How Much to Feed a Bernedoodle
One of the most common questions we get is how much to feed their puppy, teenager and adult bernedoodle. Great question and unfortunately many do not understand the needs and requirements of an F1 standard bernedoodle (50:50 bernese mountain dog x standard poodle) that has Bernese mountain dogs in them.…this is a breed with a much different build as they are drafty and its like comparing the shape of a thumb (eg Bernese mountain dog) to a middle finger (eg Great Dane).…just because it’s the longest finger! So to expect a bernedoodle to have a waist line like a Great Dane will put your bernedoodle into hunger mode and if young will lead to potential behavioral challenges and this is a time when they need calories due to them being a fast growing mixed breed. If you use the suggested amounts given on the dog food bag you’ll also have a very unhappy and Berneoodle as well. Here’s what we recommend;
1) 8-week-old to 12-week-old: Puppies start with 1 cup 3x/day. If they clear a certain meal add another 1/4 cup of kibble. If they clear this add another 1/4 cup. We shoot for always having a little bit of food left over and we let them have access to food for about 45-60 minutes but this can be adjusted based on your schedule. We usually feed at 6:30am, 12:00pm and 5:00-5:30 pm and then that’s it so they have all night to clear their GI before going to bed. For the breakfast we add about 1/3-1/2 tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt (no sugar added), 1-2 tablespoons of cooked sweet potato (can use pumpkin but decrease to 1 tsp but sweet potato has more fiber and less sugar), 1/4-1/2 tsp of coconut oil, a light pinch of dried garlic, and this can be given as a topper or can be mixed. We only do this for the breakfast.
2) 3-5 months: we still feed 3x/day same as the puppy schedule and protocol above but we keep increasing the amount (again always trying to have a little leftover). We will begin adding about 2-3 tablespoons of different types of lightly cooked meats (can go raw as well) and sardines to the above topper along with a little bit of cut up or shredded carrots, blueberries and can add other dog friendly fruits and veggies but make sure you check before using. We would also add dog-based salmon oil according to the instructions (about a tsp). Often in the morning we would do sweet potato, yogurt, and a meat and dinner some of the other ingredients. Lunch we keep plain.
3) 6-months and on: at this time if you find your bernedoodle is not touching their lunch then it might be time to drop from 3x/day to 2x/day and a small treat or something mid day (we keep to healthy whole food options).
We do not personally use any type of flea/tick control due to the toxins that are found in these products and as mentioned above add a small pinch of garlic powder to the breakfast meal as well as a tablespoon of Braggs organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar to their large water bowl. We have never had a flea, tick or heartworm since we started breeding a long time ago but this is something you will need to evaluate and will need to do your own personal health risk assessment to see what’s best. But there’s class action lawsuits against some of these companies due to the strong correlation of cancer and these products.
Be sure you are washing your food and water bowls once per day with hot soapy water.
Lastly we recommend starting with TLC adult all life stages dog food for large growing breeds like bernedoodles and even for the puppies. The adult food exceeds AAFCO requirements for puppies and has glucosamine and chondroitin which is important for joint development. Lastly we add a probiotic to the morning meal (we like DocRoys GI Synbiotics Pre and Probiotic) as well as add 1/4 tsp of MSM pure fine powder (methylsulfonylmethane which is good for the immune system, joint development and has a natural antiparasidal property).
Here‘s a picture of Ford, a west European AKC Bernese mountain dog showing a typical healthy Bernese build. Many vets compare bernedoodles to what they consider a typical healthy dog build (high thin waist line, etc) but that is not the case for F1 standard bernedoodles as they will have a thicker build. Yes you don’t want an obese bernedoodle and we are happy to assess if you send pictures (need side view, front view, rear view and top view).