Whether you’re the owner of a Siberian or an Alaskan Husky, you are likely familiar with their friendly demeanor, mischievous disposition, and tendency toward escape artist maneuvers. Huskies are certainly unique and, as such, they have specific dietary needs. Feeding the best dog food for Huskies will keep your pet in optimum health.
The Siberian Husky is a popular breed, well-known for its handsome face, colorful eyes, and thick, fluffy coat. The Alaskan Husky, though bred more for its working capacity than for its good looks, is valued for its ability to pull heavy loads and cross long distances. Both breeds are also famous for their high endurance and affinity for cold and snow.
When it comes to nutrition, there are overall good dog foods that are holistic, human grade and USDA organic certified which are likely to be perfect for huskies.
We've gone through many hours of research to find what the best dog food brand is, and learned a lot about holistic dog foods in the process. But there are other, cheaper foods that may be specifically aimed at Huskies.
READ ALSO: 5 Best Dog Foods for Husky Puppies
What are the Best Dog Foods for Huskies?
When picking the most optimal best food for Siberian Huskies, you need to keep your dog's breed and size nutritional requirements in mind. There are several dog food brands specifically manufactured for Siberian Husky breed's nutritional needs, all of which we are discussing in this article. Here are just five of the best dog foods for Huskies that owners may want to look into.
|Husky Dog Food Brand||Price||Quality||Rating|
|Royal Canin Husky Health Nutrition||$$||A-||4.5/5|
|NUTRO MAX Adult Dog Food Natural||$$$||A||4.4/5|
|Orijen Adult Dog Food||$$$||A+||4.7/5|
|Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food||$$||A||4.6/5|
|Wellness CORE Grain Free Original||$$$||A||4.6/5|
* Click on the dog food brand for more information, prices and nutrition.
Regardless of the brand and its specification, finding the best Husky dog food isn't only about picking the brand that somewhat fits your dog's nutritional needs. Consulting with a veterinarian, considering your specific canine's daily activity and current health, as well as doing plenty of research on Husky nutrition and reading the information on this article are all needed to make the best choice for your pet.
Let's talk more about how Huskies need to be fed, and what types of Husky dog foods should be considered for them.
One might expect that a high energy dog, like a Husky, would need to take in a high level of carbohydrates and calories in order to maintain his metabolism. However, this is not the case. These animals were bred to haul goods and people across frozen wastelands, where there wasn’t always an abundance of game to hunt.
When bred for these tasks, Huskies needed to travel swiftly; having to carry extra food or make frequent stops meant slowing down and prolonging exposure to the harsh elements. As such, Huskies were bred to require very little dog food. They function best with a high protein diet that includes healthy fats and minimal carbs.
Best Dog Food for Huskies
What to Feed Huskies for Ultimate Health?
There are a number of different ways to deliver dog food to your Husky. Many people appreciate the convenience of commercially prepared dog foods.
Others like to prepare healthy foods at home, free from many of the preservatives and filler products that commercial foods can contain. With careful attention paid to nutritional balance, Huskies can even be fed vegetarian or raw food diets.
RELATED: 10 Best Grain Free Dog Food Brands
Commercially Prepared Dog Foods for Huskies
The best way to gauge which packaged dog foods are going to be best for your Husky is, naturally, to pay close attention to the label. Labels often contain confusing information or misleading language, and unless you do proper research to know what the healthiest dog treats and dog foods are, it can be difficult to pick.
It is important to understand what dog food producers are required to include on their packaging, what different terms mean, and what the labeling regulations are in your country. This is especially true if your Husky requires specific dog food types, like sensitive stomach dog food or other health related formulas.
In the United States, pet food products do not require pre approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before they’re put on the market. The FDA does, however, regulate many of the ingredients used in dog food and they dictate what information has to be shown to consumers. There are also some states that have their own standards.
RELATED: How to Read Dog Food Labels
A detailed description of pet food requirements in the U.S. can be found on the FDA’s website,
But here are a few key points:
- As with human food, the list of ingredients must be in order of weight. So, you will want to choose a product that lists a protein source first. Steer clear of meat byproducts and meat meal.
- If the product has a meat ingredient in the name, such as “Turkey Food for Dogs,” then turkey has to comprise 95% of what’s inside, and turkey has to be the first thing on the ingredient list.
- Sticking with the turkey example above, let’s say the dog food contains less than 95% turkey, but more than 25%. In that case, the product name has to be something like “Turkey Dinner” or “Turkey Entree.” The key here is the use of a descriptive qualifier (words like “dinner,” “entree,” “formula”) after the meat ingredient. This is a clue that turkey is likely to be lower down on the ingredient list.
- Finally, let’s suppose our example package says “Dog Food with Turkey.” If that’s the case, turkey only has to make up 3% of what’s inside. The word “with” is what’s important in this example. Considering the high protein requirement of the breed, this product may not be the best dog food for huskies.
Some additional consideration about the best dog food for Huskies should be given to the amount of salts and sugars and the types of oils on the ingredient list.
The lower the salt and sugar content of the product, the better. Oils like salmon oil and flaxseed oil are good choices and will help keep your Husky’s skin and hair looking healthy. Ingredients like lard and mineral oil are not good quality.
RELATED: 15 Top Dog Food Brands (2017)
Types of Dog Food for Huskies
Now that you’re aware of a few labeling rules when searching for the best dog food for Huskies, what kind of food do you reach for – wet food or dry? Wet food usually has a stronger odor and will likely appeal to your dog more for that reason.
However, wet food contains mostly water. So, if your goal is to feed small amounts of high protein foods, there may be much less nutrients packed into a bowl of wet food as there would be in the same bowl of dry kibble.
Pet parents wanting to supply only the best dog food for Huskies have one recommended course of action: start with a base of dry dog food and add a dollop of wet food. If your dog gets bored easily, as is characteristic of the breed, you could switch things up with little bits of cheese, some fresh chunks of meat, or even a couple of veggies.
Be careful about giving your dog “people food” such as that last chicken nugget, or your chili leftovers as much of what we feed ourselves is not healthy for our pets. Processed human foods are full of fat and artificial ingredients.
These types of products are just as bad for dogs as they are for humans. They may cause nausea, vomiting, digestive disorders and just generally make you stock up on dog poop bags and have you walk your dog much more often.
RELATED: The Best Dog Food Storage
Husky Dog Foods Prepared at Home
Not only are they usually free of byproducts and preservatives, they can be tailored to your dog’s specific needs.
Being able to manipulate the ingredients yourself is also very useful for weeding out allergy problems. Since homemade dog food still has to contain the proper balance of nutrients, it’s important to consult both your dog’s veterinarian and a veterinary nutritionist.
The American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN) can give you more information on what qualifications to look for in a nutritionist and also has a directory of nutritionists that you may contact.
As mentioned earlier, human food is not always good for your dog. A lot of foods we might consider delicious and healthy pose serious dangers to dogs and should not be included in home prepared meals. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has a list on their website of common foods that are toxic to dogs.
This list includes things like grapes, avocados, hops, and onions. Similar lists can be found through a number of animal welfare organizations. You can also find recipes for healthy homemade dog food on many online sources, and your veterinarian may have some recipes to share as well.
RELATED: 10 Best Dog Foods for Adult Dogs
The Importance of Zinc for Huskies
Whichever best dog food for Huskies you pick, and whether you’re feeding canned food or cooking at home, your dog’s food will need to include a number of essential vitamins and minerals.
One very important mineral, especially for Alaskan and Siberian Huskies, is zinc. These breeds can be particularly susceptible to a condition known as zinc responsive dermatosis.
It can cause an array of symptoms, including skin lesions, fever, diarrhea, depression and stress. Zinc plays a role in your dog’s immune system, reproductive system, skin health, and hair health. Some zinc supplements found in dog food are more readily absorbed by your dog’s system than others.
Zinpro biscuits are often recommended by veterinarians because they contain available zinc that your dog’s body can use. As usual, talk to your vet before deciding to add any supplements to your dog’s diet.
A Few More Considerations for the Best Husky Dog Food
There are a few more general things to remember when choosing the optimum diet for your Husky, especially if you're picking budget dog foods because the finances are tight are the moment. Here's something to note:
- Dogs are individuals, just like their owners. Your dog’s height, weight, age, and particular tastes will count heavily toward what diet is best.
- Be careful not to change your dog’s diet dramatically. You may want to start with feeding what the previous owner did if you have that information and then introduce small, gradual changes from there.
- Never give your dog cooked bones. These can splinter and become lodged in your dog’s throat, causing serious injury. Stick to chews and treats specially designed for dogs.
- Always keep fresh, clean water available. Dogs get dehydrated more quickly than people do, especially high energy breeds who require a lot of exercise.
- For Huskies, foods that include fish oil are good for keeping your dog’s coat thick and full in the winter time.
Now that you’re armed with these guidelines on the best dog food for Huskies, it’s time to talk with your vet and settle on a nutrition plan that your Husky can thrive on. What your canine friend eats is one of the most important factors that determine his activity level, ability to fight off infection, response to injury, and overall happiness.
Ultimately, ensuring you buy only the best dog food for Huskies will affect your level of happiness too, since a healthy dog means a longer lifespan, a more playful pet, and fewer visits to the animal clinic.
READ NEXT: 10 Best CHEAP Dog Food Brands