What foods does a St. Bernard love?

St. Bernards are unparalleled in the dog world. These giant and adorably fluffy dogs are charming, gentle, and great with family members of all ages. They always seem to have a happy wag in their tail and a sparkle in their eyes when food is around. Did you know that despite their large size, they are some of the most relaxed and docile dogs that you will ever come across?

Their size might make you think they must have a diet that matches a horse, but you might be surprised. Today, we will dive into the world of St. Bernards to understand the dietary needs and preferences of this magnificent breed. Along the way, you’ll learn what these gentle giants like to munch on, and the foods that keep them healthy and active.

While it’s true that St. Bernards love to eat, it’s important to know that they don’t require a diet as massive as their size suggests. St. Bernards don’t have a particularly fast metabolism, so they don’t need to eat as much as one might initially think. You might find it interesting and possibly shocking to learn that a St. Bernard typically eats about 5-6 cups of high-quality dog food, divided into two meals, in a day.

Like all dogs, St. Bernards enjoy protein-rich food and they need it for their muscular development. High-quality, lean meat like chicken, beef, and turkey rank highly on their preference list. Fish, packed with beneficial omega fatty acids that promote a healthy coat, are also recommended for this breed. However, when offering these to your St. Bernard, ensure it is well cooked and not seasoned, as some seasonings may be harmful to our furry friends.

While protein serves important functions in muscle building and tissue repair, carbs are equally vital to provide your St. Bernard with the needed energy. Carbohydrate-rich foods like sweet potatoes, rice, barley, and oats are all appreciated by a St. Bernard’s palate.

St. Bernards also cherish some fruits and veggies (Yes, you heard it right!). Wholesome foods such as peas, carrots, pumpkin, blueberries, and apples make wonderful additions to their diet and are a fantastic source of vitamins and fiber. However, ensure that your St. Bernard does not eat the seeds and core of an apple as these parts can cause digestive disruption.

Fats are also a crucial part of a St. Bernard’s diet. They supply energy and help the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins. Food items such as flaxseed oil or fish oils can be given in controlled amounts to add healthy fats to their food.

Treats are also a must for these lovable dogs. Still, the key is moderation. Too many could risk excess weight gain, which would put unnecessary strain on their joints. Lean cuts of meat, baby carrots, pumpkin cubes, apple slices, or even a piece of sweet potato can work as a healthy yet satisfying treat.

Intriguingly, St. Bernards have also been known to love peanut butter. Giving them a lick or two of this delicious spread can brighten up their day, and it also makes for an excellent distraction when giving medication or grooming.

As much as we’ve discussed what foods a St. Bernard does love, there are also foods that they should avoid. This includes chocolate, onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, and alcohol, as they are harmful and can sometimes be fatal for dogs. Besides these, anything overly fatty or too salty should not be given to St. Bernards as they can lead to health problems including Pancreatitis and Salt Toxicosis.

Another vital aspect to consider is portion control. As much as we love to spoil our pets, overfeeding them can contribute to obesity and joint issues, which are quite common in large-sized dog breeds such as the St. Bernard.

In conclusion, while everyone enjoys pampering their pet with love and food, a balanced diet is essential for a healthy, happy St. Bernard. From proteins, carbs and healthy fats to fruits and veggies, make sure to include a variety of nutritious elements in their meal. Remember, a well-fed St. Bernard is a content and lively St. Bernard. So, whether your St. Bernard is closing in on the crumbs of a discarded sandwich or striking his most photogenic pose to get a lick of peanut butter, know that he is more than just a beggar of treats — he’s a connoisseur of the good stuff, as long as the “good stuff” is good for him too!