. That means that you need to ensure the food you are feeding your pup contains a healthy amount of protein.

Certain dogs are prone to allergies, and the pit bull is one of them. These pups are often plagued with skin allergies, and certain foods aggravate those allergies. Foods like wheat, corn and potatoes will exasperate allergies that may affect your pit bull’s skin.

When choosing the best food for your pit bull, it is important to read the ingredients list. The first ingredient should always be meat derived from a natural, healthy source; chicken, beef, lamb or fish, for example. Make sure the food is free from a lot of fillers, as they can cause allergic reactions and don’t provide necessary nutrition.

When to Feed Your Pit Bull

The feeding schedule for your pit bull will depend on his age.

Young puppies that are weaning should eat dry food that has been softened two to three times a day. Once the puppy is fully weaned, he can continue to eat a diet that consists of high-quality puppy food that is rich in protein two to three times a day.

Adult pit bulls should also be fed high-quality foods that are high in natural protein sources. Adults can eat once or twice a day, depending on their energy level.

Issues with Feeding

Like many dogs, pit bulls do have a tendency to eat their food without chewing; in other words, they take the food into their mouths and then swallow. This can a wide range of problems, including diarrhea, gas and bloat. Bloating, also known as gastric torsion, can be life-threatening.

Feeding your pit bull a diet that is high in protein and low in grain can help to keep bloating at bay. If you notice that your dog eats quickly, give him two or three small meals a day instead of one large meal, as this will prevent him from eating too quickly.

You should also avoid having your dog participate in exercise right after he eats, as this can cause the stomach to move about within the abdominal cavity, causing bloat.

Dietary Considerations

Feeding your dog a manufactured food is a fast and easy option; however, when buying bagged food, you should make careful considerations. Avoid foods that are high in fillers and unnatural sources of protein and fat, as they can lead to serious health complications.

Look for foods that are high in natural proteins, like fish, beef or chicken, and make sure that protein is the first ingredient. Dry dog foods are the best option for a pit bull, as they are higher in fat and calories.

You can also make your pit bull homemade food. If you are doing this, make sure you choose high-quality meats as the foundation of his diet. Vegetables are also important, but avoid corn and grains, as they can aggravate allergies and cause excessive weight gain. When feeding your pit bull home cooked food, make sure you watch the amount you feed him. Home cooked food is more calorie-dense than processed food, which means if you feed him too much, he will be more likely to put on excessive weight, which can exacerbate joint problems.