How to Select the Best Dog Food for Bullmastiffs
The Bullmastiff is considered to be a large breed dog, and thus, needs a high quality diet to remain healthy and well. This working breed was once employed as a guardian of its master’s home and hearth, scaring away poachers that threatened to steal from its family’s game.
A dog of intimidating proportions and demeanor, the Bullmastiff is actually very gentle and possesses a soft and loving heart. Though the breed is exceptionally large, it still believes it is a lap dog and is happiest cuddled up beside its family members on the couch. The Bullmastiff is devoted to its family but is naturally wary of strangers, a trait that stands the breed well in its role as a watchdog.
The Bullmastiff is not an overly active dog, and thus, can be prone to gaining weight. To prevent this from occurring, it is recommended that the best dog foods for Bullmastiffs be carefully measured and all intake monitored.
Since the Bullmastiff is known to develop bloat, owners are encouraged to feed a diet that has been specifically designed for large breed dogs. Though at this time it is not known what factors must combine for bloat to occur, it is generally accepted that eating too much and too quickly may contribute to this problem.
The Bullmastiff does best on a diet that contains a minimum of 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Bullmastiffs
As a breed that is not overly active, it is vitally important to choose the correct calorie count in the best dog foods for Bullmastiffs. Thankfully, AAFCO regulations insist that all commercially prepared diets must list suggested serving sizes on their packaging. These suggestions are an excellent place to start.
The amount of food given to a Bullmastiff will largely depend on the dog’s activity level, age, weight, and appetite. Start with the suggested serving size and make the necessary adjustments until the correct portion size is found.
It is recommended that the Bullmastiff be fed smaller portions of food several times throughout the day as opposed to two large helpings morning and night. This will help to prevent excessive hunger that can lead to overeating and/or gulping of food.
Dietary Requirements for Bullmastiff Dog Foods
The Bullmastiff is a carnivore. As such, this breed requires a diet that takes a lean meat as its primary ingredient. The best dog foods for Bullmastiffs include a whole meat as their foundation; however, meat meals are also acceptable. By-products are not of sufficient quality to fuel this large breed and its unique nutritional needs.
Plant-based proteins such as corn, wheat, and soy are common allergens for many dogs. Diets that contain these items are best avoided. In addition to this, foods that include such ingredients as chemicals, additives, preservatives, and artificial flavors and colors offer no nutritional benefit to the Bullmastiff. These are best left on the shelf.
Carbohydrates are an important part of the Bullmastiff’s diet, providing support for good digestion and a healthy immune system. So long as the dog has not expressed any previous food sensitivities, the Bullmastiff can eat a grain-inclusive or grain-free diet without any ill effects. Carbohydrates can come from whole grains, fruits, or vegetables with the main priority of any included ingredient being its fiber and carbohydrate content.
Healthy fats help the Bullmastiff to enjoy coat and skin health as well as excellent reserves of energy. The best sources for these items are animal-based such as chicken fat and oily fish; however, plant oils such as safflower and canola also pack a powerhouse punch of essential fatty acids.
Supplements help a diet to work its most efficiently. The most beneficial supplements for Bullmastiffs include glucosamine, chondroitin, prebiotics, and probiotics.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Bullmastiffs
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in the best food for a Bullmastiff:
Lean meat proteins heading up the ingredients list
The Bullmastiff requires a diet that is rich in meat to thrive. These are best included in their whole form; however, meat meals are also acceptable.
It is best to avoid foods that include by-products and plant-based proteins such as corn, wheat, and soy.
Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavorings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
Chemicals, fillers, artificial flavorings and colorings, and mystery ingredients provide no nutritional benefit to a Bullmastiff. Diets which include any of these items in their formulations are not suitable for the needs of this highly active breed.
Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
The Bullmastiff can greatly benefit from a diet that includes helpful supplements. The best ones to look for in a diet for this large breed are prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
All foods appropriate for the Bullmastiff should bear the AAFCO seal of approval, indicating it meets the standards for a complete and balanced food.