Updated on November 30, 2022
What Do Huskies Eat In The Wild? [Survival Foods]
Huskies have long been domesticated animals and are not wild. But those who are born in the streets or abandoned will do everything they can to find ways to feed themselves. They are self-sufficient when they are forced to be, but still, that is no way of life for a dog.
Huskies, like all dogs, are omnivores meaning that they eat both animal and plant foods like grains, fruits, and vegetables. Some huskies living in the wild will rely heavily on their hunting abilities, while others may focus more on scavenging for roadkill.
Others still might enjoy digging through a restaurant’s garbage out back, while others may find more luck begging and looking cute right outside the restaurant. Despite huskies being resourceful and oftentimes self-sufficient dogs in these scenarios, they would much prefer to be on our couches with full bellies.
Garbage bins and dumpsters are a likely source of food for huskies stuck out in the wild or on the streets. They will often search for scraps of human food like bread or half-eaten meals. These usually aren’t the most healthful options for huskies, but it does help keep their bellies a little bit fuller.
Studies have shown that dogs living on the streets strongly prefer meat products that they’ve hunted over carb-filled food that they might find in the trash. However, scientists who studied dogs in the wild also found that dogs knew to prioritize fresh garbage as opposed to old garbage!
They found that dogs showed a very clear preference for food that was less than 72 hours old and would usually steer clear of food older than that. They proposed that the food or thrown-out scraps rather, undoubtedly tasted better the fresher it was.
Furthermore, the fresher the food, the less likely it is that bacteria will have time to multiply and turn the food rancid. In more urban areas, rather than digging through garbage, some stray dogs rely on the kindness of humans who will toss them their leftovers.
Protein and meat
To get their protein needs met, huskies in the wild act both as hunters and as scavengers. They have a high prey drive and will go after any number of small animals like rabbits, birds, squirrels, chipmunks, rats, voles, and mice. They will even sometimes try to catch fish and eat them.
Though not as likely, there have been some cases where wild or stray dogs, rather, have attacked larger animals like deer. They also have been found to sometimes attack and prey on livestock like pigs, goats, and sheep, though this is not all that common.
Because hunting is difficult and live prey isn’t always readily available, huskies will also scavenge for their food, relying on carrion, road kill, and dead livestock for their meals. Huskies will also sometimes even eat bugs. They will go after bugs like roaches, beetles, and caterpillars.
Their teeth are much like carnivorous animals in that they are designed in such a way that the husky can hold onto and tear into flesh and meat, as well as crush and chew through bones.
Some of their teeth in the front are called canines, which are designed to grab and hold the prey. The premolars are directly behind the canines and are meant to help the dog be able to tear the meat off of an animal’s bones. Lastly, the molars in the back of their mouths are designed to be able to crush various bones in an animal’s body.
Plants & vegetation
In the event that huskies are having difficulty finding any meat products or protein sources, they will likely forage for vegetation or plant matter. This can include various types of grass, crops, berries, vegetables, and even kelp, seaweed, or algae. They’ll often eat fruit like apples or berries that have fallen off of trees or bushes onto the ground.
Sometimes they’ll dig through gardens to find vegetables and herbs they can munch on. Chances are you have seen your dog munching on grass at some point in time. Stray huskies will sometimes resort to eating grass as well.
Stray and wild dogs are more often than not hungry and malnourished and suffering from various ailments and diseases. Scavenging for roadkill or digging through the garbage never provides them with all the calories and nutrients that they require. As such, they usually don’t have nearly as long of a life expectancy or as high-quality of life as our domesticated dogs with homes.
In fact, studies have found that the offspring of stray dog populations are getting smaller in size with each passing generation. This is likely because of nutritional deficiencies. These dogs are not able to get the necessary calories and nutrients to live a long, healthy life, let alone to be able to produce healthy offspring.
Habitats of wild or stray dogs
Some wild or stray dogs live in different areas. Some may live in more rural areas where houses are spread apart and few and far between. Here they will be more likely to hunt for their food and find greater success than if they were within city limits.
On the other hand, some wild or stray dogs live in more urban environments like those within city limits. These dogs, because live prey is more scarce, are often more dependent on rummaging through garbage and begging and hoping some kind human will share their leftovers with them.
Final takeaways about what Huskies eat in the wild
At the end of the day, even though they are quite resourceful and can usually fend for themselves enough to at least keep a little food in their bellies, our sweet huskies are not meant to be on their own in the wild or on the streets.
We need to do everything we can to keep them safe, healthy, and well-fed. If you see a stray husky, take a picture, take note of the location, and contact local authorities or rescues so that sweet husky can finally get some good food in its belly once again!
Do you think your Husky could survive in the wild?
Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
- What do dogs eat in the wild? – https://www.k9ofmine.com/what-do-dogs-eat-in-the-wild/
- The meat of the matter: a rule of thumb for scavenging dogs? – https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281837023_The_meat_of_the_matter_a_rule_of_thumb_for_scavenging_dogs
- Population ecology of free-ranging urban dogs in West Bengal, India – https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF03192418
- The Effectiveness of Dog Population Management: A Systematic Review – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6940938/