How Much Should I Feed My Bernedoodle?
You just got home with your new Bernedoodle, but you forgot to ask how much food is suitable for it. How much should you feed your new puppy?
Let’s face it, taking care of a designer dog is more than just cuddling with them all day long. These Bernedoodles need appropriate exercise, food, water, and a lot of love. The last thing you want is to feed it so much that it becomes a couch potato and develops health issues. Or what’s worse is not feeding it enough and having the dog root in the trash for a snack. Since Bernedoodles tend to hoard items they find, you might be surprised to find several surprises under the bed.
A Bernedoodle is a cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle. They are affectionate, active dogs who love attention. They are intelligent and respond well to training. They come in three sizes.
You know that a Bernese Mountain Dog means that it needs more food than the average dog. While these active dogs do eat quite a bit, the amount of food you need should be determined by the dog’s size. Smaller dogs require less food than larger ones, but be prepared to shell out some bucks to feed these designer dogs.
A Word About Dog Food – Wet or Dry?
Both dry dog food and wet dog food can provide the nutrients that your new puppy needs, but there are differences, and each has its advantages. Most vets agree that you need to be consistent with whichever form you decide to use. According to PetMd, a combination of wet and dry can provide the best of both worlds. While wet food is more accessible for a dog to digest and will provide a better feeling of fullness, there are dental hygiene benefits to using dry food.
What is the Process Behind Wet Dog Food?
We will save you a trip to the processing plant. Wet food starts with an essential combination of proteins from the various by-products and parts of meat, fish, or chicken. Vegetables are added (beans are high in proteins and fiber). The meat and veggies are pulverized into a paste while being added to a gravy of starches and vitamins (rice starch is pretty standard). The whole mess is baked and sterilized during the canning process. As a result, wet food has a much higher moisture content than dry food (about 75%). The liquid content is what helps keep the food moist.
And Now, for Something Different – Dry Dog Food
Dry food contains very similar ingredients, but the meat mixture is pulverized into a paste that can be cooked. Once done, the baked dough is cut into smaller bite-sized pieces, dried, then sprayed with oil and vitamins, and sent to packaging. Some dry foods try to add probiotics to aid a dog’s digestive health.
How Much Food is Enough?
The amount of food will depend on your dog’s weight, activity level, and age. You will need to monitor the food intake for a while and make adjustments. Consult with your local veterinarian for input about amounts and types if in doubt.
The AKC recommends the following as their guideline for the first year.
- 6–12 weeks: Growing pups should be fed puppy food for normal development. Feeding adult food will rob your puppy of essential nutrients. Four feedings a day are usually adequate to meet nutritional demands. Large breeds should be fed unmoistened dry food by 9 or 10 weeks; small dogs by 12 or 13 weeks.
- 3–6 months: Sometime during this period, decrease feedings from four to three a day. A pup should be losing her potbelly and pudginess by 12 weeks. If she is still roly-poly at this age, continue to feed puppy-size portions until her body type matures.
- 6–12 months: Begin feeding twice daily. Spaying or neutering lowers energy requirements slightly; after the procedure, switch from nutrient-rich puppy food to adult maintenance food. Small breeds can switch to 7 to 9 months; more giant breeds at 12, 13, or even 14 months. Err on the side of caution: Better to be on puppy food a little too long.
- After age 1: Most owners feed adult dogs two half-portions a day.
Dry Dog food packages will have feed charts on the back that can be consulted to ensure that you are providing enough food. Your dog’s weight, activity level, and size are the most significant factors. If your dog is a giant breed, expect them to have a different metabolism level and require more food.
Several websites like dogfoodadvisor.com have specially designed food calculators you can use to determine the correct quantity of food to feed your special pet.
The Evidence is in the Poop
One way to determine how your dog tolerates the food you use is to monitor their bowel movements. If the poop is runny or diarrhea-like, you might want to alter it. Expect your dog to tell you by turning up their nose at some dry dog foods, which is why most vets will tell you that the cheap stuff is never the way to go. Check out the list of top dry dog foods by following this link. You can research the list of the best dry dog foods at dogfoodadvisor.com