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10 Best Dog Foods For Bernese Mountain Dogs – Reviews & Top Picks

bernese mountain dog sitting on the ground

As a Bernese Mountain Dog owner, you want what’s best for your furry friend. Bernese Mountain Dogs are a large breed that requires a high-quality diet with plenty of protein in order to thrive. A diet that’s lacking in nutrients can lead to health problems such as obesity or even more serious issues like heart disease or joint problems. In this article, we’ll give you everything you need to know about finding the best dog food for Bernese Mountain Dogs, starting with some of the top brands and our reviews of each one, including one recommended by veterinarians.

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A Glance at Our Winners in 2022

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Grain-free formula
  • Allergy-friendly for sensitive dogs
  • Contains quality sources of protein
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food
  • Affordable price
  • Includes plenty of vitamins and minerals
  • Uses sustainably raised water buffalo
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dog Food Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dog Food
  • Designed for large and active breeds
  • Contains quality sources of protein
  • Quality ingredients
  • Best for Puppies
    Merrick Healthy Grains Puppy Food Merrick Healthy Grains Puppy Food
  • Freeze-dried raw formula provides plenty of protein
  • Includes many healthy ingredients like fruits and vegetables
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin help support healthy hips and joints
  • Vet’s Choice
    Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Adult Dog Food Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Adult Dog Food
  • Includes many healthy ingredients like fruits and vegetables
  • Free from corn, wheat, and soy ingredients
  • Rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids to support healthy skin and coat
  • The 10 Best Dog Foods For Bernese Mountain Dogs

    1. Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food – Best Overall

    Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal
    Protein content: 34%
    Fat content: 16%
    Calories: 3,719 per kg

    The best overall food for Bernese Mountain Dogs is the Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. This formula from Wellness CORE is designed to meet the needs of large and active breeds like the Bernese Mountain Dog. It contains quality sources of protein like chicken, turkey, and whitefish, as well as plenty of vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids. This food is also grain-free, making it a good choice for dogs with sensitivities or allergies. Keep in mind that a grain-free diet isn’t necessary for all dogs. You might also notice your dog having digestive issues as they adjust to a grain-free formula. Keep your vet in the loop to make sure your dog stays healthy and happy.

    Pros
    • Grain-free formula
    • Allergy-friendly for sensitive dogs
    • Contains quality sources of protein
    • Includes omega-3 fatty acids
    Cons
    • Grain-free foods may not be appropriate for some dogs
    • Switching to a grain-free diet may cause temporary digestive upset

    2. Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food – Best Value

    Taste of the Wild Ancient Prairie with Ancient Grains Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Buffalo, lamb meal, chicken meal
    Protein content: 32%
    Fat content: 14.5%
    Calories: 2,959 per kg

    This food from Taste of the Wild is the best food for Bernese Mountain Dogs for the money and a good option for dogs who require a grain-inclusive diet. It contains quality protein sources like bison, venison, and Angus beef, as well as ancient grains like sorghum, millet, and quinoa. This formula contains sustainably raised water buffalo. It also includes fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids to support your BMD’s overall health. If your dog has grain allergies or sensitivities, this won’t be the right brand for them. It’s also not appropriate for small breeds.

    Pros
    • Affordable price
    • Includes plenty of vitamins and minerals
    • Uses sustainably raised water buffalo
    • Contains live probiotics
    Cons
    • May not be suitable for dogs with food sensitivities or allergies
    • Not suitable for small breeds

    3. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain  – Premium Choice

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe with Bison

    Main ingredients: Bison, deboned chicken, turkey meal
    Protein content: 34%
    Fat content: 16%
    Calories: 3,719 per kg

    This food from Blue Buffalo is another excellent option for Bernese Mountain Dogs. It contains protein from high-quality bison as the first ingredient, along with other quality sources of protein like turkey meal and duck meal. This formula is also grain-free and includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids. If you have a small breed dog, this isn’t the brand for you. It’s also not for per owners on a budget, as it can be a bit pricey when compared to similar brands.

    Pros
    • Designed for large and active breeds
    • Contains quality sources of protein
    • Quality ingredients
    Cons
    • More expensive than some other options
    • Not suitable for small breeds

    4. Merrick Healthy Grains Puppy Food – Best for Puppies

    Merrick Healthy Grains Raw-Coated Kibble Puppy Recipe Freeze-Dried Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal
    Protein content: 28%
    Fat content: 16%
    Calories: 3,751 per kg

    A great option for Bernese Mountain Dog puppies is this food from Merrick. It contains freeze-dried raw pieces that contain protein in the form of chicken. These pieces are then coated in a nutrient-rich mixture of grain, fruits, and vegetables. It’s free from corn, soy, and wheat ingredients to support your dog’s overall health. Some pet owners don’t like the high price of this brand, especially since it uses the ubiquitous “chicken meal” as one of the main ingredients.

    Pros
    • Freeze-dried raw formula provides plenty of protein
    • Includes many healthy ingredients like fruits and vegetables
    • Glucosamine and chondroitin help support healthy hips and joints
    Cons
    • More expensive than some other options on the market
    • Contains chicken meal

    5. Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Adult Dog Food – Vet’s Choice

    Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Adult Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Lamb, chicken meal
    Protein content: 28%
    Fat content: 15%
    Calories: 2,862 per kg

    If you’re looking for high-quality food that’s also affordable, check out this option from Nutro. This formula contains lamb as the first ingredient and is enriched with essential vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids to support your Bernese Mountain Dog’s overall health. The recipe is free from corn, wheat, and soy ingredients for dogs with sensitive stomachs or allergies. One downside is this brand doesn’t contain any probiotics or prebiotics, which many pet owners look for. It’s also not appropriate for small breed dogs or puppies of any breed.

    Pros
    • Includes many healthy ingredients like fruits and vegetables
    • Free from corn, wheat, and soy ingredients
    • Rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids to support healthy skin and coat
    Cons
    • May not be suitable for small breeds or puppies
    • No probiotics or prebiotics included

    6. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Reserve Dry Dog Food

    Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Reserve Grain-Free Duck & Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Duck, duck meal
    Protein content: 32%
    Fat content: 12.5%
    Calories: 3,067 per kg

    This food from Natural Balance is a great option for dogs with sensitivities or allergies. It contains a single source of protein (duck) and is free from grains, soy, dairy, and artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. This formula also includes omega-3 fatty acids to support your BMD’s health. You’ll find this to be more expensive than most brands. It’s also possible for potato-based foods to upset your dog’s stomach at first, especially if they’ve never had potatoes in their diet.

    Pros
    • Single protein source is perfect for dogs with food sensitivities or allergies
    • Free from grains, soy, and artificial additives to support your dog’s health
    • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids to support healthy skin and a shiny coat
    Cons
    • More expensive than some other options on the market
    • May not be suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs or digestion issues

    7. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

    CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredient Lamb & Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Lamb meal, peas
    Protein content: 26%
    Fat content: 14%
    Calories: 3,500 per kg

    If you’re looking for high-quality food that’s also affordable, check out this option from Canidae. It is free from grains, fillers, and artificial additives and includes just a few key ingredients to support your BMD’s overall health. This recipe is also loaded with omega fatty acids to maintain healthy skin and coat. It’s important to note that some dogs are allergic to peas. Always make sure to talk to your vet about big changes to your dog’s diet and monitor your dog’s health and behavior closely after any diet change.

    Pros
    • Includes many healthy ingredients like fruits and vegetables
    • Free from grains, soy, dairy, GMOs, and other harmful additives
    • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids to support healthy skin and coat
    Cons
    • Some dogs may be allergic to peas

    8. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed  Dry Dog Food

    Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed Chicken & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Chicken meal, barley
    Protein content: 30%
    Fat content: 15%
    Calories: 3,364 per kg

    This food from Hill’s Science Diet is another great option for large breeds like the Bernese Mountain Dog. It contains a high protein content and is enriched with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support your dog’s health. The formula also includes natural fiber to promote healthy digestion in dogs. Conversely, some people find their dogs have more gas on a higher fiber diet. This formula is also one of the more expensive brands on the market.

    Pros
    • Includes many healthy ingredients like fruits and vegetables to support your dog’s immune system
    • Formula is enriched with omega fatty acids and antioxidants for healthier skin and coat
    • Rich in protein for strong muscles and lean body mass
    Cons
    • More expensive than some other options
    • Increased fiber may cause gas until your dog adjusts

    9. Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Large Breed Dry Dog Food

    Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Large Breed Dry Dog Food Formula With MCT Oil & Enhanced Botanicals

    Main ingredients: Chicken, brewers rice, whole grain wheat
    Protein content: 30.5%
    Fat content: 12.5%
    Calories: 3,558 per kg

    This food from Purina Pro Plan is designed to support cognitive health in older dogs. It contains enhanced botanicals and MCT oil to help nourish your dog’s mind, and the formula is also rich in protein and essential nutrients to support your BMD’s overall health. Make sure your dog is not allergic to wheat gluten. Some dogs may not like the taste of their new healthy food, so you may need to mix it with a small amount of wet food in the beginning. It’s also not appropriate for dogs younger than seven.

    Pros
    • Formula enhanced with MCT oil and botanicals to support your dog’s cognitive health as he ages
    • Rich in fish oil for healthy skin and coat
    • Includes ingredients like apples, carrots, spinach, and blueberries
    Cons
    • Wheat gluten is a common allergen for dogs
    • May need to mix with wet food or water to make it more palatable in some cases
    • Designed only for dogs seven years or older

    10. Orijen Regional Red Dry Dog Food

    Orijen Regional Red Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Angus beef, wild boar, heritage pork
    Protein content: 38%
    Fat content: 18%
    Calories: 2,476 per kg

    If you’re looking for a premium food for your Bernese Mountain Dog, check out Orijen. This Canadian company produces high-quality foods that are free from fillers and contain no by-products. This formula is made with fresh regional ingredients, including Angus beef, wild boar, and heritage pork.

    Pros
    • Made with high-quality ingredients that are all sourced from regional suppliers
    • Rich in protein and fat to support lean muscle mass and a shiny coat and skin
    • Does not contain any chemical additives or preservatives like BHT or BHA
    Cons
    • May be more expensive than some other options on the market
    • Some dogs may be sensitive to the high meat content of this food
    • Your dog may need to adjust to this food slowly

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    Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Dog Food For Your Bernese Mountain Dog

    It can’t be said enough that the best way to ensure your dog is getting all the nutrients he needs is to work with your veterinarian. They can help you determine which type of food is best for your dog and make sure he’s getting the right amount of calories and nutrients based on his age, activity level, and health concerns. No matter what brand you choose, look for the following ingredients in your dog’s food

    Protein

    When shopping for the best dog food for your Bernese Mountain Dog, look for formulas that contain quality sources of protein such as chicken, turkey, beef, or lamb. These will help ensure your BMD gets all the muscle-building nutrients he needs to stay healthy and happy!

    Fats

    In addition to protein, you’ll also want to make sure your Bernese Mountain Dog’s food contains plenty of fats – about 15 to 20%. Also, look for foods with omega-3 fatty acids. These come from healthy fats and help support your dog’s immune system, joints, and overall health.

    Vitamins and Minerals

    Make sure your Bernese Mountain Dog’s food contains plenty of vitamins and minerals in order to support his overall health.

    Probiotics

    Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for your dog’s digestive system. Look for formulas that contain probiotics in order to support your BMD’s digestive health.

    Fiber

    Fiber is important for all dogs, but it’s especially important for Bernese Mountain Dogs because they are prone to developing bloat. Fiber helps keep your dog’s digestive system working properly and can also help prevent bloat. It’s found in grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.

    Ensuring Proper Nutrition and Healthy Weight

    Preventing obesity in Bernese Mountain Dogs is important for their overall health and longevity. BMDs are a large breed and, as such, are prone to hip dysplasia and other joint problems. Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the risk of developing these problems later in life.

    person pouring dog food to a bowl
    Image Credit: Mart Production, Pexels

    Feeding Your Dog Grains

    There are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to feed your Bernese Mountain Dog a grain-based diet. First, make sure that the grain is of good quality and has been properly processed. Second, avoid feeding your dog too much grain, as this can lead to obesity. Third, talk to your veterinarian about the best way to transition your BMD to a grain-based diet.

    Healthy Grains

    There are a few grains that are particularly good for Bernese Mountain Dogs. Oats are an excellent source of fiber and protein, while barley and brown rice are also good options. Just make sure that the grains you choose are of high quality and have been properly processed. Avoid feeding your dog too much grain, as this can lead to weight gain and other health problems.

    How Much To Feed

    On average, an adult Bernese Mountain Dog needs about 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day. Generally speaking, that’s about two to four cups of food per day. But the exact amount of food to feed your Bernese Mountain Dog will depend on a number of factors, including his age, activity level, and health status. By monitoring your dog’s body condition and weight over time, you can adjust his diet as needed to make sure he stays healthy and happy.

    Feeding Schedule

    It’s generally recommended that you feed your Bernese Mountain Dog two to three times per day. Puppies may need to be fed more often – up to four or five times per day – and seniors may do well on one or two smaller meals per day.

    Factoring in Treats

    How many treats can a Bernese Mountain Dog have in a day? 

    The number of treats you give your Bernese Mountain Dog in a day will depend on his age, activity level, and health status. Puppies and seniors may need fewer calories than adult dogs, so they may not be able to have as many treats. It is also important to consider the caloric content of the treats you are giving – some treats are higher in calories than others, so it is important to factor this into your dog’s overall daily intake. As a general guideline, most dogs can have up to 10% of their daily caloric intake from treats without affecting their weight or health.

    How Much Water Does a Bernese Mountain Dog Need?

    The amount of water a BMD needs will vary depending on factors like size, age, activity level, and climate. Generally speaking, adult dogs should drink around one to two cups of water per day, though this can vary depending on individual needs. To determine the optimal hydration levels for your dog, be sure to consult with your vet about his unique health situation. You can also monitor your dog’s body condition and assess whether he is drinking enough by looking for signs of dehydration such as dry mouth or sunken eyes.

    How to Safely Switch Your Dog’s Food

    When switching your dog’s food, it is important to do so gradually in order to avoid gastrointestinal upset. Begin by mixing a small amount of the new food in with the old food and gradually increasing the proportion of new to old over the course of a week. This will give your dog’s digestive system time to adjust to the new food and will help to avoid any stomach upset. If you notice your dog having any problems with the transition, such as diarrhea or vomiting, be sure to contact your veterinarian.

    Should Your Dog Eat Wet Food?

    Wet food can be a great way to increase your dog’s hydration levels, especially if he is not a big fan of drinking water. Wet food can also be a good option for dogs with certain health conditions that make it difficult to eat dry food, such as tooth problems or gastrointestinal issues. If you are considering switching your dog to wet food, be sure to consult with your veterinarian first to see if it is the right option for your pet.

    Does Your Dog Need Vitamin Supplements?

    Vitamins and minerals are an important part of a dog’s diet, but most dogs will get all the nutrients they need from a well-balanced commercial food. If your dog has any specific health concerns, your veterinarian may recommend supplementing his diet with certain vitamins or minerals.

    For example, dogs with joint problems may benefit from supplements like glucosamine or chondroitin, while dogs with allergies may need additional omega-3 fatty acids. An important thing to keep in mind is that more is not necessarily better. Giving your dog too much of certain nutrients can be harmful or fatal. For this reason, it is important to consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any supplements.

    mountain dog running with tongue out
    Image Credit: Pixabay, Pexels

    What About Exercise?

    Bernese Mountain Dogs are a relatively active breed, and they need a moderate amount of exercise to stay healthy and happy. A good rule of thumb is to provide your dog with at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. This can be in the form of walks, runs, hikes, or play sessions. Exercise is not only important for keeping your Bernese Mountain Dog physically healthy, but it can also help to relieve boredom and minimize problem behaviors. A tired dog is a good dog!

    Signs You Need to Change Your Dog’s Food

    There are a few signs that may indicate that your dog’s food needs to be changed. If you notice your dog is having trouble digesting his food, has changes in bathroom habits, or is losing weight, it may be time to switch to a different food. Additionally, if your dog seems uninterested in his food or is constantly begging for table scraps, it may be time to switch to a more palatable option. If you are unsure whether or not your dog’s food needs to be changed, be sure to consult with your veterinarian for guidance.

    Puppy Food Vs. Adult Dog Food: What’s the Difference?

    Puppy food is formulated to meet the unique nutritional needs of growing puppies. Puppy food is typically higher in calories and protein than adult dog food, as well as containing certain vitamins and minerals that are essential for proper development. Once your puppy reaches adulthood, he can be switched to adult dog food. It is important to consult with your veterinarian to determine when the best time to switch your puppy to adult food is.

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    Conclusion

    As our overall top pick, Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food offers a grain-free formula and is allergy-friendly for sensitive dogs. Our best dog food for the money, Taste Of The Wild Ancient Prairie With Ancient Grains Dry Dog Food, is an affordable diet that includes plenty of vitamins and minerals. When it comes to feeding your dog, there is no one-size-fits-all solution but hopefully, our reviews will help to make your decision easier. The best food for your dog will depend on his individual needs and preferences. The best way to ensure that you are giving your dog a healthy and nutritious diet is to focus on high-quality ingredients and avoid artificial additives whenever possible. By providing your pup with the right amount of high-quality, nutritious food and treats, you can help your Bernese Mountain Dog stay happy and healthy for years to come!


    Featured Image Credit: Alexander Dummer, Pexels

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