The Siberian Husky is a medium-sized breed that often looks bigger than it actually is due to its thick double coat. This breed has a distinctive black-and-white appearance very similar to that of a wolf, and it was developed as a sled dog in the harsh, cold environment of the Siberian Arctic. The Siberian Husky, or simply the Husky, is an energetic breed that loves to play and spend time with people. In addition to being a friendly and fun-loving breed, the Siberian Husky is also incredibly popular. This breed ranked 22 according to AKC registration statistics in 2009, but it rose to 14 in 2013 and to 13 in 2015.
Because the Siberian Husky is such a high-energy breed, it requires a diet that will provide for its energy needs. Before you can select a commercial dog food diet for your Husky, however, you need to learn what his nutritional needs are. Below you will find some general information about nutritional needs for Huskies as well as some specific considerations to keep in mind. You will also find recommendations for the best dog food for Huskies, including three top-quality dog food products to consider when shopping for food for your Husky.
Nutritional Needs for Huskies
The Siberian Husky grows to an average size of 45 to 60 pounds for males and 35 to 50 pounds for females – this classifies it as a medium-sized breed. Although the Husky may not be one of the largest dogs out there, it does have a lot of energy. The Siberian Husky requires a great deal of daily exercise and it needs an energy-dense diet to make sure that its calorie needs are met. Because most pet food manufacturers do not offer formulas for medium-sized breeds, your best bet may be to choose an active or working-breed formula. This is especially important if you train your Husky for sledding or other dog sports because he will need a lot of calories to maintain muscle mass as well as his energy levels.
When it comes to your Husky’s nutritional needs, protein is the most important consideration but fat is very important as well. This is essential when looking at the best dog food for Huskies. In your Husky’s diet, protein should come from high-quality animal-based sources like chicken, lamb, and fish – avoid plant-based proteins (at least as the main source of protein) as well as animal byproducts. Fats are the most highly concentrated source of energy for dogs so they play an important role in an active breed’s diet like the Husky. Fats should also come from high-quality animal-based sources like chicken fat and salmon oil, though supplementary plant-based sources like ground flaxseed are not bad. It is important that your dog gets a blend of both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in his diet as well.
Carbohydrates provide your Husky with dietary fiber as well as valuable vitamins and minerals. Your dog doesn’t have any specific needs for carbohydrates, but he should get them from high-quality sources like whole grain brown rice or oats. You can also offers your dog a diet made with gluten-free complex carbohydrates like tapioca and sweet potato. Be sure to avoid low-quality filler ingredients like corn and wheat which are often used to bulk up commercial pet food products but do not add any nutritional value for your dog. Look for a product that lists a high-quality source of animal protein first, followed by another protein or a complex carbohydrate. Any product that lists one or more fillers in the first five ingredients shouldn’t even make your list for consideration.
Special Considerations for Feeding Huskies
One of the most important things you need to consider when selecting a diet for your Husky is that you do not want him to grow too quickly. With an active breed like the Husky it can be tempting to take your puppy for a run to tire him out. Giving your puppy too much high-intensity exercise could put excess strain on his developing bones and joints, increasing his risk for developing musculoskeletal problems later in life. The best way to keep your Husky from growing too quickly is to feed him a medium- or large-breed puppy commercial dog food diet. Keep your Husky on a puppy food diet until he reaches about 80% of his maximum size – then you can switch him to a normal adult diet or an active breed formula, depending how active your Husky really is.
Another thing to consider when selecting a diet for your Husky is food allergies. All dogs are prone to developing food allergies and while the Husky doesn’t have a particularly high risk for allergies, they certainly can develop if your Husky is over-exposed to certain common allergens. If you suspect that your Husky is developing a food sensitivity or allergy, put him on a Limited Ingredient Diet for 12 weeks until all signs of the allergy disappear. Then you can introduce potential allergens one at a time until you are able to identify the culprit – then just feed your Husky a diet free from that allergen.
In terms of how much to feed your Husky, it will depend on a number of factors including your dog’s sex, age, size, and activity level. A good place to start is to follow the feeding recommendations on the package. Start off with the recommended amount for a few weeks and see how your Husky responds. If he starts to gain weight, you might need to scale his portions back a little bit. If your Husky loses weight or doesn’t appear to have as much energy as he should, increase his rations. You can always ask your vet for suggestions when it comes to feeding your Siberian Husky.
Top-Recommended Foods for Huskies
If you need some help in finding the best dog food for Huskies, consider one of the commercial dog food brands discussed below. Be careful when considering a breed-specific formula for your dog – do not just assume that the formula will meet your dog’s needs without evaluating the product for yourself. Consider the ingredients list to make sure the product is of high-quality before offering it to your dog.
1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Adult
The Blue Buffalo company offers several different lines of dry dog food products including the Basics line of Limited Ingredient Diets, the Freedom line of grain-free foods, the Wilderness line, and the Life Protection line. The Blue Buffalo Life Protection Adult formula is available in three different flavors – Chicken & Brown Rice, Fish & Sweet Potato, and Lamb & Brown Rice. All three of these formulas are free from corn, wheat and soy ingredients – they are also loaded with high-quality sources of animal-based proteins, wholesome whole grains, and fresh fruits and veggies. Additionally, all of these formulas are made with Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits which contain a proprietary blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support your Husky’s whole health. Simply put, the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Adult formula is a high-quality source of nutrition for any adult dog.
2. Nutrience Original Adult Medium Breed
Most commercial dog food companies offer either large-breed or small-breed formulas, or both, but not many of them offer medium breed formulas. Nutrience is an exception to this rule. The Nutrience Original Adult Medium Breed formula is one of three formulas in the Nutrience Original line of dog foods which are made with fresh, wholesome ingredients. This particular formula contains chicken meal, brown rice, and green peas as the top three ingredients. Chicken meal may sound like a bad ingredient but it is actually a very good one – meat meals have already been cooked down to a low moisture level so they are actually a much more highly concentrated source of protein than fresh meats. This formula is supplemented with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to support your Husky’s healthy skin and coat – it also contains glucosamine and chondroitin for joint care. If you are looking for a dog food that is specially formulated for medium-sized breeds like the Husky, the Nutrience Original Adult Medium Breed formula is a great option to consider.
3. Nature’s Variety Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw
This dog food could be considered the best dog food for Huskies due to how unique it is. If you are looking for a commercial dog food diet that goes above and beyond in terms of nutrition, look no further than the Nature’s Variety Instinct line of freeze-dried raw foods. This line of freeze-dried raw foods is completely grain-free and absolutely packed with nutritious ingredients. The Instinct line of foods comes in three different flavors – chicken, beef, or lamb – which can be served alone or blended with your Husky’s kibble for a boost of nutrition. Each of these three varieties is made with high-quality sources of animal-based protein as the top three ingredients, accompanied by fresh fruits and veggies for healthy carbohydrates.
The Husky is a high-energy breed that requires a great deal of daily exercise and a high-energy diet as well. To make sure your Husky gets the nutrition he needs, consider feeding him one of the top-quality dog food formulas reviewed above.