Nutritional Information That Mastiff Owners Should Know

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FOOD, the cornerstone of health and longevity

 What you feed your new baby is the cornerstone of their longevity and overall health.

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We all love our dogs and want to do what is best for them. Very often we show our love through feeding and sometimes overfeeding them. I do not believe in giving you a list of should, unless I also give you an idea as to the why. As with so much else in this century, we have complicated the notion of what to feed or not to feed our dogs to such a degree that I'm sure a lot of you feel quite frustrated. To clear up some of the smoke screen, let me state a few basic facts.

Fact One: Dogs have survived and maintained a high level of health throughout history, (without most of the current health problems) on fresh whole foods. Dogs prior to the manufacture of processed dog food not only survived, but thrived on the feared "table scraps". It wasn't until dogs begin eating 100% manufactured food that we began to see the onset of hip dysphasia and a myriad of other nutritional diseases, such as OCD.

Fact Two: Dogs are omnivorous. This means that they are able to digest and use nutrients from both animal and plant sources. Left to the wild a dog will eat the belly of their prey first. From this they receive the grains, fruits and vegetables, not to mention the enzymes vital to their survival. They will consume the meat of the prey last. This is not to say that the canine does not need meat, they do, but the grain free diets started as a fad. Quality food is quality food, beware of fad foods, such as breed specific and so on.

The MOST important things to know about what you feed your dog

  1. What is the level of digestibility? The food I now feed and recommend is 97% digestible. This means that it is real food and the body can digest & utilize it the % of protein, fats etc. on the bag of food is misleading. Notice the use of Crude Protein, nothing about digestible protein. Most foods are roughly 50% digestible. The 50% that is not digestible is not something you want to have your pets consume and I am sure that you do not want to pay for the empty and potentially harmful "other" 50%.
  2. The second and very important key issue in a healthy food is when it was manufactured. The product I recommend is made every 3 days in small batches and comes directly to you, the consumer at reasonable rates. It has never been sprayed with chemicals and has been temperature controlled from manufacture to you. It is a safe, fresh, and digestible kibble.

Nutrition is Important for All Dogs

But especially the giant breeds with their rapid rate of growth.

Your puppy will have been fed the one life stage formula since 3 weeks old and it is important for you to continue to maintain steady, solid growth.

Your Mastiff should be kept on the slender side, rather than chubby. They are puppies until 2 years of age and the extra weight on young bones, muscles, and tendons can cause damage to your pet. For the first time I am having to also ask that you do not let them be too thin. They need to eat to keep up with growth, so as young ones do not restrict the volume of kibble you feed them. 

They know when they need to eat more to be ready for a growth spurt. 

As long as your pet is being given a high quality food in sufficient quantities, they will achieve their full growth potential. Overfeeding will not give you a larger pet, only an unhealthy one. 

Supplements

As a caution, I must tell you to NEVER GIVE CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS WITHOUT VETERINARIAN APPROVAL. Bone meal and calcium supplements can cause a calcium/phosphorus imbalance in your pet that makes his/her bones porous and brittle, rather than stronger or larger. We give the Lifes Abundance Wellness Vitamin, it is pharmaceutical grade and top quality.

I do recommend the variety of wellness supplements (each bring something special to your pet) and wholesome treats on the site www.totalpethealthonline.com They are all synergistic and I have found them to be much superior to what you find on the market today. All having been formulated by Holistic Vet Dr. Jane Bicks.

I take myself and strongly recommend the Sealogix from Lifes Abundance, you will find it under the people tab. It is 3rd party certified pure, ultra refined fish oil and a great price. We give all Moms and babies this.

If your puppy does not mind the taste, it is great to add 1/2 Tablespoon of Apple Cider vinegar to his food. It is an antioxidant and blood thinner and it assists in the overall digestion and ultimate health of your dog.

Do's and Don'ts

  • Give raw vegetables as chew bones. These pups are raised on carrots, broccoli, green pepper, apples, etc.. They all seem to love bananas, oranges, and yogurt. If you are adding raw vegetables directly to their food, grate it; as their digestive system metabolizes vegetables better from that state. you do not need to give the fruits and vegetables everyday.
  • Warning: as babies they need their diet to be 99 percent Lifes Abundance, the veg, fruits, yogurt should only be 1% of their intake. They need the calories and you can interfere with the alkalinity of their system with too many even healthy extras..
  • Raw beef (1/4 cup) is very good for your dog about once a week. It keeps his system from becoming too alkaline. DO NOT give more meat, cheese, milk etc., while he is young and growing. I know it is tempting to give them the extras that they love so much. For a growing puppy not interfering with their calcium phosphorus ratios is vital and too much protein adds too much phosphorus. Treat him with an apple wedge or a carrot, not protein.
  • Chocolate (also onions, grapes n raisins) can be toxic to canines!! If your dog helps himself to a Hersheys bar or a few grapes, do not panic, different dogs are toxic on different levels. This is put here to be a warning, although I'm sure you are well intended please keep the chocolate bar to yourself.
  • Puppies under 4 months of age should be fed 3 times a day at least; after 4 months, feed twice daily throughout the dog's lifetime. I used to say 6 months, but I find that at approximately 4 months the babies begin to refuse their lunch feeding. A good rule is to let your puppy be the guide on when he or she is ready for only 2 meals a day. Puppies at 10 to 12 weeks will be eating approximately 4 to 5 cups per day, increasing gradually to 6 to 8 cups per day by 6 months old. This is dependent on his or her exercise level. If your dog is crated during the day when you are at work, then they should consume less than the pup who is playing during the day. Most adult dogs (2 years and over) maintain their weight on approximately 6 cups of high quality food per day. These are averages and individual dogs will vary depending on exercise, metabolism, etc..
  • A Mastiff should be neither too fat nor to thin. Use your common sense. Always have plenty of fresh water available, as they drink gallons. Dry feed should be mixed with water and try not to let your pup roughhouse or exert himself shortly before or for at least an hour after eating.
  • It is a good idea to keep Natural Vitamin E on hand, if it says d-alpha tocopherol it is natural, if it says dl-alpha it is synthetic. The synthetic goes through the body with little effect. With any injury or illness I give 200 to 400iu Vitamin E to assist the body's recovery.
  • It is always a good idea to keep things for your Mastiff to chew on around. Sterile bones that may be purchased through any pet outlet are very good. However, NEVER allow your dogs to chew on or consume chicken or pork bones. To be safe, our policy is to never give any fresh bones of any type. I do not recommend rawhides, bully sticks, or pigs ears as chew toys.
  • The largest Kong toy is probably the only toy that I recommend in that it will last a very long time and is big enough that they will not get them stuck in their throats. Nylon bones, etc., are good products, but I can rarely get one of mine to touch them.... if you can....GREAT!
  • A cheap toy is a 2 " piece of thin walled white PVC piping about 3 " around. They can pick it up and chew it and throw it around with no one getting hurt. It also eliminates the possibility of repetitive action as some dogs will do with a ball etc. Therefore better for joints and shoulders. The piping is a truly indestructible toy.