Skip to Content

How Much to Feed a Bernese Mountain Dog (Puppy & Adult Feeding Chart)

Bernese Mountain Dog adult and puppy feeding chart how much to feed your Bernese Mountain Dog

How much food to feed a Bernese Mountain Dog is one of the most important things you should know as owners of this large breed.

With their large size, it’s easy to assume they eat a large amount of food per meal. However, Bernese Mountain Dogs do not have the most robust stomachs, so it’s important to carefully plan their feeding routine.

This article provides the proper feeding guide for Bernese Mountain Dogs. If you want to know the recommended amount of food for your dog, the best dog food, foods to avoid, and more, keep reading until the end!

Bernese Mountain Dog Feeding Chart by Age: How Much to Feed Your Bernese Mountain Dog?

Cute funny Bernese Mountain Dog eating food at home

How much food to feed a Bernese Mountain Dog will depend on the dog’s age. As a general rule, healthy Bernese Mountain Dog puppies need 1.5 to 3 cups of food daily, whereas a four-month-old Bernese Mountain Dog can have 3 to 6 cups of food daily or more, depending on the dog’s environment.

Apart from age, it will depend on other factors, such as the dog’s size and gender, metabolism, lifestyle, and activity level.

Closely monitor your pooch’s needs and preferences to come up with the most suitable meal plan.

For starters, feeding charts for each life stage of a Bernese Mountain Dog are provided in the following sections.

These can be used as a reference; however, keep in mind that your dog’s nutritional needs should be based on many other factors. It’s also advised to seek your vet’s recommendations regarding your dog’s diet.

Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy Feeding Chart (2 to 12 months)

A newborn to two weeks old Bernese Mountain Dog puppy is dependent on its mother’s milk for nutrition. Hence, it’s not recommended to give the Berner puppy regular dog food.

In fact, there’s a proper process to let a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy transition to normal dog food. 

This process is called weaning, and it starts at three weeks old. Around this time, you should start to feed your Bernese Mountain Dog puppy kibble. 

During this phase, a Berner puppy is gradually introduced to solid food. It typically starts with 75% liquid food combined with 25% solid food. After that, the amount of solid puppy food is increased.

An eight-week-old pup should be able to eat actual healthy puppy food. This contains higher calories, proteins, and fats than adult dog food to support the growth and development of a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy.

To know how much Bernese Mountain Dog food to give your puppy, refer to the list below:

AgeDaily Food Quantity
(Cups)
Kilocalories
(Per day)
ProteinFats
2 months1.5 – 1.75405 – 45022%8%
3 months1.75 – 3675 – 787.522%8%
4 – 5 months3 – 4990 – 1,417.522%8%
6 – 8 months4 – 51,417.5 – 2,02522%8%
9 – 12 months5 – 61,800 – 2,250 22%8%

A Bernese Mountain Dog puppy is still developing its bones, muscles, and immune system at one year old. Thus, you must ensure your dog’s nutrition at this age for it to grow up in tip-top condition.

Adult Bernese Mountain Dog Feeding Chart (1 to 6 years)

The Bernese Mountain Dog breed tends to mature slowly. They usually reach their adult size during 12 to 24 months. At this time, it’s recommended to feed them adult dog food rather than Bernese Mountain Dog puppy food.

The table below shows the right amount of adult Bernese Mountain Dog food to give your pooch:

AgeDaily Food Quantity
(Cups)
Kilocalories
(Per day)
ProteinFats
1 – 6 years5 – 6 1,912.5 – 2,362.518%5%

Calorie provides energy to a dog’s body, so the amount of their calorie intake should be based on their activity level.

If a Bernese Mountain Dog consumes more than its body requires, the excess calories will be stored as body fat. This can result in obesity.

On the other hand, protein helps build and repair cells, tissues, muscles, and bones, so it’s essential for your pooch’s growth and maintenance. Fats are also a good source of energy and aid in skin and coat formation.

Aside from these, a Bernese Mountain Dog also needs carbohydrates for additional energy and fiber and omega-3 fatty acids for mobility improvement.

Senior Bernese Mountain Dog Feeding Chart (7 years and above)

Bernese Mountain Dogs are considered senior dogs when they turn seven years old. During this time, they are more susceptible to illnesses and other health issues that come with aging.

This includes joint problems like hip dysplasia, loss of muscle mass, and deterioration of skin and coat. With this, it’s important to know how to properly manage their diet and what nutrients are best for senior dogs.

Shown below is a summary of how much food to give your senior Bernese Mountain Dog:

AgeDaily Food Quantity
(Cups)
Kilocalories
(Per day)
ProteinFats
7 years and above3 – 4981 – 1,30828 – 32%>5%

When the Bernese Mountain Dog ages, its activity level decreases. Hence, senior dog diets should contain fewer calories to prevent them from gaining weight.

However, protein is still important for a senior Bernese Mountain Dog to help maintain their muscle mass.

Omega-3 fatty acids are also essential for the joints, and omega-6 fatty acids for maintaining healthy skin and coat.

Bernese Mountain Dog Feeding Frequency: How Often Should You Feed Your Bernese Mountain Dog?

Large fluffy Bernese Mountain Dog with huge paws eating dog food

The number of times you should feed your Bernese Mountain Dog per day will vary depending on their age. Generally, a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy should be fed 3 to 4 times a day. Meanwhile, adult and senior Bernese Mountain Dogs should be given two meals daily.

It’s not ideal for a Bernese Mountain Dog to have just one meal a day. Doing so may cause them to eat too much food at once, which may result in bloat, or it may also cause them to starve.

To prevent them from experiencing bloat or starvation, you should only give them small frequent meals.

Also, while it is recommended by some pet owners, leaving food in your puppy’s bowl for them to eat freely is not a good practice.

This method is called free-feeding. Because of this, a Berner puppy may eat too much food, increasing its chances of being overweight.

To help you out, here’s the recommended feeding frequency for a Bernese Mountain Dog:

AgeFeeding Frequency
8 – 12 weeksFour times a day
3 – 6 monthsThree times a day
7 months and aboveTwo times a day

An 8 to 12 weeks old Bernese Mountain Dog puppy should eat four times a day. This is because younger puppies have smaller stomachs compared to older ones.

However, just because they are fed more frequently than adults doesn’t mean they get more food and nutrition.

In fact, puppies should only eat the recommended amount of daily food, which should be split into four small meals.

Meanwhile, a 3 to 6 months old Bernese Mountain Dog can be fed three times daily. Then, you can transition to feeding them twice a day upon reaching seven months as they have a slightly larger stomach by this time.

Optimal Feeding Times for Bernese Mountain Dogs

When to feed a Bernese Mountain Dog will depend on the owner’s lifestyle. In general, puppies 8 to 12 weeks old should be fed every 4 hours from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Meanwhile, puppies 3 to 6 months old can be fed every 6 hours, and adult and senior dogs every 12 hours.

It’s necessary to come up with a strict and consistent schedule you can follow every day.

In this way, problems such as underfeeding and overfeeding can be prevented. It also comes with a lot of benefits for your Bernese Mountain Dog. 

For reference, here are the recommended feeding times for a Bernese Mountain Dog:

AgeOptimal Feeding Times
8 – 12 weeks7:00 a.m, 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m.
3 – 6 months7:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m.
7 months and above7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

For a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy that’s fed four times daily, the recommended interval is four hours. For the older Bernese Mountain Dog puppy with three meals a day, the ideal gap is six hours.

It’s best to feed the adult dogs 12 hours apart since they get larger amounts of food per meal. This allows them to completely digest the previous meal before taking in another one.

When it comes to giving treats to your Bernese Mountain Dog, only do so in small portions and in between meals. This will help your dog keep its appetite for its usual well-balanced diet.

Best Dog Foods for Bernese Mountain Dogs

Bernese Mountain Dog lying in grass eating from the bowl

Bernese Mountain Dogs must be fed with good quality food daily. They need to consume the right amount of nutrients to keep them healthy in all aspects.

With this, it’s necessary to provide your Bernese Mountain Dog with the right food you can incorporate into their diet.

You can give commercial dog food you can buy from the pet store or prepare homemade or even raw food.

The list below shows the best food choices for the Bernese Mountain Dog:

  • Dry Dog Food: Dry dog food or commercially prepared kibble is a mix of grains, meats, vegetables, and fruits ground into pellets. It’s beneficial to your dog’s dental health and digestion. Additionally, dry dog food is a cheaper food choice and doesn’t require refrigeration.
  • Wet Food: Wet food or canned dog food is more expensive than dry dog food. It’s made of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. It also has more water content for a softer consistency. Thus, it’s good dog food for dogs that are having trouble chewing. Plus, it’s also available everywhere.
  • Raw Diet or BARF Diet: Biologically Appropriate Raw Food diet, also known as the BARF diet, is a diet composed of fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean raw meat. It contains high protein, moderate fats, and low carbs. It’s said that feeding dogs raw meat is better than feeding them cooked meat as it breaks up some nutrition found in raw dog food.
  • Half Raw Food/Half Dry Food: Feeding raw foods have many health benefits for dogs, including skin and coat improvement, more muscle mass, and cleaner teeth. If your dog is accustomed to dry food, it’s a good idea to introduce them to a half dry food and half raw food diet. This way, they can get the benefits they aren’t able to get from only eating dry food.
  • Home-cooked Diet: Home-cooked diet is a more flexible and organic choice as it allows you to control the ingredients included in the recipe. For dog owners who don’t prefer to feed commercially prepared food to their pets, homemade food and a raw diet is the better choice. However, there are a lot of possible mistakes that come with home cooking, like using unhealthy ingredients and preparing unbalanced meals.

To ensure the safety of the homemade dog food for your Bernese Mountain Dog, seek approval from your veterinary nutritionist. 

For your reference, check out this safe and healthy recipe for your Bernese Mountain Dog:

Homemade and Healthy Dog Food Recipe | Vet Approved

Keep in mind that some dogs have food allergies. It may not be safe for them to consume gluten, soy, and dairy. Learn more about foods to avoid feeding your Bernese Mountain Dog in the next section.

Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Bernese Mountain Dog

Giving your Bernese Mountain Dog the same food you eat can be tempting, especially if they watch as you eat. However, it’s better to ensure that you give food that is safe for dogs.

Many human foods are not for dog consumption. They contain ingredients or chemicals that are dangerous to your furry friends.

One example is any herb that belongs to the allium family, such as onion and garlic. They contain compounds that break down your dog’s red blood cells, resulting in fewer red blood cells and causing anemia.

Another one is chocolate. Although it smells delicious for your pet, it contains a chemical called theobromine that causes chocolate poisoning in dogs.

Macadamia nuts are not recommended as well since it’s toxic to dogs. Bernese Mountain Dogs can suffer from macadamia poisoning, which is a life-threatening condition.

Sugar-free foods should also be avoided. They usually contain a sugar substitute called xylitol, which is toxic to dogs as well. By ingesting this, your Bernese Mountain Dog might suffer from seizures and liver failure.

Furthermore, it’s not advised for Bernese Mountain Dog owners to feed Berner dogs foods that are too salty or too sweet. Salty foods might cause salt poisoning, while sweet ones might cause obesity and diabetes.

If there’s any instance that your pooch accidentally ingested these foods and showed signs of poisoning, immediately call your veterinarian or the pet poison helpline.

READ NEXT: Can Dogs Eat Crackers? Answers for 45+ Types of Crackers

How to Transition Your Bernese Mountain Dog to a New Food

Bernese Mountain Dog eating from bowl on floor standing

There may come a time that you need to transition your pooch to a new food. For instance, you ought to switch from feeding commercial food to raw feeding. When this happens, avoid abrupt changes in your dog’s diet.

The ideal process is gradually adding new food to the old food for seven days. On the last day, your Bernese Mountain Dog should be eating 100% of your desired new food.

Here’s a summary of how to transition your Bernese Mountain Dog from old food to new food:

DayOld FoodNew Food
1 – 275%25% 
3 – 450%50%
5 – 625%75%
70%100%

During this transition period, monitor your pooch for any reaction to the new food. Watch out for signs of food allergies or stomach upsets, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.

Slowing down the process might help, but it’s still better to call your vet if these signs progress.

Feeding an Overweight Bernese Mountain Dog

Like humans, dogs tend to become overweight. The common cause of this is overfeeding coupled with lack of exercise. Once their weight exceeds 20 to 30% of their ideal body weight, they are considered obese.

Obesity has a lot of negative effects on the dog’s health. It’s even described by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as a major health threat since obese dogs are susceptible to various illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, and mobility issues.

When feeding an overweight Bernese Mountain Dog, it’s advised to lessen how much food you give your pooch, be it meals or dog treats. High-protein and low-calorie food is the best choice for helping your pet lose weight.

Opt for homemade food instead of commercially prepared food, which is either wet food or dry food. It gives you a chance to control your pet’s protein and calorie intake.

Consider giving your Bernese Mountain Dog raw fruits and vegetables as they are low in calories. On the other hand, meats like chicken and beef are high in protein, so it’s also good to incorporate these into their diet as well.

It’s also advised to partner this with regular exercise, preferably one to two hours after mealtime. Make sure to spend 30 minutes to two hours of activities daily to help with your pet’s weight loss and overall health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Feeding Bernese Mountain Dog dog food

Why Is My Bernese Mountain Dog Not Eating?

There are several reasons why your Bernese Mountain Dog refuses to eat. Some of these are sickness, routine changes, and boredom over food. Age is also a factor since senior dogs often have decreased appetite.

You should regularly observe your dog if it persists for several days. If this behavior is accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy, call your veterinarian immediately.

Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Eat a Lot?

As a large breed, the Bernese Mountain Dog eats a lot. They love food and will take whatever you give them. Because of this, they tend to overeat if their diet is not managed properly.

This may result in weight gain, so it’s important to follow strict feeding guidelines. This includes giving the right amount of food daily and observing mealtime schedules.

Can Bernese Mountain Dogs Eat Bones?

Bernese Mountain Dogs can eat bones, but only raw ones, as they are a good source of minerals and nutrients. Cooked bones, however, are not advisable. They are dangerous for dogs to consume and may pose health risks.

If you ought to give bones to your Bernese Mountain Dog, be aware of the precautions and rules to follow for your pet’s safety.

Can Bernese Mountain Dogs Be Vegetarians?

Bernese Mountain Dogs can be vegetarian. As omnivores, their body can get all the nutrients they need from various sources, such as fruits and vegetables.

However, they may lack protein and other vitamins and minerals they can get from meat. To compensate, you should add vet-approved supplements to your dog’s vegetarian diet.

Because of this, it can be an expensive choice and may add a large amount to your Bernese Mountain Dog expenses.

Final Thoughts

A proper feeding plan consists of how much food to feed your Bernese Mountain Dog, a strict feeding schedule, and what kind of diet to provide. It’s essential for the growth and overall health of a Bernese Mountain Dog.

Underfeeding and overfeeding pose a threat to your dog’s health. It’s advised to stick with your feeding plan and monitor your dog’s food intake. It’s also best to avoid giving them foods that are toxic to dogs.

Keep in mind to always ask for your veterinarian’s recommendation and approval for any changes and concerns in your dog’s diet.

Hopefully, you found this guide helpful for you. Let us know in the comments below your thoughts and feedback about this Bernese Mountain Dog feeding guide!