Siberian Huskies need a healthy balanced diet and have a few breed-specific needs that require their owners to choose their dog food very carefully. Here, we’re going to cover the basics of feeding a Husky.
Huskies are athletic, persistent, and sociable, always ready to jump into the center of the action. Featuring a thick coat designed to keep them warm in sub-zero temperatures and an incredible genetic proclivity to high endurance, any Husky owner will tell you that keeping one of these dogs fed, entertained and comfortable requires a lot of time, attention, and air conditioning.
Basics of Canine Nutrition
Dogs are the direct descendants of wolves, whose diets are made up entirely of meat, fat, and bone. While domesticated dogs are a far cry from their wolf ancestors, their nutritional needs remain extremely similar. Dogs are facultative carnivores, which means that they eat meat, fat, bone, and non-animal-based foods as opposed to obligate carnivores (like cats) that exclusively eat meat.
Thanks to centuries of selective breeding, dogs have adjusted to a diet that is higher in carbohydrates than the typical carnivore diet, and can thrive on these diets as long as a significant amount of that diet still consists of animal protein. A minimum of 18% dry matter protein is recommended for adult dogs, and the bare minimum protein content required by the Association of American Feed Control Officials.
The term “dry matter” refers to dog foods that contain zero moisture, like kibble.
We think your dog deserves more than the bare minimum, so shoot for a dry-matter protein percentage above 18% when choosing dog food for your Husky.
Husky-Specific Nutrition Needs
All dog breeds have the same basic nutrition needs, but there are some breed-specific behavioral and health needs to look out for when considering the best food for Siberian Huskies:
- Hypothyroidism: Some Huskies are prone to hypothyroidism, which can cause weight gain unrelated to caloric intake. To avoid food-related weight gain, which ensures you can spot hypothyroidism-related weight gain, make sure you are feeding your Husky a high-protein diet without filler in the form of grain or meals (i.e. pea meal.)
- High Activity Levels: Huskies are athletic dogs who love to run, jump, play, and exercise. Since they are built to run long distances, you can exercise your Husky as much as you want without worrying about them losing weight, as long as you are feeding them enough calories and a high-quality, high-protein diet. Because of this, if you see that your Husky is losing weight, you can confidently feed them more, or know that they need to be looked at by a vet.
Huskies are not prone to overeating, so most won’t eat beyond the point of fullness, which also helps to maintain a healthy weight while ensuring they get enough calories.
- Size: Huskies range in size from around 40-60 lbs., and are considered a medium-large or large breed. You should feed your Husky based on their weight according to the recommended serving size on your dog food packaging, while also considering activity level, and that the Husky has a fast and efficient metabolism.
Best Husky Food, Rated
We’ve sniffed out our top contenders for the best dog food for huskies, and here’s why! They all have:
- Animal protein as the first ingredient
- Two or more sources of animal protein
- Healthy fat sources
- Easy to digest carbohydrates (fruits and vegetables, limited grains)
- Limited ingredients
1. Best Air Dried: Front of the Pack USDA Beef
The best Husky dry food is this delicious air-dried dog food is 90% grass-fed beef and has all the convenience of kibble with the awesome nutritional benefits of a fresh whole food diet. The veggies and fruits in this mix have been carefully selected for their top nutritional value. The fish oil and tart cherries support your joints, while pumpkin seed oil and gluten-free oats keep their skin and coat in tip-top condition.
|First 5 Ingredients||90% USDA Grass-Fed Beef, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Organic Oats (Gluten Free), Organic Guar Fiber, Organic Beets|
|Food Type||Air-dried, grain-inclusive|
|Guaranteed Analysis (crude)||30% Protein – 20% Fat – 4% Fiber – 15% Moisture|
|Feeding Instructions||A 50 pound Husky should eat 1½-1¾ cups/day.|
|Cost Per Meal||A 10-pound bag contains 46.5 cups and costs $167.99 (the most economical option); this is about 31 meals for your Husky at $5.42 per meal.|
What Reviewers Say:
2. Best Raw: We Feed Raw
If you’ve ever considered feeding your dog raw food, We Feed Raw makes it super easy! We Feed Raw’s complete and balanced recipes are protein-forward and come frozen for easy storage. If your pup has never eaten raw before, remember to transition them slowly over several weeks, since a change to their diet can trigger gastrointestinal issues.
You can choose from a variety of recipes, but we’re analyzing the venison recipe for the purposes of this blog. Here’s the guaranteed analysis of We Feed Raw on a dry matter basis; we’ve done some simple calculations to convert this hydrated food’s protein content into the same language used for dry food.
- 42.5% protein (dry matter, 13% hydrated)
- 34.9% fat (dry matter, 10.7% hydrated)
- 3.27% fiber (dry matter, 1% hydrated)
First 5 Ingredients:
- Beef heart
- Beef liver
- Beef kidney
- Beef necks with bone
Feeding Instructions: Feed 2% of ideal body weight daily. For a 50 lb. Husky, this would be 1 lb. per day, or ½ lb. per meal.
Cost Per Meal: $5 ($49.99 for 5 lbs.)
3. Best Freeze Dried: BIXBI
BIXBI’s Rawbble is the perfect middle ground between kibble and feeding raw. Made from freeze-dried raw ingredients formed into kibble-shaped bits, your Husky gets the goodness of a raw diet and you get the simplicity of feeding kibble. What makes Rawbble extra special is that you can serve it dry or rehydrated!
To rehydrate, add ½ cup of warm water for every cup of Rawbble, and allow to sit for a few minutes until the pieces have gone soft. Completely grain and gluten-free, Rawbble is unlike any kibble you’ve ever fed your dog.
Like the other brands on this list, BIXBI offers a variety of flavors and recipes, but we’re focusing on the beef.
- 50% protein (dry matter)
- 34% fat (dry matter)
- 4% fiber (dry matter)
First 5 Ingredients:
- Beef liver
- Beef kidney
- Beef bone
Feeding Instructions: A 50 lb. Husky should eat 5 ¼ c. of Rawbble daily, or a little more than 2 cups at each meal.
Cost Per Meal: $6.30 ($52.79 for 26 oz.)
4. Best Fresh-Frozen: The Farmer’s Dog Beef Recipe
The Farmer’s Dog makes fresh-frozen formulas that taste as good as human food! If you’ve got a picky husky, we can pretty much guarantee they’ll love this brand. Made from whole ingredients, you never have to worry about hidden filler with The Farmer’s Dog. They also make feeding super easy by portioning your dog’s food and recommending the right calorie count.
|First 5 Ingredients||Beef, Sweet Potato, Lentils, Carrot, Beef Liver|
|Food Type||Fresh-frozen, grain-inclusive|
|Guaranteed Analysis (for comparison to Dry Food)||39% Protein – 22% Fat – 2% Fiber|
|Feeding Instructions||Feeding instructions are customized by The Farmer’s Dog for your dog!|
|Cost Per Meal||$5 per meal or about $70 for two weeks of food. This price will depend on the size of your husky|
What Reviewers Say:
What else do you need to know about feeding your Husky? Here are a few frequently asked questions!
Senior German Shepherds can be fed using any of the brands we’ve listed here! To help their food go down as easily as possible and to make sure they get lots of dietary fiber, we recommend a fresh-frozen option like The Farmer’s Dog.
Instead of a regular kibble, we like air dried food or a freeze dried option (Still dry, but maintains more nutrients). Check out these dog food brands for huskies:
>BIXBI’s Rawbble- is freeze dried
>Front of the Pack is air dried
It’s not just about the food itself, but also about how often you feed your Husky.
>Feed three or four small meals instead of one or two larger meals.
>Try feeding high calorie snacks like meat and eggs.
> Look for food that is 30% protein and 20% fat. Several of the brands listed above meet this criteria including: We feed Raw and Front of the Pack
Front of the Pack makes it super easy to find the right formula for your Husky puppy, and it’s backed by veterinary science!
Does your Husky have allergies? If so you may need to switch to a novel protein dog food. Here are 13 of them you can try.