How to Select the Best Dog Food for English Mastiffs
The English Mastiff is truly a giant breed dog. Weighing in at up to 220 pounds, the English Mastiff, a breed often referred to simply as Mastiff, is indeed impressive in substance and size. Originally bred to serve as a guard dog and fighting breed, the Mastiff’s imposing appearance is seemingly at odds with its gentle spirit and good nature.
The name Mastiff is derived from the Latin term mansuetus, a word that translates to “tame,” Over time, this name was influenced by both the French language and Middle English until it finally settled on mastiff in the late 14th century.
In its earliest days, the English Mastiff was often put to work fighting in wars alongside soldiers or against lions in stadiums. The breed is renowned for carrying itself with great dignity and is both confident and brave.
Most English Mastiffs are naturally quiet and enjoy spending their days in peace and tranquillity. The breed thrives in the company of its people with whom it bonds deeply. English Mastiffs are particularly fond of children, but because of their size can sometimes accidentally knock them over.
The English Mastiff requires daily exercise to remain physically and mentally content. The breed loves to eat, and thus, can be prone to becoming overweight. For this reason, the English Mastiff should never be free fed.
Though typically a healthy breed, the English Mastiff, like all giant breeds, can be predisposed to developing bloat. At this time, experts are uncertain what conditions must work together to create bloat; however, it is generally accepted that eating too rapidly and too much may be contributing factors. For this reason, the English Mastiff should be fed a diet designed with large and giant breeds in mind as they typically contain large kibble pieces that thwart overeating and attempts to eat too rapidly.
The English Mastiff is both a drooler and prone to flatulence. A good and easily digestible diet can help to avoid excess gas.
The best dog foods for English Mastiffs contain a minimum of 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for the English Mastiffs
Finding the correct amount of food to feed a dog can be as challenging as selecting the right diet in the first place. The best dog foods for English Mastiffs list suggested serving sizes on their packaging. These can be used as a starting point with adjustments made to reflect the dog’s age, weight, activity level, and appetite until the proper portion is determined.
Free feeding this giant breed is strongly discouraged. All intake should be measured and monitored to ensure a healthy body weight is achieved and maintained.
Dietary Requirements for English Mastiff Dog Foods
The English Mastiff is a carnivore, and thus, requires a diet based on meat to thrive. The best dog foods for English Mastiffs include whole meats or meat meals as their primary ingredient. By-products are taken from inferior portions of the animal, and thus, are not suited to the nutritional needs of giant breeds like the English Mastiff.
Though the English Mastiff is not predisposed to allergies or skin conditions, it is still a good idea to avoid foods that include plant-based proteins such as soy, corn, or wheat. Other ingredients that offer no nutritional benefit to this breed include chemicals, additives, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
From a food’s carbohydrate content, the English Mastiff gains fiber and antioxidants to support good digestion and a strong immune system. Carbohydrates can come from whole grains, fruits, or vegetables. Dogs that have expressed sensitivities to grains may do best on a grain-free diet.
Healthy fats give the English Mastiff strong energy reserves and also support coat and skin health. These are best taken from animal origins and include such foods as oily fish and chicken fat. Canola, safflower, and coconut are plant-based oils that also offer ample servings of the essential fatty acids English Mastiffs need.
Supplements help a food to work its most effectively. The ideal supplements to look for in a food for the English Mastiff include glucosamine, chondroitin, prebiotics, and probiotics.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for English Mastiffs
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in the best dog food for an English Mastiff:
Whole proteins heading up the ingredients list
The English Mastiff’s food should list a meat-based protein as its primary ingredient. Whole meats and meat meals are the preferred option. Plant-based proteins such as corn, wheat, and soy plus by-products should be avoided.
Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavourings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
Chemicals, fillers, artificial flavorings and colorings, and mystery ingredients provide no nutritional benefit to the English Mastiff. Though many foods do contain these items, they are not appropriate to meet the needs of this hardy dog breed.
Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
To help a food to work its most effectively, it is a good idea to select a diet that includes some supplements in its recipe. The most beneficial supplements for the English Mastiff include glucosamine, chondroitin, prebiotics, and probiotics.
Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
All foods appropriate for the English Mastiff should bear the AAFCO seal of approval, indicating it meets the standards for a complete and balanced food.