Siberian Husky is famous for its playful and loving nature. Although they have a large size, they do not need a heavy diet. They are working dogs, so they do need a special diet. It is essential to understand the eating habits of huskies.
Siberian Huskies are not greedy when it comes to food, but they require a very premium diet. Diet should be full of nutrients that can give energy for their active routine.
However, you must be aware of what food is good for your Siberian Huskies and what food is dangerous to them. I’ve composed a list of foods Siberian Huskies can (and can’t) eat that you need to know while preparing a diet for your Husky.
What Siberian Huskies Can Eat:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Peanut Butter
- Salmon (Boneless and not raw)
- Popcorn (Plain and air-popped popcorn only)
- Green Peas
What Siberian Huskies Can’t Eat:
- Grapes and Raisins
- Macadamia Nuts
- Fatty Meats (such as bacon)
- Raw Meats
- Raw Eggs
- Coffee and Tea
- Lemons and Limes
- Raw Yeast Dough
- Dairy Products
Foods that Siberian Huskies Can Eat But with Limit:
- Salt and Salty Food
- Sweet and Sugars
Nutritionists recommend adding fruits and plant proteins in the diet. However, you should avoid feeding foods that are toxic for Huskies digestive systems like sweets, chocolates, garlic, grapes, raw eggs, and sodas.
What Should You Feed Your Siberian Huskies?
Siberian Husky owners can choose from three different diets when feeding their dogs.
- Commercial Food Diet
- Nutritional Raw Food Diet
- Mixed Diet
This is a subject of intense controversy, and people are set in their ways about one way or the other. We are going to discuss the pro and cons of these three diets.
Commercial Food Diet
The commercial food diet consists of strictly dry or wet dog food. Most other dog breeds consume this type of diet. Some people argue that this dog food, whether wet or dry or even mix, do not provide the essential nutrients to the huskies.
Huskies are very active dogs, and their metabolism works very quickly; they consume the nutrients of food very quickly. However, dog lovers are agreed on one thing that whatever you feed your dog, should be only premium-quality dog food.
If you do not go for the premium brands, the food would not be able to give the essential nutrition to huskies. Therefore, it is necessary to know about the quality, because it is difficult for buyers to differentiate between the quality dog food and a subpar one.
Here is the list of things, you should look for when choosing dog foods for your Siberian Huskies:
- Fats: You can consider some healthy fats like chicken fat, canola oil, and flaxseed.
- Meat Proteins: Two or three meat protein food is highly recommended, and these should be listed as the first couple of ingredients.
- Plant Proteins: Feeding plant proteins along with meat protein, is also recommended. The amount of meat protein should be more; however, this is important as well.
- Other Nutrients: Omega 3 helps to keep the skin and coat healthy. Omega-3s like DHA are very helpful in developing the brain and eyes.
Commercial food diets are low carb, high calorie, gluten-free, and lactose-free. This diet is less expensive and gives long-lasting nutrition to the dog as compared to the raw food diet. It is easily available in stores and takes less effort for preparation.
Nutritional Raw Food Diet
The nutritional raw food diet is the second option for Siberian Huskies and other working dogs. It is thought to be a healthier and sustainable diet for the huskies. That is why many husky owners have switched to this raw food diet.
Many dog breeds, especially huskies, can often get bored with their food. This diet is beneficial because it provides a variety of the dog’s palette. However, the biggest cons of this diet are:
- More expensive
- Not readily available in stores
- Harder and require more efforts to prepare
There is plenty of raw food that can provide nutrition to your husky. Some of the foods which are nutritious and easy for huskies to digest include:
Chicken, beef, lamb, and other white meat are the best choices for a healthy diet of Husky. Nutritionist recommends using lean meat.
Raw or uncooked meat is toxic for the health of Husky because its digestive system is not designed to process raw meat. Dogs like Huskies require a high amount of protein for their physical activities.
Meat is full of proteins and provides the essential energy to Husky. Therefore, adding meat to other protein diets is a must. It also contains a high amount of phosphorus, which is an essential element for the strengthening of bones.
- Cauliflower: It contains vitamin C, and vitamin K. Vitamin C helps with collagen production, and vitamin K helps to protect bones. It maintains the blood pressure to an optimum level and helps to boost HDL cholesterol levels. Cauliflower is also good for the immune system of Husky; Choline is a nutrient found in cauliflower, which helps with gastrointestinal health. Sulforaphane in cauliflower has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Cabbage: Cabbage contains small amounts of micronutrients, i.e., iron, riboflavin, and vitamin A. It is rich in folate and vitamin B6, which are essential for strengthening the metabolism and functioning of the nervous system. Cabbage also contains powerful antioxidants that help in reducing inflammation.
- Carrots: The main components of the carts are water and carbs. It is a good source of fiber and can quickly raise the blood sugar level after a meal. It contains several vitamins and minerals like biotin, potassium, k1, B6, and vitamin A. It can lower cholesterol levels, which reduces heart disease and cancer.
- Broccoli: It is a rich source of multiple fibers, minerals, and vitamins. Broccoli is a healthy addition to the diet, whether raw or cooked. It contains numerous potent antioxidants that support healthy tissues and cells throughout the body of the Husky. Broccoli contains bioactive compounds that show the anti-inflammatory effect in Husky. It also lowers blood sugar and improves diabetic control.
- Brussels Sprouts: Although low in calories but very high in many nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Brussels sprouts contain antioxidants that reduce cancer growth and decrease inflammation. It is rich in fiber, which can support the digestive system and reduces the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Vitamin K is beneficial for bone metabolism and blood clotting of your Husky.
- Bell Peppers: It is made up of water and carbs. It is a decent source of fiber. Bell peppers contain many vitamins and minerals like vitamin K, vitamin B6, vitamin C, Potassium, and Folate. It can improve eye health and reduces the risk of anemia.
- Asparagus: It is a low-calorie vegetable and an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. It is a good source of antioxidants and prevents the dog from harmful free radicals and chronic diseases.
- Cantaloupe: It contains beta-carotene, vitamin C, Folate, water, fiber, and potassium. Cantaloupe is delicious, nutritious, and versatile. It helps to maintain optimum weight and makes your Husky feel fuller longer.
- Blackberries: Huskies who consume blackberries have improved cognitive and motor skills as compared to dogs that do not consume blackberries. Blackberries contain antioxidants, fibers, and Vitamin C, which is very beneficial for the health of the Husky.
- Bananas: Bananas are rich in antioxidants and nutrients. A medium-sized banana contains almost 100 calories. It moderates the blood sugar level of Husky and improves the digestive system. The resistant starch safeguards against colon cancer.
- Blueberries: It is also known as the king of antioxidant foods. It is low in calories and high in nutrients. Blueberries reduce the DNA damage of the Husky and protect against cancer and aging.
- Apples: An essential resource of antioxidants and dietary fiber. It protects the Husky from diabetes and heart disease. It is an affordable and low-calorie treat for your dog and a good source of Vitamin A and C. It also helps the Huskies to keep the teeth clean with fresh breath.
- Apricots: Apricots are very high in antioxidants and promote eye health. It keeps the Husky hydrated and protects its liver.
It is the foremost responsibility of the dog owner to make sure that his dog is getting all the different vitamins and nutrients needed. So, you have to make sure that each meal is full of vitamins, carbs, protein, and good fats. This will not only boost the immune system but also good for a healthy body.
The mixed diet contains the benefits of both commercial and nutritional raw food. Therefore, many husky owners choose to feed their dog the mixed diet.
The Husky owners should be very careful while feeding the mixed diet. Because of feeding the mixed diet, they should never feed the nutritional and commercial food in the same meal. The digestive system of huskies is very sensitive and may react badly when feeding two different types of diet in the same meal.
Each of the food types takes a different amount of time to digest, which can upset the stomach of your husky. The mixed diet should be given in portions, i.e., 2 to 3 meals a day. A balanced mixed diet will keep your dog healthy and active.
It is essential to feed all the necessary vitamins and nutrients to your Husky. It is a matter of quality over the quantity because Huskies do not eat as much as some other dogs do. So, you need to provide premium quality of food to keep them healthy and fit.
Foods to Avoid Feeding Siberian Huskies
Certain foods should be fed to dogs at all. The listing is pretty conclusive; however, if there is any confusion regarding if something should or should not be fed to the dog, always research feeding it.
You should never feed things to Siberian Huskies like:
- Sweets: Sweets contain xylitol, which can cause your dogs’ blood sugar level to drop. In some severe cases, Husky’s liver can also fail. Huskies can suffer from the harmful effects of sweets consumption: dental problems, obesity, and diabetes.
- Macadamia Nuts: The Macadamia nuts are calorie-dense, and roasting them lower their nutrients. Macadamia nuts intake can cause vomiting, weakness, fever, and depression to Huskies. Dogs are the only species that are allergic to macadamia nuts, and it is very toxic for them.
- Onion: You should never feed onion to your Husky. The ingestion of too much onion can damage the Husky’s red blood cells, which may lead to serious medical issues. A 45 pound Husky would only have to eat 100 grams to 200 grams of onion to experience some severe toxic levels.
- Garlic: Just like onions, garlic can also damage the red blood cells of the Husky. Studies have shown that 20 to 30 grams of garlic per kg of body weight can produce harmful changes in the dog’s blood. It causes anemia and gastrointestinal upset.
- Salty Foods: Too much salt can cause many problems for Husky, like dehydration. Huskies can consume large amounts of salt because salt is generally delicious to dogs. So, the best strategy is not to give them a taste for salty food at all. Salty food contains sodium that can increase the risks of high blood pressure and heart failure. Too much sodium can also affect the overall appearance of the dog.
- Avocados: It is highly recommended by nutritionists to keep your Husky away from Avocados. This fruit contains persin, which can be very harmful to your dog. Huskies are unable to digest the pit of avocados, which might cause a gastric or an intestinal blockage.
- Uncooked or Raw Meat: Raw or uncooked meat may supply too much Vitamin A, which may lead to Vitamin A toxicity. Raw meat might contain harmful bacteria that can only be killed if cooked at a safe temperature.
- Chocolates: Chocolate contains a very toxic component, “theobromine.” Humans are designed to metabolize theobromine; however, dogs, especially Huskies, cannot process it at the same rate. A large dog might consume more chocolate than a smaller one before getting ill. But chocolates at each level are the worst choice as a treat for your dog.
- Sodas: Sodas can increase the risks of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Many soft drinks contain caffeine, and Huskies are very sensitive towards caffeine. One or two licks of soda can cause poisoning in Huskies.
- Raw Eggs: Huskies owners should never feed them raw or undercooked eggs because it is a source of Salmonella.
- Cherries: Like other dogs, cherries are also toxic for Huskies. The pits, stem, and leaves of cherries contain cyanide, which is very poisonous if consumed in high quantity. Even if the dog does not eat the pit, the cherry fruit can cause gastrointestinal upset to them.
- Dairy Products: It is bad for the digestive system if used in large amounts because Husky’s stomach is not meant to process dairy. However, small amounts of dairy products are okay.
- Prunes: Dried plums are known as prunes, which is also recommended to keep away from Huskies. A single slice might not affect your dog; however, it contains a high sugar level which can shock the Husky’s digestive system. The pit of plums also contains a small amount of cyanide; however, the pits are removed before dehydration.
- Grapes and Raisins: Grapes and raisins are very toxic for Huskies. They can cause severe damage to the kidney, which may lead to kidney failure or lack of urine production. Researchers are unable to identify the toxic agent; however, it appears to be associated with the flesh of the fruit.
How Much You Should Feed Your Siberian Huskies?
Usually, the amount of food you should feed your dog depends on its size and weight rather than its breed. However, in the case of Huskies, it is a bit different. The amount of food depends on their metabolism as they are speedy.
Therefore, it is very complicated for Siberian Husky owners to decide how much to feed their dogs. The good news for these Husky owners is that there is a general rule of thumb to know how much to feed them. You should feed your adult dog almost 60 percent of what the label of the food suggests for Husky’s weight.
Huskies weigh between 35 pounds (small females) to 60 pounds (large males). It is agreed by the National Research Council of National Academies that a good weight to daily calorie ratio for an active 45-pound husky should intake almost 1358 calories daily.
The calorie intake may vary depending on things like age, activity, weight, or metabolism. Therefore, it is highly recommended to find out the exact calorie intake requirement by consulting with a vet.
My Final Thoughts
Siberian Huskies require a low amount of food, but quality should be premium. It does not matter from which diet you start. All diets are almost equally good. The most crucial factor is the consistency of the diet and strictly follow up of the diet plan.
This breed is very picky and gets quickly bored with food. Therefore, you need to add different flavored things along with the different colors of vegetables and fruits. You can add raw mince, fish, or white meat, which are rich in nutrients.
The stomach is very sensitive, and each type requires a different amount of time to digest. It can cause stomach disorder and make your dog sick. Make sure that you are not feeding the toxic food listed under the “cannot eat” section.