The Role of Diet in Your Bernese Mountain Dog's Health and Exercise

Fueling Your Furry Friend: A Guide to Bernese Mountain Dog Diet and Nutrition


Bernese Mountain Dogs are known for their good-natured personalities and strong, sturdy builds. As with any breed, proper diet and nutrition play a crucial role in maintaining their overall health and well-being.

In this guide, we’ll explore the best dietary practices for your Bernese Mountain Dog, ensuring they get the nutrients they need for a long, happy life.

Understanding Your Bernese Mountain Dog’s Nutritional Needs

Bernese Mountain Dogs are a large breed, typically weighing between 70 and 115 pounds. Their size and energy levels mean they require a well-balanced diet rich in proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

As with any pet, the importance of pet care nutrition cannot be overstated.

Bernese Mountain Dog's Nutritional Needs


Protein is essential for building and maintaining strong muscles. Look for dog food that contains high-quality animal proteins, such as chicken, beef, or fish. A general guideline for adult Bernese Mountain Dogs is to provide at least 18% protein in their diet.


Fats are essential for providing energy, maintaining healthy skin and coat, and supporting brain development. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are particularly important for a Bernese Mountain Dog’s overall health.

Aim for a diet containing at least 12% fat, with a focus on quality sources like fish oil or flaxseed.


Carbohydrates provide essential energy for your Bernese Mountain Dog’s daily activities. Opt for complex carbs, such as sweet potatoes or brown rice, which provide long-lasting energy and support digestive health.

Feeding Schedule and Portion Sizes

Feeding your Bernese Mountain Dog the right amount of food is just as important as providing the proper nutrients. Overfeeding can lead to obesity and other health problems, so it’s essential to stick to a consistent feeding schedule and portion sizes.

Feeding Schedule and Portion Sizes

Adult Bernese Mountain Dogs should be fed two to three times per day. The exact amount of food will depend on their size, age, and activity level. As a general rule, an adult Bernese Mountain Dog requires around 1,700 to 2,100 calories per day.

For puppies, it’s crucial to provide the necessary nutrients for growth and development. Puppy food should contain higher levels of protein and fat than adult food.

Feed your Bernese Mountain Dog puppy three to four times per day, adjusting portion sizes as they grow.

Remember, it’s essential to monitor your dog’s weight and adjust their food intake as needed. Regular vet checkups and expert tips for pet grooming can help you keep an eye on their overall health and well-being.

Food Allergies and Sensitivities

Bernese Mountain Dogs, like other breeds, can be prone to food allergies and sensitivities. Common allergens include beef, dairy, wheat, and soy.

If your dog exhibits signs of an allergy, such as itching, skin irritations, or gastrointestinal upset, consult with your veterinarian about adjusting their diet.

Supplements and Treats

While a well-balanced diet should provide all the necessary nutrients for your Bernese Mountain Dog, there may be times when supplements are recommended.

For example, glucosamine and chondroitin supplements can be beneficial for joint health in large breeds like the Bernese Mountain Dog.

Supplements and Treats

When it comes to treats, moderation is key. Choose healthy options, such as fresh fruits and vegetables or lean meats, and avoid overfeeding. Remember that exercise is essential for your pet’s health, so be sure to balance treat consumption with regular physical activity.

The Importance of Hydration

Hydration is essential for all dogs, including Bernese Mountain Dogs. Always provide fresh, clean water for your furry friend.

On hot days or during periods of increased activity, your dog may need more water than usual. Keep an eye on their water bowl and refill it as needed to ensure they stay well-hydrated.

The Benefits of a Raw Diet

Some Bernese Mountain Dog owners choose to feed their dogs a raw or “BARF” (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet.

Advocates of this approach argue that raw diets more closely mimic the natural diet of dogs’ wild ancestors. A raw diet typically consists of raw meat, bones, fruits, and vegetables.

The Benefits of a Raw Diet

Before making the switch to a raw diet, consult with your veterinarian to ensure it’s the right choice for your dog. They can help you create a balanced meal plan that meets your Bernese Mountain Dog’s nutritional needs.

If you do decide to try a raw diet, remember to follow proper food safety practices to minimize the risk of bacterial contamination.

Special Considerations for Senior Bernese Mountain Dogs

As your Bernese Mountain Dog ages, their nutritional needs may change. Senior dogs typically require fewer calories, as their activity levels tend to decrease. They may also benefit from increased levels of joint-supporting nutrients, such as glucosamine and chondroitin.

Work with your veterinarian to develop a diet plan that meets your senior dog’s specific needs. And, as always, continue to monitor their weight and overall health, adjusting their diet as needed.

Preventing Obesity in Bernese Mountain Dogs

Like many large breeds, Bernese Mountain Dogs are prone to obesity if they don’t receive proper nutrition and exercise. Obesity can lead to a variety of health issues, including joint problems, heart disease, and diabetes. To keep your dog at a healthy weight, consider these tips:

Preventing Obesity in Bernese Mountain Dogs
  • Measure their food: Be sure to use a measuring cup or scale to ensure you’re providing the correct portion size at each meal.
  • Limit treats: Treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake. Opt for healthy, low-calorie options and avoid feeding table scraps.
  • Regular exercise: Bernese Mountain Dogs need daily exercise to stay healthy and maintain a proper weight. Engage them in activities like walking, hiking, or playing fetch.

By following these guidelines, you’ll help prevent obesity and promote a healthy, happy life for your Bernese Mountain Dog.

Recognizing and Addressing Food-Related Behavioral Issues

Food-related behavioral issues, such as food guarding or begging, can sometimes develop in Bernese Mountain Dogs.

If not addressed, these behaviors can lead to problems in your household or even aggression toward other pets or people. To prevent and address food-related behavioral issues, consider these strategies:

Recognizing and Addressing Food-Related Behavioral Issues
  • Establish a consistent feeding routine: Feed your dog at the same times each day and in the same location. This routine will help reduce anxiety around mealtimes and prevent resource guarding.
  • Use positive reinforcement: Reward your dog for displaying good behavior during mealtime, such as waiting patiently for their food or not begging at the table.
  • Train basic commands: Teach your dog commands like “leave it” or “wait” to help manage their behavior around food.

For more guidance on training your dog, explore our article on how to master the art of pet training, tricks, and techniques.

Supporting Your Bernese Mountain Dog’s Digestive Health

Bernese Mountain Dogs, like all dogs, can experience digestive issues. To support their digestive health, consider these tips:

  • Choose a high-quality dog food: Look for dog food with natural ingredients, minimal fillers, and a blend of probiotics to promote healthy gut bacteria.
  • Transition foods gradually: If you’re switching your dog’s food, do so gradually over a period of 7-10 days. This will help prevent gastrointestinal upset.
  • Add fiber: If your dog is experiencing digestive issues, such as constipation or diarrhea, adding a bit of fiber to their diet (e.g., pumpkin or sweet potato) can help.
  • Consult your veterinarian: If your dog is experiencing ongoing digestive issues, consult with your veterinarian for guidance on dietary adjustments or potential underlying health issues.

By following these tips, you can help support your Bernese Mountain Dog’s digestive health, ensuring they feel their best each day.

In Conclusion

Conclusion to Bernese Mountain Dog Breed

Proper diet and nutrition are essential for keeping your Bernese Mountain Dog happy and healthy. By providing a well-balanced diet, sticking to a consistent feeding schedule, and monitoring your dog’s weight and overall health, you’ll set your furry friend up for a long, fulfilling life.

As you care for your Bernese Mountain Dog, it’s essential to stay informed about their needs and those of other pets you may have.

For example, if you’re also a cat lover, you might enjoy learning about the fascinating history of Siamese cats. No matter what kind of pet you have, our website is here to help you provide the best possible

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Do Bernese mountain dogs need a special diet?
    Bernese Mountain Dogs don’t need a specialized diet, but they do require a well-balanced diet tailored to their size, age, and activity level. Look for high-quality dog food with appropriate protein, fat, and carbohydrate content for large breeds.
  • What can Bernese mountain dogs not eat?
    Avoid feeding your Bernese Mountain Dog foods that are toxic to dogs, such as chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, avocado, and xylitol (a sugar substitute found in some sugar-free products).
  • How do I keep my Bernese Mountain Dog healthy?
    To keep your Bernese Mountain Dog healthy, provide them with a well-balanced diet, regular exercise, proper grooming, and routine veterinary checkups.
  • Do Bernese mountain dogs have sensitive stomachs?
    Some Bernese Mountain Dogs may have sensitive stomachs or food allergies. Consult with your veterinarian if you notice signs of gastrointestinal upset or other allergy symptoms.
  • Is Purina Pro Plan good for Bernese mountain dogs?
    Purina Pro Plan can be a suitable choice for Bernese Mountain Dogs, as long as it meets their nutritional requirements for protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Always consult with your veterinarian to determine the best food for your specific dog.
  • Why do Bernese mountain dogs lean on you?
    Bernese Mountain Dogs may lean on you as a sign of affection, seeking comfort or reassurance. This behavior is common among many large breeds.
  • What food is best for Bernese mountain dogs?
    The best food for Bernese Mountain Dogs is a high-quality dog food specifically formulated for large breeds. Look for food with appropriate levels of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, and consider your dog’s age and activity level when choosing a formula.
  • Are eggs good for Bernese mountain dogs?
    Eggs can be a healthy and protein-rich treat for Bernese Mountain Dogs when fed in moderation. Be sure to cook the eggs, as raw eggs may pose a risk of Salmonella.
  • How often should you walk a Bernese?
    Bernese Mountain Dogs should be walked at least once a day, with additional playtime or exercise as needed to maintain their physical and mental well-being.
  • Do Bernese mountain dogs bond with one person?
    While Bernese Mountain Dogs can bond closely with one person, they typically form strong attachments to all members of their family.
  • Can Bernese mountain dogs eat cheese?
    Bernese Mountain Dogs can eat small amounts of cheese as a treat, but be cautious of potential lactose intolerance and avoid feeding them cheese if they have a history of food allergies.
  • Why do Bernese mountain dogs lick their paws?
    Bernese Mountain Dogs may lick their paws for various reasons, including allergies, anxiety, or injury. Consult with your veterinarian if you notice excessive paw licking.

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