If you’re reading this article, then the chances are that you’ve just welcomed an adorable bundle of fluff into your home.
Being a dog owner is a big responsibility, and as the guardian of a pooch, it’s your job to educate yourself on the specific needs of your dog – and one of his biggest needs is nutrition.
Putting in the work now will make for a happy and healthy dog for the long-term, and he’ll repay you for your efforts tenfold!
How Big is a Husky?
Contrary to popular belief, the Siberian Husky is not a large breed of canine, rather – he is classified as medium in size.
The adult female weighs in somewhere between 16 and 23 kgs and standing at 50 to 56 cms at the withers, and the adult male weighs 20 to 27 kgs and stands 54 to 60 cms tall.
When comparing to other breeds, that makes them somewhere between the size of a Border Collie and a Labrador, and yet – many new owners, or owners to be, assume that these are large dogs and feed them accordingly.
The Natural Build of the Husky
With a strong build, the Husky is also very nimble, meaning that his physique isn’t as pronounced as the Pitbull, or Rottweiler for example.
He was bred for strength, endurance, and agility – therefore a lean yet muscular body type is ideal.
It’s impossible to change the natural build of a breed, and while muscle can be developed through exercise and diet – you should always consider your dog’s health and happiness over appearance.
Because your Husky puppy is a growing pooch, coupled with the fact that this is a high energy breed – he needs enough food for his body to grow, and provide him the energy he needs to get through a busy day of being a cute puppy!
As a pup, you should be feeding Fido a minimum of two times per day, but ideally three or four.
Consistency is key for a healthy digestive system, therefore, if you’re at work during the day and can only feed him twice per day, stick to that routine even during weekends or holidays.
The Ideal Balance
As a working breed, the Husky needs nutrition that will promote strong bones while he’s in his adolescent stage, therefore – feeding the right macronutrients for the first year of his life is key.
The ideal ratio for a Siberian Husky pup up to one year of age is:
- Protein 40%
- Carbohydrates 25%
- Fat 30%
- Fiber 5%
As your pooch gets older, you should increase the protein intake, and reduce the fat – as while puppies can metabolize fat well, as they mature they become less able to do so.
For the mature Siberian Husky, a diet with too much fat leaves them at risk of developing health conditions including Pancreatitis.
Changes in Diet
When you first welcome your new puppy home, his breeder or adoption center will likely have given you a small bag of food to last you for the first couple of days.
When you want to switch him to a new food, it’s very important to do so slowly.
Upset stomachs are very common for puppies, and the resulting dehydration can cause medical complications.
As a rule of thumb, you should slowly introduce a new food at a rate of 25% day on day mixed with his old food.
Based on that, he should be switched over in four days to his new food entirely!
Muscle Vs. Fat
When looking to build up your puppy for maximum growth, it’s important that you’re feeding him a diet that encourages his bones, and muscles to grow – and not just add to his puppy fat!
Each time you visit your veterinarian, it’s a good idea to ask him for his opinion on Mr. Pups weight and size for his age; your veterinarian is an expert and can be a great help!
The Dangers of Overfeeding
It can be tempting to throw your pup an extra treat when he’s doing that ol’ sideways head, ears cocked act – but remember, sometimes you’ve got to be cruel to be kind.
Obesity or overweight huskies are well known to suffer from far more health conditions that those at an optimum or slightly lean weight.
As the Husky is already predisposed to Hip Dysplasia, the additional weight your pooch is carrying will only greater his risk of developing the problem or make his life more uncomfortable if he’s already suffering from the condition.
Breeders of this noble breed agree that this is a breed that finds it easy to gain weight, and hard to lose – therefore careful management is advised to save yourself from the headache of diet plans and exercise routines further down the line.
Shop Bought Food
There are dried and canned foods that just about line up to the macronutrient requirements of Siberian Husky puppies, and you can always supplement these with additional meat to bump the protein intake if necessary.
It’s usually better to feed raw foods and complete foods separately, so if your sack of dog food doesn’t cut it – keep one meal for additional bits and bobs rather than mixing this into his dry food meals.
A homemade diet is almost always better, you know exactly what’s going into your dog’s body, and you get to avoid all of the additives that are found in the majority of shop bought foods.
However, you do need to be sure to put aside some time for cooking up his meals!
Luckily, it’s possible to cook up a big batch and freeze it for later use; this is what most owners feeding homemade meals prefer to do!
Puppy Can’t Gain Weight?
Do you feel as though you’ve tried absolutely everything but your puppy just isn’t gaining weight?
It may be a sign of something going wrong internally.
The most common reasons for puppies to struggle with weight gain, or begin to lose weight is an intestinal parasite infestation, taking your Husky puppy to the vet for a checkup should be able to identify whether this is the problem.
Other potential reasons for lack of weight gain include:
- Incorrect macronutrient ratios
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Dental Issues
The Husky is one of the most incredible dog breeds, able to live happily in hot or cold weather, a tough working dog, but also – an incredible family pooch!
Feeding your Husky puppy a diet that is going to build him up to be a resilient and healthy dog is the best thing you can do for him as an owner.
And let’s not forget – the healthier he is, the longer his life, and the longer you can enjoy going on adventures with him!