Whether you have a husky or are considering getting one, knowing their average lifespan is important. Different breeds have different lifespans, so how does the husky compare?
In addition to knowing the following about a husky’s lifespan, we’ll run through the best ways to keep your husky healthy and prolong their life as much as possible.
Siberian huskies live for 12-15 years. Some may live longer, while others who suffer from health issues may live shorter than this. But in general, 12-15 years is the average husky lifespan.
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Siberian Husky Lifespan
Huskies who live most of their lives without health issues are likely to reach 13-15 years old.
This is a pretty generous lifespan for a medium-sized breed like the husky. Many larger breeds have a slightly shorter lifespan, and smaller breeds, a longer one.
Huskies, like most other dogs, are prone to certain health conditions. And for those that go on to have health issues affecting their overall quality of life, general health and wellbeing, and ultimately their life expectancy.
Having said this, huskies with health issues can still live a high-quality life and make it way beyond 10 years old. Of course, it depends on what health issue we are talking about and when it happens.
What Do Huskies Usually Die From?
Unfortunately, cancer is the most common cause of death in huskies as it is in many other breeds too. Certain cancers are curable and effective treatment is available if detection is early.
Aside from cancer, issues like arthritis, hypothyroidism, the effects of zinc deficiency, and heart disease are also common killers for those huskies that are well into their senior years.
Similar Breeds Life Expectency Comparison
Many would like to know how the husky compares to other similar breeds, popular breeds. So let’s take a look.
Husky life expectancy comparison chart:
|Siberian Husky||12-15 years|
|Alaskan Husky||12-15 years|
|Alaskan Malamute||10-12 years|
|Akita Inu||10-12 years|
|German Shepherd||9-13 years|
|Australian Shepherd||13-15 years|
|Alaskan Klee Kai||12-16 years|
|American Eskimo Dog||13-15 years|
|Border Collie||10-17 years|
|Golden Retriever||10-12 years|
The husky doesn’t fair too bad compared to other popular and similar breeds. You’ll notice only a few of the breeds have a longer life expectancy. And that will partly be down to being physically smaller than the husky.
Alaskan Klee Kais along with Alaskan Malamutes are two of the closest breeds to the Siberian Husky. The Alaskan Klee Kai is quite a fair bit smaller than the husky, and the Malamute is of course much bigger. Their respective lifespans correspond to this.
And for those wondering about the Alaskan Husky: they are technically crossbred, and their genetics indicate a mixture of Siberian Husky, Greyhounds, Malamutes, and German Shorthaired Pointers. Despite this, they are not considered a separate breed from the Siberian Husky. Anyway, their lifespan is 12-15 years, just like the Siberians. More about Alaskan Husky vs Siberian Husky Differences.
What’s The Oldest Husky Alive?
A really common question I receive is what’s the oldest husky alive (or that has ever lived).
I have tried finding this information since I started this site years ago, and honestly, it isn’t easy to find a definitive answer.
- Some owners on various husky forums have mentioned knowing a husky that has lived to 18 years old. Which is super old for almost any breed, let alone a husky.
Have we verified this? Unfortunately not. And no world records have been claimed for having the oldest husky alive.
There are always exceptions to the lifespan range, so I do not doubt that some huskies have lived to be around 16-19 years old.
4 Main Factors Affecting a Husky’s Lifespan
Let’s examine the main factors affecting how long a husky will live.
1. Health Issues
Health issues are of course, a huge factor. Some huskies will never have significant health issues, and others won’t be so lucky. Some will suffer from health issues early on and others much later on.
Getting health issues early on will likely impact lifespan negatively. And not necessarily as a direct result of the health issue itself but because of the knock-on effects.
Knock-on effects could disrupt their ability to exercise and stay energetic, it could also affect their digestion and absorption of nutrients. Which, in the long run, have an impact on overall health, quality of life, and lifespan.
A big problem is that a lot of health issues cause obesity, either directly or indirectly, and obesity is considered to have detrimental effects on lifespan.
The same is said for health issues that cause stress. It was found that stress in domestic dogs is quite prolific and can negatively impact lifespan.
Health issues huskies can suffer from:
- Hip dysplasia (leading to arthritis)
- Eye problems (PRA)
- Zinc deficiency
- Gum disease
Some of these health issues can directly cause death, and for those that don’t, the negative lifestyle and potential chronic stress endured by them could lead to a shorter lifespan.
2. Diet & Nutrition
Diet and nutrition have a tremendous impact on your husky’s health over many years. Diet and nutrition can even be the difference between developing health issues or avoiding them…
The world of dog food and dog diets is almost as complicated as it is for us! You’ve got kibble, “human-grade dog food”, the raw food diet, a mixture of them, and I’m sure many more.
It’s a strongly debated topic, but in reality, it’s quite hard to know which diet is “the best”, as they all have their pros and cons.
While I do feel that the raw food diet is probably* the healthiest diet for a husky in the long run, it’s also extremely expensive, with an average monthly cost of $250-$350. And this is not possible for many owners.
Thankfully, kibble still does a good job, but it’s important to opt for a premium quality kibble from a reputable brand. Brands like Orijen, Acana, Taste of The Wild, and Wellness prioritize “fresh and whole” ingredients, and have a suitable macronutrient breakdown tailored for working dogs.
It’s crucial to avoid kibbles that have a high carb content. Carbs have been shown to be pretty much useless for canine health. Dogs, especially huskies have long been eating almost entirely protein and fat (even for a long time after domestication), and therefore their bodies are made to digest protein and fat efficiently.
With companies all fighting to beat each other in price, quality is lost, and cheaper ingredients are preferred. And for many inferior kibbles, bulking up the carbohydrate content is the way this is achieved.
In the long run, keeping your husky on a diet that lacks nutrition or is of low quality in general, will likely impact their health and life expectancy.
If you want to learn more about food and diets for your husky, check out the husky nutrition section.
3. Exercise & Activity
Perhaps one reason why huskies have a generous life expectancy is due to the fact they are very active and well-exercised.
Most people who own a husky, or want to get one, are well aware that a husky NEEDS a lot of exercise and suit an active lifestyle.
Thankfully, most owners respect the husky’s need for exercise and do provide around 2 hours on average of exercise per day.
This, without a doubt, keeps a husky healthy not just physically but also mentally too. Although mental stimulation is still required separately, physical exercise can do its part in keeping stress levels down.
4. Environment & Lifestyle
Something that perhaps doesn’t get the attention like “health issues, diet, and exercise” does is a dog’s general environment and lifestyle.
This is heavily related to stress levels and overall happiness. Multiple in-depth studies have shown that the environment and stress levels of our canines companions can influence their health, just as it does in us.
So as an overview, it’s worth considering what kind of environment does your husky live in and what could be their stress levels.
Environments can change dramatically, from city living to quiet rural areas with plenty of space to run around at all times. Some environments are busy and chaotic whereas others are peaceful and liberating.
4 Simple Tips for Keeping Your Husky Healthy
Let’s run through some simple tips on keeping your husky healthy and hopefully alive for longer!
1. Regular vet check ups
Regular vet checkups are crucial, yet often forgotten about. Many owners forget and some put them off if their dog appears to be “fine”. We, however, don’t have the expertise that a vet has, and we aren’t able to perform the necessary checks that they can in the vet’s office.
Bi-yearly appointments are the best way to detect health issues early, prevent health issues from happening, and keeping your husky healthy for longer.
2. Sufficient exercise
Exercise is crucial to a husky. Huskies were bred as sled dogs and are accustomed to running for miles upon miles almost on a daily basis.
It’s literally in their DNA to exercise (much more than the average dog). To keep a husky healthy their exercise needs must be satisfied. 2 hours per day is appropriate for healthy adults, but many huskies will happily exercise for longer.
3. Quality nutrition
Take the time to really get your husky’s diet and nutrition on point. Research the brand you are using, converse with other owners, be sensitive to how your husky reacts to the food, and even consult your vet if you need to.
Don’t be afraid to try new diets until you find a really good one, but when you do, be sure to stick to it for a while.
If the raw food diet is something you would like to provide, it’s crucial to do your research and have your veterinarian monitor your husky over the course of a few months to ensure their body is receiving a healthy ratio of nutrients.
4. Provide a stress free, loving environment
Last but certainly not least, provide a calm environment that your husky can relax in and remain stress-free. Huskies crave attention from their owners, so don’t be afraid to indulge your husky with your love and time (even if they turn their nose up at it! lol). Good health and happiness will come when your husky is prioritized.
Can Huskies Live For 20 Years?
As of now, we are unaware of a husky reaching 20 years old, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. The oldest husky that has been officially recorded was 18 years old.
Is 14 Old For a Husky?
Yes 14 is considered old for a husky. This is already towards the end of their average lifespan.
Is 10 Old For a Husky?
Huskies at 10 years old are considered well into their senior years but should live for another few years at least. This is assuming they are in good health.
What Age Do Huskies Become Senior Dogs
Huskies over 8 years old are considered senior dogs.
Thank you for reading! If you have any more questions about the husky’s life expectancy, be sure to contact me
Additional resources and studies used:
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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