OVERVIEW OF THE SAMOYED
Their thick fluffy white coats, friendly smile, and energetic loyalty make Samoyeds enchantingly gorgeous furry companions. Also referred to as Sammies, these dogs were initially bred to herd reindeer and as sled pullers in the coldest climates of Siberia. They are intelligent, strong, and highly sociable. They can be a little mischievous too and require a great deal of training and TLC from their pet parents, but with good care, they can become very loyal and loving members of your family.
Depending on the gender, a fully grown Samoyed will reach a height of around 19 to 23.5 inches at the shoulder. The corners of their mouth are upturned, an endearing feature known as the Sammie smile, which prevents drooling and icicles from forming around the face.
A lonely Samoyed can become bored and destructive. If you choose to welcome one of these beautiful dogs into your home, ensure you can give them lots of attention, exercise, and a firm but loving hand during puppy training.
SAMOYED FOOD AND HEALTH
Sammies do well with a diet high in protein, moderate to low carbs, and a small number of healthy fats. Fish oils with Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial to maintaining a healthy coat and skin as well as boosting eye and brain development in puppies. Their diet can include a combination of fresh lean meat, eggs, fish, vegetables, premium dry dog food, oats, and sweet potatoes.
Dry food like kibble can be incorporated into your Samoyed’s diet since it protects their teeth and does not make their breath smell as bad as wet or raw food. It is also convenient when traveling. If you are feeding your puppy dry food, you’ll need to get the food to ensure it is soft enough so developing puppy teeth can easily get through it. Wetting the food can be done by pouring some meat juices over it. When your puppy turns three months old, you can stop wetting the kibble and serve it dry.
You must only feed your puppy food specifically formulated for their age group, not adult food. If you want to start introducing your fluffy companion to raw foods, wait until it is at least 12 weeks old before introducing very small amounts at a time.
Puppies need to be on their mother’s milk for the first 6 to 10 weeks before they can start trying food like wet kibble. A 6-month-old Sammie, for example, should have three meals a day of half a cup of kibble. The quantity may vary according to the puppy’s activity and weight. Fat requirements are low at this stage.
At 12 months, you can start mixing a little adult food into your dog’s regular meal to get used to it slowly, making the transition to adult food easier. As you transition, the schedule should change from three to only two meals daily. Also, always ensure your dog has plenty of fresh water to stay hydrated.
Samoyed puppies and adults will quickly guzzle their food down and overeat when given the opportunity. This is part of their nature as sled dogs, uncertain when they’ll have their next meal, but it can quickly result in weight gain, bloating, and trapped air in their stomach. Look after your pet by following a consistent feeding schedule and using slow-eating dog bowls to control their eating speed.
Now that you know what Samoyeds should be eating, there are also things you should avoid feeding them. These items include overly salty foods, sweet treats, and high-fat foods, which can lead to pancreatitis. Avoid giving them raw dough, citrus, chocolate, garlic, onions, and fried food. Some dogs may be sensitive to lactose/dairy and wheat and corn products, so try to avoid these as much as possible.
Although Sammies are generally strong and healthy dogs, the breed does display some common health issues, including eye problems that may lead to blindness as they get older, and joint problems, especially in the hip. Kidney disease, diabetes, and hypothyroidism are also some common breed ailments.
LEASHES AND COLLARS FOR YOUR SAMOYED
Samoyeds can quickly get excited when they come across a female, food, or odors that pique their interest. Veering away from their owner, especially when not adequately trained, makes having them on a leash a must when out in public and going for walks.
Puppies should have a longer lightweight leash, preferably made out of nylon. As the dog ages, an adjustable leather collar and leash will be ideal as it is durable and resistant but still comfortable to wear. Medium-sized adults can do with a leash of 3-4 feet for their daily walks, while shorter leashes are better for stronger dogs.
If you and your furry companion love running together, consider getting a leash and hip belt set. The running belt allows you to affix the leash to it, is tear-resistant, and absorbs movement and pressure. Some designs even come with reflectors on both the belt and leash to keep you both safe and visible in dim light.
BEST CRATES, BEDS, AND DOG HOUSES FOR SAMOYEDS
Most Samoyeds don’t require a dog bed but instead enjoy sleeping on the floor since it’s an easy way for them to regulate their temperature. If you want a bed and leave it up to your pet whether or not it uses it, a slightly elevated dog bed with a chew-proof design is a good option since these beds are sturdy and easy to clean. It’s also vital that you make sure the size is big enough for a comfortable and roomy fit for your dog.
Since Sammies are snow animals and enjoy the cold temperatures, they may veer outside in the cold months if they find it too warm. Don’t mistake this for them being outdoor sleepers, though. Your pet pal is very sociable and wants to be near you, so letting it sleep outside is not a great idea. It just means that you likely won’t need a dog house. If you decide to get one regardless, it is best to get a larger unit that stands slightly off the ground to keep it away from moisture. Ensure that the roof is slanted, waterproof, and can be opened for cleaning.
Although you should not start crate training your pup from the first night, when the time is right, ensure it is a comfortable and inviting space by lining it with a blanket and some toys. When choosing a crate for training, remember that your puppy will grow a fair amount, so consider whether you will get something bigger from the beginning or upsize as necessary.
Samoyeds require at least two hours of activity daily, whether it’s active playtime, running, hiking, or long walks. Keeping your pet pal stimulated is essential for its health and prevents it from acting out due to frustration. Another canine companion can be another great way to meet some of its play needs.
Since they are an active breed, the type of toys suitable for a Sammie is very versatile. Some dogs carry a special stuffed toy, almost like a security blanket. Quality stuffed animal toys can be tossed, squeaked, and tugged, so try to find something durable and ensure your pup doesn’t try and eat the stuffing if the fluff spills.
Playing frisbee with your pet pal is an excellent way to get some exercise. Opt for a rubberized dog frisbee since plastic ones can end up cutting your dog’s mouth.
Automatic ball launchers are another intelligent way to expend your pup’s energy while conserving your own. On the other hand, puzzle toys challenge their thinking and give them a puzzle to solve for a reward, generally a treat.
Whether or not your Samoyed has dental issues, having at least one dental toy in its entertainment arsenal is a good idea. These toys not only give it something to chew and play with, but they also promote better oral care.
GROOMING INSIGHTS FOR SAMOYED OWNERS
To survive in the harsh cold Siberian winters, Sammies have thick double coats. They have a soft wooly undercoat and a longer outer coat to keep them warm. Their beautiful fluffy hair requires a fair amount of maintenance, so be prepared for shedding and frequent grooming.
Dirt, twigs, and leaves can easily get lost in their fur, which can cause tangles and knots, and regularly brushing your Sammie’s coat is an essential part of caring for your pet. They shed more profusely twice a year in the shedding season, during which it is imperative to take care of their coats. Use a slicker brush or metal comb with rounded ends for daily brushing.
Specialist grooming services also do a great job of ensuring that baths, shampoos, and brushing are done thoroughly.
In addition to caring for their coats, dental care is a must for any furry friend. Only use toothpaste designed specifically for dogs when brushing your pup’s teeth, as human toothpaste contains ingredients that are toxic to dogs. If you get a professional grooming service to assist, they should also trim your Samoyed’s nails. If you’re grooming it yourself, trim its nails every three to four weeks and prevent ear infections by cleaning its ears with pet-safe cleaners.
If you and your pet pal are outdoors companions, keep a check on its paws. Lather on some paw balm to protect, soothe, and heal paws that may be fragile or cracked from hot or icy surfaces or uneven hiking terrain.
Although we’ve just mentioned using a slicker brush for your pup’s grooming, there are a few other grooming accessories that will keep its coat well maintained. An undercoat rake is an excellent investment as it helps brush out loose undercoat hair without damaging the thick topcoat. A shedding comb and pin brush are good grooming tools, with shedding brushes ideal for more sensitive areas such as the belly or legs, while a pin brush is used for tail brushing.
You may also want to consider getting a good quality forced air dryer. They can be pricey, but after bathing your Sammie, you can have it dry in under 30 minutes. The air dryer will also blow out any dirt and loose hairs.
If you and your Samoyed love hiking together, get a dog backpack. The contoured packs are made from durable, comfortable, quick-drying fabric with zipper pouches and often have reflective tape. The unique design allows the dog’s front legs to move naturally, and you can easily use a guide leash with the pack.
A multi-functional dog treat pouch is another great Samoyed accessory, especially for dog training sessions or long walks. The pouches are generally made with water-resistant fabric and attach around the pet owner’s waist. In it, you can carry a water bottle to keep both of you hydrated and a collapsible water bowl handy, along with treats, toys, waste bags, and more.
If your cold-weather-loving Sammie is enjoying hot summer adventures with you, consider a cooling vest and dog boots to keep it comfortable. A cooling vest is designed to protect, cool, and provide necessary circulation to your pup’s chest and heart during hiking trips in hot weather.
Your pup should never be walking or going for a run on hot pavement, so waterproof boots are a must to protect your Sammie’s paws from hot surfaces in the summer heat. They also have slip-resistant pads and come in different sizes.
Check out our breed hub page to learn more about breeds like Samoyeds.