American Staffy diet and nutrition are super-important in maintaining these dogs' health, happiness, and longevity. As strong, athletic animals, Am-Staffs will need a diet that's high in animal proteins and carbohydrates--and a grain-free diet is recommended, as many of these dogs have allergies to wheat, corn, barley, and other grains.
But what American Staffordshire Terrier diet is best? Commercial food or fresh? The debate over these food types has continued for decades. Many breed experts believe feeding an Am-Staff a diet of fresh meat, fruits and vegetables, eggs, and other prepared foods is best for the dog--and while that may technically be correct, a majority of Am-Staff owners find such a diet for their dogs to be too expensive and time-consuming. The most popular choice, then, is premium grain-free dry food. The dry food will need to be high-quality because premium foods contain the necessary proteins and carbs that cheap dog foods simply don't have; grain-free formulas are also easier to find in premium foods than in cheap ones. Some owners also say they like to mix in a bit of fresh meat or vegetables with the dry food to make it more appealing to the dog.
And how much of this premium Am-Staff diet should you feed the dog? And how often? The typical adult Am-Staff--and the amount may vary depending on the dog's age and activity level--will need about 2½ cups of premium dry food per day, divided into two meals. Puppies, again depending on their age, will need a bit less: 1½ cups per day, divided into three meals until the pup is six months old. And it's best to feed your young Am-Staff a grain-free puppy formula until it's nine months old, then you can transition to adult food by mixing the two together. Regardless of age, it's recommended that you establish a consistent feeding schedule so your Am-Staff gets used to eating at the same time every day. For more detailed info, consult the Am-Staff feeding guide below:American Staffordshire Terrier Feeding ChartDog AgeDog WeightFood TypeAmountFrequency2 Months10 lbsDry (Puppy formula)0.3 cups3x/day3 Months17 lbsDry0.4 cups3x/day6 Months30 lbsDry0.5 cups3x/day9 Months40 bsDry* (Puppy/Adult)1 cup2x/day12 Months+50 lbsDry (Adult formula)1.25 cups2x/day
*--Around this time, begin mixing a bit of adult food in with the puppy food. Over the course of a week, mix in more adult food with each meal until the Am-Staff is eating it entirely.
It's best to try and follow the guidelines listed above; while the portions may seem small, they're ample enough for your Am-Staff. Obesity is not a very common problem with these dogs, but an overfed (and under-exercised) Am-Staff may become overweight and will have breathing, joint, and digestive issues, not to mention a shorter lifespan. You can control an Am-Staff's weight in several ways: by having consistent feeding and exercise schedules; no feeding it table scraps; and no "free-feeding," which is leaving food in the dog's bowl all the time so it can eat anytime it wants.
If you're worried your Am-Staff is overweight, give the dog this simple Ribs Test: run a hand along its side, and if you can't feel any ribs, it's diet time. Decrease the Am-Staff's daily food consumption by one-fourth, and add an extra walk or play period to its daily exercise schedule.