How to Feed a Pitbull Puppy for Maximum Growth

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In this day and age, we’re becoming more aware consumers, and there is a significant upward trend towards being aware of what food we’re putting into our bodies.

As well as that, we’re growing increasingly aware of what we’re feeding our beloved four-legged friends too!

Recent dog food recalls has been one of the reasons that owners have decided to sit up and take notice of what their fluffy companions are really getting in that big sack of feed, and looking into the nutritional requirements that Fido actually needs to be happy and healthy for a long time.

About Pitbulls

When you welcome your new Pitbull pup into your home, it’s important to have the knowledge necessary to be the best owner you can be, and one of the most important areas of dog ownership is making sure that your Pitbull puppy received the nutritional benefits that his growing body needs.

Their Nutritional Requirements

There has been much discussion as to whether dogs should eat a diet consisting purely of meat based on the fact that their ancestor, the wolf still eats a raw meat diet.

But, in fact, research has now proven that our domesticated canines digestive system has evolved with our own diet.

This occurred due to our pooches learning to live off of what was available to them – and increasingly that was the scraps from their human buddies.

So, what is the ideal combination of macronutrients for your little growing Pitbull?

  • Fat

While fat has had a bad rap for quite a few years, finally people realize that it’s actually good for us, but even more so for our pups bodies.

He needs this vital macronutrient to grow to be a big strapping lad.

How Much They Need:

The average Pitbull puppy requires 14-17% of their diet to come from high-quality fats, preferably animal fats as this is shown to be more easily absorbed into the system.

What They Need It For:

Fats are incredibly easy for the body to digest, and even above carbohydrates when it comes to being the first part of the diet used to produce energy.

The canine body needs the right amount of fat (minimum 10%) to produce the hormones, and even to create new cells, therefore if your pooch is lacking fat and he suffers from an injury; his recovery may be much slower.

Interesting Fact:

There is too much of a good thing, and if a dog has too much fat in his diet, he is likely to develop a condition known as pancreatitis which is essentially a fatty pancreas.

This condition can be deadly if untreated, and even when treated successfully will require careful management for life.

  • Carbs

While our fluffy four-legged friend’s diets have evolved along with our own, their requirement and tolerance for carbs is far lower than our own.

The body needs an enzyme called amylase in order to correctly break down carbohydrates, but while this is present in both the human saliva and our pancreas, our dog’s saliva doesn’t contain any at all – and for puppies, their pancreas’ provides very little.

How Much They Need:

Dogs don’t need a great deal of carbs in their diet, and for a growing Pitbull pup, his body does best with around 25-30%.

What They Need It For:

Your dog doesn’t actually have a nutritional need for carbs, and generally, they are used to bulk up dry kibble as a cheap way to fill up your pooch.

Interesting Fact:

You might have noticed that a lot of grain-free dog foods have hit the market recently, and many of them have quite a hefty price tag to go along with them.

Unfortunately – many owners are buying these assuming that they are then cutting the carbs out of their dog’s diet, but in actuality, these foods often still contain carbohydrates in the form of potatoes, peas, etc.

  • Protein

Protein should make up the largest part of your pup’s diet, even when he reaches maturity, the majority of his food should be good quality protein!

How Much They Need:

While he’s a pup, you should try to make sure that around 40% of his diet comes from protein.

What They Need It For:

Protein is the building block for building muscles, bones, and other body tissue – without having adequate protein within his diet, your puppy absolutely cannot grow to his full potential and may suffer poor health because of his stunted growth.

Interesting Fact:

While many dog foods have labels stating that they are “Complete and balanced” this is ordinarily just to state that their food won’t cause deficiencies for the average dog.

As the Pitbull is a larger and more muscular breed than most, his nutritional requirements are subtly different.

Ages of Diet Change

When your puppy first arrives home, his diet will consist entirely of puppy kibble, but as he grows, his nutritional needs change.

Certain dog food companies specialize in breed specific nutrition, and they provide detailed advice on when to switch from puppy food to young adult, and ultimately onto senior food.

As a rule of thumb, this is generally:

  • Puppy Food – One Year
  • Junior Food – One Year
  • Adult Food – Five Years
  • Senior Food – For The Remainder

Common Allergies

Another unfortunate side effect of the canines dietary evolution alongside our own, is the fact that they also commonly suffer from food allergies.

In Pitbulls, some of the most common allergies that you might want to look out for include:

  • Beef
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Wheat
  • Fish
  • Corn
  • Soy

Symptoms of dietary allergies usually consist of irritation of the skin, irritability, bloating, upset stomachs, and changes in energy levels.

If you suspect that your dog may be suffering from an allergy, it can seem like a daunting task to figure out which singular ingredient is the culprit, but fear not – an exclusion diet to determine the root cause of the problem isn’t as hard as you’d expect.

Speak with your veterinarian, and they may well be able to suggest an “allergen free” dog food that your dog can be gradually moved over to, and then once his symptoms have cleared – he can work with you to re-introduce different ingredients!

Final Thoughts

When it comes to making sure that your pup will have a long, happy, and healthy life – having a good diet from the get-go is the best thing that you can do for him.

Being overweight is one of the biggest causes for medical problems that veterinarians see at the moment, and while many owners feel as they’re being nice by feeding their puppers treats – it really is kinder to resist.

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