How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Neapolitan Mastiffs
The Neapolitan Mastiff traces its roots to approximately 5.000 years ago in Tibet. A dog of massive proportions, the Neapolitan Mastiff’s original purpose was to protect its owner in battle and to guard property. This breed was further developed in Italy in the town of Naples where the task was undertaken to produce a dog that retained its original size but that now sported loose, weighty skin to provide protection for the dog.
The Neapolitan breeders were dedicated to creating a dog that was as loyal and affectionate with its family as it was fierce and courageous in battle. This breed would have remained relatively unknown outside Italy if it had not been discovered by a journalist in attendance at a dog show in 1946. This journalist was smitten with the dog, likening it to similar mastiff-type dogs seen during the Roman Empire.
This journalist was responsible for writing the breed standard and providing the breed with its official name: Mastino Napoletano or Neapolitan Mastiff when translated into English. Today, the breed is renowned for its slow, measured steps that are similar to a lumber. The breed is both strong and powerful, evoking awe in those who see it.
Sometimes referred to as simply a Neo, the Neapolitan Mastiff can reach 200 pounds. A loving and affectionate family companion, this sweet-natured pooch considers itself a lap dog much to the chagrin of its owners who buckle under its enormous weight. A dog that is ever watchful and that has a foreboding stare that deters unfamiliar people from approaching, the Neapolitan Mastiff may appear menacing but is actually a true gentle giant at heart.
The Neapolitan Mastiff is a messy dog. The breed drools profusely and can be exceptionally flatulent when stressed or anxious. Owners of this breed need to keep towels at the ready for cleaning up excessive drool.
A breed that moves with a natural grace, the Neapolitan Mastiff does not require a lot of daily activity to remain physically and mentally satisfied. However, with its intense love of food, this breed could easily become overweight. To assist with achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight. It is recommended that this breed never be free fed.
Though most often a healthy dog, the Neapolitan Mastiff has a few genetic conditions it can naturally be predisposed to developing. These include bloat, hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems, and overheating. To lay a good foundation for optimal wellness, the best dog foods for the Neapolitan Mastiff include supplements to boost both joint and eye health.
Bloat is a life-threatening condition that affects many large breed dogs including the Neapolitan Mastiff. It is unknown what causes this problem, but eating too much and too rapidly may be contributing factors. To help prevent this, it is recommended that the Neapolitan Mastiff be fed a large breed dog food that contains big kibble pieces to encourage thoughtful chewing and swallowing.
The ideal diet for the Neapolitan Mastiff should contain approximately 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Neapolitan Mastiffs
The sweet-natured Neapolitan Mastiff benefits from a well-balanced, high quality diet that has been specifically designed with large breeds in mind. Determining how much of the right food to feed this dog type can be a challenging task, requiring some trial and error along the way. The best dog foods for Neapolitan Mastiffs offer suggested serving sizes based on the dog’s weight and age. Owners can use these as helpful guidelines, making the necessary adjustments for their own dog until the correct portion is found.
Since the Neapolitan Mastiff is not an overly active dog and can suffer from joint-related issues, maintaining a healthy body weight is vitally important. To achieve this, all food should be measured and all intake monitored daily. Free feeding is strongly discouraged.
Dietary Requirements for Neapolitan Mastiff Dog Foods
The Neapolitan Mastiff is a hardy dog and requires a diet based on a lean meat-based protein to achieve ideal health and wellness. The best dog foods for Neapolitan Mastiffs list a whole meat or meat meal as their foundational ingredient. By-products are not of sufficient nutritional quality to fuel this power breed. Likewise, the plant-based proteins soy, corn, and wheat are common allergens for many dogs, and thus, are best avoided.
The Neapolitan Mastiff is not prone to suffering from allergies. As a result, this breed can enjoy a diet that is grain-inclusive or grain-free. Carbohydrates give the Neapolitan Mastiff the antioxidants and dietary fiber required for good digestion and a healthy immune system. These carbohydrates can come from fruits, vegetables, or whole grains.
From healthy fats, the Neapolitan Mastiff gains the nutrients required for excellent coat and skin health. The best sources for these fats are foods such as oily fish and chicken fat. Plant-based oils offer another alternative; many of which contain sufficient servings of essential fatty acids to support the Neapolitan Mastiff’s needs.
All diets can benefit from the inclusion of supplements to reinforce the nutrition contained in the food. The best supplements for the Neapolitan Mastiff include prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Foods for Neapolitan Mastiffs
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in the best dog food for a Neapolitan Mastiff:
Lean, meat-based proteins heading up the ingredients list
The Neapolitan Mastiff is a carnivore and needs a diet based on a lean meat to thrive. The best foundation for a food for this breed is a whole meat or meat meal.
Diets based on by-products or plant proteins are not of sufficient nutritional quality to fuel this powerful breed.
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 Neapolitan Mastiff. 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 ideal supplements for the Neapolitan Mastiff are prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
All foods appropriate for the Neapolitan Mastiff should bear the AAFCO seal of approval, indicating it meets the standards for a complete and balanced food.