If you’re thinking about buying supplements for your husky, it’s best to read this article first. It’s important to think about whether or not your husky actually needs supplements, and if he does, which ones are the most appropriate. This article will walk you through everything you need to know.
Should Your Husky be Taking Supplements or Vitamins?
Yes! well, not really… sometimes.
It’s certainly normal for us hoomans to pop supplement pills like they’re going out of fashion, and when done correctly can benefit our health significantly. But this isn’t just limited to us, our canine friends can join the supplement life and benefit from added vitamins, minerals, and other important micronutrients too.
But before you rush to the checkout with a 10 year supply of vitamins, it’s important to think about whether or not your husky actually needs supplements or vitamins. And if he does, which ones?
Science tells us that your husky needs 6 essential nutrients including water, protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. But each dog is different and may need more or less of any one thing. This depends on their age, activity levels, genetic issues or other existing health problems.
In general, Siberian huskies are a healthy breed and will not always need supplements. A fit, young husky on a complete and balanced diet may be better off without them.
My advice is to first speak to your veterinarian to discuss his current health, and his current diet. You may find out that your husky is zinc deficient in which case, a zinc supplement is ideal. Or that he should be taking a joint supplement as he’s getting older. Perhaps after a health check-up, your husky is completely fine, and a standard immune-boosting supplement may just be optional. If you don’t already know these kinds of details about your husky, it’s best to speak to your veterinarian first.
Must-Know Diet Essentials
When it comes to your husky’s health, diet is the most important factor; followed very closely by his exercise routine.
In theory, unless your husky has an on-going health issue, is reaching old age or suffers from a deficiency, he should be receiving all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that he needs, directly from his food. Making supplements unnecessary.
But knowing what brand to opt for certainly isn’t easy, especially when you’re bombarded with so many different perspectives and opinions on the best diet.
Getting The Right Kibble
For commercial kibble, typically the more expensive it is, the better quality the ingredients are. When brands make their kibble using real meat or fish, it bumps up the production costs significantly, meaning a higher price for you too. Always opt for real-meat kibble; the vitamins and minerals will be of higher concentration and quality.
Here’s something you may not have known! The FDA is very strict regarding the use of the phrase “Complete and Balanced” So, if a dog food brand has the words Complete and Balanced on its packaging, you can be sure that it has passed these strict measures the FDA imposes to ensure a quality well-rounded product. Something very reliable you can go by.
Most quality, reputable dog food brands pay close attention to the vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients going into their food as well. It’s good to look out for Omega 3’s Omega 6, DHA fatty acids and various other vitamins included.
I have another article you may like to check out that’s relevant to this: The Best Overall Dog Food For Huskies 2020
Time to address the elephant in the room. Raw food diets. While I personally believe a raw food diet is a healthier option to go for, it’s very hard to get right, and more expensive than the most expensive kibble. To get a solid understanding of the nutrients your husky is absorbing from a raw food diet, you would have to visit your veterinarian for thorough health checks.
The 4 Most Common Supplements For Huskies
If you find out from your veterinarian or from this article that supplements are in fact necessary for your husky, it’s likely going to be one of the following. Let’s cover the 4 most common supplements used with practically all breeds.
Just below are referrals to Chewy. But it may be worth checking out Pet Honesty, a company specializing in healthy dog chews, but with added vitamins and minerals. I will have a section about them below.
Glucosamine is a very well-known and tested supplement that helps with joint pain and arthritis. It’s made for us, but our canine companions have been using it for a long time too.
You may not have known that as much as 20% of all dogs will experience arthritis at some point in their life, usually as they get older. That’s a huge amount. Glucosamine is the go-to supplement for older dogs experiencing this unfortunate condition. Source
Siberian huskies, in particular, are prone to health problems like hip and elbow dysplasia. Another common issue that can be effectively managed with a glucosamine supplement. This one from Pet Honesty has been receiving the best reviews for quite some time. You can check it out here on Chewy.com
Zinc deficiency is a common problem with Siberian huskies and can really impact their health. If you know that your husky is zinc deficient then you should first consider adding veggies like Spinach or Kale in with his food. These powerful dark green vegetables contain a high amount of Zinc and is the preferred option.
But if that doesn’t work, you will have to supplement his diet using a Zinc supplement. Be sure to check that it’s organic and has been thoroughly reviewed. Zinpro is one of the more well-known Zinc supplements on the market. You should speak to your veterinarian beforehand.
Omega 3 / Fish Oil Supplement
Omega 3 or Fish Oil is essential for a healthy immune system, and also plays a big part in keeping the skin and coat in top condition. Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that your husky shouldn’t go without. Most dog food brands now add in Omega 3 to their kibble so be sure to check the label first; you don’t want to give him too much.
I recommend Pure Salmon Oil from Zesty Paws. The reviews on this are rather impressive.
If you want to learn more about fish oil check out this article, I run through in detail about fish oil use with huskies.
In some situations, a multivitamin supplement may be required for your husky. For huskies following a raw food or cooked food diet, additional vitamins and minerals may be necessary.
It can be quite difficult to really know how much of the essential micronutrients your husky is absorbing when it comes to these diets.
This proves to be the case even more so when you feed your husky a cooked food diet. Cooking diminishes the nutrients and can skew your measurements. Before getting a multivitamin you should consult your veterinarian and have some health checks done to determine whether this is really necessary.
If you do need multivitamins I recommend this option. Again, from Zest Paws. They really do make fantastic products.
Using Healthy Dog Chews Instead
I recently came across a company called Pet Honesty. I was so impressed by their website I wanted to dig in a little deeper and see what people have been saying about them. I will admit, I love Amazon and make most of my online purchases from there, but it goes to show that they aren’t the only place to consider getting your supplies from.
Pet Honesty make a range of healthy dog chews, which include all-natural ingredients, which ultimately makes these chews packed with important nutrition.
They have different chews for different needs. Some of their chews are considered to be their multi-vitamin chews, where others are specifically designed to aid digestion, or hip and joint health. They offer a wide range.
As for the reviews, I was actually surprised by the number of positive reviews they have been receiving. It seems Pet Honest is a legit player and have made great products. Many other dog owners are having great success with their chews so I really recommend checking them out. Pet Honest Website.
Let’s run through the possible reasons that may warrant the use of supplements. Please don’t take this as gospel and you should always consult your veterinarian to find out further details
Very common in Siberian huskies. Zinc is the second most important mineral in the body and is responsible for the normal functioning of many vital organs and bodily processes. A lack of zinc can also show it’s self with skin and coat issues.
Arthritis affects around 20% of all dogs. It usually happens during old age when joints and ligaments have been worn over the course of many years. Arthritis can make it difficult for your husky to walk and can be painful. Glucosamine would be the chosen supplement to improve joint function and health which would eventually ease the pain. Omega 3 may also be used to combat joint pain and arthritis.
Raw/Cooked Food Diet:
If you aren’t following a commercial kibble diet, it can be hard to know exactly what nutrients your husky absorbs through his food. He may be receiving enough, but it’s more than likely he will need further multivitamins to ensure he’s getting everything he needs.
Skin issues can sometimes be caused by Zinc deficiency, but not always. Siberian huskies are sensitive eaters and many different foods can negatively affect them. They are also prone to allergies which can have a negative impact on their skin and coat health. Skin health is very important and can get progressively worse depending on what it is and why it’s happening. Depending on the cause, he may be required to take additional Omega 3 supplements or Zinc supplements. Of course, to really know, you must consult your veterinarian.
This is a painful condition that unfortunately affects much of the Siberian husky population. Hip dysplasia is caused over a slow period of time due to the deterioration of the ball and socket hip joint.
When the ball and socket do not fit perfectly as they should do, it rubs and grinds together, until it no longer functions properly.
When it gets to this stage it can really limit your husky’s ability to move and proves to be rather painful. There are many different treatments for this condition, but one of them is the use of glucosamine for improved joint health. Helpful resource
Hopefully, you now know that it may not be necessary to spend your money on supplements. Although there are many legitimate times to use them, it’s important to first do your checks and ensure your husky actually needs it.
If you have experience using supplements or have better alternatives than what I have recommended above, please comment below, I would love to hear from you.
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