Maintaining Your Siberian

Feeding the adult dog to maintain his or her optimum weight is called maintenance. To successfully maintain his body weight, a dog's energy intake MUST balance his energy output. It is not necessary to balance energy on a day-to-day basis, for example, if a dog expends more energy than it obtains from its food on one day, it will make it up on succeeding days by eating more food. Likewise, if a dog takes in more energy (i.e. food) than it uses up in the short term, it will balance it with a lowered intake later. This is done without any conscious attempt on the part of the dog, but rather it is controlled by an appetite center within its brain. It is because of this built in energy center that most dogs will eat only enough to meet their own energy needs and no more.

Every dog has its own inherent ability to utilize calories. This explains why some dogs are "easy keepers". and need their food more closely monitored to prevent obesity, whilst dogs at the other extreme are "hard keepers" and seem to require special handling to prevent excess weight loss.

It was suggested by the University of Melbourne, that dogs be weighed routinely about once a month as a means of monitoring your dog's weight and objectively avoiding the possibility of obesity. This can be done at home, or free of charge at many vet clinics using their dog size scales. A weight change of 5 – 10% is an indication to alter the amount you are feeding your dog as the present amount will be either too little or too much. To explain it in a different way, eliminating other possibilities such as worms, disease etc.; if a dog is still losing weight, then perhaps the food intake is insufficient to maintain your dog at his optimum weight, and at the same time provide him with enough energy to keep warm, maintain bodily functions, and keep up with his exercise demands. This can quite often be the case for an overactive Siberian, and this would require a change in the diet, concentrating upon an increase in fat and protein.

Nutrition - general principles Diet and your Siberian Feeding your Siberian