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10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020

best dog food for Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is one of four Sennenhund breed lines. Of the four, the Bernese is the smallest, standing at most only 27 inches tall.  It is also the only one of the group, which includes Saint Bernard, with long, wavy fur. These dogs love the cold and snow and enjoy being outside during the winter.

A high-quality diet is required for the Bernese to maintain their energy levels, promote strong bones and overall good health. This article will examine what the Bernese Mountain Dog requires in their diet, what to avoid and explore common health issues of the breed.

We will then provide you with the list of the best dog food for Bernese Mountain Dog.

Why Quality Food Matters for Your Bernese Mountain Dog

You will need to pay attention to the ingredients, of course, but other factors as well. Namely, the crude fats and crude proteins will be very important. Bernese are large dogs with a stocky and sturdy build. However, they do not require much in the way of exercise; they just need the room. Because of this, they can easily become overweight.

Overeating isn’t generally a problem, but when you add in the extra calories from a high protein diet, which is needed, and things like treats, it can become a problem. Moderate, daily exercise is recommended such as long walks or trail hiking that causes the dog to do more than just walk.

The quality of the food will be important to help regulate their energy levels, promote growth, strong bones and digestion. It will also be important to help manage their weight and prevent illness or injury.

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10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020 1
Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020 2
  • Features novel proteins including real smoked salmon
  • Omega fatty acids support healthy skin & a shiny coat
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Best Overall
10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020 3
Ollie Fresh Pet Food10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020 4
  • Each recipe is vet-formulated
  • Met AAFCO nutritional standards
  • Made from fresh, natural ingredients
View Latest Price
Most Affordable
10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020 5
American Journey Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe (Large Breed)10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020 2
  • Features real, deboned salmon as top ingredients
  • Help support dog's skin & coat health
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Best Dog Food for Your Bernese Mountain Dog

Tastes vary between dogs, and yours may not like the same food as another Berner. However, when it comes to the nutritional value, crude proteins, fats and fibers, we have tracked down the best of the best.

Each brand listed here is optimally suited for your Berner.

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10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020 7
Ollie Fresh Pet Food
  • Each recipe is vet-formulated
  • Met AAFCO nutritional standards
  • Made from fresh, natural ingredients
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020 8
Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream
  • Features novel proteins including real smoked salmon
  • Chelated minerals help ensure maximum absorption of vital nutrients
  • Omega fatty acids support healthy skin & a shiny coat
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020 9
American Journey Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe (Large Breed)
  • Features real, deboned salmon as top ingredients
  • Help support dog's skin & coat health
  • Help support bone health
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10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020 10
Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food
  • Human-grade ingredients
  • Crafted by a Vet Nutritionist
  • 50% off First Order
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10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020 11
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight
  • Contains high-quality protein and L-Carnitine
  • Features delicious, protein-rich deboned chicken
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
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10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020 12
Merrick Real Texas Beef & Sweet Potato
  • Deboned beef is the first ingredient
  • Grain-free recipe
  • Poultry-free formula
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10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020 13
Nutro Puppy Chicken & Sweet Potato in Gravy Recipe
  • Real chicken is the very first ingredient
  • Premium grain-free wet food
  • Made with non-GMO ingredients
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10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020 14
Wellness CORE Puppy Chicken & Turkey Recipe
  • High-protein and grain-free recipe
  • Crafted with real chicken and turkey
  • Kibble is coated with probiotics
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10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020 15
VICTOR Senior Healthy Weight
  • Composed of 78% meat protein
  • With premium-quality beef, chicken, fish & pork meals
  • Nutrient-dense recipe with glucosamine and chondroitin
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10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020 16
Blue Buffalo Freedom Senior Chicken Recipe
  • Starts with tender chunks of high-quality chicken
  • Grain-free and wheat-free ingredients
  • Made with wholesome ingredients
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What Is The Best Dog Food For Bernese Mountain Dog?

  1. Ollie Fresh Pet Food
  2. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Formula
  3. American Journey Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe (Large Breed)
  4. Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food
  5. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight
  6. Merrick Real Texas Beef & Sweet Potato
  7. Nutro Puppy Chicken & Sweet Potato in Gravy Recipe
  8. Wellness CORE Puppy Chicken & Turkey Recipe
  9. VICTOR Senior Healthy Weight
  10. Blue Buffalo Freedom Senior Chicken Recipe

1. Ollie Fresh Pet Food

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020 17
Ollie’s fresh food is made and hand-packed in the USA. They are partners with a veterinary nutritionist to formulate their nutritionally-balanced recipes. All of their food is made only with whole, human-grade ingredients.

Ollie is a pet food company that was founded in 2016 by Gabby Slome, Alex Douzet, and Randy Jimenez. This New York-based pet food company set out to turn the pet food industry on its head by offering fresh, custom meals for dogs similar to meal-prep services like Maple and Sprig for humans.

If your dog's ready for some sheep thrills, we suggest this meal centered around lamb and butternut squash. Perfect for pups with allergies, this feast also contains nutrient-dense cranberries and kale.

Ollie’s fresh food is made and hand-packed in the USA. They are partners with a veterinary nutritionist to formulate their nutritionally-balanced recipes in accordance with AAFCO standards. All of their food is cooked in small batches in their USDA-regulated kitchen.

They carefully source their ingredients from reputable farms in the U.S and Australia. Each partner must go through an extensive certification process to become a supplier. All of their food is made only with whole, human-grade ingredients.

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Pros:

  • Each recipe is vet-formulated
  • Made from fresh, natural ingredients
  • Met AAFCO nutritional standards
  • Improved oral/dental health
  • You can customize your subscription

Cons:

  • Price a bit expensive
  • Fresh pet food has a shorter shelf life compared to kibbles and canned goods

2. Taste Of The Wild Pacific Stream Formula

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020 18
Formulated with novel proteins including real smoked salmon, this grain-free recipe includes peas and sweet potatoes that deliver the highly-digestible energy your active pup needs, along with natural antioxidant support from real fruits and vegetables.

Taste of the Wild has produced a brilliant dog food formula that we are not sure can be beaten at this price point. Using novel proteins including real smoked salmon, this dog food takes its inspiration from the ancestral diet of prehistoric canines.

Formulated with novel proteins including real smoked salmon, this grain-free recipe includes peas and sweet potatoes that deliver the highly-digestible energy your active pup needs, along with natural antioxidant support from real fruits and vegetables and dried chicory root for prebiotic support and healthy digestion.

It contains 25% protein and 15% fat. These numbers are brilliant and far above average. A high amount of protein and fat will do wonders for supporting the growth and maintenance of your dog's muscles and bones. High-fat content is also necessary for your dog to maintain a healthy immune system.

It is worth pointing out, however, that some of the protein in this formula is vegetable-based, with pea protein and potato protein featuring on the ingredients list. Vegetable proteins are harder for your dog's stomach to break down, but it shouldn't be too much of a concern if your dog does not have any digestive problems.

Pros:

  • Packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and fatty acids
  • Notable difference in pet's coat and skin health
  • Picky eaters eat this
  • Grain-free recipe
  • Features real smoked salmon

Cons:

  • Always out of stock
  • Poor bag design

3. American Journey Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe (Large Breed)

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020 19
American Journey’s formula uses deboned salmon as the first ingredient for controlled weight and lean protein. It uses fruits and veggies for antioxidants and vitamins.

American Journey’s formula uses deboned salmon as the first ingredient for controlled weight and lean protein. It uses fruits and veggies for antioxidants and vitamins. It uses minerals such as calcium to build strong bones that can support the weight of your full grown Bernese.

It’s made with ingredients that fuel your pet’s everyday adventures—starting with real, deboned salmon to promote lean muscles. To support your large dog’s bone health, American Journey Large Breed has controlled levels of minerals like calcium and phosphorus.

Brown rice and barley provide complex carbohydrates that release slowly and don't cause energy spikes. There are no corn, soy, or wheat fillers and no poultry by-product meals. Essential fatty acids round everything out to support coat and skin health.

This delicious recipe delivers several other powerful nutrients like antioxidants for immune system support, DHA for brain and vision development, carefully balanced omegas for skin and coat health, and natural fibers to support good digestion.

Pros:

  • Formulated for large breed dogs
  • Affordable
  • No cheap fillers
  • Good complex carbohydrates
  • Deboned salmon for lean protein
  • No poultry by-product meals

Cons:

  • Not gluten free
  • Picky eaters may not like it

4. Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food Delivery

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020 20
Nom Nom has pioneered the human-grade dog food market and is still one of a few that gets it right. After a short sign up process and profile build, you can order form a variety of flavors and recipes.

Nom Nom has pioneered the human-grade dog food market and is still one of a few that gets it right. After a short sign up process and profile build, you can order form a variety of flavors and recipes. The Tasty Turkey Fare combines the best ingredients for a high protein, low-fat meal.

Each portion is packed individually, so you don’t have to guess. Just open the pouch and serve. The first five ingredients are ground turkey, brown rice, carrots, spinach, and egg.

It’s a limited ingredient dish, so sensitive tummies should be fine. Meals are prepared fresh and shipped out within just a few days for you to refrigerate or freeze.

Pros:

  • Limited ingredients
  • Human grade food
  • Prepared fresh and shipped right then
  • Excellent protein source (115g)
  • Dogs love the taste
  • Easy to serve and portion control to prevent overeating

Cons:

  • Delivery options are limited on the east coast
  • Requires cold storage

5. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020 21
Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight provides your Berner with everything they need without having to worry about weight gain. Easily eaten and digested without needing water or wet food toppers.

Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight provides your Berner with everything they need without having to worry about weight gain. There is a 2:1 crude protein to fat ratio, which will allow your average pup to remain active without having to go overboard on a diet and exercise routine.

The first five ingredients are deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, and pea fiber.

Pros:

  • Easily eaten and digested without needing water or wet food toppers
  • Will mix with wet food, though, for added nutrition
  • Great flavor most dogs enjoy

Cons:

  • Some individuals don’t like the texture of the kibble alone
  • Can easily be overeaten

6. Merrick Grain-Free Real Texas Beef & Sweet Potato

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020 22
Merrick grain free is a highly nutritious dog food with pure meat proteins and zero grains. All of the vitamins and minerals are naturally sourced from vegetables, fruits, and berries.

Merrick grain free is a highly nutritious dog food with pure meat proteins and zero grains. All of the vitamins and minerals are naturally sourced from vegetables, fruits, and berries. The crude protein is one of the highest on the market at 38% which is something to brag about when it isn't sourced from grains.

The first five ingredients are deboned beef, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, peas, and potatoes.

Pros:

  • All Berners tend to enjoy the flavors
  • High protein for energy levels and active digestion
  • Mixes well with water for gravy or wet food as a topper

Cons:

  • Has white potatoes which some want to avoid
  • Crude fat is a little high (15 percent) for the already overweight bunch

Best Puppy Food for Bernese Mountain Dogs

7. Nutro Puppy Chicken & Sweet Potato in Gravy Recipe

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020 23
This premium, grain free wet dog food is full of nutrients and flavor that dogs—big and small—go crazy over. Each high-protein meal is balanced with vitamins and minerals and crafted with real chicken as the very first ingredient.

Nutro Ultra has been around long enough to know what makes a high-quality premium dog food. They do not skimp on the protein sources, and their gravy mix is full of flavor that all puppies will eagerly enjoy.

This premium, grain free wet dog food is full of nutrients and flavor that dogs—big and small—go crazy over. Each high-protein meal is balanced with vitamins and minerals and crafted with real chicken as the very first ingredient.

The first five ingredients are chicken, pork broth, chicken broth, sweet potatoes, chicken liver.

Pros:

  • Great flavors and textures to keep puppies interested
  • Mixes well with dry food as a topper
  • More vitamins than most other puppy formulas

Cons:

  • Has some wheat sources which some Berners may not tolerate too well
  • Can be too rich for younger puppies

8. Wellness CORE Puppy Chicken & Turkey Recipe

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020 24
Wellness Core brings the nutrition your pup needs and the boost of vitamins and minerals that keep them active, healthy and strong. You will also find a plethora of vegetables and berries with added antioxidants for illness fighting properties.

Wellness Core brings the nutrition your pup needs and the boost of vitamins and minerals that keep them active, healthy and strong. Each bowl full of kibble gives you a 2:1 protein to fat ratio and is packed with vitamins and minerals. You will also find a plethora of vegetables and berries with added antioxidants for illness fighting properties.

This delectable grain-free recipe is crafted with protein sourced from real chicken and turkey to provide your puppy pal with the protein-focused nutrition he needs to grow healthy and strong.

Made with optimal calories for growth, DHA to support healthy brain and eye development and antioxidants to support your pup’s immune health, this canine kibble serves as a perfectly balanced diet for puppies.

The first five ingredients are deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, potatoes, and peas.

Pros:

  • Flavorful and full of essential vitamins and minerals for strong, healthy dogs
  • Mixes well with water for gravy
  • High crude protein levels for active digestion and proper growth

Cons:

  • Contains both peas and white potatoes which some owners wish to avoid
  • Can easily be overeaten leading to obesity

Best Dog Food for Senior Berners

9. Victor Senior Healthy Weight

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020 25
Victor Senior helps you keep an eye on your older pups weight. With their enriched formula, you can still feed the amount the pup is used too without worrying if they are getting too much.

Victor Senior helps you keep an eye on your older pups weight. With their enriched formula, you can still feed the amount the pup is used too without worrying if they are getting too much. You will also find enough vitamins and minerals that support joint, bone and tooth health to keep your dog happy and healthy.

The first five ingredients are beef meal, whole grain brown rice, whole grain millet, menhaden fish meal, and chicken meal.

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Pros:

  • Great taste that makes the transition easier.
  • Low fat and high protein for metabolism and digestive health.
  • Packed with vitamins and minerals that older dogs need.

Cons:

  • Texture can be rough for more sensitive teeth.
  • Doesn’t hold up well when mixed with water.

10. Blue Buffalo Freedom Senior Chicken Recipe

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best & Healthiest Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs in 2020 26
Their senior formula is one of the best. You will find many naturally sourced vitamins and minerals to boot, which will keep their joints and bones healthy and strong.

Blue Buffalo knows a thing or two about your senior dog, and their senior formula is one of the best. Easily mixing with dry foods for added proteins, the formula also works well as a stand-alone.

You will find many naturally sourced vitamins and minerals to boot, which will keep their joints and bones healthy and strong. The first five ingredients are chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, carrots, and peas.

Pros:

  • Not too rich, even when mixed with dry food.
  • Does well with sensitive, aging digestive tracts.
  • Can be fed alone, helping with portion control.

Cons:

  • May not have enough crude fats when served alone.
  • Some picky eaters may not like all the flavors.

Bernese Mountain Dog Common Health Issues

best dog food for Bernese mountain dog

Every dog will have some health concerns and issues to look out for. The Berners are no different. Overall, though they are healthy dogs. There are some things to test or watch for though.

Elbow and Hip Dysplasia – Berners are working dogs, and while they love to play with the family, they need exercise to keep their muscles in shape. They were bred as pulling dogs, so tug-of-war and other games that allow them to pull are essential.

However, elbow and hip dysplasia can affect their ability to pull and play. While the conditions can occur at any time due to injury, it is most common during the early life stages. Hip dysplasia is when the hip joint is deformed or doesn’t grow properly.

It causes pain, weakness, and lethargy. The rear legs can easily get dislodged, or the bone won’t fit well in the socket. Elbow dysplasia is similar except it occurs in the knee joints. Proper testing will need to be done to verify the condition.

Proper diet can help prevent the condition though not always. Puppies will need a high meat protein diet with plenty of vitamins and minerals that promote strong, healthy bones.

Allergies – Bernese are also highly susceptible to allergies, particularly food allergies. The most common trigger comes from artificial colors and dyes and from added chemicals. For this reason, the dog's diet should be clear of all these factors.

You can easily spot these additives on the ingredient label as such things as BHT, BHA, Yellow 5 & 6, Blue 2, etc. It is also advised to avoid foods that list an ingredient as “artificial flavoring” as this is a general indicator of additional chemicals.

Other Concerns – There are several other conditions that are far less likely, though can be found in the breed. Your vet will want to run a series of blood and urine tests to check for indicators of these diseases, as well as visual examinations for others.

What to Look for in Quality Dog Food for Your Bernese Mountain Dog

When selecting your dog food brand, it is essential to check the ingredient list thoroughly. There are ingredients to look for that should be included as well as foods that should be avoided. Let’s look at which is which.

Meat and Meat Meal – It is an FDA law that all ingredients are listed from the highest content to the lowest. Therefore, whatever is listed first on the label indicates that the dog food is composed mostly of that substance.

Unless you’re serving your dog a vegetarian or plant-based meal, the first ingredient in the food should be a meat product such as chicken, turkey, beef, or pork. However, it should be noted that plant-based meals are not recommended by Berners.

Unless the first listed ingredient is a distinct and recognizable meat source, pass on it. We recommend avoiding shellfish and other forms of aquatic protein. This is because your Berner might have an allergic reaction to it, which they are known to do.

Vegetables – Most dog foods will contain vegetables. The vegetable you will most likely see listed is potatoes, as they are inexpensive and full of nutrients your dog needs. Some owners don’t want white potatoes in their dog’s diet.

Potato free recipes will use sweet potatoes instead, or other starches which will provide nutrients and act as a binding agent for the kibble.  Grain vegetables, like corn, should still be avoided though as they are harder to digest and will take up space in the kibble that should be used for vitamins or proteins.

Peas and carrots are a good source of vitamins for your Berner. You will want to limit the amount of them though.

best dog food for Bernese mountain dog

Ingredients to Avoid in Your Bernese Mountain Dog’s Food

There are some ingredients that should be avoided at all costs. For various reasons or another, they simply aren’t good for your dog.

Byproducts – According to the FDA, humans should not ingest byproduct. Companies and manufacturers are prohibited, by law, to have meat byproduct in human food. The FDA cares less about your Berner and byproduct is allowed in canine kibble.

This should not be okay with you, as a pet owner. Meat byproduct is not a source of anything except filler. It can cause illness or worse. The byproduct is what is left over after the edible parts of animals are butchered.

It also contains rotted meats, expired meats and their packaging from supermarkets and butchers. Everything is shoveled up and tossed into a hopper where it is mixed into a grainy, soupy consistency before being added to the dog food. Aside from being fowl, there is zero nutritional value and any vitamins, minerals or proteins remaining are burned off when the mix is cooked.

Artificial Ingredients – When it comes to allergies, as discussed earlier, avoiding dyes and artificial colors is paramount. Since dogs are prone to developing allergies from artificial additives, we recommend staying clear of these whenever possible.

If “colors” are listed on the ingredients list, stay clear of that product. Colors such as Blue 2, Yellow 5, and Red 40 can all transfer onto your pet’s fur around the paws and trigger allergic reactions. The only purpose they serve is to make the dog food look more pleasing to human eyes. Your dog doesn’t care if their food is rainbow colored or just brown. You shouldn’t either.

Bad Dog Food Brands for Bernese Mountain Dogs

There are still brands on the market that for one reason or another include these ingredients, as well as other items, are known to cause harm or be ineffective when feeding your dog.

The list below is just a sample of the brands you should avoid. Each one on this list contains either artificial colors, dyes, and flavors, or byproduct. You should always check the labels to be sure and avoid any brand that contains byproduct, artificial anything, corn or more than two wheat sources.

The meat source should also be named, such as chicken, turkey, beef, and pork. If you ever see a label with just the term “meat” do not purchase it. The following brands are known to have harmful chemicals, no nutritional value or meat byproduct in their foods.

  • Ol’ Roy by Walmart
  • Iams
  • Pedigree
  • Kal Kan
  • Caesars

bernese mountain puppy

Bernese Mountain Dog Feeding Chart

This chart is just a guide, your feeding schedule and amounts should be watched closely to ensure your Berner is properly fed. If you have any concerns, your veterinarian will be able to assist you.

Puppies should have between ½ and ¾ of a cup twice a day. Because of the risk of bloat and other gastric conditions, you shouldn’t feed within a half hour of exercise.

Adults should have between ¾ and one full cup, also twice a day, though three times a day feeding of ¾ cups isn’t unusual.

Seniors will stay on the twice per day feeding schedule but will have their amounts reduced to ½ to ¾ cup, as long as the food has enough crude proteins and crude fats.

How much do Bernese mountain dogs eat?

Weighing between 80-115 pounds on average, the Bernese Mountain Dog needs hearty meals to keep their energy up. On average, the Bernese Mountain Dog eats between 4-6 cups of food a day, depending on their size and activity level.

Do Bernese mountain dogs shed a lot?

Bernese Mountain Dogs are a very high shedding breed. They're a double-coated dog, so they have plenty of fur to shed. Plus, with the fact that these are big dogs (to say the least) means they have more surface area of fur just waiting to be shed everywhere.

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs smart?

Cheerful and intelligent, the Bernese mountain dog is known to be affectionate and playful with children and other pets. Considered easy to train, this intelligent breed will follow your lead; early socialization is recommended before any bad habits can set in.

How often should you wash a Bernese mountain dog?

As long as you are brushing frequently, a dog should only need to be bathed a few times per year. Brushing gets out the extra fur and not only will help the dog stay cool but will help the natural oils of the coat to balance out. I would say 4-5 times per year is good advice.

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