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This is the most comprehensive Mastiff homemade dog food guide.
Mastiffs are a breed of dog known for their large size. As such, they need a diet high in protein and calories to maintain their energy levels and muscle mass. It can be expensive to buy commercial food for this breed. Plus, kibble has preservatives, additives, and chemicals, so more owners are choosing to cook their dog food.
We’ve cooked up the ultimate guide on how to make homemade food for Mastiffs, including breed-specific nutritional advice, guidelines to follow, favorite recipes, and every detail to make balanced meals for this breed. Let’s dive right in!
Mastiff Homemade Dog Food Benefits
Here is a list of the principal benefits of cooking for your Mastiff.
- Healthy eating habits
- Quality control
- More affordable
- Portion size control
- Fresh ingredients
- Dietary requirements can be met
Board-certified veterinary nutritionists and diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, Jennifer A. Larsen, DVM, MS, Ph.D., and Joe Bartges, DVM, Ph.D., also agree that switching to homemade dog food comes with great advantages such as diet management, appeasing picky eaters, bond-building, combatting food intolerance and allergies issues, and avoid concern over food recalls.
Further benefits include preventing many conditions associated with a poor diet, such as obesity, poor skin, coat condition, pancreatitis, diabetes, and reduced immunity.
Food & Mastiff Health: Why Feed Homemade?
Research shows that dogs that eat fresh food diets are linked to a 20% longer lifespan than those who don’t. A year-long study of 522 dogs by Lippert and Sapy found that dogs fed high-quality, freshly made, real food had an average life expectancy of 13.1 years versus just 10.4 years for dogs fed commercially processed pet food.
Home-cooked meals for dogs also ensure that your pup always eats fresh, wholesome, and allergen-free foods as no chemicals, additives, or fillers are used when cooking at home, hence preventing allergies.
More importantly, you have control over the ingredients used. You can pick safe ingredients that you know won’t trigger allergies in your Mastiff. If you are unsure what ingredients may cause sensitivities or allergies in your pet, we advise doing an At-Home Food Dog Allergy Test before selecting the ingredients for their next meal.
Mastiff Homemade Dog Food Risks
You should understand these risks before cooking homemade meals for your Mastiff.
- Not understanding the nutritional needs of Mastiff
- Using inadequate or dangerous recipes
- Not preparing a balanced meal
- Using unsafe or harmful ingredients
- Not understanding the impact of food and dietary changes
- Not understanding your dog’s life stages (puppies, adults & senior) nutritional needs
- Neglecting your dog’s health conditions
A study by the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary found that most homemade dog food recipes lack key essential nutrients, and other recipes used dangerously high levels of some nutrients.
Even more shocking, research published in The Journal of Nutritional Science concluded 48% of homemade dog diets had an imprecise determination of ingredients and quantities and that 71.3 % of dog owners did know how much food to serve per meal. What’s more alarming is that 30.4% of the pet parents admitted to purposely changing the recipe, 40% of owners didn’t measure the proportions of the ingredients well enough, and 28.3% didn’t use any of the recommended vitamins, minerals, or amino acid.
In a survey published in the journal Preventive Veterinary Medicine, vets reported 97% of obesity cases in dogs could be traced to how owners fed and played with their pets.
It’s vital to understand that dogs’ nutritional requirements are unique. We recommend consulting with a veterinary nutritionist who can address your Mastiff’s dietary requirements and help you craft nutritionally balanced recipes or recommend a homemade food service for convenience.
Mastiff Nutritional Guidelines to Follow
There are six essential nutrients that all dog food must possess to provide a balanced and healthy diet and support life and function in dogs, according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AFFCO).
A proper homemade diet should also consider your pup’s weight, health conditions, size, and activity level.
Your Mastiff will grow strong and healthy if these six components are present. Below is a breakdown of each nutrient and its importance.
|Protein||Chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, fish, yogurt and cooked eggs||Builds and repairs muscles and other body tissues. Needed to make new skin cells, grow hair, hormones, enzymes and more.
|Carbohydrates||Oats, brown rice, potatoes, and whole wheat||Source of energy for dogs and supplies glucose needed by the brain, nervous system and other critical organs for normal function.
|Fat||From meats and oils such as olive or sunflower oil, fish oil, canola oils among others||Responsible for providing quality energy. Necessary for the normal development and function of body cells, nerves, muscles, and body tissues
|Minerals||Calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, zinc, etc.||Common functions include the formation of bone and cartilage, nerve and muscle function, fluid balance regulation, the transportation of oxygen in the bloodstream and hormone production.
|Water||Water||Hydration is critical in dogs. A dog that loses too much water (10% to 15% of the water in his body) can get very sick and even die. Ensure they have water available throughout the day.
|Vitamins||A, B, C, D, E, and K||Keeps skin and coat healthy, strengthens bones and teeth, and gives them the overall energy that they need to function.
You may also want to add a multivitamin like Zesty Paws Multivitamin Chews to ensure your Mastiff pup is getting the recommended balance of vitamins and minerals.
Always consult with your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet. We suggest consulting a veterinary nutritionist to help create a diet plan for your Mastiff. Formulating a completely balanced diet without professional help can be tedious for some dog parents.
If you need more advice on Mastiff’s nutrition, an excellent resource is Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets: the Healthful Alternative by Donald R. Strombeck, DVM, Ph.D., a long-time expert in veterinary medicine. This book it’s considered by many pet nutritionists to be the Bible of healthy homemade dog nutrition.
Health Dietary Changes In Mastiff
These dietary recommendations can help your Mastiff if any of these health conditions are present.
|Condition||Dietary Needs & Adjustments
|Coat Color Changes||Increase amino acids which can be found in protein (>75 grams per 1000 calories)|
|Concurrent GI Signs||Avoid foods with tryptamine and histamine such as dairy or fermented vegetables and meats (yes, this includes bacon); try a simple ingredient food trial
|Chronic Itching and Dermatitis||Fortify the diet with Vitamin E, B Vitamins, Zinc, omega-6 and the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil; add a dog probiotic; try a simple ingredient food trial|
|Dull Coat and Scaling||Adjust EPA and DHA levels in the diet (added fish oil being the most common way); try a food that has added zinc
|Dandruff and Crustiness||Add Zinc and Vitamin A levels
If your Mastiff has skin allergies or joint pain, adding dog fish oil may be a good idea. The AKC states that fish oil promotes healthier coats by reducing itchiness and flakiness in the skin due to its omega-3 fatty acid content. Other significant effects include promoting improved immunity (especially against cancer) while strengthening heart health in dogs.amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “caninebible-20”; amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “manual”; amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”; amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”; amzn_assoc_region = “US”; amzn_assoc_design = “enhanced_links”; amzn_assoc_asins = “B0002ABR6E”; amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit”; amzn_assoc_linkid = “59822b5d9a7a139eee4a63235877e714”;
Mastiff Calorie Requirements
The caloric needs of dogs are based on their weight. An adult Mastiff usually weighs between 120 and 230 pounds, which means most Mastiff needs between 2244 and 3655 calories a day.
Make sure you follow the 10% rule when feeding treats to your dog. Food would equal 90% of the total calories and treat the remaining 10%.
For instance, if a Mastiff weighs 200 lbs. he would need 3292 calories per day. For those eating treats, that’s 2963 calories in food (90%) and 329 in treats (10%). Usually, most large full-grown dogs eat three meals per day. So, you need to split 2963 into three meals of 988 calories each.
You can use this calculator to find the exact caloric needs for your dog based on his weight.
Pregnant or lactating Mastiff may need up to 2 to 4 times the amount of food they normally need as the mother’s energy requirements increase after delivery and during lactation. Be sure to talk to your vet.
Homemade Dog Food For Mastiff Puppies
A Mastiff puppy’s diet is not the same as an adult Mastiff’s.
Compared to adult dogs, puppies need higher levels of protein, fat, calcium, and phosphorus. Too few (or too many) of these nutrients can cause deficiencies, stunted growth, or lifelong complications.
According to the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN), puppies need about twice as many calories per pound of body weight as an adult dog of the same breed.
Most people worry that their puppy requires more food and calorie intake every day because they are rapidly growing. This isn’t necessarily the truth. Dr. Justin Shmalberg, DVM, a veterinary nutritionist at Nom Nom, advises that to promote normal growth, most puppies need about the same number of calories and the same type of food, from 4 months to 12 months of age.
Mastiff puppies should eat 3 to 4 times a day. When your puppy is a bit older (6 – 12 months), you can switch to 2 to 3 meals daily at scheduled intervals.
For proper growth and development, it is not advised to skip meals while your puppy is growing and developing. As our nutritional guidelines previously outlined, a puppy’s diet needs to include a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, water, and vitamins.
Homemade Dog Food Delivery Service
Making nutritionally complete homemade meals for Mastiffs can be a challenge. Balancing ingredients and meeting your dog’s dietary needs can be tedious. Perhaps you don’t have enough time to do it. Or maybe it’s both. Whatever your reason might be, you can still have your dog enjoy the health benefits of homemade with a homemade dog food delivery service like Nom Nom.
Nom Nom is one of our favorite fresh dog food deliveries. They deliver fresh, prepared homemade dog food tailored to your pup’s dietary needs straight to your door. Everything is made from real, human-grade ingredients (meats, veggies, grains, etc.)
Their food is developed with the input of a veterinary nutritionist and following the AAFCO nutritional guidelines. They do all the cooking for you, so you never have to worry about using the wrong ingredients, proper nutrition guidelines, portion sizes, and more.
All their meals are customizable to your dog’s unique dietary needs, age, nutritional goals, weight, and other key factors. For instance, if your Mastiff has food-related health issues like allergies or an illness, they will create a recipe that caters to this.
In our experience, it’s a huge time-saver, and you can spend time on more important things like walks or training. Plus, you avoid all the hassle of planning, shopping, and cooking. We think it’s worth the cost after adding up the prices of all the ingredients you’ll need to cook a recipe.
Our readers have access to save 50% off your first order of Nom Nom. Just use this link to get your Mastiff’s first homemade meal.
Check out Canine Bible’s GSD Khaleesi trying out Nom Nom homemade dog food. She recommends it!
Mastiff Homemade Food Tips
The following list below outlines some tips to help you to prepare home-cooked food for your Mastiff.
- Set a consistent feeding schedule.
- Feed your Mastiff three times a day (puppies under 12 months, 3 to 4 times a day, check with your veterinarian).
- Meal prep weekly or monthly.
- Measure and control portion sizes depending on your dog’s calorie needs.
- Keep meals frozen for 2 to 3 months or refrigerated for about 5 days.
- Make a new batch when the food supply is getting low.
- If you want to feed different recipes, you can make multiple batches and color code by ingredients, rotating out the different meals.
- Prepare the food in bulk and portion it into containers (one container per meal makes it extra-easy).
- Increase portions appropriately as your puppy grows.
- Monitor weight to make sure you are feeding the proper amount of calories.
How To Cook Homemade Food For Mastiff ( Video)
Check out this step-by-step video on how to cook your first meal for your Mastiff.
Best Mastiff Homemade Dog Food Recipes
Below are the best Mastiff homemade dog food recipes. These recipes are sure to please your dog.
We’ve also added a special treat recipe for Mastiff that is delightful and tasty and packed with incredible health benefits. We kid you not; this recipe can do a lot for your pup’s health and wellness. It has our favorite secret ingredient, dog CBD oil.
Note: Please consult with your pet’s veterinarian and use personal judgment when applying this information to your dog’s diet. The recipes below do not include serving size because portion sizes will vary depending on breed, weight, activity level, age, and dog’s health. A common recommendation is to feed your dog a comparable amount of ounces/cups to what you would usually feed in kibble BUT check with your vet to be certain.
- CBD-Infused Dog Treats
- Wholesome Ground Sirloin Veggie
- Pork & Beef, Sweet Potato & Rice
- Scooby’s Organic Stew
CBD-Infused Dog Treats
CBD dog treats are perfect for helping with seizures, anxiety, arthritis, inflammation, pain, wellness, preventive care, and many other health problems. (read our dog CBD guide to learn more)
Treat your Mastiff with these nutritious, therapeutic, and delicious homemade CBD oil dog treats. They are made with Pumpkin, a great source of essential vitamins and minerals (like vitamin A, potassium, vitamin C, and iron). Pumpkin also aids with digestion and hydration. Coconut is added for skin and coat, digestion, and helps reduce allergic reactions.
Just be sure to check with your vet before to make sure CBD is safe for your pup, and you are giving the proper dosage.
You can also purchase already made CBD dog treats so your pup can experience all the benefits of CBD.
- 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 apple, cored and grated
- 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and grated
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3 cup olive or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup water
- dash of sea salt
- 120 mg CBD oil
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a dog cookie baking tray with coconut oil.
- Core and grate the apples, then peel and grate the carrots.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, oats, and coconut sugar. In another medium-sized bowl, beat the egg. Then, add coconut oil, water, and grated apples and carrots.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients bowl; mix completely. Finally, add CBD oil and mix once more.
- Using a Tbsp measuring spoon, portion out the dog biscuits and press into the dog treat baking pan. Bake, 32-37 minutes or until the biscuits are firm and golden-brown on the outside.
- Store in an air-tight container.
Recipe from: Truth Theory
Wholesome Ground Sirloin Veggie
- 6 cups cooked organic brown rice
- 2 pounds ground lean beef, cooked through, fat drained
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and diced small
- 3 carrots, shredded or thinly sliced
- 1/4–1/2 cup minced fresh parsley or 1/4 cup dried herbs
- 3 tablespoons of olive or safflower oil
- Start with cooking the eggs.
- While the rice is cooking, you can brown the sirloin and get all of the fresh ingredients together.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large container and stir to combine thoroughly.
- Store in the refrigerator in-between feedings.
Recipe from: This Messisours
Pork & Beef, Sweet Potato & Rice
- 2 lbs ground pork
- 2-2.5lbs ground beef
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 large apple, cored
- 2 carrots (or 8 baby carrots)
- 1 cup of kale
- 1/2 cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup rice
- 1 1/2 cup water
- Put the ground meats in a 4-6 quart crockpot. You can really use any ground meat that you would like.
- Peel and chop the potato, apple, and carrots into 1″ pieces. Chop the kale.
- Add all of the fruits and veggies to the crockpot and mix with the meat.
- Cook on HIGH for 3-5 hours or on LOW for 5-7 hours until the meat is browned.
- When the meat mixture is close to being done, cook up the rice with the water on the stovetop. We use long-cooking rice (bring the rice and water to a boil, then turn heat to LOW, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes). When the rice is done, mix it into the meat mixture.
Note: Separate the food into 1/2 cup-1 cup portions in small baggies or Tupperware. Keep most of them in the freezer, pull them out about 4-5, and keep them in the fridge. When mealtime comes, squeeze a bag down the middle to split the serving in half, microwave the meal serving for about 30-40 seconds and serve.
Scooby’s Organic Stew
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 zucchini, shredded
- 3 pounds ground turkey
- 1/2 cup peas, canned or frozen
- 3 cups baby spinach, chopped
- Place ingredients in a slow cooker in the order listed, covering the chicken entirely with vegetables
- Cook 5 hours on high or 8 hours on low
- Remove from slow cooker, shred chicken and stir into rice and veggie mixture until evenly distributed.
- Store covered in the fridge for up to three days or freeze in single-serve portions.
Recipe from: Happy & Jummy
If you are interested in more homemade dog food recipes and cooking options for your Mastiff, cookbooks can come in handy to have a range of dog food recipes. Our top pick is Home Cooking for Your Dog: 75 Holistic Recipes for a Healthier Dog.
Best Homemade Dog Food Cooking Practices
Ensure that your Mastiff’s meals are nutritious and safe by following these best practices.
- Never use unsafe or toxic ingredients for dogs
- Use only boneless meats (no cooked bones)
- Cook all animal products thoroughly to kill harmful bacteria
- Cook all grains, beans, and starchy vegetables to make them easier to digest
- Research every ingredient before using it for safety
- Follow recipes as instructed
- Add supplements to their diet if needed
- Run any questions by a vet nutritionist
What Foods Should Your Mastiff Never Eat?
There are foods that your dog can’t eat. Please avoid the times listed below.
- Onions and garlic
- Coffee, tea, and other caffeine
- Grapes and raisins
- Macadamia nuts
- Raw bread dough
Check out this handy list for a comprehensive list of all foods to avoid. Please print it out and put it on your refrigerator as a reminder.
Mastiff Raw Diet (BARF)
A raw dog diet is meant to be similar to the diet of what dogs ate in the wild millions of years ago. Raw dog foods usually include organs, muscle, whole or ground bones, raw eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables, and dairy.
Several kinds of raw dog foods are available, including homemade raw dog food and store-bought (frozen, freeze-dried, and dehydrated).
Preparing a BARF diet for your Mastiff requires extra care and planning since the risk of contamination and nutritional imbalance is higher when handling raw foods.
Raw dog diets are gaining popularity because of their fantastic health benefits for teeth, coat, digestion, and allergies. Read our raw dog food diet article if you are interested in learning more about the benefits and risks, and get the best commercial raw food diet for your Mastiff.
Monitor Weight And Health
The weight of a dog is a key indicator of its health.
If you switch to a homemade diet, closely monitor your pup’s weight. If you notice your dog’s weight increasing or decreasing rapidly, it might be due to food-related health issues.
Skin or coat issues, excessive tiredness, allergies, weight loss, malnutrition, and obesity can be caused by unbalanced and insufficient meal plans. If you detect any of these symptoms while feeding your dog meals, stop doing it immediately and seek expert advice.
Other Food Alternatives
Dogs are meant to eat various foods, but most commercial dog food is just one type. While making your own homemade diet may seem like too much work, we hope this guide made things simpler for you.
Adding some flavor to your furry family member’s day is easy with homemade dog meals. Remember, Mastiffs have some specific dietary needs that need to be met to maintain their health and avoid food-related concerns. Be sure to consult with your vet before changing their diet.
For Mastiffs prone to food allergies or health complications related to food, read up on vegan dog food. In addition, plant-based diets are being increasingly adopted by dogs with food sensitivities and other health concerns.