My Siberian Husky Guide
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thielgrad04 is an animal lover who shares her home with a Husky named Molly and a kitty named Lily.
Pros and Cons to Owning a Husky
With any long-term investment, weighing the pros and cons is the first step in deciding on whether the choice you are making is right for you.
Siberian Huskies are an amazing breed of dog, but they are not like just any dog. So, if you are interested in giving a Husky a good home, but are not sure what is involved, then continue to read. I will list my experiences with the pros and cons of owning a Siberian Husky.
Here are a few reasons why choosing a Husky may not be the right choice:
- They are extremely high-energy dogs. They have a constant need to be active.
- If Huskies are not able to let out some steam, they are prone to chewing and rowdiness in the home.
- Not only that, but they will get into everything including the waste can and toilet brush to your favorite pair of socks.
- If you are the type of owner that is gone from home all day (more extreme than a typical 9 hour work day), does not have time to take the dog for walks, runs, or trips to the dog park just about every day, or the patience to teach them on a treadmill, then be prepared to have your house destroyed when you are home.
Pros and Cons of Owning a Husky
Extremely loyal and loving
Fun and energetic
They shed a lot
Can be violent around other animals and other pets
They need lots of exercise each day
Taking Your Husky Out for a Walk
I have found that taking my Husky to the dog park for an hour several times a week and for moderate walks on the other days make an enormous difference in the temperament of the dog. She is much calmer overall and less likely to chew on toys, furniture, or myself.
Secondly, Huskies have two thick coats. They are sled dogs after all. There is a reason they are called Siberian Huskies (or even Alaskan Huskies, for that matter). They are cold weather dogs. In other words, they will not fare well in heat and are prone to heat stroke. Taking them out for a run when it is ninety degrees is probably not a good idea, so it is better to not own a Husky if you live where it is hot year round. There are alternatives to exercising your dog even if you live where there are seasonal changes.
Taking Care of Your Husky's Coat
With the aforementioned two coats, Huskies shed. A lot. They blow their coats two times a year and if you do not brush them your home or yard, or where ever the dog stays most of the time, will look like a winter wonderland. There are some good brushes and combs out there, so talk to your neighborhood pet store or talk to other dog owners to get some advice on which ones work best. Brushes or combs that will get the undercoat are ideal. I recommend the Undercoat Rake as it gets the job done and it is very durable.
Huskies May Attack Other Animals
Some Huskies tend to attack other creatures such as rabbits, gophers, and other woodland creatures. They may even attack your cat, should you have one of those. They are said to do well with cats if the Husky grows up with them from the start, but in my experience, it is proving to be a hard habit to stop. Mine likes to bite the cat. It seems like she is playing. She does not make any sounds to indicate aggression, but the cat does not like it. I am working every day with my pup to teach her that the cat is off limits. It is a lot of work and sometimes I do not feel like dealing with it, but I love my cat, and I love my dog. In the end, I really do not mind the work. Overall, these traits are not lacking in other dogs.
Unless your lifestyle matches my descriptions, I would not let these deter you from owning a Husky. In fact, some of these traits could also be seen in a positive light. Since Huskies are working dogs, they are very strong. If you want to have some fun with them in the winter, let them pull you on a sled. Or they could be your ticket to a healthier lifestyle. Get a bike and let them pull you. They make contraptions that allow the dog to pull you without running the risk of it being run over by your bike when it stops and causing an accident for you.
The Positives to Owning a Husky
Huskies Are Very Loyal
Now that we have gotten the not so great stuff out of the way, let's move on to just why a Husky is such a great choice in a pet. They are extremely loving and loyal. They will give you unconditional love. Huskies like to cuddle with you, so if you let them up on the couch or in bed with you, they will lay there for hours. It is the sweetest thing when they put their heads up in the crook of your neck and snore softly. They are also very good with people of all ages and other dogs. However, they are companions, not guard dogs.
Huskies Are Highly Intelligent
While they are a lot of work, they are like one of the family (or one of the kids). Because they are highly intelligent, they can learn all the same tricks as any other dog can, and sometimes catch on faster. During our obedience classes, my Husky is always the first to learn the lesson of the day. The key to a well-trained dog is consistency and patience.
Having a Husky Can Change Your Life
They are such beautiful animals, with the prettiest striking blue eyes (though some have brown or even one brown and one blue). They have typical patterns such as white in the face, white feet, and white on the tip of their tail, but their markings are almost as unique as your fingerprint. Think of owning and raising a puppy Husky as if you are raising a child. You must provide them with time and attention, love, nourishment, activity, and rest. I guarantee you that your life will never be the same. Even if you become busier and have less time for yourself, I am confident that once you hold that snoring puppy in your arms or watch it chase its tail for five minutes straight, that you will wonder how you ever got along without a Husky.
Owning a Husky
© 2011 thielgrad04
Val on October 19, 2019:
Ive had two huskies and my second is a rehome and I must be lucky, he is an absolute dream. He loves dogs and people, so gentle, never chews anything, in fact he snuggles his toys!! The only trait he has is he can't go off lead in an unenclosed park, he's the typical run away!
Filip on September 29, 2019:
Hello, internet! I already have a cat she is about 4years old and I was wondering, what if I get a young puppy (Husky) and train/tell it not to hurt my cat will that work?
Brandi Burkhardt on May 12, 2019:
I dont know how i would live without my husky Demon and Yellow lab Micha. I had to show him that i was alpha. Show no fear. I have anxiety and depression. So if i have a panic attack. He's right there for me. And when im done he doesnt leave my side the rest of the day. Bless his heart
thielgrad04 (author) from Pennsylvania on April 29, 2019:
I'm sooo sorry. Mine are 8 years now, and just thinking about that day happening breaks my heart. Our first female is like no other dog I've ever met. I can't imagine her not being in this world. I don't know how I will cope. Just reading your response does the same. Why can't they live for ever, or at least longer than us? I love that your daughter wants to start a Siberian husky rescue. I hope she does, and I wish her the best of luck in its success!
Bobbi on April 25, 2019:
We lost our beloved husky, Dakota, a year & 1/2 ago. He was the sweetest boy, unless you were a bird or mouse. I was worried about bringing my daughter home with him as we had been told Huskies aren't always accepting of new family members. Dakota took one look at my baby girl & decided she was his. When we had to put our boy to sleep my daughter was heartbroken & sobbing, but she wouldn't leave her 'Kota. Dakota used the last of his strength to try to get to her. He couldn't stand her being that upset. He left this world with his head in her lap. It was the most heartbreaking, yet beautiful thing I've ever seen. We miss our boy to this day. My daughter now wants to start a Siberian husky rescue.
Y sullivan on February 05, 2019:
Do not shave your Huskys fur they need the fur to stay warm in winter cool in summer feed well exercise exercise exercise love will be your friend and protecter watch Husky Squad
G.Allen on January 05, 2019:
Greatest dog I've ever had. Mine is 7 years old and I've had her since she was 6 weeks old. Great personality and a true friend. Mine only sheds once a year. All year lol.
Kritika on December 06, 2018:
Judy Cipriano on October 15, 2018:
We are on our 3rd. Husky. She is soooo beautiful, I get stopped everywhere in admiration og her"Lucy". My husky to me is like any other dog, she even likes to lye in the sun. They are picky eaters also. I agree they need daily walking, and when you dont they let you know it. Yes heavy shedders all the time. Mine has never chewed anything up and is now 7. But im with her al the time, retired. Very loving with our cat to. But she did kill and bring in a chipmpnk once! She loves everybodyn not just loyal to us. Very good temperment this one has. My best husky yet. Once you have one, you will always want one.
Lace on May 16, 2014:
Our relative gave us two syberian husky pups (male & female) They are 2 months old. I am a bit worried on how to take care of them since we only used to have small pups like shitszu. Do you have any advise for the first timers? we are located on a tropical country, Philippines. tnx
jase albes on May 19, 2012:
my drake also wants a wet ground. here in philippines a tropical climate
Eternal Evolution from kentucky on June 30, 2011:
Lots of great information. As with any breed it's important for potential owners to do some research and as you said weight the pros and cons. Not every breed is right for every person nor does every breed fit into every lifestyle.
We have a Siberian Husky that was a re-home from someone who could no longer care for him. He is a great dog.
thielgrad04 (author) from Pennsylvania on May 26, 2011:
Aw that is sad. I'm sorry to hear that happened to Icy. :( Icy is a good name for the Husky. Mine starts panting right away. She'll love it in the winter.
Ireno Alcala from Bicol, Philippines on May 24, 2011:
Icy was our first Siberian Husky, given to my sister last year. He want a cooler ground, we have to use electric fan to cool him off (since I live in a tropical country, Philippines). Unfortunately, a risky driver overrun our dog. What a pity!
Still, I have Brownie, a cross between Alaskan Husky and Asian wolf, much smaller than Icy. He occasionally howls at night, causing amusement to my cousin-neighbor.
There are some foods that should never be given to your dog on any basis. Take a look at the picture below to know these foods.
Taking care of your husky’s diet can be quite rewarding if done properly, and will help your husky to lead a full and healthy life. Though they are known for being quite finicky when it comes to their food, it’s important that you exercise patience when providing healthy meals that they also find attractive. Going through a period of trial and error is normal in any husky owner’s life, but once you’ve found the right balance, then all of your worries simply melt away.
- Eating Habits of Siberian Huskies, by Amanda Williams, retrieved from the web on January 25th, 2018.
- Best Dog Food For Huskies: What To Choose And Why, By dogsaholic, retrieved from the web on January 25th, 2018.
What should I feed my Siberian husky puppy?
For puppies, in my opinion, you have three big options: canned food, semi-moist food or kibble. I don’t feed my puppies raw meat or dinner scraps.
Why don’t I feed them raw meat? Well, there are two main reasons: there might be bacteria in raw meat and my puppy immune system is just building up, and the unbalanced diet that may damage the health of my dogs. There are plenty of premium and tailored dog foods based on heavily researched recipes already from where I can choose. So why should I try to do what other scientists did already? All that is left for me, and for you as a dog owner, is to choose the best food option for husky puppies.
Canned food for husky puppies
Canned food for husky puppies usually contains meat such as veal, chicken, salmon, duck or lamb and some forest fruits or vegetables. These recipes are based on what dog’s ancestors, the wolves, eat in the wilderness. Wolves hunt the prey, hence the meat, and the fruits or the vegetables are consumed right from the bushes as a minor part of their diet.
Wolves also eat grass to purge their digestive system so don’t worry if you see your puppy chewing or nibbling on some grass.
Don’t give your husky puppy canned food that contains only meat. He needs more than just meat in order to have a balanced diet. If you have canned food for puppies that contain only meat you don’t have to worry about it. Steam some vegetables such as carrots or beans and mix them with the canned food when you’re giving it to your pup.
If you have forest fruits nearby, it can be frozen fruits, such as blueberries and raspberries, put 2 or 3 small pieces in all meat canned food. You can do this until you finished the batch. Don’t forget to cut the carrots, and even the fruits if the size is too big, in small pieces so there will be no choking hazard. After that, you can opt for other and more adequate wet food.
Feeding your husky puppy wet dog food – pros and cons
Wet dog food benefits:
- Any wet dog food is easier to digest by your husky puppy
- Canned food usually contains fewer carbs
- Wet foods smell more appealing
- The water found in the wet food makes this more hydrating – this comes in handy when your puppy doesn’t drink enough water
- Your husky puppy can eat a larger portion per meal without adding more calories
Wet dog food disadvantages
- Premium wet food for huskie puppies is pretty expensive
- Wet food must be deposited in the fridge after the can was opened
Wet dog food can spoil fast if it’s left open. You can buy 100 g pouches and serve one or two per meal. The quantity depends on the age of your pup. We’ll talk about how much you should feed a husky puppy in this blog post. Pouches are usually more expensive than dog food cans. If you want to make a better deal, you can pick 400 g cans. In the first weeks, a can will be sufficient for three or four meals. This means one-day meals or one-day meals and the next morning meal. You have to keep it in the fridge after you open it, or otherwise, it will spoil. I heat the food that was already open and kept in the fridge before I give it to my puppies. The smell is more prominent and they like it better this way.
Semi-moist food for huskies
Semi-moist dog food contains more sugar and salt than either dry or canned dog food. Those extra calories and salt are not that good for your husky puppy that is in the growing process. It is semi-moist because it contains about 60% water by weight. You have to read the package label and check if there are any artificial colors or preservatives if you want to feed your puppy semi-moist food. Check the calories too, you need to give your puppy a balanced diet.
Dry food for Siberian huskies
Dry food is the most chosen option by the dog’s owners. Why? Dry food is easy to deposit, it doesn’t spoil so fast as wet food and it’s easy to feed and portion. You can find kibble in many sizes and shapes and there a lot of options on the market.
What to look for when you’re picking dry food for your husky puppy?
The dry food for junior huskies has a high level of protein and vitamins. You might want to look for kibbles that are good for healthy cartilage and joint development and contain a balanced calcium-phosphorus ratio substance.
What is the best dry food for your Siberian husky puppy?
Choose kibbles that have meat and other components of animal origin of at least 40% with lots of fresh meat (min. 20%). The higher the percentage of meat the better the food. The dry food has also include berries, roots, vegetables, and wild plants. There should not be colorants, preservatives or flavor enhancers in the dry food for puppies.
Feeding dry food to Siberian husky
When you’re feeding your husky puppy kibbles only, you should soak kibbles in some water. It’s better to feed husky puppies moist kibbles. No matter what size or shape the chosen kibbles are.
Should I use a grain-free dry food for my puppy?
Grains can cause intolerance and allergies and are very difficult to assimilate by the dog’s stomach. If you don’t want to feed grains to your puppy then you can choose a dry food that is based on a grain-free recipe. There are a lot of dog food recipes made with potatoes. Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber and vitamins as well as iron, calcium, and beta-carotene. Potatoes are carbohydrates that are easy to digest.
From what I observed in my dogs, a grain-free diet is the best. I tried to give them dry food based on rice and chicken recipe. My husky buddy did well with it but my husky lady stomach didn’t approve the recipe. I went back to a grain-free diet after that. We will see in the future how and if she will accept it.
Wet food and dry food combination
You might find that the best option for your husky puppy is to feed him a combination of wet and dry food. When you’re combining kibbles with wet food you have to check if the combined amount doesn’t exceed your puppy’s daily recommended caloric intake.
I feed my Siberian huskies a combination of both dry food and wet food. If you want to do the same you can check the feeding table on both and do the math. Also, if you’re training your puppy and reinforce his good behavior with treats you should take the calories of the treats into consideration too. Treats are also a part of your dog diet. If you don’t want to add to many calories to the meals, then you can give fruits or vegetables to your puppy during training.
Husky Intelligence and Misunderstandings
Huskies are quite intelligent, but this intelligence isn’t as good as it might sound and can cause problems if not properly dealt with.
While we tend to think of high intelligence in dogs as a good thing, with Huskies it isn’t so straight forward.
A Husky’s high intelligence mixed with their independence creates stubbornness. Huskies can be painfully stubborn. I talk about this in my list of 15 Things Only Husky Owners Will Understand.
Huskies understand commands and are intelligent enough to decide whether they want to follow them or not. Many people mistakenly see this as a lack of intelligence, but when a Husky doesn’t follow a command you know they understand, it’s their stubbornness showing.
In the below photo, I have called her to come up the stairs to meet me. The below face says “I heard you, but I’m not moving”.
My family joke that sometimes when we give her a command, we can see her mind thinking “what’s in this for me?” as she decides whether she chooses to follow the command or not.
While experienced trainers can overcome this stubbornness, it can become an issue for other owners. The lack of intelligence or independence in other dog breeds makes them easy to train and follow commands. Because Huskies are intelligent, they can assess your commands and decide whether or not to follow them. This makes them stubborn and it makes your job a bit harder.
While this might sound bad, it simply means you need to have a better understanding of training techniques and instilling good behavior in your Husky.
Hi, I’m Aaron and this is Sasha. I’ve been lucky enough to grow up and live with huskies most of my life. This website is my way of sharing what I have learned over the years with other husky owners and people thinking of getting a husky. report this ad
Siberian Husky Dog Breed Information and Personality Traits
The classic northern dogs, Siberian huskies are friendly and intelligent but somewhat independent and stubborn. They thrive on human company, but need firm, gentle training from puppyhood.
Particularly in warm weather, Siberian huskies can be diggers because they like to create cool places to lie.
Male: 45 lbs.
Female: 35-50 lbs.
Height at Withers: