As a “wash and wear” dog, the Bullmastiff is relatively easy to care for. An occasional bath and brushing, as well as a weekly nail trim, are all that are necessary to keep the Bullmastiff well groomed. Hard rubber brushes, much like the “curry comb” used for horses, work well. As a fairly dominant breed, Bullmastiffs as a whole do not like their nails trimmed, so it is imperative that nail cutting sessions start as young as possible, with the owner always winning the sessions.
The Bullmastiff, like most “dropped ear” breeds, is prone to ear infections, so it is a good idea to check the ears often. It is also advisable to keep ear medication on hand to stop the infections from becoming too serious.
The Bullmastiff is a relatively clean dog, although most drool some, depending on the amount of “flew.” If you cannot tolerate a little messiness from a dog, then the Bullmastiff is not the breed for you.
The Bullmastiff should be fed a premium quality dry dog food. Table scraps are not necessary to entice a Bullmastiff to eat; most will eat the dry food with just water added in about 30 seconds. Due to the amount a bullmastiff eats, its food should be divided into two meals a day for its entire life. Treats should be kept at a minimum to prevent the Bullmastiff from getting too heavy. A Bullmastiff’s size at maturity is determined by genetics, not by how much it eats. As a breed prone to orthopedic issues such as hip and elbow dysplasia, it is wise to keep a Bullmastiff on the lean side, especially as a puppy.
The Bullmastiff is a relatively inactive breed; it requires some exercise to keep it in condition and to prevent it from getting fat. One 2- to 30 minuted walk or play session per day is usually sufficient. Unlike dogs that were meant to run and hunt all day, which requires considerable endurance, the Bullmastiff was meant to sit and wait for a poacher, then pounce on him quickly to hold him down. Therefore, it is not a good idea to run or jog with a Bullmastiff; they have neither the build nor stamina for it.
The Bullmastiff is basically an indoor dog; it does not do well in either extreme of weather. While it does enjoy the snow, it does not get a heavy coat, and in frigid weather should only be let out for short periods of time. It is quite easy for a Bullmastiff to get frostbite on unprotected parts! Extreme care should be taken in warm climates or when the weather is hot. Like its relative the Bulldog, the Bullmastiff does not fare well in the heat. In the summer months the Bullmastiff should only be exercised in the cool parts of the day, early morning and after the sun has set. While air conditioning is not mandatory, the Bullmastiff should be kept still and allowed to lay on a cool surface, out of the sun, with plenty of water available on warm days. The Bullmastiff is especially prong to heat stroke; it is imperative that one be extremely careful with the Bullmastiff in warm weather.