You have just adopted a little Saint Bernard puppy and it’s happiness in your family! But now, you have to take it seriously and, to begin with, you have to feed your Saint Bernard puppy properly….
First of all, know that feeding your puppy well means giving him all the chances he needs to grow well, develop a good muscle structure and a good osseous structure.
But it is also an essential element if you don’t want your puppy to become obese or have transit or digestive problems… in short, it’s simply an essential point for his health.
This article will help you choose the best food for your Saint Bernard puppy : BARF, domestic food or dry dog food?
How to feed a Saint Bernard puppy?
Generally, a Saint Bernard puppy is completely free of his mother’s milk around 8 weeks of age. So we’re going to consider that when you adopt it, it’s completely weaned.
First of all, you’re not going to suddenly change the puppy’s diet. So you need to talk to the former owner or breeder about how to do the first few weeks. And if the breeder used to give him some kibbles and you want to change, you will have to do it very gradually. Over two weeks or more, you can introduce and mix the new food with the old ones a little more every day.
You will have to feed your Saint Bernard puppy several meals:
- 3 to 4 meals a day for animals aged 2 to 6 months,
- then 2 meals a day for up to one year (and for some Saint Bernard you can continue in this way even adult) in order to avoid any risk of torsion dilation of the stomach.
For rations, it will be necessary to adapt them according to his age, race, weight, lifestyle…
Remember to control your puppy’s growth. Indeed, as soon as it has reached 90% of its final weight, it will be necessary to switch to an “Saint Bernard adult” diet.
Nutritional needs of Saint Bernard puppies
Whatever his breed or weight, your puppy’s food should be well balanced and rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to help him grow well.
Here are the main nutrients your Saint Bernard puppy will need:
- Proteins are essential for the development of tissues, organs, muscles… They also help to prevent illnesses. The proteins must be of high quality and represent more than 25% of the ration.
- Glucids also make a significant contribution to your Saint Bernard puppy’s healthy growth. They are mainly found in cereals.
- Essential fatty acids are important for the development of the nervous and immune system. They should be preferred as a source of energy rather than carbohydrates. Indeed, essential fatty acids are easily digestible and provide vitamin.
- Calcium of course for bones, vitamins….
But to be sure to give everything your Saint Bernard puppy will need, several questions must be asked:
- Which form of diet to choose?
- Which one will be the healthiest, most balanced and most suitable for my puppy?
- What type of meal to prepare: raw meat (BARF), hand made meals (household food) or croquettes (dry dog food)?
We will help you see more clearly what the 3 types of meals are and determine the best diet for your Saint Bernard puppy.
Best diet for puppies Saint Bernard – BARF diet
The BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet consists in giving your Saint Bernard a diet mainly composed of raw meat and supplemented with pasta, rice, vegetables… It would be an appropriate and good diet for puppies but only if it is well composed and properly administered.
Advantages of BARF food for Saint Bernard puppies
Whether puppy or adult, a Saint Bernard remains a carnivore and therefore is made to eat meat. A puppy, of respectable size, must grow slowly to allow him to properly form his bones, ligaments and muscles. With a natural diet based on raw meat and vegetables, the puppy has a quality food.
The BARF program recommends a daily ration of 6 to 8% of the puppy’s weight given in 3 or 4 meals for Saint Bernard up to 6 months.
Disadvantages of BARF food for Saint Bernard puppies
The BARF diet is not without risk because by ingesting raw meat, puppies can have problems with obstruction and even choking. They can also suffer from bacteriological problems if the quality of the meat is not perfect. As a result, your Saint Bernard may develop salmonellosis or other poisonings…
In addition, this type of diet is complicated to adapt to your puppy’s specific nutritional needs. Indeed, the balance is difficult to find according to age, behaviour (active, father, overweight…), type of meat (fat, lean, red, poultry) and dosage of supplements….
Other problems with this type of diet for your Saint Bernard are price, supply, storage and time-consuming meal preparation…
To conclude on the BARF diet for Saint Bernard puppies, remember that it takes time and money to give your Saint Bernard BARF feeding. Moreover, in the end, this type of diet will always be more risky in terms of health.
Best diet for puppies Saint Bernard – Homemade food
It is a diet composed of foods from our own human diet (meat, vegetables, fish…). These can be meals you are going to prepare for your Saint Bernard with products you will have in your fridge or the rest of your daily meals….
Advantages of homemade food for Saint Bernard puppies
Because of its great diversity, this diet can be healthy and adapted to your puppy’s needs. But only if the products are of good quality and the quantities are well calculated.
The main advantage is that you know exactly what your Saint Bernard is eating.
To simplify, homemade meals should consist of one-third meat (or fish), one-third vegetables and one-third rice. And for vitamins, calcium and other minerals, you can add them with powder or tablet food supplements.
Here is a supplement that we recommend to complete this home made for a good growth of your Saint Bernard:
Disadvantages of homemade food for Saint Bernard puppies
If you decide to give your Saint Bernard “leftovers” or homemade food, there is a high risk that you will not give the right quantity to your puppy. And so, he can quickly become obese and even very sick…
Moreover, the diet will certainly be varied but not necessarily balanced… and therefore will not meet the puppy’s specific needs. It is very difficult to prepare “homemade” meals balanced with proteins, cereals, fatty acids, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals.
Finally, if you train your puppy to eat only your food, the risk is that he will not tolerate kibbles on the day you give it to him or when he is an adult. This can be embarrassing if you have to let him stay in a pension.
What about a mixed diet ( homemade food and kibbles)? It can be the ideal solution but will also be very complicated to equilibrate and ration….
Best diet for puppies Saint Bernard – Dry dog food
This is the food that 80% of puppy owners choose for their pets. It is also the food recommended by breeders and veterinarians. Why is this diet so popular and widespread? Is it really the best diet for a Saint Bernard puppy?
Advantages of dry food for Saint Bernard puppies
Fast and simple meals
Because we don’t always have time or desire to prepare a real meal every day with meat, vegetables, cereals… for our Saint Bernard. The kibbles are perfect because all you have to do is to dose the portion and put it in the bowl and the meal is ready! This is the easiest and fastest solution.
Guarantee of the puppy’s nutritional balance
Feeding your Saint Bernard with kibble avoids making nutritional and quantitative mistakes. This type of food also guarantees a good sanitary quality (no germs, parasites…).
The kibble bags can be stored for a long time when they are not opened and therefore allow storage for several months without any problems.
And finally, in terms of price, it is also the best choice since it would be the cheapest food of the three.
Disadvantages of dry food for Saint Bernard puppies
You don’t really know what the dry food is made with? Is there enough protein, nutrients? Don’t they contain too much glucids, cereals…. In addition, according to several testimonies, they would make Saint Bernard thirsty.
Why choose dry dog food to feed your young Saint Bernard?
After comparing the advantages and disadvantages of the 3 possible feeds, it appears that kibble feeding is the best choice according to a large majority of opinions.
It is the only type of food that combines the practical, fast, simple aspect with the rationing, nutritional balance and quality constraints essential for your puppy to be in good health and in good shape.
The 3 best Saint Bernard puppy dry food
I encourage you to read the following article in our blog: the best dry food for Saint Bernard. This article summarizes comparative studies, opinions of Saint Bernard owners and recommendations of veterinarians to highlight the best brands on the market.
Here are the 3 best products selected from the best brands of puppy food and according to the comments of the owners of Saint Bernard:
Best Saint Bernard Puppy Food – EUKANUBA
Best Saint Bernard Puppy Food – Hill’s Science
Best Saint Bernard Puppy Food – Pro Plan the best of all