Skip to content

Comprehensive Guide to Saint Bernard Nutrition

Understanding the nutritional needs of your Saint Bernard is crucial to ensure they lead a healthy and happy life. This gentle giant requires specific attention to its diet due to its large size and unique health needs. In this article, we’ll explore the best commercial dog food brands for Saint Bernards, the essentials of feeding Saint Bernard puppies from birth to 12 months, healthy snack ideas, and a recipe for homemade training treats.

Saint Bernards are among the most recognizable giant dog breeds, known for their kind nature and immense stature. As with any breed, providing the right nutrition is fundamental to their overall well-being. Given their size, Saint Bernards have particular dietary requirements that must be met to maintain their health and vitality.

Top 5 Commercial Dog Food Brands for Saint Bernards

  1. Royal Canin Giant Adult: Specifically formulated for dogs over 100 pounds, Royal Canin Giant Adult provides precise nutrition that promotes optimal health for large breeds like the Saint Bernard. It includes specialized fibers that help support healthy digestion, essential for a breed prone to gastrointestinal issues.
  2. Eukanuba Large Breed Adult Dog Food: This brand focuses on providing high-quality animal protein and optimized levels of fat and carbohydrates to sustain the energy needs of large breeds. Eukanuba also incorporates 3D DentaDefense System, which reduces tartar build-up and maintains dental health.
  3. Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed: Hill’s Science Diet offers scientifically-formulated food for large breed dogs that supports joint health and lean muscles. It contains natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin, vital for maintaining healthy bones and joints in large dogs like the Saint Bernard.
  4. Purina Pro Plan Large Breed: A nutrient-rich formula that caters to the needs of large breeds, this food includes guaranteed live probiotics for digestive and immune health. It also features high-quality protein, including chicken as the first ingredient.
  5. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed: Inspired by the diet of wolves, this high-protein food is crafted to satisfy the spirit of the wild inside every dog. It’s grain-free and includes LifeSource Bits—a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support immune system health.

Feeding Saint Bernard Puppies: Birth to 12 Months

Newborn to 2 months: Saint Bernard puppies should ideally nurse from their mother for at least the first six to eight weeks of life. Mother’s milk provides all the necessary nutrients and antibodies to promote healthy development. If nursing isn’t possible, a high-quality commercial puppy milk replacer should be used, closely mirroring the nutritional profile of the mother’s milk.

2 to 6 months: When transitioning to solid food, initially introduce a small amount of wet or moistened high-quality puppy food designed for large breeds. Gradually increase the solid food while decreasing the milk over several weeks. At this stage, meals should be divided into 3-4 servings per day to support consistent growth and stabilize metabolism.

6 to 12 months: As your Saint Bernard continues to grow, gradually transition them to a large breed puppy formula that is less calorie-dense to help manage growth and prevent joint issues. Continue feeding them 3 times per day. Monitor their growth and adjust portions accordingly to avoid excessive weight gain, which can strain developing bones and joints.

Healthy Snacks and Treats

Healthy Snack Ideas:

  • Carrots: A great low-calorie snack that is also good for the teeth.
  • Apples: Rich in fiber and vitamins but ensure to remove the core and seeds.
  • Plain pumpkin: Excellent for digestion but make sure it’s free from added sugar or spices.

Recipe for Homemade Training Treats: Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked, pureed pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (ensure it’s xylitol-free)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. In a bowl, mix the pumpkin, peanut butter, and eggs until smooth. Gradually add the flour, forming a stiff dough.
  3. Roll the dough out to about 1/2 inch thick and cut into shapes with a cookie cutter.
  4. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 20-25 minutes until hard.
  5. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Further Reading

  1. American Kennel Club – Dog Nutrition Tips
  2. PetMD – Dog Nutrition Basics
  3. The Veterinary Centers of America – Nutrition for Large-Breed Dogs


Nutrition is a foundational aspect of your Saint Bernard’s health. Choosing the right commercial dog food, providing age-appropriate meals for puppies, and offering healthy snacks are all vital components of their dietary regimen. Homemade treats can also supplement their diet while providing training rewards. By adhering to these guidelines for St Bernard Nutrition, you can help ensure your dog maintains a healthy weight, supports bone and joint health, and enjoys a high quality of life.

Back To Top