Are Neapolitan Mastiffs Healthy? Discover the Truth About Their Health

Are Neapolitan Mastiffs healthy? This is a question that has been on the minds of many dog enthusiasts and potential pet owners. Neapolitan Mastiffs are a majestic breed of dog with a muscular build and droopy jowls that can capture anyone’s heart. These dogs have been trusted guardians for centuries and make for loyal companions. But, the question remains, are they healthy?

Many people have heard conflicting information about the health of Neapolitan Mastiffs, which can make it difficult to know what to expect. There are rumors that they are prone to certain health issues, while others claim that they are a robust breed with fewer health concerns than most. It’s important to separate fact from fiction when considering bringing a Neapolitan Mastiff into your home.

In this article, we will dive deep into the health of Neapolitan Mastiffs to help you gain a better understanding of the breed’s overall wellness. From their life expectancy and common health risks, to steps you can take to ensure that your Neapolitan Mastiff lives a long and healthy life, this article will cover everything you need to know before bringing one of these gentle giants into your home.

Neapolitan Mastiff Health Concerns

Despite their large and intimidating appearance, neapolitan mastiffs are generally healthy dogs. However, like all breeds, they are prone to certain genetic and health issues that prospective owners should be aware of.

  • Hip Dysplasia: A common issue in large breeds, hip dysplasia is a genetic condition that affects the hip joint. It can cause lameness and arthritis, and severe cases may require surgery.
  • Cherry Eye: This condition occurs when the gland that produces tears in the eye moves out of place and becomes visible as a red mass. Despite the appearance, it is not typically painful and can be easily treated with surgery.
  • Gastric Torsion: Also known as bloat, this is a life-threatening condition that can occur when the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself. Neapolitan mastiffs are especially at risk due to their deep chests, and immediate veterinary attention is required in suspected cases.

Other Health Concerns

Other potential health issues that Neapolitan Mastiffs are prone to include:

  • Entropion: In this condition, the eyelid rolls inward and causes the eyelashes to rub against the eye, causing irritation and potential scarring or vision loss.
  • Ectropion: This is the opposite of entropion, where the eyelid rolls outward and exposes the sensitive tissue of the eye to the environment, leading to irritation and potential infection.
  • Heart Disease: Some neapolitan mastiffs may be prone to heart disease, including dilated cardiomyopathy.

Health Testing and Screening

When looking to adopt or purchase a neapolitan mastiff, it’s important to choose a reputable breeder who screens their dogs for any potential health issues. These screenings may include hip evaluations, eye exams, and heart screenings. Potential owners should ask breeders for documentation of these tests before making any decisions.

Health IssuePrevalenceTest/Screening
Hip DysplasiaHighOFA or PennHIP evaluation
Cherry EyeLowN/A (visual inspection)
Gastric Torsion/BloatHighN/A (emergency condition)
EntropionModerateVisual inspection, surgery if necessary
EctropionModerateVisual inspection, surgery if necessary
Heart DiseaseLowEchocardiogram or auscultation

In addition to choosing a breeder who screens for health issues, neapolitan mastiffs should also receive regular veterinary check-ups and preventative care to keep them healthy throughout their lives.

Common Health Issues in Neapolitan Mastiffs

One of the most important considerations for any potential pet owner is the health of the breed they are interested in. While the Neapolitan Mastiff is overall a healthy breed, there are several common health issues that potential owners should be aware of before bringing one of these majestic animals into their home.

One of the most common health issues in Neapolitan Mastiffs is hip dysplasia. This genetic condition causes the hip socket to be malformed, leading to painful arthritis and limited mobility as the dog ages. While responsible breeders will test for hip dysplasia in their breeding dogs, potential owners should still be aware of the risk and make sure to keep their Neapolitan Mastiff at a healthy weight and provide appropriate exercise to minimize the chance of developing this condition.

Other Common Health Issues in Neapolitan Mastiffs

  • Entropion: This condition causes the eyelid to fold inward, leading to irritation and potential damage to the eye
  • Cherry Eye: A prolapsed third eyelid that requires surgical correction
  • Hypothyroidism: A condition where the thyroid does not produce enough hormones, leading to a variety of symptoms including weight gain, lethargy, and skin issues

Cancer is also a concern in Neapolitan Mastiffs, as it is with many large breeds. Mast cell tumors, lymphoma, and osteosarcoma are all types of cancer that are seen more frequently in this breed than in some others. Regular veterinary care, including routine bloodwork and tumor screenings, can help detect these conditions early and improve the chances of successful treatment.

Neapolitan Mastiff Health-Related Costs

When considering a Neapolitan Mastiff as a pet, it is also important to take into account the potential health-related costs. Routine veterinary care, including vaccinations and preventative medications, is important for any dog, but large breeds like the Neapolitan Mastiff may require more frequent and more expensive visits as they age. The cost of treating some of the conditions mentioned above, such as hip dysplasia or cancer, can also be significant. Potential owners should be prepared to invest in their dog’s health and wellness in order to provide the best possible quality of life for these wonderful animals.

Common Health Issues in Neapolitan MastiffsPrevention and Treatment
Hip DysplasiaRegular veterinary care, healthy weight management, appropriate exercise, possible surgery
EntropionSurgical correction
Cherry EyeSurgical correction
CancerEarly detection and treatment, including bloodwork and tumor screenings

While the Neapolitan Mastiff is generally a healthy breed, potential owners should be aware of the common health issues that can affect these dogs. Regular veterinary care, responsible breeding practices, and appropriate care and management at home can all contribute to keeping these wonderful animals healthy and happy for years to come.

Preventative Care for Neapolitan Mastiffs

As a responsible pet owner, taking preventative measures is crucial to keeping your Neapolitan Mastiff healthy and happy. Below are three important areas to focus on for preventative care:

  • Regular Vet Visits: Annual checkups with a veterinarian are important for catching any health issues early. Neapolitan Mastiffs are a large breed and can be prone to joint issues, as well as certain cancers. Early detection of any health issues will ensure that your Mastiff receives the necessary treatment and care.
  • Diet and Exercise: Proper diet and exercise are important for maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding obesity in your Mastiff. This breed can be prone to obesity, which can lead to joint problems, heart disease, and other health issues. Speak to your veterinarian about the appropriate type and amount of food, as well as a safe exercise routine for your Mastiff.
  • Grooming: Regular grooming can help prevent skin infections, ear infections, and other issues that can affect the health and well-being of your Mastiff. Weekly brushing can help remove any loose hair or dirt, and regular bathing can help keep their coat clean and healthy. Keeping their nails trimmed and their teeth cleaned are also important for overall health.

Flea and Tick Prevention

One important aspect of preventative care for Neapolitan Mastiffs is the prevention of fleas and ticks. These parasites can cause a variety of health issues, including skin irritations, anemia, and tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease. Talk to your veterinarian about flea and tick prevention options for your Mastiff. There are a variety of topical treatments, collars, and oral medications available to protect your pet from these parasites.

Heartworm Prevention

Another important preventative measure for Neapolitan Mastiffs is heartworm prevention. Heartworms are transmitted through mosquito bites and can cause serious health issues, including heart failure and even death. Speak to your veterinarian about heartworm prevention options for your Mastiff. There are many safe and effective medications available that can help protect your pet from heartworm disease.


Keeping your Neapolitan Mastiff up to date on vaccinations is also important for preventative care. Your veterinarian can provide you with a vaccination schedule that is appropriate for your pet’s age, lifestyle, and health history. Some important vaccinations to consider for your Mastiff include those for distemper, parvovirus, rabies, and Bordetella.

DistemperA viral illness that can cause respiratory and neurological issues.
ParvovirusA highly contagious virus that can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea.
RabiesA viral illness that affects the nervous system and can be fatal.
BordetellaA bacterial illness that can cause kennel cough.

By following these preventative care guidelines, you can help ensure that your Neapolitan Mastiff remains healthy and happy for years to come.

Neapolitan Mastiff Exercise Requirements

Neapolitan Mastiffs are large, muscular dogs that require daily exercise to maintain their health and well-being. While they may look intimidating, these gentle giants are actually quite calm and lazy indoors and don’t require as much exercise as other breeds. However, regular exercise is still important to prevent obesity and promote overall health.

  • Walks: Neapolitan Mastiffs benefit from daily walks to keep them active and help them burn off excess energy. A brisk 30-minute walk each day is usually sufficient to meet their exercise needs.
  • Swimming: Swimming is an excellent low-impact exercise that can be particularly beneficial for dogs with joint problems. Neapolitan Mastiffs are natural swimmers and will enjoy splashing around in the water.
  • Mental Stimulation: In addition to physical exercise, Neapolitan Mastiffs also require mental stimulation to keep them happy and engaged. Puzzle toys, treat dispensers, and training sessions are great ways to challenge their minds and keep them mentally sharp.

It’s important to note that Neapolitan Mastiffs should be exercised in moderation, particularly when they are young. Their joints and bones are still developing, and over-exercising can lead to injuries and health problems later in life. It’s best to consult with a veterinarian or professional trainer to create an appropriate exercise plan for your Neapolitan Mastiff.

Below is a table outlining the recommended exercise guidelines for Neapolitan Mastiffs based on their age and activity level.

AgeActivity LevelExercise Requirements
Puppy < 6 monthsLowShort, gentle walks. Avoid high-impact exercise.
6-12 monthsModerate30 minutes of brisk walking per day, low-impact playtime.
1-3 yearsHigh60 minutes of brisk walking per day, swimming, interactive playtime.
3+ yearsModerate to Low30-60 minutes of moderate exercise per day, low-impact playtime.

Overall, Neapolitan Mastiffs are generally healthy dogs with moderate exercise requirements. With a little bit of daily exercise and mental stimulation, these loyal companions can live long and happy lives.

Proper Diet for Neapolitan Mastiffs

As with all dogs, the proper diet is crucial for the health and well-being of Neapolitan Mastiffs. Feeding them a balanced and nutritious diet can help prevent a host of health problems and keep them at a healthy weight. Here are some factors to consider when creating a diet plan for a Neapolitan Mastiff:

  • High-quality protein: Neapolitan Mastiffs require a diet rich in high-quality animal-protein to maintain strong muscles and overall health. Lean meats like beef, chicken, fish, lamb, and turkey are excellent sources of protein. Avoid low-quality protein sources such as processed meats and meat by-products.
  • Fiber: Fiber is beneficial for gut health and helps regulate bowel movements. Foods that are high in fiber include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Fats: A diet rich in healthy fats such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids promotes healthy skin and coat, reduces inflammation, and supports brain function. Fatty fish like salmon and tuna, as well as chicken and turkey, are excellent sources of healthy fats.

It’s essential to feed Neapolitan Mastiffs a diet that’s appropriate for their age. Puppies will require more frequent feedings and a higher caloric intake to fuel their growth. Adult Neapolitan Mastiffs should be fed a diet that’s appropriate for their size, weight, and activity level.

Neapolitan Mastiffs are prone to hip dysplasia, obesity and bloat, so it’s important to be mindful of the portion sizes and types of food they consume. Owners should feed meals to their Neapolitan Mastiffs at set times during the day to regulate food intake and prevent overeating.

Owners should also consider providing their Neapolitan Mastiffs with dietary supplements to ensure they’re getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals required for optimal health. Always consult with a veterinarian before adding any supplements to ensure they are safe for your Neapolitan Mastiff.

Food to avoid:Reason for avoidance:
Raw eggsContain avidin which can interfere with the absorption of biotin
ChocolateContains theobromine which is toxic to dogs and can lead to serious health problems such as seizures and even death in severe cases
Grapes and raisinsContain unknown toxins that can cause kidney failure in dogs

In conclusion, the proper diet for a Neapolitan Mastiff is key to their overall health and well-being. Owners should feed them a balanced diet that’s appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. Be mindful of portion sizes, food types, and always consult with a veterinarian before adding any supplements. By following these guidelines, owners can ensure their Neapolitan Mastiff lives a happy and healthy life.

Neapolitan Mastiff Grooming Practices

Grooming is an essential part of keeping your Neapolitan Mastiff healthy and happy. Regular grooming practices help you identify and control health problems, prevent infections, and keep your dog looking its best. In this article, we will discuss six essential subtopics related to Neapolitan Mastiff grooming practices.

1. Bathing

  • Bathing your Neapolitan Mastiff once every 1-3 months is essential to maintaining its hygiene. More frequent bathing can strip essential oils from its skin, causing dryness and irritation.
  • Choose a mild shampoo suited for your dog’s skin type and rinse well to avoid leaving any residue on the skin.
  • After bathing, dry your dog thoroughly with a towel and use a hairdryer on a low setting to avoid matting its fur while drying.

2. Brushing

Regular brushing helps to distribute the oils on your dog’s skin, stimulate blood circulation, and prevent matting of its fur.

  • Brush your dog’s coat at least once a week using a soft-bristled brush or rubber curry comb. Use a slicker brush for removing mats and tangles.
  • Be gentle while brushing, as Neapolitan Mastiffs have sensitive skin and can easily get injured.
  • Pay attention to areas with longer fur, like the neck, chest, and hindquarters, which are more prone to matting and tangling.

3. Nail Trimming

Trimming your Neapolitan Mastiff’s nails is crucial to prevent painful overgrowth and discomfort while walking.

  • Use a sharp dog nail clipper or grinder to cut the nails regularly, usually every 3-4 weeks.
  • Be careful while trimming the nails, avoiding causing bleeding or injury while clipping too short.
  • Offer your dog rewards after nail trimming to make it a positive experience.

4. Ear Cleaning

Neapolitan Mastiffs have long, droopy ears that can accumulate dirt, wax, and moisture, leading to ear infections.

  • Clean your dog’s ears once a week using a damp cotton pad or soft towel. Avoid using Q-tips, which can push debris further into the ear canal.
  • Use a vet-recommended ear cleaning solution to wipe away any dirt or wax gently.
  • If you notice any signs of the ear infection, such as itching, redness, or foul odor, consult your vet immediately.

5. Dental Care

Oral hygiene is essential for Neapolitan Mastiffs to prevent gum diseases, bad breath, and tooth decay.

  • Brush your dog’s teeth regularly using a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste formulated specifically for dogs.
  • Offer dental chews, bones, or toys that help keep your dog’s teeth clean by removing tartar and plaque.
  • Schedule regular dental check-ups with your vet to ensure optimal oral health.

6. Professional Grooming

Neapolitan Mastiffs require occasional professional grooming to maintain their optimal hygiene and appearance.

Bathing and blow-dryingEvery 2-3 months
Nail trimmingEvery 3-4 weeks
Ear cleaningEvery 2-4 weeks
Teeth cleaningEvery 6-12 months

Professional groomers can also trim your dog’s fur, remove mats and tangles, and clean the anal glands. Choose a reputable groomer with experience working with large breeds like Neapolitan Mastiffs.

Neapolitan Mastiff Breeding and Genetic Health Factors

When considering adding a Neapolitan Mastiff to your family, it is important to be aware of the potential breeding and genetic health factors that could affect your new pet. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Neapolitan Mastiffs are a large breed with a relatively small gene pool, making careful breeding crucial to maintaining their health. It is essential to choose a reputable breeder who takes appropriate measures to ensure the health of their breeding stock.
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia are common genetic health issues in Neapolitan Mastiffs. These conditions can cause pain and mobility issues and may require surgery to correct. Be sure to ask about the health history of the dog’s parents and request hip and elbow evaluations before purchasing a puppy.
  • The breed is also prone to a genetic condition called entropion, which is an eyelid abnormality that can cause irritation and inflammation of the eye. Reputable breeders should screen their breeding stock for this condition to reduce the risk of passing it on to their puppies.

While there are several genetic health issues that can affect the Neapolitan Mastiff, responsible breeding practices can significantly reduce the likelihood of these conditions being passed on to puppies. Reputable breeders will typically screen their breeding stock for genetic conditions, and it is essential to choose a breeder who prioritizes the health of their dogs above all else.

In addition to genetic health factors, there are also environmental factors that can affect the health of your Neapolitan Mastiff. Proper nutrition, exercise, and regular veterinary care are all vital to maintaining your pet’s overall health and wellbeing.

Neapolitan Mastiff Health Certification Organizations

There are several organizations that offer health certification for Neapolitan Mastiffs to help ensure that breeding stock is healthy and free from genetic conditions. These include:

  • Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA)
  • Canine Health Information Center (CHIC)
  • Neapolitan Mastiff Club of America (NMCA) Health Testing Program

These organizations provide screening and certification for a range of health conditions, including hip and elbow dysplasia, entropion, and cardiac health. Working with a breeder who participates in these programs can give you peace of mind that your new pet comes from healthy, responsibly bred stock.

Neapolitan Mastiff Health Testing Results

If you are considering purchasing a Neapolitan Mastiff, it is important to ask the breeder if their dogs have undergone health screening and what the results were. Ideally, the breeder should be enthusiastic about sharing their results with you and able to provide documentation.

Here is an example of what a Neapolitan Mastiff health testing table might look like:

OFA hip evaluationGood
OFA elbow evaluationNormal
Entropion evaluationClear
Cardiac evaluationNormal

By working with a breeder who prioritizes the health of their dogs and participates in health certification programs, you can help ensure that your new Neapolitan Mastiff is healthy, happy, and a valued member of your family for years to come.

FAQs: Are Neapolitan Mastiffs Healthy?

Q: What health issues are common in Neapolitan Mastiffs?
A: Neapolitan Mastiffs are prone to certain health issues such as hip and elbow dysplasia, cherry eye, bloat, and heart disease.

Q: How often should I take my Neapolitan Mastiff to the vet?
A: It is recommended to take your Neapolitan Mastiff to the vet for regular check-ups at least once a year. However, if you notice any unusual symptoms, take your pet to the vet immediately.

Q: Do Neapolitan Mastiffs require special diets?
A: Neapolitan Mastiffs are prone to obesity, so it is important to keep them on a healthy diet and to avoid overfeeding. Consult your vet for recommended dietary guidelines.

Q: How much exercise does a Neapolitan Mastiff need?
A: Neapolitan Mastiffs do not require a lot of exercise and are content with short daily walks. However, it is important to keep them active to prevent weight gain and to promote overall health.

Q: Do Neapolitan Mastiffs shed a lot?
A: Neapolitan Mastiffs do shed, but they have short hair and do not require extensive grooming. Regular brushing helps to keep their coat healthy and shiny.

Q: Are Neapolitan Mastiffs good family dogs?
A: Neapolitan Mastiffs are loyal and protective of their families, but they require early socialization and training to prevent aggression towards strangers and other animals.

Q: How long do Neapolitan Mastiffs live?
A: The average lifespan of a Neapolitan Mastiff is around 8-10 years, but with proper care and attention, they can live longer.

Closing Thoughts

We hope this FAQ has helped answer some of your questions about the health of Neapolitan Mastiffs. Remember, regular vet visits, proper diet, and exercise are essential to keep your pet healthy and happy. Thanks for reading, and we look forward to seeing you again soon at our website.