If you’re wondering How Often Should You Feed a Bernedoodle, I will answer that question in this post. But, if you’re in a hurry the answer will depend on the size of the dog and if it’s a puppy or full-grown. My Bernedoodle is 18 months old and around 60lbs. She currently eats 1 cup, three times per day and has maintained a healthy weight.
Let’s first talk a little bit about the breed and some things you will need to consider when deciding how much to feed your Brenedoodle.
Bernedoodles are a perfect pairing of the loyal and laid back Bernese Mountain dog and the intelligent and low-shedding Poodle. Their gentle but playful nature makes them a popular choice for families with children, but even active seniors and singles can enjoy the company of a Bernedoodle.
Also referred to as the Bernese Mountain Poo, Bernedoodles love to eat! In fact, they’ll eat almost anything you put in front of them. Because of this, many new owners have concerns about whether their Bernedoodle is getting enough food.
Variation in breed types (toy, mini, and full-size), as well as the specific activity levels, age, and health of each dog, can further complicate the feeding time and schedule required for optimal health. Gain more insight on feeding your Bernedoodle in this guide, including the amount, type, and frequency of food.\Understanding the Importance of Good Nutrition
Like all living things, dogs need a well-balanced diet to support a healthy immune system and proper growth. As omnivorous animals, dogs need a diet comprised of both animal and plant proteins. Eggs, poultry, lamb, beef, and a healthy helping of rice and vegetables should be a part of your dog’s daily diet.
Malnutrition, or a failure to supply any of the nutrients, can result in serious health complications for a Bernedoodle. Some of the most commonly experienced issues include musculoskeletal problems, skin disorders, congestive heart failure (CHF), Cushing’s disease, and even certain cancers. Protect your pup by supplying them with a varied, high-quality diet that is rich in protein, grains, vitamins, and minerals.
Choosing Your Bernedoodle’s Food
Pet owners typically choose one of four feeding methods for their dog: kibble, wet or moist dog food (in a can or moistened kibble), cooked food, or raw food. Each has its own set of pros and cons.
Wet dog food can ease the transition for a weaning puppy, but the prolonged feeding of wet foods (particularly canned versions) can lead to digestive problems. Dogs who consume a diet comprised primarily of wet foods also tend to have more dental problems, such as plaque buildup and tooth decay. While you can counteract this effect by offering whole bones to your dog, it may not be sufficient in helping them avoid dental issues.
Kibble (dry dog food) is generally the preferred feeding method for dogs, particularly among large dog breed owners. Often, it is because kibble tends to be less expensive, per pound, than other dog foods. Kibble also typically lasts longer than raw or cooked food, so there is less potential for waste. The hardness of kibble can also protect a dog from dental issues, as it helps to wear away plaque, which is the leading cause of tooth decay.
Unfortunately, the quality and nutrient density of dog kibble can vary greatly, depending on the manufacturer. If you choose this feeding method for your Bernedoodle, take some time to research and compare the various brands. Pay special attention to major recalls. Opt for a trusted and reputable brand. Consider using dog brand comparison sites for an in-depth look at the ingredients as well. Avoid by-products and focus, instead, on kibbles that contain mostly whole-food ingredients.
Cooked and raw dog food diets have emerged as a trend over the past few years. These diets typically involve the preparation of human foods like liver, eggs, cottage cheese, sweet potatoes, chicken, and beef cuts. However, there are commercial selections available for purchase.
The potentially large size of a Bernedoodle can make raw and cooked food diets cost-prohibitive for some owners, but even those that can afford it should talk to their vet about their pet’s nutritional needs before choosing this feeding method. If administered incorrectly, a raw or cooked diet can lead to serious nutrient deficiencies, which can lead to long-term and even life-threatening health problems for your Bernedoodle.
How Often Should You Feed a Bernedoodle?
Regardless of the age or size of your Bernedoodle, a feeding schedule should be used to prevent overeating and obesity. The only exception is when the pup is weaning (during their first three months of life). Grazing can be permitted during this stage to help them adjust to regular dog food.
Right about the time that Bernedoodle puppies reach four months of age, owners should move to a regular feeding schedule. The pup should be fed at the same time, each day, three times daily.
At around six months of age, the growth of a Bernedoodle begins to slow and obesity becomes more of a risk. To minimize it, Bernedoodle puppies should be transitioned over to twice daily feedings once they reach six months of age. This schedule should be maintained throughout the rest of the dog’s life.
Note that older senior dogs may sometimes need to return to grazing, as they may struggle to eat their entire serving in one sitting. Just be sure to watch your dog for excessive weight gain.
How Much Food Does a Bernedoodle Need?
Bernedoodles tend to be voracious eaters, so when allowed to graze, they can quickly become overweight. That added weight can take a negative toll on your dog’s heart and bone structure. Puppies can be especially prone to bone problems if permitted to gain weight too quickly, so watch them closely for any signs of excessive eating. Also, be sure to feed your Bernedoodle the right amount of food.
But what is the “right” amount of food for a Bernedoodle?
Food charts indicate that toy and mini Bernedoodles may only need a modest amount of food (as little as 3/4 cup of kibble per day for 10 pounds and up to 1-1/3 cups per day for dogs weighing 20-pound dogs).
Larger Bernedoodle dogs will need more. On the low end, the chart recommends 2-2/3 cups per day for 50-pound dogs. Up to 4-1/4 cups per day for larger dogs on the high end (90 pounds).
However, the amount of dog food should not be determined through charts alone. They are only guidelines. Health, age, exercise and activity levels, and sub-breed can alter the amount of food a Bernedoodle needs – sometimes significantly.
Healthy Bernedoodle pups can eat as much as three times the food as an adult dog of the same weight. As such, Bernedoodle owners should start at the minimum amount of food and then monitor the dog for weight loss and weight gain. An observation journal can help you note small changes over time while also allowing you to keep track of how much your Bernedoodle is eating.
Dogs that are getting the appropriate amount of food will usually have visible ribs and a tucked tummy. This is when viewed from the side. When viewed from above, they should have a visible waist.
If you can see the hips of your dog they may not be getting enough food. Increase their food amount gradually until their body shape matches that of a healthy dog. If your dog continues to appear underweight, despite increases in food intake. You may need to schedule a trip to the vet to rule out parasites or underlying health conditions.
Should you start to notice a rounded stomach, a waist starts to disappear when viewing your dog from the side. Reduce their food amount slightly until their shape returns. You can also take your Bernedoodle out for more exercise to aid in reducing their weight.
Bernedoodle Treats – Yes, No, or Sometimes?
Treats are often used to train young Bernedoodles. Of course, senior dogs love treats, too! Yet, because Bernedoodles can be prone to overeating, it is important to avoid excessive treat giving with this breed.
We have always used an organic treat for our dogs and Zukes treats have received really great reviews “not just by us”.
Bernedoodles rarely mind. Give only limited amounts of commercial dog treats and protein-dense treats to minimize the risk of obesity in your Bernedoodle. Bones with marrow should only be given on occasion. They contain high levels of fat, which can significantly increase your dog’s chances of developing obesity.
Keeping Your Bernedoodle Healthy
Diet is not the only health consideration that Bernedoodles owners need to make, as it is not the only pillar to good health. Play and exercise should also be included in a dog’s daily routine to minimize the risk of obesity and other health complications. Your dog may also need additional vitamins or supplements, depending on their age or specific health needs; your vet can advise you further on this.
Make an appointment with your dog’s vet if you notice any signs of health complications, such as malnutrition, tooth decay, excessive weight gain, sluggishness, unusual shedding, or other alarming symptoms. Regular check-ups and vaccinations are also important for ensuring good health in your pet.
Something else to consider is that your dog’s diet will also keep your dog’s coat healthy and make grooming your pet easier.
From puppy to senior, you can keep your Bernedoodle happy and healthy. Whereas, by feeding them a well-rounded, high-quality diet that is rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Good health allows them to be a loved member of your family for years to come.
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Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Doodle Board!!