Best Dog Food for English Mastiffs
The English Mastiff’s origins can be traced back to over two thousand years ago. Back then, these dogs were used as guard dogs meant for the protection of their masters due to their large sizes.
These dogs were extremely loyal and protective and therefore found reliable for the safety and protection of their masters. In modern days these giant dogs have become beloved household pets. As a result, countless families all over the world are adopting them as their beloved canine pet.
When choosing the best dog foods for English Mastiffs, we try to follow the recommendations of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association. We look for foods that meet the following criteria as much as possible:
- Foods that are AAFCO-approved, preferably with food trials.
- We prefer companies that invest in nutritional research and testing.
- We like companies that employ staffs of veterinary nutritionists to develop their formulas.
- We like companies that have good quality control.
- Nutrition is more important than ingredients that sound appealing to humans.
We are also concerned about the recent warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration relating to a possible link between grain free dog foods and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs. This FDA investigation is ongoing. It has also been expanded to include exotic meats used in dog foods.
At this time, we don’t recommend that you feed your dog a grain free dog food unless he has a specific health problem or food allergy that has been diagnosed by your veterinarian and your vet has suggested a grain free dog food.
How to Choose the Best Dog Food for English Mastiffs
The best place to start when looking for the best dog food for large breeds is a high-quality diet formulated for large-breed dogs. This will help ensure that your English Mastiff gets the protein it needs to build healthy muscle without so much fat that it becomes overweight or obese.
In terms of specific nutritional needs, your English Mastiffs dog requires at least 18% crude protein, 5% crude fat, and no more than 5% fiber in its diet. That is the bare minimum, however, so keep that in mind.
When it comes to protein and fat, your dog will be able to digest animal-based ingredients better than plant-based ingredients.
Meat, poultry, and fish are excellent sources of protein for dogs, and healthy fats include things like chicken fat and salmon oil. Your dog can digest certain carbohydrates as well like whole grains, starchy vegetables, beans, and legumes, but protein should be the star of its diet.
In addition to protein, fat, and digestible carbohydrates, your English Mastiff can benefit from certain supplements.
Probiotics, for example, help to ensure smooth and regular digestion while chelated minerals provide a biologically valuable source of key nutrients. Glucosamine and chondroitin are also important for large-breed dogs to support their bone and joint health.
Keep reading to see our top 5 recommendations for the best dog food for large breeds.
Quick Look at Our Top Five Picks:
Best Rated Dog Food for English Mastiff Reviewed
Now that you understand the basics about your English Mastiff’s nutritional needs, let’s look for a recipe that is rich in protein to support lean muscle mass, low in fat to control calories, and made with digestible carbohydrates and beneficial supplements.
Here are our top 5 picks for the best dog food for English Mastiffs that you should consider:
English Mastiff Dietary Needs
English Mastiff are a large breed but not all Mastiffs will grow to be over 70 pounds. This is technically the cut-off point for “large-size” dogs, according to AAFCO and pet food companies. The reason this matters is that when you buy puppy food it could be designated for regular puppies (under 70 pounds) or for large breed puppies (over 70 pounds).
So, what’s the difference? Well, the range of calcium allowed for larger puppies is narrower. It may sound counter-intuitive, but larger puppies have to be very careful that they don’t consume too much calcium.
Otherwise their bones can grow too fast which leads to all kinds of musculoskeletal problems later in life. Large-size puppy food also has slightly fewer calories per ounce. And usually a little less fat.
All of this is done to encourage these big puppies to grow more slowly so they won’t shoot up in size too fast – and then crumple. Puppies that are not considered to be “large-size” eat regular puppy food.
English Mastiff dogs are huge, and therefore need a lot of nutrition in order to keep them healthy. While the building blocks may not be all that different for the English Mastiff dogs, the quantities required are huge.
- Protein and Fat – Protein and fat play a vital role in your English Mastiff’s diet. These ingredients ensure your dog’s digestive health, energy levels, and muscle mass. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the dog food that you buy features fat and protein. That too from healthy and recognizable sources, as these are the two main components in your dog’s diet. Remember that not all fat and protein are the same. In other words, dogs require animal protein as opposed to plant protein. So you must focus on the protein source and ensure that it conforms to the needs of your dog.
- Carbs – Carbs do have certain nutritional value, and are a great source of potassium. Also, carbs are a great way to ensure that your dog gets healthy vitamins and minerals. In addition, carbs help your dog feel full and satisfied even after the meal. However, remember to keep the carb level to a minimum. Too many carbs can start causing your dog to fill up and stop eating before they’ve actually received the required nutrition. In extreme cases, this can lead to malnutrition.
- Vitamins and Minerals – Vitamins and minerals are essential to ensure that your dog’s body functions properly. Most foods will include these substances in their food blends, however, it is important for you to verify that. Vitamins and minerals are the nutrients that help your dog function, digest and survive. So it is always a good idea to make sure that your dog is getting vitamins and minerals from the best sources out there.
How Much to Feed Your English Mastiff According to Age
There is no thumb rule on what or how to feed your English Mastiff. However, it is important to make sure that what they are eating is high quality and full of nutrition. That’s because it must be adequate for them to maintain their large bodies. Moreover, it is important to set specific mealtimes for your English Mastiff. You must feed the Mastiff over a half an hour period and that too in measured quantities.
So place the food in their bowl, after that, if they haven’t finished the food then empty the bowl. This will keep your Mastiff from snacking throughout the day and gaining weight. It will also teach them how to eat in a more disciplined manner. As a general rule, English Mastiffs do not exert a lot of energy. The level of exertion, however, varies between different life stages.
- Puppy – An English Mastiff exerts most of its energy while they are growing and young, meaning in their puppy stage. However, because of their huge gigantic sizes, it is smart to keep them growing slowly. So, while they require a high protein diet and around 3487 calories, giving them too much could result in a fast growth. That eventually leads to joint pain and instability in later years.
- Adult – Adult English Mastiff requires roughly around 3710 calories a day to keep their giant bodies nourished. They will need this despite their lazy personalities and lack of energy exertion. That’s because they simply need to maintain a healthy weight and muscle mass in their giant-sized bodies.
- Senior – English Mastiffs are prone to weight gain mainly due to their laziness and lack of exercise. Therefore, as your dog gets older and lazier, you will have to cut down on the number of calories that your dog eats. That’s because it is important to make sure that your English Mastiff isn’t eating too much and gaining too much weight in their later years.
Do English Mastiffs Have Food Allergies or Food Sensitivities?
Any dog can develop an allergy. We didn’t find any information to suggest that English Mastiffs are more prone to food allergies or sensitivities than other dogs but they can occur.
If your dog has a food allergy or food sensitivity it’s a good idea to work with your veterinarian to identify your dog’s food triggers.
In the long run, that’s usually faster and less expensive than trying to figure it out by trial and error yourself.
You and your veterinarian can put your dog on an elimination diet to figure out which ingredients are causing your dog problems. After you ave identified the specific ingredients you can select a food that should work for your dog.
Depending on the trigger ingredient(s), you might need a hypoallergenic or prescription dog food or you may be able to buy the food you need – minus the bad ingredient – online or in a pet store.
Overall, English Mastiffs, earlier used as guard and protection dogs are now being adopted as household pets. Given their impressive size and loyal personalities, it is not surprising that in the past they were trusted bodyguards. Therefore, the lazy side of their personality is more prominent only since they were domesticated as pets.
So, it is important to recognize the change in their diets. While the amount of exerted energy does matter, these dogs do eat a lot. Hence, it is important to remember that these dogs are also prone to weight gain. So the challenge is to ensure that your dog stays lean and strong without becoming overweight.
Therefore, it is your job to make sure that your dog gets sufficient exercise and nourishment.