The Siberian husky originated in Asia as a working sled dog. In addition to being a popular pet, Siberian huskies compete in modern dogsled races and are often utilized for Arctic search-and-rescue missions. These working dogs have a thick coat and come in a variety of coat shades.
The average lifespan of a Siberian husky is about 12 years, similar to other medium-to-large dogs. Many huskies live up to 15 years, and a few live even longer. Female dogs tend to live slightly longer than male dogs in all breeds, including huskies. However, this difference is not extremely pronounced, so don't be surprised if your male husky outlives a female companion, mate or sibling.
As your Siberian husky gets older, he may develop health problems that can shorten his lifespan or make his latter years less comfortable. Because huskies are working dogs, restricting your dog's opportunities for activity or overfeeding him can contribute to obesity, which may cause premature death. Keeping your dog trim and active can help ensure a long, healthy life. Genetic disorders, such as hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy, can cause a decline in your elderly husky's quality of life.
Siberian huskies typically achieve their adult size at about 12 months of age. They are considered adult dogs between 1 and 7 years old. Once your husky reaches the age of 7, he is considered to be a senior dog. You may need to change your dog's diet as he gets older, and you may notice he is not as active as he once was. Because aging occurs differently in individual dogs, you will have to pay attention to your pet's specific needs to determine exactly when to start adjusting his lifestyle.
Accidents are a major cause of death for all types of dogs, and Siberian huskies may put themselves at risk due to their propensity for running. If you own a husky, do not allow it to run off-leash in an unenclosed space. Keep your pet leashed or harnessed when walking or running outside, and offer plenty of opportunities for free running in enclosed spaces, such as a large backyard or dog park.
Bridget Coila specializes in health, nutrition, pregnancy, pet and parenting topics. Her articles have appeared in Oxygen, American Fitness and on various websites. Coila has a Bachelor of Science in cell and molecular biology from the University of Cincinnati and more than 10 years of medical research experience.