10 Best Dog Food for St Bernard: 2022

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This is our 2022 review of the best dog food for St Bernard.

One of the most popular family-friendly breeds. These docile, gentle giants can weigh anything from 120 pounds!

But, they can suffer from a variety of diseases. And they have a short life span, generally living around 6-10 years. But giving them a healthy, nutritional meal will help protect them.

This is why we recommend Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed dry dog food.

It’s a high protein formula that offers a variety of nutrients needed for large breeds – including omega fatty acids and vitamin D for their joints and bones. Plus, it has healthy doses of calcium and phosphorus too.

Fortunately, there are many diets to choose from, especially for each life stage. And there are plenty of options for specific problems too. 

We’ve put together 10 different dog foods to choose from, whether yours is a puppy or senior, struggling with their weight, or needing healthier skin.

Quick Picks: 10 Best Dog Food for St Bernards

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best Overall
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed Adult Chicken Dry Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed Adult Chicken Dry Dog Food
  • No corn, wheat, soy, or poultry by-product meals
  • Loaded with high-quality protein for essential nutrients
  • Calcium and phosphorus included for strong teeth and bones
9
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Best for Puppies
Eukanuba Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food
Eukanuba Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food
  • Provides complete, balanced nutrition for large breed puppies
  • Supports healthy growth with essential nutrients
  • Plenty of healthy fats for natural energy source
8.5
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Best for Seniors
ORIJEN Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
ORIJEN Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Crafted with 85% premium animal meats
  • All of the first 5 ingredients are animal sources
  • Freeze-dried raw coated to entice eating
  • Made in the USA
9.5
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Best Wet
Purina Pro Plan Specialized Adult Large Breed Chicken Canned Food
Purina Pro Plan Specialized Adult Large Breed Chicken Canned Food
  • Tons of protein to support muscles and energy
  • 100% complete and balanced for adult dogs over 50 pounds
  • Real chicken and rice are mixed with premium ingredients
8.5
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Best for Active St Bernards
Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Large Breed Dog Food
Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Large Breed Dog Food
  • A freeze-dried raw diet made for large breeds
  • Includes real deboned chicken, duck, and lamb for protein
  • Made in the USA
  • Plenty of nutrients that'll nourish your canine's body
9
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  1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed Adult Chicken Dry Dog Food (Best for Adults)
  2. Eukanuba Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food (Best for Puppies)
  3. ORIJEN Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best for Seniors)
  4. Purina Pro Plan Specialized Adult Large Breed Chicken Canned Food (Best Wet Food)
  5. American Journey Active Life Large Breed Chicken & Vegetables Dog Food (Best Budget)
  6. Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Large Breed Dog Food (Best for Active St Bernards)
  7. Holistic Select Large Breed Adult Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe Dog Food (Best for Sensitive Tummies)
  8. Iams ProActive Health Adult Healthy Weight Large Breed Dog Food (Best for Weight Loss)
  9. Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Large Breed Dry Dog Food (Best for Healthy Skin)
  10. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Healthy Mobility Large Breed Chicken Recipe Dog Food (Best for Joint Health)


The Best Dog Foods for St bernards Reviewed

All the dog foods we are about to go through meet an AAFCO daily nutrient profile for dogs. Before switching your dog’s food, consult your veterinarian. [1]

Best Overall
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Large Breed Adult Chicken Dry Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 22% Protein, 12% Fat, 6% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 352 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: No Corn No Wheat No Soy, With Grain
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Saint Bernards are a fairly large breed and are considered pretty active pets. But, they can suffer from piling on extra weight. And because of their large size and energy needs, they need the right protein and fat, alongside essential nutrients like vitamin E for their joints.

Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection Large Breed dog food provides all these things. And it starts with deboned chicken. 

This high-quality meat is packed with nutrients like glucosamine, chondroitin, and L-carnitine. Glucosamine aids your canine’s joint health. While chondroitin and L-carnitine help maintain and build lean muscles, which is crucial.

Healthy doses of calcium and phosphorus are also added for solid teeth and bones. Plus, omega fatty acids from fish oil help nourish healthy skin and coats while managing inflammation in your Saint Bernard’s body.

Blue Buffalo includes their exclusive “LifeSource Bits,” a unique blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and chelated minerals that boost the immune and digestive systems.

It is made without corn, wheat, soy, or poultry by-product meals. However, it does contain nutritious whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal for a steady energy supply. And, it’s loaded with prebiotics that keeps your furry friend’s tummy happy.

What We Like
  • Specifically made for large breeds
  • The recipe has high concentrations of glucosamine, chondroitin, and L-Carnitine
  • High-quality sources of omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
  • A unique blend of antioxidants, chelated minerals, and essential vitamins for immune and digestive systems
  • Contains no wheat, corn, soy, or poultry by-product meals
  • Made in the USA
What We Don't Like
  • Does contain whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal
  • No solid evidence this food doesn’t contain GMOs. However, there are rigorous tests done for safety and quality standards
  • Some finicky eaters don’t like Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource bits


Best for Puppies
Eukanuba Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn, Wheat, Chicken Fat
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Protein, 14% Fat, 3.7% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 357 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: High-Protein, With Grain
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Growth

Supporting a puppy during the first year of their life can be pivotal. And this can be especially true for Saint Bernard puppies. It is critical to give them the proper nutritional support that encourages their body to grow while supporting their joints and bones.

This is why we recommend Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy dog food. It’ll give your pup everything they need to prosper and thrive.

The first ingredient on the list is real chicken. This lean, succulent animal protein has rich amounts of glucosamine that aids joints and supports growth. Chicken is full of omega fatty acids like DHA, which helps healthy brain growth and development.

Added fish oil offers canines high concentrations of healthy fats, improving skin and giving puppies a luscious, shiny coat. And chicken fat is included as a natural source of taurine, which protects the heart.

Natural prebiotics can be found in brewers rice, which helps your puppy feel fuller for longer. Plus, they encourage beneficial bacteria in your dog’s tummy.

Rounding off these supportive ingredients is supplemented calcium and phosphorus. These give added protection for bones and joints.

However, it’s worth noting that the recipe includes common allergens like corn and wheat.

What We Like
  • Provides comprehensive nutrition for large breed puppies up to 24 months old
  • Real chicken is the first ingredient
  • Contains plenty of ingredients that support joint and bone growth
  • It has an ideal fat and carbohydrate ratio which supports rapid development in puppies
  • Added DHA is included for brain growth
  • Contains several high-quality fruits and vegetables for antioxidants and essential vitamins
What We Don't Like
  • Does contain whole grains and wheat, meaning it may be unsuitable for certain food allergies
  • Can sometimes be too hard for certain puppies


Best for Seniors
ORIJEN Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Turkey, Flounder, Whole Mackerel, Turkey Giblets
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 38% Protein, 15% Fat, 8% Fiber, 12% Moisture
  • Calories: 417 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Grain-Free, High-Protein, Weight Control, Gluten-Free, Natural, Raw, No Corn No Wheat No Soy
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Senior

Finding a senior dog food that provides proper nutrition can sometimes be tricky. St Bernards need high amounts of protein, fats, and essential vitamins to maintain their muscles and healthy for many years.

ORIJEN’s Senior dog food features an impressive 85% animal ingredients. It contains animal proteins like chicken, fish, eggs, and turkey. All of which will contribute valuable nutrients which support lean muscles and protect joints.

What makes this recipe unique is how it’s frozen and refrigerated raw, locking in all the essential nutrients and preserving the food naturally. 

This means your pup is getting the maximum available concentration of vitamins and minerals. So, they’ll be getting rich doses of vitamin E for a healthy coat and essential B vitamins for energy from the high-quality animal meats.

Added pollock oil and turkey giblets give your St Bernard healthy omega fatty acids and taurine, which help prevent heart problems. [2]

And on top of all that, whole fruits and veggies like butternut squash, chickpeas, and dehydrated pumpkin provide prebiotics for healthy digestion, magnesium for energy, and vitamin A for eye health.

ORIJEN crafts its dog foods using the world’s finest ingredients in the USA. This natural, raw dog food is made without corn, wheat, soy, gluten, or grains.

What We Like
  • The recipe is made up of an impressive 85% premium animal proteins
  • Packed with omega fatty acids, protein, and amino acids
  • Freeze-dried raw coated for enhanced flavor
  • All of the first 5 ingredients are animal protein sources
  • Contains whole fruits and vegetables for added prebiotics and minerals
  • It has no corn, wheat, soy, gluten, or grains
  • Made with some of the world’s finest ingredients, in the USA
  • Supplemented taurine for heart health
What We Don't Like
  • Does contain legumes and potatoes which can trigger some food allergies
  • Can have a strong aroma, which can be off-putting for some fussy eaters


Best Wet
Purina Pro Plan Specialized Adult Large Breed Chicken Canned Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Water, Chicken, Liver, Wheat Gluten, Rice
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 9% Protein, 2% Fat, 1.5% Fiber, 82% Moisture
  • Calories: 316 kcal/can
  • Key Features: High-Protein, With Grain
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Generally, larger pups need higher amounts of protein and calories. So naturally, you might never consider wet food for your St Bernard’s needs. Luckily, there are a few options you can try, including this high-protein canned food from Purina.

It has an abundance of protein, coming from ingredients such as chicken, liver, and turkey. These healthy meats offer a canine’s high concentrations of glucosamine, chondroitin, and taurine for heart, brain, and joint health.

In fact, you’d be surprised with exactly how much protein is in this recipe. It contains a staggering 50% protein based on a dry matter basis.

This canned food is crafted for adult dogs weighing 50 pounds or more. 

Naturally, it caters to their needs, providing essential B vitamins for energy, biotin to promote coat health, and manganese for healthy cartilage tissue.

Rice is an easily digestible energy source and provides calcium and folate for bone growth and maintenance. Plus, Purina adds phosphorus, so your loveable friend gets healthy, strong teeth and bones.

This wet recipe is made in Purina’s U.S. manufacturing facilities. It does contain wheat, so it’s best to avoid it if your pup is allergic or has gluten sensitivities. But it is made without artificial ingredients.

What We Like
  • Contains 23 essential vitamins and minerals that’ll improve your dog’s well-being
  • Crafted for adult dogs over 50 pounds, so it’s ideal for St Bernards
  • Made without artificial ingredients
  • It has chicken, liver, and turkey as the main sources of protein
  • Packed full of nutrients that will support the immune system, nourish their skin and keep them energized
  • Made in Purina’s U.S. facilities
  • Contains calcium and phosphorus for healthy teeth and bones
What We Don't Like
  • Does contain grains, so avoid if your pup suffers from gluten sensitivities or is allergic to grains
  • Wet foods can be rather expensive for dog parents after a while
  • Some pups can suffer with loose stools
  • Can contain too much gravy


Best Budget
American Journey Active Life Large Breed Chicken & Vegetables Dog Food 
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Peas, Rice Bran
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 24% Protein, 13% Fat, 6% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 332 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: No Corn No Wheat No Soy, High-Protein, With Grain
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

High-quality dog food doesn’t have to hurt your wallet. Instead, you can try a diet like American Journey Active Life Large Breed dog food. 

This formula is made especially for large pups. It features deboned chicken and chicken meal as the primary protein sources, giving your dog loads of chondroitin and glucosamine for their joints. [3]

Then there’s the inclusion of brown rice. This nutritious whole grain offers plenty of dietary fibers. In fact, some can fend off the risks of heart problems. And they’re loaded with folate and magnesium, boosting your St Bernard’s metabolism and supporting cell growth.

And if that wasn’t enough, fish oil provides a precise blend of omega fatty acids to enhance the skin and support cartilage tissue. Carrots and sweet potatoes act as natural sources of vitamin A for the eyes and vitamin K for healthy bones.

American Journey’s formulas never contain any corn, wheat, or soy. Plus, they exclude poultry by-product meals and artificial ingredients too.

What We Like
  • Highly affordable, but high-quality dog food
  • Contains a moderate 24% protein, which comes from a variety of animal sources
  • Rich amounts of antioxidants from whole fruits and vegetables
  • Made without wheat, corn, soy, poultry by-product meals, and artificial ingredients
  • A precise blend of omega fatty acids which nourish skin and improve coat health
  • Contains nutritious whole grains for added nutrients
What We Don't Like
  • Does contain grains that may trigger some food allergies or intolerances
  • Has a slightly high 35-40% carbohydrate content
  • No supplemented taurine, although it naturally occurs in animal meats


Best for Active St Bernards
Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Large Breed Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 38% Protein, 17% Fat, 3.5% Fiber, 11% Moisture
  • Calories: 386 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: High-Protein, Grain-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Gluten-Free, Raw, Weight Control, Sensitive Digestion
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Large Breed is the best dog food for St Bernards, who live an active lifestyle. And if this is the case for your furry friend, we highly recommend it for its extra protein and high amounts of healthy fats.

The impressive 38% protein comes from real animal meats like chicken, salmon, and turkey. These tender meats have beneficial nutrients like taurine, chondroitin, omega fatty acids, and glucosamine. All of which will help maintain healthy muscle.

Still, there’s even more. Chicken liver offers a boost in vitamin A and iron to help your pup’s eyes and metabolism.

Antioxidant-rich ingredients like alfalfa meal, apples, and blueberries provide rich fiber concentrations for a healthy digestive system. And they’re pretty effective in improving immune health too.

The kibble is freeze-dried raw coated, ideal for fussy eaters as it adds a burst of flavor. Not only this, but it adds another layer of protein and healthy fat to every bite too.

Merrick crafts their recipes in Hereford, Texas, and then cook them in the USA. This protein-dense dog food doesn’t have corn, wheat, or soy either.

What We Like
  • Freeze-dried raw coated for added protein, healthy fats, and a burst of flavor
  • Included several animal meats like duck, lamb, and chicken
  • Made in the USA and crafted in Texas
  • Contains several high-quality antioxidants from whole fruits and veggies
  • Added taurine for heart health
  • It has deboned chicken as the first ingredient
  • Contains chicken liver for a boost of vitamin A and iron
What We Don't Like
  • It can sometimes cause gassiness and loose stool
  • Some dog parents with fussy eaters suggest it isn’t a huge hit with their pups. Instead, they used it as a topper.


Best for Sensitive Tummies
Holistic Select Large Breed Adult Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken Meal, Rice, Oatmeal, Oats, Chicken Fat
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 24% Protein, 14% Fat, 4% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 453 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Sensitive Digestion, Pea-Free, Gluten-Free, With Grain
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Worried about your St Bernard’s tummy? Sometimes, you may need to try giving their digestive system a bit more support. If that’s the case, try Holistic Select Large Breed Adult dog food.

Not only is this an excellent food for giving a boost to a sensitive tummy, but it’ll help them avoid food allergies too!

And it’s made exclusively for large breeds too. The kibble is slightly larger than others, encouraging your St Bernard to chew more. This means their body can digest the food properly and prevent the risks of bloat.

The 24% protein mainly comes from chicken meal, which offers tons of taurine for their heart and brain. Plus, flaxseed and chicken fat are included for healthy doses of fatty acids, which aid the skin and coat.

To add to all this, high levels of fiber can be found in ingredients such as oats, plain beet pulp, and pumpkin. This helps regulate your canine’s tummy and offers them complex carbohydrates for energy.

The recipe is supplemented with a balanced blend of prebiotics and probiotics too. Both of which improve digestion and boost the immune system.

Holistic Select Large Breed dog food is made using trusted ingredients sourced worldwide. 

What We Like
  • Features a unique combination of healthy fiber, probiotics, and prebiotics for a healthy digestive system
  • Contains a rich amount of omega fatty acids
  • Made in the USA with trusted global ingredients
  • Exclusively made for large breeds
  • Encourages proper eating, which helps prevent conditions like bloat
  • Contains an excellent amount of natural fiber sources like flaxseed, cranberries, papaya, and dried beet pulp
What We Don't Like
  • The recipe does include grains which can trigger some food allergies or sensitivities
  • Doesn’t appeal to some fussy eaters. It can be too crumbly for them.
  • Some pet owners comment on how the smell isn’t “meaty” compared to other brands


Best for Weight Loss
Iams ProActive Health Adult Healthy Weight Large Breed Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Ground Whole Grain Barley, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken By-Product Meal
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 22% Protein, 11.5% Fat, 5% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 328 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Weight Control, With Grain
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Saint Bernards can quickly gain extra weight. And unfortunately, this can lead to other complications, such as problems with their joints, heart, liver, and even kidneys.

If you’re worried about your furry friend’s weight, give Iams ProActive Healthy Weight Large Breed dog food a go. It’s made for large pups like your Saint Bernard and helps them achieve an ideal weight while protecting their muscles.

Farm-raised chicken starts off the ingredients list, providing a high-quality protein source for solid bones and muscles. And, it’s rich in L-Carnitine that aids metabolism and glucosamine for joints.

Plain beet pulp and whole-grain corn offer dietary fiber for your canine’s digestive system. These help keep your pup regular and can also encourage weight loss.

The 11.5% fat content is low compared to other formulas. Instead, Iams add eggs as a high-quality source of healthy fat. Eggs contain loads of B vitamins for extra energy and omega fatty acids, which nourish the skin and coat.

IAMS is a trusted industry leader in pet nutrition with over 60 years of experience. Their dry dog foods are manufactured in the United States using carefully selected ingredients.

What We Like
  • Specifically made for large breeds
  • Real, farm-raised chicken as the first ingredient
  • Contains several high-quality ingredients like plain beet pulp for healthy digestion
  • Iams is a reputable manufacturer of many pet foods, with over 60 years of experience
  • Contains high concentrations of L-
  • Carnitine, glucosamine, chondroitin, and protein
  • This formula has 17% less fat compared to other IAMS dog foods
What We Don't Like
  • Some dog owners disapprove of the amount of corn
  • Can cause gassiness in some canines


Best for Healthy Skin
Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Large Breed Dry Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Salmon, Barley, Rice, Oat Meal, Canola Meal
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Protein, 12% Fat, 4.5% Fiber, 12% Moisture
  • Calories: 373 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: High-Protein, Sensitive Digestion, With Grain
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Saint Bernards can suffer from a variety of skin problems. And this is especially true if they suffer from food or environmental allergies.

Luckily, there are many options to choose from, like Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach dog food. This balanced and complete food is designed for sensitive tummies and skin. It is loaded with easily digestible ingredients that prevent flare-ups and reactions.

Real salmon kicks off the ingredients, offering a rich source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids like EPA for joint health. And each bite is fortified with glucosamine and added fatty acids too. 

Added sunflower oil also contributes rich amounts of omega-6 acids, which improves dry skin and unhealthy coats by encouraging natural skin oil production in the body.

The 373 calories per cup come from ingredients like oatmeal which acts as an easily digestible source of energy and fiber. The fiber helps soothe irritation and helps regulate the digestive system by growing healthy bacteria.

It is made without fillers like corn, wheat, soy, or artificial ingredients to prevent upset stomachs or skin flare-ups. Purina Pro Plan foods are made in the USA, using highly palatable ingredients.

What We Like
  • Entices fussy eaters because of the formula’s attractive taste, smell, and feel
  • Made in the USA
  • Tasty, tender real salmon is the first ingredient in this dog food
  • Contains a precise blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from a variety of ingredients
  • Fortified with glucosamine for joint health
  • Features natural sources of prebiotics fiber that nourishes healthy bacteria in the tummy
  • Made without corn, wheat, soy, or artificial ingredients to prevent skin flare-ups or stomach upset 
What We Don't Like
  • Has been known to cause diarrhea or runny stool for some canines
  • Some dog parents comment on how crumbly it can be


Best for Joints
Hill's Science Diet Adult Healthy Mobility Large Breed Chicken Recipe Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Sorghum, Brown Rice, Whole Grain Wheat
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 28% Protein, 12% Fat, 3% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 367 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: With Grain
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Because of their vast, stocky bodies, St Bernards are more prone to certain joint problems like hip dysplasia. This can really harm their mobility and energy and cause them to gain extra weight. 

Luckily, a complete, balanced diet with carefully considered nutrients can help combat this. This is why we recommend Hill’s Science Diet Adult Healthy Mobility dog food. It’ll give your Saint Bernard the tools they need to maintain healthy muscles, optimal weight and give them added protection for their joints.

Chicken meal is the first ingredient and provides a foundation for the recipe. It’s loaded with glucosamine and chondroitin, which aids muscles, and helps grow healthy cartilage tissue around joints. Plus, it’s excellent for protein too.

Both fish meal and fish oil are added for healthy doses of fatty acids like EPA, which helps improve mobility and joint health. Barley and brown rice boost the digestive system and provide plenty of energy.

And then to round it all up, supplemented omega-6’s and vitamin E enhance the skin and coat.

Hill’s Science Diet is made in the USA with ingredients you can trust. And it’s made without artificial substances too. So you can rest easy knowing they’re getting a nutritional, complete meal that’ll keep them feeling satisfied between meals.

What We Like
  • Entices fussy eaters because of the formula’s attractive taste, smell, and feel
  • Made in the USA
  • Tasty, tender real salmon is the first ingredient in this dog food
  • Contains a precise blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from a variety of ingredients
  • Fortified with glucosamine for joint health
  • Features natural sources of prebiotics fiber that nourishes healthy bacteria in the tummy
  • Made without corn, wheat, soy, or artificial ingredients to prevent skin flare-ups or stomach upset 
  • Exclusively made for large breeds
What We Don't Like
  • Does contain grains that can cause adverse reactions for some sensitive or allergic dogs
  • The recipe's strong smell can be off-putting for some pups



How to Choose Food for Your St Bernard

You might be fooled into thinking that because Saint Bernards are so large, they don’t need as much care. In fact, they need a balanced diet to support their body. They need a steady source of healthy fat, high protein, and easily digestible carbohydrates.

Here’s how to choose the best diet for your St Bernard.

High Amounts of Protein

Your Saint Bernard is a large pup, and that’s not just because of their weight. They can measure anything between 40-47 inches all in all and weigh between 120-180 pounds. So they need tailored nutrition that helps maintain their body.

The main starting point to any healthy diet for dogs is protein. They need healthy doses to help maintain their muscles and provide them with energy. Protein is also crucial for essential body functions, including joint and heart health.

Ideally, your St Bernard’s dog food should contain around 22% protein content. Anything higher is just a plus. [4]

Be careful when feeding your dog, as overfeeding can cause health issues, too, like joint problems. Focus on a high-quality protein that supplies your dog with the most energy. For example, look for beef, chicken, or even fish ingredients.

Healthy Fats

Saint Bernard’s really thrive on a diet with healthy fats. Their large bodies need them for their muscles, heart, and joints. Plus, they’re an excellent source of energy too.

But it’s important to remember that not all fats are the same. Some can be low-quality compared to others. 

For example, canola oil isn’t the best type because it’s saturated fat. On the other hand, eggs, fish or salmon oil, coconut oil, and even flaxseed oil are excellent fats. 

When searching for your canine’s food, try to find these ingredients. They have high omega fatty acid and glucosamine concentrations for joint and heart health.

Digestible Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates work well in a St Bernard’s diet. However, it should be in moderation. Too much can cause your pup to pile on extra pounds and lead to joint problems.

Nonetheless, high-quality carbs can offer canines fiber for digestion and other essential nutrients. 

When choosing your dog’s food, try to find one containing potatoes (or sweet potatoes), chickpeas, or quinoa. These ingredients provide canines with vitamins and minerals such as potassium, which supports the muscles, heart, and nerves.

You can also consider ingredients like blueberries or kale as a source of carbohydrates.

Ingredients To Avoid

When finding the best dog food for your St Bernard, it is essential to know which ingredients you should look out for and avoid. 

Artificial Ingredients

Not every artificial ingredient is harmful. It’s just that most aren’t needed. 

For example, whenever a formula uses artificial flavors, it usually means there isn’t enough fat content to make it taste nice. Instead, some brands will include artificial flavors to entice fussy eaters.

Artificial coloring is another ingredient that isn’t needed at all. Dogs don’t mind what their food looks like.

Small amounts of artificial preservatives can be okay. But, some are frequently linked with health problems in dogs. And while they’re fine to eat in small portions, you have to keep in mind that they’ll be eating this food for quite a long time. It’s best to steer clear so they’re completely safe.

Artificial preservatives like BHT and BPA should be avoided at all costs. These ingredients are a common cause of tumors in dogs. Ethoxyquin isn’t allowed in human food but is commonly used in some wet foods. [5]

Unidentified By-Products or Meat Meals

Unfortunately, some diets will use meat without telling us where it’s from.

Most identified meat meals are fine for dogs and offer concentrated sources of protein and nutrients. You don’t need to worry if the food contains “salmon meal” or “chicken meal” for example. These types of meats are just cooked to remove moisture.

But, you don’t want to give your dog any food that contains something like “meat meal.” If it’s unnamed, then it’s best to avoid it. The same principle applies to by-products too.




St Bernard Feeding Guide

Trying to find out how to feed your St Bernard? Feeding them the right way can help prevent obesity and other serious health problems. Luckily, here’s everything you should know.

Puppies

Any puppy needs a diet that helps support their rapid growth. The AAFCO recommends puppies have at least 22% protein and 8% fat content in their meal.

But what does the equate to in calories? Your St Bernard puppy should eat around 25 calories per pound of ideal adult weight. On average, a Saint Bernard weighs approximately 120 pounds, so that’s about 3,000 calories per day.

Because of their larger bodies, these furry pups need the right amount of protein and fat to help build their muscles and support joints. So generally, it’s best to find a diet with rich amounts of DHA for brain growth, fatty acids for joints, and glucosamine to support their bones.

And generally, it’s best to feed puppies around 2-3 times a day.

Adults

Once your cute pup reaches adult life (18 months or more), they can be fed twice daily. This can be once in the morning and then in the evening.

Saint Bernards can suffer from joint problems and obesity. Once they reach adulthood, it’s best to decrease the number of calories they’re eating. So around 20 calories per pound of bodyweight a day is ideal. Remember to regularly exercise them too.

Seniors

This breed can age really fast. They have a relatively short life span, so they’re considered seniors once they reach 6 years old. Once your pup reaches this life stage, it’s best to prioritize the immune system and heart health.

Salmon oil is an excellent ingredient to look for. It’s rich in omega fatty acids that protect the heart and joints and antioxidants for immune health. You should also look for nutrients like calcium, iron, taurine, and vitamin D.

Luckily, there isn’t too much change in their diet. Seniors can consume the same amount of calories as adulthood. So that’s 20 pounds per pound of their ideal body weight.




St Bernard

Common St Bernard Health Problems

St Bernards usually live 8-10 years. And because of their large size and hearts, they can suffer from certain health conditions.

There are always ways to look after your dog and keep them happy and healthy. Here are some conditions you need to be aware of.

Bloat

Bloat, or known as Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV), happens when your dog’s stomach fills up with air or fluid and makes it twist itself. And, it then blocks the oxygen and blood to crucial body organs.

It’s a painful condition, and on occasions, has caused death.

You can slow down how quickly your dog eats and feed them small portions more often to prevent bloat. Some canned foods are also effective in preventing it. They help coat your canine’s stomach and to avoid air building up.

While natural gases in your Saint Bernard’s tummy won’t usually cause this, they can affect their overall well-being.

Common signs of bloat include vomiting, excess drooling, distended belly, or even trouble breathing. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Hip Dysplasia

This condition is usually made worse by excess weight or obesity. And it can be avoided by giving your Saint Bernard a complete, balanced diet. Seniors can be really prone to it. So it’s best to regularly keep an eye on their weight.

Hip Dysplasia happens when the thigh bone doesn’t fit into the hip joint properly, causing it to snap and break. It can cause limping, severe pain, and even arthritis.

It’s best to give your pup a diet with plenty of nutrients like glucosamine and omega fatty acids. These will help maintain and protect their joints.

Cancer

Saint Bernards are a breed known to frequently suffer from certain cancers. Mainly, Osteosarcoma and Lymphoma. [6,7]

Lymphoma is a type of cancer that makes the body create harmful lymphocytes (an unhealthy white blood cell). These will then attack the immune system.

Osteosarcoma is a cancerous disease that begins in your dog’s bones. These cancer cells will make tumors, creating irregular, weak bones in the body. It most often affects long bones like your dog’s legs.

Both of these cancers can’t be prevented through your dog’s diet. But, if you notice them early enough, you can treat them. Usually, this will be done by radiation treatments and chemotherapy, something dogs handle much better than humans.  [8]

You can give them an added boost during these treatments by giving them a healthy diet. Prioritize a food with plenty of healthy fats, antioxidants, and holistic food that improves their wellbeing.

Skin Problems

Some Saint Bernards can suffer from skin sensitivities or conditions like dermatitis, especially around their lip folds.

Dermatitis is a common skin irritation that comes in a variety of forms. It can involve itchiness, dryness, or skin rashes.

Focus on food that has high concentrations of omega fatty acids. These healthy fats will help improve your dog’s irritated skin by encouraging natural skin oil production in their body. [9]

Vitamin E is also another excellent antioxidant you should look for.

Obesity

Obesity is a growing problem for dogs. In fact, over 40% of dogs are overweight. [10]

Obesity can also lead to other health problems, including issues with the joints, heart, and liver. So Saint Bernards must maintain a healthy weight and eat the correct daily calories. 

Saint Bernards mainly gain weight through overfeeding. So we recommend you feed them twice a day. And these meals should be within their daily calorie limit.

We also recommend you don’t free-feed throughout the day. This can make it really hard for you to keep tabs on how much they’re eating. 

If you’ve noticed they’ve gained a little weight, try speaking to your veterinarian about it. They may recommend some alternative methods to encourage weight loss.

Final Verdict

Saint Bernards need plenty of protein and calories to keep up with their high energy needs. And, they need essential nutrients which protect their heart and joints.

And as you can see, there are so many options for your St Bernard. 

We found Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Dog Food to be the best dog food for St Bernards overall. It has all the things you need to keep them happy and healthy and keep them around for many years to come. 

But if the 22% protein and real chicken doesn’t do it for your furry friend, you can’t go wrong with any of the foods we’ve recommended on this list. 

Each will support your furry friend through their life and give them the nutrients they need to thrive.

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James Fuller and Mollie

James Fuller

Founder & Chief Content Creator

I’ve owned a pet most of my life. In fact, I currently have both a cat, Milo, and a Jack Russel, Mollie! I’m the founder of Honest Whiskers. And my mission is to deliver a reliable, trusted website that only uses evidence-based information.

Dogs and Cat
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