Feeding your Siberian Husky Puppy
There are two main schools of thought for feeding puppies. The first school says that puppies need to be fed at specific times and the second school teaches that the food should be left down all day. Both of these ideas will be discussed.
How your puppy was feed prior to coming to your new home mostly depends on how the puppy was housed and raised. Large kennels, pet stores, and puppy mills usually leave the food down all day due to lack of time for individual feedings. The major disadvantage to this type of feeding is obvious – the alpha puppies will eat first, faster, and will growl at the other littermates. This type of behavior can cause puppies to be food aggressive and food protective at later dates. It can also cause a reserved and shy puppy to become fearful of other dogs. The problem to the pet owner is that puppies whom have the food available all day tend to be fussy picky eaters. There also can be a problem in housebreaking. There is a reflex in a puppy that causes a bowel movement after eating a large meal. If the puppy is continually eating smaller meals, this reflex may be diminished and housebreaking may be harder to complete. In the warmer weather, the food has to be protected against insects and flies.
The more popular method of feeding is set meals three times a day until the puppy self weans to two meals a day, usually at about 12 to 16 weeks of age. The puppy will begin to nibble at the afternoon meal and this meal can be discontinued at that time. Set meals make housebreaking easier since the puppy will defecate approximately 3 to 15 minutes after the meal is completed. The food is usually left for no longer than 15 minutes than taken up whether the puppy eats or not. The meal is than offered at a later time.
Siberian puppies should never growl at the owners when the food is taken away, and this problem needs to be corrected immediately if present. The food is continually taken away from the puppy until the puppy is adjusted to the task. The same is to be learned for chew toys and treats. Also, puppies should be taught to sit before any meal or treat is given (ask the breeder if this is acceptable with a show puppy).
The most important growth phase for Siberians is from 2 months through 9 months, so feeding a good quality food is important. Do not feed cheap food. Bargain Brand X should not be in your kitchen – it belongs in the trash. Garbage in equals garbage out. Feeding cheap food is feeding fillers, which will cause a puppy to defecate 3 to 5 times a day, have soft stools, weak bones, and poor coat and structure. Puppies should not have a bowel movement every few hours. If they do, it is either the food or a medical condition such as parasites.
Siberian puppies do not need canned food especially at 12 weeks of age. They are not Chihuahuas – they are working dogs that need strong teeth and bones. Most breeders wet the dry food with water to cause a softer food for puppies. SIBERIAN PUPPIES ARE MILK INTOLERANT AFTER 12 WEEKS OF AGE. Do not give milk in the food and do not select a puppy food with milk as an ingredient. Stay away from feeding them the kitchen sink – they do not need baby food, baby cereal, cottage cheese, yogurt, rice, etc. after 12 weeks of age unless a specific medical condition is being treated.
If you select a name brand dry puppy food, your puppy will grow to the full potential. A few major brands have medium breed puppy food. This is acceptable to feed. Feed the puppy food until the dog reaches 9 months of age or until the dog is neutered at 6 to 9 months of age. At this time, an adult food can be selected. Siberians can be very fussy eaters and do not become upset if your dog does not eat every meal presented. Adult Siberians are notorious for not eating for several days, which absolutely drive their owners insane.