Last Updated: February 5, 2024 by Lisa Melillo
Imagine a typical day in the life of an English Mastiff – their playful antics, the slow tail wags, and those moments of lazy contentment. Each of these daily scenes is underpinned by their dietary health. The right food doesn’t just fill their stomach; it fuels their spirit, strengthens their bones, and keeps their coats glossy and healthy.
Feeding an English Mastiff is quite the balancing act. They need a lot of food, but it’s not just about quantity. It’s about quality, too. You’ve got to make sure they’re getting enough to support their large size, but not so much that they start packing on extra pounds.
When choosing the best dog food for English Mastiffs, I’m always checking for high-quality protein, essential nutrients, and a good mix of vitamins and minerals. It’s all about keeping them healthy and happy, from their energetic puppy days right through to their more serene senior years. Let’s find that perfect food that keeps your Mastiff’s tail wagging and their health top-notch!
Top Choice: Acana Butcher’s Favorites Free-Run Poultry and Liver Recipe
When it comes to nourishing your English Mastiff with the best, Acana Butcher’s Favorites Free-Run Poultry and Liver Recipe stands out. This premium dog food blends free-run poultry with liver, offering a rich protein source that’s perfect for your giant breed. The recipe is carefully crafted to meet their nutritional needs, ensuring your Mastiff gets a meal that’s as delicious as it is healthy.
The Best Dog Foods for English Mastiffs
1. Acana Butcher’s Favorites Free-Run Poultry and Liver Recipe
- Packed with liver for a nutrient boost
- Completely grain-free
- Includes a variety of fruits and vegetables
- Enriched with probiotics for gut health
- High in Omega fatty acids for skin and coat
Let me tell you about Acana’s Butcher’s Favorites. It’s like a gourmet meal for your English Mastiff! The first thing that hits you is the free-run poultry. It’s not just any poultry; it’s the kind that makes your dog’s meal more nutritious and delicious. It’s a feast that your giant furry friend deserves.
I always lean towards foods that mimic what dogs would eat in the wild. And this blend? It’s spot on. The combination of poultry and liver offers not only a rich source of protein but also a taste that dogs go crazy for. It’s especially great for Mastiff owners who want to mix health with flavor in their pet’s diet.
- Helps maintain strong muscles
- Keeps skin healthy and fur shiny
- Perfect for grain-sensitive dogs
- Boosts immune system health
- Helps keep a balanced weight
- Gentle on the stomach
- A bit pricey, but worth it
- Not the best for dogs allergic to poultry
2. Bully Max 30/20 High Protein & Fat Dog Food, Chicken Blend
- Chicken Meal
- Contains 30% protein and 20% fat
- Provides 535 calories per cup
- Suitable for all life stages
- Helps in healthy weight management
Bully Max 30/20’s Chicken Blend is like a power-packed meal for your active English Mastiff. With chicken leading the charge, this dog food is tailored for those who need an extra punch of protein and fat. It’s not just about bulking up; it’s about providing the energy and strength your big buddy needs for their daily adventures.
What I love about this food is how it caters to the active side of larger breeds. It’s not just filling their stomach. It’s fueling their muscles and overall health. The no-grain formula is a big plus for me, especially for dogs with sensitivities. This Chicken Blend is more than a meal. It’s a health booster for your Mastiff, keeping them robust and ready to go.
- Ideal for building and maintaining muscle
- Energy-rich for active dogs
- Promotes a strong immune system
- Supports healthy joints
- Great for dogs of all ages
- Some dogs might need time to adjust to the high-protein formula
- The flavor can be too bland for some dogs
3. Purina Pro Plan Performance 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula
- A blend of chicken and rice for a balanced diet
- Live probiotics added for digestive health
- Rich in antioxidants for immune system care
- Specifically formulated for active and athletic dogs
- Offers a mix of 30% protein and 20% fat
The Purina Pro Plan Performance 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula offers a winning combination for your English Mastiff. Leading with real chicken, this formula delivers the protein punch necessary for an active breed. But what sets it apart is the inclusion of rice, offering that essential, digestible energy for your dog’s day-to-day activities.
I always look for a well-rounded diet in dog food, and this formula hits the mark. With a mix of high-quality protein and carbohydrates, it supports not just muscle growth, but also overall health and vitality. The added probiotics and antioxidants are great for keeping your Mastiff’s digestive system in check and their immune system strong.
- Ideal for supporting an active lifestyle
- Contributes to lean muscle development
- Helps maintain a healthy digestive system
- Promotes joint health and mobility
- Not optimal for Mastiffs on grain-free diets
- Requires careful portion management
4. Wag Dry Dog Food, Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe
- Crafted with farm-raised chicken
- Sweet potato included for carbohydrate energy
- Contains no added grain, corn, or wheat
- Infused with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
- Made in the USA with globally sourced ingredients
Wag Dry Dog Food’s Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe is a fantastic choice for your English Mastiff. The real, farm-raised chicken provides a solid protein foundation essential for your dog’s diet. What makes this recipe special is the addition of sweet potato, offering a natural and digestible source of carbohydrates.
I’ve always been keen on dog foods that offer a balanced nutritional profile, and this one by Wag does the trick. It’s not only about the high-quality protein; the absence of added grains like corn or wheat is a huge benefit, especially for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Plus, the added blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals makes it a well-rounded meal option for your Mastiff.
- High-quality protein supports muscle health
- The grain-free formula is great for sensitive dogs
- Contains no artificial flavors or preservatives
- Promotes skin and coat health
- Some dogs might prefer traditional grain-inclusive diets
- Requires a gradual introduction to avoid digestive issues
5. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Adult Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe
- Deboned Chicken
- Real deboned chicken is the primary protein source
- Includes wholesome whole grains like brown rice and barley
- Enriched with LifeSource Bits – a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
- No poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, or soy
It starts with real deboned chicken, providing high-quality protein that’s essential for maintaining strong muscles. The addition of brown rice and barley adds a wholesome touch, offering the kind of energy your large dog needs.
I always appreciate dog foods that go the extra mile in nutrition. Blue Buffalo does just that with their LifeSource Bits, a unique blend designed specifically for optimal health. It’s not only about protein and carbs. This formula pays special attention to antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, ensuring a balanced diet. It’s a great pick for Mastiff owners who prioritize both nutrition and taste in their dog’s diet.
- High-quality chicken supports muscle maintenance
- Wholesome grains for sustained energy
- Aids in promoting joint health and mobility
- Free from common allergens and fillers
- Supports immune system health
- Small kibble size
- Has lots of air in the bag
6. Chicken Soup for the Soul Classic Large Breed Puppy Dog Food, Chicken, Turkey, and Brown Rice Recipe
- Combination of chicken and turkey for a diverse protein source
- Includes brown rice and vegetables
- Formulated specifically for the growth needs of large-breed puppies
- Enriched with DHA
Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Classic recipe for large breed puppies like English Mastiffs blends chicken and turkey to give your growing pup a rich variety of proteins. It’s essential for their overall development, ensuring they get the right nutrients for both physical and cognitive growth.
The recipe also includes DHA, an important nutrient for a puppy’s brain and vision health. Along with brown rice and vegetables, this formula provides a well-rounded diet that’s not only nutritious but also delicious for your Mastiff puppy. It’s a wholesome choice for those crucial early months, helping lay the foundation for a healthy and active life.
- Dual protein sources support healthy growth
- DHA aids in cognitive and visual development
- Natural ingredients for holistic nutrition
- Supports strong bone and joint development
- Digestible formula ideal for young dogs
- May require a transition from other puppy foods
- Some puppies may prefer a different texture or flavor profile
7. IAMS Proactive Health Healthy Aging Large Breed Dog Food
- Real Chicken
- Specially designed for senior large breed dogs
- Made with farm-raised chicken
- Includes wholesome grains and veggies
- Enhanced with antioxidants and glucosamine
As our beloved English Mastiffs enter their golden years, their dietary needs change. IAMS Proactive Health Healthy Aging is crafted with this in mind. The primary ingredient, farm-raised chicken, provides the necessary protein that older dogs still need. What I appreciate about this formula is its focus on the specific needs of aging large-breed dogs.
Having seen many senior dogs in my time, I understand the importance of a diet that supports their changing bodies. This IAMS formula, with its blend of antioxidants and glucosamine, is geared toward maintaining joint health and mobility, which is crucial for large breeds like Mastiffs. The inclusion of wholesome grains and vegetables ensures a balanced diet, keeping your senior dog both happy and healthy.
- Ideal protein level for aging dogs
- Supports joint health and mobility
- Antioxidants for immune health
- Balanced nutrition with grains and veggies
- Helps maintain a healthy weight in senior dogs
- Some senior dogs might need more specialized diets
- Chicken as the main ingredient may not suit all dietary preferences
8. Gentle Giants Natural Dog Food
- Chicken Meal
- All-natural, non-GMO formula
- Soft texture for ease of chewing and digestion
- Proudly crafted in the USA
- Crafted with farm-raised chicken
When I first came across Gentle Giants Natural Dog Food, what struck me was its simplicity and focus on natural ingredients. Starting with farm-raised chicken, this food provides a solid protein base, crucial for a breed as large and majestic as the English Mastiff.
The combination of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in Gentle Giants offers a spectrum of nutrients, a feature I always look for in dog food. It’s reassuring to know you’re feeding your Mastiff something that supports not just their physical health but also their longevity and heart health.
- Farm-raised chicken supports muscle health
- Whole grains offer sustained energy for large breeds
- A blend of fruits and vegetables for comprehensive nutrition
- Promotes a healthy heart, a concern for large breeds
- May require adjustment for dogs new to natural diets
- Some Mastiffs might prefer a higher protein concentration
9. Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Dog Food, Lamb Meal and Rice Formula
- Lamb Meal
- High-quality lamb meal as the primary protein source
- Rice and other whole grains for balanced energy
- Formulated with K9 Strain Probiotics
- Rich in omega fatty acids for skin and coat health
When I first discovered Diamond Naturals for large breeds, I felt like I’d found a hidden gem. The use of lamb meal as the primary protein source is a unique and high-quality choice, which I always prioritize for breeds like the English Mastiff.
With a blend of rice and whole grains, this formula offers a steady source of energy, perfect for sustaining the active lifestyle of large dogs. What sets Diamond Naturals apart is their inclusion of K9 Strain Probiotics, which I’ve personally found to be excellent for promoting digestive health.
- Probiotics contribute to a healthy digestive system
- Free from common allergens and artificial additives
- Supports a robust immune system
- Requires a gradual transition for dogs switching from other foods
10. Canidae All Life Stages Wet Dog Food, Chicken and Rice Formula
- Suitable for all life stages, from puppies to adults
- Crafted with high-quality chicken
- Provides essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids
- Easy-open can for convenience
When it comes to finding versatile dog food that can meet the needs of dogs at various stages of life, Canidae All Life Stages Wet Dog Food takes the lead. With high-quality chicken as its primary ingredient, it provides a protein source that’s essential for English Mastiffs throughout their life journey.
One standout feature of Canidae All Life Stages is its inclusivity. Whether you have a puppy, an adult Mastiff, or even a senior dog, this formula covers all life stages. It’s like having a one-size-fits-all solution in a can. Plus, it’s free from common allergens like corn, wheat, and soy, making it a suitable choice for dogs with sensitivities. And the addition of omega fatty acids ensures your Mastiff’s skin stays healthy and their coat shines.
- Convenient for multi-dog households with different life stages
- A well-balanced meal for English Mastiffs
- Ready to serve upon opening the can
- Flavorful for picky eaters
- Wet food may require refrigeration once opened
11. Purina One True Instinct Wet Dog Food, Tender Cuts in Gravy with Real Chicken and Duck
- Chicken Broth
- Real chicken and duck as primary protein sources
- Tender cuts in savory gravy for palatability
- No artificial flavors, preservatives, or fillers
- Rich in essential vitamins and minerals
- Formulated for adult dogs
If your English Mastiff craves variety and flavor in their meals, Purina One True Instinct Wet Dog Food is a choice worth considering. It combines real chicken and duck, making it a protein-packed delight for your furry friend. The tender cuts in savory gravy add a touch of indulgence to their dining experience.
When it comes to ensuring the well-being of your Mastiff, this wet dog food doesn’t compromise on quality. It contains no artificial flavors, preservatives, or fillers. Instead, it’s rich in essential vitamins and minerals, supporting your dog’s overall health. This formula is specially designed for adult dogs, aligning perfectly with the needs of your English Mastiff.
- Uses real meat for optimal nutrition
- Promotes a protein-rich diet for active dogs
- Zero fillers
- Well-loved even by picky eaters
- Has too much gravy
- Can cause indigestion in some dogs
What to Look for in the Best Dog Food for English Mastiffs
Choosing the right dog food is more than just picking a brand off the shelf. These gentle giants have specific dietary needs that must be met to ensure their health and longevity. In my years of working with these wonderful dogs, I’ve learned that the right nutrition can make a world of difference in their quality of life.
Protein for Muscle Maintenance
English Mastiffs, known for their impressive muscle mass, require high-quality protein. This not only supports muscle maintenance but also aids in overall body repair. In my experience, foods with real meat as the primary ingredient provide the best protein source for these gentle giants.
Fats for Energy and Coat Health
Healthy fats are crucial. They’re not just a dense energy source, but they also keep their coat shiny and skin healthy. I’ve seen the benefits of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids firsthand, improving coat quality and reducing inflammatory responses.
Calcium and Phosphorus for Bone Health
Given their size, bone health is a top priority for English Mastiffs. A balanced ratio of calcium and phosphorus ensures strong bone development and maintenance. This is especially important for growing puppies and aging dogs to prevent bone-related issues.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin for Joint Support
These two components are vital for joint health. Mastiffs are prone to joint issues due to their weight and size. Glucosamine and chondroitin help maintain joint health and mobility, something I always stress to Mastiff owners.
Fiber for Digestive Health
A diet rich in fiber supports a healthy digestive system, crucial for large breeds like the English Mastiff. It aids in smooth digestion and regular bowel movements. From my experience, a blend of soluble and insoluble fiber works best.
Antioxidants for Immune Health
Antioxidants play a key role in supporting their immune system. Ingredients like blueberries, carrots, and spinach, which are natural sources of antioxidants, can help fight off diseases and keep them healthy.
Common Health Concerns in English Masiffs
- Joint Health (Hip and Elbow Dysplasia): To support joint health, especially in conditions like hip and elbow dysplasia, a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids can be beneficial. These nutrients, found in fish oil, can reduce inflammation and help manage arthritis symptoms. Also, maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet is crucial to reduce stress on the joints.
- Gastric Health (Bloat): Bloat can be a serious issue for English Mastiffs. To prevent this, opt for diets that are easy to digest and feed smaller, more frequent meals rather than one large meal. Avoid foods that produce excess gas and encourage slow eating to reduce the amount of air swallowed.
- Heart Health: For cardiac health, a diet low in sodium but rich in taurine and L-carnitine can be beneficial. These nutrients support heart function and can be found in meats like chicken and turkey. Always consult your vet for specific dietary recommendations if your Mastiff has a heart condition.
- Weight Management: Obesity can be a significant issue in Mastiffs. A diet that’s high in protein but moderate in calories can help maintain muscle mass while avoiding excess weight gain. Consider foods with lean meats, vegetables, and whole grains to provide balanced nutrition.
- Cancer Prevention: While no diet can completely prevent cancer, foods rich in antioxidants can support the immune system. Ingredients like blueberries, carrots, and leafy greens can provide these antioxidants. Also, avoid processed foods and those with high sugar content.
- Thyroid Health (Hypothyroidism): For Mastiffs with hypothyroidism, a diet balanced in iodine can support thyroid health. Seaweed and other sea vegetables are good iodine sources. However, it’s important to work with your vet to ensure you’re not over-supplementing, as too much iodine can also be problematic.
Tips for Feeding an English Mastiff
Feeding your English Mastiff correctly at each stage of their life is vital for their overall health and well-being.
Puppy (Up to 18-24 months)
- Growth Needs: Mastiff puppies grow rapidly, requiring a diet rich in protein and fat to support their development.
- Portion Size: Start with about 2-3% of their expected adult weight, divided into 3-4 meals per day.
- Type of Food: Opt for high-quality puppy food specifically formulated for large breeds to ensure proper growth and bone development.
- Avoid Overfeeding: Overfeeding can lead to rapid growth, increasing the risk of joint problems. Monitor their weight and growth regularly.
Adult (2 to 7-8 years)
- Maintenance Diet: Adult Mastiffs need a balanced diet that maintains their muscle mass and overall health.
- Portion Size: Generally, adult Mastiffs eat 6-8 cups of dry food per day, split into two meals. This can vary based on their activity level and metabolism.
- Quality of Food: Choose a high-quality adult dog food with good sources of protein and moderate fat content.
- Weight Management: Keep an eye on their weight to prevent obesity, adjusting their diet and exercise as needed.
Senior (8 years and older)
- Senior-Specific Needs: Older Mastiffs may have a slower metabolism and less energy, needing fewer calories.
- Portion Size: They may require less food than in their adult years, but this depends on their health and activity level.
- Easy to Digest: Opt for senior dog food that’s easy to digest and supports joint health, as they may have more difficulty with mobility.
- Regular Check-ups: Monitor their health closely and adjust their diet based on any age-related health conditions.
FAQs on Nutrition and Diet for English Mastiffs
How can I prevent my English Mastiff from becoming overweight?
Preventing obesity in your Mastiff involves regular exercise and a controlled diet. Monitor their food intake and adjust it according to their activity level. Avoid overfeeding, and be cautious with treats. Regular veterinary check-ups can help you keep track of their ideal weight.
Can English Mastiffs have grain-free diets?
Grain-free diets can be suitable for some English Mastiffs, especially if they have allergies or sensitivities to grains. However, it’s important to ensure that their diet is well-balanced and meets all their nutritional needs. Consult with a veterinarian before switching to a grain-free diet.
What are the signs of food allergies in English Mastiffs?
Signs of food allergies in Mastiffs can include itchy skin, ear infections, constant licking, and gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea or vomiting. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult your vet. They might recommend an elimination diet to identify the allergen.
Is it okay to give my English Mastiff human food?
While it’s tempting to share human food with your Mastiff, it’s important to be cautious. Some human foods can be harmful to dogs. If you do choose to give human foods, ensure they are safe for dogs and only in small, infrequent amounts.
When it comes to the best dog food for English Mastiff, the Acana Butcher’s Favorites Free-Run Poultry and Liver Recipe hits the mark. From my experience, finding food that resonates with the unique needs of this breed can be a challenge, but this recipe nails it. It’s packed with high-quality protein, which is just what these large, lovable dogs need to maintain their muscle strength and overall health. It’s been a game-changer for the Mastiffs I’ve worked with, and I’m confident it could be for yours too.
I’ve seen puppies with boundless energy grow into majestic adults and then move into their golden years with grace. And at every step, their diet has been key. Tailoring their diet to their age and lifestyle, that’s what keeps them not just surviving but thriving. It’s a journey of care, love, and understanding – and it’s incredibly rewarding to see them happy and healthy at every stage.