When your dog stops eating, your immediate response is likely to panic. Our dogs are our babies, and of course, we want them to stay healthy. However, when a dog stops eating, there isn’t usually much reason for concern. Of course, this depends on many factors and the duration of your husky’s hunger strike.
The main reasons your husky has stopped eating is because:
- They aren’t active enough
- Their food has inadequate nutrients
- They’re anxious
- They’re bored with their food
- They have a tooth or stomach ache
- They just got vaccinated
- Something is going on with their health.
In this article, you’ll discover the main reasons why huskies stop eating and how you can address them.
Huskies Can Be Finicky Eaters
As with other intelligent dog breeds, huskies can be finicky with their food. Unlike labs and other highly food motivated dogs, huskies are more selective and less interested.
This is primarily due to their history. Histories were bred to help the Chukchi people move and hunt. The husky breed adapted to survive on less food because they needed to be on expeditions for several days with limited resources. Nowadays, you get a dog that can pull more energy out of less food.
This adaptation has also turned into a lesser desire for food. Not only do they not need as much, but they don’t desire it as much. Of course, this isn’t true for all huskies, but it is true for most. Huskies tend to eat only as much as they need. In addition, they will only eat what they like.
Should I Be Worried that My Husky Isn’t Eating?
Today, many people’s dogs are like family. This turns into higher anxiety over our dog’s wellbeing. However, you shouldn’t be immediately concerned. If it’s only been 24 hours and your husky hasn’t eaten their food, there are so many possibilities of what could be going on.
If this disinclination to eat lingers for more than a couple of days, then you should start to become concerned. Of course, there are still several reasons for your dog to stop eating, but the longer it goes on, the more serious the issue may be.
Regardless, it’s important to remember that most cases are minor issues. It’s natural to think of the worst possibility, and that only exhibits that you care for your pup.
If you are worried that your husky has stopped eating, start to track their behavior day by day. Although this may seem cumbersome, it may be what leads you to the root cause of the issue. Don’t only track their eating habits, but start taking notes on their poop, activity level, and demeanor each day.
8 Top Reasons Your Husky Isn’t Eating
1. They Aren’t Active
If you read your bag of dog food for how much you feed your husky, you better be exercising them the standard amount as well. If not, it’s likely that your husky won’t finish all of their food. Huskies are designed to have high metabolisms and to pull more energy from the food they eat. Therefore, if your husky is lying around the house all day, they won’t need as much food.
On average, huskies need 2 hours of intense exercise per day. So, if your husky is getting less than this, you may want to make sure you are feeding them less.
2. Their food has Insufficient Nutrients
Imagine you only ate white rice for a while. Not only would you get tired of rice, but your body might start to suffer as well. Dogs, and especially huskies, are sensitive to inappropriate or insufficient amounts of nutrition.
If they are eating an incorrect amount of nutrients, they may have a desire to stop eating. Making sure they have adequate amounts of protein, carbs, and fats will ensure that not only that they are eating, but also that they are healthy.
3. Your Husky is Anxious
Huskies are very intelligent breeds. With higher intelligence comes a higher chance of anxiety. There are many reasons your husky may be anxious. While some are short-term and have easy fixes, others are long-term and may take more serious consideration. All may affect their appetite.
Here are the main reasons your husky may be anxious:
- You’ve moved. Huskies are creatures of habit and a change in environment is a huge change for them.
- The family dynamic has changed. Whether you’ve just adopted them, you’ve added a member to the family, or you’ve even lost a member of the family, this change will effect your husky.
- Separation. Many breeds, including huskies, are prone to separation anxiety. It’s commonly thought that huskies shouldn’t spend more than 4 hours alone at a time.
- Insufficient exercise. A husky is designed to traverse over long distances and make decisions while they do it. They need an outlet for both their physical and mental energy.
4. Your Husky is Bored with their Food
I can’t imagine eating the same thing every day. Your husky may not be eating as much simply because they don’t like their food anymore.
Luckily, this isn’t an uncommon issue, and it’s easy to fix. Simply try adding safe, fun additions to their food. Things like blueberries, chicken, broth, broccoli, carrots, and cheese add variety and nutrients to their food.
5. They Have a Toothache
Most dogs have crunchy kibble as their primary source of food. This is fine for the most part, but it may pose a problem if your dog has a cavity or rotting tooth.
Dental issues are more common as dog’s age. The most common problems are cavities, gingivitis, and tooth rot. However, young dogs are not invincible to tooth problems. Especially if they like to chew on rough surfaces, huskies can break their teeth. Husky puppies will also experience teething which may lower their appetite due to having sore gums.
If your husky does run into dental issues, it may stop eating. Many dental problems cause tooth sensitivity, and as a result, lower a dog’s appetite.
6. Your Husky Has a Stomach Ache
Remember the last time your stomach was upsetting you? The last thing you probably wanted to do was go out to a restaurant. Dogs get stomach issues for many reasons, and many aren’t serious. The main causes of stomach aches are:
- They ate something bad. Whether they got into something nasty in the yard or they found something in your cupboard, too much of anything can make their stomach hurt.
- They’re constipated. This can especially happen if they are inadequately exercised.
It will be pretty easy to tell if your husky isn’t eating due to a stomach issue or not. Keep reading to see how to fix this issue.
7. They Just Got Vaccinated
Dogs’ main vaccinations are DHLPP (distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvo, and parainfluenza), Rabies, & Bordetella. Most of these vaccinations are pretty similar to those humans get and can give dogs similar symptoms. If your husky just got vaccinated and isn’t eating, it’s likely because they simply feel under the weather.
8. There is a Health Issue
If none of the above seem to be accurate, your husky might have something going on. This article cannot replace veterinary advice, but the most common health issues that cause huskies to stop eating are:
- Zinc deficiency. Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes are the two breeds highest at risk for zinc deficiency. While this problem comes with multiple other symptoms, it often starts with a lack of appetite.
- Intestinal Parasites. Parasites are a tricky issue because, on the one hand, they can make your dog eat relentlessly. On the other hand, they can make your dog completely lose their appetite.
- Gastric torsion. Gastric torsion, also known as canine bloat, is a rare but life-threatening phenomenon that’s most commonly known for happening to deep-chested dog breeds. It’s when your dog’s stomach fills with gas, food, or fluid while their torso remains below their stomach. Because of this, the stomach can flip and become twisted. In addition to lack of appetite, there are other pronounced symptoms, and it should always be treated as a medical emergency.
How to Fix Your Husky Not Eating
If it’s not an emergency, it will take some trial and error to figure out why your husky is not eating.
Exercise Them More
If your husky isn’t eating the recommended amount per day, it may be due to a lack of exercise—a healthy, young husky needs 2 hours of moderately intense training per day. Try to increase your husky’s walk frequency, length, and intensity.
In addition, try adding more mental stimulation into their walks. Work on their training or go somewhere with many stimuli. This may help to both relieve their anxiety and burn through more calories, all while increasing their health.
Feed Them High-Quality Food
To remain healthy, a husky needs a high-protein, low-carb, and moderately high-fat diet. Percentages should look something like this:
- Protein percentage: >30%
- Carbohydrate percentage: <30%
- Fat percentage: ~20%
They should also receive high-quality food. If your husky’s food has too much grain or dairy, it may upset their stomach and lead to a lack of appetite. Ensure their protein is coming from a good source and their carbs come from whole foods (and NOT corn, wheat, or soy).
Reduce Their Anxiety
If your dog’s lack of appetite is coupled with pacing and panting, try to address the possibility of anxiety.
Try to stimulate their minds with interactive toys, challenge them to learn a new trick, or socialize them with other dogs.
If the anxiety stems from a significant change in the household, give lots of affection, maintain a routine, and simply wait until they feel relaxed again.
Reduce the Chances of a Health Issue
There are many ways to reduce the chance of a health issue arising.
First, to avoid gastric torsion, try to feed correctly and at the right time. Never feed less than 2 hours before exercise, and don’t feed sooner than 30 minutes after either. If your husky is taller than average, provide them with a raised bowl instead of one on the ground.
Second, add a zinc supplement to their diet to avoid zinc deficiency. While there aren’t dog-specific zinc supplements, most are safe. However, try to avoid zinc sulfate and zinc oxide. Discuss with your vet to decide the correct dosage.
There are many possible reasons that will cause a Husky to stop eating. No matter the reason, keep calm. Your husky is likely okay, but start noting their eating pattern, looping pattern, and daily demeanor to stay safe.