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10 Best Dog Food for Bernese Mountain Dog: 2024 Update

Written by

Ma. Leonor Dollisen

Reviewed by

Updated on:

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best dog food for Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is one of four Sennenhund breed lines. Of the four, Bernese Mountain Dogs are the smallest, standing at most only 27 inches tall. 

The mountain dog breed is also the only one of the group, which includes the Saint Bernard, with long, wavy fur. These working dogs love the cold and snow and enjoy being outside during the winter. 

Originally, all-purpose farm dogs, this breed used to herd cattle, protect the farm, and pull milk carts of local farmers. In fact, its name is taken from the German word, “berner sennenhund,” which literally means Bernese Alpine herdsman's dog.

Not in the least bit lazy, these mountain dogs are playful and move around a lot. They are so active that they need vigorous exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes a day. 

Because of their high energy levels and active nature, the best dog food for a Bernese Mountain Dog is therefore something that can sustain the extensive nutritional needs of giant breed dogs.

In this article, we’ll examine what Bernese Mountain Dogs require in their diet and what to avoid, and also explore the common health issues of the breed.


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Why Quality Food Matters for Your Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese mountain dogs are large canines with a stocky and sturdy build. However, they do not require much in the way of exercise. A Bernese mountain dog requires only enough room to run and play. But because of space constraints in some households, Bernese mountain dogs 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 tricky. 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 dog food will be important to help regulate the energy levels, promote growth, strong bones and digestion of a Bernese mountain dog. It will also be important to help manage his weight and prevent illness or injury. 

The best dog foods for your biggie pup are those that actively target all his specific needs, like high protein content, joint supplementation, and weight management formulation. 

You will need to pay extra attention to the ingredients, of course, but other factors as well. More on this further down in the article.


10 Best Dog Food for Bernese Mountain Dog: [year] Update 2
  • Pocket-friendly dog food
  • Made with real smoked salmon
  • Maintains healthy muscle mass
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10 Best Dog Food for Bernese Mountain Dog: [year] Update 4
  • Fresh, custom meals for dogs
  • Offers fresh and organic ingredients
  • Helps improved oral/dental health
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10 Best Dog Food for Bernese Mountain Dog: [year] Update 2
  • Fuel your pet's everyday adventures
  • Healthy carbs for energy
  • Fatty acids to sustain skin and coat health
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Best Dog Foods 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.

This list of Bernese Mountain Dog food were each carefully reviewed and researched to make sure that we are only recommending only what is optimally suited for your pup.

10 Best Dog Food for Bernese Mountain Dog: [year] Update 7
Ollie Fresh Pet Food
  • Fresh, custom meals for dogs
  • Offers fresh and organic ingredients
  • Helps improved oral/dental health
50% off First Order
10 Best Dog Food for Bernese Mountain Dog: [year] Update 8
Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream
  • Pocket-friendly dog food
  • Made with real smoked salmon
  • Maintains healthy muscle mass
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10 Best Dog Food for Bernese Mountain Dog: [year] Update 9
American Journey Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe (Large Breed)
  • Fuel your pet's everyday adventures
  • Right amount of carbs for energy
  • Fatty acids to sustain skin and coat health
Check Price on Chewy
10 Best Dog Food for Bernese Mountain Dog: [year] Update 10
Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food
  • Delivered to your home preportioned
  • Recipe is combined with tasty turkey
  • Provides high protein, low fat meal
50% off First Order
10 Best Dog Food for Bernese Mountain Dog: [year] Update 11
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight
  • Specifically made to control weight
  • Keeps your dog in prime condition
  • With 7 antioxidant-rich ingredients
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10 Best Dog Food for Bernese Mountain Dog: [year] Update 12
Merrick Real Texas Beef & Sweet Potato
  • Pure meat proteins with zero grains
  • Naturally sourced from whole foods
  • Good choice for high-protein diet
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10 Best Dog Food for Bernese Mountain Dog: [year] Update 13
Nutro Puppy Chicken & Sweet Potato in Gravy Recipe
  • Packed in preportioned trays
  • Easy and convenient to serve
  • With savory chicken as main protein
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10 Best Dog Food for Bernese Mountain Dog: [year] Update 14
Wellness CORE Puppy Chicken & Turkey Recipe
  • Keeps your dog active, healthy, and strong
  • With 2:1 protein to healthy fat ratio
  • Comes with plethora of vegetables
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10 Best Dog Food for Bernese Mountain Dog: [year] Update 15
VICTOR Senior Healthy Weight
  • Keeps your dog's fur from becoming dull
  • For maintaining proper weight for seniors
  • Sourced and made in USA
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10 Best Dog Food for Bernese Mountain Dog: [year] Update 16
Blue Buffalo Freedom Senior Chicken Recipe
  • One of the best alternative for seniors
  • With tender chunks of real chicken
  • Promotes an active lifestyle for aging dogs
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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
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1. Ollie Fresh Pet Food (Lamb recipe)

First 5 ingredients: Lamb, Butternut Squash, Lamb Liver, Kale, Rice

10 Best Dog Food for Bernese Mountain Dog: [year] Update 17
Ollie delivers their fresh food directly to your front door, making it super easy for you to give your pup quality nutrition on a regular basis.

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.

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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, fresh ingredients.

What We Like

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

What We Don't Like

  • Price a bit expensive
  • Has a shorter shelf life compared to kibbles and canned goods

Customer rating:

Customers love the high-quality dog food formulations that Ollie makes. Since the recipes are customized, each will be able to meet the nutritional requirements of pups whatever their life stage may be — Bernese mountain puppy, adult Bernese mountain dog, or senior Berner. And food allergies are avoided.

There is a marked difference in the energy levels of dogs fed with this food, which takes care of the problem of unnecessary weight gain. A beautiful and healthy coat was also observed in the large breed pups.

2. Taste Of The Wild Pacific Stream Formula

First 5 ingredients: Salmon, Ocean Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Peas

10 Best Dog Food for Bernese Mountain Dog: [year] Update 18
Using smoked-flavor salmon as its main ingredient, this grain free formula will your satiate your pet's inner craving.

Taste of the Wild has produced a brilliant dry 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.

What We Like

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

What We Don't Like

  • Poor bag design
  • Always out of stock

Customer rating:

2865 people who gave this dry dog food from Taste of The Wild a combined rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 can’t all be wrong. According to many, it’s one of the best dog foods out there, especially for pups with severe food sensitivities. 

There are also many accounts of large breed pups who are doing extremely well on it based on their solid stools, beautiful coats (due to the good amount of omega fatty acids), and healthy weight. 

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

First 5 ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal, Brown Rice, Peas, Rice Bran

10 Best Dog Food for Bernese Mountain Dog: [year] Update 19
Crafted for active, large breed dogs, this recipe contains precise blends of antioxidants and nutrients your big boy needs in order to thrive healthily.

American Journey’s dry dog food formula uses deboned salmon as the first ingredient for controlled weight and lean protein. It uses fruits and veggies for antioxidants and vitamins to keep your Bernese mountain dog fully supported from nose to tip.

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 and joint health, American Journey Large Breed has controlled levels of minerals like calcium and phosphorus and supplements like chondroitin and glucosamine.

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 a healthy skin and coat.

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

Since it’s formulated to be for all life stages, Bernese Mountain Dog puppies to senior Bernese Mountain Dogs will find all their required daily nutrition more than met.

What We Like

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

What We Don't Like

  • Not gluten free
  • Not a hit among finicky eaters

Customer rating:

322 customers rated this American Journey Salmon and Brown Rice recipe with 4.6 stars out of 5. According to many, it’s the best food for large breed pups because it gets them going all day. Since it has the right level of proteins and healthy fats, the dry dog food is perfect for a working dog’s lifestyle.

For dogs with consistent allergies and food sensitivities, the fish ingredients are a great alternative to chicken and other types of meat. No more gastric health problems are reported and there’s a big difference in the outlook and mood of dogs on this food.

4. Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food Delivery (Tasty Turkey Fare)

First 5 ingredients: Ground Turkey, Brown Rice, Eggs, Carrots, Spinach

10 Best Dog Food for Bernese Mountain Dog: [year] Update 20
Nom Nom conducts minimal processing with all their recipes, and they cook their foods gently to protect the integrity of the nutrients. You can also rest assured knowing this formula is free from wheat, corn, and soy.

Nom Nom has pioneered the fresh dog food market and is still one of a few that gets it right. Like Ollie, Nom Nom offers a customized formulation for your pup of one or all four of the brand’s base recipes. 

After a short sign up process and profile build, which will ensure that each dog food serving will be customized to your Bernese mountain dog’s nutritional requirements, you can choose from a variety of flavors and recipes. 

The Tasty Turkey Fare combines the best ingredients for a high protein, low-fat meal. The ground turkey (not turkey meal) helps maintain lean muscle mass for a healthy body weight, while the brown rice helps provide an extensive supply of energy for your active large breed pup. 

Each meal is pre-portioned and packed individually, so you don’t have to guess. Just open the pouch and serve. 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.

What We Like

  • Dogs love the taste
  • Highly palatable
  • Limited ingredients
  • Excellent protein source
  • Prepared fresh and shipped right then
  • Easy to serve and portion control to prevent overeating

What We Don't Like

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

Customer rating:

Nom Nom recipes are highly reviewed by pet owners as the best dog food for them and, frequently, those owners often have stories of health problems suffered by their dogs which were cleared just by sticking to this Nom Nom diet. Some health problems that were aided by this fresh diet include IBS, colitis, and skin allergies.

There is no worry about the servings because of the pre-packed meals, and since the dog food is customized, it is easy enough to adapt the formulation from large breed puppy food to meals for adult dogs as your pet grows. 

5. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight

First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Pea Fiber

10 Best Dog Food for Bernese Mountain Dog: [year] Update 21
Formulated to help your Berner maintain its desired weight using deboned chicken as its main ingredient but minus the excess calories from fat.

Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight is a weight management formula that provides your adult Bernese Mountain Dog with everything he needs without having to worry about extra pounds.

It is packed with real chicken for a protein-rich meal and is made without excess calories from fat to keep your Bernese Mountain pet in good condition.

A precise blend of nutrients called LifeSource Bits have been further enhanced with a package of seven antioxidant-rich ingredients to keep your large breed Bernese Mountain Dog in the best of health. 

The L-carnitine in the food helps with muscle development and reduced calories from fat for your pooch. And since chonky pups, especially the large breed ones, are prone to joint health problems, it helps that this dry dog food comes with glucosamine and chondroitin.

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.

What We Like

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

What We Don't Like

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

Customer rating:

Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight Formula gets a 4.6 out of 5 stars rating from over 1200 customers. According to several owners, it’s one of the few dog foods that work with their large breed canines who have gastro health problems, unlike other weight control formulas that contain too much fiber.

Dogs on this dry dog food diet were also observed to have significantly more energy and are overall happier. However, some pups do tend to eat it quickly, if their owners aren’t too careful about the feeding process.

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

First 5 ingredients: Deboned Beef, Lamb Meal, Salmon Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes

10 Best Dog Food for Bernese Mountain Dog: [year] Update 22
Teeming with omega fatty acids, glucosamine and chondroitin this grain free kibble also boasts with 65% protein content making it a well-rounded meal.

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 whole foods bought from the brand’s trusted farmers. It’s one of the best dog food recipes to give when you’re looking for a high protein diet for your Bernese Mountain Dog. 

The dog food is 65% animal protein and healthy fats, while the rest is made up of produce, fiber, and other essential nutrients. About 34% of the whole formula is crude protein for developing and maintaining lean muscle mass.

There are also leading levels of essential fatty acids (omega fatty acids) to support a healthy skin and coat in your Bernese Mountain Dog. Plus, it has hip and joint health supplements to keep your biggie pup active and pain-free.

What We Like

  • 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

What We Don't Like

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

Customer rating: 

1109 reviewers gave Merrick’s Texas Beef and Sweet Potato recipe the thumbs up with a 4.5 star rating out of 5. The fresh and whole food formulation has plenty of good fedbacks from pet parents whose dogs usually experience allergic reactions to other food recipes, including prescription diets.

It’s a good food alternative to give adult Bernese Mountain Dogs and other breeds, if you’re trying to switch them away from poultry. And it is also more wallet friendly than other brands with about the same quality.

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Best Puppy Food for Bernese Mountain Dogs

7. Nutro Puppy Chicken & Sweet Potato in Gravy Recipe

First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Pork Broth, Sweet Potatoes, Chicken Liver

10 Best Dog Food for Bernese Mountain Dog: [year] Update 23
This premium, grain free wet dog comes in easy to open food trays which makes it mess-free and convenient for any fur-rent.

Nutro Ultra has been around long enough to know what makes a high-quality premium dog food. The brand does not skimp on the protein sources, and its gravy mix is full of flavor that all Bernese Mountain Dog puppies will eagerly enjoy.

This high-quality puppy food from Nutro is perfect for your growing large breed canine. It starts with real chicken and does not contain any GMO ingredients.

It also does not include any potentially problematic ingredient that may harm your Bernese Mountain Dog, such as byproduct meals, soy, wheat, corn, or artificial stuff.

What We Like

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

What We Don't Like

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

Customer rating:

50 dog owners gave this wet puppy food from Nutro a combined rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. The large breed puppy food is said to be a hit with little canines, even picky eaters who usually turn their noses up at regular dog food.

There are no fillers or artificial products in this, which makes it the best food to give growing dogs, according to customers. Pups are thriving on this, and their owners like the fact that all the ingredients have been carefully selected for quality and functionality. 

8. Wellness CORE Puppy Chicken & Turkey Recipe

First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Lentils, Peas

10 Best Dog Food for Bernese Mountain Dog: [year] Update 24
Features smaller kibble size perfect for small jaws, this protein rich formula is fortified with probiotics, minerals, glucosamine, vitamins, taurine, antioxidants and omega fatty acids-DHA included.

This Wellness CORE recipe is a grain-free dry dog food that brings the nutrition your large breed pup needs to keep him active, healthy, and strong. Each bowl of kibble gives you a 2:1 ratio of proteins and healthy fats. You will also find a plethora of vegetables and berries and added antioxidants for illness fighting properties.

This delectable formulation is crafted with protein sourced from deboned chicken, chicken meal, and turkey meal to provide your Bernese Mountain Dog puppy with the focused nutrition he needs to support proper development and growth.

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.

What We Like

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

What We Don't Like

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

Customer rating:

This recipe has received a rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 from 415 pet parents. From owners of small canines to Bernese Mountain Dog puppies, the food only got positive reviews. What is often praised is the transformation seen in pups’ healthy skin and fur. 

The nutritional value is great while it is gentle on the stomach. The difference this food brings also include no more soft stools or irritated digestive systems. Instead, puppies are being more playful, active, and growing well.

Best Dog Food for Senior Berners

9. Victor Senior Healthy Weight

First 5 ingredients: Beef Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Millet, Grain Sorghum, Chicken Fat

10 Best Dog Food for Bernese Mountain Dog: [year] Update 25
Locally sourced and made here in USA, this dry dog food is fortified with vitamins, minerals, glucosamine, chondroitin, essential fatty acids, L-carnitine, protein and amino acids.

Victor Senior is a good formulation to introduce to large breed senior dogs who are struggling with maintaining a proper weight. With the enriched formula, you can still feed the amount your pup is used to without worrying if they are getting too much.

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This recipe uses the brand’s unique VPRO Blend that helps promote superior digestibility in aging canines. It also has l-carnitine to quickly convert fat to energy, helping your pup become more active.

As dogs mature, their fur and coat may suffer from dullness. The guaranteed levels of omega fatty acids in this formulation ensures that your large breed pet’s skin and hair remain as beautiful as they were during your dog’s prime.

What We Like

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

What We Don't Like

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

Customer rating:

An average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 were given by 588 reviewers for this Victor Purpose formulation. After switching their pets to this diet, some owners noticed that their dogs have been gaining their weight back nicely, going back to their spunky selves, and looking better than they have been.

The food is a trusted product too, according to several customers. And based on the way their dogs are eating the food like a champ, it may be the best dog food for their pets.

10. Blue Buffalo Freedom Senior Chicken Recipe

First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Carrots, Peas

10 Best Dog Food for Bernese Mountain Dog: [year] Update 26
If your senior companion is already losing some of his teeth, this is a good choice for them. This canned food featured chunks of tender chicken plus veggies and fruits making it irresistibly tasty.

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

Since the wet food recipe uses tender chunks of real chicken as its single animal protein source, it is ideal for older Bernese Mountain Dogs who may be sensitive to animal proteins other than poultry. 

Aside from the protein, a blend of complex carbohydrates promote an active lifestyle for your senior. Only wholesome ingredients are used and no wheat, byproduct meal, corn, soy, or anything artificial were included. 

What We Like

  • Not too rich, even when mixed with dry food
  • Does well with sensitive, aging digestive tracts
  • Can be fed alone, helping with portion control
  • Has complex carbs to help maintain active life
  • Zero wheat, corn, soy, grains or preservatives

What We Don't Like

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

Customer rating:

128 dog owners gave this Blue Buffalo formulation 4.6 stars out of 5. This canned food agrees with many senior tummies and is decently priced for a quality wet food formulation. Many dogs consistently eat the food and will excitedly wait whenever a can is popped open.

Some older pups who suffer from ailments have been reported to show some significant improvements in their skin, energy levels, and general outlook. Minor digestive issues were also observed to have cleared up and stools are decidedly firmer. 

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.

Related article: Mini Bernese Mountain Dog

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 Meals – It is an FDA law that all ingredients are listed from the highest content to the lowest. Therefore, whatever is listed first on the la

bel 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.

Fat – Fat acts as another source of energy for your Bernese Mountain Dog. It also provides those omega fatty acids that your pet needs to keep his skin and coat shiny and beautiful, his immune system properly functioning, and relieve itchy skin and allergies. 

You can usually see fat in recipes in the form of chicken fat or fish oil, although there are plenty of other sources too. 

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 Bernese Mountain Dog 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.

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, particularly Bernese Mountain 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 Bernese Mountain Dog doesn’t care if his food is rainbow colored or just brown. You shouldn’t either.

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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 Bernese Mountain 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 recipes with 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.

Bernese Mountain Dog 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.

Bernese Mountain Dog 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.


Your Bernese Mountain Dog is a wonderful large canine with a beautiful personality. He’s a hardy dog with a placid demeanor but is always up for play whenever you want him to because he aims to please. 

Easy to take care of, all your Berner needs is your attention, some space to roam in, and proper food and care to help him live life to the fullest. 

Make sure to pick the best dog food for your pup to take care of his health and enjoy a long and wonderful time with this affectionate breed.

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