We want the best for our furry friends and keeping them happy will always be important to us. A few extra tips here and there can go a long way. So for this article, I’m sharing 8 less-thought about ways that will contribute to a happier, healthier husky.
Making Your Husky, a Happy Husky
When it comes to keeping your husky (or any dog) happy, the fundamentals like providing adequate exercise and following a good diet are known already. So that’s what this list isn’t going to be 🙂
You may have thought of some of them, of course! But take a look through the list anyway and you may find out something you didn’t already know.
They are in no particular order and all of the tips are important.
1. Take part in games to create a stronger bond
Don’t sit on the sidelines when it comes to game time. What I mean by this is to actively be a part of playtime with your furry friend. Your husky will always appreciate a brand new toy to play with by themselves, but nothing beats turning it into tug-of-war or hide and seek that involves you.
I’m guilty of this sometimes too, I get my pup a new toy, hand it to him, watch his excitement and let him play with it himself while I do something else. It would be far better to spend more time playing with your pup than letting him play alone.
It’s important to set aside time to play and make interesting games with our dogs. This sounds really simple but it has profound effects. Giving as much quality time and attention as we can to our dogs will strengthen the bond we have with them. A stronger bond will make them happier, feel more loved, and can even increase their obedience.
Here’s a list of some fun games to try:
- A classic game of frisbee or fetch
- Tug of war
- Two-way chase (suddenly run away from him to encourage him to chase you, then suddenly turn around and chase him) Usually ends in the zoomies! 😂
- Use interactive toys with your husky and encourage him to solve the problem.
2. Practice fun training exercises on a daily basis.
Many people I speak to think of dog training in a not-so-positive way. Training shouldn’t be a boring grueling task that you’re only doing because you don’t want a maniac husky. It can be so much more fun if you treat it like it’s fun.
Grab yourself a handful of small-sized tasty treats and create different variations of games you are already familiar with, or just improve upon the basics if you want to.
Have your husky sit and wait for your command before running to a treat that’s placed in front of him, but gradually increase the distance between him and the treat, or try moving to a different room before giving the “Go!” command. There are so many ways to make basic games more interesting.
Once you get good you can move on to the advanced games like balancing treats on his nose, or on top of his paws while he’s laying down. If you make it to this level I’ll be impressed!
Hammering home the basic commands will have a profound effect on his happiness, self-control, and overall obedience. It will build better communication and will result in a stronger bond between you both.
3. Allow time to sniff around on walks
Huskies and exercise may as well be the same word. Exercise is so important for this breed and as a husky owner, I’m sure you already know that! So I’m not going to talk about exercise any more…
This is more about giving him time to well, just, be a dog! Let him use his impressive senses and be free to sniff around where he wants for a while. It may not always be appropriate or possible to go off-leash so use your judgment, but sniffing can still be allowed on leash.
By letting your furry friend sniff around you’re triggering those instinctive feelings and behaviors. This is incredibly healthy for his mind and general well-being. I’ve already mentioned mental stimulation above, and this is certainly a part of that. Walk times will be so much more powerful and beneficial if some simple sniff time is included.
Take a second to think about what your current walks look like, do you rush them? or try to cram them in at the end of the day. If so, your husky would benefit immensely from more time outside of the house, exploring nature, sniffing around, and of course, getting his intensive exercise in too.
4. Create a calm and stress-free environment.
Our canine companions are hypersensitive to their surroundings, especially huskies. Creating a calm environment where your husky feels safe and relaxed is essential for him to feel happy and content.
One of the main culprits for dogs is noise. Loud noises, shouting, or music is not peaceful and will cause a considerable amount of mental stress for your furry friend.
The second part of this has to do with us…
We all have tense moments now and then, that’s life after all! But remaining calm and relaxed will be essential for your husky to feel comfortable and safe. As I mentioned, dogs are hypersensitive, especially to their owners who they look to for support and guidance. The way you speak, your body language, and any stress that you give off, will be completely absorbed by your husky. If you are stressed, he will be stressed.
And finally, young children should always be monitored. Babies and young ones don’t always understand how to play appropriately, and depending on what they’re doing, it can be quite stressful for any dog. Kids love to tease, so this is definitely something to watch out for.
5. Make brush time something to look forward to
You either have a husky who loves the brush, or one that hates the brush. If you have one who isn’t fond of brush then it’s time to address that issue right away.
As brushing is so important and needs to be done often it makes sense for it to be something your husky enjoys, right? Start by reintroducing the brush to your husky. If he already has bad associations with the brush it may take longer and more patience on your part, but it will be totally worth it. I will include a youtube clip demonstrating how to reintroduce the brush just below.
As for the routine, 3-5 mini sessions per week is preferable. Many short but frequent brushing sessions are much more effective than one super long session.
A good tip I learned from a friend is to brush in the evening times after your husky has been well exercised and played with. He’ll be much calmer, more receptive and a nice gentle brush session will double up as a massage, and he’ll love the attention.
This video is based on an Alaskan Malamute puppy. But the principles are basic and will also work great for an adult too. Give a try 🙂
6. Reduce the time spent alone
I know we all have busy lives and schedules. And for some of us, it may not even be possible to adjust it. But there are still some things that can be done to reduce the time your husky spends alone.
Huskies in particular don’t do well when left alone, so the less time you leave them unaccompanied, the better. Separation anxiety, isolation distress, behavioral issues, and even depression can stem from too much time alone.
Hiring a dog sitter or summoning one of your family members to visit your husky while you’re at work on a daily basis will be a huge improvement to his life.
You may be able to get a family member or friend to do this occasionally, but it’s unlikely they will be free as much as you require, so that’s exactly why dog sitters are becoming such a big thing. Dog sitters can be paid an hourly rate and you can either have them look after your husky inside your home, or take them out for a walk.
Take a second to think about your current routine and if your husky spends more than a few hours alone every day, it’s recommended to have someone start visiting him.
7. Remove the collar before bed time
There isn’t much interesting science behind this tip! This is just purely about comfort.
Removing the collar from your husky during the evenings or before he goes to sleep will allow him to feel more comfortable.
I don’t know about your furry friend, but mine sleeps in his bed with his neck hanging over the side bolster. I can only imagine that it’s more comfortable without having a thick leather collar pressing into his neck.
This may even improve his sleep, which will only be beneficial to his overall health.
8. Create more social interactions
Having a great social life is important for dogs too!
A long time ago I used to believe that if you have two dogs or more, then you didn’t need to worry about further socializing them (because they already had another buddy)
This really isn’t true. Even if you have multiple canines living in your house, it’s still important that they frequently interact and socialize with unfamiliar dogs and even people.
Socializing and meeting new dogs is like mental stimulation on steroids.
Your husky will leave feeling energized, happy, and extremely content. This can have a huge impact on his overall life if you make it something you do regularly.
This can be done with friends who own dogs, at your local park, or visit a doggy play center if you have one nearby.
I hope some of these tips have inspired you to make a few adjustments to your normal routine. If you know of other ways that will contribute to a happier husky, please comment below as they may just help out another husky owner!
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The advice given in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute pet medical advice. 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.