How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Saint Bernard Puppies
The charming Saint Bernard pup is a fluffy ball of fun that is up for any adventure. A giant breed pooch that is a member of the working group, the Saint Bernard originated in the Swiss Alps where monks at a local hospice put the breed to work rescuing lost strangers traveling in the mountains. Today, the Saint Bernard is largely a family pet, a role it enjoys with great vigor.
A gentle natured dog, the Saint Bernard has a thick double coat that has well prepared the breed for cold, snowy conditions. However, this gentle giant should be housed indoors with its family. A breed that bonds deeply to those it loves most, the Saint Bernard puppy does best in a home where it receives lots of attention and affection.
The Saint Bernard puppy both sheds and drools a fair bit, and families that plan to add one of these delightful, happy pups to their home must be prepared for the extra cleaning that comes along with this giant pooch. A dog breed that does require regular daily exercise, the Saint Bernard puppy is quite content to spend its days lounging by its family’s side after it has had its daily walk. The Saint Bernard puppy can easily become overweight if overfed, so care must be taken not to free feed this dog and to monitor its daily food intake.
The Saint Bernard puppy can reach a weight of 180 pounds when fully grown. As a giant breed puppy, this breed enjoys a lengthy puppyhood; often not reaching full maturity until the dog is almost three years of age. To encourage a healthy rate of growth, this pup should be fed a large breed puppy food until it reaches one year old or 75 percent of its adult size. At this time, it should then be transitioned to an appropriate adult diet.
Available in two coat types, short and long, most people are familiar with the short haired variety that was favored by the monks at the hospice. It is believed the Saint Bernard descended from several different cross breedings in its lineage including such dog types as the Entlebucher, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, and the Bernese Mountain Dog.
An excellent family companion, the Saint Bernard puppy is loyal, loving, and affectionate. However, the breed will guard its home and hearth if it feels the presence of a threat towards its family.
The Saint Bernard unfortunately has a relatively short life span, typically living for 8 to 10 years. In addition to this, the breed can be predisposed to developing a number of different health problems including hip and elbow dysplasia, osteosarcoma, hypothyroidism, cataracts, entropion, and bloat. To help promote optimal health in the Saint Bernard puppy, it is recommended that owners feed this pup a high quality diet that includes supplements to support eye and joint health.
Since the Saint Bernard puppy can be prone to developing bloat, it is a good idea to feed this pup a large breed puppy food. This is because the pieces of kibble have been crafted to be large enough to encourage thoughtful and careful chewing and swallowing. This prevents puppies from eating too much or too quickly, two common problems believed to contribute to bloat.
The best dog foods for Saint Bernard puppies contain a minimum of 22 percent protein and 8 percent fat. In addition to this, any diet for this gentle giant must have the proper proportions of calcium to phosphorus: 1.2 parts of calcium for each part of phosphorus.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Saint Bernard Puppies
Since the Saint Bernard puppy is a busy pooch, this breed requires a well-balanced large breed puppy diet based on a lean meat to thrive. Once this type of food has been selected, it is then important to determine how much of it the puppy should receive at each meal. The best dog foods for Saint Bernard puppies will provide helpful suggestions as to portion size. These amounts are based on the puppy’s age and weight.
These suggested serving sizes can be used as a starting point. It is best to adjust these amounts incrementally, using the puppy’s appetite, activity level, and body condition to help determine the correct portion.
The Saint Bernard puppy should not be free fed. Since this breed can easily gain weight if not appropriately exercised or if overfed, it is important to measure and monitor all daily intake to ensure a healthy body condition.
Dietary Requirements for Saint Bernard Puppy Foods
The Saint Bernard puppy is a busy little breed, requiring a high quality diet based on a lean meat to attain optimal health and wellness. The best dog foods for Saint Bernard puppies include a whole meat or a meat meal as their foundational ingredient. By-products are of lower nutritional quality, and therefore, foods containing them are not ideal for this active working pooch. Likewise, the plant-based proteins soy, corn, and wheat are best avoided as they are common allergens for many dogs.
Many commercially prepared diets include certain ingredients that are present only to improve the food’s taste, appearance, or its shelf life. Among the ingredients that are of no benefit to the Saint Bernard puppy are chemicals, additives, fillers, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
Carbohydrates help a diet to be well rounded and complete. These can come from fruits, vegetables, or whole grains, or a combination of all three. Each carbohydrate included in a diet for the Saint Bernard puppy should ideally contribute ample servings of antioxidants and dietary fiber to encourage a healthy immune system and good digestion.
From healthy fats, the Saint Bernard puppy gains the nutrients required for coat and skin health, strong energy reserves, and optimal brain and eye development. The ideal sources for these fats are found in such ingredients as chicken fat and oily fish. Some plant-based oils are also extremely nutrient dense, contributing ample amounts of the essential fatty acids growing pups need. These oils include safflower, sunflower, canola, and coconut.
All diets can benefit from the addition of supplements to increase their overall efficacy. The ideal supplements to look for in a food for the Saint Bernard puppy include taurine, glucosamine, chondroitin, prebiotics, and probiotics.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Saint Bernard Puppies
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in the best dog food for a Saint Bernard puppy:
Lean, meat-based proteins heading up the ingredients list
The best dog foods for Saint Bernard puppies are based on a lean meat-based protein. Whole meats or meat meals are the preferred option. By-products and plant proteins such as soy, corn, and wheat are best avoided.
Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavorings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
Chemicals, fillers, artificial flavorings and colorings, and mystery ingredients provide no nutritional benefit to a growing Saint Bernard puppy. Diets that are based upon any of these items are not suited to the needs of this breed.
Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
The most beneficial supplements for the Saint Bernard puppy are taurine, glucosamine, chondroitin, prebiotics, and probiotics.
Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
All foods appropriate for the Saint Bernard puppy should bear the AAFCO seal of approval, indicating it meets the standards for a complete and balanced food.