Mastiffs are big dogs with big appetites. These massive canines are known for their impressive size and friendly, relaxed temperament. While mastiffs are generally happy to eat commercial dog food, many mastiff owners prefer to feed their dog a raw foods diet, commonly known as the BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet. Raw foods tend to be especially rich in the kinds of vitamins big dogs like mastiffs need to stay strong and healthy. Moreover, raw diets are known to help prevent terminal illnesses in mastiffs, such as bone disease and arthritis.
Meat and Protein
Mastiffs love meat and it's generally good for them too. It's perfectly healthy for your mastiff to consume large quantities of raw meat because their stomachs contain the proper enzymes to digest it. According to Victorymascotts.com, a healthy mastiff diet could include chicken wings, backs, legs, and necks; pork neck bones; pig's feet; beef knuckle bones; and turkey necks. Other recommended meat and protein products include chicken livers, eggs, mackerel, and ground beef. Meat should comprise roughly 80% of your mastiff's diet. 10% of the diet should be pure bone.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables contain valuable vitamins and minerals that your mastiff needs, though they should be fed to your dog in moderation. Dogs aren't, after all, vegetarians and you shouldn't force a mastiff or any dog to subsist on fruits and veggies. Fruits and vegetables should comprise the remaining 10% of the mastiff diet. Leafy green vegetables are the way to go, and they'll eat most fruits as well. Never feed your mastiff onions, tomatoes or raw potatoes.
Besides meat, protein, and fruits and vegetables, there are a number of other foods and vitamins you can work into your mastiff's diet. Ask your vet about good daily vitamins to feed your mastiff depending on its age and existing health conditions. Vitamin C is a great addition to any dog's diet as it boosts the immune system. You can also give your mastiff fish body oil, which most dogs will gladly eat. These extra considerations, combined with a good balance of meat, bone and produce, will result in a happy, healthy dog with good smelling breath, manageable stool and a shiny coat.
Charlie Higgins is journalist, editor and translator based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has written for a variety of lifestyle and niche market websites, including International Food Trader, The Olive Oil Times, microDINERO, Sounds and Colours, Connecting Worlds and The Buenos Aires Reader.