Only the best dog food for your English Mastiff

You are what you eat, and a good diet is the start of good health. The same is true when it comes to dogs, even gentle giants. 

Your English Mastiff is a large breed dog, and canines of different sizes have different dietary requirements.

an adult English Mastiff laying on the grass
An English Mastiff in a garden laying adorably

Mastiffs can have fleeting lives, but with the right food, you may be able to add a couple of years to their lifespan. 

Top 5 Picks for Best Dog Food for English Mastiffs in 2021

  Dog Food Recipes Our Rating
Best Overall Wellness CORE Grain-Free Large Breed Chicken & Turkey Recipe Dry Dog Food

  • High-quality protein 
  • Balanced diet with all essential nutrients
  • Suitable for all breeds
5
Best Budget Food for English Mastiffs American Journey Active Life Formula Large Breed Salmon, Brown Rice & Vegetables Recipe Dry Dog Food

  • Free from artificial ingredients, corn, soy, and wheat
  • Digestive support
  • Delivers consistent results
5
Best for English Mastiffs puppies Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food 

  • Features novel protein
  • Great value for money
  • Gentle on puppy’s digestive system
5
Best for Adult English Mastiffs Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food 

  • Contains LifeSource bits
  • Free from corn, soy, or wheat fillers and preservatives
  • Healthy joint support
5
Best for Senior English Mastiffs ORIJEN Senior Dry Dog Food, Grain-Free, High Protein, Fresh and Raw Animal Ingredients

  • High protein content
  • Includes raw ingredients 
  • Naturally occurring vitamins and minerals
5

13 best dog food brands for English Mastiffs by stage

As mentioned above, dogs in different stages of their lives will require diets with special caloric and nutritional needs.

Below, we’ll expand on each stage so you may learn how to pick the best dog food based on your dog’s requirements. 

Best Puppy foods for English Mastiffs

An English Mastiff puppy laying on the grass with a stick
Meet Fronky, an adorable English Mastiff puppy chewing a stick – Image source

A growing puppy would need more calories to reach their full potential. They also need DHA for brain and eye development. 

As a large dog breed that’s prone to hip dysplasia, a Mastiff puppy will need appropriate amounts of calcium and phosphorus for healthy joints to form.

Too much of a good thing can also be bad, so stay away from kibble that is overly high in calcium.

Also, avoid all-stage dog food because it will not meet this giant breed puppy’s high nutritional needs.

1. Eagle Pack Lamb, Chicken & Fish Recipe Large Breed Dry Puppy Food 

Eagle Pack Naturel Large & Giant Breed Puppy

Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Lamb Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Brown Rice
Type: Dry

Specially curated ingredients for a large breed puppy, this formula will meet your Mastiff’s dietary needs.

It offers an optimum ratio of calcium and phosphorus for healthy joint development and added glucosamine.

Pros:

  • Owners have noted that their dogs reacted positively to this formula, with better stools and shinier coats
  • Offers joint health support

Cons:

  • Some dogs have turned their noses down at this

CHECK PRICE HERE

2. Instinct Raw Boost Large Breed Puppy Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken & Freeze-Dried Raw Pieces Dry Dog Food 

Instinct Raw Boost Large Breed Puppy

Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas
Type: Dry kibbles and freeze-dried raw chicken 

This formula features a blend of meat, including poultry and fish as well as lamb. Broad exposure to different proteins can help in preventing protein-specific allergies from developing.

It also features micronutrients to ensure the proper development of your doggo’s joints and cognition.

Pros:

  • Very high protein content at 33.5% 
  • Freeze-dried raw real meat included with kibbles fortified with antioxidants, prebiotics, and naturally sourced DHA Omega salmon oil for boosted immunity and health

Cons:

  • Some dogs may pick out the raw pieces and leave the kibbles or vice versa
  • Owners have complained about subpar bowel movements

CHECK PRICE HERE

3. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food 

Our rating: 5
Top ingredients: Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Sweet Potatoes
Type: Dry

Taste of the Wild has formulated a well-rounded kibble that has thought of everything.

This formula comes with added Omega fish oils for brain health and a shiny coat, probiotics to aid digestion, and taurine for a strong heart. 

Pros:

  • Novel protein as the first ingredient helps keep allergies at bay
  • High protein content at 28%
  • A budget-friendly option 
  • Works well for puppies with a sensitive digestive system

Cons:

  • Some dogs had adverse reactions to the food, from developing dark spots or losing their energy

CHECK PRICE HERE

4. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Puppy Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food 

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Puppy

Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas
Type: Dry

Inspired by the wild wolf’s diet, your growing pup will benefit from the high protein and balanced nutrients.

Kibbles from Blue Buffalo is fortified with their special blend of antioxidants and vitamins that ensure optimal growth and protection.

Pros:

  • 35% protein, with deboned chicken as its first ingredient
  • Contains LifeSource Bits, a source of essential nutrients which have been specially balanced by veterinarians and nutritionists
  • Free from corn, soy, or wheat fillers and preservatives
  • Enriched with DHA and ARA for early cognitive development and renal health

Cons:

  • Some owners have complained that their dogs will not touch this dog food, or that they’ve had loose stools

CHECK PRICE HERE

Best dog food for English Mastiff adults

An adult English Mastiff looking up wanting to eat cinnamon rolls
Meet Simon, an English Mastiff pleading for a roll – Image source

When choosing a diet for your adult Mastiff, you will need to consider their activity levels.

With that in mind, they need a formula that is suitable for their lifestyle.

Without packing on the pounds and offering enough nutrition to help maintain their muscle mass and meet their caloric requirements. 

5. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food 

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Grain-Free

Our rating: 5
Top ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas
Type: Dry

High protein for that muscle mass and as a source of energy, with joint support. It also offers support for your pup’s skin, coat, and immunity, with their special LifeSource Bits.

If your dog hasn’t had any problems with their puppy formula, this is an excellent choice as they share a similar recipe, with added benefits for your adult dog. 

Pros:

  • 32% protein, with deboned chicken as its first ingredient
  • Contains LifeSource bits, a source of essential nutrients which have been specially balanced by veterinarians and nutritionists
  • Free from corn, soy, or wheat fillers and preservatives
  • Enriched with glucosamine, chondroitin, and EPA for healthy and strong joints

Cons:

  • Some owners that have switched over from a different brand have complained of soft stools or pickiness
  • Pricey

CHECK PRICE HERE

6. CANIDAE All Life Stages Chicken, Turkey, Lamb, and Fish Meal Formula Dry Dog Food (for all life stages) 

Canidae All Life Stages Multi-Protein Formula

Our rating: 4
Top ingredients: Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Lamb Meal
Type: Dry

CANIDAE’s All Life Stages formula offers a wide variety of amino acids for fido’s muscle tone. It will also give your pooch the boost of energy he needs.

Free from common food allergens, it is veterinarian-formulated and has all the ingredients and nutrients that your dog will need in order to stay healthy. 

Pros:

  • 24% protein, with protein meal as its first three ingredients
  • Free from corn, wheat, and soy
  • Veterinarian-formulated
  • Contains HealthPLUS Solutions, a blend of probiotics, antioxidants, and Omega oils

Cons:

  • Reviewers have mentioned that the kibble is dry and crumbly 
  • Picky eaters might not enjoy this food

CHECK PRICE HERE

7. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Large Breed Chicken & Turkey Recipe Dry Dog Food

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Dry

Our rating: 5
Top ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal
Type: Dry

Crafted to meet your giant breed dog’s nutritional needs and free from grain, gluten, corn, and soy, it is a great option for dogs with grain sensitivities.

Your dog’s heart will be protected with the added taurine, as well as other micronutrients.

Pros:

  • Fortified with micronutrients such as Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, glucosamine, probiotics, vitamins, and minerals
  • Owners have noted how much shinier their dog’s coats are
  • Small bites suitable for all breeds, good for multi-dog households

Cons:

  • Not all dogs will go crazy for this kibble
  • Considered top-tier and slightly expensive

CHECK PRICE HERE

8. American Journey Active Life Formula Large Breed Salmon, Brown Rice & Vegetables Recipe Dry Dog Food

American Journey Active Life Formula Large Breed

Our rating: 5
Top ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal, Brown Rice
Type: Dry

Even if your dog doesn’t have any food sensitivities, introducing a novel protein can help keep the allergies at bay.

They also offer a similar recipe that’s suitable for all breeds and dogs of all ages – something worth considering if you have other dogs at home.

Pros:

  • Free from artificial ingredients, corn, soy, and wheat
  • Contains natural fiber from wholesome sources for a healthy digestion
  • Many dog owners have praised this dog food for delivering consistent results such as firm stools, shiny coats, and lots of energy

Cons:

  • Some dogs aren’t excited about this food unless paired with a topper

CHECK PRICE HERE

9. Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult

Our rating: 5
Top ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Brown Rice
Type: Dry

This grain-inclusive, three-protein ingredient formula will keep your pooch’s mind sharp and body strong.

With naturally sourced glucosamine and chondroitin for joints and the added bonus of antioxidants for healthy immunity and a sharp mind.

Enriched with sunflower oil for its linoleic acid, which can keep your dog’s skin and coat shining with valor.

Pros:

  • Real chicken is its first ingredient, followed by a chicken meal which is a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate
  • Free from artificial coloring, flavoring, and preservatives
  • Nutro values accountability and transparency so you may trace its ingredients to the source

Cons:

  • Kibbles tend to be on the smaller side (measuring at around 20 x 8 millimeters) which doesn’t encourage chewing and may contribute to bloat

CHECK PRICE HERE

Best dog food for English Mastiff seniors 

a senior English Mastiff laying on a soft bed
Meet Enola, a senior English Mastiff comfortably laying down – Image source

The best dog food for your aging buddy is one that’s gentle on the stomach. Senior dog food should also be lower in calories or fat content.

Protein levels can be high, and it would be best if it came with added supplements for joints and heart health.

10. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Turkey & Chicken Grill Grain-Free Senior Canned Dog Food 

Blue Buffalo Wilderness high-protein canned

Our rating: 4
Top ingredients: Turkey, Chicken Broth, Chicken
Type: Dry

Soft, wet food that’ll be palatable to your not-so-little sidekick. The aging fella could make use of the added amino acids, chelated minerals, and various vitamins in this can of goodness.

Serve it as is or use it as a topper, it will give your pooch something to look forward to.

Pros:

  • Free from grains, gluten, by-product meals, corn, wheat, and soy
  • Doesn’t contain any artificial flavors or preservative
  • Owners have mentioned that it’s helped with digestive issues

Cons:

  • Some dogs aren’t a fan of the pate texture
  • Comparatively more expensive than brands such as Pedigree

CHECK PRICE HERE

11. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Senior Farm-Raised Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Nutro Natural Choice Senior 7+

Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Barley
Type: Dry

If you’re looking for a non-GMO product, you’ve found it!

Nutro’s Wholesome Essentials is also free of chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat, and soy, making this a grain-inclusive formula that’s safe for sensitive doggos. 

Pros:

  • Added calcium for joint health and natural fibre for digestive health
  • Specially formulated with your senior friend’s needs in mind

Cons:

  • According to some owners, their dogs rather starve than eat this kibble

CHECK PRICE HERE

12. Hill’s Science Diet Adult 6+ Large Breed Chicken Meal, Barley & Rice Dry Dog Food (also good for adults) 

Hill's Science Diet Adult 6+ Large Breed

Our rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Chicken Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Brewers Rice
Type: Dry

A balanced diet specially crafted in the USA.

Except for all the amazing ingredients they have going on, the protein content is lower than recommended levels but you can remedy it easily by serving with high protein kibble or treats.

Pros:

  • Suitable for adults and seniors
  • Fortified with the necessary nutrients to keep your dog’s joints working well, skin shiny, and immune system going strong

Cons:

  • 15% protein, which is a little on the low side as you want something above 18% for a large dog like the English Mastiff

CHECK PRICE HERE

13. ORIJEN Senior Dry Dog Food, Grain-Free, High Protein, Fresh and Raw Animal Ingredients

ORIJEN Senior Grain-Free Dry

Our rating: 5
Top ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Deboned Turkey, Atlantic flounder
Type: Dry

ORIJEN has opted to go with three different sources of protein for high-energy dogs, ensuring that your older dog can go the extra mile.

Filled with quality ingredients that offer naturally sourced vitamins and minerals. The only downside is that it is quite pricey.

Pros:

  • 38% protein, with the first five ingredients being fresh or raw protein sources
  • Made from 85% ingredients that are naturally rich in both vitamins and minerals

Cons:

  • Has a strong fishy smell

CHECK PRICE HERE

Best dog food for English Mastiffs with health issues

an English Mastiff in a sleepy position
An English Mastiff laying comfortably with eyes almost closing

There is no one-size-fits-all dog food. The best dog food for an English Mastiff with health issues is a specific formula that suits your dog.

For instance, a dog with grain allergies will benefit from a grain-free formula

A dog with joint problems should be on a glucosamine-rich diet. The best dog food for your dog is one that suits him.

Choosing a dog food for English Mastiffs with health problems

Mastiffs are known for their sensitivities, and they can be sensitive to anything from beef to dairy products.

You might need some trial and error to figure out what they are allergic to. Common symptoms include itching and diarrhea, but a poor coat can also be an indicator.

Best Dog Food for Mastiffs Buying Guide

a sample meal prep for an English Mastiff
Healthy meal prep for an English Mastiff – Image source

A well-balanced diet will keep your Mastiff happy and healthy. Suitable dog food will manifest in well-formed stools that aren’t excessive in quantity or odor.

Big-name brands the first choice for many because there’s a reason they are so popular.

They have built up a credible reputation with the quality food that they’ve put on the market.

You can also easily check on their recall rates and history. Information on big name brands is a dime a dozen, whereas smaller brands might not have the same coverage, diminishing reliability.

English Mastiff nutritional requirement: What kind of diet is best for an English Mastiff?

When choosing pet food for your Mastiff, there are a few things to consider.

Dogs need a diet that contains high levels of animal protein, adequate fat, and carbs, as well as specific micronutrients. We’ve broken it down below: 

Protein should come from natural animal sources as they contain certain amino acids that are crucial to keeping a dog healthy.

Not only is protein the building block of lean muscle development, but it is also a source of energy for your dog. 

Fat is also another source of energy, and it helps your Mastiff with their metabolism. Excessive amounts of fat will lead to obesity, so adults and seniors tend to need lower fat levels.

DHA is great for a puppy’s cognitive development, Omega-3 oils improve coat health, and older dogs would benefit from medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs).

Carbohydrates are an essential energy source. While not an essential nutrient like protein or fat, with adequate amounts of carbs, more protein will go into your dog’s muscle development.

However, carbs should be tightly controlled as excessive amounts may also contribute to obesity.

Micronutrients such as glucosamine and chondroitin can promote strong joints. Taurine is also an added benefit for heart health.

Puppies need a healthy balance of calcium and phosphorus to grow well. Chelated minerals and pro- or prebiotics are also a beneficial addition to your dog’s diet.

As long as the dog food you’ve selected has met the above criteria, you should be safe. Next up, what you don’t want to see in your dog’s food.

Ingredients to avoid when feeding your Mastiff

Some ingredients are better than others, but some are downright unhealthy or unnecessary in your Mastiff’s diet. Here are some ingredients you don’t want to see in your dog food’s recipe:

Poultry by-product meals are often confused with poultry meals or poultry by-products which are an OK additive.

Poultry by-product meals contain feathers and beaks, which may cause a reaction in your dog as Mastiffs have pretty sensitive stomachs.

Artificial additives such as flavoring, coloring, or preservatives. These additives are not beneficial to your pet’s health and can also trigger allergies.

Is grain-free diet options preferable for English Mastiffs?

The latest research suggests that grain-free is preferable for English Mastiffs that are allergic to grains.

If your dog does not have any specific grain allergies, it can actually be harmful to feed your dog grain-free dog food.

Peas, lentils, and potatoes have been linked to an increased incidence of heart problems in certain breeds, and these ingredients are commonly used to replace wheat in grain-free dog food.

Should you give your English Mastiff dry kibbles, wet food, raw diet, or homemade?

Veggies and meats surrounding wet and dry dog food
Sample of ingredients present on dog foods

There are benefits to different types of food. Dry kibbles are good for the teeth as it prevents tartar buildup.

Wet food, whether raw, canned, or homemade, provides slightly more nutrients that are lost during the cooking process. Raw is the most nutritious, but it’s also the riskiest.

Experts advise against feeding raw especially if you have young children in your household, due to the increased risk of pathogens and contamination.

Puppies and dogs with a compromised immune system can also benefit from cooked food.

So what’s the best type of food to feed your dog? It all boils down to what you’re willing to put up with. Dry food is the most convenient, with canned food close behind.

Raw diet and homemade food require some preparation in terms of cooking and lots of careful measuring. 

Fruits and vegetables your English Mastiff can and cannot eat

There are loads of fruits and vegetables that our dogs can eat. Potatoes and measured amounts of garlic can be good for your dog, but you should never feed it to them raw.

If you’re in doubt, always Google prior to giving your dog any questionable food. Here’s a list of safe and unsafe fruits and vegetables for your English Mastiff’s consumption:

👍 OK 👎 NOT OK 
Carrot sticks Avocado
Green beans Garlic
Cucumber slices Onions
Zucchini slices Cocoa
White rice Grapes
Pasta Raisins
Apples Macadamia nut
Oranges Fruit seeds or pips
Bananas Persimmons
Watermelon Peaches
  Plums

A homemade recipe you can try for your English Mastiff

Homemade dog food requires careful planning. Aside from measuring the nutritional value, you’ll also need to spend time on preparing and cooking.

It would be great if you supplement your homemade dish with a balanced kibble. Homemade meals can also be a one-off treat for special occasions. 

Here’s a simple recipe by Guylene that you can try: 

Ingredients:

Boiled deboned whole chicken
3 lbs of hamburger
3 lbs total chicken hearts, livers, and gizzards
Green beans
Butternut squash
Carrots
Split peas
Chickpeas
Broccoli 
Brown rice 
Oats
9 duck eggs 
48 oz. of beef and chicken broth

Optional Ingredients:

Cauliflower
Pumpkin
Zucchini 
Apples
Powdered eggshells
Barley

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, add chicken stock and bring to a boil
  2. Add chicken offal and hamburger
  3. Once raw meat is cooked, add boiled chicken and all vegetables
  4. When everything is soft, add oats and washed rice
  5. When the rice is cooked, leave to cool and serve
  6. The remainder can be safely frozen for up to 6 months

English Mastiff Feeding Chart

An English Mastiff sniffing the breakfast scramble
An English Mastiff ready to eat breakfast – Image source

A large breed puppy like the English Mastiff will require appropriate amounts of calories to grow properly.

Their calories should come from a specially formulated recipe with sufficient calcium, phosphorus, protein, and other necessary nutrients.

Your Mastiff should be on this special puppy formula for at least two years. 

As they are fast-growing dogs, you’ll need to readjust their intake often, especially in the first few months according to their weight. Here’s a rough guide:

Age Amount Frequency
4 to 8 weeks old 3 to 4 cups 3 to 4 meals
8 to 12 weeks old 4 to 6 cups 3 to 4 meals
4 to 6 months old 6 to 8 cups 2 to 3 meals
6 to 18 months old 8 to 12 cups 2 meals
18 months to 6 years 6 to 10 cups 2 meals

Once they have fully developed at around 18 to 24 months, you can move them to an adult formula until they begin slowing down at around the six-year mark.

Older dogs don’t require as much to maintain their weight but should still be fed around 6 to 10 cups of food, depending on their weight.

An adult male English Mastiff that’s 200 lbs (90 kg) needs at least 3500 calories every day. Females of the same weight will only need 2800 calories.

To find out how many calories your dog needs, you can ask your vet or use a calorie calculator.

How do you know whether your dog is at a healthy weight? Use your eyes and hands. If you can see his ribs, he’s too skinny. If you can’t feel them, he’s too fat.

It doesn’t matter how good quality your dog food is and whether it is filled with superfoods or chicken fat, if you feed your dog too much, he won’t be healthy

While you need to ensure the dog food is made from quality ingredients, you also need to monitor your dog’s weight for his well-being.

Whether his food is GMO-free or from Amazon won’t matter if you’re not following a proper feeding schedule or amount.

Transition: How to switch from puppy to adult dog food?

From his first puppy kibble to the food he’ll enjoy in his golden years, you’ll have to make the changes gradually. Over the course of seven days, replace his old kibble with his new. 

Start on day one with a ratio of 1:9, and increase this to 2:8 on the second day, 3:7 on the third, and so on and so forth until he’s completely on the new food. 

If at any point in time he experiences loose stools, reduces the ratio for a few days before proceeding. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Two English Mastiff puppies with a blackboard
Meet Zeke and Zito, two behave English Mastiff proud of their first vet visit – Image source

Do English Mastiffs need supplements? 

Supplements are not necessary for all dogs because it’s used to fix a deficiency.

If your dog lacks a specific nutrient in his diet, you should make the necessary changes so that he gets a balanced diet.

However, if he suffers from certain problems with their skin, coat, joints, or heart, they can be given a supplement to help with it.

Best dog treats for English Mastiffs

an English Mastiff eating his treat
Meet Arlo, a black English Mastiff puppy enjoying his puppuccino – Image source

English Mastiffs are prone to obesity, so it’s important to watch what they eat, and that includes treats.

Utilize every morsel that you give your dog instead of generously offering your Mastiff treats because he’s cute. Overfeeding your dog is not a form of love as it can cause health problems. 

When training, make sure to choose low calorie treats such as:

What makes dog food good for English Mastiffs? 

a happy Adult English Mastiff sitting
Meet Kona, a large English Mastiff with a long tongue out – Image source

Instead of searching for the best ingredients and quality, always remember suitability comes first.

Some dogs may do well on beef and fillers, whereas others might need a limited ingredient recipe that’s free from grain.

We hope you’ve gotten a clear understanding of how to choose the best dog food for your English Mastiff.

Let us know your experiences, and don’t forget to share this article with your fellow Mastiff-lovers!

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