Health: The average life expectancy of a Samoyed is between 11 and 15 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages. Like so many other breeds, the Samoyed is known to suffer from a few hereditary health issues which are worth knowing about if you are planning share your home with one of these energetic, handsome smiley dogs. The conditions that seem to affect the breed the most include the following: Samoyed Hereditary Glomerulopathy Progressive Retinal Atrophy – Breeders should have their stud dogs tested Hip Dysplasia – Breeders should have their stud dogs hip scored Diabetes Sebaceous Adenitis - Test available Heart problems
Caring for a Samoyed As with any other breed, Samoyeds need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.
Grooming: Samoyeds have thick double coats and as such they are high maintenance in the grooming department. To keep their coats looking as good as they should means having to groom them on a daily basis. It's also important to keep an eye on the hair found between a dog's paw pads and to trim it when it gets too long. Samoyeds shed throughout the year, although more so during the Spring and then again in the Autumn when more frequent grooming is usually necessary to remove all the loose and dead hair from a dog's coat. It’s a good idea to have their coats professionally groomed several times a year which makes keeping things tidy easier in between visits to a grooming parlour. A Samoyed's coat should not be trimmed or clipped which could leave their skin too exposed and it puts a dog at risk of being sunburnt. Their undercoat plays an important role in regulation their body temperature so if this is messed up, it can lead to dogs overheating. It's also important to check a dog's ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax is allowed to build up in a dog's ears, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure when it comes to ear infections.
Exercise: The Samoyed is an intelligent, high-energy dog and as such they need to be given the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation to be truly happy, well-rounded dogs. This means exercising a Samoyed for a minimum of 2 hours’ a day. A shorter walk in the morning would be fine, but a longer more interesting one in the afternoon is a must. These dogs also like to be able to roam around a back garden as often as possible so they can really let off steam. However, the fencing has to be extremely secure to keep these energetic dogs in because if they find a weakness in the fence, they will soon escape out and get into all sorts of trouble bearing in mind that Samoyeds are known to be supreme escape artists. With this said, Samoyed puppies should not be over exercised because their joints and bones are still growing. This includes not letting a dog jump up and down from furniture or going up or down the stairs. Too much pressure on their joints and spines at an early age could result in a dog developing problems later in their lives.
Feeding: If you get a Samoyed puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again. Older dogs are not known to be fussy or finicky eaters, but this does not mean you can feed them a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.