The American Staffordshire terrier, the American pit bull terrier and the Staffordshire bull terrier are all sometimes referred to as pit bulls. These strong, agile dogs require a healthy, high-protein diet to remain healthy. Pit bulls are especially prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, both of which can be exacerbated by obesity. A healthy diet can prevent obesity, improve the health of your dog's skin and coat, and ensure a long and healthy life for your canine companion.
The most important component of any dog's diet is protein. This is especially true for large, high-energy dogs like pit bulls. Wheat, corn and potatoes are allergens for many dogs, and pit bulls are especially prone to skin and coat problems. Consequently, you should ensure that the first ingredient in store-bought pet food is meat, and avoid foods that contain lots of fillers. Follow the feeding instructions on the food package. If you are feeding a homemade diet, feed your dog 2 to 4 percent of your dog's total body weight daily.
Very young puppies should eat softened dry food two to three times daily. After a puppy is fully weaned, continue feeding two to three times per day, using a high-quality puppy food made for large breeds until the dog is about twelve months of age. Adult pit bulls can eat once or twice per day. If you opt to feed your dog twice per day, make sure that you give your dog half of their daily food allowance at each meal. Obese dogs may thrive eating once daily, but some dogs tend to become whiny and restless if they only eat once per day.
Pit bulls have a tendency to eat their food without stopping to chew. This can cause a number of problems ranging from diarrhea and gas to bloat, a life-threatening condition. Also known as gastric torsion, bloat can kill a dog within an hour and must be avoided at all costs. High-protein, low-grain diets can help prevent bloat. If your dog eats very quickly, give your dog two to three small meals daily rather than one large meal, and never exercise with them or allow them to run immediately after they have eaten because it causes the stomach to sway within the abdominal cavity which precedes bloat. Raising your dog's food bowl with an elevated dog feeder may also increase your dog's risk of bloat, even though this was at one time believed to prevent bloat.
Most dog owners feed their dogs store-bought food. Choose a high-quality food with meat, rather than meat by-product or grains, as the first ingredient. Dry dog foods are generally healthier than moist dog foods, which tend to be higher in fat and calories. Some stores also offer refrigerated meat-based foods, which are excellent options for owners too busy to make a homemade diet but who want the benefits of homemade food. The raw food diet, which includes giving dogs raw bones, is also an excellent option for many dogs; but take the time to educate yourself on how to proceed with a raw food diet. There is more to it than just giving your dog raw meat and bones. Never give your dog cooked bones. Some owners also choose to make their own dog food. Talk to your veterinarian before making a homemade diet to ensure that the diet is complete and balanced. Generally speaking, homemade diets should be at least 70 percent protein. Educate yourself on how to proceed with a raw food diet, which can contain harmful bacteria. Always wash kitchen utensils and surfaces thoroughly to avoid contaminating bacteria.
More on Pit Bulls