Intelligent, Friendly, Independent, Stubborn
- Height51-60 cm
- Weight35-60 lbs
- Lifespan12-14 years
The Siberian Husky breed was developed several centuries ago by the Chukchis of Northern Siberia. There are some indicators that the breed’s lineage dates back an estimated four thousand years or more. The Chukchis, a nomadic people, often used their dogs for various purposes - as a means of transportation, to keep their children company and to assist in hunting for food.
In 1909, Siberian Huskies were brought to Alaska to compete in the long-distance All-Alaska Sweepstakes races. Dogs of all breeds, shapes and sizes would compete in the 408-mile race with a first place prize of $10,000. The Husky team proved themselves to be true contenders, finishing third place overall. Huskies continue to work as sled dogs today but are more commonly known as companion dogs. The breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1930.
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Siberian Husky Appearance
The Siberian Husky is a medium-sized working dog. They weigh about 34 to 61 pounds and grow from 20 to 23 inches in height. The Siberian Husky has erect ears and almond-shaped eyes that can be blue, brown or a combination of both. Huskies are always prepared for extreme winter temperatures with their medium-length, thick double coat.
Siberian Husky Temperament
Siberian Huskies are pack animals who enjoy being around people and other dogs, especially ones they are raised with. As a result of their high prey drive, Huskies have a tendency to chase cats, rodents, rabbits and livestock. However, because of their friendly nature, Huskies do not make good guard dogs. These classic northern dogs are intelligent, independent and strong-willed.
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Grooming Your Siberian Husky
The Siberian Husky coat has two layers. The top coat consists of long, thick guard hairs that provide protection from the elements. The undercoat is made up of soft, short hairs that act as an insulator, keeping them cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Siberian Huskies require weekly brushing to keep their coat shiny and healthy. Huskies shed year-round but have two heavy shedding periods in the spring and fall. Siberian Huskies also need regular nail trimming, ear cleaning and dental care.
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Training & Exercise for Siberian Huskies
Siberian Huskies are very independent, so early positive training and socialization is important. As a working breed, Huskies have an innate desire to work. Since they love to run and explore, teaching them basic commands like sit, stay, come and how to walk properly on a leash is a great place to start. Huskies are very active dogs that require plenty of exercise to be happy and healthy. It’s recommended that you keep your Husky on a leash or in a securely fenced area as they are known for being escape artists.
Health Considerations for Siberian Huskies
The Siberian Husky is generally a healthy breed with an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years. However, purebred Huskies do have a number of canine health problems that prospective owners should be aware of. Some of the common disorders Huskies are prone to include epilepsy, follicular dysplasia, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, ocular issues, von Willebrand disease (vWD) and zinc deficiency.
Epilepsy is an inherited condition commonly found in Siberian Huskies between the ages of 3 months and 3 years old. This neurological disorder affects the brain’s electric activity and can cause your Husky to suffer from epileptic seizures, which are brief bursts of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. An epileptic episode can typically last between one and several minutes. It's important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of seizures to get your Husky medical help as quickly as possible. Some common signs to look for include twitching, tremors, shaking and convulsions. Treatment might involve lifelong anti-seizure medication; however, this will help your Husky maintain a good quality of life. If your Husky is having a seizure, call an emergency vet and make sure they can’t injure themselves.
Follicular dysplasia is a common health issue found in Siberian Huskies between 3 and 4 months of age. This genetic disease is characterized by excessive hair loss due to abnormal growth in the canine hair follicle. Some symptoms to look for in your Husky include scratching, patches of hair loss, red skin, self-injury due to extreme itching and dry, scaly skin. Although there isn’t a sufficient treatment for this condition, your veterinarian may recommend specific shampoos, ointments and creams to help soothe the symptoms.
Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) is one of the most common canine ailments. It’s a genetic condition that causes an abnormal formation of the hip socket, which can eventually lead to lameness and arthritis of the joints. This hereditary disease can be magnified by factors including excessive growth rate, age, types of exercise and improper weight and nutrition. While mild conditions can be managed with prescription medication and physical therapy, more severe cases could require surgery. To prevent or reduce the severity of hip dysplasia, it’s important to ensure your Siberian Husky gets a proper diet and the right amount of exercise.
Hypothyroidism is an inherited condition that is caused by a deficiency of the thyroid hormone. Due to the thyroid's widespread effects on the body, symptoms of hypothyroidism can vary. Some of the common symptoms to be aware of in your Husky include obesity, lethargy, slow heart rate, excessive hair loss and weakness of the joints. Your Husky should have their thyroid levels tested annually as this condition can develop at any time. If your Husky is diagnosed with hypothyroidism, treatment is fairly simple and effective. With the assistance of medication, your Husky can go on to live a full life.
Unfortunately, Siberian Huskies are subject to a host of eye diseases and disorders including cataracts, corneal dystrophy and progressive retinal atrophy.
A cataract is developed when the lens of the eye clouds, preventing light from reaching the retina. Signs to watch for in your Husky include changes in eye colour, cloudy pupils in one or both eyes, confusion and clumsiness. This condition can be treated with surgery, but if left untreated, can lead to blindness.
Corneal dystrophy is a hereditary disease that can cause opaqueness in the cornea or even hazy vision. If your Husky has this, you may observe small white dots in their cornea. This disease can be difficult to treat as it is progressive and irreversible.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) occurs when the retina of a Husky’s eye starts to deteriorate. Some dogs may experience total blindness, while others remain unaffected but can be carriers of the gene. There is currently no treatment that can cure this disease; however, you can learn to spot the signs early to ensure your Husky continues to live a fulfilling life. Some common signs to look for include night blindness, bumping into objects and inability to follow hand signals/commands.
It’s important to monitor your Husky’s vision to detect these eye conditions early on, especially in the first years of their life. It’s recommended that you have your Husky’s eyes checked by your vet on a regular basis.
von Willebrand Disease (vWD)
Von Willebrand disease is the most common inherited bleeding disorder found in dogs and is frequently found in Siberian Huskies. This disease is a clotting disorder that causes excessive bleeding. It happens when there’s a deficiency of the protein von Willebrand factor. When an injury occurs, this protein is needed to help the platelets form blood clots to seal broken blood vessels. Symptoms can include nosebleeds, bloody urine or stool and prolonged or excessive bleeding during or after surgery. Many dogs with a mild-to-moderate vWD diagnosis will require minimal treatment. For those with more severe cases, treatment is available to maintain a good quality of life for your Siberian Husky.
Just like humans, Siberian Huskies need a sufficient amount of zinc to maintain optimal health. When Huskies experience zinc deficiency, this can lead to a skin infection called zinc-responsive dermatitis. This can happen if there’s not enough zinc in your Husky’s diet or they’re not absorbing it properly. Your vet can prescribe a regulated dose of zinc to help alleviate symptoms and ensure your husky is getting all the essential nutrients.
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What Makes a Siberian Husky Unique?
The Siberian Husky is one of the few dog breeds that can have two different coloured eyes, referred to as heterochromia or “wall eye.” This rare condition is caused by a lack of pigment melanin in all or part of one eye. Heterochromia in Siberian Huskies is often a hereditary trait that gets passed down through their genetic makeup.
There are three main types of heterochromia: heterochromia iridis, which is when one eye is a completely different colour than the other; sectoral heterochromia, which occurs when the iris is partially blue or without pigment; and central heterochromia, which happens when the blue colouring radiates out from the pupil, mixing with another colour. Most Siberian Huskies with heterochromia don’t have any related health issues — they just have pawesome coloured eyes that make them unique!
During the epidemic of diphtheria, Huskies were brought to Nome, Alaska, to serve as working sled dogs for the transport of antitoxins. The annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race commemorates the lifesaving journey that led the team to Nome. In 1925, a bronze statue of the lead Husky Balto was erected in Central Park in New York.
Siberian Huskies served in the US Army’s Search and Rescue Unit during World War II. These Huskies went where motorized equipment couldn’t go to search for downed pilots and cargo.
Snow nose is a phenomenon when a Husky’s nose temporarily turns pink during the winter months. The medical name for the condition is hypopigmentation. This causes a Husky's nose or parts of it to lighten in colour.
Given their history as sled dogs, Huskies were bred to run for long distances with minimal food. Siberian Huskies can conserve their energy by regulating their metabolism to their activity levels. This allows the Husky to run for hours without burning through their fat reserves and becoming fatigued.
The Siberian Husky is known for being a very talkative breed considering their wide range of vocalization. Huskies love to howl and can be heard from up to ten miles away. Huskies are very good at imitating the sounds of humans and can communicate a range of different emotions.
Create a custom Siberian Husky Meal Plan
Why NutriCanine Is Great For Siberian Huskies
Best Dog Food for a Siberian Husky Puppy (1-4 years)
As a very active breed, growing Siberian Huskies require a high-quality protein diet. Siberian Huskies will typically reach their full adult size around 12 months old, which makes the type of dog food you feed your Husky during this growth period of utmost importance. It can help to evaluate the Siberian Husky’’s health history when deciding the proper dog food for your Husky puppy. For example, this particular breed is prone to developing certain health conditions as they reach their adult years, such as hip dysplasia and zinc deficiency. With this in mind, it's important to consider a nutrient-rich dog food made with real, fresh ingredients such as meat, fruits and vegetables.
When choosing dog food for your Husky puppy, NutriCanine’s fresh dog food recipes are an ideal pick. Our fresh dog food recipes are made with fresh whole foods including chicken, salmon, turkey, beef and lamb. As you search for the right dog food for your Siberian Husky, animal protein should be at the top of the ingredient list. In the developing stages, Siberian Huskies need a high-quality, nutrient-dense diet that will work to support their accelerated growth rate and will help prevent the various health issues this breed is susceptible to.
NutriCanine offers a variety of dog food recipes designed to meet the nutritional needs of your Husky pup. Our raw dog food recipes will help to strengthen your Husky’s immune system while reducing any allergies and intolerances. But if you’ve got a picky eater, a pup with a sensitive stomach, or an immunocompromised family member at home, NutriCanine’s gently cooked dog food is a great option as well. All NutriCanine dog food recipes are freshly prepared with real, human-edible, locally sourced ingredients. NutriCanine’s dog food is always free of hormones, antibiotics and preservatives.
Best Dog Food for an Adult Siberian Husky (5-7 years)
For a breed that constantly exerts high amounts of energy, Huskies need quality dog food that’s high in protein. NutriCanine’s raw dog food recipes are a great solution, as they contain rich animal proteins and natural ingredients that will help support your Husky’s lean muscle mass and thick double coat. NutriCanine’s raw dog food recipes provide your Husky with a variety of flavour options including chicken, salmon, turkey, beef and lamb. These raw dog food recipes are formulated to be complete and balanced and are specially designed to meet your Husky’s nutritional needs.
However, if you’ve got a picky eater, a pup with a sensitive stomach, or an immunocompromised family member at home, NutriCanine’s gently cooked dog food is a great option as well. All our dog food recipes are freshly prepared with real, human-edible, locally sourced ingredients. NutriCanine’s dog food is always free of hormones, antibiotics and preservatives. Adult Huskies need a trusted dog food that can fully support their active lifestyle.
Best Dog Food for a Senior Siberian Husky
As your Siberian Husky transitions into their senior years, it’s important to ensure they are consuming well-balanced dog food for the best quality of life. With a life expectancy of 12-14 years, choosing the right dog food will ensure your Husky receives the proper amount of nutrients as they age. As a result of the Siberian Husky’s highly active adult years, their risk of developing certain joint problems such as hip dysplasia is greater. Keeping an eye on their calorie intake is also crucial to avoid obesity, which if left unmanaged, can put further stress on the joints.
NutriCanine’s fresh dog food recipes are a great option for your senior Siberian Husky. Our raw dog food recipes are specially formulated to accommodate your senior dog’s nutritional needs; however, our gently cooked line might be easier for an older dog to transition to if they’re not accustomed to fresh dog food. Our fresh dog food comes in a variety of delicious recipes that your Husky will absolutely love, including high-quality proteins like chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, and chicken and salmon. NutriCanine’s fresh dog food contains human-edible proteins with a unique blend of highly digestible fruits and vegetables.
For your senior Husky, we recommend you try NutriCanine’s gently cooked beef recipe as it contains a healthy dose of antioxidant-rich berries and highly digestible rice, perfect for your senior Husky’s aging body. Finding dog food that allows your Siberian Husky to maintain a full and healthy life is the ultimate goal. NutriCanine’s meals are freshly prepared with real human-edible, locally sourced ingredients. NutriCanine’s dog food is always free of hormones, antibiotics and preservatives.
Best Dog Food for an Overweight Siberian Husky
Although Huskies are not prone to obesity, lack of proper exercise can still lead to excess weight gain. To maintain your Husky’s weight they need real, fresh dog food that is rich in protein and moderate in fat. NutriCanine’s gently cooked dog food recipes are uniquely designed to increase your Husky’s energy levels, getting them back to their athletic and energetic nature. It’s important to be aware of dog food brands that contain fillers as this contributes to obesity.
With your Husky’s optimal health in mind, NutriCanine takes the time to get to know your pup to create a customizable meal plan to best suit their nutritional needs. NutriCanine’s gently cooked dog food recipes are safe enough for humans to eat but specially designed to meet your dog's nutritional needs. These recipes are freshly prepared with locally sourced ingredients and are always free of hormones, antibiotics and preservatives.
Best Dog Food for a Siberian Husky with a Sensitive Stomach
If your Siberian Husky has a sensitive stomach, it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure they lead a healthy lifestyle. The first step would be to consult your veterinarian to determine if there are any underlying health issues causing your Husky to have stomach sensitivity. This is also a good opportunity to consider the type of dog food your Husky is consuming. Deciphering which dog food to feed your Siberian Husky with a sensitive stomach is made easy with NutriCanine.
Our gently cooked dog food recipes are specially designed to meet your Husky’s nutritional needs. With a variety of protein-forward recipes to choose from, a great starting point is our gently cooked beef recipe, as it would respond well to your Husky’s sensitive stomach. This unique blend contains antioxidant-rich berries and highly digestible rice, the perfect formula to strengthen your Husky’s immune system while reducing any allergies and intolerances. NutriCanine’s meals are freshly prepared with real human-edible, locally sourced ingredients. NutriCanine’s dog food is always free of hormones, antibiotics and preservatives.
Top 10 Facts About Siberian Huskies
Learn more about NutriCanine’s meal plans
NutriCanine raw recipes contain a unique blend of highly digestible fruits and vegetables. Our raw recipes offer complete and balanced nutrition, ideal for all dogs of all ages and sizes. The transition to raw tends to be easier for younger dogs and high energy dogs.Try NutriCanine raw recipes
NutriCanine gently cooked recipes are great for all dogs including picky eaters, sensitive stomachs, or senior dogs with brittle teeth. Our recipes are safe enough for humans to eat but specially designed to meet your dog's nutritional needs.Try NutriCanine gently cooked recipes