Back in frigid Siberia, huskies displayed speed and endurance on the sled and elsewhere. Their athleticism and the Antarctic temps required a protein- and fat-rich, calorie-dense diet. These days, that diet might make your husky a little huskier. However, making homemade food offers him a wonderful alternative to commercial kibble.
Regional History and Diet
Although our calmer, less athletic huskies may need less protein and fat to keep them going, regional origins still matter when it comes to diet. Like all breeds, huskies evolved eating foods specific to their regions, and their bodies still welcome these foods. Huskies evolved eating foods found in cold climates, and these might have included fatty fish, rabbits and other larger prey animals found in the area. Husky parents today can include such foods in their homemade recipes.
Balance and Variety
While offering some focus on regional foods, it's more important to spotlight balance and variety. Generally, dogs should eat 50 to 75 percent animal protein, 15 to 18 percent fat and 25 percent carbohydrates. You can combine these nutrients within each meal, or split them up over the course of the day. A 50-pound husky needs about 1400 calories per day, although this varies. So cross check with your vet before doing the dietary math.
Animal Protein Forms the Base
Consider meat your foundation, filling at least half of your dog's bowl. Poultry, fish, lamb, bison and others are great choices. Beef is okay for some dogs, and not others who are sensitive to it or find it hard to digest. Introduce a small amount and monitor your dog's reaction. Meat should be cooked especially in the beginning, as it is safer and more digestible. Cheese, eggs, yogurt and other non-meat sources can be used sparingly.
Fats and oils contribute to bright eyes (illuminating huskies' often-dramatic eye color) healthy skin, cell maintenance and immune support, along with vitamins such as E and D. Healthy oils include flaxseed, safflower, cod liver and olive oils. To incorporate these, you can either use oils during cooking, or simply drizzle some atop your husky's helping. Along with oils, other sources include the fats found in the meats you are cooking for your Siberian soulmate.
Carbohydrates include fruits, vegetables, and other starches like rice. Like all dogs, huskies' ancestors ate their entire hunted prey, including the plant-laden intestinal contents. Modern-day huskies can enjoy an adaptation of this, through your homemade foods. Cook the vegetables to start, as they are more digestible. In time, you can add small amounts of raw items, monitoring your furry friend. If you're unsure about a vegetable, fruit or other food's safety, research it before using.
Introduce New Foods Slowly
Homemade food makes a healthy husky. But transition slowly, allowing him to adjust and you to monitor him. A guideline to have your new menu items make up 10 to 25 percent of his daily intake. At this rate, he'll be on 100 percent homemade within a month or two. To further boost nutrition, tack on a high-quality multivitamin / mineral. He'll be ready to pull a sled--or at least a pull toy--in no time.
- The Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain: Common Husky Questions
- The Siberian Husky Club of America: A Brief History of the Breed in America
- Schultze, Kymythy R.; Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats
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