How Much to Feed a Mastiff (Feeding Chart & Guide)

English Mastiff standing on rock surface

Raising a Mastiff, a breed known for its large size and strength, means paying close attention to their dietary needs. The right amount of food for your Mastiff varies with their life stage.

For Mastiff puppies, a daily intake of about 2 ¾ to 8 ¼ cups is recommended, as they are in their rapid growth phase. Adult Mastiffs generally need between 5 ½ and 9 ¼ cups of dog food per day, while seniors require a bit less, about 4 ½ to 7 ¼ cups.

This guide is your go-to resource for Mastiff feeding, offering insights into how much to feed your Mastiff, setting up a feeding schedule, and understanding their age-specific nutritional needs. Continue reading to learn more.

What Factors Impact How Much to Feed a Mastiff?

Dog food in white background

The amount of food required for a Mastiff is influenced by several key factors, and understanding these can help you provide the best care for your dog:

  • Age: Your Mastiff’s food consumption will mainly depend on its current age. An English Mastiff puppy typically has more appetite due to its growing body. As your dog’s metabolism slows down due to old age, you need to reduce its food intake, whether they are fed dry food or a wet food diet. 
  • Weight: Larger and heavier Mastiffs generally require more food than smaller dogs, provided that they are not overweight. It’s important to note that female Mastiffs may weigh significantly less than their male counterparts, so they may consume less food. 
  • Lifestyle: Mastiffs are known for their moderate energy levels, but this can vary individually. Active dogs will need more calories to fuel their higher energy output. Conversely, less active Mastiffs require fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight. 

Additionally, keep an eye out for any health issues that may arise as your Mastiff ages, as these can impact their dietary needs and overall diet plan.

How Much to Feed Your Mastiff

Measuring dry dog food using a cup

Each Mastiff has its own dietary needs, which vary according to health, lifestyle, weight, and metabolism. You must know the correct amount of dog food to feed them at different life stages.

The charts below for Mastiff puppies, adults, and senior dogs can be used as feeding guidelines on how much to feed this large breed. Adjustments can be made for your dog’s needs to ensure proper growth.

Mastiff Puppy Feeding Chart (2 to 12 months)

For the initial few weeks, responsible breeders allow their newborn puppies to thrive on their mother’s milk, which is vital for disease protection and early nutrition. 

Around the one-month mark, puppies begin transitioning to solid foods, a process known as weaning. This is a gradual shift from mother’s milk to semi-solid puppy food.

Once fully weaned, follow the feeding guidelines for Mastiff puppies as shown below. 

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
2 – 4 months2 ¾ – 3 ¾1,260 – 1,667
5 – 9 months4 – 7 ½1,772 – 3,399
10 – 12 months6 – 8 ¼ 2,719 – 3,724
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

This chart indicates the daily food quantity in cups and the corresponding caloric intake. Remember, the requirements might vary slightly depending on whether you have a male or a female puppy.

Many Mastiff owners I know have the habit of free-feeding their puppies as early as they can eat solid foods with the hopes of reaching their maximum growth potential.

However, what they fail to consider is the possibility of having an overweight puppy.

Hence, I would usually advise my breeder friends to follow still the recommended feeding guide for Mastiff puppies to prevent illnesses associated with overweightedness or obesity.

Adult Mastiff Feeding Chart (1 to 5 years)

A large breed puppy will continue to grow until it reaches 12 to 18 months. Mastiffs, often considered among the largest breeds, may reach their full size around 24 months.

As your Mastiff transitions from puppyhood to adulthood, their dietary needs change. Here’s a feeding chart for reference:

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
1 – 5 years5 ½ – 9 ¼2,243 – 3,655
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

Feeding high-quality adult dog food, supplemented with dietary essentials like fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids, can help maintain a healthy coat and optimal weight for your Mastiff.

Senior Mastiff Feeding Chart (6 years and above)

As Mastiffs age, their caloric needs decrease due to reduced activity levels. It’s important to avoid overfeeding to prevent strain on their joints and bones. 

Low-fat kibble is often recommended for senior dogs, especially if they have trouble digesting fatty foods. Senior Mastiffs may also have sensitive stomachs, necessitating carefully chosen dog food.

You can follow the table below as a guide in feeding your senior Mastiff:

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
6 years and above4 ½ – 7 ¼1,795 – 2,924
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

It’s important to note that male and female Mastiffs have different calorie requirements due to build and size variations.

Your dog’s overall calorie intake should not only depend on age but also on current body weight. You can refer to the dog food packaging for suggested daily amounts if you’re feeding your Mastiff with commercial canine food.

How Often Should You Feed Your Mastiff?

Being large dogs, if not the largest, Mastiffs eat quite a lot. You should divide their meals accordingly to avoid issues like bloating or pain in your dog’s stomach.

Knowing how often to feed them greatly helps you manage your dog’s healthy weight. The table below summarizes the feeding frequency recommended for Mastiffs of all dog ages:

AgeFeeding Frequency
8 – 12 weeksThree to four times a day
4 – 12 monthsTwo to three times a day
1 – 6 yearsTwo to three times a day
7 years and aboveTwice a day

Following a regular feeding routine can help prevent overfeeding and maintain your Mastiff’s healthy weight, but you should never feed it less than twice a day as it may develop bad eating behaviors.

How to Transition Your Mastiff to a New Food

Transition dogs to a new food

As time passes, you may have to switch to another brand of dog food or change your dog’s diet. This can be hard for you and your dog, especially since English Mastiffs are fussy eaters.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recommends a five to seven-day transition period before fully switching its diet to give its digestive system enough time to adapt. 

This also applies when you’re switching from a dry food diet to raw feeding. You must mix the raw food into your Mastiff’s current diet during that period. Do this until your dog is hearty enough to try the new food entirely.

Refer to the table below for a more detailed breakdown of transitioning your Mastiff feeding:

DayOld FoodNew Food
1 – 275%25%
3 – 450%50%
5 – 625%75%

If your Mastiff has food allergies or any digestive health complications from raw food, a longer transition period can benefit your dog. Patience is vital in this process.

Tips on Feeding an Overweight Mastiff

Being large dogs, English Mastiffs tend to overeat, especially when their owner free feeds or gives too many leftovers or treats. 

If you suspect your Mastiff is overweight, it’s important to address this with a few key steps:

  • Develop a strict diet regimen. Work with your veterinarian to create a diet plan tailored for your Mastiff’s weight loss. This might include high-protein dog foods with lower calories and sodium. Sometimes, raw feeding is recommended, but this should be vet-approved.
  • Limit dog treats and snacks. Feeding your dog treats adds more calories to burn. You should only give treats as a reward during training and not as a regular snack. For a healthier alternative, you can give your Mastiff fruits instead.
  • Follow a feeding schedule. To ensure that their diet is being strictly followed, you should set a feeding schedule for your English Mastiff. Having a few hours of intervals between each meal lessens your dog’s craving for food.

Managing your Mastiff’s weight also depends on how much exercise it receives. Provide your dog with physical activities and training, especially those that it’ll find fun and entertaining.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fawn colored Mastiff dog

How Do I Know If I’m Feeding My Mastiff Enough?

To determine if you’re feeding your Mastiff enough and whether they might be underweight, there are a few key signs to look for:

  • Body Condition: You should be able to feel your Mastiff’s ribs without excess fat covering them, but they shouldn’t be visibly protruding. A visible waist when viewed from above and a tucked abdomen when viewed from the side are indicators of a healthy weight​​.
  • Behavior: If your Mastiff shows a lack of energy, weakness, or a dull coat, these could be signs of being underweight​​.
  • Eating Habits: An underweight dog might exhibit a decrease in appetite or show less interest in food. However, some underweight dogs may have an increased appetite as their bodies try to compensate for the lack of nutrients.

To ensure your Mastiff is getting enough food and proper nutrition, it’s important to monitor their body condition regularly and adjust their diet as needed. 

Why Is My Mastiff Not Eating?

There can be a lot of reasons why your Mastiff is not eating, such as sudden changes in lifestyle, stress, and negative reactions to food or medication. Health and dental problems can also trigger your dog’s appetite loss.

Maybe your Mastiff is tired of the same food every day. While some English Mastiffs chow down any food in sight, others can be pickier and grow weary of their food.

If you see signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and bloody stools while your dog goes for days without eating, seek professional help immediately.

Can I Feed My Mastiff With Human Food?

Human food should not be fed to your Mastiff since it may cause digestive problems. As mentioned earlier, some human food contains harmful components that can cause serious health problems.

It’s best to give a dog-appropriate diet, such as a grain-free, raw diet composed of raw meat and dog-safe vegetables. A simple chicken meal with brown rice is also a good food option.

Do Mastiffs Eat a Lot?

Mastiffs, known for their large size, do tend to eat more compared to smaller breeds. As large dogs, they require a significant amount of food to maintain proper muscle mass and health.

However, it’s important not to overfeed Mastiffs, as they can be prone to obesity.

Can Mastiffs Eat Bones?

According to the AKC, large breed dogs, including Mastiffs, can benefit from bones since they’re a good source of minerals and other nutrients and help satisfy your dog’s appetite.

If you’re going to give bones to your Mastiff, make sure they are raw and large. Cooked and smaller bones can break inside your dog’s mouth and throat and cause damage to its digestive system.

Mastiffs can be challenging to feed due to their large size and susceptibility to bloat. If you need any clarification on the feeding guidelines for your Mastiff, don’t hesitate to leave a question in the comments section.

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