If you’ve ever seen pictures of dogs pulling a cart along, you know what a Bernese Mountain Dog looks like. These big and beautiful animals are a strong and happy breed that loves to help out their masters with work.
Bernese Mountain Dog
These large dogs have one of the best temperaments around. They are energetic, but not overly so. They love to be around people and are good with seniors and children alike. In fact, they are often used as therapy dogs for their kind nature and trainability.
The main drawback of having a Bernese Mountain Dog is their high mortality rate. Their life span used to go for about an average of 10 to 12 years, but has declined to 6 to 8 years recently. This is sad news indeed for dog lovers out there, and several dog associations have taken it upon themselves to find out more about how they can address this so that more people can enjoy the company of this wonderful dog.
Mortality in the Bernese Mountain Dog
What are the common causes of death in Bernese Mountain Dogs? About half of these dogs die because of cancer namely malignant histiocytosis, mast cell tumor, lymphosarcoma, fibrosarcoma, and osteosarcoma. Cancers are typically inherent and can at best, be managed or delayed by medication. Look for holistic vets who can recommend natural herbs and remedies to help treat your dog safely and effectively.
Other common causes of death for the Bernese Mountain Dog are musculoskeletal in nature. Typically, the dog’s musculoskeletal system is resilient and will only deteriorate because of old age or accidents. Many times, they are manageable. However, with our dear mountain dogs, these diseases are the cause of about about 6% of their deaths. They are also susceptible to heart diseases and epilepsy and should be monitored closely by the vet.
While many of these diseases are inherited, there are things you can do to help them live an excellent quality of life. A good diet, exercise and the right supplements go a long way in helping a dog live long and happy years with us.
Protein is an important, if not most important, element of their diet. If it is possible, feed your dog raw and natural food. Leave the uncooked bones because bones are a great source of calcium. If you plan to cook the meat, remove the bones first or grind them and sprinkle them over the meal because cooked bones tend to splinter and may harm the dog.
If you prefer to feed them dog food, choose those that are closest to its natural form. Dehydrated and freeze dried food are the most recommended because they retain the valuable vitamins and minerals that a dog needs. Exercise them regularly because overweight dogs exacerbate any preexisting illness that he may already have. Ask your vet for supplements that will benefit your dog the most.
Enjoy Your Bernese Mountain Dog!
Spend time and play with your Bernese Mountain Dog as much as you can, and live without regrets.