(for puppy adoption prices, please see the expected litters page)
English Mastiffs do require more food than the smaller breeds. We personally purchase premium dog food geared to the Large or GIANT breeds (please check the labeling-depending on the brand there may be NO difference between the 2 in terms of ingredients, but there may be on the cost because it's called "GIANT"). A good premium dog food contains less fillers – which means less work when doing poop patrol around the yard, and a WHOLE lot fewer problems that can be caused by the fillers found in some dog foods in terms of allergies.
Your premium food should contain glucosamine, chondroiton, and a correct balance of the omega 3 and omega 6 acids. The glucosamine helps to increase flexibility and reduce joint discomfort in breeds that will grow to a man’s size in just a year’s time. It is a natural analgesic. It does not work immediately, but over time it promotes connective tissue efficiency and helps with joint regeneration by aiding the production of cartilage. Chondroitin is thought to promote water retention and elasticity in cartilage. Together the two work to prevent cartilage degeneration. The omega 3 & 6 acids boost the immune system, increase blood flow to the tissues, and promote healthy skin and coats).
Check to make sure that the protein is LESS than 25%. Mastiffs need to be grown slowly to avoid growth plate damage. If the bones grow faster than the muscle and the ligaments, your pup is going to be hurt. Rest assured, growing them slowly does not stunt them-they will still make it to the size they were meant to be!
We personally use Precise Holistic Giant Breed Puppy food. It contains no fillers and is 23% protein and 12% fat, good for the fast growing lines. Our adults eat Precise foundations which is 24% protein and 14% fat, too high for a pup but great for an adult whose growth plates have fused. You can also go to www.dogfoodanalysis.com and go to the search engine, then type in the name of a food to see their analysis. The dog food analysis site is very helpful when choosing a good, quality food for your baby. Just be aware that many foods are too high in protein/fat for the mastiff breed...the largest of the large, and you WILL void your contract with us by feeding an inappropriate food.
Veterinary care for an English Mastiff is the same as for any other dog, although dosages for medicines will obviously need to be increased. HOWEVER, not all vets are experienced with the GIANT breeds. Please ask your vet about his or her experiences with GIANT breeds. If they do not seem comfortable with your pet, find a new vet!
A good friend of ours passed on a horrifying story about a man who took his 2 Mastiff puppies into the vet because they were limping. Neither the man nor the vet knew that temporary lameness/limping is NOT AT ALL UNCOMMON in the GIANT breeds as they grow-particularly if they have over-exercised. The vet put both of the pups down. When the man later researched the breed, he was devastated not only by his decision to put the pups down, but by the inexperienced vet he had chosen. We were devastated just hearing about it!
Supplies are a bit more expensive for an English Mastiff. If you will crate train your puppy (which we strongly suggest), get the largest crate you can find and use a divider that can be moved as your puppy grows. You'll find that your pup puts him/herself in the crate on their own when they need a rest. Crates are MUCH cheaper online, we’ve found.
Puppies ROGUE & SADIE resting after a swim in the pool
Toys need to be made of tough stuff; ropes and heavy rubber work well, as do horse balls as they grow. We check out the pet stores’ sale aisles and stock up for when toys need replacing, which saves you a good 50% or more! Consider taking your pet with you. It is great socialization and they love to have a say in what you're bringing home.
PLEASE do not provide rawhide bones of any type though – they expand in the stomach and have been known to lodge in the throat. It is not worth the risk when so many other treats are available. Also, PLEASE do not use a choke chain. There are many good collars that will prevent pulling until your dog is trained. The old-fashioned choke chain can do permanent damage to the neck and throat.