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Pit bulls might look big and mighty, but these doggos can also suffer from allergies that can compromise their health. These angsty hounds also need the TLC of their humans when it comes to alleviating the symptoms of their illnesses. One of the critical parts when tending an allergic Pittie is serving him the best dog food for pit bulls.
One of the common reasons why doggos develop skin allergies is because of the food they eat. There might be ingredients their bodies are intolerant with or the kibble isn’t suitable for their breed. Advising about dog food options is a convoluted task, but after in-depth research and years of experience, we have some picks below that you can consider.
Understanding the pit bull diet
Pit bulls are medium-sized dogs that weigh around 70 pounds. Since they have a burly body and innate agility, this dog breed requires more energy from food. Proper nutrition is crucial all throughout your Pittie’s lifetime, especially during their puppy stage where they are growing at a rapid speed.
Generally, an adult pit bull should consume around 900-1740 calories a day to sustain their active lifestyle. Take note the neutered doggos will likely consume fewer calories. On the other hand, growing pups would need more.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials recommends that you serve the natural diet of a canine. This means more protein for puppies that will constitute about 22% of their meals and 18% for full-grown pit bulls. Another key ingredient here is fat that should make up about 10-25% of their meals.
What should I feed my pit bull with skin allergy?
The right combination of fat and protein is guaranteed to provide a dog’s daily diet requirements. However, the game changes if you have a big dog with a case of skin allergies. To help alleviate the symptoms, it’s best to have these components on the Pittie’s meals:
Rare protein source. If your pit bull is allergic to his current high-protein dog food, you should consider one packed with rare protein. The best options are lamb, bison, buffalo, and venison meats.
Fat. As the number one source of energy for your dog, you should pack their meals with enough portions. You can go as much as 15%-25% if you have a growing pup. Fatty ingredients are excellent additions since it adds flavor to the food.
Antioxidants. These substances help fight inflammation during the onset of skin allergies and it also boosts the immune system of your energetic canine. Antioxidants are commonly found in veggies and fruits.
Fish oil. This one is optional depending on your choice of the best dog food for pit bulls. But overall, fish oil is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids that are also anti-inflammatory substances.
Why do pit bulls get skin allergies?
A lot of veterinarians think that pit bulls, especially those from the terrier breed, are very sensitive to various stimuli in their surroundings. This makes them prone to various allergies including those on their skin. Vets also say that there four usual allergies that dogs encounter: food allergy, contact allergy, parasite allergy (ticks, fleas, etc.), and environmental allergy. All of these will manifest symptoms on the skin including dryness, scaling, molting, or lesions.
Of the four, food allergy is the most prevalent but it’s also the hardest to diagnose. As we know, dogs eat a lot of stuff aside from the dog meals served to them. Dog owners also associate skin allergies into something else instead of consulting their veterinarians.
The best dog food for pit bulls with skin allergies vary on the dog’s condition. One food ingredient may trigger skin allergies to a certain pit bull but not on the other. It’s important that you seek the help of your vet for a proper diagnosis.
Signs that your pit bull has a skin allergy
Pruritus is the leading sign that your dog has something going on with his skin. But this isn’t a conclusive indication of food allergy since pit bulls can experience minor itching due to exposure to certain substances. If your dog starts licking or scratching the affected area with his feet repeatedly, it should be time to visit the vet.
Check the belly, ears, feet, and armpits of your Pittie. If there is evident redness, swelling, or abrasions there’s a high chance that he’s experiencing an allergy attack. If the skin allergy is triggered by food, your doggo might vomit or experience diarrhea. The effective way of diagnosing the allergy at home is by changing his food. If the symptoms abate, his previous dog food might be the culprit. You can reintroduce the old food to see if the allergic reactions will come back.
This is best done as a preliminary examination. It’s still advisable to bring the pooch to the vet for proper diagnosis. The vet will perform an intra-dermal skin testing where he or she will inject various allergens to little spots on the skin. This is to see which one the dog will have an adverse reaction to. If the allergy is intense, the animal doctor might prescribe allergy shots every other month.
How to manage skin allergies of pit bulls
Hot spots or the patches where your dog keeps on scratching can turn into wounds if you don’t prevent the irritation. You can start by bathing him using a hypoallergenic shampoo. This will help soothe the itching but it won’t be the cure since food is primarily the cause of irritation. A medicated shampoo will also work here but you have to ask your vet first to avoid complications.
Avoid applying powders or ointments that aren’t recommended by your veterinarian. You should also find the cause of allergy while you nurse the itchy skin of your doggo. If not, the scabs will just recur.
In this video, Dr. Andrew Jones explains how skin and food allergy can be treated at home:
What is hypoallergenic dog food for Pitties?
Pit bulls can be allergic to soy, corn, grains, beef, and wheat. Make sure that you check for these risky ingredients and toss the food out if your doggo starts to develop skin irritation. Always look for the dog food with the least possible allergens.
One of the common mistakes of dog owners is feeding their Pitties with grains. It’s an excellent source of energy for us, humans, but not for canines. It has other contents that don’t sit well on their tummies, thus a slew of health problems.
Aside from grains, you should also be mindful of egg and soy content as these are notorious allergens even for humans. This is the reason why hypoallergenic foods – or those that are free from potential allergens – are best for sensitive dogs like pit bulls. Also, don’t buy cheap dog food. It will save you some money for the meantime but it will slap you with hefty vet bills in the future.
What to look for best dog food for pit bulls
You have a sensitive doggo here so you have to pay attention to the ingredients of the food you’ll buy. Purchasing another allergen-ridden dog food might worsen the skin allergies. As a general guide, here are the components of the best dog food for pit bulls with skin allergies:
Excellent fat and protein blend
Good fats are important for the overall health of your big pooch. Dog foods with fat content between 10-25% should be safe for your pit bull. Aside from being an energy booster, fats also help them absorb nutrients better and faster. Such a thing is necessary so their bodies can fight the allergies while preventing potential complications. A high fat and high protein food will be excellent. However, keep an eye on chicken and other meat products that can be the potential triggers.
Dogs are born to eat protein and fat. It’s their natural diet in the wild and not grains. But it’s also important to mention here that domesticated dogs have adapted to the new diet their humans have introduced to them. Some breeds can tolerate corn and soy, but it’s not always the case for other doggos, pit bulls as one.
Also, grains aren’t always the enemy. Some grain-infused dog foods are of high quality than grain-free ones. But if your dog is suffering from skin allergy, skipping grains will perhaps be the best choice.
Limited ingredients list
Less is more. This saying is true for pit bulls with skin allergies. A modest amount of ingredients is better than ones that are packed with tons of food items. Having few ingredients will also make it easy for you and the vet to determine the cause of allergy.
Glucosamine and chondroitin
When checking for the nutritional profile of the dog food for pit bulls, look for added glucosamine and chondroitin. Glucosamine supports the health of your doggos’ cartilage which is very important for growing pit bulls. The same goes for the function of chondroitin. These are just added nutrients but very beneficial.
Our Top Picks
Taste of the Wild High-Protein Grain-Free Dry Food
This dog food boasts of bison meat as a unique source of protein for your pit bull. It’s suited for both pups and adults with its excellent protein and fat concentration. Aside from that, Taste of the Wild is also infused with fruits for added antioxidants and fatty acids. All these promote shinier coat and healthier skin.
Like the diet of wild dogs, this product has no extenders, grains, fillers, and artificial flavors and colors. It bears prebiotic fiber that aids digestion and the presence of good bacteria on your dog’s gut. Although it has a pretty long list of ingredients, this food won’t wreak havoc on your dog’s allergic tendencies.
Your pit bull will have more energy, firm stool, and a beautiful coat. This aids dry and itchy skin which is excellent for doggos with contact allergies.
Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dog Food
Pit bulls deserve a large breed formula that can keep up with their energy requirements. The major ingredient here is turkey and chicken as protein sources. This contains 80% more meat than the usual dog food products you can find in the market. With that, your dog will get to enjoy the diet close to what their wild cousins eat. It also bears glucosamine & chondroitin ideal for joints of large hounds like pit bulls.
This is all-natural and grain-free to minimize the skin allergies brought by various irritants. The Wellness Core product is packed with probiotics, fatty acids, vitamins, and quality carbs that promote overall health.
Take note that this isn’t formulated for pregnant or nursing pit bulls since they will require more nutrients than what’s present here.
Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural Dog Food
Do you want a natural and eco-friendly food for your Pittie? The Earthborn Holistic product is a turkey and chicken meal infused with veggies and fruits for the optimal nourishment. This is gluten-free and packed with Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids to support the recovery of your pit bull’s skin lesions.
The only caveat we have for this dog food is the very high protein content (32%). It’s a little bit too much for young pit bulls so always feed this in modest portions. You might want to add some fiber supplement into it if your doggo seem to have stomach issues due to the excess protein. Anyway, full-grown breeds tend to do well while on this food.
Also, the packaging of this dog food is BPA-free so it’s totally safe for the hound and the environment.
The best dog food for pit bulls depends on your pooch’s needs. These three options here are formulated to support the growth and nutritional requirements of pit bulls. Having ingredients that help skin and coat health will be excellent too.