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Siberian Husky Eyes (Husky Eye Colors, Problems & Care)

Husky Eyes
Husky Eyes: Ultimate Guide

When thinking of dogs with blue eyes, Huskies are often the first breed of dog that comes to mind! They are well-known for their striking eyes, which can be various shades of both blue and brown.

Here we’ll discuss the shape of husky eyes, the eye colors of huskies, including what makes their eyes the color they are, common conditions of the eye, and how we can help ensure our husky’s eyes stay healthy.  

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Husky eye shape 

The shape of a husky’s eyes is often described as almond-shaped. This almond shape differs from the round-shaped eyes of many other dog breeds.

It is theorized that the almond shape of husky eyes evolved as a means to protect their eyes from the harsh weather conditions in their native Siberian habitat.

The shape of their eyes also helps them to see better in low-light conditions. The almond shape of their eyes actually encourages more light to enter them, thereby improving their vision in low-light conditions. This is an important adaptation for huskies for when they are pulling sleds through the snow at night or in areas with limited light. 

Another interesting aspect of the shape of husky eyes is their slightly slanted or oblique appearance. The outer corners of their eyes are slightly higher than the inner corners, giving them a distinctive appearance.

This slanted shape is thought to be another adaptation to their harsh environment, as it helps to protect their eyes from the blowing snow and wind.

Husky eye colors 

Husky eye color chart

Husky Eye ColorsRarity
BlueCommon
BrownCommon
GreenRare

Husky eye colors include:

  • Blue (blue-gray to ocean blue)
  • Brown (light hazel to dark brown)
  • Green

There is a very wide variety of different husky eye color shades, but they all fall under blue, brown or green.

Husky eye colors can come in different patterns (more on this below) including:

  • Solid color
  • Multi-color
  • Parti-color

Blue eyed huskies

Huskies are best known for having stunningly beautiful blue eyes. One might even assume that all huskies have blue eyes. The shade of blue can vary from one dog to another. Where one might have a sky blue color, another might have an ocean blue color or even a blue-gray color! 

Interestingly, there actually is no pigment for blue in the eyes! Eye color is determined by the amount of melanin in the iris. Brown eyes have plenty of melanin, but blue eyes have significantly less melanin or even no melanin at all, which causes the iris to appear to be blue! 

Husky Eye Colors
Typical blue eyed husky! 😯 Image from @catch.that.woof

Brown eyed huskies

As mentioned, brown is another color that huskies can have. The shade of brown can vary just like the shade of blue eyes can vary among individual dogs. For example, a husky with brown eyes can be dark, warm brown, chocolate, or even chestnut eyes. 

Green eyed huskies

While rare, it is possible to find a husky with green eyes! They usually have a distinct green hue that is caused by a combination of genetics and amount of melanin in their eye.

Do Husky Eyes Change Color?

Yes, husky eyes do change color. They can change color, get darker or lighter.

Genetics

The color of a husky’s eyes is determined by genetics, and it’s not always possible to predict what color a particular husky’s eyes will be – even when they are puppies! 😮

Age related

Your husky’s eyes may change color as they age due to the gradual loss of melanin in the iris. Melanin is a pigment that gives color to the skin, hair, and eyes. As huskies age, they may produce less melanin, leading to changes in their eye color.

Husky puppies

Husky puppies’ eyes do not always stay the same color. As they age, the color of a puppy’s eyes can change. When puppies are born, their eyes are closed, but upon opening, their eyes will appear blue or gray.

As they grow and develop, the color of their eyes may change. This is because the melanin in their eyes increases over time, which can result in a change in eye color.

The exact age at which a husky puppy’s eyes will change color can vary, but it typically happens between 6 and 16 weeks of age. However, some pups may continue to have changes in eye color even after they are several months old or all the way up to adulthood. 

Environmental facts

Environmental factors such as the amount of light a husky is exposed to can also affect their eye color. For example, exposure to sunlight can cause the iris to produce more melanin, making the eye appear darker. On the other hand, a lack of sunlight can cause the iris to produce less melanin, resulting in a lighter eye color.

Heterochromia 

Heterochromia in huskies is a genetic trait that results in the husky having two different colored eyes, with one eye typically being blue and the other being brown. This trait is most commonly seen in Siberian Huskies but can also occur in other breeds and even in humans.

Husky With Heterochromia
Husky with heterochromia! 😍 Image from @villacherhusky

There are two types of heterochromia that can be found in dogs. These are complete heterochromia and partial heterochromia. First, complete heterochromia is when one eye is a completely different color than the other eye. As mentioned, this is usually seen when a husky has one blue eye and one brown eye. 

Heterochromia in huskies is a result of a genetic mutation that affects the amount or distribution of melanin, the pigment that gives color to the eyes, skin, and hair. The specific gene that causes heterochromia in huskies is not yet fully understood. 

Parti-eyes (partial heterochromia) 

Parti-colored eyes aka partial heterochromia is a unique trait found in some huskies. It is often confused with complete heterochromia when a dog has one eye that is one color, with the other eye being an entirely different color.

Parti-eyes, however, is the term used to describe the occurrence of an eye having a spec of a different color in it.

For example, the blue eye of a husky could have a small section or spec of brown in the same eye or vice versa, whereas the brown eye of a husky could have a spec of blue in the same eye. 

Parti-eyes are thought to be a result of a gene mutation that affects the pigmentation of the iris, leading to two different colors in each eye.

While parti-eyes are a striking and distinctive feature, they do not affect the husky’s vision or health in any way.

Husky eye problems

Unfortunately, most huskies, regardless of whether they have blue eyes, brown eyes, green eyes or a combination, seem to have an increased risk of developing or inheriting certain health concerns related to their eyes. 😔

Thankfully, with many health issues in Huskies, early detection on the part of owners and veterinarians will help veterinarians have a better chance of curing or at least treating or managing the symptoms.  

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Progressive Retinal Atrophy aka PRA is a genetic condition that affects the retina of the eye. Over time, photoreceptor cells begin to atrophy or waste away. This causes progressive vision loss and, eventually, even blindness. There is unfortunately no cure for PRA, but early diagnosis and treatment can help slow the progression of the disease.

PRA can affect dogs of any age, even dogs as young as two months of age. But most commonly, PRA is seen in dogs between the ages of three and nine.

Thankfully, the condition is not painful for dogs, but this can also delay diagnosis. The progression of the disease is quite slow and may take several years.

Things to look for include:

  • Pupils dilating more often than usual
  • Hesitancy or anxiousness in dark or shaded areas
  • Reflecting light more strongly than normal

Cataracts

Cataracts are a common eye problem in huskies, especially in older dogs. Cataracts are a problem that can be passed down genetically due to a recessive gene found in huskies. Unfortunately, younger dogs may still develop cataracts, too. These are known as juvenile cataracts and may present when huskies are just young puppies. 

Cataracts cause the eyes’ lens to become cloudy and degenerate over time which will ultimately lead to vision problems or even blindness. Unfortunately, cataracts can cause other problems within the eyes as well, some of which can cause pain.

In many cases, cataracts can be treated with surgery. When a dog is a candidate for surgery, there is an 80 to 90 percent success rate.

Other times, if a dog isn’t a candidate for cataract removal surgery and the cataracts are causing pain, the dog may need to have one or both eyes surgically removed to alleviate the pain. Thankfully, dogs can still live wonderful lives, even without sight! ðŸ˜²

Husky Eye Problems - Cataracts - Blind Husky
Wookie is a blind husky but still a happy husky! 🥰 Image from @bravest_little_husky

Corneal Dystrophy

Corneal dystrophy is a hereditary condition that affects the cornea of the eye. This condition can cause a certain cloudiness or opaqueness in the cornea, which can lead to vision problems.

There are three main types of corneal dystrophy that dogs might face including:

  1. Epithelial Corneal Dystrophy: The first and most common is epithelial corneal dystrophy, where the most superficial layers of the cornea are affected.
  2. Stromal Corneal Dystrophy: The second is known as Stromal Corneal Dystrophy, which affects the middle layer of the cornea.
  3. Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy: The last is known as endothelial corneal dystrophy, which affects the deepest part of the cornea. There is no cure for corneal dystrophy, but it can be managed with medication and regular check-ups with a veterinarian.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition that causes increased pressure in the eye, or more specifically, an increase in intraocular pressure, which can lead to vision loss or even blindness.

This increase in pressure can cause damage or degeneration of the eye in the retina and in the optic nerve. Huskies are more prone to glaucoma than many other breeds, and the condition is often hereditary. 

Symptoms may include:

  • Eye pain which would be indicated by a dog pawing at the eyes
  • Tying to rub the eyes on the ground
  • Watery discharge
  • Cloudy or bluish color to the cornea
  • Swelling and bulging of the eye
  • Ultimately blindness

Treatment for glaucoma may include medication or surgery.

Dry eye syndrome

Dry eye syndrome occurs when the eyes do not produce enough tears to keep the eyes lubricated. This condition can cause irritation, redness, and other uncomfortable symptoms. Dogs might exhibit signs like squinting, blinking repeatedly, or even holding their eyes shut. 

Another common symptom is a thick, yellow mucus-like discharge coming from the eye.

Treatment for dry eye syndrome will likely include things like keeping the area around the eyes free of discharge and build-up, eye drops to artificially wet the eyes, medication, or a combination of all three. 

Facts about Siberian Husky eyes

Here are some interesting facts about Siberian Husky eyes!

  1. Siberian Huskies have a wide variety of eye colors, including blue, brown and green.
  2. Huskies are one of the few dog breeds that can have blue eyes without being blind or having a genetic abnormality.
  3. Huskies have a unique ability to adjust the amount of light that enters their eyes, which helps them see better in low light conditions.
  4. The pigment responsible for the blue color of Husky eyes is called melanin, and the amount of melanin in a dog’s iris determines the color of their eyes.
  5. The green hue seen in some Husky eyes is caused by a reflection of light off the back of the retina, which creates a unique and striking appearance.
  6. Huskies have a special protective layer called the tapetum lucidum behind their retina, which reflects light back through the retina and helps them see better in dim light.
  7. Huskies are prone to a condition called “Heterochromia” where each eye is a different color. This is caused by a genetic mutation that affects their distribution of melanin.
  8. Some Huskies may experience a condition called “Snow Blindness” when exposed to bright sunlight for extended periods of time. This can cause temporary vision loss and discomfort and can be prevented through adequate shade and protection from the sun.
  9. Huskies see the world through their sense of smell, not just their eyes.
  10. The way huskies look at you often has meaning. It’s one form of body language for Siberian huskies.

Further reading:

Taking care of your husky’s eyes

The best way to take care of a husky is to help rid them of any build-up of gunk and eye boogers or discharge around the eyes. When you notice gunk around their eyes, take a warm wet washcloth and gently wipe away any gunk. 

Facts About Siberian Husky Eyes
Husky with just one parti-colored eye! 😯 Image from @lars_oh

Check them for symptoms

Check your dog’s eyes routinely for any signs of concern.

Some examples of symptoms of eye concern in huskies include: 

  • Swelling or bulging
  • Redness
  • Excessive blinking
  • Squinting
  • Excessive wet or crusty discharge
  • Pawing at the eyes
  • Bumping into objects
  • Increased anxiety 

Also, try to avoid or limit your dog’s exposure to the sun. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can be just as damaging to huskies’ eyes as it is for us.

In fact, dog goggles or sunglasses are growing quite popular for working dogs and can be a great way to help minimize the risk of eye damage caused by the sun. 

Improve food quality

Another way to help care for your husky’s eyes is through nutrition; by making sure your husky’s nutritional requirements are met.

Feeding your husky the best dog food, i.e. giving them a balanced diet that includes nutrient-rich foods can promote good eye health as well as overall wellness.

Also make sure they have plenty of fresh water available all day, every day.

Foods that are particularly beneficial for promoting healthy eyes in dogs include:

  • Fish
  • Carrots
  • Blueberries
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Eggs

Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are important for eye health, while carrots are high in beta-carotene, which is essential for good vision. 

Blueberries contain antioxidants that can help prevent oxidative damage to the eyes, and sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A.

Spinach is high in lutein and zeaxanthin – these two antioxidants can help protect the eyes from damage.

Lastly, eggs are a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids. 

Add fresh food to their meals

Taking Care Of Your Husky's Eyes - Improve Food Quality
Healthy breakfast for a husky with health eyes! Image from @susan_scorp

While it is important to feed our dogs a regular dog food diet that is nutritionally complete and balanced, it can also be helpful to add some healthy, nutritious fresh food to their regular diet.

Adding some cubes of steamed sweet potatoes or mixing in a scrambled egg without any salt or oil can be a great additive to a husky’s food. It will help give your pup that extra nutritional boost!

Regular vet checkups

And, of course, regular check-ups and eye exams with your veterinarian will help prevent and manage any eye concerns that may come up. 

 

Final thoughts

The eyes of a husky are one of the most captivating aspects of this stunning breed. Whether blue, brown or green, huskies have some of the most beautiful eyes of any breed of dog around. 

Their eyes are not only beautiful thanks to their color but also because of their heterochromia and parti-colored eyes, which also adds to their unique look. Huskies are not free of eye problems, though.

Unfortunately, they may be predisposed to some eye concerns, so it is important for owners to watch for early signs in order to keep their huskies healthy. 

What color are your husky’s eyes?

Further reading: 👉 How can you tell if a husky is purebred?

FAQ about Husky Eyes

Why do some huskies have two different colored eyes?

Huskies can have two different colored eyes. This is because of a rare condition called Heterochromia.

Why do huskies have blue eyes?

Huskies have blue eyes because of the low amounts of melanin in their iris.

Do all huskies have blue eyes?

No, all huskies do not have blue eyes. Another common husky eye color is brown. They can even have green eyes!

What is the rarest husky eye color?

The rarest husky eye color is green.

Do husky eyes change color?

Yes, husky eyes change color. They can change color due to age, sun exposure and eye problems like cataracts.

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Author
Max Jacobs
Max Jacobs is the owner and lead author of Husky Gifts. He loves spending time with his family, who have two huskies. Max loves to write and is passionate about creating interesting and engaging content. To learn more, visit the team section of the about page.

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