Whilst every dog is an individual and should be treated accordingly, the following guidelines are on hand to offer general tips and advice on how to keep your Saint Bernard as healthy and happy as possible.
Discussing a diet with the breeder or doing some research online to find the best product for your pooch will help sustain your dog’s condition. Overfeeding your puppy can put excess pressure on their joints and cause serious medical problems. Similarly, a mature Saint can easily become overweight, so maintain a sensible diet and avoid too many treats. It is generally recommended to feed an adult Saint Bernard two meals a day.
Again, it’s important to limit the amount of exercise for a young puppy, despite the urge to burn off their boundless energy. Socialisation should be your main concern during your dog’s development stage, once your pup has received all her vaccinations and can venture out into the big wide world. Enlisting in a puppy class will aid the socialisation process and reap rewards for both you and your dog in the long run. An adult Saint Bernard requires a good daily walk and will benefit from being given a job, such as carrying a backpack or pulling a cart.
The breed requires grooming at least two times a week, and even more during shedding, using a hound glove for the short-haired variety and a slicker brush for the long haired coat. Beginning at a young age with plenty of praise will help make life easier. Bathing can be done as and when required. Brush your Saint’s teeth at least twice a week to elude bad breath and gum disease, and trim nails once a month. Also check your dog’s ears weekly and clean with a cotton wool ball. Regular grooming will not only maintain your Saint’s appearance and health, but will also allow you to spot potential medical issues as early as possible.