If your husky is skinny or underweight, you’ll want to know why and what the next steps are to get them at a healthy weight again.
In this article, I cover everything owners need to know about husky weight and how to help a skinny husky gain a few pounds!
I will explain the three main causes of an underweight husky, which is of course crucial to know before trying any of the following.
5 Tips to help your husky gain weight.
- Add unsalted chicken broth
- Use dog food seasoning
- Mix in wet dog food to his kibble
- Add organic unsalted peanut butter
- Limit the time they have to eat
Empty food bowls will definitely help get your husky to gain extra weight. However, there’s more to it than that, so let’s first take a look at some important things to think about.
Normal Weight For Huskies
Does my tail look big in this!?
Let’s take a look at the normal weight ranges for huskies. You may be concerned about your husky’s weight when you don’t need to be! Most huskies are on the slim side, and that’s perfectly normal.
If you can feel his ribs a tiny bit, this is ok, just as long it’s a small amount. Remember that in general, for dogs, it’s healthier to be slightly underweight, than overweight.
According to the American Kennel Club
The normal weight for an adult male husky is 45lbs – 60lbs
The normal weight for an adult female husky is 35lbs – 60lbs
This can vary slightly but your husky should ideally fit within these weight ranges.
Related Article: Why Is My Husky So Small?
3 Main Causes of Underweight Huskies
Rule out health issues
Of course, ruling out health issues is the most important thing to do and should be done first. It’s strongly recommended to take your husky to the vet in these situations:
1. Your husky has completely refused to eat for more than 2 days
2. Your husky is eating more than usual and is still very underweight
If your husky hasn’t eaten in around 2 days, you will need to take him to your local veterinarian asap. He’ll need to have some nutrients very quickly and further checks to discover what the issue is.
If your husky is eating a lot but is still skinny, it’s possible he has worms. Worms feed on your dog’s body and can lead to weight loss.
1. Inadequate diet & nutrition
Perhaps your husky is not getting along with his current diet. A good starting point is to make sure you are using a premium, trusted brand of dog food.
It’s important that your husky is only eating high-quality ingredients from trusted sources to avoid an upset stomach. If his food is giving him any kind of discomfort, he won’t eat it.
I have an interesting article that goes in-depth about why your husky isn’t eating.
There is a big discussion around huskies eating a raw food diet. This topic has been covered in much more detail in another one of my posts.
Although the raw food diet supposedly has great benefits for huskies, it’s a complicated diet, and getting it right is very challenging.
If you have recently tried changing diets to a raw food diet and your husky is struggling to adjust, then I strongly recommend you go back to commercial dog food.
2. Fussy eating
Although this coincides with the diet section, huskies can be so stubborn that it deserves its own little piece!
There may be nothing wrong with your husky’s diet or the food you’re giving him.
If your husky gets remotely bored with his food, he’ll just stop eating it. just. like. that…
Fussy eating can also develop if owners offer too many treats or tidbits throughout the day. A husky will quickly realize that if they refuse their own food, they may get something better off our plates!
This is where you’ll need to “spice” up his food to get him eating it again. Before you grab the chili, read the section below!
Related Article: Why I Love Human-Grade Pet Food
3. Too much exercise
Yep, there’s such a thing as “too much exercise” even for a husky!
If your husky is extremely active… we’re talking about 3 hours a day of exercise. Then their caloric intake will need to be completely different to cope with this.
A regular diet for a husky this active will not suffice. So it’s either their exercise that needs to be reduced or their calories that need to be upped.
- Highly active adult huskies could eat up to 2500-3000 calories a day and be just fine, depending on their actual exercise levels.
- If your husky is highly active, try raising calories to 2000 per day and monitor their weight over 2-3 weeks. (most huskies consume between 1250-1750 anyway, so testing out 2000 shouldn’t be too much of a jump.
5 Best Ways To Help a Husky Gain Weight
1. Add unsalted chicken broth
A simple but very effective way to get your husky actually eating his food is to pour some chicken broth over the kibble before you put it down.
Nothing is more attractive to a husky than some tasty chicken juice. You can save the broth leftover from your dinner and use it for your husky’s mealtimes.
Be sure that you’re using plain chicken broth. It’s not a good idea to be adding salt and other ingredients that might upset the sensitive stomach of your husky. You can also make delicious, healthy chicken broth biscuits which serve as a great treat for your husky.
This doesn’t increase calories too much, but more just encourages huskies to eat if their food if they’re currently refusing it.
2. Use dog food seasoning from Herbsmith
Herbsmith offers a fun and healthy way to make your furry friends kibble more exciting is to use dog food seasoning.
Much like we would add spices and herbs to our food to enhance the flavor, you can do the same for your husky’s kibble.
They have various flavors in their range, all made from high-quality natural ingredients. Mix it into your husky’s food and this will definitely give him something to drool over.
Their products have excellent reviews and are very reasonably priced. Check Herbsmith out here on Amazon.com.
3. Mix in wet dog food to his kibble
A small change in texture could be enough for him to start eating his food once again. Wet dog food is highly nutrition, high in protein and calories. So not only will this get him eating again, but it’ll increase his calories too (a little).
Preferably you use the same brand for the wet food as you already use for the dry food. Using the same brand will ensure the same quality of ingredients as your regular dry kibble.
Try introducing a small amount and always remember to follow the correct portion sizes.
Although huskies will never eat more than they need to, it’s still vital that YOU know the number of calories and the nutritional breakdown you are giving him.
I highly recommend Blue Buffalo Limited Ingredient Wet Dog Food. This avoids irritating sensitive stomachs.
4. Add organic unsalted peanut butter
It still seems that peanut butter is LOVED by practically every husky, so mixing in a small dollop to your dog’s food will work wonders.
Yes it’s true that dogs should avoid many varieties of nuts however, peanuts aren’t actually nuts, they’re legumes filled with a lot of nutrition.
It is important to use organic unsalted peanut butter without the ingredient Xylitol. Other than salt and Xylitol, your husky should be perfectly fine eating peanut butter.
I recommend checking out the article below for more information on peanut butter and huskies.
Related article: Can huskies eat peanut butter?
5. Limit the time he has to eat (combat food refusal)
This is more of a training method. The goal of this is to train your husky to eat his food when you put it down.
Huskies can be left all day with food in the bowl and he will only eat when he’s hungry, however, this is teaching him to graze and not eat properly.
Many husky owners have had great success by limiting the time that the food bowl remains down.
All you do is call dinner time, place the bowl on the floor, and in exactly 10 minutes pick the bowl up again.
That’s all the chance he has to eat until the next mealtime. By doing this, you’re teaching your husky that food is not always readily available, he needs to eat his food when you give it to him or it will shortly be gone.
This actually simulates what it would have been like for huskies over thousands of years. Nothing like a kickback to the past!
Additional Info: The Honest Kitchen
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This wouldn’t be a real husky article if I didn’t mention husky exercise! Seriously though, huskies need A LOT of exercise.
Due to their upbringing for many years with the Chukchi Tribe in Siberia and sled racing in Alaska, they crave intense physical exercise, this is normal for them.
Without sufficient physical activity, your husky will be conserving too much energy, and this will not create a healthy appetite.
It’s always important to be aware of the overall health of your husky, or any pet for that matter! So please, if you have an inkling that something just isn’t right, never hesitate to contact your veterinarian.
It’s good to know the correct information specific to the breed of dog you have.
If you are paying close attention to your pet you will notice when things don’t seem right.
I hope this article has helped you and has given you some ideas to try out!
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The Furminator Undercoat Rake and a Hertzko Slicker Brush are by far the two best brushes that any husky owner should use.
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Brain Training For Dogs has become very popular with Siberian Huskies in the last few years. Owners that have tried it say amazing things about the incredible results and how easily implemented the training is.
Best Husky Puppy Book
If you would like an easy to read guide for training your husky puppy, check out my book The Husky Puppy Handbook on Amazon. All purchases are greatly appreciated.
DisclaimerThe advice given in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice in any context. Before making any decisions that may affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. For the FULL disclaimer Visit Here
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Friday 22nd of May 2020
Thanks, ive learned a lot of things regarding proper care of huskies.
Sunday 24th of May 2020
Thanks Rod! You are very welcome, I am not an expert but I do my best to share correct knowledge and safe practices. Be sure to check out my other posts too! Have a great day