Recommended Treats and Feed
We feed and recommend Diamond Naturals.
Our sled dogs and puppies eat Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete, bag pictured below:
Our retired dogs and pet dogs eat Diamond Naturals Chicken and Rice Formula for Adult Dogs.
We buy Diamond Naturals from our local Tractor Supply store.
We also recommend Tuffy’s Nutrisource if you can find it.
Our adult dogs eat kibble with a touch of water added to it once a day.
During the training season our sled dogs also eat raw ground meat.
We keep our dogs on a monthly wormer to keep them clear of internal parasites.
A favorite and healthy treat our dogs enjoy are raw beef marrow bones.
We buy them at the local butcher or grocery store:
We have a large surplus of fresh eggs from our laying hens, and so our dogs regularly enjoy hardboiled eggs, shell included:
Our dogs also enjoy warm scrambled eggs on occasion.
Our Siberians sometimes also enjoy:
Raw skin of chicken or salmon
Raw hearts and gizzards of chicken or turkey
Raw whole smelts during the ice fishing season
Most of our dogs love peanut butter. I like to spread it inside marrow bones that the dogs have stripped clean.
We don’t feed rawhides or cooked bones.
We give our dogs salmon or fish oil during the training season. When we cannot find salmon oil cheap, we buy a big bottle of fish oil pills at the supermarket.
We give old dogs salmon or fish oil year-round.
Zinc deficiency is common in northern breeds. We give our dogs a powder supplement called Zinpro which we feed with kibble:
We recommend Zinpro Biscuits because they are much more fun to feed. We use the powder supplement above because it is cheaper in bulk and more convenient to feed.
For a dog that is sick and off his kibble, we cook lean ground chicken or beef to drain as much of the grease out as possible.
Sometimes we mix the cooked ground meat with cooked rice and add a touch of warm water.
For a dog that has diarrhea, we withhold all food for a day. In most cases the dog simply ate something that upset him and letting the dog clear out his system usually works.
For dogs with stress diarrhea, we use psyllium husk fiber also known as brand name Metamucil. We add it to their kibble mixed with water.
Tips for selecting dog food:
We shop at a pet store or feed supply store instead of a grocery store or supermarket.
We look for brands labeled “AAFCO.” This acronym stands for the Association of American Feed Control Officials.
Federal law requires that this association regulate any animal food with their label on it and that they provide a guaranteed analysis of the food.
This association also requires the ingredients listed in order of their weight content in the food, starting with the greatest and descending to the smallest.
Just because the bag is labeled with AAFCO does not necessarily mean the food is quality…it just means it is properly labeled.
We ignore the fancy labels, attractive words, and happy pictures on the front of the bag. We take a close look at the back of the bag (or the side of the bag) at the parts that say “ingredients” and “guaranteed analysis” which tells us what we will actually be feeding.
Better quality brands use better-quality sources for those ingredients!
Lots of dogs end up with health issues as they age and require special veterinary care or expensive regimens of medication. …While some dogs may suffer from genetic shortcomings (and not “age”), many dogs suffer from environmental shortcomings simply due to a lifetime of poor diet, and not “age.”
Even a dog with the best genetic potential for health will be unable to live up to that potential if he is not fed a lifetime of a proper diet.
We stay away from “semi-moist” dog kibble because it is too high in sugar.
We also avoid wheat, corn, or soy products.
A quality dog food will have the meat advertised in the title labeled as the first ingredient. Better quality brands will have the meat listed as the first and second. Really good quality kibbles will have meat listed as the first, second, third and so on.
We feed a label that is appropriate for the age of our dog.
There are four basic life-stage labels available: Puppy, Adult, Senior, and All Life Stages.
We feed a label that says that it is both “complete” and “balanced.”
“Complete” means that the dog food contains an adequate amount of all the nutrients required to meet the nutritional needs of a dog for which it is labeled (puppy, adult, or senior).
“Balanced” means that the dog food has the proper proportion of all these required nutrients.
Unless the dog is diagnosed with a deficiency, we avoid feeding dietary supplements when we are feeding a kibble that is already a complete and balanced diet, except zinc since zinc deficiency is common in northern breeds and we like to keep the problem at bay.
Once a bag of kibble is opened, we use it up within a few weeks. Otherwise it starts to lose its nutritional value unless it can be adequately preserved to stay fresh.
Our dogs have a feeding time. We don’t leave their food out.
Every day around the same time, we give our dogs their meal. Once a dog walks away from the dish or stops eating from it, he is done. When a dog doesn’t immediately begin to eat it, he is not hungry. We pick up and put away whatever they did not eat and we do not offer them food again until the next scheduled feeding.
Our dogs learn to eat what we give them and when we give it to them. Our dogs learn to be very good eaters.
Otherwise Siberians are known to become fussy eaters.
It is nice to have good eaters because when we have to give them oral meds or supplements we can just slip it into their kibble and they won’t notice or care. This trick is how we keep our dogs hydrated too.
We stick with a brand of kibble that works for our dogs until we find something better. We provide our dogs variety in their diet by supplementing kibble with regular treats or raw meat and bones.
Sudden change in diet can cause stress diarrhea.
We switch our dogs to another brand of kibble gradually by mixing the new kibble with the old kibble for about five days.
For a dog prone to a sensitive stomach, we use over-the-counter probiotic and prebiotic supplements that together aid proper digestion.
Siberians are known “easy keepers.”
They require fewer calories than other breeds of similar age, size, and energy level. This means Siberians often need to eat less than what the bag recommends, especially when they are neutered or not working (such as when they live a regular pet life).
We use the recommended feeding chart on the bad of kibble as a guide only. Instead we go by how the dog actually looks and feels to judge how much kibble he should actually eat a day.
Standing over the dog, I place an open hand on each side of the dog’s rib cage and rub briskly. I should not feel too much loose skin and I should be able to feel the ribs easily.
An overweight Siberian is prone to many health issues or injuries, similar to how humans are. Carrying excess weight will definitely decrease the dog’s potential lifespan or ability to remain active as he ages.
Excess weight puts undue stress on joints which is not healthy at all for growing puppies or active dogs.
Weight is in proportion to height. Taller dogs should weigh more.
Our girls are typically 21-22 inches tall at the withers and typically weigh 40-45lbs.
Our boys are typically about 22-23 inches tall at the withers and typically weigh 45-50lbs.
Puppies usually reach their mature height around twelve months old but they do not fill out or reach their mature weight until they are around two or three years old.
When we feed lots of extra treats, we feed a touch less kibble that day.