How to care for St. Bernard?
Remember the movie "Beethoven"? After seeing him once, many of us immediately fell in love with this cute, fluffy puppy, a bit like a bear cub. But even older St. Bernards can not leave anyone indifferent. These dogs are very intelligent and loyal to their owners. They need constant attention and care of people, therefore very much they suffer loneliness.
Thanks to its calm and balanced character, a St. Bernard can become not only your favorite pet, but also a devoted friend for the whole family. Despite its impressive size, this dog gets along well with children and patiently treats their leprosy. In addition, St. Bernards get along very well with all the other animals in the house.
This breed of dogs was bred specifically for the rescue of people in the Swiss Alps, so they are very well oriented on the terrain and have an excellent sense of smell, able to smell the smell of a person under a 4-meter layer of snow. With this four-legged friend, you can learn new places and do not be afraid to get lost.
When you see a small fluffy St. Bernard, you may immediately want to take him home. But before you get this shaggy friend, you should think very well about your decision. After all, this pretty little ball very quickly grows and turns into a very large dog.
The weight of an adult St. Bernard can be from 50 to 90 kg, and the height can be 65-90 cm. In addition, you must take into account the fact that this is a very shaggy dog with long hair, which tends to shed. The average life expectancy of St. Bernards is only 8-10 years.
If you still decide to buy a puppy, you should carefully study the question of how to care for the St. Bernard?
This breed of dogs because of its impressive size requires special care.
- Vaccinations. As soon as you bring a small puppy into the house, he will definitely need to be vaccinated, and in the future strictly follow the schedule of all necessary vaccinations. This will increase the puppy's immunity and protect it from various diseases.
- Remedies for ticks and fleas. You should know that St. Bernards at a young age are very playful and sociable dogs, so they are constantly subject to infection by ticks and fleas.To protect your pet from these parasites, you should always have a means of protection against ticks and fleas at your fingertips.
- Lots of space. Because of their laziness, St. Bernards are very susceptible to obesity, which can lead to heart problems. Your task is to provide the dog with sufficient physical activity. If St. Bernard lives in an apartment, then he must walk every day on the street. This is best done at an easy pace. It is also necessary to take care of the leash, as this is a fairly large dog, with which it will be very difficult to handle without a leash. By the way, in the apartment itself, where the St. Bernard lives, there must be a lot of free space, and all the beating objects must be at a high altitude, since this dog has enough time to wave its tail so that something breaks. Also, you should know that the St. Bernards very often drool and watery eyes, so you need to wipe them regularly.
If you are going to keep the St. Bernard outside as a watchdog, again, he must have plenty of space to run around. In addition, you must make sure that in the hot summer days the dog had a place,where she could hide in the shadows. St. Bernards do not tolerate heat and can very quickly overheat in the sun.
- Food. Feed an adult St. Bernard twice a day. If he needs to lose weight, then it is better to give food in smaller quantities, but more often. Puppies need to be fed 6 times a day, eventually switching to 4 meals a day, and then feeding 2 times a day.
The diet of St. Bernards should consist exclusively of natural products. It must be present:
- Raw meat. Veal or beef is best. On the day of an adult St. Bernard should eat up to 0.5 kg of meat.
- Offal can be given only in boiled form.
- A fish. Best suited sea fish, river is better to first boil, as it may be worms. You can alternate: one day to give meat, and the second - fish.
- Bones and cartilage. For each young dog, it is very important that its diet should include cartilage and bone, as there is a lot of calcium and other useful elements and vitamins that contribute to the normal growth of the dog.
- Cottage cheese and other dairy products.
- Vegetables are raw.
- Kashi: buckwheat, rice, oatmeal.
As for the puppy's food, milk and cottage cheese in large quantities must be present in its diet, as well as egg yolk, which should be introduced gradually, as allergies can occur. Meat is best given in small pieces along with porridge. The exception is a porridge of porridge, as it can weaken.
If you buy ready-made food for your dog, then it should be of high quality and meet all standards: most of the whole mass of food should be meat, coarse protein should be at least 30%, coarse fat - 20%, and fiber - not more than 4%.
- Bathing. Since the St. Bernard wool is covered with water-repellent grease, then bathe it cost as little as possible, and it is better to use a mild neutral shampoo. In general, this breed of dogs is quite clean, so it will be quite enough to bathe the St. Bernard once a year and it is best to do it during the molting period. But if your dog lives in an apartment, then water procedures can be taken as needed, and paws should be washed after each walk.
- Combing out The St. Bernard has a very thick and long hair, which, without proper care, can be knocked off in mats.To prevent this from happening, you need to comb the dog at least 2 times a week. If your dog lives in an apartment, then it should be done every day. During the molting period, which happens 2 times a year, the dog should be combed out as often as possible.
- Hygiene. The St. Bernards have the most problematic area - these are the eyes, since these dogs have a very large eyelid grows, and the infection constantly gets into it. Therefore, of the mandatory activities that you must hold your dog - is the removal of the third century. After each walk, be sure to wipe your eyes with a napkin. For each eye, you need to use a new napkin.
Also, do not forget about the ears of a dog. They should be cleaned once a week and carefully monitored so that no infection appears in them, since the St. Bernard’s ears fit tightly to the head and are poorly ventilated, because of this, unnecessary liquid may accumulate in them.
You also need to monitor the condition of the teeth. In order for them not to form a raid you need to regularly give the dog bone.
Every two weeks you have to inspect your pet's paws and cut long claws, and also cut the hair between your fingers in order for it to have the rightstaging paws.
It is necessary to carry out all these hygienic measures from an early age, while the puppy is still small. Then having matured, your dog will calmly react to all your actions.
- Dysplasia. For St. Bernards is characterized by very rapid growth, but at the same time the formation of its bones occurs very slowly. And if you consider that this dog is very quickly gaining weight, which puts pressure on the cartilage, then all this can lead to the emergence of such diseases as hip dysplasia. Therefore, it is very important to closely monitor the development of the puppy and regularly show it to the vet.
- Training. The St. Bernards have a very calm and balanced character, so they are well trained in training, and are happy to carry out any team just to please the owner. Like all dogs, the St. Bernard learning process is better to start at an early age, since adult dogs are rather lazy. The most important thing is to praise your pet more often and in no case force him to carry out your commands by force, and then you will get a very obedient and loyal friend.
- Reproduction. Puberty in bitches occurs at 8-9 months, but in order for the offspring to be healthy, only dogs that have reached 2 years of age should be allowed to breed.Males also can not be used for mating before 2-2.5 years.
Usually bitch is ready to breed twice a year. But it would be better if she would bring posterity only once, then it will be more viable. At one time, a bitch can give birth from 2 to 12 puppies.
Despite all the difficulties associated with caring for the St. Bernard, he deserves to be part of your family, because the dogs of this breed are very smart, kind and infinitely loyal to their owners!