Looking for the best dog food for your Bernese Mountain Dog? Rule Number 1: To feed your Bernese Mountain Dog well, first you need to know all about them! Bernese Mountain Dogs are large dogs who require a diet adapted to their metabolism and build. These big dogs grow quickly, so Bernese Mountain Dog puppies need carefully selected dog food to help them develop properly. If you're thinking of adopting a Bernese Mountain Dog (or you already have!), here are some tips to help you understand the specific needs of the breed and select the best type of dog food for your furry friend.

Bernese Mountain Dog: Specific Dietary Needs

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a type of Swiss mountain dog with an imposing build; it can reach up to 70cm in adulthood, landing it firmly in the category of giant dog breeds. But this breed, despite its robust and resilient appearance, is more fragile than smaller dogs. Like many large dog breeds, Bernese Mountain Dogs are predisposed to certain diseases and, as such, their growth phase needs to be taken very seriously. These are some of the specific characteristics that you should consider when choosing the right dog food for your Bernese Mountain Dog:

  • Bernese Mountain Dogs have a delicate digestive system: Like many large dogs, the Bernese Mountain Dog can experience digestive problems. The breed is particularly prone to twisted stomach (gastric dilatation-volvulus or GDV) and upset stomach. Your dog's food must therefore be easily digestible with an adequate composition to prevent these issues from occurring.

  • Like most large dogs, these dogs are prone to joint problems: Their body mass exerts a lot of pressure on their joints, which can lead to disorders such as hip and elbow dysplasia, osteochondrosis, etc. Their dog food, therefore, needs to strengthen and support their bones.

  • Bernese Mountain Dogs have a stocky build: Although well-proportioned, their body is massive in size. These are not the most muscular of dogs, but they still need lots of energy to last them through the day, and to help maintain their muscle mass.

  • This dog breed has a long coat: The Bernese Mountain Dog’s long, silky-smooth, wavy coat requires special care and attention. In addition to regular brushing, their dog food should therefore promote the good health of their skin and coat.

In addition to these specific factors related to the breed, it's important to take into account other things, such as age, weight, physical activity, and any reported diseases, when choosing the ideal dog food to meet your Bernese Mountain Dog's nutritional needs.

It's important to note that there are other forms of dog food you can try, such as the BARF raw-food diet or homemade dog food, but dry dog food is still the one most commonly recommended by veterinarians. Provided that it’s high-quality and adapted to your dog, dry dog food allows you to avoid any deficiencies in terms of nutrition, as well as being convenient (no preparation necessary!), and cost-effective.


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What type of food should I give my Bernese Mountain Dog?

In addition to the basic dietary needs of all dogs, such as the nutrients and vitamins necessary for healthy balance, Bernese Mountain Dogs have specific needs related to their breed. When choosing their ideal dog food, we recommend:

  • Dog food that promotes good digestion: Opt for rice as the main source of starchy carbs and supplement your Bernese Mountain Dog's diet with prebiotics and probiotics to ensure good maintenance of your dog's intestinal flora and, therefore, good digestion. LIP proteins (very high digestibility) also promote good transit.

  • Food that promotes healthy joints and cartilage: Dog food that contains Omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulphate is perfect for maintaining your Bernese Mountain Dog's joints and cartilage and helping to prevent dysplasia.

  • Dog food that promotes healthy skin and coat: Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, from quality fish oil, help to keep your dog's skin and coat healthy.

  • Dog food that strengthens your dog's muscles: Opt for dog food with a high percentage of animal protein to guarantee your pooch well-developed muscles and enough energy to face the day.

The Hector Kitchen Motto

Every dog is unique, so their diet should be too!

We cannot stress it enough: each dog has their own specific dietary needs. And these recommendations are not the only things to take into account when choosing the best food for your dog.

Their age, weight, activity level, and any reported diseases are equally important factors.  Always remember, no one is better qualified than an animal nutrition specialist to help you create a suitable diet for your Bernese Mountain Dog!

When and how should I feed my Bernese Mountain Dog?

Once you’ve chosen the ideal food for your Bernese Mountain Dog, you'll also need to learn when and how to feed them. This is not necessarily obvious, and there are some basic rules to respect. Unsuitable food intake, i.e eating too much or too quickly, can cause digestive issues of varying severity, such as gas or even twisted stomach in the case of the Bernese Mountain Dog.

Here are some recommendations for how best to feed your dog:

  • We recommend that you split your dog's daily food ration into two or three small meals: The idea is to distribute their food throughout the day, so as not to overload their digestive capacity. It also stops them from feeling hungry too often.

  • Give them their meals in a quiet place, away from possible sources of distraction: It's important to create a pleasant environment for mealtimes, as this facilitates digestion and promotes a balanced diet.

  • Give them the correct amount of dog food: This will depend on different factors, such as your dog's age, weight, activity level (normal or sustained), and reported illnesses. Your vet or an animal nutritionist specialist can help you determine the appropriate amount of food for your dog.

  • Forbid certain foods: Of course, some foods are toxic to dogs and must be banned from your dog's diet. Sugar, cold meats, and chocolate are dangerous foods for dogs. Chicken and rabbit bones are also not recommended as part of a healthy and balanced diet.

  • Treats: In addition to their regular food, you can certainly offer your furry friend a healthy treat from time to time. Little pieces of fruit or cooked vegetables are a great, natural option! However, be careful with this to avoid any risk of your dog being overweight or obese.

  • Finally, don't forget that hydration is key and that it's important to make sure your dog is drinking enough water, especially if they mainly eat dry food! Always have one or more bowls of water available to your dog, and fill these drinking bowls with fresh water every day.

Bernese Mountain Dog: Characteristics of the Breed

A Brief History of the Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a very old dog breed which originated in the Swiss canton of Berne, from which it takes its name. There, it was developed as a draught dog and general farm dog, herding sheep and cattle and also pulling milk and cheese carts. In 1907, a few breeders united to found the first breed club. Little by little, the Bernese Mountain Dog became a more versatile dog. Now today, this dog breed is mostly found as a family dog, and is especially popular in German-speaking countries.

Bernese Mountain Dog Temperament

Bernese Mountain Dogs are great watchdogs; they have a natural protective instinct, and can thus be somewhat wary of strangers. This means they tend to bark quite often. However, this is also a loyal, docile dog that gets very attached to their owners. Bernese Mountain Dogs are patient with children, for whom they make great playmates. So long as they’re trained and socialised well early on, these gorgeous doggies make excellent family pets.

Bernese Mountain Dog Health Issues

The Bernese Mountain Dog has relatively fragile health and is subject to certain diseases that it's important to know about. They are especially prone to hip dysplasia and twisted stomach, the latter of which can be fatal if not caught early enough. The breed is also subject to progressive renal atrophy (PRA), very aggressive forms of cancer (which affect about 10% of the population), ear infections, and an eyelid abnormality called ectropion, a condition in which the eyelid turns outward.

If you're thinking about adopting a Bernese Mountain Dog, you need to first take the time to learn all about the specifics of the breed and its particular dietary needs. Remember that good food is the foundation of good health! Follow these tips to help you choose the ideal dog food for your Bernese Mountain Dog, but always remember that only a veterinarian or animal nutritionist will be able to accurately determine the needs of your pet. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to support your dog throughout their life.



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