Homemade Dog Food For Pit Bulls Guide: Nutrition, Recipes & More

homemade dog food for pit bulls

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Are you looking to learn the ins and outs of cooking homemade dog food for pit bulls?

If you are, sit tight as we walk you through everything you need to know about making the finest chow at home for your Pit Bull.

Our guide covers breed-specific caveats, benefits, risks, nutritional guidelines, Pit Bull homemade food recipes, and more.

Let’s get started by understanding the connection between homemade dog food and the repercussion on your pit bull’s health.

Chapter 1

Ch 2

Benefits & nutritional guidelines of home-cooking for Pit Bulls

Benefits of Homemade Dog Food For Pit Bull

When nutritionally balanced and adjusted to your pit bull’s needs, homemade dog food can be exceptionally beneficial for your dog.

Jennifer A. Larsen, DVM, MS, Ph.D., and Joe Bartges, DVM, Ph.D., board-certified veterinary nutritionists and diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, note that feeding dogs a homemade based diet has benefits that include:

  • Diet management
  • Appeasing picky dog eaters
  • Combatting food intolerance and allergy issues
  • Avoid concern over food recalls
  • Bond-building

Fresh homemade dog food is more bioavailable and healthier than processed kibble as it’s free from additives, preservatives, and unknown harmful ingredients.

It promotes healthier digestion and can prevent many conditions associated with a poor diet, such as obesity, poor skin, and coat condition, pancreatitis, diabetes, and reduced immunity.

Food & Pit Bull Health: Why Feed Homamde?

Pit bulls are especially susceptible to skin allergies, says Pet Dermatology of Vancouver and Richmond.

Due to their short coat, pitties allow easy exposure to environmental allergies and other irritants. Among the most common culprits of skin allergies in pit bulls is food.

Pit Bull food allergies and intolerances can manifest as skin problems alongside excessive licking and scratching, leading to sores and skin infection. Unfortunately, this breed tends to experience stronger reactions to allergens.

So, how can homemade diet help prevent or treat this in pit bulls?

Homemade dog food is usually easier to digest; thus, nutrient absorption is more efficient, which can help resolve nutrient imbalances that could damage the skin and coat. And because nutrient content is more efficiently used when feeding fresh dog food, minerals, vitamins, amino acids act quicker in decreasing inflammatory responses caused by allergens.

Because you can control what goes into your pit bull’s food, homemade diets make it simple to monitor and avoid foods that may trigger allergies caused by food sensitivities.

Further, the fresh ingredients you use in making dog food are less contaminated than commercial dog food lowering the risk of adverse reactions.

Before you even consider making homemade food for your pit bull, we advise you do an At-Home Dog Allergy Test to identify food ingredient intolerances in your dog. This way, you know what you are cooking is safe for your pet.

If you suspect your pit bull has food allergies, talk to your vet or a board-certified veterinary nutritionist for professional advice.

Risk of Homemade Dog Food

Making dog food isn’t as simple as you think.

You may run the risk of:

  • Using inadequate or dangerous recipes
  • Not preparing a balanced meal
  • Using unsafe or harmful ingredients
  • Not understanding the impact of food and dietary changes
  • Not understanding the nutritional needs of your pit bull

The University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary tested 200 recipes and found that most recipes were short on some essential nutrients in dogs.

Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science found that 48% of home-prepared diets for dogs had no precise determination of ingredients and quantities and that 71.3 % of pet owners lacked information on how much to feed the animal.

For this reason, we recommend getting guidance on your dog’s breed-specific nutritional needs with a veterinary nutritionist, using recipes from trusted sources, or using a homemade dog food delivery service to minimize the risk of exposing your pit bull to malnutrition which can lead to other health problems.

Pit Bull Nutritional Guidelines to Follow

When preparing food at home for your pit bull is vital to take into account your dog’s weight, health condition, size, and activity level.

Then, make sure to include the six essential nutrients any dog meal should always have according to The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AFFCO)

NutrientFoodDescription
Protein Chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, fish, yogurt and cooked eggsBuilds and repairs muscles and other body tissues. Needed to make new skin cells, grow hair, hormones, enzymes and more.
Carbohydrates Oats, brown rice, potatoes, and whole wheat Source of energy for dogs and supplies glucose needed by the brain, nervous system and other critical organs for normal function.
Fat From meats and oils such as olive or sunflower oil, fish oil, canola oils among others Responsible for providing quality energy. Necessary for the normal development and function of body cells, nerves, muscles, and body tissues
Minerals Calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, zinc, etc. Common functions include the formation of bone and cartilage, nerve and muscle function, fluid balance regulation, the transportation of oxygen in the bloodstream and hormone production.
WaterWaterHydration is critical in dogs. A dog that loses too much water (10% to 15% of the water in his body) can get very sick and even die. Ensure they have water available throughout the day.
VitaminsA, B, C, D, E, and K Keeps skin and coat healthy, strengthens bones and teeth, and gives them the overall energy that they need to function.

Research shows most homemade dog food recipes often don’t contain enough of certain nutrients, such as vitamins.

Completing your pit bull’s diet with a multivitamin like Zesty Paws Multivitamin Chews will guarantee your pup is getting the recommended balance of vitamins and minerals.

Formulating a completely well-balanced diet for your dog’s specific needs can sometimes be challenging. Never improvise when cooking for your pooch. You should consult a veterinary nutritionist to help create an individualized diet for your pit bull. 

An excellent resource to get you started in home cooking for dogs is Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets: the Healthful Alternative by Donald R. Strombeck, DVM, Ph.D., a long-time expert in veterinary medicine. This book it’s considered by many pet nutritionists to be the Bible of healthy homemade dog nutrition.

Health Dietary Changes In Pit Bulls

These are some key ingredients you need to keep in mind if you ever notice your pit bull struggling with certain health conditions caused by allergens.

A fresh food homemade diet accompanied with the following suggestions can help regulate these conditions. Let’s take a look!

ConditionDietary Needs & Adjustments

Coat Color Changes


Increase amino acids which can be found in protein (>75 grams per 1000 calories)
Concurrent GI Signs

Avoid foods with tryptamine and histamine such as dairy or fermented vegetables and meats (yes, this includes bacon); try a simple ingredient food trial

Chronic Itching and Dermatitis

Fortify the diet with Vitamin E, B Vitamins, Zinc, omega-6 and the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil; add a dog probiotic; try a simple ingredient food trial
Dull Coat and Scaling

Adjust EPA and DHA levels in the diet (added fish oil being the most common way); try a food that has added zinc

Dandruff and Crustiness

Add Zinc and Vitamin A levels

Data Source: NomNomNow.com

Pro Tip: Due to their sensitivity towards contact and food allergies, pit bulls are prone to develop skin and coat conditions. To minimize and prevent such aliments, adding a couple of squirts of fish oil to their meals can provide relief and nourishment to keep their skin and coats in the best condition.

Pit bulls are susceptible to weight-related health problems such as joint issues (i.e., dysplasia of the hips or elbows), maintaining a healthy weight is critical. Overweight pit bulls may have an increased risk of diabetes or arthritis.

Pit Bulls Calorie Requirements

The caloric needs of dogs are based on their weight. An adult pit bull usually weighs between 40 and 70 pounds, which means most pit bulls need between 983 and 1500 calories a day.

Make sure you follow the 10% rule when feeding treats to your dog. Food would equal 90% of the total calories and treat the remaining 10%.

For instance, if a Miniature American Shepherd weighs 40 lbs. he would need 983 calories per day. For those eating treats, that’s 885 calories in food (90%) and 98 in treats (10%). Usually, most full-grown dogs eat two meals per day. So, you need to split 885 into two meals of 442 calories each.

You can use this calculator to find the exact caloric needs for your dog based on his weight.

Pregnant or lactating pit bulls may need up to 2 to 4 times the amount of food they normally need as the mother’s energy requirements increase after delivery and during lactation. Be sure to talk to your vet.

Homemade Food For Pit Bull Puppies

Pit bull puppies have unique dietary needs that differ from adult pit bulls.

Knowing how much your pit bull weights is vital to determine the number of calories they require per day. Pit bull puppies should eat three times a day compared to two times a day for adults.

You must split the daily calories needed by your pit bull puppy into different meals throughout the day. For instance, if your pit bull weighs 15 pounds, roughly 472 calories per day will require. Then, you would do 3 homemade meals of 157 calories each.

A pit bull puppy homemade diet should also comprise a proper balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fat, minerals, water, and vitamins, as outlined in our nutritional guidelines earlier.

Contact your vet about your puppy’s diet requirement. They will be able to give you expert advice and suggestions.

Homemade Dog Food Delivery Service

Are you tired of cooking? Don’t know where to begin? Unsure about how to properly go about cooking balanced dog food for your pit bull? Are you confused about dog nutrition?

If you answer yes to one of these questions, a homemade dog food delivery service like The Farmer’s Dog is an excellent alternative to home cooking for your pitty.

They customize their food to your dog’s breed-specific needs (including health conditions, allergies, and more) and will ship directly to your door. Everything they make is fresh, human-grade, all-natural ingredients (meats, veggies, grains, etc.) and vet-designed for optimal nutrition.

It’s convenient, a huge time saver and the cost adds up to the prices of all the ingredients you’ll need to cook a recipe.

Our readers have access to save 50% off their first The Farmer’s Dog order. No code is needed, just use this link, and the discount will be applied!

Read Our Full The Farmer’s Dog Review

Cooking Homemade Dog Food For Pit Bulls

Never made food for your canine companion? This video will get you started.

Chapter 2

Ch 1

Recipes & how to cook for Pit Bull tips

Pit Bull Homemade Food Tips

Before sharing our favorite recipes, keep these recommendations in mind when preparing your dog’s next meal.

  1. Set a consistent feeding schedule.
  2. Feed your Pit Bull two times a day (puppies under 5 months, 3 times a day. Check with your veterinarian).
  3. Meal prep weekly or monthly.
  4. Measure and control portion sizes depending on your dog’s calorie needs.
  5. Keep meals frozen for 2 to 3 months or refrigerated for about 5 days.
  6. Make a new batch when the food supply is getting low.
  7. If you want to feed different recipes, you can make multiple batches and color code by ingredients, rotating out the different meals.
  8. Prepare the food in bulk and portion it into containers (one container per meal makes it extra-easy).
  9. Increase portions appropriately as your puppy grows.
  10. Monitor weight to make sure you are feeding the proper amount of calories.

Best Pit Bull Homemade Food Recipes

Here is a list of our favorite, best homemade dog food recipes for pit bulls.

As a bonus, we added a homemade smoothie recipe for dogs because pit bulls also deserve a treat every once in a while. This recipe has incredible benefits for your pup’s health and wellness. It has our favorite secret ingredient, dog CBD oil.

Note: Please consult with your pet’s veterinarian and use personal judgment when applying this information to your dog’s diet. The recipes below do not include serving size because portion sizes will vary depending on breed, weight, activity level, age, and dog’s health. A common recommendation is to feed your dog a comparable amount of ounces/cups to what you would usually feed in kibble BUT check with your vet to be certain.


CBD-Infused Dog Treats

There are many benefits to CBD dog treats, including helping with seizures, anxiety, arthritis, inflammation, pain, wellness, preventive care, and many other health conditions. 

Treat your Pit Bull with these nutritious, therapeutic, and delicious dog treats containing CBD oil. Made with pumpkin, they contain essential vitamins and minerals (like vitamin A, potassium, vitamin C, and iron). In addition, pumpkin is hydrating and aids digestion. Coconut is added for skin and coat, digestion, and helps reduce allergic reactions.

Ensure that you give your pup the proper dosage of CBD by checking with your veterinarian first.

CBD dog treats can also be purchased already prepared so that your pup can reap all the benefits of CBD.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 apple, cored and grated
  • 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup olive or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • dash of sea salt
  • 120 mg CBD oil

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a dog cookie baking tray with coconut oil.
  2. Core and grate the apples, then peel and grate the carrots.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, oats, and coconut sugar. In another medium-sized bowl, beat the egg. Then, add coconut oil, water, and grated apples and carrots.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients bowl; mix completely. Finally, add CBD oil and mix once more.
  5. Using a Tbsp measuring spoon, portion out the dog biscuits and press into the dog treat baking pan. Bake, 32-37 minutes or until the biscuits are firm and golden-brown on the outside.
  6. Store in an air-tight container.

Recipe from: Truth Theory


Fresh Veggie Mix

Keep your pit bull healthy and fit with this easy peasy homemade recipe.

This recipe has a balance of 50% protein, 25% veggies, and 25% grains. Your pup will be in sheer happiness and gratitude after trying this delicious mix of vegetables. It’s also budget-friendly.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 pounds ground turkey
  • 3 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 zucchini, shredded
  • 1/2 cup peas, canned or frozen

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan of 3 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions; set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add ground turkey and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the turkey as it cooks.
  3. Stir in spinach, carrots, zucchini, peas, and brown rice until the spinach has wilted and the mixture is heated through about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Let cool completely.

Wholesome Ground Sirloin Veggie

Pit bulls love beef, and this recipe will have them begging for more.

To ensure your pitty maintains a healthy weight, lean beef is used. The veggies and eggs in this recipe ensure your pup gets all the vitamins and nutrients. The result is a tasty recipe that has the added benefits of tender herbs.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cooked organic brown rice
  • 2 pounds ground lean beef, cooked through, fat drained
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and diced small
  • 3 carrots, shredded or thinly sliced
  • 1/4–1/2 cup minced fresh parsley or 1/4 cup dried herbs
  • 3 tablespoons of olive or safflower oil

Directions

  1. Start with cooking the eggs
  2. While the rice is cooking, you can brown the sirloin and get all of the fresh ingredients together.
  3. Combine all of the ingredients in a large container and stir to combine thoroughly.
  4. Store in the refrigerator in-between feedings.

Recipe from: This Messisours


Turkey & Vegetable Dinner

This recipe is perfect for Pit Bulls that want to maintain a healthy weight or loss a few pounds.

It’s comprised of ground turkey, which is an excellent protein source for dogs. This basic dog food recipe includes a collection of healthy ingredients such as fish oil for Omega-3 fats and healthy the immune system.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 pound of ground turkey
  • 2 cups of brown rice
  • 1 cup of carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup of green beans, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of fish oil

Directions

  1. Cook the ground turkey in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until the meat is cooked through
  2. Add the brown rice, turkey, and water to a large pot and bring to a boil
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for an additional 15 minutes or until the rice is soft and tender
  4. Add the carrots and green beans and cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender
  5. Allow cooling before serving
  6. Store extra dinners in the fridge for up to five days

Pro tip: Avoid using heavy oil to brown the turkey. Its high-fat content may upset your dog’s stomach.

Recipe from: Moneycrashers


Frozen Strawberry & Banana Smoothie Dog Treat

Try this delicious frozen treat for your pit bull. All the ingredients are human-grade and will make them rollover.

They are perfect hot weather, but pits can enjoy them all year round. Tails will be wagging when you pop these out of the freezer for a cool and refreshing treat.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of Sliced Strawberries or a 16-ounce bag of Frozen Strawberries
  • 1½ cups Plain Greek Low Fat Yogurt
  • 1 sliced banana (if you have two…use them both)
  • ¼ cup of Skim Milk
  • 3 tablespoons of Honey

Directions

  1. Place all the ingredients in your blender
  2. Turn on the blender to a medium speed
  3. Blend for approximately 2 minutes
  4. Pour into the molds of your choice or use ice cube trays
  5. Freeze for 4 hours or more
  6. Pop-out of the molds
  7. Ready to enjoy!

NOTE: For storage, use Zip Lock Bags or use some Tupperware. Please keep them in the freezer.

Recipe from: The Cottage Market

For even more Pit Bull homemade food recipes and cooking options, check out Home Cooking for Your Dog: 75 Holistic Recipes for a Healthier Dog.


Best Homemade Dog Food Cooking Practices

Here are some general guidelines to follow when cooking homemade dog food for your Pit Bull:

  • Never use unsafe or toxic ingredients for dogs
  • Cook all animal products thoroughly to kill harmful bacteria
  • Cook all grains, beans, and starchy vegetables to make them easier to digest
  • Research every ingredient before using it for safety
  • Follow recipes as instructed
  • Add supplements to their diet if needed
  • Run any questions by a vet nutritionist

What Foods Should Your Pit Bull Never Eat?

There are some foods dogs aren’t allowed to due to toxicity dangers. Here are the top ones you need to avoid in recipes.

  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol
  • Onions and garlic
  • Avocados
  • Coffee, tea, and other caffeine
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Raw bread dough
  • Alcohol

Check out this handy list for a comprehensive list of all foods to avoid. Please print it out and put it on your refrigerator as a reminder.

Pit Bull Raw Diet (BARF)

A raw dog diet is meant to be similar to the diet of what dogs ate in the wild millions of years ago. Raw dog foods usually include organs, muscle, whole or ground bones, raw eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables, and dairy.

Several kinds of raw dog foods are available, including homemade raw dog food and store-bought (frozen, freeze-dried, and dehydrated).

Preparing a BARF diet for your Pit Bull requires extra care and planning since the risk of contamination and nutritional imbalance is higher when handling raw foods.

Raw dog diets are gaining popularity because of their fantastic health benefits for teeth, coat, digestion, and allergies. Read our raw dog food diet article if you are interested in learning more about the benefits and risks, and get the best commercial raw food diet for your Pit Bull.

Monitor Weight And Health

To avoid food-related issues, keep a close eye on your dog’s health and weight to rule out any adverse impact his new diet may have triggered.

Symptoms of a poor diet may include excessive weight loss, lack of energy, skin or coat disorders, allergies, malnutrition, or obesity. If you notice these signs, it might be time to revise your dog’s diet and consult your vet.

Other Food Alternatives

Can I feed homemade food to my Pit Bull? Yes, home-cooked meals can provide a balanced, fresh food fit for the needs of your pit bull as long as it meets the nutritional requirements of your dog.

When cooking for your pet, as a responsible dog parent, you need to ensure that all the ingredients used are safe for canine consumption and that your pup is getting all the nutrients they need with every meal.

If you switch your Pit Bull’s food from kibble to homemade, remember that it’s a slow process and should be done progressively.

Do you have a pit bull that has food intolerances, allergies, digestive issues, or any other food health-related condition? Vegan dog food is becoming the go-to alternative for dogs with food sensitivities. And that’s not the only reason; recent studies show it offers other great benefits.


Sources & References: [1] PetMD, [2] UC Davis, [3] Pet Dermatology of Vancouver and Richmond, [4] AAFCO

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