With a breed of dog as large as the Neapolitan Mastiff, feeding and nutrition rates as a major issue for responsible owners. Without an appropriate diet, the constitution of larger dog breeds can be seriously compromised. Joints, brain function, teeth, and internal organs must be supported with an appropriate blend of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Too much of one thing and not enough of others can lead not only to problems for the dog but serious vet bills for the owner. It is a good idea for new owners to research breed nutrition or ask a breeder what specifically goes into an appropriate Neo diet.
It is easy to see that a large dog such as the Neapolitan Mastiff will need more calories than other canine breeds. However, many assume this has to do with quantity when it is the quality of food that matters more than anything else. Too many of the wrong type of calories only ensures the Neapolitan will gain weight. With a frame that is already supporting such a naturally large mass, extra weight is the last thing any Neapolitan Mastiff needs. Whether owners opt for a kibble based diet or an all natural food diet, the regimen must always contain the right balance of nutrients.
If there is one diet rule that experienced breeders commonly recommend, it is that the Neapolitan Mastiff should never be fed any type of puppy food. This is done in order to avoid an overconsumption of protein. The appropriate protein level for the Neo needs to stay at twenty five to thirty percent. A suitable fat content should be no more than fifteen percent. Since it is also recommended that Neapolitan Mastiffs be fed only twice per day, carbohydrates such as pasta should regularly be added to servings of food. A good helping of carbohydrates and a couple of healthy snacks throughout day can help the Neo stay satisfied in between feedings. Though calcium supplements are commonly recommended for large dog breeds, they should never be given in pure form or without consulting a veterinarian first.
The Neapolitan Mastiff with an appropriate diet is more likely to have not only a longer, healthier life but a better temperament. The Neo's form should be strong, sturdy, and lean. An appropriate weight does not allow the Neapolitan Mastiff's ribs to be easily seen; however, an owner should be able to feel the ribs just under the skin with no difficulty. Any extreme diet changes should not be made without first consulting a vet. Acclimating to a new diet is much easier on a dog's system when modifications are made in a regular and steady progression. During these transitions it will be important to note any changes in behavior, stool patterns, eyes, or the coat as this can be a sign of an imbalance in the dog's system.