6 Best Mastiff Dog Foods with Top Puppy & Senior Brands

Our Picks for the Best Mastiff Dog Food

The name Mastiff often refers to a type of dog rather than a specific breed, but in this case,  it refers to the English Mastiff or the Old English Mastiff.

The Mastiff is a massive dog weighing 120 to 230 pounds, but he is the epitome of the gentle giant. Though he can certainly be stubborn at times, the Mastiff is an affectionate and loving breed that makes a wonderful family pet if you have the space for him. These dogs will stop at nothing to defend the ones they love which is part of what they were bred to do. In addition to being used as guard dogs, Mastiffs were developed for hunting large and dangerous game such as lion, bears, and tigers.

Mastiffs have come a long way from their lion-hunting days to become a beloved family pet. They are now more likely to be found lounging on the couch by your side than trekking through the woods after their prey. These dogs generally live 8 to 10 years, though they are unfortunately prone to several health problems which can limit their lifespan. To help keep your Mastiff healthy for as long a possible, be sure to choose a high-quality dog food.

Keep reading to learn more about your Mastiff’s dietary requirements and to see our top 15 picks for the 2019 best dog food for Mastiffs.

Understanding a Mastiff’s Diet Requirements

All dogs have the same basic requirements for nutrients, but your Mastiff’s nutritional priorities are unique based on his massive size. Protein is the most important nutrient for any dog because it helps him build and maintain lean muscle mass. For a giant breed, lean muscle mass is the best defense against obesity. Fat provides a concentrated source of energy, but it needs to be controlled in your dog’s diet to prevent him from growing too fast as a puppy and from becoming obese as an adult.

For both protein and fat, look for high-quality animal sources to ensure bioavailability of the nutrients. Look for lean proteins like poultry and fish. For healthy fats, things like chicken fat and salmon oil are good choices. Carbohydrates also provide a lean source of energy in addition to fiber and essential nutrients. Digestible sources include things like whole grains and vegetables. You should also make sure your dog gets between 3% and 5% fiber in his diet, maybe more.

  • Puppy Mastiffs Diet– As a puppy, your Mastiff needs a minimum of 22% protein and 8% fat in his diet but, to maintain a healthy body weight, your puppy might need closer to 25% to 30% protein and 12% to 15% fat. Choosing a large-breed puppy recipe will help make sure your puppy’s needs are met.
  • Adult Mastiffs Diet – When your Mastiff reaches his full size, his needs for protein and fat will go down a little bit as maintenance becomes the primary concern. Switch to a large- or giant-breed adult recipe with 20% to 25% protein and around 8% to 10% fat.
  • Senior Mastiffs Diet – As your Mastiff gets older, his metabolism will slow down even more so you’ll need to further limit his caloric intake. Many senior dog foods are still too high in fat, so you might do better with a healthy weight recipe.

In addition to meeting your dog’s basic needs for protein, fat, and carbohydrates, a high-quality dog food for giant breeds will contain natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support. Calcium and phosphorus are also important to support healthy bones and teeth. Other beneficial supplements may include prebiotic fiber and probiotics for healthy digestion, chelated minerals as a biologically valuable mineral supplement, and fresh fruits and veggies for antioxidants.

Mastiff Puppy Food Diet

Special Dietary Considerations for Mastiffs

It is rare for a giant breed to live more than 10 years, so it should come as no surprise that the average lifespan for the Mastiff is 8 to 10 years. Not only are these dogs giant, but they are prone to a wide variety of health problems, many of which have the potential to affect their lifespan.

Here is a quick list of the health problems to which the Mastiff may be prone:

  • Cancer
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Cystinuria
  • Entropion/Ectropion
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Gastric Dilation
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Mitral Dysplasia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Pulmonic Stenosis
  • Subaortic Stenosis

Let’s take a closer look at some of these health problems.

Many of the health problems to which the Mastiff is prone can be categorized in groups such as eye problems, musculoskeletal issues, and heart problems. The eye problems to which the breed is prone include entropion, ectropion, corneal dystrophy, and progressive retinal atrophy. Entropion occurs when the eyelid turns inward, irritating the surface of the eye – ectropion is the opposite. Corneal dystrophy occurs when a collection of lipids creates an opacity in the cornea and progressive retinal atrophy is a condition in which the retina slowly degenerates.

Some of the musculoskeletal issues known to affect the Mastiff breed include elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia – both are also inherited health conditions. Elbow dysplasia is a deformity of the elbow joint which in which the bone doesn’t sit properly in the socket. Hip dysplasia is a similar deformity of the hip joint and both can lead to joint inflammation, joint damage, and arthritis.

The Mastiff is prone to several heart problems which can be quite serious. Cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the chambers of the heart become enlarged due to poor pumping ability and it can lead to congestive heart failure. Pulmonic stenosis is a valvular problem which can lead to ventricular overflow and may lead to heart failure. Subaortic stenosis is a narrowing of the aortic valve which causes a blockage of blood flowing to the heart. Any of these can be fatal if left untreated.

In addition to these health problems, most large and giant breeds are prone to gastric dilation or bloat. This is a condition in which the stomach fills with air and twists on its axis, cutting off blood flow and causing a life-threatening condition. It happens when your dog eats too much, eats too fast, or swallows too much air while he is eating. The risk is particularly high in deep-chested breeds and you can reduce your dog’s risk by making sure he eats slowly and by avoiding raised dog bowls.

Mastiff Diet Requirements

Mastiff Feeding Chart

Throughout your Mastiff’s life his dietary requirements may change slightly but one thing will always be very important – maintaining a healthy body weight. Mastiff puppies tend to grow very quickly but because they have such a long way to go (often over 200 pounds), it could take them two or three years to reach their adult size. During this time, it is essential that you provide plenty of lean protein to support your puppy’s development of lean muscle mass. Make sure the fat content isn’t too high or your puppy could grow too quickly or develop too much body fat.

Feed your mastiff a large- or giant-breed puppy food for at least the first 18 months. If his growth seems to be slowing down, it may be time to switch to an adult recipe, but many dogs of this breed keep growing until they are two years old. When it’s time to make the switch, choose a large- or giant-breed adult recipe that is rich in lean protein with controlled levels of fat to prevent obesity. It should be supplemented with glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints with calcium and phosphorus for strong bones. Refer to the feeding instructions to see how much to feed your Mastiff and divide it into two meals, one in the morning and another in the evening.

The Best Dog Food for Mastiffs: Our Top 15 Picks for 2019

Now that you have a better understanding of your Mastiff’s nutritional needs, you’re ready to start shopping for a healthy giant-breed dog food! Remember, the best Mastiff food will be formulated specifically for large and giant breeds to ensure that your dog’s unique needs for calories and nutrients are met. It should be made from wholesome natural ingredients including ample protein for lean muscle mass, low to moderate fat for controlled calories, and digestible carbohydrates like whole grains and veggies. Here are our top 15 picks:

Adirondack 21% Everyday Adult Recipe Dry Food/a>

Overall Best Food for Mastiffs: If you’re looking for a high-quality dog food to suit your Mastiff’s unique nutritional needs, try this Adirondack 21% Everyday Adult Recipe Dry Food. This recipe contains 21% crude protein and 12% fat which is well within the recommended range for giant breeds. Not only that, but it features highly digestible carbohydrates including brown rice sorghum, and oats as lean sources of energy. This recipe contains nutrient-rich chicken fat as well as chicken meal, which is a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin. Plus, it is supplemented with chelated minerals for nutritional balance and probiotics to ensure healthy and regular digestion.

  • Pros: Ideal protein and fat ratio for giant breeds, wholesome natural ingredients, digestible whole-grain carbohydrates, natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin, chelated minerals, probiotics
  • Cons: Some dogs may be sensitive to pork ingredients, not a grain-free recipe

Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Chicken Recipe Dry Food

Most Affordable Food: When it comes to giant breed dog food, things can get pretty expensive, but this Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Chicken Recipe Dry Food offers an affordable option that is also high in quality. Providing 22% protein and just 9% fat, this recipe is perfect for giant breeds like your Mastiff because it helps support lean muscle mass without going overboard in calories. It features lean sources of protein like chicken meal and whole-grain carbohydrates with ample fiber for healthy digestion. This recipe contains dried fruits and vegetables as natural sources for vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants as well as dried fermentation produces for probiotic support.

  • Pros: Ideal protein and fat ratio for giant breeds, wholesome natural ingredients, digestible whole-grain carbohydrates, lean sources of protein, glucosamine and chondroitin, probiotics
  • Cons: Mineral supplements aren’t chelated, not a grain-free recipe

Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Food

Most Popular Food: If you can’t decide what to feed your Mastiff, a popular option like this Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Food may not be a bad choice. Though it isn’t specifically formulated for large and giant breeds, it contains 25% protein and 15% fat which is not a bad ratio. This recipe in particular features a single source of animal protein which is good for dogs with allergies or sensitive stomachs, plus it contains grain-free carbohydrates for digestibility. This formula is supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables as natural sources for key nutrients with chelated minerals for balance and probiotics for healthy and regular digestion.

  • Pros: Novel source of animal protein, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables, rich in omega fatty acids, chelated minerals, prebiotics and probiotics, 25% protein and 15% fat
  • Cons: Main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil)

NomNomNow Fresh Food Delivery Service

Super Premium Food: If you want the best of the best for your Mastiff and money is no problem, you can’t do better than a fresh food company like NomNomNow. This company creates fresh, custom meals for your dog and delivers them right to your door in automatic monthly deliveries. Each recipe is prepared with wholesome natural ingredients of the highest quality to ensure optimal digestibility and absorption of nutrients. It is particularly great for giant breeds because each recipe will be customized to your dog’s caloric requirements based on his breed and size. Choose from several recipes featuring lean proteins and healthy fats with fresh fruits and vegetables for nutritional support.

  • Pros: Made with the freshest ingredients, custom meals for your dog, delivered fresh to your door, perfectly portioned pouches, automatic shipments
  • Cons: Limited number of recipe options, very expensive to feed, delivery restrictions in some areas

FirstMate Grain-Free Pacific Ocean Fish Meal LID Large-Breed Recipe

Best Food for Mastiffs with Allergies: If your Mastiff has food allergies, it could be a challenge to find a dog food that fits his needs. This FirstMate Grain-Free Pacific Ocean Fish Meal LID Large-Breed Recipe is a great option because it features a limited number of main ingredients and a novel source of animal protein. This recipe features ocean fish meal for lean protein, providing a total of 25% protein and 12% fat. It also contains chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption and supplemental glucosamine for healthy bones and joints. The calorie content of this recipe is 500 calories per cup, so pay close attention to the feeding recommendations according to your dog’s age and weight.

  • Pros: Single source of novel protein, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, rich in essential fatty acids, limited number of main ingredients, chelated minerals, glucosamine, large kibble size
  • Cons: May be too high in fiber for some dogs, expensive as a staple diet, 500 calories per cup

Holistic Select Chicken Meal & Oatmeal Large & Giant Breed Recipe

Best Food for Mastiffs with Sensitive Stomachs: Digestibility is always important but if your Mastiff has a sensitive stomach it is even more of a concern. This Holistic Select Chicken Meal & Oatmeal Large & Giant Breed Recipe is a good option because it is specifically designed for large and giant breeds and formulated for easy digestibility. This recipe features chicken meal as a concentrated source of lean protein as well as a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin. Whole-grain carbohydrates provide digestible sources of carbohydrates and prebiotic fibers help with the breakdown of those carbohydrates. This recipe contains 24% protein and 14% fat which is within the optimal range for most giant breeds and it contains probiotics for healthy digestion.

  • Pros: Formulated for large and giant breeds, high-quality digestible ingredients, chicken meal for lean protein, grain-free carbohydrates, calcium and phosphorus for strong bones and joints
  • Cons: Expensive to feed as a staple diet

3 more Top Rated (5 Star) Mastiff Adult Foods

Eagle Pack Large & Giant Breed Adult Dry Food

Formulated for large and giant breeds, this Eagle Pack Large & Giant Breed Adult Dry Food is a great option for your Mastiff. It features chicken meal as the main ingredient which is a concentrated source of lean protein as well as a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin. This recipe also contains digestible whole-grain carbohydrates as well as supplemental fiber and probiotics for digestion.

Wellness Complete Health Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Large Breed Recipe

For a highly digestible source of natural nutrition, this Wellness Complete Health Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Large Breed Recipe is a good choice for your Mastiff. It features deboned chicken as the main ingredient with digestible brown rice for supplemental energy and dietary fiber. This recipe contains moderate fat content to prevent weight gain with glucosamine and chondroitin for joints.

Nutro Ultra Large Breed Dry Food

Made with three sources of lean animal protein, this Nutro Ultra Large Breed Dry Food is a great option for your Mastiff. It features farm-raised chicken, pasture-fed lamb, and fresh salmon to provide all the protein your dog needs to maintain lean muscle mass. It is supplemented with natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin with superfoods for vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

3 More Top Rated (5 Star) Mastiff Puppy Foods

Chicken Soup for the Soul Large Breed Puppy Recipe

If you want to get your Mastiff started on the right foot with lean protein and digestible carbohydrates, try this Chicken Soup for the Soul Large Breed Puppy Recipe. This recipe features slow-cooked chicken as the main ingredient with wholesome fruits, vegetables, and herbs for nutritional balance as well as flavor. It also contains natural sources for antioxidants as well as a balance of omega fatty acids.

Precise Holistic Complete Large & Giant Breed Puppy Formula

Formulated specifically for large and giant breed puppies, this Precise Holistic Complete Large & Giant Breed Puppy Formula is a quality source of wholesome nutrition for your Mastiff puppy. It features real chicken as the main ingredient with lamb and salmon meals as supplemental proteins. It also contains prebiotics and probiotics for healthy digestion with fresh fruits and veggies for antioxidants.

Eagle Pack Large & Giant Breed Puppy Recipe

If you’re looking for a high-quality puppy food to easily transition into a similar adult recipe, start with this Eagle Pack Large & Giant Breed Puppy Recipe. This recipe is formulated for large and giant breed puppies, made with lean sources of protein and an ideal balance of healthy fats. It contains an immune-boosting blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants with glucosamine and chondroitin for joints.

2 More Picks for Senior Mastiff Foods

Diamond Naturals Light Formula Dry Food

If you’re looking for an affordable recipe to help your senior Mastiff maintain a healthy body weight, try this Diamond Naturals Light Formula Dry Food. This recipe contains 18% protein and 9% fat with plenty of fiber to keep things moving. It features lamb meal as a rich source of protein with digestible whole grains for carbohydrate support and supplemental energy. It also contains probiotics for healthy digestion as well as supplemental sources of glucosamine and antioxidants.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Chicken & Brown Rice Healthy Weight Formula

To meet your Mastiff’s changing nutritional needs while maintaining a healthy body weight, try this Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Chicken & Brown Rice Healthy Weight Formula. This recipe features deboned chicken as a lean source of protein with chicken meal as a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin. It contains digestible whole grains with fresh fruits and vegetables, supplemental fiber, and probiotics for healthy digestion.

Our FAQ and Mastiff Feeding Guide

Not only do you need to pick a high-quality giant-breed dog food for your Mastiff, but you also need to think about practical things like choosing a dog bowl and keeping your dog’s food fresh. Because your dog will be eating anywhere from 6 to 8 cups of food per day, you’ll probably be buying it in big bags. This can be a challenge when it comes to keeping the food fresh because, once you open the bag it will start losing some of its nutritional value. You may not be able to put the whole bag in an airtight container, so do your best to seal the bag after opening it to feed your dog.

In addition to challenges with keeping your dog’s food fresh, you also have to think about the right dog food bowl. Look for a large bowl that holds at least 3 cups of food, since that is about what you’ll be feeding your Mastiff at each meal. Durable materials like stainless steel are the best option because they are cost-effective and easy to clean – plus they are virtually indestructible. Ceramic is another option that is easy to clean, though a large bowl might be expensive, and it could break if your dog tips it over. Whatever you choose, be sure to clean it often to prevent it from harboring bacteria.

And now, here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about feeding a Mastiff:

How much food should I feed my Mastiff? – Your dog’s needs for calories will depend on his age and body weight. Generally speaking, however, giant breeds have slow metabolisms and only need about 20 calories per pound of body weight. To determine how much to feed your Mastiff, choose a high-quality dog food formulated for large or giant breeds and refer to the feeding recommendations according to your dog’s age and weight to determine his daily portion. As an estimate, you’ll be feeding your Boxer somewhere between

How many times a day should I feed my Mastiff? – When it comes to feeding large and giant breeds like your Mastiff, you need to avoid feeding them too much at once to limit their risk for gastric dilation. Most dogs do well with two meals per day, one in the morning and one in the evening. Take the daily feeding recommendation from the package and divide it into two meals.

What kind of food do Mastiffs eat? – The best dog food for any giant-breed dog is made from high-quality, natural ingredients and formulated to meet his calorie and nutrient needs. If you want the best for your dog, consider dehydrated, freeze-dried, or fresh food for your Mastiff. Fresh food offers the highest nutritional quality and digestibility which is important for giant breeds. Unfortunately, giant breeds like your Mastiff eat a lot so it may be prohibitively expensive to feed fresh food. The most affordable option is likely a high-quality dry food made with wholesome natural ingredients and formulated for large and giant breeds.

What vegetables are good in a Mastiff food? – All dog foods contain vitamin and mineral supplements to ensure balanced nutrition, but your dog can still benefit from the inclusion of fresh fruits and vegetables in his diet. These provide natural sources for key nutrients which are always more biologically valuable than synthetic supplements. Here are some of the best vegetables for Mastiffs:

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potato
  • Zucchini

Even if your dog’s food does contain fresh vegetables, it isn’t a bad idea to give him a few bites as a healthy snack. In fact, fresh veggies are a low-calorie snack that work great for giant breeds who need to be on a calorie-controlled diet. Just make sure that the vegetables you choose are safe for dogs to eat and that you clean them well before feeding. You should also feed small amounts to avoid upsetting your dog’s stomach from an overload of fiber.

Do Mastiffs need grain-free dog food? – Whether or not your Mastiff needs a grain-free diet depends on the individual dog. Before you decide, you should know that there is a great deal of controversy surrounding the long-term safety of grain-free recipes for dogs. The fact remains, however, that there is no conclusive evidence as of yet so, unless your dog is allergic or sensitive to grains, a grain-free diet may not be necessary.

A Final Word

Now that you know the basics about your Mastiff’s nutritional needs, you’re ready to start shopping for the best Mastiff food. Remember to look for a product that is formulated specifically for large and giant breeds to ensure that your dog’s unique needs for calories and nutrients are met. It should be made from wholesome natural ingredients including ample protein for lean muscle mass, low to moderate fat for controlled calories, and digestible carbohydrates like whole grains and veggies.

If you’re still not sure where to start in choosing the best Mastiff dog food, try one of our top 15 picks reviewed above!

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