Trying to find the best dog food for your Saint Bernard? Equal to their size is the Saint Bernard’s appetite. The Saint Bernard is a giant breed that eats a lot of food, usually eating anything you put in front of them. For the healthiest Saint Bernard, you need to understand what nutrients they need at each stage of their life. The world of Saint Bernard nutrition is a confusing one, but thankfully, we’ve done all the giant breed research you’ll need to ensure your pup’s nutrients matches their growth charts.
From what your Saint Bernard needs during puppyhood all the way up through their senior years, and everything in between, we’ll tell you precisely what nutrition we feel is best for your pup. For each life stage, we have also broken down five of the best dry dog foods your Saint Bernard should do well with as they age.
By educating yourself through our Saint Bernard dog food analysis, you can determine which one is best for your pup. Our guide makes it simple. So, let’s get started and find your big best friend their new favorite food.
A well-balanced diet is crucial, as this will ensure that each of his nutritional needs is catered for. High-quality giant breed puppy kibbles will provide this. He’ll need vitamins and minerals to strengthen his developing immune system, from fruits, veggies, and supplements. He’ll also need prebiotic fiber and probiotic ingredients to keep his digestion regular and hopefully reduce the infamous Saint Bernard flatulence.
Omega fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are an essential part of his diet too. Not only will they nourish his skin and coat, but they will also help his organs to function well and improve his overall wellness. Ingredients such as meat meals, fish oil, animal and plant fats, flaxseeds, and eggs are the best sources for these nutrients.
Protein is another crucial component of healthy development. They provide essential building blocks for a healthy body and lifestyle. To achieve the best quality protein, always look for real meat as the first ingredient. The American Feed Control Officials (AFFCO), who set the guidelines for pet nutrition, state that all puppies need a protein content of at least 22%.
Adult Saint Bernard Nutrient Needs
Many giant dog breeds fully mature between the ages of 12 and 24 months. It is advised that between the ages of 12 and 18 months, you should slowly switch your Saint Bernard to an adult formula. And again, one that is designed specifically for large or giant breeds. Large dogs need fewer calories per pound of weight, and their joints need more support, so general kibble will not do.
During adulthood, his focus should be on a well-balanced diet to ensure that he gets everything he needs. At this stage of his life, AAFCO recommends that all adult dogs need a protein content of at least 18%. In addition to this, he will need healthy carbohydrates, prebiotic fiber, omega fats, vitamins, and minerals. If he has any dietary needs, be sure to focus his nutrition on these.
As you probably already know, Saint Bernards are greedy giants. And because of this, it’s easy for him to put on weight. Always follow package instructions and do not overfeed him no matter how much he paws for more. If he becomes overweight, you should switch him to a weight management kibble. There are two great options at the end of this guide.
Senior Saint Bernard Nutrient Needs
At around the age of six to seven, you will need to think about switching him to a senior kibble. Older Saint Bernards are much less active than teenagers, requiring less energy, calories, and fats. And senior kibbles provide less of these and instead replace them with low-calorie fiber. This will keep him feeling fuller for longer and help to manage his weight.
Don’t skip on the healthy fats, though, as he still needs these. Healthy omega fatty acids will keep his cognitive function up and support his cardiac and coat health. He also needs glucosamine and chondroitin to support his heavily laden joints. Ingredients such as meat meals will provide these, as well as extra added supplements. Also, look for extra vitamins and minerals to support his weakening immune system.
Best Food for Saint Bernard Puppies
During your Saint Bernard’s first year, they will need a puppy food that’s higher in calories and nutrients to meet the demands of their quickly growing body. The nutrient needs of a Saint Bernard puppy are not different from the Mastiff or Great Danes, both giant breeds as well.
These pups spend most of their day sleeping so their bodies can grow. You’ll need a balanced dog food for giant breed puppies, to make sure that your pup meets their growth potential. Each of the foods below will do that. Let’s look at some of our favorites for Saint Bernard Puppies.
Hill’s Science Diet creates formulas based on the studied scientific needs, and in this case, large breed puppies. Although this formula has the lowest on this list, it still exceeds the recommendation of AAFCO, which is important. The primary meat source is lamb meal, which is an easy to digest protein. It also offers an alternative choice to typical chicken-flavored kibbles.
This is one of the only options for those Saint Bernards who do better on a grain inclusive diet. It uses rice, corn, and wheat, which provide energy and fiber. This kibble also has DHA and ARA for his puppy development needs, so you can be sure he will develop as he is supposed to.
We love that this recipe is made by scientists who have studied the needs of large breed puppies. This means that your Saint Bernard is in safe hands with this option.
This is the only other grain inclusive option on our list. This formula lists gentle brown rice and oatmeal, which are gentle on his digestive system and contribute towards a high fiber content. Dog foods with plenty of fiber are ideal for those Saint Bernards who struggle to produce firm stools or forever on the hunt for snacks. It should also lower stool odor thanks to yucca schidigera extract.
Much needed DHA and ARA are supplied thanks to fish meal, flaxseed, egg product, and fish oil ingredients. Chicken and chicken meal are listed as the first two ingredients, which provide tasty meat protein and glucosamine for his large joints. Blueberries and cranberries offer his immunity with antioxidants, which is boosted by extra vitamin and mineral supplements.
We love that Blue Buffalo includes their exclusive LifeSource Bits in this recipe. This is common with many Blue Buffalo formulas. These are extra pieces of kibble that are packed with seven optimum puppy antioxidants for healthy development.
Although they are a newer pet food manufacturer, American Journey has proven to be a big hit with many dog owners. It provides a high protein content, thanks to the first three ingredients, which are salmon, chicken meal, and turkey meal. These ingredients, plus extra fish meal, fish oil, and flaxseed, will supply his thick coat with the nourishment it needs to stay lush.
This option is a grain-free option. Instead, it lists other ingredients, including sweet potato, chickpeas, and peas, to provide energy and extra fiber. Additional nutrients from blueberries, carrots, and dried kelp top up his immune system to keep him fighting fit. This recipe also lists probiotic ingredients, promoting friendly bacteria in his gut.
We love that as this recipe is salmon-based, it is high in omega fats, which is fantastic for his developmental needs.
This recipe offers an average protein content. Meaning that it is ideal for those Saint Bernard puppies who cannot too much but need more than the Science Diet. The two primary meat proteins are lamb meal and chicken meal, offering a variety of amino acids. Meat meals are great for his joint needs too, which is essential for soon-to-be giant puppies.
This is a gluten-free recipe that oatmeal as the carbohydrate source. They are nutrient-dense ingredients, and papaya, pomegranate, blueberries, cranberries provide an extra boost of antioxidants for his developing immunity. It also has the highest fiber content and uses gentle prebiotic fibers. Probiotic ingredients promote friendly bacteria too.
We love that this recipe is designed with large and giant breed puppies in mind, and it has the highest calorie content for puppy growing power.
Here we have our premium high-protein puppy option. The first two ingredients are chicken and chicken meal, and turkey meal is listed further down too. This provides power for muscle maintenance and energy and lots of taste. This formula also supplies the highest level of omega fats, meaning his cognitive and eye development is supported, as are his coat and joints.
Fruits and veggies such as banana, spinach, broccoli, and carrots provide an abundance of antioxidants for a healthy oxidative state. And if that wasn’t enough, the kibble is fortified with extra vitamins and minerals. The kibble pieces are also covered in Wellness’s acticoat solution, offering probiotic ingredients to aid in his digestion, and process the rich meats.
We love that this option is ideal for super bouncy Saint Bernard puppies. Wellness is a high-quality dog food brand that’s often compared to other bigger brands. It’s great for really fussy pups who prefer a big meaty taste.
Best Food for Adult Saint Bernards
After their first year, the Saint Bernard should transition to an adult formula dog food. Their calorie needs will decrease, and you’ll want to match that with an age appropriate dog food in order to make sure they don’t gain too much weight. Many Saint Bernard adults can have a sensitive stomach.
This means that you’ll likely want to consider a grain-free dog food, or perhaps a chicken-free formula in order to keep their digestive system functioning properly. Each of the foods below will do that during their Adult life stage. Let’s look at our favorite dog foods for your adult Saint Bernard.
Following on from the puppy formula, this is simply the big boy version. Meaning if he did well on this as a pup, he should do well on this as an adult. Just like before, this formula does have the lowest protein content on this list. But not only does it still exceed AAFCO recommendations, it also offers an excellent alternative for Saint Bernards, who cannot digest too much meat protein.
This formula uses lamb meal as the only meat source, which also supplies glucosamine for his large joints. It is a grain inclusive option that offers a low fiber content for those who struggle with too much fiber. Iit has plenty of vitamins and mineral supplements for his immunity and omega fats for his coat health.
We love that this recipe is designed by scientists based on the needs of large dogs like the Saint Bernard.
This recipe is designed for giant breeds over 100 pounds, meaning it is ideal for most Saint Bernards, offering the optimum ratio of protein and fats. The first ingredient is real chicken, and it also lists fish meal and egg for his protein and DHA needs. These ingredients also support his mobility and joint health, which is crucial for big dogs with lots of junk in their trunk. This Purina Pro formula is budget-friendly, which is why they are often compared to other budget-friendly brands.
This is a grain inclusive product that uses rice, oatmeal, and corn. These are gentle grains that provide nutrients and energy for his day to day needs. The kibble pieces are extra-large sized, which is more satisfying for larger breeds. And just like all the recipes on this list, it is free from artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
We love that this recipe is designed for giant dog breeds who weigh more than 100 pounds plus.
Following on from the American Journey puppy formula, this is their adult follow-up. So again, if your Saint Bernard did well on this recipe as a pup, he will most likely do well on it as an adult. Deboned salmon and turkey meal are the first two ingredients, with more fish listed further down. This means lots of protein, glucosamine, and omega fats for his overall wellbeing.
This recipe is grain-free, meaning it has no corn, soy, or wheat, making it ideal for those who are intolerant of these ingredients. It also offers probiotics that will promote healthy gut bacteria, as well as prebiotic fibers such as sweet potato. His immunity is well cared for thanks to nutrient-dense ingredients such as blueberries, carrots, and dried kelp.
We love that this recipe is salmon-based, meaning it provides one of the highest omega fat contents on this list. And it is super tasty!
This recipe focuses on the needs of large and giant breed adults. Chicken meal is the first listed ingredient, shortly followed by pork meal. Meat meals are concentrated meat protein sources, and they are really high in glucosamine. His large joints will benefit from this extra boost in glucosamine coming from this food. And dried kelp supplies him with extra calcium for strong bones.
This recipe focuses on digestibility, meaning it is easy on his stomach. Prebiotic fibers such as pumpkin are listed instead of grains, as are peas and lentils. Every bite of kibble provides live cultures and digestive enzymes to ensure firmer stools. It also supports his immunity by ensuring that he receives enough antioxidants, thanks to ingredients such as papaya and cranberries.
We love that this recipe focuses on the digestive health of giant dog breeds. Meaning that if your Saint Bernard has a sensitive stomach, he should do very well on this formula.
This is our premium pick. Blue Buffalo has based this recipe on a prey diet, meaning that it follows the diet of wild dogs. Exactly how nature intended him to eat. The first four ingredients are deboned chicken, dried chicken, deboned turkey, and turkey meal. With other meat proteins and organs listed too. This might sound yucky to you, but your Saint Bernard will go crazy for it.
In addition to the meat meals, fish oils and flaxseed provide plenty of omega fatty acids for a healthy and shiny coat, and glucosamine too. There is an abundance of vitamins and mineral supplements, as well as real fruits and veggies. It’s also free of corn, wheat, soy, or other preservatives.
We love that this recipe is our premium high-protein pick. Making this the ideal choice for very energetic Saint Bernards, or those who are fussy for lots of meaty taste.
Best Food for Senior Saint Bernards
Senior Saint Bernards will need a senior dog food formula that has additional joint support in their senior years. Their giant bodies are not easy on their joints and ligaments. You’ll want to look at a Senior dog food that’s higher in Glucosamine to ensure your extend the longevity of your dog’s joints. This will also help to make sure they have less pain as they age. Each of the foods in the section below will meet the needs of Saint Bernard Seniors. Let’s take a look at our favorites.
This formula completes the set of the Hill’s Science diet offerings. This recipe uses chicken meal as the primary protein ingredient instead of lamb like the previous options, but it is just as tasty. Chicken meal also provides lots of glucosamine for his aging joints. It also offers the lowest protein content, but many seniors cannot handle too much rich meat in their senior years.
This diet is grain inclusive that lists barley, rice, and wheat. All of which are gentle on his digestive system and keeps him feeling fuller for longer. This recipe lists a variety of vitamins and mineral supplements for his overall health, and l-carnitine supports his metabolism too.
We love that this recipe is based on the needs of senior dogs, according to science. So you can rest assured that your aging Saint Bernard is well cared for with this recipe.
Purina Pro has designed this recipe for large breeds aged seven years and over. This recipe offers a high protein content, with chicken listed as the first ingredient. It also lists eggs and fish oils, which is ideal for his slowing cognitive abilities and skin health. With the addition of botanical oils such as arginine, it is designed to support his brain function in his golden years.
It is a grain inclusive option that uses gentle rice for his energy needs. This recipe is fortified with probiotic ingredients. It helps his aging digestive system, and vitamin and mineral supplements ensure that his immune system is equipped to fight diseases.
We love that this recipe uses botanical oils to keep his slowing mind working and active.
This recipe is designed for all breeds. And although we wouldn’t usually recommend this for a large breed dog, it ticks all the big breed boxes. It is high in glucosamine and chondroitin to support his joints, and it is one of the highest on this list. Salmon is the first ingredient, with turkey meal and chicken meal listed too.
In addition to the meat and fish meals, it also lists flaxseed and coconut oil, which will keep his drying skin and coat nourished. It is made with nutrient-dense ingredients, including sweet potatoes, blueberries, pumpkin, marine microalgae, and dried kelp. Ensuring his immunity is kept in tip-top condition. This kibble is also fortified in probiotic ingredients.
We love that this recipe offers a high protein content for those Saint Bernards whose muscles need lots of fuel still.
This formula offers a well-balanced recipe for overall life protection. It lists deboned chicken as the first ingredient, and chicken meal following after. Which meets his protein needs and provides omega fatty acids, oils, and glucosamine too. It provides enough energy to keep him sustained, but fewer fats and calories to help him stay lean in his golden years.
This is a grain inclusive diet, which lists probiotic ingredients for his digestive health. This kibble is fortified with vitamins and minerals to boost his aging immunity. It also lists l-carnitine to support his slowing metabolism too.
We love that Blue Buffalo uses their LifeSource Bits in this recipe to ensure that older Saint Bernards get all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that they need.
This Nutro formula is made with the senior in mind. The first two ingredients are farm-raised chicken and chicken meal, which is great for his large muscle mass and taste buds. Lamb meal is also listed, which is an easy to digest protein.
This is a grain inclusive formula, which uses gentle brown rice. Dried beet pulp is a prebiotic fiber that will aid his digestive system to be regular, and it also helps to reduce flatulence. It has a long list of vitamin and mineral supplements too. The meat meals and flaxseed will nourish his skin and keep his thick coat beautiful.
We love that this recipe offers the lowest calorie count per cup, making it ideal for very old seniors who aren’t as active anymore.
The Saint Bernard is a beautiful giant breed, but for the longevity of your pup, they will need the perfect balance of nutrition. After reading our guide, you now know what nutrients he needs and what ingredients to look out for. By picking from our recommendations above, you can be sure you are making the right dog food choice for your Saint Bernard. And because nutrition is the easiest way to keep your pup healthy, ensuring you choose a high quality kibble will help keep your pup by your side during a longer lifespan.