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The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large-breed dog known for its friendly temperament and loving personality. These dogs are one of our Sennenhund-type dogs that come from the Swiss Alps and they were developed for herding. The Bernese Mountain Dog has a tricolored coat that comes in black with rust-colored markings on the face and legs as well as white markings on the chest. These dogs have long, soft fur with a thick tail. The Bernese Mountain Dog is a beautiful dog, but that is not the only reason it is so popular. This breed is very even-tempered and docile, though it can be a little bit shy around strangers.
With proper socialization and training, the Bernese Mountain Dog makes an excellent family pet, especially since the breed gets along well with children. To make sure your dog stays happy and healthy for as long as possible, you need to make sure that his nutritional needs are met. Below you will learn the basics about the nutritional needs for Bernese Mountain Dogs – you will also learn about some special considerations to keep in mind when feeding your dog. You will also receive recommendations for three top-quality commercial dog food products that would be ideal for your Australian Shepherd.
Nutritional Needs for Bernese Mountain Dogs
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large dog that stands between 25 and 28 inches tall, weighing about 80 to 120 pounds at maturity. This breed is ranked among the top 35 dog breeds according to AKC registration statistics and it is a popular family pet. The Bernese Mountain Dog was developed as a herding breed and, as such, it is an outdoor breed at heart. These dogs love to spend time outside, though they are not an overly active breed, nor do they require a great deal of daily exercise. In order to keep your Bernese Mountain Dog healthy, however, you do need to be intentional about what you feed him to make sure his nutritional needs are being met. Your best bet is to feed him a commercial dog food diet that has been formulated for large-breed dogs.
For all dogs, including the Bernese Mountain Dog, protein is the most important nutritional consideration. Protein is necessary for your dog to build strong muscles and bones – it also helps him to maintain lean muscle mass for a healthy weight. Your dog should get his protein from high-quality animal-based sources like fresh meat and fish – plant-based sources of protein are less biologically valuable for your dog, though they are not harmful. Meat meals are another good source of protein for dogs because they have already been cooked down to a moisture level around 10%, compared to the 80% moisture level in fresh meat. Meat meals are much more highly concentrated in terms of protein than fresh meats are.
In addition to protein, your dog also needs fat in his diet because it is the most powerful form of energy. Fats should come from animal-based sources like chicken fat and fish oil rather than plant-based sources like canola oil or flaxseed. Bernese Mountain Dogs are a large breed, prone to obesity with overfeeding so his diet should provide only moderate levels of fat. Carbohydrates are also important because they provide your dog with vitamins and minerals as well as dietary fiber to promote healthy digestion. The best carbohydrates are those that are easily digestible – this includes whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal as well as sweet potato and other vegetables. Dogs do not have specific requirements for carbohydrate, so choose a diet that provides a low to moderate amount.
Special Considerations for Feeding Bernese Mountain Dogs
One of the most important things to remember about Bernese Mountain Dogs is that they are a large breed – this means that their diet needs to provide them with enough protein to support their lean muscle mass without so much fat that the dog gains an unhealthy amount of weight. You also need to be particularly careful about what you feed your Bernese Mountain Dog as a puppy because you do not want him to grow too quickly. Large-breed dogs take longer than small-breed dogs to reach their full size, so you may need to keep your dog on a puppy diet for over a year. Feeding your Bernese Mountain Dog a large-breed puppy diet will make sure that he doesn’t grow too quickly – if he does, he could have an increased risk for musculoskeletal problems when he gets older. Switch your puppy to a large-breed adult formula when he reaches 80% of his maximum size.
Another thing you need to be mindful of with the Bernese Mountain Dog is the risk for gastric dilation volvulus, or bloat. This condition occurs when the dog’s belly becomes filled with air and the stomach actually twists on its axis, cutting of blood flow to the stomach and other vital organs. This condition is very dangerous and can actually be fatal if you do not seek treatment right away. Making sure your Bernese Mountain Dog doesn’t eat too much at once can help to prevent this condition – you should also avoid strenuous exercise or large amounts of water within an hour of a meal. Feeding your dog from a raised food bowl may also help to prevent this condition.
Top-Recommended Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs
If you need some help in finding the right food for your Bernese Mountain Dog, consider one of the commercial dog food brands discussed below. Be careful when considering a breed-specific formula for your dog – do not just assume that the formula will meet your dog’s needs without evaluating the product for yourself. Consider the ingredients list to make sure the product is of high-quality before offering it to your dog.
1. Nutro Natural Large Breed Young Adult Dog Food
The Nutro pet food company offers a wide variety of products made with only the finest, freshest ingredients. This company offers a number of different product lines including the Nutro line of size- and breed-specific formulas, the Rotations line of revolving diets, the Farm’s Harvest line of all-natural diets, and the Ultra line of high-quality dog foods. The Nutro Natural Large Breed Young Adult Dog Food is one example of a Nutro product that is perfect for large-breed dogs like the Bernese Mountain Dog. This formula is made with chicken and chicken meal as the top two ingredients, followed by whole brown rice and other healthy ingredients. This dog food contains 24% crude protein and 13% crude fat to help your large-breed dog maintain healthy muscle mass without gaining weight. This formula is also supplemented with natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin for bone and joint health as well as DHA for healthy brain function.
2. Addiction Viva La Venison Dry Food Formula
The Addiction pet food company was started by a holistic veterinary surgeon, so you can rest assured that all of this company’s formulas are properly formulated to meet your dog’s nutritional needs. This company offers a variety of different products for both dogs and cats, including dry foods, wet foods, and dehydrated raw formulas. The Addiction Viva La Venison Dry Food Formula is an excellent example of a high-quality dog food formula made with fresh ingredients in a balanced formula. This dog food is made with venison meal, dried potatoes, and chicken fat as the top three ingredients – other notable ingredients include dried egg, carrots, apples, and spinach. This formula is high in protein but low in fat to help your Bernese Mountain Dog maintain a healthy bodyweight – it is also supplemented with chelated minerals for maximum nutrient absorption and probiotics for a healthy digestive system.
3. Fromm Family Large Breed Adult Gold
The Fromm Family Foods company has been dedicated to the health and wellness of pets for more than 100 years. This company produced the first premium pet food in the world in 1949 using a unique process for cooking meat and grains together to form kibble. From Family Foods offers three different product lines of dog foods – the Four-Star line of gourmet diets, the Gold line of holistic formulas, and the Classic line of original small-batch recipes. The Fromm Family Large Breed Adult Gold is a great example of a high-quality dog food formulated for large-breed dogs like the Bernese Mountain Dog. This formula is made with duck, chicken meal, and chicken as the top three ingredients followed by oatmeal, pearled barley, and brown rice. This formula is supplemented with probiotics for healthy digestion and salmon oil for radiant skin and coat.
The Bernese Mountain Dogs is a wonderful breed that does well as a family pet. In order to keep your Bernese Mountain Dogs in the family for as long as possible, consider the nutritional information provided above and make sure to feed your dog a healthy, balanced diet.