English Mastiffs are massive dogs with a somewhat sordid history of violence and aggression. They were bred to be displays of sheer force and strength! Back in Ancient Rome, they were premier guardians and often fought alongside soldiers..
If you’re thinking about raising an English Mastiff, you have a long and rewarding journey ahead of you! But before you jump ahead of yourself, you have to get through the puppy years!
English Mastiffs go through a massive growth spurt during their first year.
Young puppies are bigger than most full-grown dogs! To support their health throughout their journey to adulthood, you must provide the best puppy food possible.
A top-notch diet is crucial for a large breed like the English Mastiff. Not only does it support their development, but it ensures that your enormous baby becomes a healthy giant!
Check out some of our top picks for the best puppy foods for English Mastiffs.
7 of the Best Dog Foods for English Mastiff Puppies
1. American Journey Large Breed Puppy Chicken, Brown Rice & Vegetables Recipe Dry Dog Food
This American Journey formula has all the good stuff to help your pup reach its full potential. Purpose-made with large breeds in mind, it is chock-full of the protein and minerals your Mastiff needs to manage their growth.
The protein content is 25 percent and mainly comes from brown rice. There’s also a precise ratio of calcium and phosphorus for good measure.
The best part of this food is the extra supplements. American Journey included ARA and DHA for brain and vision development.
There are also some energy-inducing ingredients to get your Mastiff on its feet!
2. Purina Pro Plan Puppy Large Breed Chicken & Rice Formula with Probiotics Dry Dog Food
This isn’t like the old-school Purina dog food. Modern-day Purina recipes high-quality ingredients that support your pup’s health.
This recipe is no different! It’s made for large-breed puppies like the English Mastiff. As a result, you’re getting high-quality protein, decent fat levels, and suitable mineral content.
This particular recipe aims to improve mental focus and learning. So, it has DHA for brain development. Live probiotics make an appearance, too, for gut health.
Overall, the Purina food provides a balanced diet your pup will love.
3. Now Fresh Grain-Free Large Breed Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food
Check out this formula from Now Fresh. It’s a relatively simple recipe that’s geared towards large puppies. Despite its simplicity, the food packs a nutritious punch!
Deboned turkey, salmon, and duck contribute to the 28 percent protein content. Meanwhile, the fats come in the form of omega fatty acids. A slew of plant-based ingredients provide antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
It’s all very wholesome and focused on your puppy’s developmental health. With no artificial additives, preservatives, or byproducts, you can rest easy knowing it’s a healthy choice.
4. Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken & Freeze-Dried Raw Pieces
Is there anything better than raw meat? With the Instinct Raw Boost dog food, your pup gets the best of both worlds. The main part is traditional kibble that contains an impressively high protein content.
Those small morsels also have natural DHA, omega fatty acids, and more. The star of the show, however, is the small chunks of freeze-dried raw chicken.
They’re as wholesome as you can get!
Altogether, the kibble and the raw chicken combine to create a crude protein analysis of about 33.5 percent.
5. Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food
Here’s a dog food that will start your puppy off without any artificial ingredients. Diamond Naturals uses pasture-raised lambs as the main meat source.
Not only does it have high protein content, but it’s also a nutritionally dense superfood with tons to offer. In addition to the lamb, this puppy food contains a blend of healthy and natural ingredients.
Made for larger bodies, it’s perfectly balanced to support massive growth. Plus, it has probiotics, prebiotics, and antioxidants for that added touch of overall wellness.
Best Canned Dog Foods for English Mastiff Puppies
6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Turkey & Chicken Grill Grain-Free Puppy Canned Dog Food
From Blue Buffalo’s Wilderness line, this canned puppy food is perfect for young pups that aren’t ready for hard kibble. It has all the great ingredients of the brand’s premium dry food. But, it’s cooked into a soft mash that your growing Mastiff can gobble up!
This recipe contains wholesome ingredients like turkey, chicken, chicken liver, and flaxseed. There’s also DHA for brain and eye health.
The food is packed with flavor and easy to feed. Whether you provide it as a topper or on its own, your pup will love it!
7. Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Classic Turkey Entree Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
This canned food is the perfect companion to Purina’s dry food. Turkey is the star here. However, Purina also included chicken, salmon, beef, and nutrient-rich organ meat.
It’s a grain-free formula that focuses on the meats to ensure that your pup gets all the amino acids they need.
Of course, there are also plenty of vitamins and minerals. Like Purina’s other puppy products, this food contains brain-supporting supplements and omega fatty acids to promote a healthy coat.
As always, it’s free of unnecessary artificial additives, too.
All About English Mastiffs
Hopefully, you’re already well aware of how big these dogs can get! English Mastiffs are a considerable commitment. While they are gentle and loving, their sheer size alone can be a lot to handle for most people.
Fully grown, female English Mastiffs usually weigh between 120 and 170 pounds. Males are even heavier, weighing around 160 pounds on the low end and tipping the scales at 230 pounds! These dogs are pretty tall, too, rising 28 to 36 inches at the withers.
Needless to say, English Mastiffs puppies need a lot of food! These dogs have a shorter lifespan than most. They live between six and 12 years.
We don’t tell that to bum you out! Instead, it’s to give you a better idea of just how fast these dogs reach adulthood.
Related: How Big Will my Puppy Get?
Most are considered mature by the two-year point. However, be prepared to witness a massive growth spurt during the first year!
These pups start as small bundles of wrinkles, but they start packing on the pounds quickly. By six months of age, females usually weigh between 70 and 95 pounds.
Males are often between 90 and 120 pounds.
By the one-year mark, the growth is even more impressive.
On their first birthday, females should be between 110 and 150 pounds. Meanwhile, males are typically 140 to 195 pounds!
The weight gain and overall growth you’ll witness during that first year are staggering!
As you can imagine, food is crucial to your dog’s development. Growing that big in such a small amount of time takes up a ton of energy.
The puppy food you choose needs to support your pup as it grows. It should also give your growing dog plenty of power to reach its full potential.
It’s a tall order and a lot to request from commercial dog food. However, there are plenty of great products out there to help you get there.
Feeding your dog isn’t about packing on pounds. It’s about providing energy for healthy and efficient growth.
Cheap fillers that do nothing but pump your dog full of fat won’t cut it. Those products will do more harm than good, as they can lead to significant health issues down the line.
Instead, you must choose a specialty formula that caters to your unique dog’s distinct needs!
The Elements of a High-Quality Puppy Food
So, what exactly makes up the best puppy foods for English Mastiffs? While these dogs are one-of-a-kind, they need many of the same core macronutrients that any dog needs.
However, the recipe and ingredient quality is what matter most to growing giants.
Here are some of the most essential elements to look for as you shop for your puppy.
The most important thing your Mastiff pup needs? Protein, and lots of it!
For puppies, the Association of American Feed Control Officials states that a balanced food product should contain at least 22.5 percent protein.
That’s the bare minimum, but many vets recommend large-breeds like the English Mastiff should get upwards of 30 percent protein or more.
Protein is responsible for many biological functions. Not only does it provide long-term energy, but it has amino acids that build and maintain muscles.
With so much growth occurring, your puppy needs plenty of protein to stay healthy.
It’s not just the amount you need to pay attention to but also the quality. Go for high-quality proteins that come from animal meats. Beef, chicken, turkey, fish, and all the usual suspects are perfect.
That is, however, as long as you can identify the animal the protein comes from.
Avoid mystery meats and byproducts, as they can have substandard protein content and other issues you don’t want to deal with at all.
Formulas with a few different meat sources are ideal. They provide a broad profile of amino acids your pup can utilize to grow up big and strong.
Next up, pay attention to the fat content. Contrary to popular belief, fat isn’t a bad thing!
Dogs need fat to stay energized. It’s a crucial part of a balanced meal, so make sure your puppy gets enough of it.
English Mastiff puppies do well with about eight or nine percent fat. They can tolerate a bit more than that, but you don’t want to go overboard.
Weight gain during the puppy years is critical, but you want that weight to come from muscle and mass. Too much fat could lead to obesity and a slew of health issues.
The best way to manage fat intake is to go with puppy food that utilizes healthy fats. We’re talking about omega fatty acids!
Fatty acids from salmon oil and flaxseed oil are perfect for canines. Not only does it support the skin and fur, but it can also improve cardiovascular health!
Slow-Absorbing Complex Carbohydrate
There are no AAFCOO requirements for carbohydrates. As a result, this element can be tricky for dog owners.
Carbohydrates can vary dramatically in quality. Cheaper stuff like starchy potatoes, white rice, refined sugars, and other filler materials don’t serve much nutritional value.
They absorb into the body quickly, resulting in a burst of energy after eating. Unfortunately, the fuel depletes speedily and leads to a crash.
Instead of the cheap carbs, go for complex carbs. Complex carbohydrates have a low glycemic index, which means that they absorb slowly throughout the day.
Your pup can experience a steady supply of energy. Plus, it decreases the risk of diabetes and obesity.
Good complex carbohydrates include things like sweet potatoes, legumes, and whole grains.
Calcium and Phosphorus Content
Calcium and phosphorus are a must for growing puppies.
These two minerals usually aren’t much of a concern when shopping for adult dog foods. But for puppies, it makes a world of difference.
Ensure that the food you choose has a calcium to phosphorus ratio of at least 1.2 to 1. The calcium should outweigh the phosphorus.
You see, phosphorus binds to calcium molecules and prevents absorption. If there’s more phosphorus in the mix than calcium, your puppy would have nothing left to absorb and utilize.
As a result, their musculoskeletal development would suffer greatly. Calcium deficiencies can lead to lasting disabilities and even physical deformities.
Double-check the ingredients list and crude protein analysis to ensure that your pup is getting all the good stuff!
Vitamins, Minerals, and Enriching Supplements
Of course, we can’t forget about vitamins and minerals!
Typically, dog foods include a collection of fruits and vegetables. While dogs are largely carnivores, a healthy selection of plant-based ingredients can do a lot to support their well-being.
Leafy greens, sweet berries, and wholesome vegetables are perfect for introducing crucial vitamins. The best dog foods for puppies will contain antioxidants and other specialty micronutrients.
Many puppy formulas also contain additional supplements. For example, it’s common to see recipes with DHA for brain and ocular health.
You may also find probiotics to support gut health, Thiamine for improved metabolism, and more.
What to Avoid
On your search for the best English Mastiff puppy food, steer clear of anything cheap and substandard.
Your puppy’s food is the only source of nutrition they have. It’s not an area where you should skimp on quality or cut corners.
Avoid cheap fillers like corn, wheat, or soy. You’ll often see those in low-cost brands. They help fluff the food up and make your dog feel full.
Unfortunately, they don’t offer anything as far as health and nutrition go. Many dogs even experience digestive issues trying to process them!
The same goes for artificial ingredients.
There’s no reason why modern dog foods should contain chemical preservatives, synthetic flavors, or artificial colors.
There are natural alternatives for all of those ingredients. Chemical-based additives could cause allergic reactions and other potential issues.
How to Feed an English Mastiff Puppy
Once you have the best puppy food for English Mastiffs in tow, you’ll need to figure out how to supply it! English Mastiffs have a healthy appetite.
While it’s tempting just to leave food out all the time, it’s not wise to do so.
We recommend splitting your dog’s daily requirements into small, manageable meals. Doing so avoids potentially fatal issues like bloat. Not only that, but it prevents your dog from gaining weight too fast.
English Mastiffs already grow up in a blink of an eye. You don’t want unnecessary weight gain to throw the process off and cause health complications.
Ideally, you should provide three or four meals until your pup is around four months old. After that, you can slowly transition to just two meals a day
So, how much food does your puppy need? It all depends on their current weight and age.
English Mastiffs younger than four months old need 80 to 90 calories per pound of body weight. However, that figure declines to 40 to 60 calories once they pass four months of age.
The recommended calories will continue to fluctuate as your dog ages. It’s a good idea to weigh your dog regularly and consult with your vet for guidance.
There you have it! Don’t let your puppy’s health suffer because of crappy dog food! English Mastiffs are a wonderful breed that deserves nothing but the best.
Start your pup out on the right foot and prepare them for a life of good health. All it takes is high-quality puppy food!