Frequently Asked Questions

Supporting Mastin Matters

How can I support Mastin Matters with dog rescue work?

The best way to contribute is to set up a monthly recurring donation from Paypal by visiting Recurring donations can be stopped at any time.

One-off donations can be made via Paypal by sending funds to

Can I help Mastin Matters in ways other than donating funds?

Of course. All constructive and relevant contributions to the Mastin Matter's Facebook Group ( help build our community. We are also usually in need to foster homes and occasionally dog transportation. Watch the group for more info or email if you want to pro-actively volunteer.

Adopting a Dog through Mastin Matters

What are the costs of adopting a dog through Mastin Matters?

The costs to adopt a mastin from Mastin Matters include various factors since Brexit.
1. The straight adoption donation towards the cost of preparing the dog for travel is £250.
2. In addition the transport costs are payable to the chosen transporter and these costs have increased due to Brexit. What was £280 is now £400 on average.
3. The final elements are VAT and Import Tax we are estimating these at a total of £70 per dog.
Please remember that the dog will be fully vaccinated, have chip, passport and blood tests, if old enough the dog will be neutered as well before travel.

When and how do I pay the adoption fees?

When you reserve a dog 50% of the adoption fee is payable (£125) and is non refundable. The remainder is due the day your dog leaves Spain to go to your home.
The transport is generally the same with 50% on booking the place, and the remainder a week before departure.

Are the adoption fees refundable?

Generally not, but when we are able to rehome the dog easily without large expense being incurred we endeavour to return what we can to the original adopter

What if I adopt a dog and things aren't working out?

We encourage our adopters to let us know if any problems arise before they escalate as most problems can be overcome with a little practical advice. If things are deemed unworkable by all, then Mastin Matters will find an alternative foster or adopter for the dog so that the problem is resolved for you. This is rarely necessary, but it's important to allow sufficient settling in time without judging your new dog too harshly in the first days. It's a very big change for them. All of this is clearly mapped out on our application/adoption form.

How will Mastin Matters know that I can provide a suitable home for a dog?

We have a detailed application process, first you complete the application form and send us photographs of your garden, boundary fencing and where the dog would live. Our experienced Mastin owners review the information and check the dog applied for would be suitable for this environment and lifestyle. If not we sometimes suggest a different dog for you to consider. We believe a dog should be a joy, so we are careful that things would work out well both for you and the dog. If all looks promising then we do a home check, either in person or virtually using a video call. References from your vet of professional dog trainer/walker are also helpful additions.

Fostering a Mastin Matters Dog

What does fostering a Mastin Matters dog involve?

Sorry, this FAQ is a work in progress. There should be an answer here soon.

Where does Mastin Matters need foster homes?

Sorry, this FAQ is a work in progress. There should be an answer here soon.

Can I foster a dog with the intention of permanently adopting them if things go well?

Sorry, this FAQ is a work in progress. There should be an answer here soon.

How will Mastin Matters know that I can provide a suitable foster home for a dog?

Sorry, this FAQ is a work in progress. There should be an answer here soon.

Mastin Health and Diet

How long do Mastins live?

Surprisingly Mastins have a relatively long life expectancy for a large breed. Anecdotally 10-14 years seems to be typical.We have examples of even older. Must be because they sleep a lot and snore quite loudly!

What and how should I feed my Mastin?

Mastin owners report their dogs thrive on a variety of diets. From processed dried kibble (not our favourite), cold pressed foods, to raw food diets, or home prepared and cooked. The most important rule is to ensure that the diet meets all a dogs needs in terms of the balance of nutrients (this should always be the case with manufactured foods). So whatever you feed do your research and if you do feed processed food try to avoid the cheaper brands as they contain a lot of 'fillers' that pass straight through your dog and are of no nutritional benefit. Most important is not to allow the dog to gain too much weight. Pancreatitis is common in overfed mastins. You really do not want that to happen to your much loved dog.

Because Mastins are large breed dogs it is sensible to adopt a few practices in terms of feeding that may help avoid bloat : Never exercise within 45 mins of feeding, that is before or after. Even dogs playing together just after they have eaten can cause the intestines to twist and block which is often fatal.

- feed your dog more smaller meals ( 2 or 3 feeds a day rather than 1 ).
- don't exercise your dog for an hour after feeding.
- slow down your dog's eating by using a slow feeder feeding bowl.

Do Mastins suffer from large breed ailments like hip dysplasia/bloat/short life?

Mastins can suffer from large breed ailments, but they are not particularly prone to them. Most of our dogs are Mastin types, rather than purebred dogs, and it is likely that this improves their genetic diversity and decreases their chances of hereditary diseases.

Are Mastin Matters dogs who originate from Spain screened for Canine Leishmaniasis?

Canine leishmaniasis is a parasitic infection transmitted by sand flies and common in hotter countries, including Mediterranean Europe. It is usually treatable if correctly diagnosed but cannot be cured. It occurs more often in the southern areas of Spain. We rarely encounter it in the North.

MM dogs are routinely tested for leishmaniasis as soon as we rescue them if over 6 months old. We also recommend retesting your dog annually even if each test so far has been negative as it is a condition that can lay dormant for many years. Rest assured that Mastin Matters will always let you know if a dog has tested positive for Leishmaniasis and explain what owning such a dog might involve. It is not a death sentence for a dog, although for some it can be fatal. There are many dogs who have recovered and now live long and happy lives in the UK.

At what age should I neuter my Mastin?

The hormones are needed for healthy growth resulting in strong bones, joints and ligaments. We therefore suggest only neutering your dog once he or she has stopped growing. This is usually at about 2 yrs.

How much exercise should my puppy be getting?

Large breed dogs can be prone to joint and bone issues if they are given too much exercise before they have been given a chance to develop. The (difficult to follow) rule of thumb is 5 minutes energetic off-lead exercise per month of age. Additional on-lead walking should also be restricted to a similar time frame. Walking your young dog for 2 hours is not good for them.