Does your husky seem hungrier in winter? Many owners notice a change in their husky’s appetite and eating habits during the colder months and ask whether or not they should be giving more food. This article has everything you need to know! Let’s get started.
Most huskies will want to consume more food in winter for a number of reasons. The primary reason is due to the body needing to burn more calories to stay warm in cooler temperatures. It’s also known that extra nutrition will support the growth of a new undercoat and sustain regular activity levels.
Whether or not your husky should eat more food will be fully explained below.
Do Huskies Eat More In Winter?
It turns out that eating more in the winter is very common among huskies, especially those that live in regions where the winter months are particularly cold.
Out of 10 husky owners I asked about this, 7 of them confirmed that their husky shows greater desire to eat their food and often looks at them upon finishing as if to say “is that it?”
Whether or not your husky eats more in the winter depends primarily on the temperature, how much food they are receiving anyway, as well as their activity levels. I will cover this in further detail below.
3 Main Reasons Why Huskies Eat More In Winter
So why does this happen? As there’s definitely a clear correlation between increased food consumption and cold weather.
Reasons why your wants to eat more in winter:
1. Staying Warm Burns More Energy ⭐
Without a doubt, the primary answer is that the body has to work harder in the winter months to remain warm. This means the body will need more energy, and energy comes in the form of calories or existing fat stores.
As you can imagine, this directly relates to just how cold it gets where you live. The colder it is, the harder your husky’s body has to work to remain warm, and so the more calories needed.
2. To Help Develop Their Coat ⭐
Throughout the winter months, your husky will be trying to keep his coat as thick and healthy as possible, again, to retain heat. And this requires extra nutrition (in particular, healthy fats like Omega 3 essential fatty acids).
When speaking to owners about this, most of them pointed out that their husky’s increased appetite happened almost directly after any big blowout. And many huskies experience a blowout around autumn to regrow a new undercoat for the winter.
3. To Keep Up With Their Activity Levels ⭐
Finally, the extra calories will be needed to sustain your husky’s daily activity and exercise.
A lot of breeds become less active in the winter, but for huskies, it seems to be the opposite. Huskies naturally prefer cooler weather and enjoy being outside even more. Especially if you experience snow.
So if your husky if exercising more, or just spending more time outside in general, more calories will be necessary to maintain their energy and strength.
Should Your Husky Eat More In Winter?
So although it seems like a good idea for your husky to eat more throughout the winter, it’s not necessarily recommended for all huskies.
Whether or not your husky actually needs more food depends on how cold it is, how much time he spends outside, and his general activity levels.
Fortunately for us, huskies by nature are not a greedy breed, and so if they show signs of wanting more food, then it’s a good indication that more is in fact necessary.
⭐ Before making changes, observe him around mealtimes to get a gauge on his appetite. You can also weigh him, as well as giving him a physical pat-down. To do this, run your hands along his side and you should slightly feel his ribs with a little pressure. If you struggle to feel his ribs even with pressure, then he certainly doesn’t need any more food. But, if you can feel his ribs with ease, then additional food may be given.
How Much Extra Food Can You Give Your Husky?
So how many additional calories would be appropriate?
The truth is that it varies and there’s no set amount that will be appropriate for every husky out there.
The safest way without encouraging unnecessary weight gain would be to start with an increase of no more than 10% of his current calorie intake is. You could simply add 5-10% more kibble than what you’re currently giving.
Alternatively, you could add a nutritional boost by mixing in a small amount of wet dog food into his dry kibble. Wet dog food is high in protein and fat, has considerable calories, and is more nutritious in almost every way compared to dry kibble. I have an article with the best-wet dog foods for huskies here. For me, this option is much more beneficial than simply giving extra dry kibble or human food.
If you do go down the wet dog food route, it’s still important to be careful with how much you add. Calculate the number of calories your husky is already receiving, work out what 5-10% is, and only give up to that amount of additional calories from the wet dog food.
Watch the scales and how your husky reacts. After adjusting his diet it’s very important to ensure he’s comfortable with the changes and is getting on well with it. You might see an initial change in stool consistency but loose stools should resolve themselves, if they don’t this could mean his body isn’t getting on with the addition.
Furthermore, if he starts looking considerably bigger and you can no longer feel his ribs, then too many extra calories were likely given, and it could be time to reduce them again.
It’s certainly true that huskies eat more in winter. More energy is needed to maintain body heat and this energy comes from the calories they consume. Additionally, huskies tend to eat more to support the growth of a new undercoat, as well as to sustain their activity levels.
If you think your husky needs more calories in winter, be sure to assess his weight first, and only add a very small amount, around 5-10% of what he’s currently eating. This should help avoid unnecessary weight gain.
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