Bringing home a Husky is a momentous occasion that’s full of excitement. But as energetic as Huskies are, they’re not all fun and games. Every Husky needs specific care in order to thrive, so it’s a good idea to become as informed as you possibly can and get some guidance on how to raise a Husky.
The needs, health risks, and preferences of Huskies effect how to train, exercise, feed, and show love to your Husky. In this post, we give your 7 tips to consider when raising your Husky.
Tip #1 – Feeding Your Husky
Do your husky a favor and feed him a balanced diet. This could keep him healthier and help him live longer.
As your Husky’s owner, you can feed your Husky what you want, but it is helpful to know what types of feeding options are available.
- Store-Bought Wet/Dry Dog Food
Pre-packaged store-bought food is the most convenient food option, as they have a long shelf life, they’re inexpensive, and they don’t require much preparation.
However, many Husky owners pass on this food type because it’s not as nutritious as other meal options.
When buying commercial dog food, you need to be wise about what’s in the dog food in terms of ingredients and nutrients. Here’s a useful article on a pet food ingredient and label guide from PetMD. In summary, here are the 8 worst ingredients found in dog food that you need to avoid:
Based on our research, we recommend the following dry dog food for the quality of nutrition they provide:
- Taste of the Wild (grain-free for adult Huskies)
- Orijen (grain-free for adult Huskies and puppies, 3 flavors).
I feed my dog Taste of the Wild and she loves it.
In terms of wet food, I like the 100% natural Nature’s Logic Lamb Feast. The manufacturer is a family-owned business based in the USA. It’s grain-free and is suitable for both Husky adults and puppies.
- Raw Food Only
Raw foods, like chicken, beef, fruits, and vegetables, are more nutrient-dense than commercial dog food and don’t have any additives that you may find in store-bought food.
For these reasons, many Husky parents feed their dogs’ raw food.
While raw food may be the healthiest option for your husky (nutrient-wise), you should consider the fact that you’ll need to take extra time to prepare raw food items.
Also, ask your local veterinarian if it is safe to give your Husky raw meat.
- Combination of Raw Food And Store-Bought Dog Food
You don’t have to choose either commercial dog food or raw food for your Husky. You can feed him raw food and supplement it with canned dog food, or you can feed him mainly dog food and supplement it with raw food.
Go with what you believe is best and what your dog seems to prefer.
- Table Food
Table food is not recommended for any dog, including Huskies.
Feeding your Husky table food can lead to life-threatening reactions and canine obesity. We recommend that you refrain from giving your dog scraps of food from the dining table.
Foods you should never feed a Husky
Whether you feed your Husky raw food, canned food, or a combination of the two, be sure to avoid feeding them any dangerous foods.
Some of these dangerous foods you should never feed your Husky include:
- Grapes or raisins
- Raw eggs
- Green peppers, hot peppers, jalapenos
- Raw meat or fish. Dog owners are divided on whether you need to cook the meat, but to stay on the safe side, you should cook it all the way through before offering it to your dog).
This is not an exhaustive list. This article on the American Kennel Club website will fill you in on foods that you can and can’t feed a dog.
Tip #2 – Brush Your Husky’s Teeth Regularly
In case you weren’t aware, Huskies are more likely to develop dental problems than other dogs.
Dental infections can spread to the dog’s major organs and become life-threatening.
So, you should take extra care to keep your dog’s teeth as clean as possible. Brush your Husky’s teeth every day with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste specifically formulated for dogs.
“As with humans, toothbrushing is the gold standard for dental care in dogs. Ideally, this should be done daily but even every second day can dramatically reduce the build-up of plaque.”Sydney Pet Dentistry
Here are our recommendations for the best toothbrush.
|Best Overall||PERTTY 2 Three Sided Pet Toothbrush||Check latest price|
|Best Budget||Pet Republique Dual-Head Toothbrush||Check latest price|
|Best Finger Brush||Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Dog Finger Brush, 2-pack||Check latest price|
|Best Kit||Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Puppy Dental Kit. Suitable for puppies, adult and senior Huskies.||Check latest price|
We’ve researched the best toothpaste for your Husky and here are our recommendations:
|Best Overall||Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste (available in 2 different flavors)||Check latest price|
|Best Organic||Pura Naturals Organic Dental Solutions Kit (certified organic USDA)||Check latest price|
|Best Vet Approved||Petsmile Professional Dog Toothpaste||Check latest price|
|Best Budget||Vet’s Best Gel Toothpaste (made in the USA)||Check latest price|
|Best Budget (runner up)||Petrodex Enzymatic Toothpaste for Dogs||Check latest price|
|Best for puppies and dogs with bad breath||Arm & Hammer Clinical Gum Health Enzymatic Toothpaste||Check latest price|
If the whole toothbrush/toothpaste experience proves too much trouble with your Husky, a simpler (but not an as effective option) is a more convenient tooth wipe. When used on a regular basis (daily is recommended) they can remove plaque and tartar.
“Ideally your dog should be given something to chew on for at least 30 mins every day, or every second day at a minimum. This helps prevent large amounts of plaque from accumulating and hardening into tartar.”Sydney Pet Dentistry
Don’t believe all the marketing-hype with dog chews claiming to have dental benefits for your Husky. Instead, go with what the experts recommend, that is, those products endorsed by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). The VOHC makes professional recommendations on the best
- Dental diet foods
- Rawhide chews
- Edible chew treats
- Dental care water additives
- Anti plaque oral sprays and gels.
In terms of dental chews, a popular VOHC-endorsed product is Greenies. Given your Husky can weigh up to 50 to 60 pounds, you could buy the Original Regular-sized Greenies (for dogs up to 50 lbs) or the Large Greenies (for dogs over 50 lbs). The Regular Greenies also come in a grain-free option.
Dental hygiene routine
To introduce the ultimate dental hygiene routine, you could combine a daily Chew with brushing their teeth. I like to change up my chews with treat-dispensing toys like the Classic Kong or bully sticks.
You could fill up the Kong with dry dog food specially formulated for oral hygiene like the Hill’s Science Diet Dental Health Dry Dog Food, endorsed by the VOHC.
Take your dog for a yearly dental checkup with a veterinary dentist, who will make sure that his teeth remain in good shape.
Tip #3 – Train Your Husky
While Huskies are a sweet and friendly breed, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t train your Husky. They need to be taught to behave well in various situations, just like any other dog does.
In many cases, it may be harder to train a Husky than it is to train other dog breeds. This is because of their independence and intelligence.
Since training a Husky can be a difficult task, take the following steps to make the process a bit easier.
Be calm and firm
If you do not assert your authority as a leader, your Husky may run all over you.
We don’t recommend that you act like a dictator, as your Husky may not react well to that, but don’t be playful when giving commands.
Use positive reinforcement and treats
After teaching your dog what his name is, teach your dog the easiest commands, like “sit,” “down,” and “stay.”
When your Husky executes the command correctly, give him a treat.
Keep training sessions short
Huskies are energetic and don’t have the longest attention spans.
Keep your training sessions short, so your dog won’t rebel out of frustration.
It could take days, weeks, or even months to teach your dog a certain behavior or to stop undesirable behavior. So, mentally prepare yourself for long-term training.
If your Husky is not listening to you, there could be a couple of scenarios and reasons. Check out our troubleshooting guide to get your Husky to listen to you.
Train your Husky to pee outside
Huskies are notoriously difficult to house potty train. That being so, it’s best to teach them to “go” outside.
The tried and true way to potty train your Husky is to take him outside every half hour to pee or poop.
When they pee or poop outside, praise them and give them love. If they have an accident inside, use a low voice to communicate your disappointment.
Tip #4 – Exercise Your Dog Outside Daily
Huskies need daily exercise to stay healthy and physically fit.
While you’re out, you can play fetch with your dog, have a leisurely walk, or run.
Just make sure that you build up your dog’s endurance before you take him out running for extraordinarily long distances.
Don’t be surprised if your Husky starts to run around in circles while out and about. This is a normal sign of an energetic dog. Experts recommend that you just let it happen.
Tip #5 – Socialize your Husky when they are a puppy
It’s important your dog gets along with other dogs so there’s no issues when you take them outside your home. And it’s also important for your Husky to get along with other people outside your family.
Have a look at the video below for some guidance from 2 minutes 20 second into the video:
Tip #6 -Groom Your Husky
Now that you know how often to take your Husky to the vet, let’s talk grooming.
Keeping your dog properly groomed will take some work on your part.
Brush your husky often
The Husky shedding season happens twice a year in the fall and spring. In the spring, their undercoat sheds to reveal a lighter coat for the warmer months. Similarly, in the fall, their undercoat sheds to reveal a thicker coat for the cooler months.
You will need to brush your dog more often (every few days) during the shedding season.
Huskies shed all the time but their biggest volume of hair gets shed in the shedding season. So out-of-season, their coat still needs maintenance, just not as often. Every week, you should thoroughly brush your dog’s coat. A wide-toothed comb is ideal for getting through matted sections. You can use a doggy conditioner to work through stubborn knots if necessary.
Huskies are double-coated, having a top coat and an undercoat. Because of these 2 coats and their heavy shedding, Huskies need special grooming tools to get the job done. Don’t just think any dog brush will.
Here are the different types of grooming tools for Huskies.
The purpose of the rake brush is to reach deep through the topcoat and into the undercoat and rake out those loose dead hairs close to the skin.
Starting at the head, work the rake across your Husky’s body through the whole coat.
Apply minimal pressure when using a rake as too much pressure can damage your Huskie’s skin. Do not rake your Husky’s sensitive areas like the groin, armpit, and behind the ears.
A lot of Husky owners use de-shedding tools incorrectly. Being very sharp, they cut through hair rather than brushing through the hair. This leaves your Husky with a bad haircut.
Having said that, FURminator claims their Deshedding Brush can reduce shedding by as much as 90%.
For best results use only on a dry coat and gently remove loose undercoat hair. Follow the instructions for use in the video below.
The pin brush should not be the main tool you use to groom your Husky.
This is because this brush is not effective at picking up large amounts of loose hair.
Instead, use a pin brush as the final task in your grooming routine to pick up the stragglers of hair left loose on their cost.
What the pin brush does do well is distribute the natural oils throughout your Husky’s coat, leaving it soft and shiny.
For your Husky, we recommend the Safari Pin and Bristle Combo Dog Brush.
Give your Husky a bath
Whenever your dog starts to smell, it’s time for a bath.
You may be able to go up to a month between bathing sessions. You don’t want more often otherwise your Husky will lose all the natural oils in its coat.
Lather up your dog’s coat with a dog shampoo, rinse, apply conditioner, and then rinse again thoroughly.
|Best Organic||4 Leggers. USDA certified all natural and all organic dog shampoo. Hypoallergenic.||Check latest price|
|Best Deshedding||FURminator FUR minator. Contains fatty acids, omega 3 for a healthy skin and coat.||Check latest price|
Note: Huskies don’t need to be professionally groomed in most cases, and this is because their hair sheds and regrows in nicely. This is a huge plus!
Tip #7 – Take Your Husky to the Vet
Just like you, your Husky should have regular vet visits to stay on track with vaccinations and monitor his overall health.
If your Husky is a newborn, you should take him to the vet every month until he’s around four months old.
At the vet,your doctor will give your Husky its vaccinations and screen him for breed-specific illnesses.
After this, your Husky should see the vet at least once a year.
If your Husky is between 2 and 3 years old, they’ll need to see the vet for their first adult checkup. During this checkup, the vet will administer more vaccinations and check both their dental health and poop. Your Husky will need to be seen again every year after this.
Older Huskies may need to see the vet more often than younger Huskies, as older Huskies are at higher risk of developing life-threatening health conditions.
If you haven’t taken your Husky to the vet in the last year, it’s time to make an appointment.
Through this article, you’ve gathered several useful tips on how to raise a Husky. We hope that this article serves as a guide to help you become the best Husky parent ever!
We Love Huskies Just Like You Do!
Here at Outdoor Dog Fun we feature dog breeds that provide great companionship when you are outdoors. The Husky is one of our favorite outdoor dog breeds. That’s why we’ve spent time writing numerous articles about them on our blog.
- Indoor vs Outdoor: where does a Husky thrive?
- Are Huskies sprinters or endurance runners?
- The ultimate guide to Husky shedding
- Do Huskies only have blue eyes?
- How much should your Husky weigh?
- Are wolves related to Huskies?
- Want a companion dog for your Husky but a different breed?
- Bikejoring with your Husky: our guide to outdoor fun
- Huskies and summer heat: what you should know
- Why take your Husky backpacking?
- Small dogs that look similar to a Husky