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Ideal Diet for Bull Terriers – The Ultimate Bull Terrier Feeding Guide

Written by: Arlene D.
| Published on November 28, 2023

Bull Terriers, known for their distinct egg-shaped head and muscular build, are full of energy and character. Their unique physical attributes and dynamic temperament necessitate a specific diet to ensure optimal health. This guide is designed to provide Bull Terrier owners with comprehensive insights into creating the best diet plan for their beloved pets.

Understanding Bull Terrier Nutritional Needs

Bull Terriers require a well-balanced diet that includes a mix of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Their diet should cater to their high energy levels, support muscle strength, and promote overall health. Protein is essential for muscle maintenance, fats provide energy and keep the coat healthy, carbohydrates offer additional power, and fiber aids digestion.

Our 5 Top Foods for Bull Terriers

The diets were selected by our founder Justin Palmer, a certified canine nutrition expert, specifically with bull terriers in mind:

Food Pros Cons

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  • No filler carbohydrates, mostly animal protein
  • Freeze dried is the closest you can get to homemade/fresh. Retains 95% of nutrient value
  • Single source protein (many to choose from) ideal for dogs with allergies
  • Rich in Omega-3 and probiotics, which retain their value in a freeze dried food.
  • Pricier Option
  • Dog may never go back to kibble after trying!

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  • Multi-meat formula, which exposes your dog to multiple protein sources, which can reduce chance of allergies later in life
  • For a dry dog food, contains VERY high protein (38%). Most kibbles contain less than 25%.
  • Contains fish, providing a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids


  • For a dry dog food, its on the pricier side
  • Uses some legumes for protein, which is less ideal for dogs

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  • For a dry dog food, contains moderately high protein (27%)
  • Quality protein from free-range chicken, eggs, and turkey
  • Added fish oil and probiotics can help skin, coat, and digestion
  • Less protein than options above
  • Uses some grains for protein, which is less ideal for dogs

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  • Human grade ingredients that look fresh and homemade
  • Smells like actual human food!
  • Minimally processed and cooked at temperatures much lower than kibble, retains more nutrients.
  • Many flavor & protein options available
  • Pricey on a per meal basis
  • Your dog may not go back to eating cheaper food!

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  • Canned wet food cooked at lower temperature than kibble and retains more nutrient
  • High quality free-range chicken protein
  • Added antioxidants from Artichokes, Cranberries, Pumpkin, Tomato, Blueberries, Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale, Parsley that you can actually see in the food
  • When buying wet food, you're paying for water weight
  • More expensive than dry food

High-Quality Protein: The Foundation of a Bull Terrier’s Diet

Protein is a crucial component in a Bull Terrier’s diet. Sources such as chicken, beef, fish, and eggs provide the essential amino acids for muscle development and repair. For those with allergies, novel proteins like duck, venison, or fish can be beneficial alternatives.

Balancing Fats for Optimal Health

Fats, particularly omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, are vital for maintaining a Bull Terrier’s shiny coat and overall energy levels. Good sources include fish oil, flaxseed, and certain meats. It’s essential to balance the fat content in their diet to prevent obesity, which can be a concern in the breed.

Carbohydrates and Fiber for Digestive Health

Carbohydrates are essential in a Bull Terrier’s diet for providing energy. They should be sourced from whole grains, vegetables, and certain fruits to ensure they also get the necessary fiber for healthy digestion. It’s essential to offer a balanced amount to avoid unnecessary weight gain.

Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Bull Terriers

A balanced diet for Bull Terriers must include the right mix of vitamins and minerals to support various bodily functions. These include immune system health, bone strength, and metabolic processes. Most high-quality commercial dog foods are fortified with these essential nutrients.

The Importance of Hydration

Hydration is critical for Bull Terriers. They should always have access to clean water to support their active lifestyle and help digestion and nutrient absorption. Adequate hydration is also crucial in maintaining kidney and urinary tract health.

Feeding Schedule and Portion Control

Bull Terriers benefit from a consistent feeding schedule, typically two meals daily. Portion control is crucial to prevent overfeeding and maintain a healthy weight. The amount will vary based on the dog’s age, size, and activity level.

Special Dietary Considerations for Bull Terrier Puppies

Bull Terrier puppies have different dietary needs than adult dogs. They require more calories and nutrients to support their rapid growth. Puppy-specific formulas are recommended, which are rich in nutrients and appropriate for their developmental stage.

Managing Common Health Issues Through Diet

Bull Terriers are prone to specific health issues like skin allergies and joint problems. A hypoallergenic diet that supports skin health and promotes joint health, can be beneficial in managing these conditions.

Choosing the Right Food: Dry Kibble vs. Wet Food

Choosing between dry kibble and wet food for a Bull Terrier depends on individual needs and preferences. Dry kibble can benefit dental health, while wet food might be more palatable for some dogs. Some owners opt for a combination of both.

Supplementing Your Bull Terrier’s Diet

While a balanced diet should provide all necessary nutrients, some Bull Terriers might benefit from supplements. Supplements like glucosamine for joint health, omega-3 fatty acids for skin and coat health, and probiotics for digestive health can be considered. Always consult with a vet before introducing any supplements.

Human Foods: Safe and Unsafe for Bull Terriers

Certain human foods, such as lean meats, some vegetables, and fruits, can be safe for Bull Terriers in moderation. However, avoiding foods that are toxic to dogs, like chocolate, grapes, onions, and foods containing xylitol, is essential.

The ideal diet for a bull terrier fulfills their specific nutritional needs and helps prevent common breed-specific health issues. A balance of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and plenty of water will contribute to their overall health and well-being. Regular consultation with a veterinarian can ensure that your Bull Terrier’s diet meets their evolving needs, supporting a long, healthy life.


What Health Issues Are Bull Terriers Prone To, and How Can a Proper Diet Help?

Bull Terriers, distinct for their egg-shaped head and muscular build, are a breed full of character and vitality. Despite their robust appearance, they are prone to several health issues. Understanding these health challenges and how a proper diet can help is crucial for Bull Terrier owners. This article will explore common health concerns in Bull Terriers and how diet is pivotal in managing these conditions.

Skin Allergies: A Common Concern in Bull Terriers

Bull Terriers often suffer from skin allergies, which can cause discomfort and lead to more severe skin conditions. A diet rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can improve skin health and coat quality. Avoiding common allergens in food, such as corn, wheat, and soy, and opting for natural, hypoallergenic ingredients can also significantly help.

Joint Health and the Role of Nutrition

Joint issues like hip dysplasia and patellar luxation are common in Bull Terriers. Diets supplemented with glucosamine and chondroitin support joint health and can aid in the prevention and management of arthritis. Maintaining an ideal weight through a balanced diet reduces common stress.

The Battle Against Obesity

Bull Terriers are prone to obesity, which can lead to serious health problems like diabetes and heart disease. Feeding them a controlled calorie diet, rich in high-quality proteins and low in fats, and getting regular exercise is critical in managing their weight. Portion control and avoiding excessive treats are essential.

Heart Health: A Nutritional Focus

Certain heart conditions, such as mitral valve disease and cardiomyopathy, can affect Bull Terriers. A diet low in sodium and rich in nutrients like taurine and L-carnitine can support heart health. Regular veterinary check-ups are also crucial for early detection and management of heart conditions.

Digestive Issues and Diet

Bull Terriers can have sensitive stomachs, leading to digestive issues like flatulence and diarrhea. A diet with highly digestible proteins, limited ingredients, and the right balance of fiber can promote a healthy digestive system. Probiotics may also be beneficial for maintaining gut health.

Kidney and Urinary Health

Maintaining kidney and urinary health is essential in Bull Terriers. A diet low in phosphorus, moderate protein, and plenty of fresh water can support kidney function and prevent urinary issues.

The Importance of a Balanced Diet for Eye Health

Bull Terriers can experience eye problems such as primary lens luxation. Ensuring a diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins A and E, can support eye health. Avoiding excessive weight gain is also essential to reduce the risk of eye diseases.

Managing Food Allergies and Sensitivities

Food allergies and sensitivities can manifest in Bull Terriers, causing various symptoms from skin issues to gastrointestinal discomfort. Identifying and eliminating allergens, often through an elimination diet, is critical. Feeding a limited-ingredient diet can also help in managing these sensitivities.

Nutritional Needs of Senior Bull Terriers

As they age, Bull Terriers have changing dietary needs. Older dogs may require fewer calories to avoid weight gain but need more fiber and specific supplements to support joint health and cognitive function. Unique senior dog formulas can cater to these needs.


A well-balanced diet tailored to the specific needs of Bull Terriers can play a significant role in preventing and managing the health issues they are prone to. Understanding the breed’s unique requirements and regular veterinary consultations will ensure that your Bull Terrier enjoys a healthy and fulfilling life. Remember, each Bull Terrier is fantastic, and dietary needs may vary, so personalized advice from a veterinarian is always recommended.


Frequently Asked Questions About Feeding Bull Terriers

1. What is the best type of food for a Bull Terrier?

The best diet for a Bull Terrier is a high-quality, balanced dog food rich in protein. Look for foods with real meat as the first ingredient, and ensure it’s suitable for their age, size, and activity level. Avoid foods with excessive fillers or artificial additives, as Bull Terriers can be prone to allergies.

2. How much should I feed my Bull Terrier each day?

The amount of food for a Bull Terrier varies based on age, weight, and activity level. Generally, adult Bull Terriers require about 2 to 3 cups of dry food per day, divided into two meals. Adjust the portion size based on your dog’s needs and consult your veterinarian for specific recommendations.

3. Can Bull Terriers eat grain-free diets?

Grain-free diets can suit Bull Terriers, especially if they have grain allergies or sensitivities. However, ensuring their diet still provides all the necessary nutrients is essential. Consult with a veterinarian before significantly changing your dog’s diet.

4. Is it safe to feed my Bull Terrier human food?

Some human foods, like plain cooked meats and certain vegetables and fruits, are safe for Bull Terriers in moderation. However, avoid foods toxic to dogs, such as chocolate, grapes, onions, and anything containing xylitol.

5. How often should I feed my Bull Terrier?

Bull Terriers should be fed twice daily – once in the morning and once in the evening. This feeding schedule helps manage hunger, maintain a consistent energy level, and aid digestion.

6. What supplements should I consider for my Bull Terrier?

Some Bull Terriers may benefit from supplements like fish oil for omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health, and probiotics for digestive health. However, always consult a veterinarian before introducing supplements to ensure they are necessary and appropriate for your dog.

7. Can Bull Terriers be vegetarian?

Feeding a Bull Terrier a vegetarian diet can be challenging, as it may not provide all the necessary nutrients, especially protein. If considering a vegetarian diet, consult with a veterinarian to ensure all nutritional needs are met.

8. How can I tell if my Bull Terrier is overweight?

An overweight Bull Terrier may have a less visible waist and no palpable ribs under a layer of fat. Regular check-ups with a vet and monitoring their body condition can help determine if they are overweight and need dietary adjustments.

9. What should I feed my Bull Terrier puppy?

Bull Terrier puppies should be fed a high-quality formula rich in protein and fats to support their growth. Choose a formula specifically designed for medium breeds to ensure proper development.

10. Can I change my Bull Terrier’s diet quickly?

It’s best to gradually transition your Bull Terrier to a new diet over a week or more. Start by mixing a small amount of the fresh food with the old, gradually increasing the fresh food and decreasing the old to avoid digestive upset.

11. How does diet affect my Bull Terrier’s health?

A proper diet is crucial in preventing obesity, maintaining joint health, supporting digestive health, and ensuring a healthy coat and skin in Bull Terriers. A balanced diet can also reduce the risk of chronic diseases and allergies.

12. Should I feed my Bull Terrier wet or dry food?

Both wet and dry foods are suitable for Bull Terriers. Dry food can help with dental health and is often more calorie-dense, while wet food can be more palatable and hydrating. Some owners choose a combination of both for variety.

13. What are the signs of food allergies in Bull Terriers?

Signs of food allergies in Bull Terriers include itchy skin, ear infections, chronic diarrhea, and vomiting. If you suspect your Bull Terrier has a food allergy, consult a vet who may recommend an elimination diet to identify the allergen.

14. How do I know if my Bull Terrier’s diet is nutritionally balanced?

A nutritionally balanced diet for a Bull Terrier should result in a healthy weight, a shiny coat, regular bowel movements, and overall good health. If you have concerns about your Bull Terrier’s diet, consult a veterinarian for advice and possible dietary adjustments.

15. Can Bull Terriers have dairy products?

Some Bull Terriers can tolerate small amounts of dairy products, but many are lactose intolerant. Dairy can cause gastrointestinal upset in these dogs, so it’sding or limiting dairy products is best. If you choose to give dairy, start with small amounts and monitor for any adverse reactions.


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