North Island St.Bernard Assn.Inc




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New Zealand
New Zealand
North Island St.Bernard
Association Inc.
Est: 1981

FEEDING


When you talk about feeding a St Bernard, it is just as important to note what NOT to feed a St Bernard, so that is also included.


Our club is sponsored by Royal Canin for which we are very grateful.
    

Not related to this is the fact that our prominent breeders feed Royal Canin.

They feed it because the results of feeding this product is evident in the dogs coat, energy, health, growth, performance etc.

Royal Canin have food specifically for all stages of a Giant Breed of dogs development and maintenance. The fact that they have done the Research and Development in food especially for our Giant Dogs is to be supported.

For years we had no choice but to feed food more suited to medium to small size dogs. The food available was manufactured for the majority, and all of the representatives of the giant breeds of dogs did not equate to the majority.

 

YOU NEED TO KNOW THESE FACTS –

In the first year of their life, a St Bernard will grow to be about 100 times its birth weight.

They require high quality, nutritionally balanced food during this critical growth period to build a strong skeletal structure.

At this stage their food intake is high, but reduces to moderate after the first year, although this varies among individuals

THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS – AND THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO RETROSPECTIVELY TO FIX A BAD START IN LIFE.

Way back when dried food, with the exception of Tux biscuits, was not available, and people had to make up the diet of raw and cooked food and dog roll, plus supplements, the incidence of debilitating diseases like Hip and Elbow Dysplasia was high. The ‘Hip Score’ average for the breed for those brave enough to x-ray was high and an indicator of the breeds’ unsoundness issues. With an average life span of 7-8 years, the life of a Saint was not only short but potentially painful.

Other health issues arose due to this poor unbalanced diet, notably an imbalance essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients which sometimes resulted in extreme and life threatening conditions.  For example a Vitamin B deficiency causes seizures which are both life threatening and stressful. Additionally some severe health issues arose by conscientious owners supplementing to correct that unbalanced diet and overdoing the dosages. For example, overdosing on calcium additives can result in hyperparathyroidism, with symptoms of seizures and collapse.

Dried dog food of various qualities finally became available in New Zealand about three decades ago. The benchmark was then, and still is, to look on the food bag for the words AAFCO (the Association of American Feed Control Officials) approved food. AAFCO establishes the nutritional standards for complete and balanced pet foods.


The introduction of nutritionally balanced dried food to the diets of St Bernard’s not only took the guess work out of feeding your pet, but resulted in the improvement of Hip scores to the point where over a decade or two, the average Hip Score for Saints Bernard’s in NZ reduced by almost 50% and the average life span improved by almost 50%.

 

When you receive your puppy or adult dog, you should be given a Diet Sheet with a summary of the daily intake and frequency of meals.

You can feed up to 20% additional food to a dried diet without completely compromising the nutritional balance and value of a dried diet.

Additional foods should include a mix of table or meal leftovers, raw or cooked meats and offal, dog roll, canned dog food, cottage or any other cheese, vegetables – cooked or raw (not raw potatoes or onions), fruit (not grapes, currants, raisins or fruit seeds or pips), eggs – cooked or raw, pasta, rice, oatmeal and other cereals, fish (no bones), pan scrapings etc

The dried food can be moistened with yoghurt, milk (small quantities), vegetable water, meat water, raw eggs,

Be careful adding any supplements like fish oil, flaxseed oil etc and keep the dosages on the low side of recommended quantities.

Definitely do not add Calcium to the diet and question anyone who suggests adding it.

Suggested treats can be whole eggs in the shell (teach your dog to open them), larger dog biscuits, carrot sticks, a cube of cheese, a piece of wholemeal toast with vegemite, a dried pigs ear.


RULES OF FEEDING:

SAINT BERNARDS CAN GET BLOAT. BE CAREFUL OF THE EXERCISE, FOOD AND WATER COMBINATION.

DO NOT FEED YOUR DOG IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING EXERCISE OR EXERCISE WITHIN ONE HOUR OF A MEAL.

DO NOT LET YOUR DOG DRINK LARGE QUANTITIES OF WATER FOLLOWING EXERCISE. ALLOW THEM DRINK BUT NOT TO EXCESS.

NEVER FEED YOUR DOG RAWHIDE CHEWS OR RAWHIDE TOYS. THEY ARE DANGEROUS, AS A RESULT OF THE MANUFACTURING PROCESS AND THE CHEMICALS USED IN THAT PROCESS. THEY CAN CHOKE YOUR DOG.

DO NOT FEED BONES, EXCEPT FOR LARGE CANNON BONES TO ENTERTAIN PUPPIES. SAINTS DO NOT CHEW BONES SMALL ENOUGH AND SWALLOW LARGE PIECES WHICH CAN PUNCTURE THE GUT AND BOWEL. THIS IS LIFE THREATENING.  THE FOOD VALUE OF BONES CAN NOT BE COMPARED TO THE VALUE OF YOUR SAINT.

DO NOT FEED YOUR SAINT ANY FOOD THAT IS RANCID, MOULDY OR ROTTING.

FEED YOUR DOG AT GROUND LEVEL. THE LATEST RESEARCH ON BLOAT STATES THE HIGHER THE BOWL, THE HIGHER THE INCIDENCE OF BLOAT.

 

 DO NOT FEED THESE FOODS TO YOUR SAINT AND WHY.

Alcoholic beverages Can cause intoxication, seizures, low blood sugar, arrhythmias, coma, and death.
Avocado The leaves, seeds, fruit, and bark contain persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea. The seed can cause an intestinal blockage.
Bones from fish, poultry, or other meat sources Can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system.
Cat food Generally too high in protein and fats.
Chocolate, coffee, tea, and other caffeine Contain caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea and be toxic to the heart and nervous systems.
Citrus oil extracts Can cause vomiting.
Fat trimmings Can cause pancreatitis.
Fish (raw, canned or cooked) If fed exclusively or in high amounts can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death.
Grapes, raisins and currants Contain an unknown toxin, which can damage the kidneys. There have been no problems associated with grape seed extract.
As little as a handful of grapes has proven fatal.
Hops Unknown compound causes panting, increased heart rate, elevated temperature, seizures, and death.
Human vitamin supplements containing iron Can damage the lining of the digestive system and be toxic to the other organs including the liver and kidneys.
Macadamia nuts Contain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive and nervous systems and muscle. Can cause an intestinal blockage.
Marijuana Can depress the nervous system, cause vomiting, and changes in the heart rate.
Milk and other dairy products Some adult dogs and cats may develop diarrhea if given large amounts of dairy products.
Moldy or spoiled food, garbage Can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and diarrhea and can also affect other organs.
Mushrooms Can contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death.
Onions and garlic (raw, cooked, or powder) Contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Cats are more susceptible than dogs.
Persimmons Seeds can cause intestinal obstruction and enteritis.
Pips and stones from peaches and plums Can cause obstruction of the digestive tract.
Rhubarb leaves Contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.
Salt If eaten in large quantities it may lead to electrolyte imbalances, seizures, and even death.
Sugary foods Can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitus.
Table scraps (in large amounts) Table scraps are not nutritionally balanced. They should never be more than 10% of the diet. Fat should be trimmed from meat; bones should not be fed.
Tobacco Contains nicotine, which affects the digestive and nervous systems. Can result in rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death.
Yeast dough Can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines.
Xylitol (artificial sweetener) Can cause very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which can result in vomiting, weakness and collapse. In high doses can cause liver failure and death.

 







 

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