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Is a Bernie the dog for you?
If you love big dogs, no doubt you have considered adding a Bernese Mountain Dog to your family. These friendly, extra-large pooches are as loyal as they are loving, and handsome as they are smart. Getting a Bernie can be an extremely rewarding experience, but any prospective owner should know what type of pet care this breed needs.
It's a big puppy that keeps getting bigger
Large dog lovers may rejoice in this dog's size, but it is important to keep logistics in mind. A young Berner grows quickly and can weigh as much as 120 pounds when it is fully grown. Will a dog that size fit in your car? Be happy in your apartment? You also must make room for larger pet products – from a large size crate to a massive Plush Memory Sleeper.
Working dogs need work
Large dogs tend to need a lot of exercise. Berners are working dogs, which means they were bred for a job – a very physical job. This dog was originally bred to pull carts, but as long as they get plenty of exercise every day, they will be happy. They do like to have a "job," though, so they may enjoy a game of fetch or another game that keeps them physically and mentally engaged.
Large dogs have joint problems
There is no use in denying the fact that large dogs are more prone to joint issues like arthritis, hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia, and Berners are no exception, especially since they love physical activity. Your vet may recommend starting the dog on a joint supplement from a very young age. Supplements like Dasuquin can be beneficial to joint health because they have glucosamine for dogs, a compound that promotes healthy cartilage.
Grooming is crucial
Berners have a long, thick coat that needs regular and sometimes extensive care. You should invest in a good pet shampoo like Oatmeal and Aloe Vera Shampoo and a FURminator deShedding Tool for Dogs to smooth the coat and reduce shedding. These dogs were bred for cool climates, so they have a thick undercoat that is prone to shedding and may need special care to prevent heatstroke in the summer.