More Frequently Asked Questions - NTSRI

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More Frequently Asked Questions

About Samoyeds

Q. How do you keep your Samoyed so white?

A. The truth is, they pretty much do that themselves!  One of the neat things about Samoyeds is that much of the dirt can be kept off of them with regular brushing. Even if you have one (like some of ours) that likes to seek out mud puddles or dig in the flowerbeds, usually you can let the mud dry and then brush it right out of his coat.  That being said, though, Samoyeds can stain, if they are exposed to substances that penetrate their hair.  Also, prolonged exposure to the sun can cause “sunburn,” which may make their coats appear to be tan, especially on the back or the tips of the ears. (Sunburn should not be confused with the natural “biscuit” coloring of some Samoyeds.)

Regular bathing is strongly recommended.  Use a good quality shampoo and make sure that it all gets rinsed out.  There are whitening shampoos on the market, also, if you like.  Some of these are blue or purple in color, and we caution you that some Samoyeds’ hair is more absorbent than others. For those dogs, it is possible that the Samoyed may take on the color of the shampoo.  This is rare, but it does happen!

Using a conditioner on your Samoyed is not strictly necessary; it is a matter of individual choice.  Samoyeds are not supposed to feel soft, as their outer coats are harsher in texture than some other breeds.  Also, using conditioner can sometimes mean that it takes longer to dry your Samoyed, as the hair tends to retain water more if it has been conditioned.

Speaking of drying, we recommend using a no-heat blow dryer.  There are many of these on the market, manufactured specifically for dog grooming.  Instead of using heat to dry, they actually blast the water off of the dog’s coat and skin, leaving them looking fluffy and gorgeous.

Q. Should I shave my Samoyed in the summer to help him cope with the intense Texas heat?

A. No, no, and NO!!!!!  You will definitely not be doing your Samoyed any favors by shaving him; in fact, you can well be doing him a world of harm instead!

The Samoyed’s double coat not only protects him from the cold, but also from the heat.  It insulates him.  Shaving a Samoyed leaves him vulnerable to sunburn of his skin, as well as various parasites and skin diseases.  Additionally, removing all of the coat – especially the protective outer coat – may result in a poor quality coat when it does grow back.

North Texas Samoyed Rescue, Inc. has, in urgent circumstances, shaved rescues that came into our program extremely matted, when the mats were so bad that they could not be removed by any other means.  Be assured, however, that we tried every possible alternative before taking this very drastic step.

The best way you can keep your Samoyed cool in the summer months is to keep him indoors except for short excursions outside.  In other words, we never recommend that Samoyeds be primarily “outdoor” dogs.  As NTSRI’s president has often said, “If you want an outdoor dog, buy a lawn ornament in the shape of a dog.”  Samoyeds need and want to be with their people – not thrown outside and left to their own devices.

That being said, the only parts of a Samoyed that need to be trimmed on a regular basis are his nails, feet and occasionally, his “skirt” (the long hair under his tail.  Trimming the hair between the pads of his feet (and keeping his nails well-trimmed) will help him to have better traction on smooth surfaces.  Slight trimming of the hair under his tail is for hygienic purposes.

Q. What should I feed my Samoyed?

A. Any good quality, nutritionally balanced dog food is acceptable.  We do not recommend the cheap “grocery store” or discount store brands! We STRONGLY discourage feeding your Samoyed any pet food or treats made in China!!! These products have been known to cause serious injury - and even death - to dogs in the United States. There are many food comparison charts available via a Google search, which can educate you on the various name-brand foods and their nutritional statistics.

Your foster caregiver will most likely give you a sample of what the Samoyed has been eating while in our rescue program.  We recommend that, if you choose to feed something different than this, you gradually transition him to the new food.  This gradual transition will help to prevent any digestive problems (such as diarrhea) occurring as a result of the change. Transitioning can be done by feeding a combination of the food he has previously been eating with the new food, increasing the amount of “new” food in proportion to the “old” food gradually, until eventually, he is eating 100% “new” food.

We recommend feeding your Samoyed twice daily, morning and evening.  The amount of food to feed depends on the size of the dog; the foster caregiver can give you information on how much he has been eating while in foster care.  Always give your Samoyed access to plenty of fresh water, also!

Q. Your Adoption Application asks if we believe in the use of crates. Why?

A. North Texas Samoyed Rescue, Inc. is a great advocate for crate training your Samoyed!  When properly used, crates can be a safe haven for your Samoyed and can even protect him from himself (i.e., keep him from ingesting children’s toys or other property, chewing, or otherwise doing any type of damage when you are not at home).   However, crates should never be used for long periods of time, or as punishment.  Crates are also helpful in house training, as Samoyeds will rarely, if ever, eliminate in a crate.

Crates should always be large enough that the dog can completely stand, turn around and lie on his side with legs outstretched without being cramped.  For most Samoyeds, this means the “large” or “extra-large” size is required.  Crate training can be easily accomplished by a gradual process of tossing a few treats inside and encouraging your dog to enter the crate to get them.  You can leave the door open at first, then close the door and leave the room for slightly longer periods each time, until your Samoyed understands that he is not being “abandoned” and you will return to let him out. Many of us at NTSRI keep crates available for our Sammies, even though they are not “required” to be in them, simply because the dogs feel safe inside them and often voluntarily retreat to them for their own “quiet time.”

Q. What are heartworms, and why do your descriptions of Samoyeds available for adoption always state that they are “heartworm free and on preventative”?

A. Heartworms are parasites that are transmitted to dogs via mosquitoes.  In the hot climate of Texas, the type of mosquito that carries the heartworm parasite is particularly prevalent.  The worms invade the heart muscle and can cause severe damage.  Left untreated, heartworms can be fatal.  They can be cured, but the treatment is very expensive and can possibly be unsuccessful in cases of severe infestation. Once cured, the Samoyed can go on to live a long and happy life.

All Samoyeds entering North Texas Samoyed Rescue, Inc.’s rescue program are examined by a veterinarian and tested for the presence of heartworms.  If the Samoyed tests “positive,” he is treated and cured of the heartworms before NTSRI will make him available for adoption.  All rescued Samoyeds in our program are placed on heartworm preventative.  This is a medication, given on a monthly basis (typically a chewable tablet), which kills any microscopic heartworm larvae before they can mature and do damage to the dog’s heart.  

NTSRI strongly recommends that adopters of our rescued Samoyeds have a heartworm test done on the dog every year (it is a simple blood test), and that they be kept on heartworm preventative year-round.  

Q. Are Samoyeds hypoallergenic?

A. The short answer: NO!  Despite the hype about various breeds (including the Samoyed) being “hypoallergenic,” the truth is, there is simply no such thing!

Most allergic reactions are caused by the dog’s dander (the dead skin which is naturally sloughed off).  All dogs have dander; humans do, too!!!  You may or may not have an allergic reaction to a Samoyed. Each individual is different.  North Texas Samoyed Rescue, Inc. does not claim that Samoyeds are “hypoallergenic.”


Don’t see the information you need here?  Please feel free to contact us, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions!

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