Feeding and Diet
There are likely as many opinions on how to feed Samoyeds as there are breeders, owners and pet food manufacturers. A good rule of thumb is to find out why the breeder recommends what he recommends and if it makes sense continue with the breeder’s program, graduating from puppy food to adult food at about one year of age. If a breeder cannot explain why he feeds as he does in a way that makes sense, further resolution of this issue should be made prior to purchase. Soliciting information from veterinarians and other breeders should help in this important decision.
There are many premium dog food manufacturers that expend considerable research into the development of their products for nutritional balance, palatability, digestibility, and formulation. Many dog foods are tested using AAFCO procedures to certify their ability to provide complete and balanced nutrition. Look for such testing certification when purchasing your dog’s food. If the dog food is balanced, anything added to the food will throw the balance. Check with your veterinarian before adding supplements, table scraps, or “extras”.
It is important to remember that dogs, like people, can have allergies to certain foods or ingredients. Recent nutritional research suggests that dog foods based on lamb and rice, chicken or poultry carry the least probabilities of food allergies. Also, the absence of chemical preservatives is highly recommended.
The young Samoyed, in general, is not a hearty eater as most breeds his size. He must often be encouraged with meat juices or bacon grease mixed in the food to entice him to eat. If the condition of your puppy has been maintained through the first year, sound, not fat, it will take much less food to retain this condition throughout his life. Nothing should be spared this first year as growth is rapid. He will gain from about one pound at birth to sixty pounds in this time, depending on size and bone structure. The care received at this time will set a pattern in eating, healthwise and moneywise for the rest of his life. The thin puppy, the nibbler, not getting a balanced diet often eats and eats later on and never puts on weight. Each is an individual and where one will maintain show condition on one cup of food, another will require three times as much.
Never allow an adult Sammy to become fat, cut the ration, reduce the fats. He will live much longer and be a healthier and happier dog. Feed a balanced diet, no table scraps except beef or chicken, scraped from the bones. Keep in mind meals were few and far between in his native land, he survived without eating for many days. Guard against overfeeding the bitch when weaning the puppies. She will have a tendency to become overly fat, her appetite is keen, cut her rations at once or she will lose her shape and her health will suffer. Do supplement vitamins and minerals at this time. There is quite a difference in condition and fat.
Do not give him bones, small ones will puncture his intestine, larger ones will wear down the teeth. Purchase rawbones which are edible protein and will give him the exercise he needs, clean his teeth and pacify his desire to chew.
Purchase your puppy or dog from a reliable breeder and you will receive a complete feeding plan as well as advice throughout his life, often whether you request it or not. See that you have the foods on hand prior to picking him up. Take a large container for water along, ask that it be filled. Change of water can upset a puppy but by slowly mixing this with yours, he will adjust without problems.
See that fresh water is available at all times. Ice cubes are enjoyed in the hot months by adult dogs but not to puppies!
Special additives for coat are on the market, each breeder has his favorite, all are good. Suggestions are Gro-Kote, Mirra-Coat and Linatone. Feed only as stated. Overdosing can and does cause skin problems. They do promote a better coat with added sheen. Fish are a main diet in the Arctic and the oils are part of their diet.