The Siberian Husky is very popular among pet owners. They are friendly, gentle and kind. They are great with kids and adults with an active lifestyle. However, owning one can be quite a challenge.
Are Huskies indoor or outdoor dogs? According to dogs and pets experts, Huskies can very well adapt to almost any kind of weather. So although Huskies can be both an indoor and outdoor dog, being outdoors is preferred. They can adapt well to the cold but an owner must take extra precautions if they live in a warm climate.
Huskies are very energetic and need plenty of exercise because they were originally bred to be sled dogs by the Chukchi Tribe in Russia. These dogs are used to sub-zero temperatures and can pull a sled for long distances. Their thick fur makes them perfect dogs for cold weather climates. In this article, we explore the case for Huskies being an indoor and outdoor dog in more detail. And we explain the pros and cons for each situation so you can make up your own mind.
Getting To Know The Husky
The American Kennel Club said that Siberian Huskies “do not display the possessive qualities of a guard dog, nor are they overly suspicious of strangers or aggressive with other dogs.”
Huskies have a very laid back and mellow personality – contrary to what some believed. Their wolf-like appearance does not match how even their temperament is.
The Chukchi Tribe in Russia used packs of Huskies for transportation, with most households owning a sled, just like we use a car. They are very friendly and social towards other dogs. I guess it was a byproduct of always being in a dog pack.
This breed is very enthusiastic and full of life and vigor which makes them perfect sled dogs because of their energy and stamina. These are the same reason why they are a popular breed to consider if you want a hiking companion.
Pet experts would recommend against owning a husky if you are a first-time dog owner. Their activity requirements might be too overwhelming for a first-timer. Huskies are a working dog breed so they have a large amount of energy that needs to be expelled to keep them healthy and happy.
Huskies are smart and alert. This makes them highly trainable. Dog trainers describe huskies to have somewhat of an on-off switch in their brains. They say that this breed would perform exceptionally in training class and would most likely graduate among the top. But the moment the Husky comes home, they seem to forget whatever it is they’ve learned! I have no idea if this is true or not as I am not a Husky owner but I do know the frustration of not having a dog follow your command!!!
Siberian Huskies are known to live about 12 to 14 years of age. So you have plenty of years to spend with your fur baby both indoor and outdoor.
Husky As An Outdoor Dog
Siberian Huskies can withstand cold temperatures of up to -60 °F or -51 °C (brrr!!). They are known to thrive in cold weather but indoor and outdoor time should be practiced by this breed equally.
They are perfect dogs for hiking rocky, snow-covered mountains. This dog will be a great protector and companion.
As for owners who live in warmer climates, huskies can accompany you during your trek and bike ride as long as you don’t overheat or dehydrate them.
Their considerable amount of energy gives them the advantage of keeping up with you during your hiking trips, bike rides, jog or a long leisurely walks, regardless of the climate. And if trained properly, you can go hiking off-leash with them!
If you plan to keep your Huskies outside, you might want to consider getting a doggie house to give your huskies somewhere to hole up when the weather is hot. Provide plenty of shade and water for your Husky to prevent them from overheating. You can buy a kiddie pool and fill this with water so they have somewhere they can cool off during those hot summer days.
Husky As An Indoor Dog
Yes, Huskies can be an indoor dog too, if given enough exercise and training to release their pent up energy. It can be a challenge keeping your Husky indoors but they are capable of being mellow and gentle if their needs are regularly met.
You’ll probably be looking at some cold evening or morning walks to provide them with some exercise. If you neglect to do that, you’ll find yourself dealing with a Husky that is frustrated and hard to handle. They are expert escape artists as they can dig, chew and jump their way through fences. They can become destructive if you neglect to exercise them daily.
In addition to this, if the weather is too hot, you might want your Husky indoors in an air-conditioned room to avoid them from getting dehydrated. Overheating can cause your Husky to be lethargic or lose consciousness if not cooled down properly.
Don’t Overheat Your Husky: Signs of Dehydration
Overexerting and overheating a Husky is very possible, especially in places where the weather is mostly hot. Remember that Huskies are better suited in cold weather and can withstand sub-zero temperatures.
Signs of overheating
To make sure that you have an idea of what an overexerted and overheating husky looks like, here are some signs that your Husky is overheating :
- Loud panting or breathing
- Discolored gums
Signs of Dehydration
Dehydration can be serious.
The best way to determine if your dog is dehydrated is to test their skin elasticity. Pinch the skin on the back of your dog’s neck between your thumb and forefinger. If this returns to normal right away then your dog is not dehydrated but if it doesn’t, it is a sure sign that your dog is suffering from dehydration and needs plenty more liquid than what you are normally giving.
Other signs of dehydration include:
- Dull looking coat
- Gum discoloration
- Dry nose
- Sunken eyes.
Cooling down and hydrating solutions
Give plenty of water to your dog or douse them with some tap water.
Laying a cold towel over them can also help.
Some cold treats like ice cubes or ice popsicles (for dogs) will also help them cool down. Here are some more specific ideas to cool down your Husky:
- Make up a batch of bone broth (see below), cool it and freeze it in these great dog bone-shaped ice cube trays. You can swap the broth for some other recipes I share below. I never use meat-based stock cubes with water as a frozen treat. Many stock cubes have high amounts of sodium and you don’t want to give this to your pup.
- Freeze this teething chew toy. It’s really versatile as it it floats too and can be used as a water toy for your Husky.
Never bathe your dog in icy cold water, this can have a negative effect rather than help. This may seem counter-intuitive! The cold water might cool down the dog too fast. In this situation, your dog could drive too much heat internally to compensate for the extremely cold water rather than letting the heat dissipate.
Frozen Dog Treat Recipes For Your Huskies
A good way to help your Huskies cool down is to give them frozen dog treats that you can easily make at home.
Here are a few recipes for you to try out.
Peanut Butter And Pumpkin Frozen Treat
Very easy recipe to do and the ingredients are not hard to find.
Things you need
- A large can of 100% natural pumpkin puree (29 oz)
- 1 cup of plain yogurt
- ½ cup of crunchy peanut butter. Find one that is naturally made and contains no added sugar.
- Using a whisk or spatula, mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
- Take some ice cube trays or muffin pans and pour the mixture in each mold.
- Stick it inside the freezer.
- Feed to your dogs during hot summer days.
Tip: Since this will have an ice cream texture to it, you can make a large batch, pour it in a large container, freeze it and then scoop some out when you want to feed your dogs.
Apple, Peanut Butter And Banana Frozen Treat
This recipe calls for fruits that your huskies love mixed with peanut butter.
Things you need
- 1 whole apple peeled and sliced into small chunks
- 1 ripe banana (over-ripe will work too)
- ½ cup Greek Yogurt
- ½ cup naturally made crunchy peanut butter.
- Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until mixture turns smooth and no large chunks are seen.
- Pour mixture into one big container or in individual molds (muffin pans will do).
- Freeze until completely solid.
- Scoop some out to feed to your dogs or feed one piece per dog if you used individual molds.
Frozen Broth Recipe
If you want to incorporate some protein or meat into your frozen treat, this is the perfect way to do it.
Things you need
- 1 large pack of chicken broth, beef broth or pork broth
- Leftover meat inside your fridge. Try to use chicken broth for leftover chicken meat, pork broth for leftover pork and beef broth for leftover beef. Cut it into small pieces or just put it inside a blender and blend.
- Large pot
- Place the broth and meat inside the pot and boil it for about 20-30 minutes.
- Let the liquid cool before pouring in ice cube trays.
- Stick trays in the fridge
- Feed your dogs with the frozen broth treat.
Tip: You can make your own broth if you have time. It can be made from meat, bone or a mixture of both.
Do huskies shed?
Yes, they do. Huskies have thick fur and the inner coat of this breed is shed twice a year. Once during the fall and then again during spring.
This shedding prepares the dog to deal with the warmer climate.
The inner coat will once again grow during the colder months.
Other Huskies shed only once per year (spring). But there are reports of Huskies living in tropical regions who continuously shed. Daily grooming and cleaning are needed to keep the fur from going everywhere in your home.
What makes Siberian Huskies resilient to cold?
The reason why Huskies are so resilient when it comes to the cold is their double-coat fur. Huskies have an inner coat that traps in heat during the cold winter months.
The coldest a Siberian Husky with their thick fur coat can endure is around -60 °F or -51 °C.
Their double coat is made up of a shorter, denser inner fur that helps them keep warm and a second longer, more pointy layer that serves as a guard coat.
Why do Huskies howl?
Huskies howl or “sing”, as some people may refer to it, because this is something that is wired into their genes.
They are sled dogs that are closely related to wolves. The howling is one of the traits that they got from their wild cousins.
Also, this is how they communicate in their native land with other dogs in their pack. Some huskies howl in response to a high pitched sound they hear or to convey that they are feeling sick. You can also expect your Huskies to howl if they suffer from separation anxiety.
To sum it all up, the Siberian Husky can be both indoor and outdoor dogs.
However, being a dog that was originally bred to be a working dog in the harsh and cold environment or Russia, they have specific needs that must be met. These needs include training, exercise, shelter, and toys to keep them occupied.
Huskies are very sociable and are happiest when they are with a companion dog.
They are pack creatures and therefore crave the bond of a pack.
Most pets experts would recommend this dog to owners who have a very active lifestyle. They are perfect running companions and can accompany you during hikes and treks. They have enough energy to keep up with you and they are also great protection against wild animals that might be dangerous.
Both overheating and dehydration can very well lead to your Huskies death if not treated right away. Try any of the frozen treats found in this article to help your dogs cool down during a hot summer day. Pet owners recommend having some of these treat ready after you walk your dog. It will not only cool down your Husky but the ingredients used in each recipe provide your dog with the much-needed vitamins and minerals.
After reading this article, you now have an idea of how much commitment owning a Husky would be. It would be best to assess your lifestyle, the climate and your commitment to exercise if you are to become the best Husky owner for your pup.
If you feel that a Husky is not the right breed for you but you like the wolf-look breed, read this article where I explore 10 other similar dog breeds to a Husky, but somewhat smaller in size. One thing to note is that these 10 breeds also like exercise!
Hopelessly Mad About Huskies?
Huskies are such great dogs to enjoy the outdoors with. If you are mad about Huskies, we’ve got more reading material for you about this breed.
- What makes Huskies have blue colored eyes?
- Two is better than one: companion dogs to pair with a Husky
- Bikejoring with your Husky
- Going ice fishing with your Husky? Don’t forget to pack their booties.
- How to keep your Husky cool and calm in the Summer
- Are Wolves and Huskies related?
- How to raise a Husky? Read about our 6 tips.
- Backpacking with your Husky