We all know by now that Huskies are a highly energetic breed that can seemingly keep going for hours and hours. Maintaining this high energy level requires a balanced diet that’s packed full of nutrients.
As a new Husky owner, getting their diet right can be tricky. We’re here to help you out with our guide on what Huskies need to eat, and how you can find a diet that works for you both. We’ve also included a handy guide on what ingredients a Husky can safely eat, as well as the ingredients that should be avoided at all times.
So, what do Huskies eat? Keep reading to find out!
WHAT DO HUSKIES EAT IN A TYPICAL DAY?
With so much conflicting information available surrounding different diets for Huskies, it can be difficult to know what’s actually the best. We’ve broken down the two most popular Husky diets to help you decide which suits your Husky’s needs.
Commercial Food Diet
Most Huskies eat a commercial food diet that consists of dry or wet food made specifically for dogs. The commercial food diet is the most convenient for Husky owners as no preparation is required – it can be put straight from packaging to the food bowl!
It is commonly thought that the commercial food diet is the worst option for Huskies, but this is not necessarily true. Huskies are a high energy breed and they rely on their food to provide the nutrients they need to keep going.
Some lower quality dog foods are made with lots of filler ingredients that have no nutritional benefit, meaning a Husky will not get the nutrients they need to stay healthy. Don’t worry though, there are lots of readily available dog food brands that are designed with a dog’s health in mind.
Huskies can live long and healthy lives on a commercial diet, as long as the food is made with good quality ingredients and has the nutrients they need. Here are a couple of things to look out for when choosing food for your Husky:
- The first ingredient should be a protein – Protein is essential to support a Husky’s muscle tone, and the first ingredient (the bulk of the food) should be a protein such as a specified meat.
- Look for specific proteins rather than generic – Higher quality foods will list exactly what is in them. Look for ingredients such as ‘deboned chicken’ and ‘chicken meal’ rather than ‘meat protein’.
- Avoid foods that have fillers in the first three ingredients – Filler ingredients, such as soy and corn, are safe for a Husky to consume but they have very little nutritional benefit. Higher quality foods will not have filler ingredients listed in the first three ingredients which make up the bulk of the food.
- Look for foods that have added vitamins – Some food brands add extra vitamins to their foods to help specific groups of dogs. Huskies can benefit from foods that have vitamins added to support joint and gut health.
Manufacturers of higher quality dog foods will often also make grain-free alternatives that are ideal for Huskies with sensitive stomachs.
Our personal favourite dog food brand for Huskies is Orijen. Orijen’s premium quality dry food is made with 85% animal ingredients and has been purposefully created with active dogs in mind. You can shop Orijen’s dog food range by clicking here.
Raw Food Diet
The raw food diet is exactly what it sounds like – it is a diet that consists of only raw ingredients. Feeding a Husky a raw diet involves preparing their meals for them. Common ingredients include various cuts of raw meat, vegetables, fruits, eggs, and added vitamin supplements.
It has become popular amongst Husky owners as many believe that it offers more nutritional benefits than a commercial food diet. Whilst this isn’t necessarily true (nutrients are still nutrients, regardless of where they come from) there is nothing necessarily wrong with the diet as long as it is done right.
Although many owners switch their Huskies to a raw diet to try and improve their health, they can end up doing more harm than good. This is because it is very hard to create consistent and nutritionally balanced meals.
Remember that a Husky can’t tell you if they are feeling unwell, so you will need to look for other signs that their diet is not supporting them. These may include changes in their coat, loose stools, and being moodier than usual.
The benefit of feeding a Husky a commercial diet is that each meal is designed with the perfect amount of nutrients needed to sustain them. Unless you are a pet nutritionist, recreating this balance will be very difficult in a raw diet and you are likely to need to feed your Husky additional vitamins.
If you would like to try the raw diet with your Husky, we strongly advise that you consult a pet nutritionist to create a plan that supports your Husky and works for your lifestyle and budget.
WHAT FOODS CAN HUSKIES EAT?
Now that we’re more familiar with the diet a Husky should be fed to sustain them, let’s have a look at what specific ingredients a Husky can safely eat. The ingredients listed below are what we are most commonly asked about, and are all safe for a Husky to eat in moderation.
- RICE – Huskies can eat brown and white rice, and it is often included in commercial diets. Brown rice is preferable as it has a higher protein content.
- RAW MEAT – Huskies can eat raw meat, but be aware of the risks involved with bacteria. Always buy meat that is fit for human consumption, and remove small bones to reduce the risk of choking.
- EGGS – Huskies can eggs both raw and cooked, just make sure they are not seasoned. Eggs are a tasty source of protein that most Huskies will not turn down.
- BLUEBERRIES – Blueberries are a great snack for Huskies as they contain lots of helpful vitamins and minerals. Put a couple in their food bowl with their meal or use them as a reward for good behaviour.
- BROCCOLI – Huskies can eat broccoli, both raw and steamed. Cooked broccoli is easier to digest, just make sure it has cooled down before feeding your Husky. Huskies can eat both the broccoli’s stem and the florets, but do not feed them the leaves.
- FISH – Huskies can eat fish of many varieties, both cooked and raw, just be aware of fish bones.
- APPLES – Huskies can eat apples. Apples are a great source of fibre and vitamins A and C, make sure to remove the seeds and core before feeding.
- STRAWBERRIES – Huskies can eat strawberries and will benefit from their high fibre and vitamin C content. Make sure to feed them to your Husky in moderation as strawberries contain high amounts of sugar.
WHAT FOODS ARE NOT RECOMMENDED FOR HUSKIES TO EAT?
Some ingredients are technically safe for a Husky to eat but aren’t recommended as they can cause digestive issues. If you do choose to feed your Husky any of the ingredients below, keep the amounts small and feed it to them infrequently to minimise the impact on their health.
- BACON – Whilst Huskies can technically eat bacon and be okay, it is not recommended due to the high fat and salt content. Eating too much salt can make a Husky ill so it is best to limit it where possible. There are lots of bacon-flavoured treats on the market for Huskies who love the taste.
- CHEESE – Cheese has a high lactose content, which can upset a Husky’s stomach and give them diarrhoea. A very small amount can be tolerated, but watch out for changes in their stools.
- BREAD – Bread is safe for your Husky to consume, but only in small amounts (and assuming your Husky has no allergies). Bread can make a Husky feel full very quickly, meaning they won’t eat enough of the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
WHAT FOODS SHOULD HUSKIES AVOID COMPLETELY?
Some ingredients should never be fed to a Husky. This is usually because they contain certain chemicals and toxins that can make a Husky seriously ill and potentially lead to death, even if consumed in a small amount.
If your Husky ingests any of the ingredients listed below, take them to the vets immediately.
- GRAPES/RAISINS – Huskies should never eat grapes or raisins as they are extremely toxic to dogs. Consuming even a single grape could lead to acute kidney failure in a Husky, and eventually death if left untreated for too long.
- COOKED BONES – Raw bones from the butchers can make a tasty and engaging treat for a Husky, but cooked bones should never be given. Bones become brittle once they are cooked, and can splinter very easily. If these sharp splinters are ingested, they can cause gut perforation which may lead to death.
- ALCOHOL – You should never allow your Husky to have alcohol. Consuming a small amount of alcohol can lead to alcohol poisoning.
- ONIONS/GARLIC – Huskies should not eat onions or garlic as they are both toxic to dogs. This includes all parts of the onion or garlic (the leaves, flesh, skin, and juice). The chemicals found in onions and garlic can cause haemolytic anaemia in dogs.
- CHOCOLATE – Most people already know this, but you should never feed your Husky chocolate. Chocolate contains chemicals that are toxic to dogs and can result in serious illness.
- AVOCADO – Avocados have become a trendy snack but make sure to keep them away from your Husky. They contain a chemical known as ‘persin’ which can cause vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs.
- MACADAMIA NUTS – If you’re a fan of macadamia nuts, make sure to keep them stored well out of reach of your Husky. They contain a toxin that affects a dog’s nervous system and muscles, resulting in swollen limbs and lethargy.
Huskies can live long and healthy lives on both commercial and raw diets, as long as they are being fed the nutrients they need to sustain them. Remember to avoid feeding them certain ingredients to prevent them from becoming seriously ill or experiencing digestive issues.
If you are concerned that your Husky is not responding well to their current diet, please consult a vet. They will be able to determine if your Husky is deficient in any essential nutrients, or if they have a food-related allergy.