Updated on December 2, 2022

What Do Huskies Eat? [Puppies, Adults & Seniors] 

What Do Huskies Eat? Pin
What do Huskies eat?

Knowing what our huskies want to eat and should eat can be one of the more complicated parts of owning a husky and being a pet parent! There are so many options out there, and they all claim to be the best. How are we supposed to know what actually is the best option for our huskies? 

What we know for sure is that our huskies require a nutritionally complete diet that has all of the necessary protein and other essential nutrients to properly fuel their bodies.  

What can huskies eat? 

Huskies can eat a variety of different foods. There are all sorts of different kinds of protein sources, carbohydrate sources, fruits, and vegetables that huskies can eat and love to eat. However, not all huskies are the same, and some can even be picky eaters!

What huskies usually eat, though, is a complete dog food diet containing at least one meat-based protein source, a grain, and a couple of different fruit and veggie options. What huskies want to eat is a whole other story. For sometimes being fussy eaters, they sure do like to give us those puppy dog eyes and ask for whatever we may be eating! 

What Foods Can Huskies Eat? Pin
I’m ready for the food! 😋 Image from @luna.see_

Protein and fat requirements

Husky puppies

Husky puppies need a minimum of 22 percent protein content in their food, according to the Veterinary Manual that states guidelines from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), but often benefit from an even higher protein content for their growing bodies, up to 30%. Fat content should be somewhere around 12 to 18%.

Please read the guidelines or contact your local vet about diet specifics for Huskies.

Adult huskies

Adult huskies require a higher protein content in their diet than many other breeds of dogs. You will want to look for a dog food that is made for dogs who have a high protein requirement. A general recommendation for adult huskies is to have between 28 and 38% protein in their diet. Fat content should be more in the mid-range, so somewhere between 17 and 20% would be sufficient. 

Senior huskies

Senior huskies need just as much protein, if not more protein, than their younger counterparts. As dogs get older, they start to lose muscle mass which can lead to serious problems in mobility. To help prevent some of this muscle mass loss, stick with a high-protein diet.

Some senior dogs start to gain weight as they get older due to decreased activity levels. Fewer calories may be in order if dogs aren’t keeping up their activity levels. On the other hand, older senior dogs often start to lose weight as their appetites start to decrease with age. It will be important to make sure they are getting the calories they need to maintain a healthy weight. 

Male and female huskies

Most male and female huskies will share the same nutritional requirements. The main difference will simply be in the amount of food or the calories they consume a day, with females typically eating less. However, in the case of pregnant or lactating females, they will often benefit from an increase in calories and even protein and fat content. 

Husky Protein & Fat Requirements Pin
Nom nom nom! 😍 Image from @raven.theexplorer

Benefits of protein 

Protein is such an important part of a husky’s diet because it promotes lean muscle growth, can improve the health of their skin and coat, and even provides a boost to their immune systems. Without enough protein, our dogs can suffer from lost muscle mass, a weakened immune system, and poor condition in the skin and coat. Animal protein is the best bet for our huskies, as plant protein is not easily digested. 

7 protein sources Huskies eat 

1. Chicken

Chicken is a lean meat that provides the necessary protein and energy for huskies. It also has omega-6 fatty acids, which promote healthy skin and coat, as well as high concentrations of other important amino acids. 

2. Beef

Beef is another popular and easily accessible protein source for huskies. It has tons of important vitamins and minerals like vitamins B6 and B12 and zinc, as well as riboflavin and iron. 

3. Lamb

Lamb is an ingredient that seems to be growing in popularity in the pet food industry because of its rich protein content. It’s also a lean meat, so it contains less fat than other protein sources while still maintaining essential amino acids and even glucosamine and chondroitin, which improve the structural health of our dog’s bodies.  

4. Fish

Fish, while not as popular a choice as other protein sources, can be a great alternative choice, especially for huskies with allergies to other protein sources. It is high in protein and high in omega-3 fatty acids. 

5. Turkey

Turkey is another amazing lean meat protein option for huskies. Dogs who are overweight or have a history of pancreatitis can also benefit from a diet where the primary ingredient is a more lean, low-fat meat. 

6. Venison

Venison is an excellent meat option for those looking for something lean. It also is a great source of zinc, a nutrient that many huskies tend not to get enough of. 

7. Duck

Duck is another lean meat that huskies enjoy. It is rich in iron and has tons of amino acids necessary for our dog’s health. 

Benefits Of Protein For Huskies Pin
Husky family dinnertime! 🍗 Image from @kengun_imuro

Benefits of grains for Huskies

Though in recent years, there has been an increase in popularity for grain-free diets, the vast majority of dogs, aside from those with grain-specific allergies, greatly benefit from healthy grains in their diet. 

Grains like brown rice, barley, and oats are all examples of grains that can play an important role in your dog’s overall health.

Moreover, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has, in recent years, issued a warning to pet owners that there is an ongoing investigation into a possible link between grain-free diets and an increased risk of dilated cardiomyopathy and other serious heart conditions.

Many veterinarians agree that cutting grains out of a dog’s diet entirely can lead to them missing out on essential amino acids, fatty acids, protein, and fiber. 

3 healthy grain sources for Huskies

1. Rice

In moderation, rice, especially brown rice, is a great source of vitamin D, fiber, and iron. White rice, on the other hand, is more often used to help dogs experiencing digestive upset because the fiber and starch levels help bind the stool. 

2. Barley

Oats are an excellent source of soluble fiber, which helps regulate blood glucose levels and helps regulate digestion, as well as linoleic acid, which helps improve dogs’ skin and fur. 

3. Oats

Barley is a great source of fiber, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and selenium. It is also more easily digested than many other grains. 

Benefits Of Grains For Huskies Pin
Husky eating rice from chopsticks! 😯 Image from @atomthehusky

Benefits of fat for Huskies

Healthy fats can contain important nutrients like omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids, which can help regulate hormones, reduce inflammation, and help improve liver, heart, and brain health. Fats also have fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, E, D, and K. 

3 healthy fats for Huskies

1. Fish oil

Fish oil contains anti-inflammatory properties and contains DHA, EPA, and Omega-3, all of which are known to help dogs suffering from arthritis. 

2. Poultry fat

Poultry fat is often found in chicken and turkey and provides essential fatty acids. 

3. Chicken fat

Chicken fat is a good source of omega-6 fatty acids, an important component in cell membrane structure and cell function. 

Benefits Of Fat For Huskies Pin
Waiting patiently for leftovers! 🤤 Image from @fu_mixed_huskyyyy

Commercial dry and wet dog food

By far, the most common option for husky owners is a dry commercial dog food. Most countries require regulations to make sure that the food being sold as dog food is safe to eat, accurately labeled, and produced with sanitation protocols in place. 

Companies are also required to produce a food that is nutritionally complete and balanced per guidelines set forth by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association. That being said, some brands are certainly better than others, and choosing the best one for their dog is an important task for owners. 

Raw dog food diets 

Another option growing in popularity, though somewhat controversial, is a raw food diet for huskies. Proponents believe that this diet more closely mimics how dogs would eat in nature. They also suggest that the dogs benefit from a raw diet with improved joint and bone health, improved skin and coat, and improved dental hygiene. These diets can be homemade, store-bought, dehydrated, and freeze-dried. The primary ingredients of a raw diet are organ meat, muscle meat, fruits, vegetables, eggs, and sometimes grains. 

Most veterinarians recommend against feeding a raw food diet as raw meat contains pathogens that can be harmful to humans, especially young children and those who are immunocompromised, as well as dogs. Veterinarians also worry that dogs on a raw diet may be more at risk for lacking the necessary nutrients from their diet since homemade diets don’t undergo the scrutiny that commercial diets do. 

Husky Puppy Eating Watermelon Pin
It’s not chicken, but I’ll take it! 🍉 Image from @we.are.woofwoof

Fresh dog food 

Another option that falls somewhere in between commercial dog food diets and raw food diets is a fresh food diet. This would look like fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and meats that are cooked and prepared for dogs. This decreases the risks associated with feeding raw and allows dogs to have food that is free from any preservatives. Fresh dog food diets can be homemade, but there are also store-bought options available, usually frozen, as well as home delivery options as well. 

Must read: Best Dog Food For Huskies

Things to look for when choosing a dog food 

  • One of the first things to look for when choosing a dog food is the ingredient list. You’ll want to ensure that a whole meat or meat meal is the first ingredient on the list. 
  • Additionally, look for whole fruits and vegetables in the ingredient list. 
  • Avoid unnecessary filler like corn, cornflakes, cornmeal, ground corn, or soy. 
  • Avoid food that contains food colorings or dyes. 
  • Choose food that contains only natural sources of vitamins and minerals as opposed to synthetic sources. 
  • Consider your dog’s age and dietary requirements. Puppies have different nutritional needs and caloric needs than adults and vice versa. 
  • Avoid foods with Melamine as an ingredient, as Melamine is a type of plastic that is able to make food appear as though it has more protein in it. 
  • Ingredients are listed on the package based on the weight of each ingredient in the food. If chicken and oats are the first two ingredients, then the bulk of the food is going to be made up of chicken and oats. The ingredient listed last will be the ingredient contributing the least amount of weight to the food. You will want to ensure that wholesome ingredients make up at least the first five or six ingredients of any dog food you choose.  
Choosing Dog Food For Your Husky Pin
This is Tina being a good girl posing for a photo with her favorite dog food! Image from @thehuskymom

Eating habits of huskies 

Huskies are typically good at self-regulating how much food they eat compared to how much energy they are using up. So if a husky hasn’t had much exercise on a particular day, it is likely that he won’t eat as much that day. On the other hand, if a husky has been more active than usual, it’s likely that he might tell you that he’s still hungry even after his food is gone! That being said, for many huskies, it’s common for them to choose not to eat until they have had some exercise that day. 

Another thing about huskies is that they can be very particular about their food and stubborn. They may choose to turn their nose up at any food for any number of reasons one day. They may also choose to completely devour their food another day. This, of course, will vary from husky to husky as they are highly individualistic dogs, and no two are really all that alike. 

Final takeaways about foods that Huskies eat

Whatever you end up deciding to feed your husky, remember that it is okay to change dog food! Sometimes one dog food will work really well for a while, but as the dog gets older, it may develop different nutritional requirements.

Huskies also are notorious for having sensitive tummies, so it is to be expected that not all dog foods will be a perfect fit. That being said, so long as it’s a complete and balanced diet and you transition slowly over a period of time, it’s perfectly fine to try out different dog foods or add various toppings to get your pup to eat dinner. 

What does your Husky like to eat?

Share your experience in the comments below.

References:

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