What Should I Feed My Siberian Husky?

Source: Dale Leschnitzer, CC BY, via Flicker
Siberian Husky dogs are very high energy dogs.  At the same time, they are also a breed that doesn't require (or want) the amount of dog food that other dog breeds eat.  This can present a bit of a dilemma to the new Sibe owner.  How do I feed my dog what they need when I don't think they are eating enough dog food?

The Siberian Husky Diet

When you go to purchase dog food, read the ingredient label.  Animal protein will always be the first ingredient in a quality dog food.  Since quantity is not an option with the Siberian Husky, we have to go for quality.

High energy dog breeds need a better quality of food in order to maintain their weight.  It takes a lot of calories to pull sleds over long distances and that trait is burned into the Husky's DNA.  We can take them out of the frozen tundra but we can't take the frozen tundra out of them.

I feed Sophie Nutro Max Chicken Meal and Rice.  This particular dog food provides her with 24% protein, 14% crude fat, 4% crude fiber along with vitamins and minerals that help keep her healthy.  Along with treats of boiled eggs and cooked meat pieces, she actually eats enough to maintain her weight and stay healthy.

There are other dog foods on the market that will keep your Sibe healthy and help maintain their weight but I have stuck with Nutro because it was what she was being fed by the rescue organization, they recommended it and it works.

Right now you can also get a $3.00 off coupon on the Nutro website.

The company's breakdown of Nutro Max Chicken Meal and Rice can be seen here.

What to do if Your Siberian Husky is Underweight

Sometimes getting a Sibe to gain weight seems to be a never ending battle.  Sophie was severely underweight when I adopted her in 2005.  She weighed 29 pounds when a female Husky of her size should weigh between 45 and 50 pounds.

A lot of these dogs do seem to be underweight when they are younger adults.  It's really hard to see it because of their thick coats which makes weight management tricky.  Every Siberian Husky owner should periodically check their Husky's weight by feeling the dog's ribs.  You should be able to detect where the ribs are by running your hand along the dog's rib cage but if you can feel the outline of the ribs and the spine easily, your Husky is more than likely underweight.

Feeding a high quality dog food is the first step to getting your Sibe up to normal weight.  If they are persistent on refusing to eat dry food, try mixing in a bit of canned dog food to raise the temptation level and the "smell good" factor for the dog.  Be careful with canned dog foods and only feed a high quality canned food.

Treats are an especially good idea for underweight dogs but be leery of low quality treats that are mainly fillers and corn.  Good things to use for treats for your underweight Siberian Husky are:
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Cooked pieces of chicken
  • Raw baby carrots or carrot pieces
These treats are great for training too!  The majority of dogs out there are very food motivated and they will choose the real thing over some processed square piece of who knows what anytime.

How Often Should I Feed My Siberian Husky?

If it is at all possible, leave the food bowl down and keep it filled all of the time.  These dogs are generally what I call "grazers."  They will take a few bites of food at different times of the day.

Unfortunately because of small children and other pets, this may not be a possibility for your Sibe.  When you can't allow them to graze, break up their feedings into two or even three times per day.  This helps the dog have a source of calories to burn over the course of the day instead of their bodies switching over to any fat stored in their bodies, causing them to lose weight.

Be sure to join us on our new Facebook page,  All Things Siberian Husky, to ask questions and see videos, photos and more information about the Siberian Husky dog breed.

https://www.facebook.com/allthingshusky

33 comments:

  1. i feed boiled chicken foot.but she ate small amout. i worry my pet. So should i feed boiled egg to my husky.

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  2. Cooked eggs are actualy vey good for Huskies. I make them for Sophie all yhe time & she really likes them!

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    1. No animal products are good for people or dogs. Raw is the way to go.
      my husky is 2 and large. I am 30 but look 22. Ha. Suckas

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  3. Should I give him only the white part or the whole stuff?

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  4. I give Sophie the whole egg, white and yellow. I do peel them after they are boiled but I'm not convinced that you would HAVE to do that. Some dogs actually like egg shells and egg shells are high in calcium.

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  5. hi i am new to owning a husky i have bought mine off a person on facebook who could not handle him so i have steped up to do it can anyone give me a list on a diet plan for him he is under weight and his coat is not really how it should be i asked the vet for help but they just seid giv him dog buscuits an they are running rite through him i am tryin to read up on everything about him but am only finding bits an bats i could really use use good info so i can take care of him the way he really needs to be

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    1. Had same problem, start on boiled chicken and rice, then very slow after 4 days wean onto biscuits. This was my vets advice, and worked.

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    2. Hi david if your still having trouble with your pup start it off with puppy food since its easier on there stomach faster to digest give it fruit watermelon oranges etc no grapes lots of water after it starts to pick up food more add rice chicken and some meat to its diet not too often because then you will struggle to feed it with out human food that should bring your dog back up to weight

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  6. Hi David,

    Sorry it has taken me a couple of days to respond.

    Sophie was WAY underweight when I adopted her years ago. Approximately 25 pounds underweight. In my experience with her, putting weight onto a husky takes time.

    Dog biscuits are NOT going to help you put weight on your husky. Since huskies are a high energy breed, the first thing you need to do is provide your husky with a high protein diet. When you choose the food for the dog, read the ingredient label and if meat (chicken, turkey, beef, lamb) isn't the first ingredient, don't buy that dog food. High protein dog food is more expensive than something like dog chow but it is better for the dog.

    Once you select a dog food (I actually recommend NUTRO for High Energy Dogs because that's what I feed Sophie and it works) don't change it. Especially if you are dealing with an underweight dog.

    For snacks and treats, try feeding either whole, peeled boiled eggs or cooked meats like chicken. Don't use processed meats like hot dogs or bologna because of the additives. A lot of processed meats have garlic and other things that just aren't good for dogs.

    Sophie's coat was thin and straggly when she was underweight but after a few months of feeding her Nutro and cooked meats, it thickened up and looked a LOT better. Hopefully you will get the same results!

    I'm not a vet, just basing what I am telling you on my experience as a husky owner.

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  7. I think going to veterinary would be great idea.

    click here

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    1. Yes, the vet is always a good thing. Also, for the digestion, some pumpkin, (canned, but NOT the pie filling!) is very helpful. A tablespoon mixed into his food twice a day will help settle his stomach and help with the other digestive problems.

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  8. hi guys im from sri lanka.. I recently adopted a Husky-male 07 months and he seems underweight the vet told me he has rickets and hasn't been given enough calcium and vitamins he also doesn't eat much. pls help me out i wanna know how to make a cooked meal for my husky because the dog food brand here are very little.

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    1. and hey is rickets in dogs reversible? he seems alrght but his hind legs are a bit longer than the front..

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    2. Sorry it has taken me a while to respond...

      I don't know if rickets is reversible in dogs, you would want to consult a veterinarian about that.

      Siberian Huskies need a high protein diet because they are a high energy breed. They also have a tendency not to eat as much as other breeds which makes their diet extremely important for health.

      One of the things that you could do to coax the dog to ear more is use a beef or chicken broth in their dog food. Just make sure the broth doesn't contain any garlic or other spices just to be on the safe side.

      You could also feed the dog cooked meats that are available in your country. Here in the United States it is chicken, beef, pork and venison. Cooked eggs are also another option. You can mix the meat with cooked rice, beans or pasta. No seasoning is needed and it is actually better for the dog if you leave out any salt and feed it to him in the natural state.

      Hopefully that helped but if you have any other questions, please post them and I'm sure someone will be able to answer or at least point you in the right direction.

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  9. Hi i.dont know if you will see this but i am having problems with my female husky i.got her 6 months ago i was feeding her pedigree she started loosing weight so i wormed her she started gaining the weight again just not a lot that i would expect from her i tried a raw diet but that did not help i put her on dylan dog meat and pedigree buiscuts but it made matters worse i have wormed her today as its been three months since her last lot i have also put her bk onto pedigree but this time with added rice and pasta she is eating 5 times a day and just wolfing it down all the time she gets whatever we leave aswell as my kids love feeding her their left overs i feel as though i am going wrong somewhere as i can feel her ribs and outline of them and her spine n hips i want something that is going to put the weight on her fast really as winter is coming in fast really but i dont want to upset her tummy as i knw huskys have sensetive tummys i am from the uk and advice will ne muchly appreciated she does not like cooked chicken it makes her sick please help xxx

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    1. Pedigree and beneful and all of that type of food that is inexpensive is actually not good for dogs. i work at a petsmart and i have a husky and give him blue wilderness because of his high energy. dogs are like children, all kids like candy and prefer like cocoa puffs over cherios but its our jobs as owners and parents to give them healthy food. so i would recommend blue buffalo first even though it is very pricey. any food that is higher in protein is ideal since if it werent for people, huskies are used to hunting on their own. agian, look at the ingredients and find somethiong high in protein bc huskies have a higher metabolism than most dogs.

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  10. I have recently moved jobs from US to India about 10 days back and my 4 year old husky has accompanying me in this venture. I fed him taste of the wild dry dog food while in the US. However, she has stopped eating this brand since the move here. Now, in order to feed her I mix the 'taste of the wild dry food' with eggs or lamb. She seems to like the mix and eats one bowl full per day. However, she still seems to be losing weight. In this respect, I have these three quick questions

    1) what can I do to help her adjust to the new surroundings.
    2) What signs of stress of anxiety should I look out for in her in order to effectively deal with them so as to ensure her comfortable adjustment.
    3) What can I do about the weight loss and what quantity and kind / content of food should be
    fed to her.

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  11. Hello Di,

    Please remember that I'm not a veterinarian. I will try to answer your questions based on my experience with my Siberian Husky, Sophie.

    It is possible that the dog food in the United States is not manufactured the same as the dog food in India even though they are the same brand. I am not 100% sure of this though so I messaged them through their Facebook page to try and find out and will let you know as soon as I receive an answer from them. If she is smelling something different in the food, she may not like it anymore or, she could very well be stressed from the move and that is causing the problem.

    A major move like that can be stressful to any breed of dog. One of the first things that I suggest is making sure the dog's routine remains as close as possible to the way it was before the move. The time difference will be a big shock to the dog's system. Sophie has trouble adjusting to a one hour time difference here twice a year so I can't imagine what it would be like crossing that many time zones. It is kind of like jet lag in a person. The dog's internal clock knows that she should be sleeping right now but it isn't time to go to bed. The time difference adjustment will take time and she will eventually reset her internal clock. How long it takes would just be up to the dog.

    Another thing that you can do is make sure she has access to all of her old toys, blankets, anything that belonged to her that smells like her, especially her old food and water bowls. Keeping things as familiar as possible will be a big help with the adjustment.

    One of the big signs of stress in a Sibe is loose stools. Sophie goes through this twice a year when our state changes time by an hour. The dog may pace, pant or become destructive with some things inside the house. Sibes are notorious for even being able to destroy couches when they are stressed. Hopefully she is used to being in a crate when you are not home so destruction of your property doesn't become an issue.

    These dogs are known for odd eating habits. The weight loss very well could be due to stress. The lamb and eggs mixed in with her food is a fantastic idea and if it is prompting her to eat, I would say keep that up. Please don't try to supplement with dog treats because the majority of commercial dog treats are like potato chips to humans, they are junk food with no real nutritional value. If the weight loss starts to become an issue, you can give her "treats" consisting of single boiled eggs or a piece of cooked meat. You could help take her mind off of the move by giving her treats for doing her "sit, lay down, shake" commands for you. This will also give you some extra time with her which could help with the stress.

    I can't stress this part enough, if the weight loss gets to the point where it can damage her health, she will need to be seen by a veterinarian.

    Hopefully this helps! If you have any other questions, please let me know.

    Thanks and good luck!

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  12. Replies
    1. Hello Sudeep Chinnu,

      I wouldn't feed ice cream on a regular basis but I do share the occasional ice cream with Sophie but she gets VERY little. I'm always afraid that the dairy and sugar will make her sick. So far so good, she hasn't gotten sick from it.

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  13. Haloo..please help me..

    I live in tropical county Indonesia and this is my first husky is 5 months old. What should be ideal weight for 5mo husky? I mean to indicate that he not underweight. I do can feel the ribs,if i purpously press to feel it, but he doesnt look skinny and he has a good thick coat. I feed him origen but just this week i gave up coz its so exp :) so i switch to eukanuba, the thing is different brand give different serving amount, and please corect me if i am wrong, the cheaper DF serving suggestion are more than the exp ones. So actually how much i should my husky? Usually i feed him twice a day and he finish his food in 4 second, he not wven chew it! Is it ok like eat like that?

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  14. We had two Siberians who both lived to be 15 years old. We always kept them lean and fed them high-quality food and they were very healthy dogs. We just adopted a 2 year old Siberian who is quite overweight. I think she was overfed by her previous owners (who knows what she got for exercise), and was overfed at the animal shelter we adopted her from (when we adopted her, the volunteer said she saw one of the other volunteers give her four cups of food for lunch...). I've got her on a diet (Taste of the Wild salmon kibble, about 2 cups a day--she seems to have plenty of energy) and about 45 minutes of brisk walking per day. My question is--How long will it take her to lose the excess weight? Do Siberians shed pounds quickly or do is take a while? Never had a chubby dog before!

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  15. My Husky is only 9 weeks old, I made the mistake of not knowing what food she had been eating before bringing her home. My chihuahuas eat Beneful (I'll be changing their food as well. ) so when I brought skyler home she ate their food and ever since she has had diarrhea for almost two weeks. She doesn't have parvo, she has her first shots, so I'm assuming it's because of the food, so can I give her the food you are recommending even though she is a 9 week old puppy?

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    1. Hi, we had a 9 week old puppy with very bad diarrhea too, and the only thing that resolved that was time and patience, with a little common sense! We started feeding her just plain boiled chicken and white rice. Then after a week we introduced (SLOWLY) a bit of kibble - we use Canagan: www.canagan.co.uk : do not know if there are european/us dealers etc. We feed the Salmon variety: www.canagan.co.uk/salmon.html : and all three love it! It has lots of very good vitamins and minerals, and a very high (by shop standards) protein content. After two weeks, she was completely on kibble. Now she is well within her weight limit and very happy, and very energetic!

      One note: we do feed them all RAW chicken wings and breast meat as a treat (most days).

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    2. NOTE: Just pointed out to me that two of our dogs had the same condition, and one was sorted through chicken and rice, and the other was ONLY sorted through chicken and OATS - the rolled kind, not the instant 'just add boiling water type'.

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  16. Eggs,carrots and potatoes are good for your dog.

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  17. I feed my husky chicken liver, rice, fresh egg and ground beef.

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  18. Hi!
    I just got a husky he is 8 weeks old I fed him puppy chow but he doesn't eat it a lot so since he is still a baby I decided to give him some milk which he loved a lot also hit fur looks weird it looks like it's been cut of or some like that I still have to take him to the vet though but I would like for some advice

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  19. Hello sibe page I have owned my female husky a little over 1 year we what best suits a husky with food its tricky we had to try many big brand names purina1 blue buffalo science diet at about 6 months we found nutro natural chicken brown rice and oatmeal it help our girl to gain energy 9lay like a champ and her coat is beautiful I would recommend this food to anybody andveverybody we feed this in the morning and raw at night.keeping a husky happy and heathy is relatively easy just remember your sibe will eatbaccording to how much they get to excersise ours knows on hot days over 85○ she eats less but on days we go on hikes and runs she eats alot last thing huskies stomach s are really sensitve if you feed something in your sibe gets the runs its prolly not good for your husky

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  20. Biggest problem is when changing food you have to mix half old food with half new food then gradually wean them to all new food over a period of 10 days or there tummiescwill hurt real bad .on the othervhand why do people buy such great dogs I researched siberian huskies for 2.5 yearw before getting 1 there so much differnt then other dogs why would you buy a husky if you cant afford to raise it right thats like buying a airplain but dont know how to fly it please people reseach before you buy a husky

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