BestForPets is reader-supported. Your purchases via our links may earn us an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Our Affiliate Disclaimer

The 10 Best Foods For Bernese Mountain Dogs

The Bernese Mountain Dog, a huge breed well-suited for rigorous work, is one of the AKC's top 25 most popular breeds. They may grow to be 28 inches tall at the shoulders and weigh 115 pounds, yet their placid disposition makes them gentle giants.

The most unpleasant aspect of this breed is its anticipated lifetime of only 7-10 years. But, because to developments in canine nutrition over the last few decades, we now know that a healthy diet and plenty of exercise may tilt the scales in our favor and help our dogs live as long as possible.

If you're looking for the best foods for Bernese mountain dogs, we've already tested the most popular brands. The reviews that follow will compare BestForPets’ (bestforpets.org) favorites so you can see how they stacked up without having to try them all with your dog.


Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Dog Food by Taste of the Wild

The Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is produced with whole-food components designed to offer your Bernese Mountain Dog with the finest nutrition possible, beginning with real lamb as the first and fundamental ingredient. 

This dish has a variety of nutritious ingredients, including blueberries, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes. Grains, on the other hand, are difficult for dogs to digest.

With a minimum of 25% crude protein and health-promoting elements including omega fatty acids and important minerals, you can be confident that this meal provides your dog with everything he or she needs to live a long and healthy life. 

Salmon oil contains DHA, an essential fatty acid that helps your dog’s brain function and can actually make them simpler to teach.

The only disadvantage of this cuisine is the high price tag. However, we believe it has earned the higher price tag by using high-quality ingredients, which is why it ranks first on our list.


  • The grain-free recipe is more easily digestible
  • Lamb is the primary protein source.
  • Made with natural components
  • Contains important elements that promote health.


  • There are less expensive alternatives.


Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food Iams ProActive Health

Feeding a huge dog like a Bernese Mountain Dog is already costly. Depending on its size, it may require up to six cups of dry dog food every day! When you include the greater expense of premium meals that help your dog’s health, the picture becomes even bleaker.

However, the Iams ProActive Health Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food allows you to feed your large breed dog without breaking the budget or sacrificing nutrition.

Joint difficulties are among the most prevalent health issues linked with big breeds. Fortunately, this cuisine is high in glucosamine and chondroitin, which aid in cartilage regeneration and can alleviate discomfort caused by conditions such as hip dysplasia.

Despite the presence of these crucial vitamins, this diet lacks protein. It only has 22.5% minimum crude protein, which is less than we’d like to see.

However, given the low price and big quantities available, we believe this is the best Bernese Mountain Dog food for the money.


  • Reasonably priced
  • Supplements for joint health are included.
  • Larger quantities can be bought.


  • There isn’t as much overall protein as rivals.


Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Large Breed

The Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Dog Food is designed exclusively for big breed puppies and offers the nutrients that your Bernese Mountain Dog will require.

A quick check at the ingredients list reveals that the major component is deboned chicken, which contributes to the minimum 26% crude protein content of this dish.

Of fact, this meal contains far more than simply protein. For example, it’s high in omega fatty acids, which boost brain function in developing dogs while also maintaining healthy skin and hair. It all includes essential elements such as calcium, phosphorus, and manganese.

Blue Buffalo was able to pack this cuisine with so many nutritious elements by using whole-food components like blueberries and cranberries in the recipe.

However, they purposely avoided corn, wheat, and soy, which are difficult for dogs to stomach. Unfortunately, they omitted out critical joint supplements that huge dogs require, despite the fact that vitamins and antioxidants are abundant.


  • Specially designed for huge breed puppies
  • Packed with the minerals that developing puppies require
  • There is no maize, wheat, or soy in this product.
  • Vitamins, chelated minerals, and antioxidants are abundant.
  • It lacks essential joint nutrients.



The CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Dry Dog Food is loaded with nutritious nutrients, but the price is exorbitant. This dish would have been in our top three if it had been more reasonably priced.

You can tell this cuisine is extraordinary just by looking at the ingredients list. The first two components are bison and lamb meal, indicating that this cuisine is filled with a varied selection of protein sources other than chicken.

Another significant feature of this food’s nutrition label is the inclusion of glucosamine and chondroitin, which help keep your dog’s joints healthy as they age. There are also omega fatty acids, minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins.

Natural, whole-food components including bison, sweet potatoes, lentils, and carrots were used to deliver all of those benefits into this blend.

Its grain-free formulation is gentle on your dog’s stomach and high in nutrients that benefit big dogs. However, given how much

Bernese Mountain Dog consumes, this food is not going to be a cheap alternative. At the very least, each cup has 462 calories!


  • Contains a wide range of protein sources
  • Full with joint-supporting supplements
  • Natural, whole-food components are used.
  • Each cup has 462 calories.


  • Excessive pricing


Diamond Naturals Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food for All Life Stages

Diamond Naturals Formula All Life Stages Dry Dog Food is available in big, 40-pound bags at a reasonable price, making it easier to provide your Bernese Mountain Dog with the nourishment it need.

Despite the cheaper price, this cuisine is still made with healthful, whole-food components, such as chicken, whole grain brown rice, carrots, pumpkin, blueberries, and many more.

Despite the fact that the ingredient list is wide, the protein selection is not. This mix contains almost entirely chicken protein.

There must be at least 26% crude protein; this is sufficient to fulfill our requirements. To top it all off, the chicken they utilized was grown in a cage-free environment.

This supplement contains important vitamins, minerals, and other elements such as omega fatty acids. However, fiber is lacking. With a maximum fiber content of only 2.5%, you may wish to supplement fiber into your dog’s diet if you pick Diamond Naturals Formula Dog Food.


  • Pricing that is reasonable
  • Made with natural, whole-food components
  • The major component is cage-free chicken.


  • Chicken provides all of the protein.
  • Fiber deficient


Wholesome Nutro Essentials Adult Farm Raised Large Breed Chicken

We prefer to see at least 24-25% minimum crude protein in any dog food, especially one for a big breed like a Bernese Mountain Dog.

We weren’t off to a good start with the Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Dry Dog Food, which had only 21% protein. However, we spotted the glucosamine and chondroitin that are included in this combination a bit farther down the ingredients list.

Because these nutrients can help keep your big dog’s joints healthy as they age, we believe this meal deserved some of the points it lost.

However, this cuisine lacks more than simply protein. With a maximum fiber content of only 3.5%, we believe it’s safe to say that adding extra fiber wouldn’t hurt.

Nonetheless, we like the shortened ingredient list, which comprises solely non-GMO components. If this mix featured more protein and fiber, those beneficial nutrients may help it climb the ranks.


  • For healthy joints, it contains glucosamine and chondroitin.
  • All of the ingredients are non-GMO.


  • Protein deficiency
  • A lack of fiber


Adult Large Breed Chicken & Barley Hill’s Science Diet

This Hill’s Science Diet large breed adult dog food is more costly than most of the competition. As a result, we anticipated seeing some amazing statistics on the nutritional content label. Unfortunately, such was not the case.

Despite its high price, this product only contains 20% crude protein. It would require an additional 4-5% crude protein to satisfy us.

To be fair, the ingredients list is primarily comprised of whole-food items such as chicken, whole grain wheat, cranberries, and green peas. However, there are certain unwanted components included, such as corn gluten meal, which is difficult for dogs to digest.

On the plus side, because it is designed particularly for big breeds, this meal contains glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints.

However, this mix contains less than other formulas we’ve tried. Overall, we’d avoid this one in favor of something with more protein at a lower price.


  • Contains joint-supporting vitamins.
  • Enhanced with extra vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants


  • More costly than the competitors
  • Only 20% crude protein is present.
  • Some components are unappealing.


Backcountry Merrick

The remarkable protein level of the Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Large Breed Recipe is the first thing we noticed. It contains at least 38% protein from a variety of sources, including chicken, turkey, and salmon.

After all of that, you’d think this cuisine would be at the top of our list, but there were too many factors holding it back for the high protein level to offset the drawbacks.

First and foremost, this dish is exorbitantly priced. It’s also not a cost-effective alternative for Bernese Mountain Dogs because it’s not as calorically packed as the other foods in the pricing range, so you’ll go through it faster.

Next, with only 3.5% fiber, this meal is relatively low in fiber. At the same time, it has a rather high fat content (17%). We’d want a lower fat level and more fiber, as found in several of our favorite foods.

But we didn’t know how bad this food was until we tried feeding it to our dogs. That’s when we realized the kibble was way too tiny for a Bernese Mountain Dog, despite the fact that it was labeled as a large breed food. To top it all off, our dogs didn’t enjoy the flavor either!


  • Has a whopping 38% protein content.
  • Contains a wide range of protein sources


  • It is not cost-effective.
  • Fiber deficient
  • The kibble is insufficient for big animals.
  • Fat content is high.
  • Our dogs did not enjoy the flavor.


You should have a clear notion of how the best foods for Bernese mountain dogs after reading our evaluations. BestForPets (bestforpets.org) examined several of these items and came up with three good choices.

First, we have the Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, which is our overall favorite. Instead of the all-too-common chicken, it’s cooked with lamb as the major component. However, it is also filled with a variety of other healthy whole-food components to supply your large dog with all the nutrition he requires, without the grains that are difficult for him to digest.

On the lower end of the pricing range, we recommend the Iams ProActive Health Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food. This one comes in enormous quantities, which is ideal for a Bernese Mountain Dog’s similarly large appetite. It’s reasonably priced, so you won’t go broke feeding your greatest buddy, plus it has joint supplements that big dogs require.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Puppy Food is our top pick for puppies. This recipe is designed exclusively for giant breed pups, and it has a high concentration of vitamins, chelated minerals, and antioxidants while excluding corn, wheat, and soy.

Buyer's Guide: Finding the Best Food for Bernese Mountain Dogs

We went through a lot of dog food while trying out different recipes. Some of them we liked, while others our dogs did not. There were even a few items that our dogs and we both like, and they were at the top of our list.

But if you’re curious about how we ranked these meals, this buyer’s guide is for you.

It’s one thing to follow our advice, but it’s quite another to utilize our advice to learn how to make informed judgments about what’s best for your dog, which is what we propose.

To that end, this brief buyer’s guide has all of the information you need to select the best dog food for your Bernese Mountain Dog.

Large Breed Dog Foods

The size of Bernese Mountain Dogs is one of the characteristics that distinguishes them in terms of nutrition. These canines, which may weigh up to 115 pounds, are larger than some people and require specific nutritional concern.

What specific considerations must be considered while choosing food for a huge dog, one could ask?

Density of Calories

The sheer amount of food required by a large breed dog vs a smaller one is one of the most significant variances. Large dogs require a lot more calories.

If you feed a large dog the same food that you give a tiny dog, the large dog will require more of the same food.

Bernese Mountain Dogs require between 1500 and 1900 calories per day, depending on size. That equates to around 3-6 cups of dry dog chow each day.

You can imagine how quickly you’ll go through enormous bags of dog food if you feed your dog six cups every day.

However, meals designed for larger size dogs are frequently more calorically rich to address this issue.

Caloric density refers to the quantity of calories in a specific amount of food; often, a cup when discussing dog food.

As an example, consider two hypothetical dog meals. Food A has 300 calories per cup while Food B has 500 calories per cup.

Assuming our dog consumes 1500 calories per day, we would need to give our dog five cups of food A each day to suit their needs.

However, they would only need three cups of meal B to fulfill the same caloric needs. If we put the same amount of food in each bag, food B will survive nearly twice as long as food A.

Joint Assistance

Hip and elbow dysplasia are two of the most frequent health issues in big breed dogs. Either can significantly affect your dog’s quality of life and potentially render them immobile.

Large breeds, including the Bernese Mountain Dog, are more prone to certain health issues than other breeds.

That is why we constantly recommend checking for joint support vitamins in large breed dog meals. Glucosamine and chondroitin are the two most important.

These vitamins aid in the repair of damaged cartilage. They’re also frequently given to dogs that have arthritis since they can help decrease inflammation and discomfort.

You can assist your Bernese Mountain Dog fight off common joint disorders like arthritis and dysplasia by providing them a food that is already high in these beneficial vitamins. This will allow them to live a better, longer life.


Because large breed dogs develop quicker than smaller breeds, they require more nutrition, especially protein. Proteins are composed of amino acids, which are the fundamental building blocks of the human body.

Protein is required for the growth of bones, muscles, organs, and other tissues, which may be significant in big breeds.

As a result, meals with higher protein content are prioritized. We like a minimum crude protein content of 24-25%. Below this level, your Bernese Mountain Dog is unlikely to acquire enough protein.

Some meals we enjoyed included as much as 37-38% crude protein, which is adequate to fuel all of your dog’s developing processes.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


Rated 0 out of 5
0 out of 5 stars (based on 0 reviews)
Very good0%

There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to write one.

Related articles