Best food for bull terriers: a menu for your bully
Bull terriers tend to be a very healthy breed, but, as an owner, it’s your job to help them stay healthy. Feeding your bull terrier (or Miniature Bull Terrier) healthy and nutritious food is one of the main ways to achieve that goal.
Feeding your bull terrier
Creating a full balanced, nutritious feeding program for your bull terrier won’t be too hard. You won’t have to spend too much time or finances, although, of course, your pup’s food will always be a part of your budget.
One of the most important things you’ll have to decide on from the start will be whether to feed your bull terrier commercial dry foods or make the food yourself.
Whatever you decide, here are a few pointers you could use when creating your feeding strategy!
Start feeding your bull terrier puppy the same food they have been eating at the breeder‘s for the first few days/weeks. If a new puppy has just come to your home, it is already pretty stressful for them as well as for you.
Changing food is a whole different type of stress which can cause issues on its own. So, just at the beginning, let your pup adapt to their new environment first before changing their food drastically.
Familiar food will make the transition easier and more comfortable for your puppy and you!
Don’t mix commercial and home-made food. Pick either one type or the other. Mixing both is not ideal and can cause issues with your pup’s digestion.
Feed puppies often and give them as much as they want to eat. However, as your pup gets older, start feeding them twice a day – in the morning and in the evening. Don’t give your bull terrier any food in between, except for treats you use for training.
Bull terriers are prone to gaining extra weight, and feeding too much food can easily cause weight issues.
Extra weight puts extra pressure on your dogs health, including their digestive system, muscles and bones, and can cause various health conditions over time. Your dog’s daily portion of food should come to about 600 g.
Tailor the amount of food your bull terrier receives to their activity level. An active dog that gets proper amount of exercise can afford to eat slightly more, while an older, less active dog might need less food.
As mentioned before, puppies’ meals can be bigger as their bodies are still growing and need plenty of nutrition.
Make sure your bull terrier is properly hydrated. The water bowl should be close to their food bowl, and it needs to be constantly full. Use a deeper bowl to keep the water fresh. Change the water at least once a day.
If your bull terrier suddenly stops drinking water, it can be sign of a health issue and should be looked at by a vet.
Choosing natural food for your bull terrier
When it comes to feeding your bull terrier natural foods, the trick is to create a menu that has all the nutrients and vitamins your bull terrier needs. And, of course, it’s better if your pup likes what’s on the plate too!
You will be playing a major role here as it’s up to you to provide your pup with meals that are healthy, tasty and nutritious. One thing to remember is that the food that you may include in your pup’s menu may not cover all of your dog’s nutritional needs.
To be on the safe side, talk to your vet about it. They might give you a few pointers and prescribe supplements that you could include in the food.
Foods to include when feeding your bull terrier home-made natural food
Your bull terrier, like all dogs, is a carnivore, and for any carnivore, meat should be the main part of the meal. Beef is the best, followed by turkey or chicken. You can feed cooked meat, but raw meat could also work well, which would save you time and effort on cooking. It’s a good idea to freeze the meat before feeding and thaw it. This would help get rid of bacteria that could be on the meat. But it’s not necessary if you have a trusted source of fresh, clean meat.
Fish is also acceptable for feeding, but only small amounts and not as the main course. Choose fish steaks without bones. Bones can be very dangerous for your dog.
Some vegetables, such as potatoes, cabbage or beans could be an addition to your dog’s menu, but not the main course and not an everyday thing. They contain carbohydrates which could lead to weight gain. Also, vegetables such as cabbage or beans can cause gas and flatulence in your dog. You probably don’t want that 😉
Although grains are not a natural food for dogs, some sources recommend adding a small amount of rice, corn or wheat porridge to your dog’s menu. Grains are easy to make, they constitute a good source of carbohydrates, but could also cause weight gain in your dog.
Milk, yogurt, cheese and other dairy products ca also be added to your dog’s meals. Those are all great sources of calcium and will help your dog have healthy bones and teeth. However, dairy can also cause weight gain, and some dogs may be allergic to it. So if you add dairy, add only limited amounts and watch for any skin (or other types) reactions.
Bull terriers can be prone to allergies, so watch your dog carefully any time you add something new to their diet. If you notice something is wrong, remove foods from the diet, one at a time, to see if your pup’s allergies improve. Don’t keep feeding a food that your dog reacts to, as it may worsen the condition over time.
Foods that you should never give to your bull terrier
Although it’s good to have a varied menu for your bull terrier, some foods are a no-no when it comes to bull terriers. Here is what you shouldn’t feed your dog:
- Fruit, especially sweet fruit.
- Chocolate (dangerous for all dogs)
- Smoked or processed meats or fish
- Baked goods
- Fatty meat
- Leftovers from human meals
If you choose to feed commercial foods, take some time to research the market and pick the best food you can afford for your bull terrier. Pick the brand (preferable premium class), that is formulated for medium to large dogs (you might even be able to find something developed specifically for bull terriers/ pit bulls, depending on the country). You can start feeding adult kibble to your dog starting with the age of 3 months.
Even with commercial kibble, you might still have to deal with allergies. Pick a brand and a type of kibble that doesn’t give your dog any reactions. Your bull terrier will likely have individual taste preferences for various types of meat, although kibble with mostly beef is generally the best.
Other types may include chicken, turkey and fish. It’s best to choose the brands with the least amount of grain and other additives.
Don’t switch your dog’s regular kibble, or brands of kibble, as all formulations differ from each other, and an abrupt change may upset your dog’s stomach.
If your dog is older, they might need softer kibble to reduce the stress on their teeth.
Feeding your bull terrier puppy
Good nutrition is extremely important for puppies to help them grow healthy. When the puppies are really young, mother’s milk provides the full spectrum of nutrition. After the puppies are separated from their mom, their nutrition is up to the breeder, and then to you.
Young puppies are fed up to 4 times a day until they reach the age of six months, after which you can reduce the number of feedings to 3 and then 2 per day after the age of 8 months old. If you are feeding your puppy commercial food, premium-class brands based on meat and the least amount of additives are the best.
Calcium is also crucial at a young age. If you are feeding homemade food, add dairy and/or calcium supplements. If you are feeding commercial foods, choose the brands that are fortified with calcium among other important nutrients.
You can also read:
Bull terrier pros and cons – are you sure a bull terrier is for you?
Bull Terrier Temperament: things to know before getting a bull terrier
Miniature bull terrier: why should you consider a mini bull terrier