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Why Is My Samoyed a Picky Eater?
The main reason for a Samoyed being a picky eater is their sensitive stomach. Let’s discuss the most common health conditions a Sammy faces, why Samoyeds are picky eaters and what food to avoid and incorporate into your Sammy’s diet.
In the past, Samoyeds were more akin to the cattle that humans kept, rather than as the family dogs they are seen as today. Samoyeds were bred in cold Siberia to be a working dog that pulls sleds. This has dramatically affected their diet for most of history and they’ve been privy to an almost carnivorous diet because of it. They would get their share of scraps from the spoils of the hunt they participated in most of the time. This is the primary reason for most Samoyed sensitive stomach.
The caloric density of a meat diet made it extremely feasible for a Samoyed. The incredible amounts of physical labor all Samoyeds undertook imposed heavy caloric demands on their bodies.
It was always advantageous to have an extra layer of fat in the cold temperature zones as a simple matter of survival. They used to overeat to survive and still do today. Except, most Sammys are relegated to running around in yards and have no sleds to pull today. This makes them liable to put on extra weight, and despite how fluffy a Samoyed appears, it is a medium-large-sized dog at best.
Samoyed metabolism can be intense. They can grow up to 65 pounds (29.48 kg) in weight and 23.5 inches (59.69 cm) in height.
However, a meat-only diet is severely lacking in nutrients and additional veggies and supplementation would do wonders for most Sammys’ health.
Their overeating played a significant role in their digestive issues and it continues to do so till today.
Let’s look at the most common reasons why your Samoyed is being a picky eater.
- No Exercise
A playful Samoyed is a healthy Samoyed. If your Sammy isn’t getting the exercise they need, their appetite might grow dull. A slow metabolism might cause your Sammy to become lethargic as well. A fast Samoyed metabolism might cause over-excitement and stress them in other ways. Take them for a moderate number of walks. Let them stretch their paws to reinvigorate their appetite. Is your Samoyed getting plenty of exercises and still not hungry? Then something else might be at play with their metabolism. Consult a vet to rule out any sicknesses.
- Stress and Sickness
A stressed-out Samoyed is an unhappy Samoyed. Any outside stresses such as a death in the family, unfamiliar people, or location change in your family can distress your Sammy. Parasites and worms can also cause problems that lead to chronic indigestion and a lack of desire to eat.
- Low-quality nutrition
Does your Sammy beg for treats and turn his nose at everything else? Check the labels on your dog food to get to the bottom of this mystery. There are dog food manufacturers that try to sneak in low-quality ingredients under obscure names so they can’t be spotted as easily. In many cases, the protein used might be of low quality and quantity, while bad quality grains like corn get overused instead. This can cause a lack of appetite. Try changing brands to see if that makes a difference. Dog food manufacturers might be able to trick people, but not their real consumers. A Samoyed’s nose is sharper than a human’s.
Common Signs of Samoyed Digestive Issues
These are the most common signs of digestive troubles:
- Loose stools
- Excessive licking of lips
- Unwillingness to eat
- Excessive swallowing
Most Samoyeds begin eating three meals a day at puppy-hood to facilitate good physical and cognitive development. A growing Samoyed requires additional protein, calories, and extra treats as long as they can be digested easily. If your Samoyed is a picky eater, then hold off on the treats.
A mature Samoyed feeding schedule can be limited to two meals a day. A mature Samoyed eventually grows relaxed and reduces its physical activity. Care must be taken to provide plenty of exercises if low-quality grains such as wheat and corn are being fed as they can easily aggravate diabetes markers. Extra physical activity is a must in these cases.
When digestion issues occur, it’s possible allergies, sensitivities, or even cheap brands are at the root cause of your digestion problems. Take them off risky foods and into safer alternatives until you can ascertain the root of the problem.
What is the Best Dog Food For a Picky Samoyed?
If your Samoyed has a sensitive stomach, approach their diet carefully. Look for dog foods with the statement, “Complete and balanced,” listed on their packing. This statement needs to be qualified by laboratory trials and compliant with the Association of American Feed Control Officials. A complete and balanced dog food diet will ensure your picky Samoyed gets all the nutrients they need to resolve any nutrient deficiency-induced indigestion.
If your Samoyed has a sensitive stomach, ensure they are eating food that is age-appropriate and slowly transition their diet into something safer. With every single meal, change 10% of your Samoyed’s meal while keeping 90% of it the same. This way, you change the entire course of your Samoyed’s meal in 10 days and allow them to adjust without difficulties.
As you continue to experiment with different dog foods, feed your Sammy a simple diet of cooked chicken and rice without any seasoning. Some dog owners say they feed their Samoyeds pumpkin when their dog has a diarrhea. This is the go-to for any digestive issue and is excellent for a sensitive stomach. Consult a veterinarian to have them set a prescription diet to tackle any specific health issues your Samoyed might have in the meantime as well.
A healthy Samoyed can eat almost anything. Your Samoyed spends most of the calories on maintaining a strong basal metabolic rate. This allows them to regulate their body temperatures, an extremely important feature for a dog that lived in extreme climate conditions. The additional running and physical labor demands a strong musculature and costs a significant amount of calories, especially protein, to maintain.
Just like humans have no single all-purpose diet, no Samoyed has a single all-purpose diet.
They inherit food sensitivities and allergies from their parents. Their food requirements change depending on their age, gender, inherited traits, environment, and daily activity.
Overeating once kept your Samoyed alive but now it just makes the breed more likely to add on extra pounds.
A modern diet with poor quality carbohydrates and little-to-no exercise goes against the fundamental origins of your Samoyed and makes them prone to diabetes, arthritis, and hypothyroidism. A qualified veterinarian is your best bet in creating an optimal diet plan for your Samoyed. Food sensitivities eliminate a lot of tasty options for your Sammy but should be taken seriously before your dog gets seriously sick.
Ensure any diet you plan for takes the personal preferences of your Samoyed into account, and acts as a preventative remedy for the most common illnesses of their breed. There are common dietary guidelines you can follow in case you lack any personalized information about your Sammy. An adult Samoyed and a puppy can have vastly different needs. A neutered/spayed Samoyed and an un-spayed Samoyed has different calorie requirements as well.
Foods to avoid in Samoyed’s diet:
- Ice cream
- Fried foods
Foods to incorporate:
- Sweet potatoes
Grains are some of the most commonly problematic foods for Samoyeds. Cheap grains such as wheat and corn are found in most common dog food brands and should be avoided in case of allergies/sensitivities.
Dry and wet foods are tolerated well by most Samoyeds. If a digestive issue props up, most owners attempt to remove grains and problem foods one by one until they can identify what the source of distress is. Many dog food brands contain plant protein, namely pea, as they are a primary source of protein. Samoyeds and other dogs prefer animal protein for their digestive efficiency over plant proteins. Keep an eye out to ensure the top ingredients in your dog food are high-quality animal proteins most of the time. Fish protein is highly desirable in particular.
If you don’t have access to animal proteins, then purchase some safe whole grains that fare better on your Sammy’s stomach.
Sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index and work well as a preventative against diabetes. Brown rice, millets, and quinoa are also good grain-based alternatives. Samoyeds require a good, healthy amount of fat as well. Puppies require the DHA found in fish oil for the healthy development of the brain eyes.
Coconut oils contain medium-chain fatty acids that are great for older Samoyeds. They contain factors that improve blood sugar management and have the potential to improve digestion at the same time. You can make your older Samoyed feel years younger with the right medium-chain fatty acids. It protects against cognitive decline in Samoyeds as well as humans. Zinc, selenium, and omega 3 fatty acids should be considered as well.
A proper understanding and knowledge of the Samoyed’s origins can shed light on why the Samoyed metabolism works the way it does. A complete diet focused on animal proteins and whole foods is the optimal way to go, along with plenty of exercises.
Their history of digestive issues needs careful consideration, and a dive into your Sammy’s personal preferences will help devise the best diet for a Sammy with a sensitive stomach.
Should I let my Samoyed chew on bones?
Cooked bones are a perpetual risk for most Samoyeds. Regardless of age, these are tolerated poorly and must be avoided in most cases. Small bones can puncture the intestines, large bones can wear down the teeth. There is a significant risk of stomach lacerations if the bones are consumed, along with a risk of obstructions, abscesses, and infections.
In some cases, split bones can be tolerated as they are softer than whole bones but you should consult a breeder that understands your Samoyed well. Even if tolerated well, they can still pose a choking hazard in many cases.
How many calories does a Samoyed need?
An adult Samoyed that weighs 60 pounds (27.22 kg) requires 1500 calories on average. Provide a higher protein ratio during adolescence, and reduce the protein during their older years. A puppy that weighs 40 pounds (18.14 kg) requires only 1200 calories a day. In all cases, activity levels can change the calorie intake by 100-300 calories, give or take.
A Samoyed is classified as a medium-large dog so finding brands that cater to this breed isn’t difficult. Most premium kibble available on the market works very well. Begin with puppy food for the first year then switch over to adult dog food. It’s important to ensure the switch happens correctly, as continuing with puppy food for too long can make them grow too rapidly, which complicates health issues in the long-run.