If you are a new Pitbull owner you’ll likely be curious to know how much to feed a Pitbull puppy.
One of the easiest ways to know the correct food amounts is by following a Pitbull feeding chart which we will outline in this article.
A Pitbull feeding chart outlines the recommended food amounts and feeding schedule based on the age of your puppy.
As Pitbull owners, you must work out the nutritional requirements, portions, growth chart, and feeding schedule for your pup.
Taking time to research correct feeding practices will ensure your puppy is best placed to live a healthy, thriving life.
Read on to learn more about the Pitbull feeding chart and get some practical tips to help you support your Pitbull puppy.
How Much To Feed A Pitbull Puppy?
A Pitbull puppy is ready to transition from its mother’s milk to puppy dog food at the age of four weeks.
This is a transition that should be carefully managed to ensure your puppy can digest new foods well. To aid the transition you can moisten the kibble so it is easily digested.
From age four to 12 weeks, Pitbulls can consume regular small meals. This can be four to six meals per day with a quart-cup per serving.
As Pitbull puppies grow, the feeding frequency can be reduced, while the portion size increases.
Typically this will be three meals per day with at least one cup per serving. Pitbulls reach their peak appetite at the age of 6 months before it settles down.
As they transition to adulthood, Pitbulls can consume around 4 to 5 cups per day.
Pitbull Puppy Feeding Chart
Due to the strong muscular physique of Pitbulls, they do tend to gain weight quickly. It is therefore important that you regulate and manage their feeding schedule to avoid cases of obesity and diabetes.
The Pitbull feeding chart is a free and easy way to manage your Pitbull pup’s feeding schedule and ensure they maintain a healthy weight.
The RER (Resting Metabolic Rate) is a measure often used to work out the calories your Pitbull needs daily. To work out the RER you can simply measure your dog in kilograms to the power of ¾ multiplied by 70.
A working example is that if your Pitbull weighs 10 Kg, the RER calculation is 70(10) 3/4 = 394. To then find the number of calories required per day, multiply this figure by two to get 788 calories.
4 Week Old Pitbull Puppy
By the age of four weeks, a Pitbull puppy is ready to consume solid puppy food. As you transition you should add small amounts of food so that they can handle it.
It is recommended to give them a quarter-cup of puppy food mixed with three-quarters water to get them started.
During this period they will continue to feed from the mother’s milk so it should be seen as a transition.
6 Week Old Pitbull Puppy
By the age of 6 weeks, your Pitbull puppy will be increasingly interested in the food mix you are providing.
If they are eating it well you can start reducing the amount of water so that it is a 50:50 mix, to get down to a fully dry mix.
A Pitbull puppy at 6 weeks will have regular small meals. This will include one-quarter cup up to 6 meals per day. They will continue on mothers’ milk but should start paying more interest to puppy food.
8 Week Old Pitbull Puppy
By 8 weeks of age, a Pitbull puppy is ready to be fully weaned off the mother and rehoused. 8 week old Pitbull puppies need to consume around ¾ cups per meal and should be fed four times a day.
During this stage, you will notice them developing an appetite as they start to grow rapidly.
It is important by the 8-week mark to start a feeding schedule to ensure your puppy acquires good habits.
10 Week Old Pitbull Puppy
As the appetite increases, the portion sizes should increase for your Pitbull. By 10 weeks they can be given one cup per meal and fed four times per day.
At this stage, it can be very tempting to overfeed your Pitbull as its appetite becomes strong.
You need to maintain a strict feeding schedule, with the four feeding times nicely spread across the day so that your puppy never gets too hungry.
12 Week Old Pitbull Puppy
By 12 weeks the number of meals can be reduced from four to three as your Pitbull puppy can store the energy for longer. You can though maintain the portion of one cup per meal to ensure they feel full each time they feed.
The exact portions will depend on the activity level of your puppy. More active pups will need more calories than less active pups.
6 Months – 12 Months Old Pitbull Puppy
From six to 12 months, your Pitbull puppy will navigate adolescence and evolve into a young adult. By six months they should have a strong feeding routine that gives them comfort and reassurance each day.
Three meals per day are recommended for Pitbull of this age, but the portion sizes will increase as their energy needs increase.
By 12 months, they will need around five cups of food over a day. Starting with one cup per meal, you can slowly increase the portions to meet the 5 cups per day by 12 months. Closely monitor your pup so that they are consuming well.
12 Months & Above Pitbull Puppies
By 12 months of age, your Pitbull puppy is nearing full physical maturity and will no longer look like a puppy, though its mental maturity won’t come for a few years yet.
As they grow up Pitbulls will have fewer meals but bigger portions. You can feed them twice a day with three to four cups per meal.
Work with your dog to make sure they are satisfied with the portion and have good energy throughout the day.
Pitbull Nutritional Needs Explained
The nutritional needs of a Pitbull will differ based on the age and activity level of your pup. Generally, the amount of calories needed by a dog is worked out based on body weight and pounds.
Dogs younger than four months will require around 115 calories per body weight pound, while dogs over 4 months will need 77 calories per body weight pound.
Drawing this out for a typical American Pitbull Terrier which can weigh from 30 to 60 pounds, we can expect Pitbulls to need 994 to 1670 calories per day.
Note that other factors will impact this calorie need, including whether your pup is spayed or neutered, or whether they are over or underweight.
A balanced diet for Pitbulls should contain fats, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Dog foods package up these elements into kibble, while you can also get a good range from a raw diet. These key nutritional requirements for Pitbulls are presented below.
- Fats are required to support the breakdown of proteins and metabolism. A range of healthy fats in the diet will also improve appetite, hormone production, and coat shine.
- Proteins provide an essential foundation for quality nutrition and should be prioritized within a Pitbull’s diet. Proteins enable muscle growth to give Pitbulls a robust look. Proteins are built from amino acids and are key to supporting bodily functions such as repairing tissue. Most dog foods are high in protein as are foods found in a raw diet.
- Carbohydrates are a key energy source for Pitbull puppies. You should be wary of the number of carbs provided to a Pitbull as if too many are consumed they can sit in the stomach and add fat. Corn, wheat, oats, and barley are common sources of carbs for Pitbulls.
- Vitamins are important for Pitbulls to give a good nutritional balance. Vitamin A enables healthy skin and a shiny coat, while Vitamin E boosts the body’s immune response. Vitamins A and E are often found in fresh vegetables and fruit.
- Minerals support growth and boost the immune system. Key minerals to be included in a Pitbull diet include magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, and chloride.
- Fiber is key for preventing constipation and having smooth digestion. Fiber is often found in carbohydrates such as wheat.
Feeding Times And Frequency For Your Pitbull
When your Pitbull is a puppy, it should eat four to five times per day, and when they are the age of three months up to six months, you should reduce the frequency to three times per day.
When they reach adulthood, they can eat once or twice as their calorie requirement reduces.
You should set up your puppy’s feeding schedule based on your household and work schedule. To prevent your puppy from being too full or hungry, the meal times should be spread throughout the day. this will keep their sugar levels balanced.
For example, feeding times can be 7 am before work, 1 pm during lunch hour, and 7 pm as the final feed.
The amount of food in each mealtime should be different depending on their appetite and growth stage. To support their hydration and overall digestion, ensure that you give your puppy fresh water during each meal.
Should You Feed Your Pitbull Kibble Or Wet Dog Food?
Both wet food and dry kibble have great benefits for your growing Pitbull puppy.
Dry kibble makes your puppy chew on their food which helps in preventing health problems such as dental issues and tartar build-up.
Dry foods are easy to portion and affordable. They also do not go bad easily as they store for longer periods.
Wet foods are also beneficial for your Pitbull and have some health benefits that dry food may not provide.
For instance, they are high in moisture content which provides your Pitbull with the necessary hydration especially if they do not like drinking water. Wet foods have more aromas and flavors which most dogs like.
However, wet foods do not store longer once opened and they should be refrigerated. Whichever food type you choose, ensure that they contain all the necessary nutrients.
How And When To Switch From Puppy Food To Adult Food
When your Pitbull puppy reaches the age of 12 months, they are ready to transition to adult food.
The transition needs to be careful and slow to reduce the risk of your dog having an upset stomach or shocking its system and ensure that they maintain its appetite.
Start by adding small amounts of adult food while reducing the puppy food until the meal only comprises puppy food.
You should do this process over 10 days. If your puppy does not seem to take the adult food well, it may be too early so you need to stop the transition and wait to do it again after a few weeks.
What To Do If Your Pitbull Puppy Doesn’t Want To Eat?
Various reasons may cause your puppy not to eat its food. If your puppy has not eaten their food for more than two days, you should take them to the vet for an evaluation as there could be an underlying issue causing the loss of appetite.
Certain illnesses such as toothache and stomach issues may make your dog dislike their food.
If your vet has ruled out any health issues then there could be other reasons. This includes a change of environment especially if they have been re-homed and may need some time to get used to their new home.
A change in food brand and type can also cause a change in appetite, such as from dry kibble to raw food.
Is It Possible To Free Feed A Pitbull?
Free feeding is where you leave food available for your puppy so that it can graze throughout the day.
Free feeding does not work well for this breed as they excel on a stricter mealtime routine. Although free feeding is convenient and easy for the owner, it is not recommended because it can lead to weight gain due to constant access to food.
Having a feeding schedule helps with house training so that your puppy can be the best companion and it also ensures that your puppy eats only the recommended amount.
When your puppy eats at scheduled times, its risk of being obese is reduced. Only free feed your puppy if it is recommended by the vet especially if they are underweight.
Is A Raw Diet Healthy For A Pitbull?
A raw diet for a Pitbull puppy includes foods like dairy products, raw meat such as chicken, lamb, turkey, ground or whole bone, fresh fruits, vegetables, and eggs.
Most dog owners consider feeding their Pitbull raw food because they contain high amounts of quality ingredients and do not have any additives.
The following are some of the benefits of feeding your Pitbull puppy a raw food diet:
- Increased energy – raw foods contain healthy fats and proteins which provide your puppy with better energy.
- Promotes a healthy coat – raw foods enable your Pitbull to have smooth and shiny coats because they support the growth of strong hair follicles.
- Improves muscle development – the protein-rich raw food ensures that your puppy develops strong and lean muscles.
Even though raw foods are beneficial to your dog, they have certain shortcomings such as a high risk of harmful bacteria, choking on bones, and high-fat content.
If you decide to feed your Pitbull a raw food diet, consult with your vet so that they can give you advice on how you can provide the best nutrition to your puppy.
How Much Do Pitbull Puppies Grow Each Week?
It is recommended that you weigh your Pitbull weekly so that you can track its weight as it can gain weight easily.
Since growth and weight gain vary in dogs, it may be hard to tell exactly how much a Pitbull grows weekly.
However, they can gain around one to two pounds depending on their age, size, and type of nutrition.
You can tell whether your puppy is gaining weight by checking that its belly is not bigger than its chest and they have a visible waist. The ribs should not be visible but you should feel them under a layer of fat.
Should You Feed A Pitbull Puppy Supplements?
If your Pitbull puppy is feeding on high-quality food with balanced nutrients, they do not need any supplementation as they can be counterproductive.
However, Pitbulls are prone to developing joint issues and hip dysplasia, so you may need to give them supplements to help with these issues.
Additionally, you can give supplements to your Pitbull to help support overall health and muscle growth.
Also, if your puppy is underweight you can give them supplements that help with weight gain and if they are suffering from an illness, some supplements help boost the immune system which is necessary for fighting disease.
You should always check with your vet before giving your Pitbull supplements.
How Much Water Should A Pitbull Puppy Drink?
Pitbull puppies are required to drink more water compared to their adult counterparts because they need to stay hydrated especially if they have been weaned off recently from the mother’s milk.
A newborn puppy needs to drink water every two hours. You should give them one and a half a cup every time.
Once your Pitbull puppy is grown and is bigger, the amount of water can be reduced but you should ensure that it is available throughout the day.
When your puppy is house training, you can remove the water at night to avoid spillage.
Generally, your Pitbull puppy should drink around one ounce per pound of their body weight daily.
People’s Food That Pitbulls Can And Can’t Eat
Most food that humans eat can be consumed by Pitbulls, however, others may lead to serious health issues and should be avoided. Below is a list of the people’s food that your Pitbull CAN and CAN’T eat:
Good People Food
- Apple slices – they are a cheap and easy food to give to your puppy and are high in fiber, Vitamin C and A. The moisture content in apples freshens your puppy’s breath and cleans its teeth.
- Pumpkin – it allows the digestive tract to keep moving and this improves the digestive health of your dog. Pumpkin also is high in fiber and Vitamin A.
- Salmon – it supports skin and coat health and boosts immunity as it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Low-fat Cheese – if your puppy is lactose intolerant, cottage cheese can be a great treat as it is low in fat. However, you should monitor your puppy’s reaction to the cheese before feeding them in large amounts.
- Peanut butter – this provides your Pitbull extra energy throughout the day and it is a great source of healthy fats and protein. Feed your puppy raw and unsalted peanut butter to prevent them from consuming substances like xylitol.
- Cooked chicken – it is perfectly reasonable to feed your Pitbull chicken because it is a great source of protein and is used in most commercial dog food.
Bad People Food
- Chocolate – while it is one of the most desired human treats, chocolate is a dangerous substance for Pitbulls as it contains methylxanthines which can stop the metabolic process in dogs and even cause death.
- Avocados –contain persin acid which is harmful to dogs.
- Onions – onions should not be fed to your Pitbull as it has properties that may lead to anemia.
- Alcohol – it is unlikely that you will consider feeding alcohol to your Pitbull, but you should be aware that any drop of wine or beer on the floor can cause diarrhea and nervous dame to your dog.
- Artificial sweetener (Xylitol) – this sweetener leads to the release of insulin in humans but it causes hypoglycemia in dogs which can lead to liver failure and blood clots.
- Cooked bone – raw bone can be given to dogs for chewing but cooked bones should be avoided as they can easily splinter and cause constipation as well as perforation of the gut which is fatal.