Puppy Care for Bernese
Nutrition and Your Puppy
Bernese puppies, like all large breed dogs, do require a good quality diet. During the first 12 months, bones and cartilage are growing at a phenomenal rate, and what you feed them, especially in the first year, will set them up for the rest of their life. Poor nutrition will result in poor structural development and contribute to health issues down the road. We feed our dogs a complete raw diet , which they thrive on, fresh meaty bones and a good quality kibble when we travel and raw isn’t as accessible. We have found raw food is no more expensive than a good kibble, and definitely saves on vet bills as they are so healthy.
Large breed puppies don’t need to go for a walk everyday, they have enough exercise playing and running around your house or yard, and they sleep a lot. As they get older they enjoy walks and play time and by the time they are over a year old can out-distance you in any exercise. Bernese are from the working dog class and enjoy tasks, outdoor activities, even hooking up to sleds and carts when older.
This is an X-ray of a 2 week old puppy- see how far the bones have to grow before they become a proper bone joint! This is why you should never let puppies jump off of beds, couch or steps . They should not travel up/down stairs, over exercise or over train. Do not let your puppy to play with older faster dogs, they can't keep up but will not stop trying. Do not have them chase toys on slippery floors, and on ice, where they will repeatedly be slamming their shoulder into the hard surface. Doing to much impact activity at a young age can cause serious issues later in life, or even at a young age. Hip dysplasia, ACL tears and other orthopedic conditions are rising in puppies! Repetitive inflammation to muscles and joints will cause permanent damage.
The Swiss have a saying about the lifespan of Bernese Mountain Dogs....They say...
'Three years a young dog, three years a good dog, three years an old dog ... all else a gift from God'.
A Bernese Mountain Dog diet should be formulated for a large-sized breed with high energy and exercise needs. You should consult a professional nutritionist for advice on what to feed your Bernese Mountain Dog and the correct portion sizes. Their dietary needs will change as they grow from puppyhood to adulthood and senior age. Stay on top of these nutritional requirements. Controlling the growth rate and providing nutrients in amounts adjusted for energy intake can help decrease the risks of skeletal abnormalities caused by rapid growth in large-breed puppies.
Feed your Bernese puppy good quality premium dry dog food. It is recommended, minimum, or no supplementation during first 6 months.
Feed 3 or 4 times a day and provide plenty of fresh water.
We recommend using a quality kibble for your puppy, or a complete raw diet.
Raw food can be purchased at your local pet store in the freezer department, or from a good local raw dog food supplier.
Most local pet stores can also give you additional nutritional information and recommendations for your puppy.
Coat Color And Grooming
The Berner coat is gorgeous: a thick double coat with a longer outer coat and a wooly undercoat. Characteristically tricolored, the majority of the Berner's body is covered with jet-black hair with rich rust and bright white. There's usually a white marking on the chest that looks like an inverted cross, a white blaze between the eyes, and white on the tip of the tail. Beauty has a price, though, and in this case it's that the Berner is a shedder. They shed moderately all year and heavily in the spring and fall. Brushing several times a week helps reduce the amount of hair around the house and keeps the coat clean and tangle-free. Periodic bathing, every three months or so, will maintain their neat appearance.Brush your Berner's teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Daily brushing is even better if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath.Trim nails once a month if your dog doesn't wear them down naturally to prevent painful tears and other problems. If you can hear them clicking on the floor, they're too long. Dog toenails have blood vessels in them, and if you cut too far you can cause bleeding, and your dog may not cooperate the next time they see the nail clippers come out. So, if you're not experienced trimming dog nails, ask a vet or groomer for pointers. The ears should be checked weekly for redness or a bad odor, which can indicate an infection.
IS A CRATE RIGHT FOR YOU. Crate training video.
Puppy Biting Phase.
Why Puppy Culture
Fun video, Bringing your puppy home.