I have had these gentle giants for many years and could probably write a book about
what to feed them but like everyone it is trial and error because what works for one dog may not be right for another;  I have gained enough knowledge to know that certain foods, although they have impressive ingredient labels, the foods are " too rich"  for a saint to be fed exclusively.  And I could name three foods to always stay away from because my vet has told me those are the ones he sees dogs have the most issues with.
At some point in your dogs life you will probably have to change the food, as your puppy goes to adult or as your dog becomes a senior.
When choosing a food there are many websites you can go to find out about dog food companies, how many recalls they have had, inspections, ingredient quality,etc.
I have found several foods to try at dog shows because many companies have booths at the shows and you can talk to a representative and get samples to try.
Whether you choose internet, vet, breeder, or dog food rep., you can be bombarded with so much information its hard to evaluate which food is best for YOUR pet; because nutritional needs vary with life stages, and your pets lifestyle.  A pet whose main activity is guarding the couch doesn't need as much energy as one who guards herds of sheep.  Also a puppy will eat three times more than an adult and needs the proper nutrition to grow.
The biggest thing with a Saint or any large breed dog is check the dog food label to know the protein, fat, fiber content;  puppies need a higher amount of protein than adults, too much protein can cause bone problems, but protein too low decreases body condition.
The fat content contributes the calories, the fiber content is important because dogs cannot digest fiber, it goes thru the stomach and small intestine and it does its work in the large intestine to break down and help nutrients get absorbed and to help food move thru the gut.

Keep in mind dogs will not thrive on a meatless diet so look for a food with animal based proteins, or cooked meat, dogs can eat vegetables, some fruits, and dairy products;  stay away from raw meat diets because of bacteria.  
And for adult dogs try to keep protein levels about 25% 
When I sell a puppy I give as much info as I can to help the owner feed the puppy properly but as the dog grows sometimes changes need to be made because energy levels change, and not all dogs absorb nutrients from foods the same.
Dogs are like people, 70% of their immune system is in their digestive tract, thats why nutrition is so important
About supplements--
I have to say they are VERY beneficial.  I have seen the difference from giving vitamin supplements and joint supplements when I have had a young dog get hurt roughhousing or a senior dog having issues with arthritis or pulled muscles.
Anybody wants their injured dog to heal faster and be sound again. Or just have the comfort of knowing you are providing the best you can to keep the immune system healthy.

I have a friend of mine who lives near detroit that once told me she had a saint puppy she bought from a backyard breeder and at 5 months it had issues and she took the pup to michigan state vet hospital and it was determined the pup had hip dysplasia, they recommended surgery but she knows you do not operate on a puppy who is growing so since she is all about holistic / natural medicine, she started the dog on several different supplements, she figured if it didn't work, she could always do surgery later as the dog grew up.
She got the dog x rayed again at three years old and the hips had tightened right up and the dog was fine and she lived to be a huge big girl that was very healthy.

I can not predict that supplements will cure hip dysplasia, allergies, food or growth issues but I know they can't hurt and I have seen some of the good things they can do.     Remember if you dog is missing certain nutrients, their immune system will not operate properly.

.

I created this page to try and give some insight into proper feeding and the use of supplements, plus give useful dog tips, ---I will add new info often  
ABOUT  FOOD
I am promoting a company called Nuvet Labs, for supplements; after seeing results on other peoples dogs, talking to vets and breeders, I have heard they are the best product around,  their products are all natural, and have a 60 day money back guarantee.   Their products cannot be  bought at stores, it is exclusive thru their website and you have to have an order code. Please go to www.nuvet.com and use my order code 44069 for your special pricing.    Or if you prefer to speak to a live person rather than ordering online, Phone 800-474-7044   ID code 44069
I will say again that i have seen amazing results from these supplements and going forward I will require all new puppy buyers to get on board with this program to give the puppy its best start in life;  I offer a one year health guarantee on my pups but for anyone who raises a west wind pup to adulthood with these supplements, I will extend their guarantee another year; ask me about this offer; its the best you can do for your dogs health.
I was always searching for a good food because I believed all I needed was a quality food to keep my saints healthy , but although the food is important, supplements are even more important.    I actually know someone who feeds a very poor quality food but her dogs are in the Nu Vet supplement program and they look great
Give supplements a try , you will see a big difference in coat quality and your dogs vitality !!
What have you got to lose, the NuVet products have a money back guarantee and will help prolong your pets life.
i want to give some insight into  cancer in dogs, FYI--cancer is the number one cause of death in canines and there is solid evidence that improved nutrition keeps the immune system strong.  If you can believe it, we all get cancer multiple times in our lives but before cancer cells can take hold, our ( and our dogs) immune system will locate and destroy abnormal cells and keep us healthy without us even realizing it.
Proper nutrition plays an important role in both cancer prevention and cancer formation.  Cancer begins when DNA of a single cell gets damaged, usually by free radicals, all animals have normal cell repair mechanisms but supplements can help enhance a bodies immune response.
Some Cancer fighting foods--
Apples, garlic,parsley,yogurt,
fish,tomatoes,,nuts, and all vegetables, especially carrots
When choosing a dog food, check the  ingredients, the first two or three ingredients in the food should be muscle meat ( chicken, salmon, beef, etc )
The food should not have more than one carbohydrate ( potatoes, barley, oatmeal, etc )Remember dogs need protein and fat more than carbohydrates.

Also, its best to go with a grain free food whenever possible, about ninety per cent of dogs have issues with grains, even if they  may not show it outwardly all the time.
Some Unsafe foods for
Dogs---
Alcohol, Grapes, chocolate,onions,avocados
TIP ON DOG DISHES----

AVOID keeping food or water in stainless steel dishes, they are ok to use but something sets in them too long, the steel can give off toxin into the food or water.
( had a vet tell me that )

AVOID plastic, this is ok to use as long as you never heat  the food in plastic leave in the sun or a hot car.   Food heated in plastic ( even for people ) causes poisonous dioxin to melt out of plastic into food.


NuVet Plus protects against free radicals that attack  your pet throughout its life.
Nu Vet also helps pets suffering with:
Allergies, itching, Hot Spots, Arthritis, Digestive Problems, Joint Problems, Tumors, Heart Disease, Coat Problems, etc.
This beautiful girl suffered from coat  issues, for two years she was chewing on herself and we tried everything the vet recommended from changing food, different antibacterial bathes, cortizone shots, etc.  Nothing worked till we put her on Nu Vet, now shes healthy, happy, and has her beautiful coat again.
Nu Vet  is not just a vitamin, its an
immune system builder
NuVet also has other products, one of their most important products is Nu Joint;  I highly recommend it for prevention and treatment of joint problems.
Nu Joint contains glucosamine which is an anti inflamatory, but its main action is to stimulate the formation of new cartilage.
Can We Help your pet stay healthy ?
Don't forget water !!!!!
Water has many essential roles-
ideal dispersion of nutrients,regulate
body temperature, lubricate joints
Saints need a  LOT  of  water, the average adult dogs body is sixty percent water!!
We have a good knowledge of this breed , but may not have all the  answers for you, nor are we a substitute for quality veterinary care;  But we are happy to share our knowledge and love for this breed.
DID YOU KNOW......
Drinking  Alkaline water will help prevent
cancer, the acidity in water has to be kept low so that cancer cannot grow,   Why not buy Alkaline water for yourself and your dog ?
Lets keep happy doggy smiles on these faces !!!!!
Happy  Healthy Males
Happy Healthy Females
Happy Healthy Pups
Lets talk about joint health !!!!!!!
Obviously, joint health is a concern with a large breed dog  , The thought of Hip Dysplasia is enough to strike fear into any dog lover.
I  HIGHLY recommend joint supplements, NuJoint protects your dogs joints, it rebuilds cartilage, and it lubricates joints for more fluid movement.  I once bought a female that acted stiff, sometimes cried moving around, wouldn't run and play with the other dogs; Like most people I figured Hip Dysplasia; after several x rays, it was revealed that she had excellent hips but she had arthritis in her spine from her head to her tail, she has been on NuJoint now for years, she is six years old, she never cries,she runs and plays, does stairs and gets in and out of a vehicle daily, she is a great companion and a happy dog, thanks to her joint supplements.
NuJoint  will help a dog of any age but I want to give some insight into growing a puppy into a healthy adult dog.

 

Would you believe :
YOU have a great deal of control over your pup ever getting hip dysplasia  ; based on studies done in the 70's, here is a simple version of their findings:

ALL pups are born with normal, perfect hips , the femur is tightly held in the hip socket,  the formation of the hip ijoints are not programmed by genetics, it is the forces on the joint structure that creates deposits of bone in the right places and forms a perfect hip socket.
Puppy hips are "soft" and need to grow and harden to be adult hips; thats where problems start.

The pattern for hip dysplasia starts with body conformation of the breed, giant breeds have course bone and the bones are large in diameter.   Everyone wants a huge saint bernard so thats part of the problem. The dogs in the study that had the lowest percentage of hip issues were dogs that were built slim and trim.
Another pattern issue is rapid growth rate,  pups that are large and heavy (like saint buyers want) are factors for development of hip dysplasia.
So Saint Bernard pups basically start out with body size and growth conformation going against them.
With anything, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about things, and that can also be true about raising a healthy puppy.   From birth to 6 months the cartilege is just soft tissue and it has to support the joint structure.  By  6 months it starts to harden and should have  adequate strength to prevent the socket from becoming malformed. In each long bone there is a growth plate which is basically a band of cartilege near the joints; this growth plate may be the key to issues that may not show up till later in life .    The body deposits new bone daily as the puppy develops and the bones become longer.  Once maturity is reached, this growth plate turns into hardened bone.  Typically in saints this happens between 13 to 15 months.
The factors affecting this growing process are nutrition and the environment  in which he lives; i always tell my puppy buyers that during this growing process to NOT let the pup jump a lot, or go up and down stairs , to avoid taking a hit to the joints until growth plates close.
( Stairs are the absolute worse, can you imagine the twisting and stress that running up or down some stairs does to the fragile socket hip joint ) But the owner will say , "My pup has no problem going up or down stairs"    OK, what will his hips be like by the time hes two or three years old ?  Of course they are able to do stairs , doesn't mean they should do stairs! 
The maturity of a puppy brings up another point;
there is research that now supports the theory that if a dog is sterilized before maturity, the closure of some of the growth plates is delayed.
Dogs spayed or neutered before maturity are twice as likely to suffer joint issues; because the sex hormones play such an important role in growth , their removal creates an imbalance in the body.   They explained it this way... if a dog is sterilized before maturity, it causes some, not all of the bones to stop growing,  Above each joint is a long bone ( humerus or femur ), below are two smaller bones (tibla and fibula) so one bone effectively sits on two, now if one of the smaller bones underneath the joint stop growing before the other one, they then. become different lengths which will cause stress to the structure.
Additionally, sterilization can cause a loss of bone mass so the dog will always be lean and lanky.
I am definitely in favor of having pets sterilized but for large breeds, it needs to be done after a year old.
There are now alternatives to the complete removal of the dogs sexual organs, vasectomies and tubal ligations are becoming more popular because it causes less interference with hormones needed for growth.
This needs more research, but bottomline, a dog needs to grow to full potential and needs to then be sterilized to be a happy , healthy pet.
Most vets want to neuter a dog by  6 months old and thats what I used to recommend when people asked me,  now I tell my puppy customers to wait till about a year old, the more information on the research being done on large breeds and their growth issues, it just makes sense to try and let thm reach their full potential, we need to get more veterinariens on board with this theory
If your vet ever says your pet needs surgery for any reason,
ALWAYS,
ALWAYS,  get a second opinion.
I never want my dogs cut on unless there  is no other alternative.
Sometimes there are other alternatives
Heres an interesting picture of a puppy, can you see the distance between the bones and how far they have  to grow before they are actually connected as hardened bone
setstats
West Wind Saints---Furry Angels Created Here
Most Dog Foods are insufficient to meet the nutrional needs of dogs, partly because of the manufacturing process but also because the dog  is subject to growth changes, and environmental changes.     The recipes used by most dog food companies are lacking in proper protein and vitamins. If dogs are not supplemented with products to correct their lack of nutrients, it will eventually show up in skin issues, ear issues, or more serious internal issues, all of  which may affect how long the dog lives
Would like dog owners to know about a wonderful book that I recently found, its The Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog by Wendy Volhard & Kerry Brown.  it talks about dog food, toxins, allergies,vaccines, nutrients, also tells about laboratory tests and what they may reveal.
Nothing should be a substitute for quality vet care but Knowledge is power for you to know your pet and work with your vet for his care.
Heres    some    interesting    Facts   about   Dogs
Scientists  at one time used to believe that  no animals of any kind were capable of  rational thought, that animals merely react to stimuli without contemplation.  But animal studies starting as far back as the 1920's have shown that chimps, birds, pigs,  dogs and other species tested  have proven that animals are very much capable of emotions, thoughts, and reason .

A dogs brain does not process information the same as humans  but  Dogs do  feel , anger, sadness, joy, grief, fear, stress ,
They communicate not only by barking but tail movement, body language,eyes and ear movements;   although they do understand over two hundred words  of our language, they also understand hand gestures, and can imitate movements and tasks

A dog does not see things as we do, they actually have limited vision.  Humans have the best acute vision of all animals, which is  measured as 20/20;  so we can see something clearly 80 or 100 feet away, but a dogs vison is not as sharp with distance and they may not see clearly until they are about 20 feet from something. Their vison is measured at approx. 80/20. But that does vary with some breeds of dogs, the longer the skull, the better they can see,so some dogs like greyhounds are sight dogs, but most dogs process info with their nose not their eyes.  Also, colors and height affect how they see their world; Dogs do not have color vision as we do , they do see color but the colors they see are saturated and duller.
However,  Their eyesight is better than ours at low light and better at picking up movement.

What dogs may lack in visual clarity , they make up for with acute hearing; they can hear a wider range of tones and can  pick up sound from great distances.    

Dogs
see their world with their nose; when we enter a room we look around at the people and things but a dog picks up the smells of everyone and everything in that room and can sort out each odor separately;  A dogs nose is 100,000 times more sensitive than humans, and  forty per cent of their brain  is used to sort out each component of an odor; think of  it as  you going into the kitchen and smelling beef stew, while a dog will smell meat,potatoes, celery, onion,carrots, etc, so they pick up each component of that stew.

Taste for dogs is slightly different , humans have 9000 taste buds but dogs only have 1706, since they don't have as much ability to taste they  seem to like things that are repulsive like poop and dead animals.

Touch is important to dogs and develops as soon as they are born; puppies actually have receptors in their faces so they can feel for their mother.  The most important areas for touch on a dog are the muzzle,nose,and paws.  Obviously dogs feel vibration, heat, cold and pressure thru their paws

Dogs have become a big part of peoples lives and they depend on us for their very survival and well being,because we chose them to be in our life;   they believe themselves to be our protecters so remember no matter how friendly a dog seems to be ,when you meet them never make eye contact or put out your hand to pet them because you may be crossing invisible boundries.; I know several dogs that are fine with strangers but they don't want people in their face, they want their invisible "space" to be respected until the owner assures them its ok.    The jaw bite strength of  dogs exceeds 700 lbs to 2000 lbs per square inch, it varies with size of a dogs  muzzle, but large or small any dog can give a nasty bite and no one wants to get bit under any circumctances
Brain--
Eyes--
Ears
Nose
Taste
Touch
Guarding
People need to  know about the use of essential oils for dogs. Oils have many uses and I can't name all of them but I will list a few;
Honeysuckle---used for helping pet adjust to new home
Hornbeam-----Restores vitality and energy
Chicory----helps with possessiveness and territorial issues
Beech---deals with intolerance toward animals, people or events
Holly--helps deal with jealosy
Olive---helps with exhaustion
Essential Oils are all natural, vegetable based, so you are not "drugging" your pet.   Some essential oils are combined, one popular one is   Rescue Remedy,   it has 5 ingredients
Black rose, Cherry plum, Cleratis,impatiens,and Star of Bethleham
It was developed  to help deal with Trauma, Shock,Abuse,and Terror

There is also another product that has a combination of 10 oils
its called Trauma Life and its used for aggression and abuse issues
 
Most Essential Oils can be used in a number of ways, you can put a drop on a dogs pads or ears,you can  put a drop in their water or food, sometimes rub on their fur , or you can buy a diffuser and let it put the mist in the air.  Essential oils are also good for birds,cats, horses and children !!!!!
Do you have a pet that is afraid of thunderstorms or going to the vet ?  Try an essential oil !!!!   Some of the results are immediate
Any questions about essential oils ?  I have a nutritionist you can call, shes very helpful, she also deals with canine hydrotherapy and canine massage for your pets muscles and joints; her nane is Lori Jobak, her cell is 586 899 4899  
Call me, we can talk about dogs
        989 871 4241
Heres some interesting  "dog"   phrases
Its a ' Three Dog Night "

Supposedly originated in the Australian outback it means a night so cold a person would be forced to sleep with three dogs to prevent freezing to death
"Raining Cats and Dogs"

Goes back to 1700's, supposedly animals living on the street would sleep on the thatched roofs of houses and heavy rains would wash them off and down the street
Dogs are so popular they have their own star,they work hard and can keep you warm at night, They have had poems, songs and books wrote about them;  how many animals can you say that about
OK --  LETS TALK ABOUT WATER

In  Twenty Years  of raising beautiful healthy puppies ,  I have had two incidents that I want to give insight to the situations, one was in 2009, I sold a pup that 6 weeks after the pup left , I got a call from the owner telling me the pup was in surgery because stomach and both intestines were impacted with food that was hard and not moving; the pup did survive the surgery.   The other incident was 2017,  three weeks after pup left, I got a call that the pup was at an emergency vet, fighting for his life because his kidneys shut down, that pup did not survive.   BOTH OF THESE SITUATIONS WERE FIRST BROUGHT ON BY NOT ENOUGH WATER INTAKE .      Water is essential for survival of every living creature;   I give detailed instructions when pup goes home about monitoring how much water the puppy drinks because everybodys water tastes different  and to ease the transition to the new home you should start with bottle water and add your water more everyday and make sure pup is DRINKING, just because they go to the water dish doesn't mean they are taking in enough water.  This is also the timeframe when the pups are getting vaccanations and they need water to distribute everything in their body  I also add that Puppy Play is important, because if they play , they are learning but they are also getting exercise that will make them drink and promote body function.       Kidneys need to flush the system everyday so WATER is the key to organ health.