Many pet lovers want to know if they can have a husky if they live in an apartment. While it is possible for a husky to live in an apartment, it’s far from an ideal situation.
We will take a look at why apartments and huskies don’t work well, and what you can do to overcome the challenges that living in an apartment with a husky can bring.
- Why Apartments Are Not Ideal For Huskies
- Tips For Keeping A Husky In An Apartment
- Summing It Up
Why Apartments Are Not Ideal For Huskies
Huskies are large, energetic dogs. An apartment isn’t ideal for them for several reasons. They require lots of space to live and exercise. They don’t do well with being left alone for long periods, particularly if they are cooped up in a small space.
When your husky doesn’t get enough space, exercise, and attention, destructive behaviors are highly likely. It’s easy to blame your husky for this. However, the reality is that if your husky is being destructive, it’s probably because they aren’t getting something they need.
To understand why huskies can struggle when living in an apartment, it’s important to understand where they come from. Huskies were originally domesticated by the Chukchi people of Siberia.
The Chukchi tribe developed a close relationship with their canines. The huskies lived and worked alongside their owners. However, they were free to roam the Siberian wilderness.
One of their main jobs was pulling sleds. Today, huskies are still best known for their sledding ability.
Their drive to work and run makes them perfectly suited for the challenges of the wild north. However, it also means that they have high energy, as well as high intelligence.
An apartment is as far from the Siberian wilderness as you can get. Husky apartment living is challenging for them and their owners, because they are adapted to very different living conditions.
Lack Of Space
Huskies don’t require a 2,000-square-foot home. However, your 800 sq ft apartment can become cramped quickly. A small space makes it difficult for you and your dog to have the space that you need.
Huskies don’t need a large home to roam. It’s simply that they are large dogs. They take up a significant amount of physical space. Add in their toys, food, and bed, and your apartment can feel smaller than before.
Your husky will likely want to be near you most of the time. However, it’s important for them to have a place of their own, even if it’s only a husky-sized doggie bed.
Lack Of Exercise
You know huskies are energetic, but just how much exercise do they need? Huskies can travel 100 to 150 miles in a day, and reach speeds of 30 mph. This gives you an idea of just how active they are.
Your husky needs medium to high-intensity exercise daily. Most huskies need at least 2 hours of physical activity each day. You can also allow them to run or walk for 5 to 10 miles each day.
A lack of exercise can lead to serious behavioral problems for your husky. When they don’t get enough exercise, they will howl frequently. They may also become destructive.
Aren’t Suited To Be Left Alone All Day
Huskies are a huge commitment because they require a lot of attention and companionship. This is one of the reasons why they are amazing pets.
They will develop a very close relationship with their owner, and other members of their family. They are highly affectionate, and happy to be with you all the time.
While this is one of my favorite aspects of the breed, it places a huge demand on you.
This issue doesn’t just apply to huskies who live in an apartment. No matter where your husky lives, they will need plenty of time with you.
However, with less space and the challenges of getting enough exercise, giving them enough quality time is even more critical.
Huskies’ desire for constant affection likely stems from their history, just as their exercise needs do.
The Chukchi people spent most of their time with their huskies. In fact, this helped ensure the survival of the breed and their owners. They lived, worked, and travelled together, helping each other to live in the frigid Siberian environment.
Today, most people work outside the home. This can be problematic because huskies want to be near their owners.
Separation anxiety is also common in huskies. This means that your husky will become highly upset when you leave. Depending on the degree of separation anxiety, they may be fine for short periods. If it’s severe, they will become upset simply being in a different room than you.
Harder to Entertain Them
The smaller indoor space – and lack of outdoor space – in an apartment brings another challenge. This living situation makes it harder to keep your husky entertained.
Huskies have a high need for mental stimulation, as well as physical exercise. In fact, to keep your husky happy and well-behaved, mental exercise is just as important as physical activity.
If they don’t get enough mental stimulation, they will become bored and have excess energy. This can lead to unwanted behaviors.
Can Lead To Destructive Behaviors
Your husky will find a way to expend energy, and if it’s not directed to exercise and mental stimulation, they may direct it towards your furniture, shoes, or other items.
The most common reason huskies are surrendered to shelters is that their owners aren’t prepared to meet their needs, which leads to these unwanted behaviors.
Destructive behavior can also occur if your husky is left alone for too long, or isn’t receiving enough attention.
This is particularly true if they have separation anxiety. Separation anxiety causes them to become very upset. They may howl constantly or become destructive.
They don’t do this to be difficult. They are simply managing their anxiety in the best way they know how.
Tips For Keeping A Husky In An Apartment
Living in an apartment with a husky is challenging, but it’s not impossible. If you want to make it work, you’ll need to be prepared to put in a lot of time and effort to meet your pooch’s needs.
If you plan to live in an apartment with a husky, you must have an exercise plan ahead of time. You’ll need to find a place that allows them to run.
This may be a dog park, a dog-friendly hiking trail, or simply walking through the city. Keep in mind that huskies need grassy areas. Some sidewalk walks are ok, but you must provide them with other exercise areas as well.
Toys are a great way to provide exercise and mental stimulation for your husky. You can give your husky some toys to entertain them when you aren’t available.
Puzzle feeders, bones, rawhides, and Kong toys are good choices. They give your husky something to do when you can’t be nearby.
Other toys are perfect for you and your husky to enjoy together. These include tug ropes, Frisbees, and items your pooch can fetch.
Keep in mind that no toy is a substitute for exercise and quality time with you. However, when your husky’s needs are met, these toys can help fill in the gaps.
Doggy daycare allows you to drop your husky off at a daycare facility, and pick them up later that day. Your pooch will be provided with food, plenty of exercise, and time to play with other dogs.
Doggy daycare is great for huskies because they are energetic and highly social. Rather than attempting to meet all the needs of your husky yourself, doggy daycare allows them to socialize and exercise with other dogs and humans.
If you plan to live with a husky in an apartment, doggy daycare is almost a necessity, particularly if you have a busy schedule, or are away from home for long hours.
Dog sitters are an alternative to doggy daycare. Rather than dropping your pooch off at a daycare, a dog sitter will typically come to your home.
This allows your pooch to get all the one-on-one time they need. It’s a good choice if your husky is prone to anxiety in new areas, or isn’t particularly social with other dogs.
The final option for keeping your husky sane throughout the day is dog walking. Dog walking is less expensive than doggy daycare or dog sitters.
Your dog walker will typically come by at the same time each day, grab your pooch, and take them for a walk. This allows them to get some exercise, potty, and have a little socialization.
Turn on the TV
You may be surprised to learn that TV can actually provide a good source of entertainment and mental stimulation for your husky.
When your husky is home alone, this can help prevent boredom and separation anxiety.
Dogs love watching other dogs, and other animals, particularly smaller animals that they view as prey.
Shows designed specifically for dogs typically have calming music as well. This can help your husky relax, and keep them from eating your shoes.
Like toys, TV is a supplement to meeting their needs. You can’t expect a doggy TV show to satisfy your husky’s need for a daily walk, for example.
Food And Water
Of course, your husky also needs food and water each day. If you are gone for several hours at a time, you should leave water out for your fur baby.
When it comes to food, huskies should eat two times a day as adults. Feeding them in the morning and evening generally works well.
However, you’ll also need to consider potty breaks. An adult husky can hold urine for 8 hours. If you plan to be away for longer than 8 hours, you’ll need to consider a doggy daycare, a dog sitter, or a dog walker.
Summing It Up
Now you know the good and bad of a husky living in an apartment. If you are considering getting a husky and you live in an apartment, be sure you have a plan in place to meet all their needs, before you bring them home.
Be honest with yourself, for the sake of your sanity and the potential pooch’s well-being. Not everyone is cut out to be a husky owner, and, like any relationship, the reality is often quite different from your expectations.