Siberian huskies are a unique breed. But as the owner of one of these great northern pups, you already knew that!
But it’s not just the huskies’ personality that is unique. These amazing dogs have a long and colorful history that has a huge impact on their dietary and nutritional needs.
Keep reading to find out what makes these pups so special and which foods we recommend to keep them thriving.
How the History of the Siberian Husky Affects Diet
You probably already know that your husky is descended from a long line of sled dogs. But have you ever considered how this lifestyle has affected your husky’s nutritional needs?
According to akc.org, the first huskies were bred and used by the Chukchi people of northern Asia. These people relied on their sled dogs to help them hunt and travel.
So how did this lifestyle determine the huskies’ nutritional needs?
On the surface, it doesn’t seem like the two should be related. Until you consider that all that athletic ability – running for miles on end – had to be accomplished on a relatively light diet of scraps that the Chukchi people could spare.
In order to survive such harsh working conditions, your husky’s relatives became super efficient at using calories and the little nutrition they received, according to Forever Husky. Today’s husky is still capable of surviving on small amounts of food and often will refuse to eat any more than they need.
This propensity for “picky eating” often leads to concerned owners, as I’m sure you’ve experienced. But, as long as your dog is getting a quality food that their system tolerates well, they are probably eating all their body needs to stay trim and healthy.
Want to learn more about huskies and their unique history? You’ll love this article on the husky breed.
Feeding Your Husky Quality Food to Avoid Common Health Problems
All that time living in a harsh climate with few resources changed more than just your Sibe’s appetite. Only the strongest of the strong could survive such a grueling life and that has resulted in a dog breed that is relatively disease free today.
Your husky is luckier than many other popular breeds like goldens and labs, and so are you as a husky owner. You only have to worry about a handful of common diseases, and many of these can be delayed or avoided with the feeding of a quality diet.
The most common health issues in huskies affect the eyes. They are prone to cataracts, especially juvenile cataracts, and uveodermatologic syndrome, according to All About Siberian Husk
Sibe’s can also fall victim to some coat problems, like follicular dysplasia which results in abnormal hair growth or even hair loss. Even if your husky is free of this disease, you know their thick double coat, meant to keep them warm in sub-freezing temperatures, already demands a lot of extra care to keep healthy.
Like many breeds of a similar stature, huskies can also be affected by hip dysplasia. This painful condition often results in lameness and requires surgery to cure.
Luckily, there are some steps you can take to lessen your dog’s risk of getting these kinds of diseases, and feeding the right diet is one of them.
How to Pick a Quality Food for Your Husky
Are you considering a diet change for your Sibe? Or did you just add a new sled pup to the family?
Picking the right food is not only crucial for your husky’s health, but also important in avoiding any unnecessary pickiness around food.
Foods high in fat not only taste better, but they also support a dog’s skin, coat, and joints. For a husky with an extra low appetite, a high-fat diet can also better support an active lifestyle and proper weight.
Protein is another key ingredient to help your husky thrive. Dogs’ digestive tracts were built to extract nutrients from proteins rather than carbs, and a high-protein diet is key to your husky maintaining a healthy system
But not all protein is created equally. Protein from plants like peas and legumes is much harder for your husky to utilize than protein from meat, poultry, and fish.
Look for a food with moderate to high fat levels and high protein with lots of listed animal ingredients like chicken, lamb meal, turkey meal, beef and fish meal.
Reviews of The Best Dog Foods for Huskies
#1. ORIJEN Dry Dog Food, Original, Biologically Appropriate & Grain Free
First up on our list of the best foods for huskies, is a dry kibble crafted to match your dog’s ancestral diet of meats, berries, and fibrous plant material. Orijen’s Original recipe dog food comes in first on our list for its super-high protein content and an unprecedented number of animal-sourced ingredients.
With 38% protein coming from a long list of 15 animal-sourced ingredients like turkey, chicken, and flounder, this food is sure to satisfy your husky’s taste for meat. And, because so much of the protein in this food comes from meat, you know your husky’s ultra-efficient metabolism will be able to put it to use.
This food also contains a higher than average fat content of 18%. This not only adds to the palatability of the food, but also supports healthy skin, coat, and joints.
Naturally occurring omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin are also important in protecting joints, especially those plagued by hip dysplasia.
This food is both calorie-dense and nutrient-dense, making it one of the best dry dog foods for huskies.
This food is pricey but considering that huskies often eat only about 60% of what the average dog of the same size does, one bag of this food will last you. And with all that quality, it is certainly worth the higher price tag.
#2. Nutro Wild Frontier Vital Prey Wet Dog Food
If your husky is especially picky around dinner time, our second choice for the best dog food for Siberian huskies is for you. Nutro’s Wild Frontier canned foods are packed with meat ingredients and extra-palatable for your picky husky.
This canned diet has an amazing 50% protein per dry matter, higher than any other food on our list. And best of all, 99% of this protein comes from animal sources, so you know it is easily digestible even for more sensitive dogs.
But what really makes this food a game-changer for picky huskies, is that it is available in eight different flavors, all packed with super-high protein levels and quality ingredients. Many huskies grow bored with their food rather quickly, but by rotating between all these great flavors, you can help your picky pooch eat more consistently.
In addition to vitamins, mineral, and great meat ingredients like chicken, turkey, beef, and liver, this canned food contains very few plant-sourced ingredients. In fact, potato starch is the only one you’ll find in most flavors.
This food is also high in fat, with about 19% per dry matter in most flavors. With high fat and high protein, this food is especially good for active and working huskies.
This wet food is priced on the higher end, but well worth it for a picky husky in need of calorie-dense food.
#3. ORIJEN Dry Dog Food, Puppy, Biologically Appropriate & Grain Free
Our third choice of food isn’t appropriate for adult huskies, but it is one of the best dog foods for husky puppies. Like Orijen’s adult recipe, their puppy formula is packed with nutritious fats and protein to help your husky pup grow up right.
Also, like the adult formula, this food has 38% protein coming from 15 quality animal ingredients. This food does contain higher fat at 20% to support your growing pup’s higher metabolism and caloric needs.
Orijen’s puppy food contains all the great essential fatty acids and joint supplements of the adult food and has added DHA to help your husky pup’s cognitive development. All of these great supplements on top of quality ingredients make this the best puppy food for huskies.
There’s a reason Orijen appears on our list twice. With unsurpassed ingredient quality and high nutrient availability, Orijen is easily one of the best dog food brands for Siberian huskies.
If you have a huska-mute or other large breed husky mix, Orijen also makes a large breed formula that is also very high in quality.
The puppy formula and the adult formula are similarly priced, but well worth the extra expense to get your pup started off on the right foot.
#4. Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Recipe Natural Dog Food
Many huskies develop extra-picky eating habits if a food upsets their stomach. For those extra-sensitive Sibes, we’ve included Instinct’s limited ingredient diet on our list.
This superior limited ingredient diet comes in four flavors: duck, lamb, salmon, and turkey. Each flavor only contains the listed animal meat and one vegetable, making this the best dog food for huskies with sensitive stomachs.
This food packs an impressive protein punch considering that limited ingredient list. The total protein varies by flavor with lamb containing the lowest at 23.5% and turkey containing the highest at 29%.
Each flavor also contains about 17% fat and plenty of omegas for coat health.
This diet does use peas, which adds to the overall protein amounts but are also very easy on the stomach and a low allergen food.
With multiple flavor choices all containing easy to digest, low-allergen ingredients, this food is easy to rotate to keep your picky husky interested and eating well.
As a specialty diet, this food is pretty well priced. It is still more expensive than standard diets, but cheaper than most of the foods we’ve listed so far.
#5. Crave Grain Free Adult Dry Dog Food With Protein
Our final choice food was selected for its high-protein content, as well as its affordable price tag. Crave’s adult dry food contains many of the great benefits of other foods on our list but at less than half the price.
This food also comes in four flavors to keep your husky interested, including chicken, beef, lamb/venison, and salmon/ocean fish. All flavors contain 34% protein and 17% fat making this the perfect diet for the average husky.
Each flavor contains chicken meal as well as the meat of the named protein ingredient. The recipe also includes higher amounts of legumes which add protein, but in a form that is less available for your dog to use.
This is one of the best dogs foods for husky mixes whose metabolism isn’t as efficient and needs more food to thrive. You’ll be able to afford to buy more of this food, thanks to the bargain price.
What is the Best Dog Food for Siberian Huskies?
After reviewing the best high-protein, high-fat dogs foods we found Orijen’s Adult Dry Food to be the best dog food for huskies. This superior recipe contains a long list of animal-sourced ingredients that pack a high protein punch to keep your husking thriving.
With its higher fat content and nutrient-rich kibbles, this recipe is perfect for your husky’s specialized metabolism. And all those quality ingredients will help keep them interested and minimize hunger strikes.
If your husky suffers from a sensitive tummy or needs more variety to stave off pickiness, we’ve included many great options to meet those needs on our list as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Huskies are good at self-limiting their calorie intake to what they really need and most will not willingly starve themselves. If your concerned with how much your dog is eating, keep an eye on their body condition.
If you notice you can more easily feel your husky’s ribs or hip bones, or that their coat starts to look dull, they may need some enticement to eat more or a higher calorie food.
While huskies are much less likely to overeat than other breeds, there is still a chance your dog might consume too many calories if given free access to a full bowl of food. And once a husky gains weight, it can be especially hard for them to lose it again.
Instead, offer your husky a pre-measured amount of food in the morning and evening and give them plenty of time to eat their fill before you pick up the bowl.
Huskies are notorious about suddenly turning their noses up at dog food they used to enjoy. This is often caused by a bad batch of food that upset their stomach, a bowl that was left out too long and got stale, or because they have just gotten bored with the flavor.
Feeding a line of food that has multiple flavor options is a great idea to help avoid this common husky issue. These foods are usually made with the same base ingredients and varying protein sources, making them easy to switch between without upsetting your dog’s stomach.
Always provide fresh kibble at each meal and keep the food in an airtight container to avoid spoilage.
Summed Up: The Best Dog Foods for Huskies
|Orijen Adult Dry Food||Nutro Wild Frontier Canned Food||Orijen Puppy Dry Food||Instinct Limited Ingredient Dry||Crave Adult Dry Food|
|Features for Huskies||High protein, high fat, multiple animal-sourced ingredients||Very high protein, highly palatable, multiple flavors||High protein, very high fat, puppy-specific formula||Very limited ingredient formula, low allergen, multiple flavors||High protein, different flavor options, affordable|