Feeding Your Siberian

Maintenance Rations

Maintenance rations are formulated and designed with the above points in mind so that, when eaten in adequate amounts, it will maintain a dog in good health and maintain a constant body weight.

Growth Rations

Growth rations are formulated to provide both the increased energy and nutrient requirements of a growing puppy. Puppies are undergoing enormous growth and development which can only be sustained by a correct diet especially designed for their high energy and nutritional demands. In accordance with the recommended 80% dry food to 20% meat or canned food, the suppliers of complete dog food also provide both dry and canned products especially for puppies e.g. Pal Puppy Food, Harper's Puppy Chow.

Importantly, a pup's diet must be in form easily handled by his inexperienced digestive system, it should always be pleasing and easy to eat because this will ensure an adequate intake. The growth ration is suggested to be fed to puppies up to 12 months of age, but in real terms, up to the 8 month stage is fine after which the maintenance ration can be fed. Again, if in any doubt, consult your veterinarian.

Other Rations

Other rations include: Lactating rations for bitches in whelp, working or stress rations, which should include a higher percentage of fats and protein to compensate for the increase in physical activity (fats being the greatest source of energy that a dog can most easily break down and use). There are also reducing rations for obese dogs, old age rations, medicated rations, and probably many others.

As a Siberian owner, you should mainly be concern~ with the growth ration (initially), maintenance, and working/stress rations. Most commercial dog foods will tell you whether they are designed for growth or maintenance (and a few also cater for working dogs).

Some important points to consider when choosing your dogs food are:

Ready to eat

Amounts to Feed

There is no hard and fast rule on quantity: a lot will depend on the type of dog and its growth rate. A suggested method is to feed a growing pup all it can consume in 5 minutes, remove the food, and repeat this 3 to 4 times per day.

When feeding an adult dog i.e. over 9 months of age, the amount of food should be adjusted to keep the dog in the condition you want it to maintain. Adult dogs are not growing and therefore only need half to a quarter of the amount of food fed to a pup, as this is only needed to maintain bodily functions and exercise requirements. An-active working dog on the other hand, has a much higher energy requirement than an inactive lap dog, and should be fed accordingly. Your dog's growing stage, size, and energy demands should all be taken into account when calculating the amount fed, and the correct amount will only be found through estimation and adjustment.

How Often To Feed

When weaned, feed 3 - 4 times a day. At 12 weeks of age, three times a day, and at 8 months feed twice daily. As an adult dog at around 9 - 12 months of age twice daily feeding is sufficient depending on the owners preferences, just as long as the total daily intake is high enough to maintain the dog at its average 'body weight and supply him with enough energy for his exercise requirements.

FRESH WATER SHOULD ALWAYS BE AVAILABLE!

It is important that your dog's food and water bowls be kept clean and washed separately from your own utensils. Regularly change his water and keep his food fresh by throwing away uneaten food. Encourage a good appetite and good eating habits by observing a regular feeding time or times as the case may be.

Should I supplement my dog's diet?

An important consideration that must be remembered by all dog feeders is to NEVER ADD SUPPLEMENTS TO A DIET UNLESS YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT IS DEFICIENT IN THE PRESENT DIET AND EXACTLY HOW MUCH OF THE CORRECT SUPPLEMENT TO ADD TO BALANCE THE DIET. A supplement, for our purposes, is a formulated vitamin or mineral concentrate, available in liquid or tablet form, designed to meet a deficiency in the diet or correct an imbalance. The danger of neglecting the above consideration is that you will most likely be creating a GREATER imbalance more often than obtaining any improvement. In most cases, the supplements dog feeders add to their dog's diet are of little value nutritionally, and some are actually harmful. The addition of a vitamin or mineral supplement can merely substitute one imbalance for another, and the latter may be worse than the first. When the correct diet is fed no supplement should be necessary.

In cases of a sick or recovering animal, however, your vet may find it necessary to recommend a supplement for a specified period.

What about Calcium?

Many people believe a calcium supplement is required for growing puppies, and whelping or lactating bitches where the calcium demand is great. Calcium is essential for:

Importantly, calcium and phosphorus must be present in the body in the correct proportions. To ensure adequate calcium is available in these cases, whilst also not interfering with the correct balance of calcium and phosphorus, a suitable calcium supplementation should be discussed with your veterinarian first.

Sources of Meat

Meat from the butcher may well be better quality than meat bought from a pet store because it has undergone a meat inspection and will be free from disease. However it could still microscopic parasites and therefore it is suggested that all meat be cooked.

Some of the sorts of meals to ask for are:

Can I feed my dog eggs?

Regardless of how many or where they are obtained, an egg should never be fed to a dog raw. Raw egg whites react with the vitamin, biotin, and prevents a dog from using it; in fact, feeding raw egg whites is the way scientists produce experimental biotin deficiencies in a laboratory. Secondly, the protein present in an egg (specifically in the white, or albumin, of the egg), is more readily digested when the egg is cooked. Cooking whole eggs provides the best possible protein available to a dog, and the egg yolk is a good source of fat. When using eggs to increase the value of protein in commercial foods for an adult dog, never add more than one egg to each pound of food or it will be wasted.

Maintaining your Siberian Diet and your Siberian Dental health