Proteins, Fats and Carbs – The Best Ratio For Pitbulls
When thinking about the right diet or dog food for pitbulls, one has to first understand what is a diet meant to provide. We all know we get energy from food (macronutrients) as well as vitamins and other molecules we need to function properly (micronutrients); but things are a little more complicated than that.
Pitbulls are special dogs: they are lean, very muscular, and generally very active. They have natural strength and a good cardiovascularity. They aren’t a lap dog — meaning they have special needs in terms of energy requirements in order to keep them going.
The best dog food for pitbulls is one that provides enough:
- Proteins — to maintain, repair and grow muscles and tissues, and make enzymes, hormones, etc.
- Fatty acids — to protect vital organs as well as act as messengers for proteins to do their various jobs.
- Carbohydrates — to provide an easy to use source of energy for an immediate effort
There is no way around it: each macronutrient has a mission and your pitbull’s body needs these to function properly.
Now, where it gets complicated is what is needed the most and why?
Proteins — the holy micronutrient for active pitbulls!
Pitbulls are muscular dogs so one of the main mission your pitbull dog food or diet has to complete is to prevent muscle loss. Proteins do just that!
On top of it, you also want your pitbull’s muscles to grow stronger so exercising becomes easier on the body: this means muscles need to be strengthened — again, proteins do just that!
More than muscles, your dog’s body and metabolism is partially handled by enzymes. A dog’s enzymes are protein-based molecules used by the body to speed up most operations that would otherwise take too long. Enzymes in dogs help break down the food digested, make DNA, help cells to communicate with each other, and so many more tasks.
Hormones, too, are a vital part of any healthy organism. They are chemical messengers traveling through your pitbull’s body trying to simplify complex processes.
This is why we recommend proteins to be roughly 50% of your pitbull’s diet. They should come from healthy sources such as red meat, offals, fish, poultry and eggs.
Fats — don’t believe the bad reputation it drags!
Dietary fat has long been associated with cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and overall poor health. More and more studies are showing that dietary fats have very little influence on the dog’s body. Instead, too much carbs will result in a too active insulin hormone that would then harm the dog’s body.
Fats when coming from healthy sources are wonderful for the pit’s body because they are used by the body so much. Be it for protecting the dog’s vital organs or to act as messaging service for the proteins to the organs.
Cholesterol, triglycerides and other essential fatty acids play a major role is stockpiling other nutrients our body requires to function such as vitamins A, D, E and K that are kept in the liver and other fatty tissues.
We recommend dietary fats to be roughly 30% of your pitbull’s dog food. It’s very important to avoid trans-fats and favor fish oils, eggs, pork fat, chicken fat and canola oil.
Carbs — the culprit of so many health conditions!
Carbohydrates are cheap to produce and therefore most brands tend to put a hell of a lot of them in their various dog foods. Even high-end brands will have them listed as number one or two ingredient. Run away. Fast.
Carbs should stay around 20% of your dog’s diet and even that is a relatively high level.
Make sure the carbs are unprocessed and not from grains (corn, wheat, barley, etc.) Prefer sweet potatoes, fruits and starchy vegetables.
If you decide to feed your dog carbohydrates, I would recommend them at the meal before a long exercise. That way, it will give your pitbull an extra kick of energy and he will also burn those carbohydrates instead of storing them as body fat.
The only carbohydrates you want to allow freely are fibers. These are useful to help with digestion and aren’t actually fully digested and stored as fat; they end up in your pitbull’s poo. You find them mainly in leafy greens and vegetables.
There is no real best dog food for pitbulls as every dog is unique and exercises uniquely or has its own shortcomings or health issues. However, for most dogs, a good pitbull food should be:
- 50% of Proteins
- 30% of Fatty Acids
- 20% of Carbohydrates
Always check with your vet before changing your dog’s diet and keep in mind that if you aren’t preparing your dog’s meals yourself, it may be hard to control those macros.
This article was graciously offered by Breeding Business, the free online magazine educating ethical dog breeders from around the world.