What is the best diet for XL American Bullies and Pitbulls?

In-depth guide on how to give your new American Bully & Pitbull breed puppy the healthiest diet, full of nutrition for a lifetime.

What is the best diet for XL American Bullies and Pitbulls?

This article is the first entry in a long series covering American Bully breed

Before we can cover any specific compounds specific to bully diets, we
have to start with the basic info. This guide can also be useful to other dog
breeds as well, especially American Pitbulls.

So what is the basic rule when it comes to buying dog food for your bully or

Once you have selected a good quality dog food, that’s all you need to feed
your American Bully pal, right?

Not quite.

Basic American Bully & Pitbull Dog Breed Nutritional Dietary Facts

You should vary your bully’s food every once in a while. There are many
important reasons for this:

Pitbulls and Bullies have the ability to consume a range of different foods to
digest their specific vitamins and minerals.

Like every other mammal, they are not designed to eat “only chicken” or
“only lamb” or any other food item forever. Switching up the contents of
those foods helps to give them the variety their bodies can thrive on.
There is no one single dog food brand on the market that “has it all”. The
feeding trials that dog foods go through only last for six months (and every
test is different). Rotating meals helps make sure that no dietary
deficiencies build up over time.

Imagine if you were an American Bully or Pitbull.

Who wants to eat the same meal day in and day out? Could you do it? For
months or years?

Feeding your dog something different helps them avoid getting bored with
their food.

This won't make your bully picky since it won't change often.
It would be buying another brand after the 3rd time, not serving up
something different every time they don't like dinner.

You won't spoil your bully with this behavior since it has an important health
This rotating diet helps avoid the development of allergies. In a few
extreme cases, your bully, pitbull, (or you) may become allergic to
something. But those are only in extreme cases, the majority of allergies
are conditions that build up over time and with constant exposure.
For example, the most likely way to develop an allergy to chicken is to
consume it daily for an extended period. It's no coincidence that most
common allergens are substances used in dog food for many years.

Nutritionists recommend feeding bully breeds a variety of food items to
avoid starting the allergies in the first place.
(which is also solid advice that can apply to human owners as well).
This method increases effectiveness when done starting at a young puppy

Common signs of foodborne allergies are:

● Itchy skin
● Red itchy paws
● Chewing paws
● Yeast infections
● Ear infections
● Skin infections

These symptoms may respond to antibiotics but reappear as soon as the
medicine stops.

All this adds up to rotating the food fed to your bully every once in a while.

Especially rotating between food with different main ingredients.
For example, there is very little benefit in switching from one chicken/rice
food to another with the same protein.

If the bully's food has chicken as the main ingredient, then it's better that
the next brand has another protein like lamb, turkey, fish, or beef, etc.
Double check that the other secondary ingredients in the recipe are also

Do I have to change brands every time I rotate food?

Not quite. Look at the ingredients in the different formulas made by your

What's different?

If it is only the main meat ingredient, then you should change to a different
brand when you rotate foods. If many of the ingredients (including the main
meat) are different, there's no need to change brands.

The point here is to ensure that your dog gets a good variety of different
food items in his diet, not brand loyalty.

How often should I rotate dog food recipes?

At least every three months, although you can rotate more often than that.
If your bully doesn't suffer from digestive upsets during diet changes, then
you may consider changing food items every time the bag runs out.

How many varieties do I need? Can I use a certain food item

Between 3 or 4 food items with a different main meat source and main

The more, the merrier.

Although you can reuse good food sources, especially if your dog does
particularly well on it.

For example, you could choose to feed food brand A for one bag then
rotate to brand B - go back to food A, then to food C and so on.

This is enough to avoid constant prolonged exposure to a particular set of
ingredients that may create allergies.

What about mixing foods together?

Mixing foods may help achieve nutritional health in the long term for bully

Yet, it does nothing to provide your dog with variety (aka having something
different to eat!). It doesn't reach the criteria of avoiding prolonged
exposure to a particular set of ingredients.

This practice will do nothing to help avoid food allergies – it only means that
there are a greater number of things the dog is being exposed to on a
constant basis.

It also means that there is a wider range of possible culprits should a food
allergy develop.

You can mix foods if you choose, but you should vary the foods that you
mix together, as if you were feeding a single food.

Do I need to gradually rotate the food formulas?

It is usually wise to affect a change slowly over time.

Not every dog is sensitive to food changes, and many will handle sudden
changes without issue.

But many won’t, and the upset tummies and loose stools that can come
with rotating food items too fast are such an annoyance (for your bully too!)
Rotate diets at a steady pace, unless you know for certain that your dog
has the sort of strong stomach without digestive issues from a change in

The simplest way to rotate foods is to blend old and new food together for a
week or so.

Start with a mix that is 25% new food and 75% old. Feed that for two or
three days, and if there are no upset tummies or loose stools, increase the
blend to a 50/50 mix.

Again, feed that for a couple of days, then increase to
a 75/25 blend, and finally to 100% new food.

If at any stage there is an upset stomach or stools become loose, then hold
off on increasing the amount of new food in the blend until that problem

If there are no problems at all, it will take seven to ten days for a successful

Won’t rotating food items make my Bully or Pitbull picky?

No, it won’t.

It’s more likely to have the opposite effect, and keep the dog interested in
his food. How long could you stay interested in eating exactly the same

A food rotation once a month, or every two or three months, is not going to
result in a picky pitbull or bully breed.

What does create a picky dog is serving up something different any time
the dog shows no interest in his meal.

Much like behavior in young children, a dog will learn that refusing to eat a
meal results in Mom/Dad providing something else.

Especially, if you reinforce this behavior by giving them something better to

Instead, you should give the bully food at set meal times, and pick it up if it
isn’t eaten within about 20 minutes. Don’t offer anything else (i.e. don’t fill
him up on treats) until the next meal time.

Are there any other benefits to rotating foods in an American
Bully or Pitbulls regular diet?


Rotating foods every so often means that you keep yourself aware of what
is available.

Dog diets are not an exact science, and it's very pleasing to note that
constant improvements are being made.

Foods that may have once been amongst the best available are often
surpassed in quality.

Don't worry, this is a good thing! Dog food has historically been a
low-quality product.

The best way to give your Bully or Pitbull pal the best
nutritional health is to stay up to date with the latest dietary

We’ve all met people who swear “brand x” is the best you can get – and
have been feeding it to their dog breed for the last 15 years, completely
unaware of the advances in veterinary nutrition.

Well, that may have been true 15 years ago, but now “brand x” may be one
of the lower quality foods available (though it’s unlikely to go down in price).

We predict some food brands we may recommend here at Affinity Kennels
to improve in the coming years.

This is good news for you and your bully puppy. Don’t fall into the trap of
assuming that what is the best available now will always be the best you
can get.

It won’t be (or at least, we hope that it won’t be for long).