Do you have an overweight husky? Check this husky size chart if you’re not sure. Typically, huskies are naturally fit and lean, but in rare cases, some may become overweight.
Your husky’s weight depends on its diet and overall health.
If you are wondering why your husky is overweight, it’s essential to know that various factors can affect their physical appearance. The primary causes of fat huskies are excessive calorie intake, lack of physical activity, and certain medical conditions. All of which can reduce a husky’s lifespan.
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
Why is My Husky Overweight?
Your husky might appear cute with its squishy cheeks and chubby body, but it’s generally not a safe space for your dog. Being overweight can make your dog lazy, uncomfortable and at risk of a range of health problems including diabetes.
Numerous factors can influence the weight of our dogs, some of which often go unnoticed. In the case of huskies, excess weight can be attributed to various reasons, which include:
1. Too Many Calories
Excess food is one of the major causes of overweight huskies. Pet owners need to know the correct amount of food to give their dogs.
Like each human, each dog require a specific amount of food to grow to a healthy weight. But we tend to just pour dog food into their food bowl based on what we feel is enough for them without knowing the number of calories they need, which might cause your dog to overfeed at the end of the day.
Excess processed carbohydrates in your dog’s diet can lead to unhealthy fat gain and overproduction of insulin which might lead to diabetes.
As a responsible dog owner, it is essential to understand your husky’s nutritional requirements, preferably from a professional in animal nutrition, to ensure your dog’s healthy growth and development.
2. Not Enough Exercise
Exercise helps to keep everyone fit. The same goes for dogs; they tend to grow weak, lazy, and fat if they don’t exercise.
Your husky can become overweight if they eat a lot and barely exercise. Physical activity is needed to burn any excess calories consumed from all of their food chomping!
Failing to tire out your husky from sufficient exercise may result in the calories they consume to be stored as fat. This can cause your husky to gain excessive weight, which according to the AVMA increases risk of various diseases including:
- Respiratory disease
- Kidney disease
- Some cancers
It is essential to ensure your husky gets regular exercise to help prevent such health issues.
As much as your dog needs to exercise regularly, it’s important to note that the size and age of the husky will determine what type and amount of exercise to carry out.
Huskies have a high endurance level. The kind of exercise you choose for them should be challenging. Taking your husky on a walk is really only a warm-up. You’ll need to put them under more strain to help them burn more calories.
3. Cushing’s Disease
Cushing’s disease is a chronic disease that can also cause huskies to gain weight. This disease is more common in female breeds, neutered dogs, and middle-aged and older dogs.
A husky with this disease has excessive production of cortisol by their adrenal gland, thus an increase in appetite which leads to being overweight.
Older huskies can benefit greatly from eating the best dog food for senior huskies.
Another thing that can lead to an overweight husky is the disease hypothyroidism.
The thyroid gland is found in the neck region and is responsible for the production of hormones that influence several functions in different parts of the body. Unfortunately, this gland can experience a condition in which it shrinks, known as thyroid disease.
This disease occurs more in middle-aged dogs and medium to large breeds. There is lower production of thyroid hormones in dogs with hypothyroidism.
The thyroid hormones assist in balancing metabolic processes, and reduced production of these thyroid hormones in your husky’s metabolic processes (breaking down food, digestion, and food conversion) will slow down, leading to weight gain.
Weight gain is only one symptom of hypothyroidism in huskies and dogs.
Other symptoms include:
- Fur thinness
- Cold shivers
- Thickness of skin
- Skin infection
- Decreased activeness of the dog
- Hair loss (not to be confused with husky shedding)
How to Help My Overweight Husky Lose Weight
Here are some ways to help your overweight husky lose weight.
1. Decrease Calories
If your husky is eating more calories than they are burning each day, they will of course gain weight. So, the best way to help your husky lose weight is to feed them less calories than they burn during the day.
Try to avoid assuming the amount of food your dog can eat, and instead make sure you know exactly how much huskies should eat.
You should also try to be mindful of the human snacks you give to your dogs. The calories contained in these can quickly add up. Processed human food and snacks aren’t good for dogs anyway!
2. Increase Exercise
Incorporating exercise is a recommended solution to assist your husky in losing weight. The type of exercise provided should align with your husky’s current fitness level, health and age.
It’s important to note that simply taking your husky for a walk, while nice, may not be enough physical activity for them. So make sure you know how much exercise your husky needs.
Here are some exercise ideas:
- Take them for a walk
- Take them for a jog alongside you
- Take them for a hike
- Play fetch with them
- Take them to a doggy park
If you haven’t been exercising your husky, simply start exercising them on a daily basis. This will help them lose weight. If you’ve already been exercising them, either swap for something more intense or increase the duration. e.g. take them for a jog instead of a walk, increase from 30 minute walk to a 1 hour walk, etc.
Knowing how to run with a husky can also help.
3. Improve Food Quality
Another way to help your overweight husky lose weight is to improve the quality of food you feed them. Most dog food brands are full of highly processed ingredients and unknown chemical additives. Most of which is making your dog unhealthy.
The first step is finding a dog food brand that is recommended by veterinarians. But if you are serious about your husky’s health and weight, we recommend finding dog food made with fresh human grade ingredients. This will help prevent overweight and skinny huskies!
We believe the best dog food for huskies is made from whole food ingredients.
Other ways to help control the weight of your husky include:
- Inspect your dog’s health frequently to ensure they do not have diseases or infections
- Take them for regular vet checkups
- Include fiber in your dogs’ diet (from real food ingredients)
- Ensure your dog has sufficient clean water to drink
- Don’t reward your dog with highly processed food or snacks
The well-being and physique of your husky rely heavily on the diet and care you provide.
By decreasing their calories, increasing exercise, providing better quality food and ensuring they don’t have a disease that causes weight gain, you can be sure your overweight husky will start to lose weight.
Is your husky overweight?
Further reading: How big do huskies get?
How to tell if your husky is overweight?
You can tell your husky is overweight if you can’t easily feel their last few ribs. This is just a general rule of thumb though. If you are concerned about your husky’s weight, take them to your vet.
Best dog food for overweight husky
The best dog food for an overweight husky, or any husky for that matter, is quality dog food made from real food ingredients, not highly processed food with chemical additives.