How Much to Feed a Saint Bernard (Feeding Chart & Guide)

Saint Bernard eating from bowl on snow

Understanding how much to feed a Saint Bernard is crucial when you’re considering bringing this large, majestic breed into your home.

Despite their grand stature and moderate energy levels, figuring out the right diet for them is not as straightforward as it might seem.

In this feeding guide, we’ll delve into key questions like the ideal amount of food for a Saint Bernard. We’ll cover all the essentials of St. Bernard feeding, along with valuable insights into canine nutrition.

What Factors Impact How Much to Feed a Saint Bernard?

Dog food in white background

When feeding a Saint Bernard, several key factors must be considered to ensure their diet supports their health and well-being. These factors are crucial in determining the right amount of food for your gentle giant:

  • Weight: The weight of your Saint Bernard plays a significant role in their dietary needs. Heavier dogs naturally require more calories to maintain their energy, as they have a higher resting energy requirement (RER). This means larger St. Bernards need larger servings of food.
  • Activity Level: Dog food packages usually provide serving suggestions based on average activity levels for the breed’s age. But every Saint Bernard is unique. If yours is more or less active than typical for their age, adjust their food volume accordingly.
  • Age: Puppies need more calories per pound of body weight compared to adult dogs. Puppy food is formulated to be calorie-dense to support their rapid growth. The age of your Saint Bernard significantly influences the quantity and type of food they require.
  • Health Conditions: Saint Bernards with specific health issues may need different food volumes. Some health conditions call for special diets, which might require adjusting portion sizes.

In addition to these factors, a dog’s gender can also influence how much food they should receive. For example, male puppies may require more food than female puppies due to their slightly larger size.

Similarly, the dietary needs of neutered or spayed dogs can differ from those that aren’t.

How Much to Feed Your Saint Bernard?

A cup of dry dog food

The Saint Bernard is a giant-sized breed that requires a carefully planned diet to stay healthy and within ideal weight. This dog should be fed a controlled diet to keep it growing at its ideal rate.

A growth that is too fast or too slow can lead to nutritional imbalance and complications in dogs. In other words, feeding your dog incorrect amounts can lead to a weak immune system, poor bone health, obesity, and more.

The following sections will guide you on the appropriate food quantities for Saint Bernard dogs of different ages.

Saint Bernard Puppy Feeding Chart (2 to 12 months)

Saint Bernard puppies experience fast growth. In their first week, responsible breeders usually take advantage of their mother’s milk for their nutrition and protection. Weaning typically begins at 3 to 4 weeks, with teeth appearing around 6 to 8 weeks.

Once your Saint Bernard is fully ready to eat regular dog food, opt for a large-breed puppy formula. You can also explore the option of freeze-dried food, a raw diet, or a homemade diet.

Here’s a guide for dog food portions for Saint Bernard puppies:

AgeDaily Feeding Amount (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
2 – 3 months2 – 5 ¼884 – 2341
4 – 7 months3 – 5 ¾1344 – 2628
8 – 10 months4 ¾ – 6 ¾2168 – 3063
11 – 12 months5 ½ – 82449 – 3561
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

Keep in mind that while these portions will work for most St. Bernards, they might not be ideal for others. Hence, adjust these amounts based on your puppy’s specific needs.

I fondly remember my friend who owned a Saint Bernard for the first time, whom she named Poppy. When Poppy turned 4 months old, my friend loaded her with as much food as she could consume so that she could achieve her maximum size.

When I learned about this, I immediately advised her just to follow the appropriate food portion recommended for Poppy’s age to avoid the risk of early obesity and the illnesses that go along with it.

Remember that the feeding chart is formulated to promote the health of the dog and help achieve the best physical state possible.

Adult Saint Bernard Feeding Chart (1 to 6 years)

When your Saint Bernard turns one, it steps into adulthood, which brings a shift in its dietary needs to match its adult lifestyle and activities.

For adult Saint Bernards, a natural diet consisting of kibble and canned food is often recommended. However, alternatives like raw diets or other commercial dog foods can be suitable too, provided they are portioned correctly.

For those feeding dry dog food, the following table offers a guideline:

AgeDaily Feeding Amount (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
1 – 6 years5 ¼ – 7 ½2103 – 3041
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

It’s important to note that these serving sizes are tailored for dry dog food specifically formulated for adult dogs.

If your diet plan for your Saint Bernard includes different food types, like raw meat or chicken by-product meals, the portion sizes will vary.

Additionally, if you plan to breed your adult Saint Bernard, dietary adjustments will be necessary. Males and females, especially when involved in breeding or nursing, will have varying nutritional requirements.

Senior Saint Bernard Feeding Chart (7 years and above)

As Saint Bernards age, typically around 7 years and older, they begin to experience a slowdown in metabolism and a decrease in energy levels.

This shift necessitates adjustments in their diet, both in the type of food they consume and the amount they eat. It’s crucial to choose a diet formulated for giant breed seniors for optimal health.

Here’s a feeding chart to help guide you in determining the right amount for your senior Saint Bernard:

AgeDaily Feeding Amount (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
7 years and above 4 ¼ – 61682 – 2433
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

A well-balanced diet, whether it’s solid or wet food, is essential for older Saint Bernards.

Additionally, monitoring caloric intake is important to maintain a healthy weight, as senior dogs are less active and therefore more prone to weight gain.

How Often Should You Feed Your Saint Bernard?

Saint Bernard eating food outdoors

It’s important to note that there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” approach to the timing of feeding your dog. The best feeding schedule depends on your dog’s individual activity levels, lifestyle, and other unique factors.

To help you get started, consider the general guidelines for feeding frequencies based on age while keeping in mind your dog’s specific requirements.

Adjustments can be made based on how your Saint Bernard responds to their feeding routine.

Here’s a quick reference table for recommended Saint Bernard feeding frequencies based on their age:

AgeFeeding Frequency
2 – 6 monthsThree to four times a day
7 – 12 monthsThree times a day
1 – 6 yearsTwo times a day
7 years and aboveOnce or twice a day

While some owners may opt for free-feeding during puppyhood, this method is not always advisable, especially for giant breeds like the Saint Bernard.

Consistency in feeding frequency helps regulate their growth and can prevent overfeeding, which is particularly important for breeds prone to rapid growth and related health issues.

How to Transition Your Saint Bernard to a New Food

Transition dogs to a new food

Transitioning your Saint Bernard to a new diet should be approached with both patience and careful observation.

Rapid changes in diet can upset their stomach, leading to discomfort and digestive issues. To avoid this, it’s crucial to follow a gradual transition schedule.

Below is a table that outlines how to mix the old food with the new food over a week, allowing your dog’s digestive system to adjust:

DayOld FoodNew Food
1 – 275%25%
3 – 450%50%
5 – 625%75%

If your Saint Bernard experiences any complications during this change, slow down the process. Stick with the current mix ratio for a few extra days before attempting to increase the proportion of new food again.

Tips on Feeding an Overweight Saint Bernard

Obesity in Saint Bernards is a significant health concern. Excess weight not only shortens their lifespan but can also lead to various health complications. Addressing this issue early is crucial for your dog’s health.

Here are some tips on feeding your overweight Saint Bernard:

  • Reduce food intake: One effective method to reduce weight is by cutting back on calories. Experts suggest feeding overweight dogs only 60% of their total daily energy requirement, meaning they should consume just over half of their ideal serving size.
  • Limit treats: Frequent treats, particularly unhealthy ones, can contribute to weight gain. Try to minimize treats or opt for low-calorie alternatives.
  • Increase physical activity: Alongside diet, exercise is key in managing your dog’s weight. If reducing food intake alone isn’t effective, incorporate more physical activity. Combining diet and exercise often yields the best results.
  • Consult a vet: Seeking professional advice from a veterinarian is essential. They can provide a tailored weight loss diet plan for your Saint Bernard and additional tips for effective weight management.

Remember, successfully managing your Saint Bernard’s weight is more than just altering their diet; it’s about creating a consistent, healthy lifestyle for them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Saint Bernard standing on grass field

How Do I Know If I’m Feeding My Saint Bernard Enough?

A well-fed Saint Bernard should ideally maintain a healthy weight and exhibit good energy levels and overall well-being. If your dog meets these criteria, it’s likely their dietary needs are being met.

However, if you have any doubts about their diet, consulting a veterinarian or a pet nutritionist is always a wise decision.

Why Is My Saint Bernard Not Eating?

There are several reasons why your Saint Bernard might lose their appetite. Dental issues like infections, gum disease, or cavities can cause discomfort while eating. Gastrointestinal problems can also lead to a reluctance to eat.

Additionally, changes in their environment or emotional state might affect their appetite. It’s important to monitor your dog and consult a vet if the issue persists.

Can I Feed My Saint Bernard With Human Food?

Although some human foods are safe for dogs, many are toxic and can be harmful. Foods like avocados, onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, and chocolate are dangerous for dogs.

It’s best to refer to trustworthy sources before feeding your dog human food, or better yet, opt for canine-specific foods and treats.

Do Saint Bernards Eat a Lot?

Saint Bernards, due to their size, naturally consume more food than smaller breeds. However, it’s crucial to monitor their intake to avoid overfeeding and its associated health risks.

Can Saint Bernards Eat Bones?

Saint Bernards, like many dogs, enjoy chewing bones, which can be beneficial for their dental health. If you choose to give your dog bones, opt for large, uncooked ones, as cooked bones can splinter and pose a choking hazard.

Always supervise your Saint Bernard during bone-chewing sessions to ensure they chew but do not ingest the bones.

We hope this guide has been helpful in understanding how much you should feed your Saint Bernard. If you have any further questions or need more guidance, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below.

Leave a Comment

You may also like