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Ensuring that your American Pitbull is appropriately-fed and cared for is crucial when it comes to the well-being and life expectancy of your pet.
For this reason, figuring out the correct meal portions for your dog’s size and age should be a priority for any loving Pittie owner.
How Much Should an American Pitbull Eat per Day?
An adult American Pitbull should eat roughly 2 – 3 cups of dry food per day spaced out between the same number of meals. When feeding younger or older dogs, keep the meal separation the same and only adjust the serving size a bit higher for puppies and a bit lower for seniors.
In this article, you’ll learn all there is to know about how to properly feed American Pitbulls, regardless of their weight and age.
How Much Should American Pitbulls Eat Based on Their Weight?
The ideal amount of food that an American Pitbull should consume in a day relies on its body mass. As you can imagine, bigger, heavier dogs will inevitably require more calories to maintain their bulkier structure. Therefore, although the 2-3 cup recommendation was made based on the size of the average Pittie, your specific pet’s needs can vary a lot depending on its weight.
Here’s how much American Pitbulls should eat based on their weight:
|2 – 3 cups||25 – 50 lbs (11 – 22.7 kg)|
|3 – 3 ⅓ cups||51 – 75 lbs (23 – 34 kg)|
|3 ⅓ – 4 cups||76 – 100 lbs (34.5 – 45 kg)|
|4 cups + ¼ cup||For every 10 lbs (4.5 kg) of body weight over 100 lbs (45 kg)|
If you follow these simple instructions, you’ll be able to find the correct feeding portions for most American Pitbulls, depending on their size. With that said, weight isn’t the only factor that determines a dog’s calorie needs. Periodically monitor your pet’s intake to ensure it’s adequately filling its needs.
Ideally, you should spread out the servings between a couple of meals depending on your schedule and your vet’s recommendations. Remember that adult dogs need to be fed less often compared to puppies under five months old, whose high energy expenditure causes them to require higher and more frequent calorie intakes.
You can switch your Pittie to a more adult diet around the 1-year mark, and after 18 months, you can securely make the complete transition to foods formulated for adult dogs. The choice and quality of the nutrition you’re providing also matters, but I’ll delve more into this topic in one of the following sections.
Try to exercise as much control as possible over your dog’s diet, as it’s the only way to ensure that it’s getting the right amount of high-quality nutrients it needs. This means trying to train your dog not to eat food found outside and limiting the number of treats and table scraps.
As I mentioned, size isn’t the only factor you’ll need to consider when planning out your pup’s feeding schedule. Aside from genetic predispositions, which should be further discussed with your vet, activity levels can also heavily influence a Pitbull’s caloric needs.
This means that even though your dog may fall towards the lighter range of the weight spectrum, but it exerts excessive amounts of energy, it might need up to a cup of food more than its preset recommendation. Likewise, bigger but more sedentary dogs may need a little less food if you want to make sure your Pittie doesn’t put on any unnecessary pounds.
How To Know if You’re Feeding Your Dog Enough?
Due to many circumstantial factors that affect caloric needs, following a rough recommendation based on size isn’t always the best way to determine your dog’s food intake.
To know if you’re feeding your dog enough, you’ll need to monitor their behavior towards food and energy levels throughout the day to ensure they’re optimal. Visually, you can judge if they’re getting the right amount of calories by looking at their muscle mass, fat, and the quality of their fur.
Knowing how to maintain a healthy balance between calorie intake and output is an essential part of taking care of an American Pitbull, as both weight extremes can be detrimental to their health.
You have to make constant mental calculations about the food that goes into your dog’s body throughout the day. If you often like to give treats to your pup, make sure to decrease the size of other meals in the day.
On the other hand, if you feel like the extra treat is necessary to maintain the Pittie’s energy levels throughout the day and doesn’t cause any heaviness or discomfort, adding it to the usual meal plan might be a great idea.
How Much Should an American Pitbull Puppy Eat per Day?
Growing puppies have unique feeding needs, as their calorie intake is affected more by their age rather than by their weight. Puppies will start weaning at about four weeks old, and by this time, they’ll need to gradually be introduced to more solid foods.
An American Pitbull puppy should eat 2 cups of food per day if between 8 and 12 weeks, 3 cups if between 3 and 5 months, and 4 – 5 cups if between 6 and 11 months
Knowing the right timeframe to make the switch from one meal plan to another is essential in ensuring that your puppy grows up into a healthy adult. Therefore, you’ll need to supervise carefully during this time to quickly notice any change in energy levels and behavior.
The food you choose at this stage should be heavier in calories, mostly coming from protein and fat, as a growing pup needs plenty of both. This is why it’s better to actively look for food options explicitly formulated for puppies, as older dogs tend to have different nutritional needs.
As the puppy will need higher amounts of calories, it’s best to space out the meals between several meals, as doing so will make it easier for their developing stomachs to digest the food entirely.
How Much Should Senior American Pitbulls Eat per Day?
After entering the 9-10 year age range, American Pitbulls start to lose some of their energy and mobility and have a harder time metabolizing food. This means that their caloric needs will change as well.
A senior American Pitbull should typically eat around ½ – 1 cup less food per day than what it may have consumed in its prime. So the average Pittie will reduce its consumption from 2 – 3 cups a day to 1 ½ – 2 ½ cups.
Even at this stage, many Pitties will have different energy expenditure levels, and therefore, different caloric needs. But overall, prioritizing protein and limiting carbs is crucial in this stage of a dog’s life, as it can help them become much less susceptible to urinary tract problems and diabetes.
Meat-based, naturally-sourced foods are the best option for a high-energy American Pitbull. Here are some of the best alternatives you’ll find on the market today:
Castor & Pollux Organix Organic Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe
This is one of the highest-quality options on the market today.
With a USDA certification, this organic chicken and oatmeal recipe features a blend of superfoods that do wonders for the demanding body of an energetic Pittie.
Its natural, preservative-free ingredients promote healthy digestion while avoiding many of the most common allergens and irritants.
Annamaet Ultra 32% Dry Dog Food
This grain-free, chicken-based formula is designed for highly active dogs, making it ideal for American Pitbulls. It’s a great source of omega-3 and supports a healthy cognitive function.
It’s an excellent choice for those extra active pups looking to maintain their muscle mass while supporting their gut health in the process.
The caloric needs of an American Pitbull depend heavily on its size, age, and energy expenditure.
This is why knowing how to choose the best quality and quantity of food for your Pittie is crucial for its health, well-being, and longevity.
I created this blog to share my passion for bullies, and help current and future pitbull owners with things like diet and education.
Hope you find it useful, don’t hesitate to drop a comment on my articles!