Raising dogs, in particular providing care for the st. bernard, is old hat for humans across the world. Some historians theorize that dogs were first domesticated sometime between twelve thousand and twenty five thousand years ago—and that all canines evolved from the wolf. Since those days, people have selectively bred more than 400 different breeds, which range in size from four-pound teacup poodles to Irish wolfhounds, who have earned the title of the tallest pooch. But the most widespread pooches are non-pedigree dogs—the one-of-a-kind dogs known as mutts. The st. bernard is another favorite choice among dog owners. Some owners are uninformed, however, of some common st. bernard care tips.
Typical cost of care for your st. bernard
The yearly cost of providing for your st. bernard—which includes nutrition, to veterinary care, toys and license—could range between $420 and $780. This is not even counting capital costs for spay/neuter surgery, collar and leash, carrier and a dog crate. Note: Be positive you have all of your items before you bring your st. bernard home.
Typical st. bernard Care
st. bernard Feeding Routine
- st. bernard puppies between eight and twelve weeks old need 4 bowls of food in a day.
- st. bernard puppies 3 to 6 months old should be fed 3 meals in a day.
- Feed puppies six months old to 1 year old two bowls of food in a 24 hour period.
- By the time the st. bernard reaches her first birthday, 1 feeding a day is usually sufficient.
- Sometimes st. bernards might eat two lighter servings. It is your duty to learn your st. bernard’s eating tendencies.
Premium-quality dry food provides balanced nutrition to full-grown st. bernards and can mix with canned food, water, or broth. Your st. bernard may be fond of cottage cheese, cooked egg, fruits and vegetables, but these additions should be less than 10 pct of her daily nutrition. st. bernard pups ought to be fed excellent-quality, name brand puppy food. Please limit “table food”, however, since it can result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies, bone and teeth issues, and may create some extremely finicky food choices as well as obesity. Clean, potable water should be available exclusively, and be certain to wash water and food bowls daily.
st. bernard Care Tips: Make sure your st. bernard does some daily physical activity
st. bernards must get physical activity so they can stay fit, stimulate their brains, and keep healthy. Daily exercise also really helps st. bernards avoid boredom, which often leads to naughty behavior. Physical activity will satisfy many of your st. bernard’s desires to herd, dig, chase, retrieve and chew. Individual exercise needs can depend on your st. bernard’s age and his or her level of health—but ten minutes in the backyard and just a couple of walks down the street every day probably will not do. If your st. bernard is a six to 18 month adolescent, her requirements will be a little more.
st. bernard Grooming Tips
Frequent brushing will help reduce shedding and keep your st. bernard clean. Check for ticks and fleas every day during the summer or other warm weather. Most st. bernards don’t need a bath more than a few times a year. Prior to giving her a bath, cut out or comb any and all mats from the st. bernard’s coat. Rinse all soap from the coat, or dirt will stick to the soap.
How to Handle Your st. bernard
Puppies, as opposed to adults, are clearly the easiest to handle. To carry the st. bernard pup, place 1 hand beneath your dog’s chest, either with the forearm or your other hand supporting his or her hind legs and rump. Don’t attempt to lift or grab your puppy by the front legs, tail or nape. When you must lift a larger, adult st. bernard, lift from underneath, supporting his or her chest with one arm and rear end with your other.
Housing the st. bernard
Your st. bernard needs a comfy peaceful spot to be able to rest away from all the breezes and away from the floor. You might wish to purchase a dog bed, or consider making one from a wooden box. Place a clean comforter, sheet, or pillow inside the bed as cushioning. Wash the st. bernard’s bed covering often. If your st. bernard will be outdoors frequently, make sure he has access to shade and plenty of cool water in hot weather, and a warm, covered, dry shelter in winter.
st. bernard Licensing and Identification
Make certain to follow your community’s licensing rules. You should attach the license to your st. bernard’s collar. The license, along with an ID tattoo, can possibly help you recover your st. bernard if she happens to go missing.
Info on st. bernard Behavior
Thoughts on Training Your st. bernard
Well-behaved, companion st. bernards are a a joy. But when left untrained, your st. bernard will most likely be trouble. Training your st. bernard on the basics—”Come”, “Down”, “Heel”, “Off”, “Sit”, “Stay”, and “Leave it”—improves the relationship both with the dog and the visitors. If you have a puppy, begin teaching him the right behavior immediately! Use meals as an incentive and a reward. Pups can enroll in obedience class when they are sufficiently vaccinated. Call the community SPCA or humane society for obedience courses. It is wise to keep your st. bernard leashed when, even while a pup. Just be sure your st. bernard will come back to you whenever you say. A disobedient or aggressive st. bernard should not play with others.
About your st. bernard’s Health
st. bernards should see the vet for a thorough examination, immunizations and a heartworm screening annualy, and immediately when she is ill or hurt.
Your st. bernard’s Dental Health
While many of us might simply dislike our st. bernard’s foul breath, we should pay attention to what it may mean. Foul-smelling breath is a symptom that your st. bernard requires a dental examination. Plaque triggered by unhealthy bacteria creates a bad odor that can only be freshened with professional treatment. After you give your st. bernard a cleaning done by a professional, her teeth and gums can be maintained in a healthy state by brushing regularly, feeding a special diet focused on dental health, and eliminating table food. Your vet can supply you with additional data on reducing oral ailments as well as halitosis. You can clean your st. bernard’s teeth with a doggie toothpaste or a paste made of baking soda and water twice a week. Brush them with a gauze pad, nylon pantyhose stretched over the finger, or a soft, child’s toothbrush. Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, often affects st. bernards. Frequently, teeth loss happens as a result of gum infection. Infections can sometimes also propagate to the rest of your st. bernard’s body. Your vet will clean the st. bernard’s teeth in the regular health diagnosis.
Breeds with Halitosis (bad breath)
Even though oral disease by itself is not that serious when it is found early, the foul odors may indicate serious, long-term causes for concern. Liver or intestinal diseases can also cause halitosis, and a sweet, fruity smell can frequently be indicative of diabetes. Kidney disease is a possible cause when your st. bernard’s breath smells of ammonia or urine. Set an appointment with a veterinarian whenever your st. bernard has halitosis along with other signs of disease like excessive urinating or drinking, depression or lethargy, weight loss, nausea, or decreased appetite.
Dealing with Fleas and Ticks in st. bernards
In the summer, it’s important for you to perform regular, daily inspections of your st. bernard for fleas and ticks. Use a flea comb to remove and find fleas. There are several new techniques of tick mitigation. Visit your veterinarian about her or his options.
Heartworms in st. bernards
The heartworm is a parasite that resides in the heart and is passed from a contaminated dog to your st. bernard by way of mosquitoes. Several st. bernards die each year due to heartworm infections. It is wise to make sure your st. bernard submits to a blood test for heartworms every spring—this is critical for detecting infections from the previous year. It is recommended that you give your st. bernard a monthly tablet throughout mosquito season to be able to protect him from heartworms. Should you ever vacation in a warmer-than-usual climate with your st. bernard in the winter, he must be on the preventive medicine during the trip. In some of the warmer locations, vets recommend preemptive parasite medication be taken continuously.
Toxins and Medications
Never give your st. bernard medicine that hasn’t been prescribed by a veterinarian. Are you aware that just one regular-strength ibuprofen caplet can easily cause stomach ulcers in st. bernards? Make sure your st. bernard is never exposed to rat poison and other rodenticides. If you have reason to suspect that your dog has eaten a poison, immediately call your vet or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 twenty-four hrs. per day for help.
st. bernard Sterilization Operations
Female st. bernards should be spayed—the removal of the uterus and ovaries—and males neutered—removal of the testicles—by 6 months of age. You can significantly reduce your female st. bernard’s chance of breast cancer by spaying prior to maturity. The possibility of a diseased uterus, which is also a serious condition that impacts more mature females, will also be removed by spaying while young. Neutering males eliminates the risk of testicular diseases, certain types of aggressions and some hernias.
Immunizing your st. bernard
- The combination vaccine (also known as a “5-in-one shot”) ought to be given to your st. bernard at 2, three, and 4 months of age and again once per year. This immunization immunizes your puppy from parainfluenza, parvovirus, leptospirosis, hepatitis, and distemper. The st. bernard must be immunized for at least the first four months of his life.
- If your st. bernard has not been innoculated and is older than four months, she will need to be given two innoculations immediately, two or 3 weeks apart. Then you must vaccinate yearly.
- st. bernard puppy innoculation and socialization should go together. Most doctors advise that new owners take their st. bernard pups to socialization classes, beginning at 8 to nine weeks old. At this age, they should have already received their first innoculations.
Laws are so varied between different areas, that it’s best to call your neighborhood vet to get rabies immunization information. For instance, New York City rules state that pets older than 3 months must be innoculated for rabies. After the initial shot, he must get another shot the following year, and then every three years after that. There are many innoculations that may or may not be right for your st. bernard. Ask your st. bernard’s vet for her recommendation. Also, if your st. bernard gets ill because he is not immunized, do not give the immunization until the dog has made a full recovery.
Hookworms in st. bernards
st. bernards are commonly exposed to worms—even in urban areas. Eggs that carry hookworms and roundworms are transmitted through a dog’s stool. Most pups, from all environments, even those with healthy mothers, carry roundworms or hookworms. The secret to treatment is early detection. Early, accurate diagnosis maximizes the possibility that prescribed medicine will be effective against your dog’s worms. A dewormer that eliminates hookworms, for example, can’t kill tapeworms. Your doctor can best identify the culprit—and assign the appropriate medication.
Additional st. bernard Care Tips
Checklist of st. bernard Supplies
- Top-quality dog food and snacks specifically for st. bernards and similarly-sized dogs
- Food bowl
- Water dish
- Toys, toys and more toys, including safe chew toys
- Brush & comb for grooming, including flea comb
- Collar with ID tag and license
- Quality leash
- Carrier (for pups)
- Training crate
- Dog box or bed with quilt or towel
- Dog toothbrush
Warnings to be Heeded
The following items should never be fed to st. bernards:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Coffee, tea, or chocolate
- Grapes or raisins
- Moldy or spoiled food
- Onions, chives and garlic
- Chicken, turkey, or any other poultry bones
- Salt & salty foods
- Tomato leaves, stems and unripe fruit
- Yeast dough
The “Bottom” Line
Unless you are at home, or in a secured, fenced-in area, always keep your st. bernard on a leash. And please, when your st. bernard defecates on your neighbor’s lawn, clean it up! Don’t forget to check out these other articles about st. bernards
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