Keep It Cool!
Your Husky is bred for the Arctic climate, and will get very hot in summer. Make sure he has plenty of water and shade. Ideally he should have a bath of water for dipping in. he should also be brushed regularly to eliminate as much loose hair as possible, especially during shedding season. Not only will this help cool him down, it will help your carpets too!
Don’t be tempted to shave your Husky. When Huskies shed their undercoat, the topcoat provides protection from harmful UV sunrays. Shaving your husky can cause a heatstroke – the topcoat actually helps keeps him cool.
What’s That Pong?
Huskies are low-odor dogs and shouldn’t bother you too much with their smell. They are also very clean animals and spend long hours a day grooming themselves – much like a cat. However, like all creatures, they can sometimes offend our noses more than at other times. Bathing a dog too often destroys the natural oils in their coat and skin, so avoid this unless the dog is truly filthy. Many breeders and vets recommend tea tree oil to help with doggy odor. Just dab it on a cotton ball and lightly rub it over his coat every couple of days.
Feeding your Husky
Siberian Huskies require a comparatively small amount of food for their size. They have a very high metabolism – a little food will usually last them a long time. Their ancestors were bred to travel long distances, pulling a load, on the smallest amount of food. Some dog breeds, like Labradors and Beagles, will eat as much as you put in front of them, often to the point of becoming sick. Huskies watch their intake much more carefully:
- If a Husky is full, they will not eat.
- If a Husky has had a lot of exercise, they will eat more.
- If a Husky has been rather inactive, they will eat much less.
Here’s a fantastic free tool to help you monitor your Husky’s food intake, and make sure he or she is getting the right amount: Doggy Calorie Counter
If a Husky does overeat and start to gain too much weight it is often very difficult for them to lose it again. And an overweight Husky will have a shorter life expectancy than a healthy one. Huskies have very individual personalities, and are notoriously stubborn. If something puts a Husky off of a certain food, then they may not go back to it for quite some time, if ever. Many things could put a Husky off their food:
- Boredom with commonly eaten food
- Individual taste (size of biscuits for example)
- If a Husky feels sick after eating something they may not eat that food again.
We’ve put together a FREE comprehensive guide on Husky puppies, including whether to choose a boy or girl dog, choosing the right breeder, Husky-proofing your home, and much more. Check it out here!
A good tip is to not leave food out for long periods of time. If food is left standing then the dog will likely get bored of it, which will stop him from eating it in the future.
One big controversy concerning canine nutrition is over whether your husky should remain on one dog food or whether he should consume a variety of different foods. Some nutritionists claim that the canine system does better when it stays on one complete food and switching around could be upsetting to the digestive tract. Others, citing the fact that dogs are natural scavengers, believe that dogs enjoy variety and even thrive on it.
If a Husky starts showing signs of being bored with his food you could try to add other ingredients. For example raw mince, different types of fish, vegetables, etc. Cheese in large amounts is not a good idea, as it can cause stomach upsets. But very small amounts can get Huskies very interested in their food without causing serious problems.
Adding different ingredients can be helpful and keep your Husky interested in their meals, it is not recommended that you drastically change their food all of a sudden. For example a husky that usually eats 1 cup of biscuits could drop back to ¾ of a cup and add 50g of chicken mince.
If you wish to completely change your dog’s diet it is important that you do this gradually, over one to two weeks, taking out a bit of the old food and adding some of the new food daily, until they are just eating the new diet.
This is an important step to remember when you first get a Husky. It is good to find out what the dog ate before coming to you, that way you can make a gradual change from what he use to eat to the food your planning on feeding him. This goes for puppies and older dogs.
There is a lot of discussion on what food is best for huskies; commercial vs homemade, raw vs cooked, bones vs no bones, etc.
Some things are definitely not suitable for Huskies (or any dogs) of any age:
- Large amounts of dairy
- Cooked bones
Spot Those Poop Parasites!