Mastiffs are large dogs and as a result they require a lot of food to sustain their energy needs. They have a very relaxed temperament and don’t move around much but they still consume a lot due to their size. Mastiffs are generally between 28 to 36 inches tall and weigh around 160 to 230 pounds.
When it comes to larger dog breeds, puppies and adolescent dogs will expend more energy than adult dogs. For this reason, it is imperative that you feed younger dogs a diet high in quality protein.
How Much Should Your Mastiff Eat?
On average, an adult Mastiff will consume around 3,700 calories per day. All dogs are different, so you will need to consult a veterinarian regarding your dog’s specific caloric needs. Large dogs that have been spayed or neutered or older dogs may need fewer calories than average. Your dog’s level of activity and metabolism play a huge role too. Dogs that more active will have higher caloric requirements.
Young puppies and adolescent dogs consume more calories per pound than adult dogs. On average, an adolescent Mastiff weighing 160 pounds will need about 3,500 calories per day.
How to Feed Your Mastiff
Large dogs can eat just about any good quality dog food. More specifically, you will want to aim for high-quality foods for Mastiffs. This is because as a larger breed, Mastiff puppies have special requirements. It is recommended that Mastiff puppies are grown slowly to prevent bone and joint issues later on in life.
You will also want to measure out the food your dog will eat and only leave the food around for about half an hour. This gives them time to eat their fill without overeating. If you leave food out constantly, they will nibble throughout the day and add on unwanted weight.
Mastiffs can also bloat fairly easily. Feed adult dogs twice and day and puppies three times a day to prevent this.
As your dog grows older, feed them a food that’s made specifically for senior dogs. It’s not as calorically dense and has less protein. This is because your dog won’t be as active, and won’t need the extra energy.
Alternatively, you can also feed them less and try to get them to be more active. However, depending on how old your dog is, they may have health-related mobility issues that prevent them from doing so.
What to Feed Your Mastiff
A focus on the ingredients when it comes to feeding your Mastiff is important. Protein and fat are the main macronutrients to look out for since they comprise the majority of a large dog’s diet. However, an emphasis must be placed on the quality of protein and fat. To raise a healthy dog, you will need to ensure that the sources of protein and fat are exceptional.
Look for a ratio of 18% protein and 5% fat. This will give your dog the energy it needs. A good way to identify quality food for a Mastiff is to look at the first 5 ingredients. At least 2 to 3 of those should be good sources of protein such as whole meats.
Look for great fat sources like chicken fat. Fish oil is another acceptable form of fat as it keeps the skin and coat of your Mastiff healthy. Since Mastiffs are known to have eye problems, be on the lookout for Docosahexaenoic acid. This is a special type of omega-3 fatty acid that helps with eye development.
What to Avoid
Anything that irritates your dog is important to avoid. Allergens also fall into this category. Look for dog food with low carbohydrate content. More specifically, opt for carbohydrate sources that feature foods like potatoes instead of grains.
Anything artificial such as colors and preservatives should also be avoided. Your dog’s immune system will thank you for this.
You will have a lot to take into consideration when feeding a large dog breed such as a Mastiff. A great diet can bolster your dog’s health and it also acts as a preventative measure for some common illnesses that affect them. Striking a balance between the amount of food and quality of nutrients is essential when feeding your dog.
Remember that your dog’s dietary needs will change as they grow and you will need to switch things up to accommodate their development.