Feeding is one of the most important areas in an American Mastiff’s development; it begins very early when the puppy is weaned and continues throughout its life. The food that a dog is given plays an important role in its muscle and bone development. When purchasing a puppy, it is important to find out from the previous owner what type of food the puppy was eating; any sudden changes in diet can cause digestive problems. If you wish to change its food to another well-balanced diet, do so gradually. Begin by mixing small portions of the new food with the one being replaced, until it is completely switched over. Remember to do this gradually, over a period of seven to ten days.
The amount of food that a dog eats and the number of times per day that a dog is fed changes as it matures. As a puppy, it should be fed small portions frequently. While it is young, the puppy’s activity level is high and you will want to be sure that it is eating enough to develop properly and steadily gain weight. Basically, an American Mastiff should be fed four times a day until it reaches three months of age. Between the ages of three to six months, give the puppy three meals a day, the portions being slightly larger than before. After six months, there should be two meals a day; and at one year of age, there should be only one meal. You could also feed your dog some dry biscuits in the morning and evening if it is having only one meal per day.
Once the American Mastiff becomes an adult, it’s important to keep in mind that it does not need to be given as much food; obesity can be a problem if not monitored closely. When your dog is a year old, you may decide to feed it in the evenings when your family has its meal. The dog’s meal can also be divided into two smaller portions, one given in the morning and one at night. Never over-feed your dog; since it will not turn down food, it’s up to you to monitor its eating habits and provide a reasonable amount. Remember to keep a bowl of fresh clean water near your dog’s food bowl at all times.
In order to develop good eating habits, allow your dog its own dining area. Feeding times should be at the same time and in the same place everyday. Your dog’s food and water should be served at room temperature so that the food is neither too hot nor too cold. Snack foods such as cake, chocolate, and other junk foods are not for dogs and should never be given to them. Other unhealthy foods include spicy, fried, starchy or fatty foods. Chicken, pork, and fish bones can also be very dangerous to a dog if eaten since they can cause intestinal damage and tear the stomach lining.
There are many good commercial foods on the market that are nutritionally complete for your American Mastiff. Most of them contain the ingredients listed on the packages. Remember that providing a variety of meats and cereal grains is very important in maintaining a balanced diet for your pet. Your dog should get the daily requirements of protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water from its diet to develop properly. You may need to make some dietary changes depending on your dog’s age, growth, and activity level; your veterinarian can assist you in making these adjustments, if necessary. If your American Mastiff becomes pregnant or sick, the nutritional needs will change. Consult with your veterinarian to make the proper dietary adjustments; vitamin and mineral supplements can also be given.
There are a variety of feeding dishes to choose from, we recommend high quality stainless steel. Avoid plastic dishes as they hold bacteria and can cause acne on your dog. Also avoid any metal bowls that are not stainless steel as the finish can rub off and expose your American Mastiff to toxic lead and other heavy metals. Choose a bowl that is large enough to hold each meal, but will not tip over or spill as your dog eats. It is very important to keep your dog’s feeding and watering dishes clean on a daily basis. Once the dog has finished it meal, throw away any uneaten food and clean the dishes. They should be washed using hot water and soap, and then rinsed and dried.