Many people need clarification about the difference between the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Bully. While these dogs do look alike, they are separate breeds, according to the British and Canadian kennel clubs.
The American Bully Kennel Club recognized the American Bully in 2004.
It was initially bred to be a companion dog by interbreeding several bulldog terriers, including American Pitbull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers.
The Bully is available in four sizes, with the Pocket Bully being the smallest, followed by the Classic, then the Standard, and the XL Bully.
One of the first things that will strike you when you see an American Bully is its square head and extremely massive build. It was created to have a stout stature with heavy bones and mass, and the fact is that the pups from this breed look like they are built only of solid muscle.
But to maintain this muscle mass and strength, an American Bully needs to eat a suitable, complete, balanced diet and maintain its optimal weight.
The nutritional requirements of an American Bully depend on its size, weight, age, activity level, and health.
The more active and the bigger the dog, the more calories it needs.
But how do you select the best dog food for your Bully?
Read on for tips, top picks, and features to keep in mind when buying the best foods for American Bully pups.
About the American Bully Dog
This breed was developed in the 1990s in Virginia by crossing dogs from different terrier and bulldog breeds. In 2004, it was recognized by the National Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club.
The idea was to create a gentler working dog that has the energy and athleticism of terriers combined with the stability and loyalty of bulldogs.
Even though American Bully Dogs look quite similar to American Pit Bull Terriers, they have some unique characteristics that distinguish them from the other breeds.
They are among the most popular and preferred breeds in the USA, not only as family pets but as working and service dogs.
These dogs have bulky and powerful bodies and square-shaped heads. They have short coats that come in different colors.
American Bully dogs are available in four different sizes, including:
- Pocket American Bully: the height at the shoulder for males is 14–17 inches and for females, 13–16 inches.
- Standard American Bully: the height at the shoulder for males is 17–20 inches, and for females, 16–19 inches.
- Classic American Bully: the height is like the Standard, but the Classic is not as muscular.
- XL American Bully: the height at the shoulder for males is 20–23 inches, and for females, 19–22 inches.
The dogs of this breed are affectionate, loyal, and protective of their families. They are also smart and easy to train because they are eager to please.
American Bully dogs get along well with children and other pets, but they can be territorial with other dogs.
They are excellent watchdogs, yet very gentle with children.
Diet & Exercise
These pups have high energy needs. Since they are naturally intelligent, they require both physical and mental stimulation to prevent them from becoming anxious or possibly destructive out of boredom.
You will need to provide your pup with a good-quality, complete, and balanced diet in order to ensure it is healthy, happy, and stays fit.
7 Best Dog Foods for American Bullies Reviewed
Best Overall (Adults)
- Duck Meal
- Chicken Meal
- Sweet Potatoes
This high-protein dry dog food is our top pick for the overall best for American Bully dogs. It has 32% crude protein, which is enough to provide the building blocks for your dog’s strong muscles. It also includes ingredients such as real veggies and fruits, providing the vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids your pup needs to stay healthy.
The grain-free kibble has added prebiotics, probiotics, and antioxidants, which boost the immune and digestive systems.
The dry dog food has 18% fat and 4% crude fiber, and a cup has 425 kcal.
It is made in the United States with real duck as the first ingredient and is reasonably priced for the quality provided.
- A high protein content of a minimum of 32% from real duck
- Affordable price
- Contains natural probiotics, prebiotics, and chelated minerals
- Grain-free and suitable for pups with intolerances and allergies
- Some dog parents worry about the controversy surrounding the link between DCM and grain-free dog foods
- Human-grade USDA Beef, turkey, chicken, or pork, depending on the recipe
- Sweet potato
- USDA beef liver or other, depending on your personalized recipe
This premium subscription-based dog food delivery service is the most suitable option for those who want to feed their four-legged companion with unprocessed, high-quality human-grade food instead of kibble or canned food.
The ingredients in Farmer’s Dog fresh dog food are of the highest quality. Each recipe is formulated and approved by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition experts according to your dog’s breed, weight, age, activity level, taste, and underlying health issues.
So, you will receive freshly made and ready-to-serve fresh dog food customized especially for your American Bully. All you need to do is thaw it, heat it, and pour it into your pup’s bowl. Or you can use it as a topper for your dog’s regular food too.
The recipes offered include beef, turkey, chicken, and pork.
Yes, the fresh food option is more expensive than traditional dry or wet dog foods, but it is the best fresh human-grade dog food you can buy for your American Bully and a convenient alternative to cooking the dog food yourself.
The Farmer’s Dog Food is made with real USDA-approved meat and comes in flavors like turkey, beef, chicken, and pork. Every recipe has been created under the guidance of veterinary nutritionists. Each meal is also designed to meet AAFCO nutrition levels for all life stages, including dogs weighing 70 pounds or more, which is typical of American Bulldogs.
The meals come in ready-to-feed packages that must be refrigerated before serving.
- The recipes are prepared in accordance with the AAFCO balanced and complete nutritional requirements
- You will receive a customized recipe and portions designed especially for your pup
- The ingredients are all human-grade, and real USDA beef, chicken, turkey, and pork are used
- This fresh food is cooked at low temperatures in order to keep all the natural nutrients intact
- It is much less processed than regular kibble or wet dog food
- You can store it in the freezer for months
- The company will deliver the food to your doorstep
- No fillers or artificial ingredients are added
- It is a more expensive variant than buying most regular dry or wet dog food
- You will need to free up fridge space to store the dog food
Great Value/Money Ratio
- Beef Meal
- Grain Sorghum
- Whole Grain Brown Rice
- Chicken fat with mixed Tocopherols
If you are looking for good-quality, complete, and balanced dog food for your American Bully but are on a tight budget, then this dry dog food by Victor Select is an excellent choice.
The low-cost kibble is made of beef meal and chicken fat, as well as whole grain brown rice, and contains at least 24% crude protein and 12% fat.
One cup of this inexpensive dry dog food contains 357 kcal.
The food is made in the USA and has added selenium yeast to boost the dog’s metabolism, immune system, and cellular regeneration. It also contains prebiotics, probiotics, vitamins, and mineral complexes.
Because it has a lower protein content than some of our other top picks, this kibble is a more suitable option for not-so-active or energetic dogs.
- It is affordable and offers the best bang for the buck
- It has beef meal as the primary ingredient and protein source
- The food has added probiotics and prebiotics
- It is fortified with chelated minerals and vitamins
- The first ingredient is meat meal, not real meat, which can cause sensitivities in some dogs
- It has a lower protein percentage than other premium foods
Best For American Bully Puppies
- Whole mackerel
- Chicken liver
Growing puppies need more calories and a boost of healthy nutrients to grow healthy, strong, and happy and to have the energy to play and explore the world.
This is why feeding your pet dog food suitable for its life stage, size, and breed is essential.
This dry dog food by Orijen is a high-protein puppy food with real free-run poultry and wild-caught fish as its primary protein sources and ingredients. In fact, the manufacturer boasts that the kibble is made of 85% premium real animal ingredients and 15% real plant ingredients.
It contains DHA, which is essential for your young pup’s healthy brain development and metabolism, and the right calcium and phosphorus ratio for its proper joint and bone development. The other vitamins will help support its eye function, and digestive and immune systems.
The grain-free food has 38% minimum crude protein and 16% fat, and it contains 451 kcal per cup, making it perfect for a growing American Bully puppy.
- It is made of 85% real and fresh animal-based ingredients and 15% plant-based ingredients
- High-protein and grain-free
- High in calories which are needed for your puppy’s healthy growth
- To avoid joint and bone problems in growing large breed dogs, a proper phosphorus-calcium ratio is required
- The nutrients and other ingredients promote the healthy brain, eye, bone, joint, and muscle development of your pup
- The high protein content may be too much for some puppies
- Some dog parents complain of the more pungent odor of the kibble
Best For Senior American Bullies
- Deboned chicken
- Chicken meal
- Brown rice
- Rice bran
As pups grow older, they usually become less active and require dog food with fewer calories but also one that contains ingredients that can help support their joint health, their immune system, and their overall well-being.
This senior dog food by American Journey offers all of that, making it suitable for American Bully dogs aged 7 or above.
Real chicken and chicken meals are the main sources of protein. They are mixed with brown rice, peas, barley, and other fresh vegetables.
There is another formula of this same kibble with salmon as the first ingredient, suitable for pups with poultry allergies.
The food is fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin, which are essential for preventing or alleviating age-related joint health issues.
It supports the eye, brain, and overall health of a pup in its golden years and is a great way to ensure that your senior American Bully is feeling well and happy.
- The food is made of real chicken, sweet potatoes, peas, brown rice, and healthy flaxseed and fish oil
- It contains glucosamine and chondroitin as well as omega fatty acids to keep the joints, coat, and skin of your dog healthy
- The food is suitable for dogs aged 7 years or more
- The fiber in it helps maintain your pup’s normal digestive function
- It is also offered in a Salmon flavor
- Some people are not happy that the food isn’t available in smaller resealable bags than 28 lbs.
Best Wet Food For American Bullies
- Whole potatoes
- Lamb’s liver
- Potato protein
Does your pup tend to be a picky eater? Usually, this problem can be resolved by switching from dry dog food to wet food.
The wet dog food we found that was most suitable for American Bully dogs is this one.
Thanks to its limited-ingredient formula, it is also a great choice if your pup has food allergies or intolerances.
It is made of real lamb meat and contains only 5 key ingredient sources.
The canned food contains no grains, gluten, or artificial preservatives.
The high omega fatty acid and zinc content will help keep your pup’s coat shiny and its skin healthy.
You can choose between several options of the Limited Ingredient Diet food, including fish and potato and turkey and potato.
- It is grain, gluten, GMO, and artificial preservative free
- Wet food is generally more palatable to fussy eaters
- The limited ingredients will ensure your allergic or sensitive pup doesn’t have adverse reactions to it
- The food is available in two other flavors, including turkey and potatoes and chicken and fish and potatoes.
- Wet dog food is not as convenient an option as feeding your dog with kibble
Best For Overweight American Bullies
- Deboned beef
- Chicken meal
- Sweet potatoes
- Turkey meal
Dogs that are overweight or obese are at a much higher risk of developing severe health issues such as diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, joint problems, and breathing issues.
By keeping your American Bully at a healthy weight throughout its life, you can ensure it lives longer and stays healthy.
Merrick’s grain-free healthy weight recipe is an excellent choice if your dog is prone to weight gain or needs to lose a few pounds.
It has 55% protein, 80% of which comes from real animal meat and sources. The kibble contains 45% plant-based natural ingredients, providing your pup with the vitamins, minerals, fiber, glucosamine, and chondroitin it needs to be well while maintaining a healthy weight.
The kibble has 10% minimum fat and contains 354 kcal per cup. It is manufactured in Texas, USA.
- Grain-free and formulated for a healthy weight
- It contains glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega fatty acids for your pup’s joint and coat health
- The ingredients include real animal and plant sources
- Low-fat content
- It doesn’t come in other flavor options
How to Choose Food for Your American Bully
Since American Bully dogs are muscular and active dogs, they require higher-protein dog food that contains all essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, fat, and other nutrients.
Here are the features to look for when shopping for dog food for your American Bully pup.
Highest Quality Ingredients
Just like when choosing food for ourselves, selecting dog food with the best and highest quality ingredients is essential if you want your four-legged companion to be healthy, safe, fit, and happy.
Choose a dog food that is made of real ingredients from trusted sources. If possible, avoid foods that contain fillers, by-products, unrecognizable ingredients, or artificial preservatives and flavors.
The ingredient lists on dog foods start with the most prominent ones.
Higher Protein for Muscle Retention
With their specific stocky builds, American Bullies need food that contains sufficient amounts of high-quality protein to feed their muscles.
We recommend that you select a dog food with at least 25% protein and a real animal source of protein as its first ingredient. The best protein sources to look for are real beef, poultry, lamb, pork, salmon, herring, duck, turkey, and others.
Some of the excellent options have other great protein sources, such as chickpeas, pea protein, or liver too.
Make sure to buy your dog food suitable for its life stage and any underlying health issues it may be having.
All dogs, including the American Bully, need sufficient amounts of healthy fats in their food.
Some of the best natural sources for them include flaxseed oil, salmon oil, eggs, coconut, and others.
Healthy fats are good for your dog’s joints, skin, and coats, and they also help your dog absorb important vitamins.
In general, complete and balanced dog food should have about 10 to 15% fat.
Speak to your veterinarian about the healthy amount of fat you should feed your pup. This depends on its size, weight, age, activity level, metabolism, and overall health.
Some American Bully dogs are sensitive to gluten or grains, so they will need to eat grain-free dog food.
The best easily digestible and grain-free carbs to look for in the food’s ingredient list include sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas, legumes, beans, and oats.
If your pup isn’t sensitive to grains, you can feed it dog food containing other good carbohydrates such as rice, wheat, barley, and others.
Carbohydrates break down into glucose and other sugars, which are important for the energy of cells and for the brain and nervous system of your dog to work.
These ingredients also contain fiber, which is crucial for keeping your pup’s digestive system healthy and regular.
Vitamins and Minerals
Unless your dog has certain deficiencies or health problems, if you are already feeding it a complete and balanced nutrition dog food suitable for its age, breed, and weight, then it is already receiving all of the essential minerals and vitamins it needs.
So, only give your pup vitamin or mineral supplements if your veterinarian recommends or approves of them.
Always consult your veterinarian about the best diet for your dog and about switching to another dog food or adding new ingredients to its daily regimen.
Ingredients to Avoid
Some of the ingredients to stay away from when choosing the best dog food for your American Bully include:
- Artificial preservatives such as BHT, BHA, or Ethoxyquin
- Fillers such as Propylene Glycol, Melamine, MSG, or food dyes
- Ingredients to which your dog is allergic or has sensitivities to
Common American Bully Health Issues
While they are generally relatively healthy, American Bully dogs are more prone to specific health problems than other canines. Luckily, many of them are preventable or manageable with a suitable diet and weight control.
Here are some of the most common ones of which dog parents should be aware:
Dogs can suffer from diabetes mellitus or Type II diabetes, just like us humans. While diabetes mellitus is usually hereditary, Type II diabetes is generally caused by an unsuitable or unhealthy diet and weight.
The first type can be managed with the appropriate medications and diet prescribed by your veterinarian.
Type II diabetes can be treated and even reversed by switching to a healthy diet and losing weight.
Usually, the diet prescribed will be with moderate protein and fat and lower carb content.
Managing the diet in diabetic dogs is essential to prevent liver or kidney damage, heart problems, and death.
Like all other dog breeds, some American Bullies can suffer from food allergies or sensitivities to certain ingredients.
The most common allergens include the proteins in chicken, dairy, soy, or pork.
If you notice that your dog has adverse reactions to certain foods, speak to your veterinarian.
The easiest way to resolve this problem is to avoid feeding your pup the allergen altogether.
An adult American Bully should be muscular and stocky but definitely not overweight.
Obesity can cause hip dysplasia and other joint and mobility problems, or it can lead to diabetes, heart disease, and other severe and even fatal conditions.
This is why you should always try to keep your pup’s weight at a healthy rate by feeding it suitable, high-quality food in the recommended quantities.
This is an inflammation of the intestines or stomach that can be caused by allergies, viruses, and other illnesses.
If your pup has had diarrhea for over 24 hours, then you should speak to your veterinarian. Also, talk to the vet if your pup suddenly seems bloated or lethargic.
Chronic gastroenteritis in canines can be managed with a suitable limited-ingredient diet and foods that don’t contain wheat, soy, corn, or others that cause inflammation.
Conclusion: Which is the best Food for Your American Bully?
To stay healthy and well, your American Bully needs to eat high-quality dog food that is in compliance with guidelines by the AAFCO for complete and balanced nutrition.
A healthy American Bully should eat high-protein dog food made of high-quality real animal and plant ingredients and formulated for its life stage, size, and activity level.
The dog foods on our list all contain the proteins, fats, carbs, vitamins, minerals, and other essential ingredients to provide your pup with the vital nutrients it needs for its wellbeing.
Your dog can live a happy and long life when provided with a healthy diet. We recommend any of the above-mentioned dog foods for your pup as long as it is suitable for its weight, life stage, and health.