Many dog owners get a dog and feel all they need to do is go out and buy dog food and they're all set to go. Often, they choose the cheapest dog food on the market, especially if it's for a large breed of dog like the Bullmastiff. Because of their large size and equally large appetite, they are going to be expensive to feed. To maintain their good health, however, it's important to always feed your Bullmastiff a good and nutritionally balanced diet. It may seem expensive at the start, but it will add to their lifespan and save on vet bills in the future.
Nutrition is very important for the Bullmastiff because they are going to be a very large dog when they are fully grown. They need to grow at a slow pace so their bones and joints can keep up with the rest of their body's growth rate. Bigger is not always better - it's just bigger and in the case of the growing Bullmastiff, it can be harmful. If he grows too fast, there can be structural damage to his body when he reaches adulthood. Most dog breeders and trainers feel the Bullmastiff should be on a low protein and low fat diet, with no more than 26% protein or 15% fat. This information can be found on the back of the commercial dog food bag or can.
There are many brands of dog food on the market, which can make selection very difficult. Look for the correct ratio of protein and fats. For Bullmastiff puppies try to avoid canned dog food, as it may be hard to digest and can damage their teeth. Many Bullmastiffs do very well on a lamb and rice diet. When searching for a good dog food, always make sure at least one of the first ingredients on the dog food is meat. Hopefully, it will be the first ingredient listed. Bullmastiffs are very prone to developing allergies and most allergies in dogs are diet related. Try to stay away from dog foods that contain corn, wheat, or soy as these often are the cause of allergies (especially corn).
One major concern in the feeding of large dogs is bloat. Years ago, dogs would run wild, chase and kill animals, and literally eat themselves sick. Their owners just let them get well on their own, if it was possible. Many were not aware that their dog was suffering from bloat or how serious it could be if left untreated. It occurs mostly in large and giant breed dogs. The dog's stomach will fill up with gas and expand. Once this happens, they'll usually vomit, belch, pass gas, and suffer a little discomfort. If they're lucky, they'll get better on their own. Occasionally, the stomach can twist and cut off any circulation to the stomach. If left untreated, this condition can be fatal to the dog.
Some of the causes of bloat are overeating, eating too fast, exercising on a full stomach, or drinking too much water at once. It can also be genetic. To prevent bloat try limiting the portions of your dog's food and only allow them to eat so much at one feeding. You should also give them fresh water and restrict exercise for at least an hour after eating. You can also feed your dog from dishes that are shoulder high so they don't have to keep raising and lowering their head, which increases their consumption of air.