Mastiffs may be docile and sweet, but these gentle giants can easily stand at almost 3 feet at the shoulder and weigh as much as the average human male.
Their thick muscles and bulky body require up to 10 cups of food a day, and this means they need a diet high in calories and proteins. That’s why it’s super important to choose the best dog food to support your Mastiff.
Because they need a higher calorie and protein dog food, I selected CANIDAE All Life Stages dry dog food as the best choice.
It has nearly 500 calories per cup of food, 24% Crude Protein, and almost 15% fat in order to satiate your Mastiff while also supporting their build.
There are many other dog food options for Mastiffs as well — including high protein puppy food and food made for dogs with sensitivities. That way, no matter what your Mastiff needs, you can find the perfect dog food for them.
Our Best Dog Food for Mastiffs
- CANIDAE All Life Stages Dry Dog Food (Best for Adult Mastiffs)
- Eukanuba Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food (Best for Mastiffs Puppies)
- ORIJEN Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best for Senior Mastiffs)
- Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best for Highly Active Mastiffs)
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best for Mastiffs with Food Sensitivities)
- Purina Pro Plan Specialized Adult Large Breed Canned Dog Food (Best Wet Food)
- Nom Nom Dog Food (Best Fresh Dog Food)
- American Journey Active Life Formula Large Breed Dry Dog Food (Best Budget Dog Food)
- Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed Light Dry Dog Food (Best for Weight Loss)
- True Acre Foods Large Breed Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best for Heart Health)
10 Best Dog Foods for Mastiffs Reviewed
All of the dog formulas listed below follow the AAFCO nutrient profile guidelines. Before switching your Mastiff’s food, please discuss the change with your veterinarian.
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Lamb Meal, Brown Rice, White Rice
- Key Feature: High protein and fat dog food with whole grains and animal proteins
Mastiffs need protein and fat to keep up with their muscles and lifestyle. CANIDAE All Life Stages offers 24% Crude Protein as well as 15% Crude Fat to support their adult needs.
This adult dog food starts with high quality animal proteins from chicken, turkey, lamb, and fish meat meals. These naturally include both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, helping build healthy muscles and joints.
The formula is also rich in whole grains — offering brown rice, potatoes, and oatmeal. Not only do these ingredients offer healthy fiber for regular digestion, but they also include additives like B vitamins for energy and selenium for heart health.
To top it all off, CANIDAE All Life Stages also includes a proprietary blend of “HealthPLUS Solutions”. This blend supplements probiotics, antioxidants, and essential amino acids to protect your dog’s immune system, as well as aid in joint and heart health.
This vet-formulated recipe features premium ingredients and is free of corn, wheat, and soy.
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn, Wheat, Chicken Fat
- Key Feature: High protein and fat puppy food for large breed dogs
Your little furball won’t be little forever. By two years old, a Mastiff puppy can be well over 200 pounds. Because of their eventual size, even Mastiff pups need the proper nutrition to support their growing bodies.
And, they need a formula that will help them grow slowly to prevent joint issues.
Eukanuba Puppy Large Breed dry dog food was crafted specifically with large breeds (that will be over 55 pounds in adulthood) in mind.
Real chicken is the first ingredient — providing both DHA for brain development, taurine for heart health, and glucosamine for joint support.
The formula also includes both chicken fat and fish oil, which provide omega fatty acids for healthy skin and a shiny coat, while also protecting joint and bone health.
Even during their puppy years, Mastiffs need optimal levels of calcium and phosphorus to protect their bones. Eukanuba takes this seriously and includes both vitamins in their ideal ratios.
In addition to the animal protein and healthy fats, this food has natural fiber and prebiotics from rice and corn to help aid in digestion.
However, keep in mind that this formula does include wheat and corn, which may not work for pups with sensitive skin or tummies
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Turkey, Atlantic Flounder, Whole Atlantic Mackerel, Turkey Giblets
- Key Feature: Higher moisture dog food with omega fatty acids for senior Mastiffs
Your Mastiff is your little sidekick, no matter how big or old they get. But with age comes more nutritional needs. As they get older, senior dogs will need more glucosamine and chondroitin for their joints, omega fatty acids for brain support, and vitamin D for bone support.
ORIJEN Senior Grain-Free dry dog food focuses on dogs just like yours, providing those nutrients and more. First, their formula has 85% quality animal ingredients, including organs and bone for extra iron and glucosamine.
The real meats include chicken, turkey, and fish — plus eggs — to support lean muscle mass and weight maintenance for your senior dog. These ingredients are added to the recipe raw, with refrigeration and freezing as the sole method of preservation.
Pinto beans, green lentils, and chickpeas offer easy to digest carbohydrates, as well as fiber, potassium for muscle support, and vitamin A for brain and eye development.
This formula is made in the US and doesn’t include any corn, wheat, or soy.
- First 5 Ingredients: Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
- Key Feature: High protein dog food for highly active Mastiffs
Taste of the Wild High Prairie dry dog food includes novel proteins like buffalo and bison. These ingredients offer amino acids and over 30% Crude Protein for highly active Mastiffs that need more energy. They also help support bones, joints, and lean muscles.
Chicken meal and chicken fat provide both taurine and omega-6 fatty acids. These minerals offer joint and muscle support, as well as heart healthy fats to keep your pup strong during their daily activities.
This recipe also includes peas and sweet potatoes for more highly-digestible energy, as well as iron for immune system support and magnesium to prevent and reduce inflammation.
Fruits and vegetables like blueberries and potatoes provide natural antioxidants, which has been shown to provide cognitive support and may help in reducing chances of cancer.
Last but not least, dried chicory root provides prebiotic support, helping to aid in healthy digestion and boost metabolism support.
The food is made in the US by a family-owned brand. It’s made without grains, corn, wheat, artificial flavors, or artificial colors
- First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, Peas, Tapioca Starch
- Key Feature: Grain free dog food made for large breeds with food sensitivities
Mastiffs that have allergies tend to be allergic to beef and wheat, and some may suffer from environmental allergies as well. So, finding dog food without either of these ingredients can seem difficult.
But, thankfully, Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed dry dog food starts with real deboned salmon and doesn’t include beef or any grains that can trigger your dog’s sensitivities.
The salmon and chicken meal create a protein rich formula without red meat, helping your pup build lean muscles. These ingredients also include glucosamine and chondroitin to support their joint health.
Omega-3 comes from flaxseed, fish oil, and chicken fat and aids in healthy skin and coat health. They also provide additional support for muscle recovery and aid in brain development.
Blue Buffalo creates and utilizes their blend of vitamins — also known as “LifeSource Bits” — that include antioxidants to support a healthy immune system and B vitamins for extra energy.
This formula is grain-free and made without the use of corn, wheat, soy, or meat by-products for balanced nutrition.
- First 5 Ingredients: Water, Beef, Liver, Wheat Gluten, Chicken
- Key Feature: High protein canned dog food made for large dog breeds
Purina Pro Plan Large Breed wet dog food is the perfect option for dogs as large as Mastiffs. Not only is it a high protein option, but it also has the essential vitamins that larger dogs need.
This formula starts with real beef for a high quality protein source. It’s also naturally high in vitamin B12 for nervous system support, and phosphorus to help maintain strong bones and teeth.
Rice is added as an easily digestible carb source, which is high in fiber for digestion. 23 vitamins and minerals are also supplemented to support your dog from head to tail — building a healthy immune system with vitamins C and E, and supporting your dog’s skin with omega-6 fatty acids.
The recipe does include wheat gluten as a binder, helping to create the gravy in this wet food. If your dog has a wheat allergy, you may want to keep this in mind.
Purina Pro Plan food is manufactured in Purina’s U.S. facilities, with ingredients that have been sourced from trusted parties.
- First 5 Ingredients: Diced Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, Squash, Spinach, Water
- Key Feature: Fresh, high protein, and human grade customized dog food
Dogs are family, and many dog owners want to give their pup the best food that they can. But measuring, cooking, freezing, and portioning out fresh dog food can become difficult — especially if you don’t know what your Mastiff needs nutritionally.
But, what if the work could be done for you, and your dog could have fresh food that meets his needs? Nom Nom Now offers freshly made and human grade dog food with cage free chicken, sweet potatoes, and other vegetables.
And, because it’s made with real ingredients, even you could eat it (though we suggest cooking your own food).
When ordering from Nom Nom Now, you’ll start off with a quiz. It will ask you specific questions about your dog — like what their weight is, body type, activity levels, and what they like to eat.
Once the quiz is complete, Nom Nom Now calculates the perfect diet for your Mastiff and tells you exactly how to portion the food so your dog gets all of the protein, fats, and nutrients that they need. So you don’t have to do any extra work.
Along with chicken, there are three other food options: beef, turkey, and pork. You can choose a single one each shipment, or a combination that fits your dog’s needs. This is also helpful if your dog is allergic to certain proteins like beef or chicken.
Each recipe was formulated and scientifically evaluated for balanced nutrition by the company’s veterinary nutrition experts — including PhD nutritionists and Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionists.
- First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal, Brown Rice, Peas, Rice Bran
- Key Feature: Grain-free budget friendly dog food high in DHA
Because your Mastiff needs so much food (6–10 cups a day!), you may think that your wallet will take a hit buying bag after bag. But quality dog food can be affordable and keep your dog healthy at the same time.
American Journey Active Life Large Breed dog food was formulated with large breeds in mind, while also being budget friendly. And, it’s a balanced diet with the same high quality proteins and vitamins as the other brands on this list.
The formula starts off with deboned salmon and fish meal, offering 24% Crude Protein for lean muscles, omega fatty acids for healthy joints, and calcium for strong bones.
Brown rice and barley help your large breed feel satiated and include fiber and prebiotics for a healthy gut. Barley also includes selenium, which aids in thyroid health — helping to boost your dog’s metabolism.
Nutrient rich vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots provide antioxidants for immune support, vitamin A for eye and brain health, and potassium for water retention.
This formula doesn’t include any wheat, corn, soy, poultry by-product meals, artificial colors, artificial flavors, or artificial preservatives.
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Pea Fiber, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn
- Key Feature: Lower calorie dog food with glucosamine to aid in weight loss for overweight dogs
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed dog food includes all of the nutrition, vitamins, and minerals that your Mastiff needs, with a lower calorie formula to help aid in weight loss and weight management.
The recipe starts with chicken meal — offering glucosamine and chondroitin that work together to maintain healthy joints and cartilage. These minerals also aid in creating lean muscle, which can boost your Mastiff’s metabolism and help them maintain a healthy weight.
Pea fiber and cracked barley provide highly digestible carbohydrates as well as fiber to encourage healthy digestion. Vitamins E and C are also supplemented to keep your dog’s immune system strong and healthy.
Hill’s Science Diet doesn’t include any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
This formula is manufactured in the United States, and every ingredient meets strict requirements for purity and nutrient content based on industry standards. It’s specifically created for large breed and giant breed dogs that are at least 55 pounds.
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Canola Meal, Peas, Poultry By-Product Meal, Pea Starch
- Key Feature: Taurine and glucosamine enriched dog food to support heart health
Large dogs have big everything — from joints to bones — and they need to be properly nourished. Because of their size, their heart has to work double time in order to supplement enough blood and oxygen. So, it’s especially important to focus on their heart health.
True Acre Foods Large Breed dry dog food is a grain-free kibble specially crafted to support your Mastiff and keep their heart strong.
First, US-raised real chicken offers both glucosamine and chondroitin to nourish their joint health. It also includes taurine, which aids in heart health.
Natural fiber from peas and beet pulp support healthy digestion, while chicken fat and fish oil provide omega fatty acids for additional joint support and a shiny coat.
And the nutrients don’t stop there. This formula has controlled levels of calcium and phosphorus for healthy bone development in large breeds. Vitamins D and B12 are also supplemented for additional energy and to keep cartilage strong and flexible.
Plus, there are no grains, wheat, corn, artificial colors, or artificial flavors added.
Guide to Bying Best Food for Mastiffs
Due to their massive size, Mastiffs require complete and balanced nutrition with more food, calories, protein, and fat. However, it’s important to choose the appropriate type of food for these needs.
Here’s how to choose the best food for your dog.
Higher Protein for Build
Mastiffs need more protein to keep up with their weight. Due to their large size, too little protein could cause their joints and bones to weaken and become brittle. If this happens, your dog could experience lameness or have pain in their joints — especially their hips and legs.
When they’re a puppy, their protein needs shouldn’t reach higher than the protein percentage of around 26%. But, in adulthood, at least 24% is essential.
Real meat and animal protein sources are always best, offering vitamins and nutrients that aren’t as easy to supplement, like B vitamins and iron.
Mastiffs need fat. First, fats provide more than twice as much energy as carbohydrates for dogs, which is especially helpful in giant breeds. However, they also help repair muscles and joints, which is critical for Mastiffs.
With higher fat content, your pup will also need less food overall, which can help maintain their weight as well.
However, the type of fats that your dog eats is important too. Focus on fats from salmon and fish oil, flaxseed oil, and meat fats (like chicken fat).
Carbohydrates help to provide energy, offer heart healthy benefits (like lowering blood pressure), and regulate digestion. Luckily for Mastiffs, they can handle most carbohydrates.
Brown rice, oats, legumes and beans like lentils and chickpeas, quinoa, barley, and sweet potatoes are all great carbohydrate options for your dog. They provide enough natural fiber, prebiotics, and other vitamins and minerals to keep your dog healthy and happy.
Fiber is already found in carb sources and most commercial dog foods, so there shouldn’t be an issue with making sure your Mastiff gets enough. Of course, if you notice constipation or gastrointestinal issues, it may be time to focus on whether your dog is getting too little or too much fiber.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are already measured in appropriate amounts in dog food, so you usually won’t have to supplement any of these ingredients.
However, paying attention to the calcium and phosphorus ratio in your Mastiff’s food will be important — these help your giant breed keep their healthy joints and bones.
If you think your dog may have a deficiency, take them to the veterinarian.
Ingredients to Avoid
With people watching what they eat, they may want to do the same for their dog — and for good reason. Fillers are either harmful or offer no benefit at all, so there is no need for them to be in dog food.
When it comes to ingredients to avoid, start with the worst ones — BHA, BHT, and Ethoxyquin. These are harmful chemical preservatives that can have adverse effects on your dog, including liver and kidney disease.
Other ingredients to avoid are artificial additives like colors, flavors, and maltodextrin. These aren’t as bad as chemical preservatives, but can still cause swelling, pain, or other issues.
Fillers like soy, corn, and wheat should be avoided if your dog has sensitivities. However, they don’t have to be eliminated completely, and can be helpful in some dogs’ diets.
Mastiff Feeding Guide
Mastiffs need a lot of food and have specific dietary requirements. From their puppy years to seniorhood, it’s critical to get their nutritional needs correct.
Here’s how to feed your Mastiff.
Mastiff puppies don’t become adults until around 2 years of age. Because of this, it’s important to not switch them to adult food until that time. Plus, you need to choose a puppy formula that is specifically made with large and giant breeds in mind — so your pup gets all of the vitamins, minerals, and protein they need.
Usually, a puppy formula with no more than 26% Crude Protein, along with a 1.2:1 ratio of calcium and phosphorus, is ideal. And, more frequent meals — around 3–4 a day — help from overfeeding your pup, as well as help make sure they avoid eating too fast.
Mastiff pups need to grow slow and steady. Feeding them too many calories, and not balancing their vitamins (like calcium and phosphorus), can cause bone and joint problems that can affect them for their entire lives.
Before choosing a puppy food and feeding schedule, consult with your veterinarian.
Once your Mastiff becomes an adult (around 2 years), you can divide their meals into two a day — morning and night. However, you’ll still need to focus on the appropriate amount of calories (around 4,000 calories) and cups a day (6–10 cups a day, depending on their activity level).
Unlike other large breeds who tend to slow down in seniorhood, Mastiffs will need just as many calories and nutrients as when they were adults to keep up with their size. However, if you notice weight gain past 220 pounds, you may want to limit your Mastiff to around 3,500 calories a day.
However, minerals and vitamins like glucosamine, taurine, chondroitin, and omega fatty acids will become especially important around your dog’s senior years. These help keep their heart, joints, muscles, and bones healthy.
Common Mastiff Health Issues
Even though they’re gigantic, Mastiffs aren’t prone to as many health issues as other dogs their size. In fact, they’re considered to be fairly healthy. However, there are a few health problems that you’ll want to look out for.
Cancer is one of the most common health problems that plagues Mastiffs. Cancers like bone cancer are also customary for large breeds.
Usually, cancer is caused by the uncontrolled growth of cells in the body. If not found and taken care of, these unhealthy cells expand and infect other areas of the body. Luckily, half of all cancer in dogs is treatable if it is arrested in its early stages.
Common symptoms to keep an eye for include lumps and bumps under your dog’s skin, abdominal swelling, sudden weight loss, and sudden lethargy. If you notice these changes, take your dog to the veterinarian immediately. An early diagnosis can save their life.
While surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation may be required to treat the cancer spread, you can help your pup eat better while going through treatment. Focusing on more holistic food that’s high in antioxidants for immune support, and other essential vitamins and nutrients for whole body health, is a smart choice.
Bloat, also known as GDV (or Gastric Dilation Volvulus), is when your dog’s stomach fills up with air or fluid. In worst case scenarios, the stomach then twists itself and cuts off blood flow and nutrients from other organs. If not treated, severe bloat can lead to death.
If your dog has bloat, you may notice a rounder and more pronounced belly, frequent gas or burping, and even whines after eating (due to stomach pains).
How you feed your Mastiff can make all the difference when battling bloat. Offer more frequent and smaller meals, less food overall, or switch to wet food instead of dry to keep their belly from expanding too much.
Canine heart disease can fall under acquired heart disease or congenital heart disease. Congenital heart disease is usually diagnosed when a dog is very young.
Both can be fatal if not treated and should be taken seriously.
Acquired heart disease is usually due to infection, injury, or long-term wear and tear that occurs on a dog’s heart throughout their life. If your pup has shortness of breath, coughing fits, sudden weight loss, or faints, take them to your veterinarian and get them checked.
Remember, heart disease is not the same as heart failure. Even if your dog is diagnosed with heart disease, they can still live a full and happy life. Treatments include ACE inhibitors to slow deterioration, beta blockers, or Digitalis for rapid heartbeat after diagnoses.
Also, diet and exercise is important for dogs — especially breeds that are prone to heart disease like Mastiffs. Daily walks, combined with food high in taurine and omega fatty acids, can help boost heart health and keep heart disease at bay.
Osteochondritis dissecans (also known as OD) is an inflammatory disorder that happens when diseased cartilage separates from the underlying bone. This usually happens in the shoulder, elbow, hip, or knee joints.
This disease is common amongst rapidly growing large breed dogs like Mastiffs — as well as dogs receiving too much energy and calcium in their diet. Symptoms typically include limping or lameness.
If the condition is mild, medication may be recommended to reduce inflammation. But if it’s moderate or severe, surgery is required to reduce the chance of paralysis. It’s important to notice the symptoms early for quicker healing.
Even with surgery or medication, strict aftercare and the food you’ll feed your Mastiff is important. First, you’ll want to focus on providing antioxidants and other vitamins (like vitamin E) that can help prevent further inflammation.
Omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin will also be helpful at strengthening and supporting the joints and muscles.
Mastiffs need a high calorie, protein, and fat diet to keep up with their large joints and bodies.
CANIDAE All Life Stages is a high quality dog food that provides for these needs with high quality animal proteins and omega fatty acids.
But all of the other options on this list meet your dog’s needs, too — from the time they’re a puppy until their seniorhood. But don’t just take our word for it, see how your Mastiff loves the food!
FAQ About Mastiffs
Curious about the needs of your Mastiff? Here are the most commonly asked questions, and their answers!
How much should I feed my Mastiff?
This will depend on your Mastiff’s age, dietary needs, and the food you feed them. But generally, your Mastiff will need around 3,500–4,000 calories a day.
How many times a day should I feed my Mastiff?
When your Mastiff is a puppy, smaller and more frequent feedings are best in order to keep their energy up, without stretching their stomach. 3 times a day is ideal.
Once they reach adulthood at around 18 months of age, you can then lower their daily feedings to twice a day.
How much should I feed my English Mastiff puppy?
Your puppy will need slightly more calories, protein, and fat than their adult counterparts. This is due to the fact that they are growing and need more nutrients for brain, heart, joint, and immune health.
Because of this, you should feed your puppy on the higher end of their calorie limit, or about 4,000 calories a day. You can adjust this and lower their calorie limit as they get older.
Is grain-free dog food better for my Mastiff?
Many dogs, including Mastiffs, do well with carbs. However, the type of carbohydrates matters. Focus on foods that have oats, brown rice, barley, or quinoa as their carb sources.
Try to avoid grain fillers like corn and wheat, especially if your dog has sensitivities to these ingredients.
Is wet food better or dry food?
This will depend on your budget as well as your dog’s needs.
Dry food is more economical, but wet food tends to have a higher protein percentage. Dry food lasts longer, since open wet food needs to be tossed after 7 days. And some dogs can’t eat dry kibble after a certain age because it’s too hard for their teeth. Plus, wet food is usually sterilized, making it safe.
There are pros and cons to both, but ultimately, the choice is yours. Both wet food and dry food offer plenty of vitamins and nutrients to fit your dog’s needs.
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