By Tracy Ferrick

Nutrition plays a major role in the proper development of the bullmastiff. A bigger dog is not a better dog. If a Bullmastiff puppy grows too fast, there can be major structural damage when the dog reaches maturity.

It is recommended that a Bullmastiff puppy be kept on a low protein and low fat diet. Protein levels should be no higher than 26% and fat content should be no higher than 16%. This ratio will ensure a slower growing puppy, who will be healthier than an overweight puppy on a puppy food diet that is higher in protein and fat levels. NEVER FEED PUPPY FOOD TO A GROWING BULLMASTIFF.

Most Bullmastiffs do well on multiple brands of dog food that contain no corn, soy, or wheat. No canned dog food is recommended. Canned food may give the puppy digestion problems and may damage the teeth.

We exclusively feed NATURE'S DOMAIN ( which is a grain free food (24% protein/14% fat).  This is a salmon based food and the dogs love it. This food is healthy for dogs and pups of all ages.  IT is sold exclusively by Costco and is made under the Kirkland brand. There are other QUALITY dog foods on the market.  It just requires a little research on your part.

The following is a feeding guideline. Each puppy should be monitored and food levels adjusted to suit each individual puppy's needs, from 6 weeks - 3 months: 4 feedings per day 1/2 - 1 cup per feeding, 3 months - 6 months: 3 feedings per day 1 - 1-1/2 cups per feeding, 6 months & after: 2 feedings per day 2-3 cups per feeding.   Remember, KEEP YOUR PUPPY LEAN!  Fat puppies may look cute, but you WILL damage your pups joints!

Some adult dogs require more food per feeding. This depends upon their activity level. Also, some adult dogs require less food and lower protein and fat levels as they age.

There are many supplements on the market which can do damage to a growing puppy. Never give Calcium supplements to a growing bullmastiff, since it will increase the growth rate. It is advisable to check with the breeder you are buying your puppy from regarding the supplements preferred.

Ester-C is one of the supplements we use. This supplement can be found in any health food store.  It is believed that this vitamin helps build the immune system and helps with "growing pains".  We start the pups on this at 10 weeks of age with 125mg. in am and pm, at 3 months with 250mg in am and pm, at 6 months, 500mg in am & pm, then at 1 year, 1,000mg in am and pm. Then the dog stays on this amount for his entire life.

Another supplement we use is Fresh Factors is from Springtime, Inc.1-800-521-3212.  This is a chondroitin sulfate based supplement that I feel is necessary for a growing pup.  This is given by weight of the pup.   During the large growth cycle we triple the amount given. It is also great for older dogs.

We also use a variety of supplements from Nature's Farmacy.   Please see the front page of the website for more info on these supplements!

Remember, BIGGER IS NOT BETTER!!!!.  A lean dog will live a much longer, healthier life than a fat one!!!


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updated 10/18/13

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