How much food should my Mastiff eat?April 28, 2021 2021-04-29 10:09
How much food should my Mastiff eat?
How much food should my Mastiff eat?
Mastiffs are one of the largest and heaviest breeds of dogs. With full-grown males weighing up to 220 pounds it is no surprise that these dogs will need a lot of wet or dry food every day! But how much exactly? As a rule of thumb, expect your Mastiff to consume about 6-10 cups of dry food a day.
Of course, this amount may vary based on his age, gender and activity level. Today we will look into feeding guidelines for Mastiffs and help you determine the right amount of food for your Mastiff.
Table of Contents
How much should you feed your Mastiff?
Most full-grown Mastiffs eat 6-10 cups of dry food (“kibble”) every day. The exact amount for your specific dog will depend on the type of food and traits o your dog. Growing puppies and nursing moms may require a lot more food – while senior Mastiffs need less.
Feeding growing puppies
All growing puppies will need high-quality food in order to develop properly. A large-breed puppy kibble is the best choice. Do not feed an adult dog food to your puppy – it is not formulated to contain the right nutrients a Mastiff puppy needs during his growth phase.
Here is how much you should plan to feed you puppy every day based on age:
- 8-12 weeks: 2-4 cups
- 3-4 months: 3-6 cups
- 5-6 months: 5-8 cups
- 7-10 months: 6-9 cups
- 11 months and up: 6-10 cups
This may vary a bit based on the type of dog food you choose. Some food contains more calories than others. The best way to make sure your Mastiff puppy is getting the right amount of food is to regularly check his body conditioning score.
When you run your hands over his sides, you should easily feel the ribs without pushing in too much. They should, of course, also not stick out.
Feeding intact adult Mastiffs
Intact dogs – that means dogs that have not been spayed or neutered – have a higher metabolism than dogs that have been altered. If you have an intact male or female Mastiff, expect to feed your dog a bit more.
For an intact male Mastiff, aim to feed 8-10 cups a day, while a female Mastiff will eat 7-9 cups. This amount can of course be spread out over 2-3 mealtimes. You should not feed all of this food at once to avoid the possibility of bloat.
Food amounts for spayed/neutered dogs
If your Mastiff has been spayed or neutered, you need to cut down on his food a bit. The metabolism of altered dogs is a bit lower than that of intact dogs. Additionally, especially male dogs often develop a high food drive after being neutered.
Your dog may seem more hungry, but he probably does not need more food. Do not make the mistake of feeding him too much – this can easily lead to him being overweight. Aim to feed:
- A female spayed Mastiff: 6-7 cups a day
- A male neutered Mastiff: 7-8 cups a day
Nursing Mastiff moms
Nursing moms will need to largest amount of food. As a giant breed, Mastiffs have large litters of 7-10 puppies. In rare cases this number can go up to 16.
In order to produce enough milk for the pups, your nursing Mastiff mom will need a lot of high-quality food. You should offer her as much food as she wants and not restrict her intake.
Most nursing Mastiff moms will end up eating 9-12 cups of food every day. This is a lot of food! Make sure you have it ready be the time your Mastiff puppies arrive.
As a dog ages, the amount of food he needs decreases. This is due to a slower metabolism. Additionally, aging dogs are less active and will require less energy to run around.
You should strive to keep your aging Mastiff lean. Unfortunately, these dogs do not have the longest lifespan (6-12 years). Keeping your senior Mastiff at a healthy weight is one of the most important steps you can take to ensuring he can reach an older age.
Feed a senior-specific dog food as this will be formulated specifically for the nutritional needs of aging dogs. Plan to give your Mastiff 5-7 cups a day.
Can I feed my Mastiff raw meat?
Mastiffs – like all breeds – do well on a raw diet. It is crucial that this diet is well-planned.
Raw feeding is not as easy as simply giving your dog any raw meat. He will require certain percentages of muscle meat, organ meat and bones. Check with your veterinarian or local dog dietary specialist to formulate the perfect raw diet for your Mastiff.
How much raw food should I feed my Mastiff?
If you decide on raw feeding, plan to feed you Mastiff 2-3% of his body weight in raw meat every day. Depending on your Mastiff’s size, this will work out to 2.5-7 pounds of food per day. You should divide this into two to three mealtimes.
How do you know if you are feeding a wrong amount or wrong type of food? Watch out for these signs that could mean you need to change your feeding routine:
Again, it is really important that your Mastiff is at a healthy weight. If he is overweight or obese, he will get joint problems, back pains and early-onset arthritis. Being overweight also places dogs at an increased risk of diabetes.
Sometimes you notice weight gain through the little signs like:
- Your Mastiff’s collar doesn’t fit anymore
- Your Mastiff seems stiff and runs around less – even though he is young
- Your dog is less interested in training for treats (because it is “too much effort” for his large frame)
If you struggle to keep your dog’s weight in a healthy range, consult with your veterinarian. They will gladly help you get him started on a healthy diet.
Your Mastiff needs a food specifically formulated for large or giant breeds. Not feeding him the right type of food places him at risk of health issues. You can notice that your Mastiff’s food does not agree with him for example through:
- Excessive shedding
- Changes in appetite
- Lethargy or disinterest in activities
Switch your food to one specifically made for your Mastiff’s breed and age range!
The Bottom Line
Mastiffs are very large dogs with high food intake. Expect them to consume 6-10 cups of dry food every day. If you are choosing a raw diet, your Mastiff will require 2.5-7 pounds of muscle meat, organ meat and bones daily.
Growing puppies and nursing moms will have an especially high intake, whereas senior dogs will require less food. Monitor your Mastiff’s weight and size continually to catch obesity early. The body conditioning score chart is a good way to do this.