How to Feed a Pit Bull Puppy for Maximum Growth

By Betty Lewis

Just like every growing child, your pit bull puppy has special nutritional needs. However, if you provide him with a good quality, nutritionally complete diet and plenty of fresh water, he should grow into a strapping, handsome dog. Though you may want to jump-start the process with extra helpings or supplements for maximum growth, resist the temptation. When it comes to growing up, there is such a thing as too much, too fast for puppies.

Your Puppy's New Diet

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Ideally, your pit bull puppy should feed from his mother until he's fully weaned, normally around 6 to 8 weeks of age. There's nothing better than his mother's milk to get him the healthy start he needs to grow into a strong, healthy dog. When you bring him home, he should be eating puppy food. If you choose a brand different from the food he was weaned on, continue using the same puppy food he started on and take a week to 10 days to slowly switch him to his new diet, changing the food in 25 percent increments. For example, his first three or four days, he can eat a mix of 25 percent new food with 75 percent old food, moving to a 50-50 split, and so on every three or four days.

Cheaper Isn't Always Cheaper

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There's a host of choices when it comes to puppy food, ranging from expensive, high-end food to much cheaper kibble. Cost is a consideration when you're choosing a puppy food, but there is an element of getting what you pay for. Often, less expensive pet foods use fillers to keep the cost low, which means you have to feed a greater quantity of those foods so your dog gets the nutritional value out of a less expensive diet. A food that's using a lower quality protein has lower digestibility, so it passes through his system quicker and he doesn't get the full nutritional benefit -- not what you're looking for if you are after a diet to promote maximum growth in your pit bull pup.

Too Much Too Soon

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Whatever food you decide on, make sure it's puppy food. Your puppy has a lot of growing to do in his first year, and puppy food is manufactured to ensure he gets the protein, fats, vitamins and minerals he needs to develop properly. Switching him to dog food before he's full grown won't help him reach his goal sooner, nor will supplements or feeding him a food formulated for extra large or giant breeds. In fact, feeding him anything other than puppy food for his size could have harmful health effects, causing him to grow too quickly. A dog who grows too fast is prone to joint and bone problems when he's an adult. If you aren't sure which food is right for your puppy, discuss your options with your vet.

You Be the Chef

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You may decide you want to cook for your puppy to ensure his maximum growth. Preparing his meals yourself takes dedication as well as an understanding of his nutritional needs, however, you'll have complete control over the quality of his food. If you want to cook for your pit bull puppy, be sure to consult a vet or an animal nutritionist to ensure he's getting adequate protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. As well, you also should consult with a professional about how to adjust his diet when he's fully grown and doesn't require so much protein.

Growing into Adult Food

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Generally, a dog reaches adulthood when he's achieved about 90 percent of his adult weight. For a pit bull puppy, he'll likely need to eat puppy food his first year of life. If you're unsure about where your puppy is on his growth curve, let the vet look him over to get a gauge of where he is and how is development is progressing.