How To Take Care Of A Husky (15 Things To Consider)

If you want to learn how to take care of a husky, you’ve come to the right place.

So many things are involved in taking care of a husky, from exercising them enough to learning how they interact with other dogs and people.

The checklist below covers 15 key points you need to consider for properly caring for a husky.

A checklist of 15 things that relate to taking care of a husky

Are Huskies Easy To Take Care Of?

Huskies are super hard to take care of for many reasons, but mainly due to how much exercise they need (at least 2 hours per day when mature) and how difficult they can be to train.

They have a typical Spitz-type personality, which makes them difficult to work with, and it also means they are prone to not listening to their owners.

You can learn more about why huskies are hard to take care of in our guide here, but this article will focus on learning how to take care of a husky properly, so let’s get into the things you need to consider.

15 Requirements For Taking Care Of A Husky

A lot goes into caring for a husky properly, and I’ve included just about everything you need to consider in the 15 points below.

1. Diet

Diet is crucial for a happy and healthy husky.

An ideal diet should be 90% high-quality dog food and 10% snacks (on days you give them snacks).

The food should contain lots of high-quality protein, as well as good fatty acids and plenty of vitamins and minerals. Avoid foods that contain filler ingredients like soy or corn.

According to the Association of America Feed Control, food for growth and reproduction should contain at least 22% protein for growth, and mature food should contain 18%. The figures for fat are 8% and 5% respectively.

You can choose to feed them raw, but it’s hard to meet all of their nutritional requirements, and you should work with a veterinarian if you decide to go down this path.

2. Exercise

Exercise is another critical component of taking care of a husky.

Huskies are designed to carry light loads over extremely long distances, so it shouldn’t be surprising that adult huskies need at least 2 hours of intense exercise daily.

A close up of a husky with pointed ears with a faded background

Huskies love to run, go for hikes, and spend time outside, so you need an active lifestyle to ensure you can take proper care of them.

3. Grooming

Huskies have a thick double coat, which means their coat is split up into two layers:

  • The first layer is a dense, short, wooly undercoat that provides insulation both in the hot and cold.
  • The second layer is a long guard coat that protects the undercoat from moisture, dirt, and debris.

This means grooming is extremely important to keeping your husky happy. Otherwise, their coat can quickly become matted and cause them problems.

A quick daily grooming session is non-negotiable, and a few times per week, you will have to groom the coat properly. You can find details of the whole process and recommended tools in our guide here.

In terms of bathing, they should only be bathed once every three or four months as needed. Excessive bathing is actually harmful to the natural function of their double coat, so should be avoided.

You should also trim their nails if they grow too long. If your husky exercises often on hard surfaces, you’ll find that you don’t need to clip them as often as huskies who exercise on soft surfaces regularly.

4. Mental Stimulation

As well as exercise, huskies also need lots of mental stimulation.

This is because huskies are much more intelligent than people credit them. They don’t perform well on standardized obedience tests, but this is mainly because they don’t like to listen to anybody!

Exercise makes up a good percentage of this, but it’s also helpful to give them puzzle toys or play games with them as well.

Obedience training, while very difficult to do with huskies, should also be part of your routine.

Our guide on husky mental stimulation is a good starting point, as it lists 13 proven ways to give your pup more mental stimulation.

5. Socialization

Huskies are a social breed by nature, and socialization has a lot of benefits for them and should be done from a young age.

Not only will your husky enjoy spending time with other people and dogs, but it will also get them used to it.

6. Understand Their Unique Personalities

Understanding their unique personalities is a big part of learning how to care for a husky.

Huskies are prone to being very stubborn and independent; they love to socialize but often enjoy times alone.

They are so unlike most other dog breeds that it can be challenging for people who don’t have experience with Spitz-type dogs. Don’t expect them to listen to you at the best of times, and that’s a good starting point!

7. Address Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is a condition where dogs become anxious and may develop destructive behaviors if left alone for long periods.

As a breed, huskies are prone to this, so addressing it before it worsens is essential.

A person holding a husky wearing a black collar

You can help your husky deal with this condition by giving them toys for distraction, practicing smaller periods where they are left alone, and ensuring they have been exercised and mentally stimulated before you go.

Our husky separation anxiety guide has many more tips, so you can learn more there.

8. Be Aware Of Their Prey Drive

Every husky owner should know about their prey drive. It’s absolutely crucial, not just for the safety of the husky but also for other dogs.

Huskies have a naturally high prey drive, and there isn’t much you can do about it. This means they are prone to chasing after small animals like cats or small breeds of dogs and other animals.

This has quite a few impacts on taking care of a husky in daily life:

  • Huskies can be kept with cats or small dogs, but it’s important that they are raised together from a young age and the necessary steps are taken to ensure there aren’t any problems.
  • Huskies should be kept on a leash while exercising in unsecured places. If they spot an animal and decide to chase it, there is almost no chance of recall.

Our guide to husky prey drive covers everything you need to know about this topic.

9. Huskies And Kids/Babies

Huskies are great with small kids and babies, but it’s important to supervise them at all times because they can sometimes forget their size and accidentally knock into them when they want to play.

10. Be Aware Of Common Medical Issues

Huskies are generally very healthy, living 12 to 15 years on average, which is impressive for their size.

There are some health issues that they are more likely to develop than others, including hip-related problems like hip dysplasia, eye problems like cataracts, and other problems like hypothyroidism.

Many of these can be screened for at a young age, but it’s important to be aware of these problems and the common symptoms to get a head start on treatment before any condition worsens.

11. Be Aware Of Their Escaping Tendencies

Huskies are known as escape artists for a reason, and all owners must know about this.

Huskies will try to escape from anywhere they can if given the opportunity. Sometimes, this can be simply because they can, and other times it can be because they can smell a nearby female in heat or if they have spotted an animal somewhere.

A husky on a leash in a field

The impact is that you’ll need a secure yard, with a fence high enough so they can’t jump over it and fit into the ground properly, so they can’t dig underneath either.

12. Keep Temperature In Mind

This one should be obvious – huskies are not well-suited to hot climates.

They can and do live in places like Florida or Texas, but knowing how to keep them happy when the weather gets hot is very important.

When the temperature exceeds 70 degrees, it’s time to start taking measures to keep them comfortable.

Huskies love the cold and are much better suited for colder climates because of their thick coats and origin.

13. Be Wary Of Other Dogs

As a husky owner, you need to be aware of other dogs and how they might interact with a breed like the husky that is very friendly and wants to play all the time.

Huskies can run up to other dogs and play a bit rough without realizing it, but it’s just because they are very friendly and energetic.

This can be problematic for other dogs who may react defensively, so always check with other owners before you let your husky run up to their dogs and play.

14. Consider Insurance

As I mentioned before, huskies are a very healthy breed, and thanks to collective breeding efforts, they are less prone to common health issues like hip dysplasia than they were years ago.

Health insurance is still something to consider when thinking about taking care of a husky. Insurance can give you peace of mind that if anything happens to your husky, you are covered and able to pay for any treatment they might need.

I recommend consulting with your veterinarian, who can go through the options to find the best choice for your husky, depending on any preexisting conditions they might have.

15. Health Testing

Health testing is an important part of taking care of a husky, and any reputable breeder should already be doing health testing before you purchase a puppy.

The two main health tests are eye and hip evaluations, which screen for the likelihood of issues like cataracts and hip dysplasia.

We cover this in more detail in our guide to choosing a husky breeder, which is worth the read as this is the starting point of husky care.

In Summary

So that’s it!

Hopefully, this guide has opened your eyes to everything involved with properly caring for a husky.

As responsible owners, it’s important to read through each point to ensure you are meeting your pup’s needs. Caring for your husky correctly will keep them happier and healthier for a long time.

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About The Author

Caitlin is the owner and lead writer for The Malamute Mom. She has over 10 years of experience with Alaskan Malamutes and Huskies. She is currently working on getting her PhD in materials science but continues to write for The Malamute Mom in her spare time.

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