If you have adopted or are considering adopting a Pitbull puppy, you will want only the very best for this growing member of your family. But you need to know what to expect to encourage positive growth.
This includes knowing how much to feed a Pitbull puppy, how often to feed your puppy, and even what food is the right choice for your puppy.
Regardless of the age of your puppy, you will need to feed your puppy with care, helping ensure that he grows steadily into a healthy adult Pitbull. This is what you should know.
How Much Should A Pitbull Puppy Eat?
The amount of food that your Pitbull puppy should be eating will depend greatly on his age, whether he is male or female, and the dog’s general size. Generally, your Pitbull puppy should eat about 4 times a day up to 12 weeks, when you can reduce the meals down to 3, and eventually down to 2.
The puppy should be getting about ¼ of a cup at each of the 4 meals, adding up to around 2 cups total for the day until 3 months, when he will be growing faster and needs more calories.
Pitbull Puppy Feeding Chart
How Much? So how much to feed a Pitbull puppy when he’s 4 week old, 6 week old or 8 week old? A Pitbull puppy from 8 to 12 weeks will need about 2 cups of food, divided into equal meals.
Female Pitbulls will eat less food than males will, on average. At 3 months, your puppy will need more food, around 3 cups each day, eventually getting up to 4 to 5 cups a day.
What to Expect: Your puppy will not eat much before 3 months, then his appetite will increase until about 6 months, when his growth will slow down.
Careful: Watch your puppy’s weight, making sure that he is not excessively gaining any extra weight. It is hard for Pitbulls to shed the extra weight. Stick to our Pitbull puppy feeding chart to keep your puppy healthy.
Our Recommended Dog Food For Pitbull Puppies
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula (Editor’s Choice)
Merrick Grain-Free Beef Puppy Food (Runner-Up)
Purina ONE SmartBlend Healthy Puppy Formula (Budget Friendly)
How Much To Feed A Pitbull Puppy?
2 Week Old Pitbull Puppy
If you have a 2 week old Pitbull puppy, your puppy will have opened his eyes and begun teetering around slightly. Puppies at this age do not get very far. At this age, the puppy will be completely reliant on his mother’s milk.
The mother should never be too far from the puppies and she herself will also need a large amount of calories to make up for all of the milk that she is making and sharing with her puppies. If your Pitbull pup is looking small or even smaller than his littermates, talk to your vet about supplementing formula.
3 Week Old Pitbull Puppy
A 3 week old Pitbull puppy will have better balance, but still will not be straying far from his mother. A puppy at this age should still be completely reliant on his mother’s milk. Do not attempt weaning or introducing dog food yet at this age.
Some breeders who are eager to get their pups adopted out might try weaning, but it is not a good idea at such a young age. The mother should still be feeding the puppies on demand, laying down for them to nurse until they are full. The puppies should be able to move enough away from the litter to urinate.
4 Week Old Pitbull Puppy
When your Pitbull puppy has reached 4 weeks old, he will have more control over his legs and will begin to explore slightly. He should still be dependent upon his mother’s milk. If you are considering weaning at this point, you can try to introduce puppy food mixed with water.
It should be ¼ food to ¾ water. Your 4 week old Pitbull puppy will not be able to eat much at all and might not be remotely interested in eating the mixture. If he isn’t interested, don’t worry. He just isn’t ready yet and should still be getting his nutrition from his mother’s milk.
5 Week Old Pitbull Puppy
A 5 week old Pitbull puppy might be more interested in trying out puppy food. Still, try with the mixture that is primarily water. He is likely to be more interested this week than he was the week before, but don’t try to force him if he isn’t interested.
Hopefully, the puppy will at least taste the mixture. He should still be getting most of his food from his mother’s milk regardless. Even if your puppy is trying the food, don’t expect him to eat much food at all, because his stomach is still small and won’t take in much.
6 Week Old Pitbull Puppy
At the age of 6 weeks, your puppy should be a little more interested in that food mixture that you have been making. If he is eating it, you can try reducing the amount of water that is in the food to half, gradually getting down to not having any water in it at all.
The 6 week old Pitbull puppy will still not be eating much at all, but taking a couple of bites here and there can help get his stomach more used to eating it. He should still be getting most of his calories from his mother, but she might be less inclined toward nursing.
7 Week Old Pitbull Puppy
Your 7 week old Pitbull puppy should be eating the puppy food without any trouble. If you haven’t cut out all of the water yet, this is the time to get the puppy on the food by itself. If the mother is still willing to nurse, it is more likely to be a quick stop before moving on.
She is going to be working on weaning the puppies as well and will help the process by separating herself from the puppies, allowing them to eat the puppy food as a primary source of nutrition. She should be allowed to escape from the puppies as she wishes.
8 Week Old Pitbull Puppy
Your 8 week old Pitbull puppy will be ready to be rehomed with a new family. He should not be getting any more mother’s milk and should be completely reliant on puppy food now. You should be offering your puppy food 4 times a day, if possible.
The food should be given in equal amounts to fulfill his need for calories. Make sure to remove any food that isn’t eaten after around 20 minutes so the puppy will get used to being on a consistent feeding schedule. It will help with digestion.
9 Week Old Pitbull Puppy
Your puppy should be in his new home by 9 weeks. If you are changing the food that your puppy is on from what the breeder was feeding, make sure to do it slowly so that you do not upset your puppy’s stomach. Mix in the new food with the old food to make the change.
You should be feeding the puppy around 2 cups of food a day, divided into equal portions. His energy level should be increasing as well, so he might be burning more calories, gradually increasing his appetite over time. Stick with your feeding schedule.
10 Week Old Pitbull Puppy
If you have a 10 week old Pitbull puppy, your puppy likely has a lot of energy and has started getting into some mischief. Be aware that puppies often will try to eat anything that they can get their mouths on, so watch what you have on the floor or what your puppy has access to.
If he eats anything that isn’t food, it could be dangerous to him. Otherwise, keep him on his feeding schedule. You can increase his food slightly to accommodate any increase in appetite that he might be experiencing as his stomach is growing in addition to his body.
11 Week Old Pitbull Puppy
When your Pitbull puppy is 11 weeks old, he should still be on a strict feeding schedule, sticking with 4 times a day if possible, 3 times a day if it’s not possible. Only leave his food out for 10 to 20 minutes at a time and remove any food that isn’t eaten.
This will help keep him on a schedule and teach him when he can expect food as well as teaching him to eat when it is offered. You will also be able to see how much he was actually hungry for and if he is not responding well to the food he’s getting.
12 Week Old Pitbull Puppy
Your 12 week old Pitbull puppy should be growing rapidly. He should have a lot of energy and be hungry enough to eat it all. You can reduce his food to 3 meals a day if you haven’t already, just make sure that his meals have been divided equally.
Do not switch your puppy from puppy food yet as he needs the calories that come with puppy food. If you have other dogs, it is tempting to feed everyone the same food, but you cannot feed a puppy adult food at this age. Keep his calories up for steady growth.
How Much Do Pitbull Puppies Grow Each Week?
You can expect your pitbull puppy to gain about 2 pounds a week until he reaches his full size. It should come out to about 10% of his birth weight every week. Since there is some variety in pitbull varieties, the size of your pitbull will depend on the type that you have.
You can gauge whether your pitbull is growing well by looking at his belly. He should have a waist of sorts and his belly should not be bigger than his chest. You should be able to feel his ribs under his skin, but they should not be visible.
1. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula
Our choice for the best food for Pitbull puppies is the Taste of the Wild High Prairie. This is a grain-free puppy food.
In addition to being grain-free, this food does not have any common allergens, including corn, wheat, and soy. The first ingredient in this food is buffalo and it is made to be high in protein and nutrient-rich.
- Made with real buffalo as the first ingredient
- Contains no common allergens
- Nutrient-rich and easily digestible
- Made in the USA
- The high protein is hard for some puppies to digest
2. Merrick Grain-Free Beef Puppy Food
Our second choice for the best food for Pitbull puppies is the Merrick Grain-Free Beef puppy food. This food is poultry-free in addition to being grain-free.
This food is great, because it does not have any of the ingredients that are common allergens, including not just chicken, but also soy, wheat, and even corn. This can help keep your puppy’s digestive system healthy. It also has DHA, a common nutrient found in mother’s milk that is essential for brain health.
- Made with real Texas beef
- Formulated with DHA for brain development
- The 45% protein irritates some puppies’ stomachs
3. Purina ONE SmartBlend Healthy Puppy Formula
If you are on a budget, we recommend the Purina ONE SmartBlend Healthy Puppy Formula for your Pitbull puppy.
The first ingredient in this food is real chicken. It also has DHA for brain health as well as calcium and phosphorus to encourage bone growth. There is grain in this food as well as other common allergens, so if your puppy has a sensitive stomach, this might not be the right food.
- Real chicken is the first ingredient
- Contains DHA
- Calcium and phosphorus for bone growth
- Blend of dual-defence antioxidants
- Easily digestible
- Contains grains and fillers
2 Month Old Pitbull Puppy Weight
You can expect your Pitbull puppy to weigh between 16 and 20 pounds, depending on whether you have a male or female Pitbull. It also depends on the specific breed that you are looking at as some Pitbull breeds are larger than others.
Even though the breed is not a tall breed, they are heavy. Your puppy should be getting heavier steadily. Keep a watch on your dog to make sure he is not gaining weight too quickly.
3 Month Old Pitbull Puppy Weight
When your Pitbull is 3 months old, you can expect him to weigh anywhere from 25 to 30 pounds. Your puppy should be growing rapidly, gaining weight steadily and continuously.
Continue to feed your puppy 3 to 4 times a day to maintain a steady growth and get him on a solid meal schedule. Your puppy’s waist should be thinning out and become visible. If your puppy still has some puppy fat, make sure you aren’t overfeeding him.
4 Month Old Pitbull Puppy Weight
A 4 month old Pitbull puppy can weigh between 35 and 45 pounds, so he should have gained 10 to 15 pounds in the last month. If your puppy is not within that range, but is still on the same growth curve that he has been on the entire time, there is nothing to worry about.
Every dog grows a little differently and some dogs are naturally larger or smaller than the averages.
5 Month Old Pitbull Puppy Weight
When your Pitbull puppy has reached 5 months old, you can anticipate him weighing between 40 and 50 pounds. The amount that he is growing should be slowing down a bit, though he won’t reach his final weight until he is about 18 months.
His waist should be easily visible and he should be more lanky and awkward, having shed all of the puppy fat. He will still have a lot of loose skin to grow into.
6 Month Old Pitbull Puppy Weight
At 6 months, your Pitbull puppy should weigh between 50 and 57 pounds. The weight gain should have slowed down even more and they should only have 15 to 20 pounds left to gain to reach their final adult weight, but they will still be getting taller as their bones are not yet done growing.
You should still be feeding your puppy in 3 equal meals throughout the day. Keep him as trim as possible as it is hard for Pitbulls to lose excess weight.
Switching From Pitbull Puppy Food To Adult Food
Typically, pitbulls will reach their final height between 12 and 18 months and should be transitioned from puppy food to adult food during this time. Pitbulls will continue gaining weight until they are 2 or 3 years old, but do not keep them on puppy food that long.
Puppy food is higher in calories and keeping your pitbull on it too long puts him at risk of obesity. Transition your pitbull onto adult food slowly, over the course of several days. Mix the puppy food with it, gradually increasing the amount of adult food and phasing out puppy food.
What If My Pitbull Puppy Won’t Eat
It is not common for pitbull puppies to refuse food without cause. Their appetites will increase and decrease through growth spurts, but it is concerning when their appetites stop altogether.
If your puppy has refused food in the last 24 hours and you have not recently changed foods on him, it is time to call the vet. There might be an underlying reason to why your puppy is not eating, so it should not be ignored. Call sooner than 24 hours if your puppy seems lethargic or otherwise unwell. Do not put it off.
What Nutrients Does A Pitbull Puppy Need?
Protein is an essential nutrient for pitbulls. When buying dog food, make sure that the food is made up of at least 22% protein. The amount of protein needed does go down when they reach adulthood, but it is still important to their diet.
You should avoid a high-grain diet for your puppy, because it can cause obesity in some dogs. Even though pitbulls are not as tall as other breeds, they would do best with large breed puppy food that is packed with the nutrients they need.
Should You Feed A Pitbull Puppy Supplements?
You do not need to feed your pitbull puppy supplements if you are feeding him a high-quality puppy food. Quality puppy foods will already be packed full of good nutrition so adding in more supplements will not benefit him and can be counterproductive.
Pitbulls do have a bigger risk of developing hip dysplasia and joint issues, so you might want a supplement for those issues once your puppy is off of puppy food. Always check with your vet before giving your puppy anything.
How Much Water Should A Pitbull Puppy Drink?
Pitbull puppies need more water than adult pitbulls, especially when they have recently weaned off of their mother’s milk. A younger puppy will need about one-half cup of water every two hours.
Once a puppy is grown larger, he might reduce the amount of water than he drinks, but it still needs to be available during the day. You might want to remove access to water at night as your puppy housetrains. In general, your puppy needs about an ounce of water per pound of body weight every day.
How Much Exercise Does A Pitbull Puppy Need A Day?
Puppies do need some exercise, but the younger that they are, the less they need. A good way to think of this is that your puppy needs about 5 minutes of exercise for each month in age.
So, if you adopted your puppy at 2 months old, he needs about 10 minutes of exercise a day or if he is 6 months old, he needs about 30 minutes a day. Puppies are growing and need a lot of rest. While they will play hard, they also will burn out quickly and can become exhausted, so don’t overdo it with your puppy.
The Pitbull breed can be traced back to the 19th century in England. They were bred from English Bulldogs, which look much like American Bulldogs. They were made for dogfighting, but that was outlawed due to animal cruelty. Even though they were initially bred for battle, the breed was later bred with focus on positive qualities that helped make them pets.
The Pitbull came over from England during the middle of the 19th century and then gained the name of American Pitbull Terriers. They were then given tasks such as herding animals and guarding families. They became loving toward humans, especially children, becoming known as “Nanny Dogs.”
Creating A Consistent Feeding Schedule
It is important to create a consistent feeding schedule for your Pitbull puppy and maintain one throughout the entirety of his life. This is the best way to maintain a healthy weight and keep his digestive system on track.
You can easily monitor how much your dog is eating if you know how much he should be eating and how often he is eating. You can adjust his food as needed if his weight is looking off or if his energy level has been decreasing. He will also not be demanding food as often if he knows when to expect meals.