Huskies are dogs that have a lot of energy. On top of that they can be very fussy eaters. Deciding on the best dog food for huskies is not always an easy task as they have very particular dietary requirements.
If they take a dislike to a particular dog food they will simply refuse to eat. Huskies can also gain weight rather quickly, and find it very difficult to then shed that weight. The best dog food for huskies is specifically tailored for their high calorific demands.
We will be looking at 5 different best dog food for huskies brands later. These can be utilised as a starting point in your search for the best dog food for your husky. But first, let’s take a closer look at the breed’s history to see why they need special nutrition.
Where does the Breed come from?
Huskies are believed to be the distant descendants of the Taimyr Wolf of North Asia. Most of the dogs referred to as huskies today, are descendants of the Siberian husky, although there are other sub-breeds such as the Labrador Husky and the Sakhalin Husky.
They have been used for centuries by the indigenous peoples of the frozen northern wastes as sled dogs. English sailors on trading ships referred to the “eskimos” as “huskimos”, so it seems logical that their dogs became known as “huskies”.
What are the Characteristics of the Breed?
Because huskies were bred as working dogs in extremely harsh environmental conditions, they developed unique characteristics.
How much Dog Food for Huskies? Huskies were required pull sleds for vast distances on very little food, hence, huskies are not big eaters for their size. They are unique among breeds for being able to self-regulate the amount they eat. With their high metabolism, a little dog food lasts a long time. This doesn’t mean to say that they can’t get overweight. They are extremely active dogs, and lack of adequate exercise will rapidly lead to the dog becoming overweight.
Their Nature: Huskies are very friendly, gregarious dogs that get on well with other dogs and children. They were not bred as watchdogs and are not often used in this capacity. They can be very possessive about their dog food for Huskies (no doubt a genetic hangover from those distant days on the artic wastes), and care should be taken to supervise feeding when you have more than one dog.
What are a Huskies’ Dietary Requirements?
- Because huskies were bred as working dogs they need high quality protein based best dog food for huskies to feed their energy requirements.
- Huskies normally weigh between 50 and 60 lbs and need between 1000 and 1800 calories a day, depending on their age and their level of activity.
- They eat relatively small amounts of dog food for Huskies, and can be rather fussy eaters. Instead of one large feed per day as with most breeds, a lot of breeders recommend that the food is divided into 2 or 3 smaller portions, and given throughout the day.
- Protein is the most important part of a huskies diet. Authorities recommend 25% to 35% of the best dog food for Huskies, by weight, must be protein. Others suggest 40% to 50%. Again, it would depend on the dog’s activity level. Protein should be from a named, single source and not the generic description “meat”, which could even consist of euthanized pets and roadkill.
- Carbohydrates are not really essential in the diet of a dog like the husky. Some high grade vegetables, like peas, have protein content and add taste to the recipe, but dogs find it difficult to process grains such as wheat, corn and soya. They are normally used in cheaper dog foods as fillers.
- Fats are essential in a huskies diet, particularly omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, commonly found in fish oil, flaxseed, sunflower oil and poultry fat.
- Vitamins and minerals are also essential to any dog’s diet and are normally provided in the form of supplements added to the food, as well as the fruit and vegetable content.
What to look out for in Labels
Ingredients are listed in order of the proportion of their weight to the total weight.
Read the protein description on the label carefully. If the label says “Lamb Food for Dogs”, it must comprise 95% lamb in the formula.
If the lamb comprises 25% to 95% of the content, then the manufacturer is allowed to say “lamb Dinner”.
If the label says “Dog Food with Lamb” it only has to contain 3% lamb.
Now, let’s get to the Reviews!
5 Best Dog Food For Huskies
#1. Taste of the Wild, Canine Formula (Salmon Flavour)
Best Dog Food For Huskies Overall (Editor’s Choice)
The Main Ingredients
The main ingredients of this particular dog food for huskies are salmon, ocean fish meal, sweet potatoes, potatoes and peas. It is important that the main protein in this recipe is a single source named protein, namely salmon. The second is ocean fish meal. It must be noted that fish meal is made of dried, ground pieces of fish that are left over from commercial fishing activities. As a meal it has 300% more protein than the original salmon.
Sweet potatoes, potatoes and peas are excellent sources of high quality carbohydrates and peas in particular are high in natural fibre. The protein content is measured at 25%, but that might be a bit conservative as many of the other ingredients such as peas and chickpeas are also reasonably high in protein.
The fats are supplied by canola oil and the salmon itself which is an excellent source of 0mega-3 fatty acids. Canola oil might be considered a controversial ingredient as the oil might have been extracted from genetically modified rapeseed.
Vitamins, Minerals and other Essentials
All essential vitamins are covered, namely A, B1 2 6 and 12, C, D, and E. Essential minerals include zinc which huskies particularly need. Huskies are prone to zinc responsive dermatosis, which can cause skin lesions, diarrhoea and fever.
Another essential additive is a fermentation agent such as dried lactobacillus reuteri fermentation product which provides much needed probiotics to aid the dog’s digestion. Yucca extract is another interesting addition to this recipe. It helps in the control of flatulence. Tomatoes, blueberries and raspberries provide much-needed anti-oxidants to assist the immune system.
- This product is grain free. Dogs find it difficult to digest grain. It also helps to eliminate allergies often caused by grain.
- Good sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
- Largest protein present is a named, single source protein (salmon)
- Smoked salmon and other ingredients are great taste enhancers
- Kibble size is not suitable for every dog
- Somewhat pricey
- Some dogs didn’t like the smoked salmon flavour.
- Some dogs consumed a lot of water after eating this dog food.
This dog food received very good reviews from most consumers and is considered by many to be one of the best dog foods for Huskies.
#2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Adult Dog Food For Huskies
High Quality Dog Food For Huskies
The named protein in this formula is deboned lamb, which is an excellent high quality source of first-class animal protein. The other source of animal protein is turkey meal. Turkey meal is considered a meat concentrate and it is estimated that the meal has 300% more protein than the original turkey.
These are supplied by brown rice, barley and oatmeal. Brown rice is a complex carbohydrate which is relatively easily digestible if it has been cooked. Barley, a starchy carbohydrate, supplies fibre and healthy nutrients, and oatmeal is a very good source of Vitamin B and dietary fibre.
In this formula the fats are supplied by chicken fat and flaxseed. Chicken fat is obtained by rendering chicken after the slaughtering process and is rich in omega-6 essential fatty acid. Flaxseed is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fibre, provided the flaxseed has been ground into meal.
The Other Essentials
This formula is fairly packed with added minerals and vitamins. Vitamins that are added as supplements include A, B 1 2 3 5 6 7 9 and 12, C, D, and E. Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate and Zinc Sulfate are a few of the minerals that have been added to this formula.
Zinc is particularly important as huskies tend to suffer from zinc responsive dermatotis. Yucca extract has been added to control flatulence. Fermentation products have been added to provide probiotics to boost intestinal flora.
There have been an incredible number of vegetables added, including carrots, garlic, blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, spinach, pumpkin, kelp and parsley. These vegetables enhance flavour and provide much needed anti-oxidants.
Blue Buffalo have an exclusive ingredient called “Exclusive Life Source Bits” that are cold-formed to expose the ingredients to as little heat as possible. This added ingredient promotes immune system health.
- Reviews agree that dogs love the taste
- An impeccable source of high quality single source animal protein
- A very good selection of fruit and vegetables
- Contains probiotics
- Large breeds might have difficulties with small sized kibble.
Another high-quality dry dog food suitable for the huskies’ high energy demands: highly ecommended!
#3. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Adult Pasture Fed Lamb & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food For Huskies
The Important Ingredients
The ingredients at the top of the list are the most by weight and the most important. The chief ingredient in this formula is deboned lamb and the second ingredient is lamb meal. Meal is considered to be a meat concentrate and has 300% more protein than the raw lamb.
The next two ingredients are brewer’s rice and rice bran. When whole rice is milled it leaves small fragments behind, which are known as brewer’s rice and rice bran. These small fragments are the outer layer of whole grain rice and are rich in protein, starch, fat as well as vitamins and minerals.
The not so Important
Once you move towards the 8th, 9th and beyond ingredients the quantities used in the formula are fairly small, making up a small proportion of the overall weight. Split peas and chickpeas are the next two ingredients. They have about 20% plant protein and are rich in natural fibre. The next two ingredients are whole brown rice and whole grain oatmeal. Brown rice is easily digestible if cooked and is a complex carbohydrate. Whole oatmeal is rich in dietary fibre and vitamin B.
The fats are supplied by chicken fat, sunflower oil and soya bean oil. Chicken fat is obtained by rendering the parts of the chicken left over after slaughtering. These 3 ingredients account for the fat content of the recipe and are rich in 0mega-3 and 0mega-6 fatty acids. There are vitamin supplements added, including vitamin A, B1 2 6 and 12, D and E. there are also added minerals, especially zinc, which is essential for huskies who tend to suffer from zinc responsive dermatosis.
There are no added fruit and vegetables in this formula, which is interesting as these are considered an essential source of anti-oxidants and flavour. There are no fermentation products to supply probiotics which assist in digestion. One of the interesting additions is selenium yeast. The most commonly used additive is an inorganic form of selenium called sodium selenite, but selenium yeast is an organic form that is a good anti-cancer alternative.
- Main ingredient is single source, named protein, namely lamb.
- Chicken fat supplies essential fatty acids
- No artificial flavours and colourants.
- Good quality complex carbohydrates.
- No added fruit and vegetables.
- No fermentation products to supply probiotics
Best dog food for very active Huskies.
#4. Wilderness Blue Buffalo High Protein Dry Adult Dog Food Chicken Flavour
The most important consideration in any dry dog food for Huskies, is the type of protein, the amount by weight and the source. Chicken, chicken meal and turkey meal form the basis for the protein content of this formula.
One must remember that chicken contains quite a bit of moisture which disappears during the manufacturing process. This always alters the protein content. Further protein is also added through certain vegetables, like peas. This makes it difficult to quantify the protein content accurately. Chicken and turkey meal are classified as meat concentrates and have up to 300% more protein than the sources. With the addition of pea protein, together with the peas; the protein content is considerably boosted. This is good news for husky owners, as their dogs are very energetic and require a high protein intake.
The carbohydrate content of this recipe derives chiefly from Tapioca starch, peas and potatoes. Tapioca is gluten free and is made from the cassava root. Peas are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and natural fibre.
Fat and the Rest
The sources of essential omega-3 and 0mega-6 fatty acids, besides the meat, are chicken fat and flaxseed. Chicken fat is rendered from what is left over from commercial chicken slaughtering operations, and is high in linoleic acid which is rich in omega-6 fatty acids. Flaxseed is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and is also high in soluble fibre.
Essential vitamin and minerals have been added. Vitamins A, B1 2 3 5 6 7 9 and 12, C, D and E, as well as the minerals Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate and Zinc Sulfate. Huskies are prone to zinc responsive dermatosis, so the addition of zinc to their diet is essential. Many of the minerals have been chelated. This means that the minerals have been chemically bonded to the amino acids for easier absorption.
Fruit and vegetable such as parsley, blueberries, cranberries as well as apples, spinach and blackberries have been added to enhance flavour and provide anti-oxidants (essential for the immune system). There are fermentation ingredients like dried enterococcus faecium fermentation products, which provide much needed probiotics for the growth of intestinal flora. Yucca extract is believed to help with flatulence.
- High protein content
- Grain free
- Chelated essential vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.
- Fruit and vegetables for extra flavour.
Very few bad customer reviews were noted.
A good quality dog food for Huskies, with above average protein content; and many essential additions that enhance both flavour and nutritional value.
#5. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Chicken and Turkey Recipe Dry Dog Food For Huskies
Ultimate Quality Dog Food For Huskies
The Good Stuff
The above average protein content of 34% is supplied by dried deboned chicken, chicken meal and turkey meal. Because chicken has a lot of moisture, some of the protein by weight readings will be skewed. However, the very concentrated chicken and turkey meal is much higher in protein (up to 300%). The high protein content will satisfy the requirements of owners of very active dogs like huskies.
The fourth, five and seventh ingredients are potatoes, peas and ground dried potatoes. All are excellent sources of quality complex, gluten-free carbohydrates. Peas are also rich in natural fibre.
Chicken fat (rendered, leftover chicken pieces) and flaxseed give this recipe its essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid which is rich in omega-6 fatty acids and the flaxseed is responsible for the omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed is also high in soluble fibre.
And the Other Good Stuff
The formula has a good representation of essential vitamins and minerals. Vitamin additives include vitamin A, B12, C and D, and minerals include zinc which is essential for huskies. Huskies are prone to zinc responsive dermatosis. This nasty little affliction can cause lesions, fever and diarrhoea.
Fruit and vegetables have been added in the form of parsley, apples, kale, blueberries and spinach. These ingredients add flavour and valuable anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants help the dog’s immune system.
There are also fermentation products such as dried lactobacillus plantarum fermentation products, which provide probiotics to aid with the dog’s digestion. Yucca extract is also present. This aids with flatulence and stool odour.
- High protein content
- Grain free
- Added fruit and vegetables
- One of the pricier dog foods
Overall a quality dog food for Huskies with above average protein content especially suited to active dogs. Grain free and with a significant amount of single source, named meat; this dry dog food should be suitable for husky owners.
You should never forget that if your dog doesn’t want to eat a particular dog food, they might only be objecting to the flavour and not the brand. Most dog food manufacturers have different flavours, so try switching flavours within the brand before contemplating switching brands.
How To Find The Best Dog Food For Huskies
- Huskies tend to be very fussy eaters and it might take quite a bit of effort to find the best dog food for huskies.
- Understand what your very active husky needs. High protein and low or no grain is best.
- Huskies also get bored easily with their food, so if your husky stops eating, it might simply be that he is bored with what you have been giving him. Take him to the vet for a check-up all the same.
- Read the dog food labels carefully. You know what to look for now.
- Choose a brand that fulfils your requirements, and start with one particular flavour, say lamb. Some dog food for Huskies have a combination of meat and a vegetable, say lamb and rice. So, if your dog rejects that food he might not like the rice, but loves the lamb. Try a different combination.
- If he rejects a number of flavour combinations, try switching brands and start again.
- If your dog appears to be bored with his best food food for Huskies, try adding cooked fresh vegetables, small pieces of cheese or small pieces of raw meat to change the flavour, and try again.
- Don’t forget that manufacturers do change their recipes, so if your dog, all of a sudden, doesn’t want to eat the food that he normally loves; it might mean that the manufacturer has changed the recipe.
How Much Dog Food Should Huskies Eat?
- Huskies have been bred to endure long distances, pulling a sled, on very little food. They are not big eaters. As a general suggestion, you should give your husky two thirds of the manufacturers recommended intake for that size dog. The recommendations are displayed on the dog food packet.
- Huskies are generally between 50 and 60 pounds. Most manufactures would recommend 2¾ cups to 3¼ cups for large breeds like the husky. You would then feed your dog 1¾ cups to 2¼ cups.
- The amount of food huskies need will also depend very much on their age, weight and level of activity. You would not feed a puppy the same amount as you would feed an old dog. If your dog is very active, it will need more food.
- Because huskies have an uncanny ability to self-regulate their food intake coupled with the fact that they might get bored with their food, it might be better to split the daily portion into two or three separate meals. This is not to say that huskies don’t get overweight; they do. Once overweight it is very difficult to get them to lose weight. Care must therefore be taken with portion size.
- Huskies are grazers, so over feeding can also lead to indigestion and diarrhoea.
- Don’t be tempted to give your husky table scraps are other processed “human food”. Huskies have particularly sensitive stomachs so they find it difficult to eat processed food, besides the fact that our food is full of preservatives and additives. Feeding your dog “human food” will also make it difficult to watch their weight. “Human food” may also cause vomiting and digestive ailments.
You now have somewhere to start in trying to find the best dog food for huskies. Follow the guideline illustrated above and you will reap the rewards of a happy, contented, well-fed and well-nourished dog.