What should Siberian Huskies Eat?
Piercing blue, deep brown, or one of each—when those beautiful eyes fix on you, you can’t help but melt. Siberian Huskies are a transfixing breed, and they make great companions. When you think of a robust and capable dog, they come immediately to mind. Likewise, their dietary needs reflect their prestigious pedigree.
Maintaining optimum health is a priority for our beloved pets. High-quality food is essential, but there is a lot to choose from. When you’re looking to change up your dog’s diet, we advise consulting with your veterinarian first to ensure you’re giving your pooch the proper nutrition. Then, just like when you are choosing your own meals, make sure you consider what you’re giving your best friend.
Huskies are playful, energetic dogs that need lots of exercise. You would be forgiven for thinking this means they need lots of food. But don’t forget these innocent and joyous pups were bred to work in the harshest conditions, where food was scarce. Their bodies are used to running on fewer calories. Therefore they’re better suited to eating less than other breeds of similar sizes. Pay particular attention to portion sizes. Once a Husky gains weight, it’s notoriously hard to get them to shift it.
What Is The Best Food For Siberian Huskies?
Ask any bodybuilder, and they will tell you the best way to track your nutrition is through three factors: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. The same is true for your Husky. Being working dogs full of energy, your Husky requires a higher amount of protein in its diet than some other dogs. Of course, all dogs need protein to develop lean muscle, but Huskies more than most.
Experts agree that protein in the form of meat is critical to your dog’s diet. However, for Huskies especially, this should equal or exceed the amount of vegetables, carbohydrates, and fats.
You can feed Siberian Huskies three main types of diet: raw food, commercial dry or wet food, or a mixture of the two. Unfortunately, there isn’t an agreement on which kind of diet is best for your dog. Generally, more nutritious and raw foods than everyday wet or dry foods are a solid bet.
When choosing your protein for your dog, aim for high-quality sources such as meat. Poultry like chicken and turkey is perfect, as is beef. However, Huskies are used to hunting, so other meats like venison, rabbit, and other small animals are excellent. Even offal such as livers and kidneys are excellent and can be brilliant sources of added nutrients such as iron. Be sure to include these in moderation, however.
Carbohydrates for your Husky are a little more complex. There is some debate about how much grain should be included in their diets, if at all. Siberian huskies have sensitive stomachs, used to eating the meat and bones of animals they have hunted. Because of this, sometimes too much grain and vegetables in their diet can make them poorly. They are not built to consume them. Complex carbohydrate sources are best, such as seeds, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, and it would be best if you avoided corn and wheat.
Animal fats derived from grassland animals are best for Huskies, ideally obtained from the same source as their whole meat. Fats are an excellent addition as energy for your pup, but keep an eye on how much you include in their diet. Once your Husky gains weight, shifting it is difficult.
You probably know how sensitive your pup’s stomach can be, so you may want to include some extra dietary fiber to aid digestion. Some foods will contain dog-safe herbs that help and have the bonus of boosting immune system support. When considering supplements for your dog, make sure you choose only natural sources, not synthetic ones. The same applies when you’re looking to increase their vitamin and mineral intake, too, like vitamin D and calcium for healthier bones.
Whatever you choose, make sure you consult your veterinarian so that you’re confident your Husky is getting all the dietary nutrients they need. If you’re looking for an easy ratio to follow for these macronutrients, over 30% protein, approximately 20% fats, and around 30% complex carbohydrates will serve you well.
Do Huskies Have Special Dietary Needs?
Siberian Huskies are a remarkably hardy breed. But, unfortunately, they’re not without their health issues, though there are far fewer than some other breeds. Most often, these issues are concerning your Husky’s eye health.
Suppose you’re reading this as you consider adopting a Husky. In that case, we recommend asking for health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals for elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand disease. And Health clearances from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation will certify that the dog’s eyes are normal and healthy.
Eye Conditions Common In Siberian Huskies
Siberian Huskies are prone to developing cataracts and Corneal Dystrophy. These can impact their vision in some cases, and you may want to try introducing foods that will promote good eye health. Try and include colorful foods into your dog’s diet, such as blueberries, kale, and carrots. What you’re after are the power-couple carotenoids of lutein and zeaxanthin. They act as a sort of natural sunblock for the eyes. Broccoli is also a great source, but it’s generally accepted that the stalk is the best part for the dog and not the florets.
Musculoskeletal Conditions Common In Siberian Huskies
Likely you have heard of hip dysplasia, which is an inherited disease common in Siberian Huskies. This disease causes the hip joints to form improperly, leading to arthritis.
There are ways you can help manage the conditions hip dysplasia leads to, like arthritis. Supplementing your dog’s diet with glucosamine, for example, will help. It would be best if you also aimed to keep your dog’s weight at normal levels and avoid obesity at all costs.
Food Allergies Common In Siberian Huskies
Huskies are a tough breed when it comes to almost everything, despite their soft and lovable demeanor. Their thick double coat makes them pretty hardy with most skin allergies. But when it comes to food, that double coat won’t protect their insides.
Dog food allergies are tricky. Often the symptoms appear very similar to common skin allergies in how they present. However, you can keep an eye out for the most common causes for food allergies in Huskies when you’re choosing their diet.
Wheat is a common allergy in many dogs, but more so in your Husky because of their sensitive stomachs. Be wary; even if you’ve been feeding your pooch the same food for years and they’ve never had a problem, they can develop an allergy overnight. When that happens, it’s time to switch up your food. But that’s why you’re here, right?
Diet For A Siberian Husky Puppy
Firstly, it is worth mentioning that raw diets are not appropriate for most Siberian Husky puppies. As puppies, their immune system is still developing. Raw food can contain bacteria that they are unlikely to be equipped to process.
Husky puppies will need a greater protein ratio in their diet, so choose an age-appropriate dog food that specifies this. Proper development is vital at this stage, so choose food with a minimum of 22% protein and 8% fat. Ideally higher.
Siberian Huskies are notoriously fussy eaters and will tend to skip meals. If you can, feed your puppy calorie-dense dog food brimming with nutrients to help them get the nourishment they need when learning to eat at regular times.
Diet For A Siberian Husky Adult
Siberian Huskies reach their full height at about 12 months old. However, they still have some bulk to gain before they reach their actual adult size. Therefore, choosing food that makes sure their weight gain is healthy is crucial, and we advise switching them to a fully adult diet at around nine months of age.
Experts recommend a minimum of 18% protein and 5% fat for adult dog foods, but you will want to aim higher than that for your Husky. They’re working dogs full of energy and used to a diet rich in lean protein sources. So aim for foods that contain high-quality protein from at least three animal sources, such as chicken, beef, and turkey.
Huskies often get bored with their diet, so mixing it up now and then is a good idea.
Diet for A Siberian Husky Senior
Just like us, as your dog ages, they will become less active and their diet must change to reflect that. Otherwise, there is a risk of rapid weight gain. If your dog is of a healthy weight, look for foods designed for senior dogs containing a high amount of protein to maintain muscle strength.
The Best Dog Food For Siberian Huskies: Our Top Picks
Now you’re familiar with how you want to feed your Husky, it is time to review the best dog foods. When selecting the right food, pay attention to the ingredients: make sure they are high-quality and include the right amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and fats for your dog. You are after the complete most nutritional requirements you can find.
You really cannot go wrong with Taste of the Wild dog food. This dog food is made with high-quality lamb and egg proteins blended with low glycemic index complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes. Sierra Mountain gives Huskies of all ages the energy they need to fuel their boundless enthusiasm for play.
It is packed with antioxidant ingredients like blueberries and optimal levels of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids to boost skin and coat health. The number one ingredient, lamb, is pasture-raised. It doesn’t get more natural than that. Most importantly for your Husky, Sierra Mountain is 100% grain-free, so you won’t have to worry as much about your dog’s upset stomach.
- Proteins: roast lamb, lamb meal, egg
- Carbs: sweet potatoes, legumes, vegetables
- Fats: salmon oil
- A life-long choice, great for dogs of all ages
- Formulated without grain, so perfect for your Husky’s sensitive stomach
- Jack of all trades means a master of none. While this is great for multiple dogs, there may be better alternatives if you’re after something tailored specifically to your Husky.
For protein-packed dog food, Wellness CORE high protein grain-free is an exceptional choice. When it comes to maintaining lean muscle mass in your highly active dog, it is no wonder that thousands of people choose this brand for growing their Husky.
Wellness CORE hits the magic number of 3 animal proteins in the first five ingredients without lacking any other nutrients. High-grade omega fatty acids from flaxseed and salmon oil help keep your canine’s coat healthy, and probiotics and taurine keep their heart healthy.
- Protein: turkey, turkey meal and chicken meal (34%)
- Carbs: legumes, ground potatoes, vegetables
- Fats: chicken fat, salmon oil
- Excellent sources of animal protein in high quantities, ideal specifically for Husky diets
- Contains vegetables such as broccoli, blueberries and kale, which are bursting with carotenoids that help improve eye health
- Some ingredients such as the chicken fat are preserved, which may cause some issues for dogs with extremely sensitive stomachs
Real meat comes first with Blue Buffalo’s ‘Life Protection Formula,’ and when you look at their ingredient list, you can tell they’re not lying.
Deboned lamb is the primary protein source, and that red meat helps to boost your dog’s muscle growth and repair. In addition, this dog food contains ideal protein sources and carbohydrates from a range of garden vegetables and brown rice, and probiotic organisms to promote good gut health.
- Protein: deboned lamb, turkey meal
- Carbs: brown rice and vegetables
- Fats: fish oil
- A precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to support immune system health
- High-quality, natural meat source
- Includes calcium to promote tooth and bone health
- Not really grain-free as it contains brown rice, but it does omit cereal grains.
Packing a hefty 38% minimum protein and lean 18% minimum fat content, ORIJEN’s Original is brilliant for those super-active pups. This dog food sports 85% quality animal ingredients in its makeup. It is perfect for those looking for a diet that is closer to your Husky’s natural, biological needs.
All of the ingredients in this dog food are free-range, fresh, and raw. Instead of the first 3, the first 15 ingredients listed for this dog food are from animal sources, so protein and healthy fats won’t be lacking if you choose this product. Once you are past all of the meat ingredients, you’ll see the remainder of the kibble formula is made from nutrient-dense vegetables.
- Protein: chicken, turkey, flounder, eggs, mackerel, poultry offal, herring
- Carbs: legumes and vegetables
- Fats: pollock oil
- Huge percentage of fresh raw ingredients to promote lean muscle growth
- Additional nutrients and minerals are included, such as choline, iodine and zinc
- 100% grain free
- Each cup has a relatively large calorie count (449kcal) compared to some brands, so it may lead to overfeeding if not carefully watched
- It does contain some preservatives (mixed tocopherols)
Merrick’s Grain Free dog food brings a tremendous amount of variety to the table. Depending on your dog’s tastes, you can choose between chicken, beef & bison, duck, lamb, rabbit, salmon, and venison. No matter what you choose, you’re guaranteed a grain-free, protein-rich food.
Whichever meat you choose, that is always the first ingredient. Sweet potato is the carb of choice for this blend, promoting healthy slow-release energy to keep your dog fuelled between mealtimes. There’s also guaranteed no gluten here, a bonus for dog digestion and pooping.
Merrick Grain Free contains ideal levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to help your dog keep a shiny coat. It also includes leading levels of glucosamine and chondroitin to help keep their hips and joints healthy.
- Protein: subject to choice. Chicken is most popular and contains: debonded chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal
- Carbs: sweet potatoes, potatoes, fruit
- Fats: salmon oil
- 100% grain free
- Leading levels of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
- Great variety of flavours, life stages and wet and dry foods
- Limited additional vegetables containing carotenoids that help improve eye health, which is a known issue in Huskies
Made from fresh and raw ingredients, this dry food matches the natural diet of dogs and meets all of their nutritional needs. The whopping 40% fruit and vegetables ratio means it’s packed with essential minerals, nutrients, and probiotics to keep your dog’s immune system healthy.
The red meat variant includes 60% protein-rich animal ingredients, keeping your Husky flying around with as much energy as a puppy, no matter its age. The best part, though? 100% grain-free and potato-free.
- Protein: deboned beef, deboned pork, beef meal
- Carbs: legumes, vegetables, fruit
- Fats: pollock oil
- Grain-free ingredients, so no upset stomachs
- Contains active healthy gut bacteria to aid digestion
- Plenty of supplemented vitamins
- Great protein sources from animal sources
- Freeze dried ingredients for maximum freshness
- Lower protein minimum than some other products at 29%
- Lower fat minimum at 17%
- Not ideal fatty acid ratio
Vet-formulated for all ages, breeds and sizes, Canidae All Life Stages suits those who want food they know they can trust to deliver for their dog. It is packed with essential amino acids, fatty acids, and a healthy amount of protein for your Husky.
Healthy skin and coats are a priority. This product includes omega-6 and omega-3 oils in ideal ratios for improving skin and coat health. Antioxidants support the immune system of your dog, while probiotics added to every kibble help support digestion and avoid stomach issues wherever possible. Animal protein sources from chicken, turkey, and lamb keep your Husky fighting fit throughout the day.
- Protein: chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb meal
- Carbs: brown rice, white rice, potatoes, oatmeal, barley
- Fats: chicken fat, salmon oil
- Packed with probiotics, antioxidants and optimal fatty acids for dog health
- Easy solution for those of you with more than one canine friend
- Cost effective
- Climate pledge friendly
- For the sensitive Husky stomach, the rice and potato content may cause upset
How Much Should I Feed My Siberian Husky?
Siberian Huskies are incredibly active dogs, so you may be tempted to feed them more to compensate. However, their metabolisms have adapted to colder climates. Because of this, they are used to working long hours of physically exhausting work on very little food. As a result, they eat a relatively small amount of food for their size. Good news for you as an owner, as you’ll have to spend less.
But bear in mind that dogs are individuals like you and me, and some may require more food than others.
Better quality food generally means you will have to feed them less. It will go further towards keeping your Husky happy and healthy without overfeeding them. About one and a half to 2 cups of food a day, split into two meals, would do it. But as always, make sure to consult your veterinarian and the dog’s breeder for suggestions and advice.
Puppies will need more frequent feeding times, around 3 per day, to help them grow and develop properly.
How To Feed Your Siberian Husky
Once you’ve picked your ideal dog food, you have to get them to eat it. Huskies are notoriously picky eaters. If they don’t like what you’re offering them, they can spend days turning down your meals.
If they are picky, stay consistent. As long as what you’re offering is high-quality, your Husky will eventually learn to eat it.
If you’re using a mix of dry and wet food, make sure that you separate them into two different meals. Wet and dry foods digest differently, and your Husky has a sensitive stomach compared to some dogs. So aiding digestion as much as possible is vital.
When transitioning to a new diet, always consult with your veterinarian first. Once you’re happy you’ve got the food you want, there is usually guidance on your new dog food packaging that suggests the best way to start transitioning at mealtimes.
A good guide is:
- Days 1-4 = 25% new food in the bowl
- Days 5-8 = 50% new food in the bowl
- Day 9-11 = 75% new food in the bowl
- Days 12-14 = 100% new food
When To Feed Your Siberian Husky
For most dogs, two meals a day are adequate, especially if you are using dry and wet foods. Siberian Huskies often skip meals because they’re used to reduced-calorie diets. However, this shouldn’t affect how you feed them. They’re picky animals and will get away with not eating if they can. Stick to a regular feeding pattern, and they will soon learn to eat at set times.
Be careful of overfeeding your Husky, though. They’re not like retrievers who will eat and eat until they are ill, but if you overfill their bowl, they will likely eat most of it. Controlling their caloric intake is important because once a husky has gained weight, it is hard for them to lose it again.
What Foods Can Siberian Huskies Eat?
Huskies are known for having sensitive stomachs, and there will be foods that you know by now to avoid. However, giving your pooch the highest-quality foods will go some way to prevent these allergies. It so happens that the highest-quality foods often omit the ingredients that so often cause issues in Huskies, such as grains like wheat and corn.
Non-organic eatables are often modified and sold under no-labeling laws. Unfortunately, that means your dog may be at more risk of harmful or disagreeable preservatives and animal pesticides than organic foods.
Freeze-dried, dehydrated, and raw foods are always solid choices. The former may save you some money in the long run but still pack the essential nutrients your pup needs.
Look for all-natural, free-range, and organic foods where possible. Siberian Huskies are hunting animals by nature, so serving them food that is as close to the natural state would be in when they hunt is ideal.
Siberian Huskies are not carnivores. They require a blend of fruit, vegetables, and meat, just like you and I. You can, of course, feed your dog on a vegetarian diet if you so choose. Whatever you decide, ensure that their diet is protein-rich.
Huskies especially are incredibly active dogs and require a lot of exercise. Pulling sleds in the arctic requires vast amounts of lean muscle mass, so ensure that animal-sourced protein of the highest caliber makes up at least 60% of the protein in their food. Everyday staples are poultry, beef, and fish.
Your pup needs carbs to fuel their bursts of energy and keep them active during the day. Good sources for your Husky come from a low glycemic index (GI), complex carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes. These are slow-releasing energy, meaning that they don’t spike blood sugar levels and cause horrible energy crashes.
Carbohydrates should make up about 30% of your dog’s total diet. However, be careful of dog foods that overuse this cheap ingredient. Carbohydrates are fundamentally sugar, so when consumed in excess and not used, they are stored as fat, leading to weight gain.
Can Siberian Huskies Eat Grains?
Some dogs have no problems with grains. Siberian Huskies, however, have very sensitive stomachs. Your dog may be ok with some grains like brown rice, but if possible, avoid them in favor of other carb sources.
Healthy animal-derived fats are essential to your dog’s skin and coat health. However, these should be consumed in moderation to avoid excess weight gain.
Dog foods that include a 1:4 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 oils, or close to it, are ideal. Be wary, however, of what other fats are included in these foods that may drive up the fat content.
Fruits & Vegetables
Huskies suffer from a range of eye conditions, and vibrant fruit and vegetables are critical to helping address these issues. Bright colored fruit and veg contain carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin, which promote eye health. Unfortunately, these are hard to find nutritionally and difficult to supplement.
Fruit and vegetables are also a primary source of essential vitamins and minerals that bolster your dog’s immune system and keep them healthy. So look for dog foods that contain a wide variety of leafy greens and vibrant fruit where possible. Some of the best to look out for are broccoli, blueberries, kale, and carrots.
What Should You Never Feed Your Siberian Husky?
Dogs are hardy, and Huskies especially. But like you, there are some things they shouldn’t eat. So always be careful about what you are feeding your dog, even as a treat, and consult your veterinarian before introducing new foods if you are ever unsure.
These foods are toxic to dogs or have incredibly adverse side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, and in some extreme cases, nervous system damage.
What not to feed your Siberian Husky:
- Grapes and raisins
- Raw eggs
- Caffeine (tea and coffee)
- Lemons and limes
- Macadamia nuts
There are some foods that you can feed your husky as a treat, but you should limit them as much as possible.
Foods Siberian Huskies can eat within limits:
- Sweets and sugars
Finals Thoughts On The Best Dog Food For Your Siberian Husky
We’ve covered a lot of ground in this article, but now you’re ready to go out and choose your dog food. Make sure what you buy it’s the best quality you can afford for your pup. Above all, follow the facts, not the magic. Good promotions do not denote a good brand of dog food. Fancy marketing acts can’t guarantee good quality ingredients, so make sure you check the label before buying. Plenty of protein, quality sources of complex carbohydrates, and animal-sourced fats should be the minimum requirement for what you choose.