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This is the most comprehensive Bernese Mountain Dog homemade dog food guide.
As a responsible Bernese dog parent, you want to provide your pet with the best possible food.
But what is the best food for a Bernese Mountain Dog? Do you need to buy expensive commercial dog food, or can you make your own homemade dog food? The answer is the latter.
As with all dogs, it’s important to ensure they are getting the right nutrition to stay healthy and happy, especially if you are cooking for them.
This guide covers making homemade food for Bernese dogs, nutritional guidelines, recipes, and other key breed-specific nutritional advice. Let’s get started!
Bernese Mountain Dog Homemade Dog Food Benefits
Making homemade meals for your Bernese Mountain Dog has several advantages.
- Healthy eating habits
- Quality control
- More affordable
- Portion size control
- Fresh ingredients
- Dietary requirements can be met
Board-certified veterinary nutritionists and diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, Jennifer A. Larsen, DVM, MS, Ph.D., and Joe Bartges, DVM, Ph.D., agree that switching to homemade dog food comes with significant advantages. These include diet management, appeasing picky eaters, bond-building, combatting food intolerance and allergies issues, and avoiding concern over food recalls.1
Further benefits include preventing many conditions associated with a poor diet, such as obesity, poor skin, coat condition, pancreatitis, diabetes, and reduced immunity.
Food & Bernese Mountain Dogs Health: Why Feed Homemade?
Berners are prone to food allergies! Unfortunately, kibble tends to trigger allergies in Berners due to common allergens like chicken, corn, beef, meat meals (dead animal meat). All the chemical preservatives, artificial coloring, and fillers it contains also contribute to allergies in Bernese Mountain dogs.
Usually, in Berners, food allergies show up as skin problems, also known as Atopic Dermatitis. The feet, belly, folds of the skin, and ears are most affected.2
According to one of the largest studies on Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV), aka bloat, Bernese Mountain Dogs are among the breeds most prone to suffer from GDV. In this life-threatening condition, the stomach abruptly distends and can twist as well.3 Bloating in Bernese Mountain Dogs may be tied to rapid eating, eating one large meal daily, playing after eating, eating from a raised dog bowl, or stress.4 Maryland Pet Emergency notes that feeding a dry diet could contribute to bloating. Because Berners are at high risk of bloating, it’s crucial to avoid hard-to-digest food like dry kibble, and it’s important you split kibble into 3 to 4 meals throughout the day.
Another health condition Bernese Mountain Dogs are at severe risk of developing is von Willebrand Disease (vWD). vWD is a common inherited blood clotting disorder in dogs. It can result in excessive bleeding, even from minor cuts.5,6 Dogs with this condition should avoid hard foods like bones or rawhides to splinter and causing cuts that may result in bleeding.
If your Bernese Mountain Dog has been diagnosed with vWD, certain nutrients can help with the blood clotting process (i.e., vitamin K & C). Some nutrients should be avoided. Speak with your veterinarian about a diet plan conducive to reducing the risk of vWD. Although there’s no cure for vWD, you can give your Berner a DNA test to see if they have vWD.
Musculoskeletal health conditions like Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) and Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD) are common issues in Bernese Mountain Dogs.7 Nutrition and keeping a healthy weight is crucial in preventing bone and joint problems in dogs. An overweight or obese Bernese Mountian dog will put extra strain on its joints due to the excess weight, making it more likely for these issues to appear.
Results from one study in dogs revealed that preventing the development of overweightness and obesity reduces the prevalence of hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis of the hip and other joints. Another study also showed a decrease in clinical signs of lameness from weight loss.22,23
Bernese Mountain Dogs are at an increased risk for developing fatal Histiocytic Cancer (histiocytic sarcoma and malignant histiocytosis). Malignant histiocytosis (MH) is extraordinarily aggressive and usually to death in a matter of weeks, while systemic histiocytosis typically has episodes that come and go but eventually lead to death. It’s the most common cancer in Bernese mountain dogs, comprising 25% of all cases.8
It is suspected that processed dog food such as kibble can cause oxidative stress and lead to an unbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in a dog’s body, increasing the risk of cancers in dogs. Medical treatment and avoiding highly processed dog food, including antioxidants in their diet, may decrease your Bernese Mountain Dog’s chances of developing cancer.9,10,11
Bernese Mountain Dogs are predisposed to develop epilepsy. A study revealed the onset age for Berners is 2.2 years and affects 1 in 130 dogs. 12 The impact in the brain has been documented as a rapid, uncontrolled discharge of neurons within the brain’s cerebral cortex that leads to seizures13.
Nutritionally speaking, if your dog has seizures, research shows medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) oil supplementation to a regular diet may provide better seizure control in some dogs.14 It’s important to mention that studies have shown that many dry dog foods contain unbalanced levels of the amino acid glutamate (MSG). While essential for canine brain development, too much glutamate may worsen an epileptic dog’s condition.15
Progressive Retinal Atrophy is an inherited eye disease that also plagues Berners. This eye problem degenerates the retina and can lead to impaired vision and often blindness. Supporting eye health through nutrition is important. Including essential nutrients, like anthocyanins, beta-carotene, carotenoids can also be beneficial for eye health.16
Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid function, is common in middle-aged to older dogs and is seen frequently in Bernese Mountain Dogs. Holistic treatment of hypothyroidism includes a healthy, balanced diet, kelp as a source of iodine, thyroid and adrenal glandulars, and removing cruciferous vegetables and soy from the diet.17
Now you know why proper nutrition is vital for a Bernese Mountain Dog’s well-being and quality of life.
How Can A Homemade Diet Help A Bernese Mountain Dog With All of This?
A homemade diet for your Bernese Mountain Dog ensures that all meals are fresh and high quality, free of chemicals and preservatives. This can help prevent food-related allergies, food sensitivities and other digestion issues.
Furthermore, you can pick safe ingredients that won’t trigger allergies in your Bernese Mountain Dog because you have control over the ingredients. If you are unsure what ingredients may cause sensitivities or allergies in your pet, we advise doing an At-Home Food Dog Allergy Test before selecting the ingredients for their next meal.
Fresh ingredients are absorbed and digested quicker than regular kibble with a homemade dog diet. The faster absorption is due to its non-processed nature. More rapid digestion increases inflammatory responses, which help reduce allergy-related symptoms faster or prevent them altogether.
Nutritional value is higher in homemade dog food. Fresh dog food tends to preserve more of its nutritional value when compared to traditional dog kibble, which may help with issues like Progressive Retinal Atrophy, where optimal nutrients, minerals, and vitamins are required to maintain good eye health.
When it comes to bloating, homemade meals are soft and easier to digest, making them ideal for preventing bloating. Similarly, Berners with von Willebrand Disease can benefit from eating freshly cooked food that is easy to chew. You can also use ingredients less likely to cause a laceration to your dog’s gums or any internal organs.
We know extra pounds can aggravate the musculoskeletal problem for issues like Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD). Unlike kibble, homemade dog food allows you to regulate the amounts of vegetables, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals that are essential for your dog to maintain a healthy body weight. Cooking for your Bernese also eliminates the nasty chemicals and bad carbs that generally are found in kibble.
Another amazing benefit of going homemade and keeping a healthy weight is that dogs at their ideal body weight live almost 2.5 years longer, with significantly fewer diseases than their overweight siblings.18 Moreover, a scientific and statistical study demonstrated that dogs fed with industrially processed food live an average of 10.4 years, while dogs fed with homemade food can reach an average age of 13.1 years19.
A homemade diet may also help lessen the chances of dogs developing cancer. Fresh home-cooked dog food is free of chemicals, often linked to cancer issues in dogs. You no longer have to worry about oxidative stress due to processed food.
Fresh, natural food is advised for dogs with hyperthyroidism, preferably lightly cooked or raw. This is the most natural diet for dogs, and it’s been shown to help.20 Vitamins play a crucial role in hyperthyroidism as well.
Last, cooking with an MCT oil-enriched diet (coconut oil) may help protect against potential epileptic development in dogs. According to recent studies, cognitive impairment has been identified in canine epilepsy patients. One way to combat this is by adding healthy fats to your dog’s diet. A medium-chain triglyceride or MCT oil-enriched diet has improved cognition in older dogs and seizure control in dogs with epilepsy.
MCT is considered “good” fat and is an excellent energy source. As a bonus, this type of fat features antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties. MCT is safe to give dogs, but the American Kennel Club advises pet owners to administer it gradually. It would be best if you were mindful of the extra calories.21
Palatability, bioavailability, and freshness are more apparent in homemade meals than regular store-bought kibble. These three factors contribute to better bioavailability, greater perception of taste, smell, and texture for Bernese Mountain Dogs.
Always speak to your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet or introducing new foods.
Bernese Mountain Dog Homemade Dog Food Risks
Here are some common mistakes you should avoid when cooking for Bernese Mountain Dogs.
- Not understanding the nutritional needs of Bernese Mountain Dogs
- Using inadequate or dangerous recipes
- Not preparing a balanced meal
- Using unsafe or harmful ingredients
- Not understanding the impact of food and dietary changes
- Not understanding your dog’s life stages (puppies, adults & senior) nutritional needs
- Neglecting your dog’s health conditions
A study by the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary found that most homemade dog food recipes lack key essential nutrients, and other recipes use dangerously high levels of some nutrients.
Even more shocking, research published in The Journal of Nutritional Science concluded 48% of homemade dog diets had an imprecise determination of ingredients and quantities and that 71.3 % of dog owners did know how much food to serve per meal. What’s more alarming is that 30.4% of the pet parents admitted to purposely changing the recipe, 40% of owners didn’t measure the proportions of the ingredients well enough, and 28.3% didn’t use any of the recommended vitamins or minerals or amino acid.
In a survey published in the journal Preventive Veterinary Medicine, vets reported 97% of obesity cases in dogs could be traced to how owners fed and played with their pets.
Remember, Bernese Mountain dogs have unique nutritional needs and it is recommended you speak with your veterinarian. Your vet can provide you with trusted recipes, advice on your Bernese’s nutritional needs, and recommendations for homemade dog food delivery services.
Bernese Mountain Dog Nutritional Guidelines to Follow
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommends all dog food contains six essential nutrients: protein, carbs, fat, minerals, water, and vitamins. AFFCO is the entity regulating dog food nutritional value in commercial dog food.
Be sure to consider your dog’s health status, activity level, size, breed-specific needs, and weight when creating a homemade dog food diet.
Each of these six nutrients is crucial in supporting good health and growth.
|Protein||Chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, fish, yogurt and cooked eggs||Builds and repairs muscles and other body tissues. Needed to make new skin cells, grow hair, hormones, enzymes and more.
|Carbohydrates||Oats, brown rice, potatoes, and whole wheat||Source of energy for dogs and supplies glucose needed by the brain, nervous system and other critical organs for normal function.
|Fat||From meats and oils such as olive or sunflower oil, fish oil, canola oils among others||Responsible for providing quality energy. Necessary for the normal development and function of body cells, nerves, muscles, and body tissues
|Minerals||Calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, zinc, etc.||Common functions include the formation of bone and cartilage, nerve and muscle function, fluid balance regulation, the transportation of oxygen in the bloodstream and hormone production.
|Water||Water||Hydration is critical in dogs. A dog that loses too much water (10% to 15% of the water in his body) can get very sick and even die. Ensure they have water available throughout the day.
|Vitamins||A, B, C, D, E, and K||Keeps skin and coat healthy, strengthens bones and teeth, and gives them the overall energy that they need to function.
Recommended Supplements For Bernese Mountain Dogs
Here are some breed-specific supplements this breed may benefit from based on the Bernese’s top nutrition-related health concerns.
- Multivitamin Supplement – It’s common for homemade dog food to lack one or more of these nutrients. Using a multivitamin supplement like Zesty Paws Multivitamin Chews can help your Bernese Mountain Dog get a balanced diet.
- Hip & Joint supplements – Bernese Mountain Dogs are prone to bone and joint problems. To prevent or alleviate these problems, it’s wise to supplement their diet with Glucosamine and Chondroitin to help maintain an active lifestyle and support joint tissue. Finn Hip & Joint is an excellent choice.
- Thyroid Supplement – If your Bernese suffers from thyroid issues, Nutrition Strength Thyroid Supplement can provide healthy thyroid function and help promote hormonal balance in your pet.
As always, be sure to speak with your veterinarian before feeding anything new to your pet. Vets can help you create an individualized diet for your dog and guide its supplementation.
To learn more about dog nutrition, check out Home Prepared Dog & Cat Diets: the Healthful Alternative by Donald R. Strombeck, DVM, Ph.D. He’s an expert in veterinary medicine and pet nutrition. Many vets consider this book the go-to resource for dog nutrition.
Health Dietary Changes In Bernese Mountain Dogs
If your Bernese Mountain Dog is experiencing any food-related health issues, adjusting their diet can positively affect their health.
Below are some dietary adjustments you can implement if your furry friend is experiencing any of the conditions listed below.
|Condition||Dietary Needs & Adjustments
|Coat Color Changes||Increase amino acids which can be found in protein (>75 grams per 1000 calories)|
|Concurrent GI Signs||Avoid foods with tryptamine and histamine such as dairy or fermented vegetables and meats (yes, this includes bacon); try a simple ingredient food trial
|Chronic Itching and Dermatitis||Fortify the diet with Vitamin E, B Vitamins, Zinc, omega-6 and the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil; add a dog probiotic; try a simple ingredient food trial|
|Dull Coat and Scaling||Adjust EPA and DHA levels in the diet (added fish oil being the most common way); try a food that has added zinc
|Dandruff and Crustiness||Add Zinc and Vitamin A levels
If your Bernese Mountain Dog has skin allergies or joint pain, adding dog fish oil may be a good idea. The AKC states that fish oil promotes healthier coats by reducing itchiness and flakiness in the skin due to its omega-3 fatty acid content. Other significant effects include promoting improved immunity (especially against cancer) while strengthening heart health in dogs.amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “caninebible-20”; amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “manual”; amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”; amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”; amzn_assoc_region = “US”; amzn_assoc_design = “enhanced_links”; amzn_assoc_asins = “B0002ABR6E”; amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit”; amzn_assoc_linkid = “c393334235b41fe2c07b83963fbe7f9c”;
Bernese Mountain Dog Calorie Requirements
A dog’s caloric needs are based on its weight. An adult Bernese Mountain Dog usually weighs between 70 to 115 pounds, so most Bernese Mountain Dogs need to eat between 1,312 and 1,903 calories per day. If a Bernese Mountain Dog is engaging in hunting or other performance work, they might need double the amount of calories per day.
Be sure to follow the 10% rule when feeding treats to your dog. Food would equal 90% of the total calories and treats the remaining 10%.
For instance, if a Bernese Mountain Dog weighs 90 lbs. Then, he would need 1,582 calories per day. If you feed him treats, that’s 1,423 calories in food (90%) and 159 calories in treats (10%). Usually, full-grown dogs eat two meals per day, so split 1,582 into two meals of 791 calories each. You can use this calculator to find your Bernese Mountain Dog’s exact caloric needs based on his weight.
Pregnant Bernese Mountain Dog can need up to 2 to 4 times the food they usually have as the mother’s energy requirements increase after delivery and during lactation. Be sure to talk to your vet.
Homemade Dog Food For Bernese Mountain Dog Puppies
Since Bernese Mountain Dog puppies need more energy to grow, they need extra protein, fat, calcium, amino acids, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids compared to adult dogs. If these levels are not adequately met, it can result in stunted growth or lifelong complications.
According to The National Research Council, puppies should get around twice as many calories as their adult counterparts of the same breed. Many pet parents believe that they need to change their puppys’ calorie and food amount daily because they are constantly growing. However, this is a myth. “To promote normal growth,” most puppies need to be fed the same number of calories, and food, from about 4 months of age to 12 months of age,” says veterinary nutritionist Dr. Justin Shmalberg DVM, from Nom Nom.
A Bernese Mountain Dog under six months old will need to be fed more than twice a day; once the Bernese Mountain Dog becomes an adult, a meal in the morning and the evening should be sufficient.
While puppies are developing, they should not skip a meal. This could impact proper growth and development. A puppy’s diet needs to be a precise balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fat, minerals, water, and vitamins, as outlined in our nutritional guidelines earlier.
Homemade Dog Food Delivery Service
If you are a busy Bernese Mountain Dog owner struggling to find the time to meal prep for your four-legged friend or don’t know anything about dog nutrition, there is a solution for you.
Open Farm gently cooked recipes offer the convenience of a homemade dog food delivery service. Gently Cooked is a home-cooked style meal made with 100% human-grade, humanely raised ingredients made in a human-grade facility. It’s home cooking for your pet, without the cooking!
All of their meats are certified Humane and Global Animal Partnership certified. Their seafood is Ocean Wise certified, and fruits and veggies are non-GMO.
Even better, Open Farm recipes are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for maintenance.
Their tasty meat recipes combine superfoods like non-GMO leafy greens, pumpkin, turmeric, chia seeds, coconut oil, and more.
This brand’s great because they don’t use any nasty chemicals found in kibble, antibiotics, added growth hormones, wheat, corn, potatoes, peas, or legumes. Plus, their gradual cooking process removes bacteria while retaining more flavor, nutrients, and ingredients.
You don’t even need to worry about portions. All meals come in pre-portioned pouches for easy serving and are shipped frozen to preserve freshness.
If you love your Bernese Mountain Dog but can’t find the time to cook their meals or don’t know anything about dog nutrition, a homemade dog food delivery service like Open Farm is an excellent choice.
Your dog enjoys the benefits of freshly homemade meals without the hassles of cooking, shopping for the ingredients, and balancing nutrients. With the time you’ve saved by not cooking, you can focus more of your energy on neighborhood walks or training.
The company offers a 15% discount for joining their email list, 5% off if you sign up for auto-ship deliveries, and free shipping for orders over $50!
On top of the 15% discount, our readers have access to save 20% off their first Open Farm order. Just use the coupon code “CANINE20” at check out. Click this link to get your Bernese Mountain Dog’s first homemade meal.
Bernese Mountain Dog Homemade Food Tips
Before we show you our favorite Bernese Mountain Dog homemade food recipes, here are some things you should remember when cooking for your pet.
- Set a consistent feeding schedule.
- Feed your Bernese Mountain Dog two times a day (puppies under 12 months, 3 to 4 times a day, check with your veterinarian).
- Meal prep weekly or monthly.
- Measure and control portion sizes depending on your dog’s calorie needs.
- Keep meals frozen for 2 to 3 months or refrigerated for about 5 days.
- Make a new batch when the food supply is getting low.
- If you want to feed different recipes, you can make multiple batches and color code by ingredients, rotating out the different meals.
- Prepare the food in bulk and portion it into containers (one container per meal makes it extra-easy).
- Increase portions appropriately as your puppy grows.
- Monitor weight to make sure you are feeding the proper amount of calories.
How To Cook Homemade Food For Bernese Mountain Dog (Video)
Check out this video to learn how to prepare a homemade meal for your Bernese.
Best Bernese Mountain Dog Homemade Dog Food Recipes
We put together the best Bernese Mountain Dog homemade dog food recipes. Your dog is sure to love the flavors and ingredients.
We’ve also added a special treat recipe for Bernese Mountain Dog that is not only delightful and tasty but it’s packed with awesome health benefits. This recipe can do a lot for your pup’s health and wellness. It has our favorite secret ingredient, dog CBD oil.
Note: Please consult with your pet’s veterinarian and use personal judgment when applying this information to your dog’s diet. The recipes below do not include serving size because portion sizes will vary depending on breed, weight, activity level, age, and health of your dog. A standard recommendation is to feed your dog a comparable amount of ounces/cups to what you would usually feed in kibble BUT check with your vet to be sure.
- CBD-Infused Dog Treats
- Pork & Beef, Sweet Potato & Rice
- Macaroni Quinoa Turkey Recipe
- Wholesome Ground Sirloin Veggie
CBD-Infused Dog Treats
CBD dog treats are perfect for helping with seizures, anxiety, arthritis, inflammation, pain, wellness, preventive care, and many other health problems. Read our dog CBD guide to learn more.
Treat your Bernese Mountain Dog with these nutritious, therapeutic, and delicious homemade CBD oil dog treats. They are made with pumpkin, a great source of essential vitamins and minerals (like vitamin A, potassium, vitamin C, and iron). Pumpkin also aids with digestion and hydration. Coconut is added for skin and coat, digestion, and helps reduce allergic reactions.
Just be sure to check with your vet before to make sure CBD is safe for your pup and you are giving the correct dosage.
You can also purchase already made CBD dog treats so your pup can experience all the benefits of CBD.
- 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 apple, cored and grated
- 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and grated
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3 cup olive or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup water
- dash of sea salt
- 120 mg CBD oil
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a dog cookie baking tray with coconut oil.
- Core and grate the apples, then peel and grate the carrots.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, oats, and coconut sugar. In another medium-sized bowl, beat the egg. Then, add coconut oil, water, and grated apples and carrots.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients bowl; mix completely. Finally, add CBD oil and mix once more.
- Using a Tbsp measuring spoon, portion out the dog biscuits and press into the dog treat baking pan. Bake, 32-37 minutes or until the biscuits are firm and golden-brown on the outside.
- Store in an air-tight container.
Recipe from: Truth Theory
Pork & Beef, Sweet Potato & Rice
What Bernese Mountain Dog doesn’t appreciate some beef and sweet potato? Make sure that all of your four-legged friends’ nutritional needs are met with this tasty recipe that’s sure to make them drool!
- 2 lbs ground pork
- 2-2.5lbs ground beef
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 large apple, cored
- 2 carrots (or 8 baby carrots)
- 1 cup of kale
- 1/2 cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup rice
- 1 1/2 cup water
- Put the ground meats in a 4-6 quart crockpot. You can really use any ground meat that you would like.
- Peel and chop the potato, apple, and carrots into 1″ pieces. Chop the kale.
- Add all of the fruits and veggies to the crockpot and mix with the meat.
- Cook on HIGH for 3-5 hours or on LOW for 5-7 hours until the meat is browned.
- When the meat mixture is close to being done, cook up the rice with the water on the stovetop. We use long-cooking rice (bring the rice and water to a boil, then turn heat to LOW, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes). When the rice is done, mix it into the meat mixture.
Note: Separate the food into 1/2 cup-1 cup portions in small baggies or Tupperware. Keep most of them in the freezer and pull them out about 4-5 at a time and keep them in the fridge. When mealtime comes, squeeze a bag down the middle to split the serving in half, microwave the meal serving for about 30-40 seconds and serve.
Macaroni, Quinoa Turkey Recipe
Who doesn’t love some comfort food? Try this Macaroni Quinoa and Turkey recipe out on your Bernese Mountain Dog on the next rainy day that comes around and snuggle up with some movies!
- 3 lbs ground turkey (or any protein)
- 1 cup uncooked millet (or any other whole grain: quinoa, rice, pasta)
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 1 zucchini, shredded
- 1 squash, shredded
- 1 apple, chopped
- 1 tbsp calcium powder
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
- Bring 1 cup of whole-grain to boil in a pot of water. I overcook it so that it’s soft and easily digestible. Drain.
- While that’s boiling, shred/chop the veggies.
- Cook ground turkey with olive oil and drain excess juices.
- Mix everything together—no need to cook the veggies. The cooked turkey and whole grain will warm them up a bit.
- Store in Tupperware or ziplock bags and freeze! It makes enough for around 2 weeks of meals (Fira weighs 14 lbs).
Recipe from: WheresTheFrenchie
Wholesome Ground Sirloin Veggie
This recipe is sure to have your Bernese Mountain Dog begging for more. A blend of wholesome and balanced ingredients means it’s not only great for your dog’s health but also their taste buds!
- 6 cups cooked organic brown rice
- 2 pounds ground lean beef, cooked through, fat drained
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and diced small
- 3 carrots, shredded or thinly sliced
- 1/4–1/2 cup minced fresh parsley or 1/4 cup dried herbs
- 3 tablespoons of olive or safflower oil
- Start with cooking the eggs.
- While the rice is cooking, you can brown the sirloin and get all of the fresh ingredients together.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large container and stir to combine thoroughly.
- Store in the refrigerator in-between feedings.
Recipe from: This Messisours
If you are interested in more homemade dog food recipes and cooking options for your Bernese, cookbooks can come in handy to have a range of dog food recipes. Our top pick is Home Cooking for Your Dog: 75 Holistic Recipes for a Healthier Dog.
Best Homemade Dog Food Cooking Practices
Be sure to follow the food safety guidelines below. If you aren’t aware of these things, you could cause serious harm to your dog.
- Never use unsafe or toxic ingredients for dogs
- Use only boneless meats (no cooked bones)
- Cook all animal products thoroughly to kill harmful bacteria
- Cook all grains, beans, and starchy vegetables to make them easier to digest
- Research every ingredient before using it for safety
- Follow recipes as instructed
- Add supplements to their diet if needed
- Run any questions by a vet nutritionist
What Foods Should Your Bernese Mountain Dog Never Eat?
Not all ingredients are safe for dogs. Here is a list of foods your dog should never be fed.
- Onions and garlic
- Coffee, tea, and other caffeine
- Grapes and raisins
- Macadamia nuts
- Raw bread dough
Check out this handy list for a comprehensive list of all foods to avoid. Print it out and put it on your refrigerator as a reminder.
Bernese Mountain Dog Raw Diet (BARF)
The BARF diet plan stands for Bones and Raw Food, or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.
Veterinarian and nutritionist Dr. Ian Billinghurst is the precursor of BARF. A dog raw diet is meant to be similar to the diet of what dogs ate in the wild millions of years ago. A raw diet is generally composed of raw meat, bones, organ meats, fruits, and vegetables.
There are several types of raw foods available for dogs, including homemade raw dog food and store-bought (frozen, freeze-dried, and dehydrated).
Preparing a BARF diet for your Bernese Mountain Dog and other dogs, in general, requires a few extra steps. Handling raw ingredients makes the risk for contamination and nutritional imbalance much greater, which means much planning and care must go into feeding your Bernese Mountain Dog a homemade diet.
The overwhelmingly positive benefits on teeth, coat, and digestive functions make the BARF diet a popular choice. Read our raw dog food diet article if you want to learn more about the benefits and risks and get the best commercial raw food diet for your Bernese Mountain Dog.
Monitor Weight And Health
To ensure the food you’re introducing has the desired positive impact, you need to monitor your Bernese’s health and weight for changes over time.
Remember, not preparing a balanced meal individualized to your dog’s needs can come at a cost. Nutrition deficiency (or excess) can lead to diseases, such as malnutrition or obesity, and ultimately fatal.
If your dog rapidly gains or loses weight, this could indicate food-related health concerns.
Work alongside your vet to ensure the diet maintains nutritional adequacy.
Other Food Alternatives
Learning how to cook homemade food for your Bernese can be a bit overwhelming.
Each dog has unique nutritional requirements. It’s advised to always consult with your vet and build a diet based on your dog’s health and dietary goals.
According to our research, homemade dog food is healthier, more nutritious, and can help you improve your Bernese’s overall well-being for a happier pup.
Bernese Mountain Dogs are hearty dogs that require adequate food to function normally. Homemade dog foods can provide them with all of the nutrients they need to live their happiest, healthiest life.
Read up on vegan dog food if your Bernese is prone to food allergies or food-related health issues. Plant-based diets are also becoming increasingly popular for dogs with food sensitivities and other health issues.
Sources & References:  AKC,  Aubrey Animal Medical Center,  VIN,  PetMD,  Cornell,  PubMed: vWD,  NCBI: Prevalence of Hip and Elbow Dysplasia,  Malignant Histiocytosis,  lyka,  NCBI: Histiocytic Sarcoma,  Cancer.gov,  Institute of Canine Biology,  Iowa State University  PubMed: Dog Epilepsy  PubMed,  Mercola,  BMDinfo  AVMA: Obesity  Statistical Study  PubMed: Dietary Hyperthyroidism In Dogs,  ScienceDirect  PubMed: Osteoarthritis & Obesity,  NCBI