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Dog Foods For American Staffordshire Terriers: Do They Need A Special Diet?

If you're looking for the best dog food for your American Staffordshire Terrier (Amstaff), you're not alone.

Amstaffs are a popular breed known for their muscular build, medium stature, and obedient nature. They're lively and active dogs that require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.

However, exercise and mental stimulation alone aren't enough to keep your Amstaff healthy and happy. You also need to provide them with a nutritious and tasty diet that meets their specific nutritional needs.

But how do you choose the best dog food for your Amstaff? What factors should you consider? And what are the top dog foods for Amstaffs In 2024?

In this article, we'll answer these questions and more. We'll discuss the nutritional requirements of Amstaffs, how to choose the right dog food for them, and the best dog foods available In 2024.

By the end of this article, you'll have a better understanding of how to feed your Amstaff properly.

To make it easier for you, BestForPets has organized the information into subheadings and bullet points. Let's get started!

icon Vet Approved
icon Reviewed & Fact - Checked by

Deborah R. Fletcher (DVM)

Veterinarian

The information provided is current and up-to-date, in line with the latest research conducted in the field of veterinary medicine.

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1. Do American Staffordshire Terriers Need a Special Diet?

The American Staffordshire Terrier (Amstaff) is a medium-sized, muscular, and loyal dog breed with origins in England and the United States.

They are also known as American Staffies, Staffies, and Amstaffs. Although frequently mistaken for American Pit Bull Terriers, they are two distinct breeds with unique histories and characteristics.

Amstaffs are highly active, vivacious, and lively canines that require a great deal of exercise and mental stimulation. Additionally, they are extremely affectionate, sociable, and devoted to their owners and families.

If appropriately socialized from a young age, they can get along well with other dogs and pets, as well as be effective with children if properly trained and supervised.

The short, silky coat of an Amstaff comes in a variety of colors and patterns. They have a robust, muscular physique that requires a substantial amount of protein to maintain.

In addition, they have a fast metabolism and expend a great deal of energy. Therefore, they require a diet specifically tailored to their nutritional requirements and preferences.

Amstaffs require a high-protein, moderate-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that is rich in omega fatty acids, probiotics, and antioxidants.

Furthermore, they require a grain-free or limited-ingredient diet to prevent food sensitivities or allergies that may lead to skin, auditory, or digestive issues.

Additionally, their diet should be free of artificial additives that may cause health or behavioral problems.

To ensure optimal nutrition for Amstaffs, it is best to select AAFCO-compliant, high-quality, meat-based, grain-free or limited-ingredient, omega-rich, probiotic-rich, and additive-free dog foods.

By following a few simple guidelines, such as regulating their appetite, metabolism, and energy levels, you can properly feed your Amstaff and promote their health, growth, and well-being.

2. What Are The Nutritional Needs Of Amstaffs?

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Amstaffs are medium-sized canines that weigh between 40 and 70 pounds and have a shoulder height between 17 and 19 inches.

Their short, silky coat comes in a variety of colors and patterns. They have a robust, muscular physique that requires a substantial amount of protein to maintain.

2.1 Protein

Protein is the most essential nutrient for Amstaffs because it helps maintain their muscle mass, vitality, and immune system. Additionally, protein aids in tissue repair, hormone synthesis, and enzyme function.

The best animal-based sources of protein for Amstaffs include chicken, lamb, salmon, beef, and others. These sources provide high-quality protein containing all the essential amino acids required by dogs.

The recommended protein content for Amstaffs is between 25 and 30 percent of their diet. This means that at least one-fourth of their caloric intake should consist of protein.

However, this may vary based on the individual’s age, level of activity, and health condition.

For example, puppies may require more protein than adults to support their growth, whereas senior canines may require less protein to prevent kidney disease.

2.2 Ingredients

Another consideration when selecting dog food for Amstaffs is whether the formulation is grain-free or limited-ingredient.

Some Amstaffs may have food sensitivities or allergies, causing them to react negatively to maize, wheat, soy, and other ingredients.

These ingredients may cause skin irritation, itchiness, ear infections, digestive problems, and other health issues.

Grain-free or limited-ingredient formulations are designed to exclude these ingredients and provide Amstaffs with a simplified and more easily digestible diet.

They typically contain fewer ingredients that are less likely to cause allergic reactions or intolerances, such as peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and others.

However, not every Amstaff requires a grain-free or limited-ingredient diet. Some puppies may do well on regular formulas containing cereals or other ingredients, as long as they are of high quality and nutritionally balanced.

2.3 Fat

For American Staffordshire Terriers, fat is an essential nutrient because it provides them with energy, essential fatty acids, and fat-soluble vitamins.

The best sources of fat for AmStaffs are those derived from animals, such as poultry fat, fish oil, and flaxseed oil. These sources provide omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties.

The recommended lipid content for AmStaffs is to make up between 15 and 20 percent of their diet. This means that about 20 percent of their calories should come from fat.

However, the amount of fat required may vary depending on the individual’s age, level of activity, and health condition.

Active American Staffordshire Terriers may need more fat to sustain their energy, while overweight dogs may need less fat to lose weight than their leaner counterparts.

2.4 Fiber

Fiber is also an essential nutrient for American Staffordshire Terriers because it aids in digestion, promotes digestive health, and helps maintain stool integrity.

Additionally, fiber can aid in weight management, regulate blood sugar, and manage cholesterol levels. The best sources of plant-based fiber for AmStaffs are fruits, vegetables, and grains.

These sources offer both soluble and insoluble fiber, each with distinct health benefits. When soluble fiber is present in water, it dissolves and forms a gel-like substance that slows down digestion and absorbs excess water and toxins.

Insoluble fiber adds bulk and moisture to stools, making them easier to pass. Approximately 3 to 5 percent of an AmStaff’s diet should consist of fiber. This means that a small portion of their calorie intake should come from fiber.

However, the amount of fiber needed may vary depending on the individual’s age, level of activity, and health condition.

For example, older American Staffordshire Terriers may need more fiber to prevent constipation, while diabetic dogs may need less fiber to avoid spikes in blood sugar compared to healthy dogs.

2.5 Probiotics

Probiotics are another essential nutrient for American Staffordshire Terriers, as they aid in digestion, digestive health, and immunity.

Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms that reside in the digestive tract, helping with food digestion, nutrient absorption, and pathogen defense.

The best sources of probiotics for AmStaffs are fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, or sauerkraut, or supplements like desiccated fermentation products.

These sources provide probiotic cultures that are alive and active, and can colonize and enhance the intestinal flora. The appropriate daily dose of probiotics for an AmStaff may vary based on the product and the dog’s condition.

The recommended dosage of probiotics for AmStaffs is not well-defined, but it is generally recommended to follow the manufacturer’s instructions or consult with a veterinarian.

Typically, a daily dose of probiotics for American Staffordshire Terriers may range from 10 million to 10 billion CFUs.

2.6 Calories

Calories are another important factor to consider when selecting dog food for American Staffordshire Terriers, as they determine the amount of food your dog needs to consume to maintain a healthy weight.

Calories are energy units derived from the protein, fat, and carbohydrates in food. An AmStaff’s caloric requirements depend on their size, activity level, and metabolism.

The recommended daily calorie intake for American Staffordshire Terriers is between 30 and 40 calories per pound of body weight.

For example, a 50-pound American Staffordshire Terrier may require between 1,500 and 2,000 calories per day.

However, individual calorie needs may vary based on age, activity level, and health condition. To prevent obesity, spayed or neutered dogs may require fewer calories than intact dogs.

2.7 Artificial Additives

Artificial additives should be avoided when selecting dog food for American Staffordshire Terriers, as they may cause health or behavioral issues.

Substances added to dog food to improve color, flavor, texture, shelf life, or palatability are considered artificial additives. Artificial additives include colors, flavors, preservatives, and sweeteners, among others.

Some American Staffordshire Terriers may experience adverse reactions to artificial additives, such as skin irritation, rashes, ear infections, digestive issues, and other health problems.

Artificial additives may also affect their behavior, which can include hyperactivity, aggression, anxiety, or depression. Therefore, it is best to choose dog foods that contain only natural or organic ingredients, with no artificial additives.

3. How To Choose The Best Dog Food For Amstaffs?

To select the best dog food for your American Staffordshire Terrier, follow these guidelines:

3.1 Verification

Depending on your American Staffordshire Terrier’s age, look for AAFCO-compliant dog foods that meet the standards for their life stage, whether it is for adult maintenance or growth.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is an organization that sets nutritional standards for pet food in the United States.

AAFCO-compliant dog food labels include a statement that reads, “This product is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for [life stage].”

This means that the dog food has been proven to provide sufficient nutrition for your American Staffordshire Terrier’s life stage.

3.2 Protein Sources

Look for dog foods that list animal-based protein sources, such as poultry, lamb, and salmon, among the first few ingredients.

These sources provide your Amstaff with high-quality protein that contains all the essential amino acids, as well as lipids, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients.

The first few ingredients listed on the label make up the majority of the product’s weight and content, so they must be high quality and come from animal sources.

3.3 Grain-Free

Consider buying grain-free or limited-ingredient dog food that includes ingredients such as legumes, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.

These diets are designed to exclude ingredients that may trigger food sensitivities or allergies in some Amstaffs and are easier for your Amstaff to digest. However, not all grain-free or limited-ingredient dog foods are equal in quality.

Some could contain low-quality ingredients or additives that do not provide your Amstaff with sufficient nutrition. Therefore, you should thoroughly examine the label for nutritious, high-quality ingredients.

3.4 Fatty Acids

Look for dog foods that contain omega fatty acids, such as flaxseed oil and fish oil. These essential fatty acids are crucial for your Amstaff’s health and cannot be produced by its own body, so they must be obtained from food.

Omega fatty acids can improve your Amstaff’s skin, coat, and joint health, as well as enhance cognitive function, vision, and cardiovascular health.

Look for dog foods that provide a balanced ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, ideally between 5:1 and 10:1, for your Amstaff’s optimal health.

3.5 Probiotics

Consider buying dog food that contains probiotics, such as dehydrated fermentation products.

Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms that live in your Amstaff’s digestive tract and can improve its digestive health, immunity, and overall well-being.

Look for dog foods with living and active probiotic cultures that can colonize and enhance your Amstaff’s gut flora.

You can also supplement your Amstaff’s diet with probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut, as well as probiotic supplements in the form of capsules, powders, or treats.

3.6 Avoid Artificial Additives

To ensure the best health for your dog, avoid feeding them foods that contain artificial additives, such as artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

Artificial additives are substances that are added to food to improve its color, flavor, texture, shelf life, or palatability.

Some Amstaffs may have adverse reactions to artificial additives, including skin irritation, rashes, ear infections, digestive issues, and other health problems.

Additionally, artificial additives may also affect their behavior, leading to hyperactivity, aggression, anxiety, or depression.

Therefore, it is best to choose dog foods that contain only natural or organic ingredients and no artificial additives.

3.7 Calories

Check the dog food label for the number of calories and feeding instructions.

Caloric content refers to the amount of energy per unit of weight or volume in a substance, and feeding instructions specify how much food to feed your Amstaff based on their weight and activity level.

Using the caloric content and feeding instructions, you can determine the appropriate amount of food for your Amstaff to maintain a healthy weight and body condition.

To start, follow the feeding instructions on the dog food bag and adjust the amount of food based on your Amstaff’s body condition score (BCS), which ranges from 1 (very thin) to 9 (very obese).

A BCS of 4 or 5, which indicates faintly visible ribs, waist, and abdominal tuck, is ideal for Amstaffs. Monitor your Amstaff’s weight regularly and consult your veterinarian if they are underweight or overweight.

If you want to know about the best dog foods for Amstaffs In 2024, please refer to our article “Best Dog Foods For American Staffordshire Terriers.”

4. How To Feed Your Amstaff The Right Way?

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Choosing the most nutritious dog food for your Amstaff is only half the equation. Properly serving your Amstaff’s food is also important to ensure they receive the appropriate nutrition and remain healthy and content.

Here are some suggestions for properly feeding your Amstaff:

4.1 Tip 1

Feed your Amstaff twice daily, in the morning and evening, with measured portions in accordance with the dog food’s feeding instructions.

Feeding your Amstaff twice daily can help regulate their appetite, metabolism, and energy levels. Measuring their portions can help them avoid overeating or undereating.

Following the feeding instructions on the dog food can help you provide your Amstaff with the appropriate number of calories and nutrients for their weight and level of activity.

4.2 Tip 2

Adjust your Amstaff’s food intake based on their body condition score (BCS), which ranges from 1 (very underweight) to 9 (very overweight).

A BCS of 4 or 5, which indicates faintly visible ribs, waist, and abdominal tuck, is optimal for Amstaffs.

This means your Amstaff’s body should be lean and muscular, with a slight curve at the waist and a slight tuck at the abdomen. You should be able to lightly feel their ribcage without seeing them.

If your Amstaff is underweight or overweight, adjust their food intake accordingly.

Regularly monitor your Amstaff’s weight and body measurements with a scale or measuring tape, and consult your veterinarian if you are uncertain about their ideal weight or BCS.

4.3 Tip 3

Always provide your Amstaff with fresh water and avoid feeding them human food, table scraps, or bones, as these can cause choking, digestive issues, or obesity.

Water is essential for your Amstaff’s hydration, digestion, and temperature regulation. Ensure your Amstaff has access to clean, fresh water at all times and change the water frequently.

Avoid feeding your Amstaff any human food, table scraps, or bones that may contain harmful substances, such as sodium, sugar, spices, chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, and more.

These ingredients can lead to toxicity, diarrhea, vomiting, or other health issues in your Amstaff. Bone fragments can also cause choking, perforation, or obstruction in your Amstaff’s pharynx, esophagus, or intestines.

4.4 Tip 4

Supplement your Amstaff’s diet with nutritious treats, such as fruits, vegetables, or dental chews, but limit them to no more than 10 percent of their daily calorie intake.

The best way to reward your Amstaff for good behavior, training, or bonding is with tasty treats. However, treats should not replace their regular diet or make up more than 10 percent of their daily calorie intake.

An excess of treats can lead to obesity, nutritional imbalances, and dental issues in your Amstaff.

Select treats that are nutrient-dense and low in calories, such as fruits (apples, avocados, berries, etc.), vegetables (carrots, celery, cucumber, etc.), and dental chews (rawhide, bully sticks, etc.).

These treats can provide additional vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants to your Amstaff, as well as help sanitize their teeth and gums.

5. Conclusion

American Staffordshire Terrier

Choosing the best food for your Amstaff is a challenging but rewarding task. Feeding your dog food that meets their nutritional needs and tastes can promote their health, growth, and well-being.

You can also regulate your Amstaff’s appetite, metabolism, and energy levels by following simple feeding guidelines.

We hope this article has helped you learn how to choose the best food for your Amstaff and which dog foods are the best for Amstaffs In 2024. We have selected some of the highest quality, most nutritious, and cost-effective dog foods for Amstaffs.

Depending on your Amstaff’s requirements and preferences, you can choose from various types of dog food, such as fresh, dry, freeze-dried, or hybrid.

Please share any feedback, questions, or personal experiences about Amstaff dog food in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you and gain your insights.

Thank you for reading this article; BestForPets hopes you found it informative and helpful. If you enjoyed it, please share it with your family and friends who own or love Amstaffs.

You can also find more articles about Amstaffs and other dog breeds on our website.

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Dr. Ramona Terrell

Dr. Terrell has served on the boards of several organizations, including the Wildlife Conservation Society, in addition to her professional affiliations. She is the Veterinarian Director of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Exotic Animal Health Program.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Ramona Terrell

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