These beautiful and intelligent dogs are known for their striking appearance and friendly personality, but they also have unique needs and require proper care to thrive.
From tips on feeding and grooming to advice on training and exercise, this guide covers all the essential aspects of caring for a Siberian Husky.
Whether you’re a first-time owner or an experienced dog lover, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to keep your Siberian Husky healthy, happy, and well-behaved.
We understand that huskies are unique and require special care, so we’ve created this one-stop shop to help you find the must-have items for your furry friend.
- Grooming Tools
- Dog Food, Treats & Supplements
- Toys & Enrichment
- Training Aids
- Comfort & Safety
Playtime for your husky
We often think of playtime for dogs as exercise, and many times this is absolutely the case. But sometimes, play can be something as simple as chewing on a bone. The act of chewing releases endorphins in a dog’s brain, which are various chemicals that make dogs happy and feel good!
Playtime is a great bonding time for you and your dog. Build a closer relationship by engaging your dog in games like fetch or chase. Make sure to set aside dedicated time every single day for just you and your dog, even if it’s just ten minutes of playing fetch in the backyard.
Playtime can also be great bonding for your dog and other dogs. We can’t roughhouse with our dogs in the same way dogs can roughhouse with each other, and that social interaction can be great for their minds.
Exercise is absolutely essential to your Siberian Husky’s health and their happiness and well-being. It is important to keep in mind, however, that puppies and adult dogs, as well as senior dogs, all have different exercise requirements.
A three-month-old puppy won’t be able to and shouldn’t go on a two-mile run. This would be completely exhausting for their little bodies and, because they are still developing, could cause damage to their joints and bones.
Give your husky puppy 30 minutes of exercise in total spread throughout the day.
An adult husky, however, would love nothing more than to run that far, especially if they are already in good shape! Make sure you know how to run a husky first.
Adult huskies need at least 1 hour of exercise per day.
Similarly, a senior husky will likely not want to go on an intense run either and might be happier with a gentle walk around the block.
Senior huskies generally only need 30 minutes of exercise per day. It totally depends on their fitness level and overall health.
Note that if you live with your husky in an apartment, the same exercise requirements apply to your husky. Living in an apartment is not an excuse for not giving them enough exercise.
Besides daily walks or runs, another way you can get your dog’s exercise needs met is by practicing with agility courses. Agility training involves a lot of running, jumping, and other physical activities that can help keep dogs in good shape and improve their overall health and fitness.
Exercising with your husky
Riding, skateboarding & rollerblading with your husky
Another thing you can do to get your husky moving is if you are proficient on a bicycle, skateboard, or rollerblades, you can get outside and take your husky with you while you use them!
Some training may be required, and there may be a little bit of a learning curve since it can be tricky to ride a bicycle with a dog running with you. But overall, with safety in mind, it can be a great way to increase your dog’s exercise.
Hiking with your husky
Going for hikes on trails or even swimming in the river, lake, or ocean can also be great ways to get your dog some exercise. Be sure to bring plenty of water for both you and your husky when exercising outdoors!
Playing fetch with your husky
But when life gets busy, even playing a game of fetch in the backyard can be great exercise for Huskies! Running back and forth to chase the ball is often great fun for them.
Scent work, also known as nose work, is a fun and engaging activity for dogs that involves using their natural ability to detect scents to locate specific odors.
Scent work is a great way to provide mental and physical stimulation for your dog and to help build a special bond with your furry friend.
Examples of scent work activities:
- A structured environment like a competition
- Professions like search and rescue dogs
- Detection dogs
- Casual activity with your dog (this is most likely you)
Popular types of scent work include tracking, where dogs follow a scent trail on the ground and search for hidden scent sources, such as boxes or containers.
When doing scent work just for fun, it is usually something really simple, like hiding a few treats in a rolled-up towel or solving a treat puzzle.
Dogs have such a strong sense of smell, and using that sense of smell to find things like their favorite toys or treats can be a great way to play and a great form of mental stimulation for them.
In fact, scent work often works far better than exercise at getting your dog tired. The more exercise you give your dog, the more endurance they get and the longer they can go for! 🤔
Training your husky
One of the most important aspects of caring is training your husky. Without proper training, neither you nor your husky will be very happy or content. Whether you have a husky puppy or a newly adopted adult, get started with training right away to ensure success.
One of the first and most important things to work on is crate training a Husky puppy.
Crate training has many benefits including:
- Providing a safe, comfortable place for your puppy
- Encouraging your puppy to hold its bladder
- Teaching your puppy to be calm and patient even when separated from you
- Keeping your puppy safe when you are unable to closely supervise
Next, of course, is potty training your husky. Utilize the crate or kennel for this training, as dogs have a natural instinct to try to keep their sleeping area clean. It is likely that your puppy will start to grasp the concept of ‘holding it’ during crate training.
Also, begin to focus on basic obedience training, such as sitting, staying in place, and, most importantly, coming to you when called. The recall is one of the most important aspects of any dog training.
Being able to call your dog back to you can help prevent them from running into dangerous situations, such as running into traffic or chasing after wildlife.
Recall can also help you keep control of your dog in situations where you need to keep them close, such as when walking in a busy area or around other dogs.
Once the basics are covered, then move on to more advanced and fun training like roll over, play dead, dance, etc. These are not essential at all, but they can be fun to work on and a fun way of spending quality time with your husky.
Learning how to socialize a husky refers to the process of helping your husky enjoy interactions with other people and animals, as well as helping them feel comfortable going to new places and doing new activities.
This process is critical for a dog’s development. A dog who isn’t properly socialized can more easily become fearful and reactive.
Start with building trust
The best way to start socialization for your dog is by teaching them to trust you. You should be their safe place, and you’ll want your dog to know that you will keep them safe. Once that trust has been established, you can start introducing new friendly dogs and new people.
Socialization in moderation
As a side note, also be sure to socialize your dog in a way that reminds them that it’s okay not to say hello to every person or every dog.
Oftentimes, we get so excited about introducing our dog to other dogs and other people that our dog thinks this should happen all the time and will start displaying behaviors like leash-pulling and jumping to try to get to people and dogs.
Make your husky feel safe
Other things that may seem completely normal to us can be quite scary to a puppy or dog, so it will be important to provide them with lots of happy experiences and memories.
Things like driving in a car or opening up an umbrella might seem scary but try to make it fun and happy by praising your dog and offering treat rewards for good behavior.
For example, if your dog starts to bark at the vacuum or umbrella, for example, don’t reward the behavior and ignore it instead. But if your dog cautiously approaches it, offer lots of praise and treats! Doing things like this will help ensure a happy and well-adjusted dog.
Another important aspect of caring is your Siberian Husky’s nutrition. Huskies require high-quality dog food, whether it be kibble, frozen, or raw. A husky’s food should provide all the nutrients a husky needs to thrive.
When it comes to nutritional requirements for huskies, most huskies do best with dog food that has a higher-than-average protein content.
According to the American Association of Feed Control Officials, a dog should have between 18 to 22 percent protein content in its food. For huskies, this may be a little higher but should never exceed 30 percent as there is no nutritional value after that point.
Feed your husky on a regular schedule. Unfortunately, our dogs can’t tell us when they are sick, so we have to look for clues. A good indicator of their well-being is how much food they are eating.
You’ll want to be able to know exactly how much your dog did or didn’t eat on any given day, as this can be extremely important information for a vet when trying to diagnose a potential problem.
When it comes to grooming your husky, it’s worth noting first and foremost, do not shave a husky unless directed by a vet for medical reasons like surgery or skin problems. Shaving a double-coated dog like a husky makes them unable to properly regulate their body temperature, leaves them susceptible to damage from the sun, and ruins their fur.
Instead of shaving, get your dog used to brushing at an early age, if possible, and no matter what, try to make it a fun experience. Offer plenty of treats and avoid any brushes or combs that might cause discomfort.
Aim to brush your husky two to three times weekly. The more often you brush, the easier it is each time! Your grooming kit for a Siberian Husky should consist of a metal comb, a slicker brush, a de-shedding brush, and an undercoat rake.
By grooming your husky, you will help them shed any excess fur. Shedding often makes a husky look like it’s changing color. Don’t be alarmed though, grooming will help get their coat back its original beautiful color!
Some brushes work better than others for certain dogs, and some brushes are better suited for different areas of the dog’s body. The best thing to do is play around with what works best for you and your dog.
Also, if you have a wooly husky, make sure the brush is best suited to long fur.
Professional grooming can be a huge help with shedding. Deshedding baths and high-velocity dryers are great at significantly reducing shedding.
And best of all, your groomer gets to deal with the aftermath of bathing and drying a husky so you can avoid getting your tub clogged from husky fur!
Another essential aspect of caring for a Siberian Husky is providing regular veterinary care. Regular visits with the vet will help ensure that your husky is as healthy as possible.
A general recommendation is to have one to two full check-ups every year for your dog.
Frequent check-ups will help ensure that nothing gets missed in terms of your dog’s health. Vets know exactly what to look for in our dogs and often may notice things that owners unknowingly miss that can be incredibly important in catching health problems early.
Vets also provide essential preventative care like vaccinations, flea and tick preventatives and medications, and heartworm preventatives. In addition to preventative care, vets can help manage and treat both chronic and acute health concerns.
Veterinarians also help manage dental health for huskies. One of the most common health issues affecting dogs of all breeds is dental disease. Dental disease can lead to tooth loss, gum disease, and infections that can spread to other parts of a dog’s body.
Veterinarians can perform routine dental exams and cleanings to prevent and treat dental issues. They can also provide guidance on at-home dental care, such as brushing your pet’s teeth and providing dental chews and toys.
Similarly, veterinarians also can provide guidance on taking care of your husky’s ears. Though not entirely common in huskies, ear infections can still occur. In addition to causing discomfort and pain, ear infections can lead to more serious health issues if left untreated.
Veterinarians can perform routine ear exams to check for signs of infection or other ear problems and may recommend regular ear cleanings to prevent infections from occurring. They may also provide treatment for ear infections, including antibiotics and ear drops.
Husky eyes are prone to a range of eye problems including cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy and corneal dystrophy to name a few.
So it’s important to take care of their eye health through regular vet checkups, constantly on the eye out for symptoms, and making sure they are eating ‘health-giving foods’ like fresh dog food, not ‘health taking away’ foods like highly processed commercial dog food.
Take care of your husky
Huskies are a high-maintenance dog breed. Taking care of a Siberian Husky is certainly no easy task! They require commitment and effort, but they are so worth it. With proper nutrition, plenty of playtime and exercise, regular grooming, and regular veterinary care, your husky will be happy and healthy.
If you are up for the challenge of looking after them, Huskies are good pets.
What do you think is the most important thing about taking care of a husky?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.