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My Husky Won’t Eat: 6 Reasons Why & What You Can Do

Huskies have an unusual relationship with their food bowl, sometimes they eat, and sometimes they don’t!

This leaves owners wondering why and what they can do to help.

Believe it or not, this is one of the most common questions husky owners have, so you’re not alone there. This article will explain everything you need to know.

The 6 Reasons Why Your Husky Won’t Eat:
1. Disagreeing With Their Food
2. Lack of Exercise
3. No Daily Feeding Routine
4. Not Comfortable In His Environment
5. Bored of The Food
6. Other Health Issues

Everything will be explained in full detail below.

6 Reasons Why Your Husky Isn’t Eating

1. Disagreeing With Their Food

If your husky doesn’t feel too good after eating his food, he’ll be inclined to leave it the next time you give it to him.

Most huskies have “soft” stomachs and digestive systems, which could affect yours too. If he eats something that makes him feel bad, he’ll reject it the next time.

Make sure protein levels are high. Protein is essential for keeping your husky strong, and it also digests easily.

Although fat consumption is important, it’s much harder to digest and the extra stress on the digestive system certainly won’t help.

Usually, we would recommend huskies be on a high protein and high-fat diet. But for those with sensitive stomachs, lowering the fat is sometimes necessary.

Ensure protein is high, with only small-moderate fat and carbohydrate levels.

Avoid using dog food with common allergens like soy, wheat, corn, dairy, eggs, chicken, lamb, and beef. Yes, believe it or not, chicken isn’t always the best, despite being the most popular!

Related Read: Best food for huskies with sensitive stomachs

2. Lack of Exercise

By nature, huskies are not greedy, so he needs to have a reason to eat.

Ensuring your husky receives a high amount of physical exercise every day will help keep a healthy appetite.

Huskies were bred to run and work on very little food. Over thousands of years of living like this, their body has developed an extremely efficient metabolism, meaning they only need a small amount of food for a lot of energy.

  • Your husky needs intensive exercise for at least 2 hours per day.

Consisting of running, hiking, agility training, sled pulling, and of course, throwing his favorite ball in the park.

Without intensive exercise, it’s hard for huskies to develop a healthy appetite.

Complete Siberian Husky Exercise Guide + 10 Exercise Ideas

3. No Daily Feeding Routine

If your husky is grazing throughout the day on treats or your leftovers (not recommended) it’s possible he just isn’t hungry when dinner time comes.

If your husky doesn’t have an established eating time, he won’t be hungry when you put his food down.

One of the great benefits of having set times is that you’re training your husky to be hungry at that time of the day. Increasing the chance he actually wants to eat his food when you give it to him.

Just remember that feeding times should be based on his exercise. Always give your husky 2 hours to digest food before exercising him, and at least 45 minutes rest after exercising before any feeding.

4. Not Comfortable In His Environment

Huskies are sensitive to their environment and in tune with their survival instincts.

As it happens, eating is one of the times when wild animals become hyperaware, as this is often a vulnerable moment.

Despite domestication happening a long time ago, this behavior is still ingrained into huskies today.

When each mealtime comes around, your husky will need to feel safe, secure, and comfortable in his environment to eat his meal normally.

If there are distractions and unfamiliar noises or smells from other animals in the area, it’s likely your husky won’t eat his food.

This is surprisingly common and it’s sometimes a good idea to try moving his food bowl into a different room. This may be enough to get him eating again.

5. Bored of The Food

This is a little bit harder to know but your husky may just be bored with the same food.

Even if you initially found something that your husky loved to eat, this can always change one day.

It’s a good idea to think about changing it once in a while if your husky seems continuously less excited to eat every mealtime.

Although, try to refrain from constantly changing, as this could lead to an upset stomach. Find something that works well and stick with that for a while as long as he enjoys eating it.

Check out next >> The Best Food Brands for Huskies in 2023 | Top Brand Reviews

6. Underlying Health Issues

In the worst cases, he may not be eating due to underlying health issues.

If you cannot identify a possible explanation for why he isn’t eating, be ready to make an appointment with your Veterinarian. If he doesn’t eat for two days, he needs to see a vet.

Siberian Huskies and many other northern breeds suffer from Zinc Deficiency. Zinc is one of the most important minerals in their body, responsible for many necessary processes.

The Zinc deficiency problem in huskies causes many health issues and a lack of appetite can be one of the symptoms.

To properly rule out any medical conditions, you need to visit your local veterinarian for a complete check-up.

Related Article: 5 Ways To Help Your Husky Gain Weight


Psst. A quick word on training! Brain Training For Dogs is one of the best training methods suitable for a husky. Other owners and I are seeing improvement in obedience, behavior, and stubbornness quicker than ever before. I seriously recommend checking it out.

Are Huskies Picky Eaters?

In short, yes. Huskies are considered picky eaters compared to most other breeds. Not all huskies will have difficulty eating but most owners will eventually have to deal with their husky being fussy.

The good news is that this can be overcome.

There is always a reason behind a picky husky, and once you narrow down the cause, the solution will be made perfectly clear.

Let’s move on to some of the best ways to encourage your husky to start eating again.

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5 Ways To Encourage Your Husky To Start Eating Again

1. Eliminate common allergens from his diet

Make sure you are aware of the common food allergens and then work to remove them from your husky’s normal food. This could be the necessary change your husky is waiting for. In this article, I recommend the 4 best foods for huskies with sensitive stomachs.

2. Change the protein source to fish, duck, turkey, salmon

While people often think their dog loves chicken, beef, and pork, they’re actually all common allergens to most dogs. Protein that comes from either duck, turkey, or salmon digests better and doesn’t cause reactions.

Of course, all huskies are different so it’s still important to introduce these slowly and in small amounts to gauge their reaction.

3. Add in extra flavor to their food (healthy)

There are many healthy ways you can increase the flavor of your dog’s food. I have a full article on helping your husky gain weight, which includes healthy ways to make his food yummier.

You could add some healthy meat broth, dog food toppers, peanut butter, or add a small dollop of wet dog food on top of their dry kibble. (just be sure to watch their calories).

4. Create proper feeding times and stick to them

Train your husky to be hungry at certain times of the day. As dinner time approaches, his body clock will be getting ready to eat. You can even take this further by limiting the time you keep his food bowl down.

This is a clever method that plays on his instinctive behavior. I go through this in more detail on my other article helping huskies gain weight, linked above.

5. Increase your husky’s exercise

A no-brainer way to increase your husky’s appetite is to exercise him more. The breed has been bred for thousands of years working very hard on small diets. Huskies need a lot of exercise to ramp up their appetite. Without intensive exercise, it’s extremely likely he won’t feel hungry.

How Long Can a Husky Go Without Eating?

A good question a reader asked me about this issue is how long their husky can actually go without eating.

Technically speaking, An otherwise healthy adult husky can go quite some time (5-7 days) without eating before it becomes life-threatening (ONLY if he is still drinking water)

If your husky is also refusing water this is a completely different situation and you should seek help from your veterinarian within 24 hours.

If you have a husky PUPPY or SENIOR, this is a more delicate situation and you should seek help from your local vet no longer than 24 hours after it started. Source

Consider Switching To Human-Grade Dog Food

It’s argued that one of the best forms of dog food is human-grade dog food. This diet is considered a step up from traditional dog food, but not as extreme as the raw food diet.

This is a particularly interesting topic and I’ve got a great review of a company in another article. It’s worth checking out. Pet Plate For Huskies.

This runs through the pros and cons and takes a detailed look at the food and the company behind it all.

FAQ Section

How long can a husky go without eating?

Huskies, like most other dogs, can go around 5-7 days without eating, as long as they continue drinking fluids. If they aren’t consuming fluids either, this time is dramatically reduced.

What foods can huskies not eat?

Huskies should avoid a lot of human food including table scraps, and other ingredients like onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, figs, currents, avocados, cherries, tomatoes, mushrooms, chocolate, coffee, salt, and anything sugary.

Do huskies eat less in summer?

Many huskies experience a slight decrease in appetite during summer, but it shouldn’t be a dramatic change. Assuming your husky is still receiving a sufficient amount of exercise, their appetite should remain fairly consistent regardless of the weather.

How can I get my husky to eat?

You can make your husky’s food more appealing by adding meat broth to it, mixing in a small amount of wet dog food, or adding a dog-friendly seasoning topper.

What do huskies eat in the wild?

For thousands of years living with their Chuckchi Tribe, a husky’s diet would have been what their tribe’s diet was. This means, a lot of meat with a moderate amount of vegetation. This is exactly why most huskies thrive off a diet that’s high in protein and fat, with minimal carbs.


Thank you for reading!
The best way to really deal with these issues is to be attentive and arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible. Catching this behavior early will better help you solve it quickly, and catch health issues before they develop into something worse (if health issues are the cause).

Always monitor your husky or any dog and if he refuses to eat completely for more than a day, I recommend being safe and visiting your local veterinarian for professional advice and help.

Best Harness For a Husky

The Kurgo Tru-Fit Harness remains to be the best harness I’ve seen for a husky. It’s affordable and reliable.

Best Online Training Program For Huskies

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.


The 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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Saturday 4th of July 2020

My husky is a very bad eater, as a puppy I used to feed her 3 times in a day but now she's 1 year old and she only eats one time in a day and even that is after forcing her a lot. I feed her cooked chicken and rice. Sometimes I add her favourite chicken gravy on top of the food but she still refuses to eat the food at times. What is surprising is that when she is with other dogs she eats whatever food is there. Even if it's very boring and not fresh. But at home (she's alone) she is extremely picky. Please help out a fellow husky parent :)

Nicky Halliday

Saturday 30th of May 2020

My daughter has just got a collie puppy and I have 2 huskies one of my huskies has not Eaten her dinner for 2 days but if I give her treats she will eat them she isn’t integrating with the puppy very well and just lays on the sofa out the way all day. It’s also very hot so doesn’t want to go for walks, she doesn’t like the barking and jumping the new puppy does. Any suggestions on the best way to deal with it please and should I take her to the vets


Sunday 31st of May 2020

Hi Nicky! Thanks for the comment! That is a good question, I will try my best to help you.

First of all, it is definitely typical for dogs to react in many ways when their environment has changed, and getting a new puppy into their territory is definitely a significant event. It's hard to say how long this negative reaction will last and of course we can't have her not eating her dinner. Getting her to eat is the first important thing so I would suggest trying out the tips in the article, making her food more tasty, using a small amount of wet food in with her kibble, adding plain chicken broth, even a scoop of peanut butter. You could even temporarily try plain boiled chicken and rice, this is a very safe alternative and the change might be enough to get her to start eating something (although this must be temporary, a few days or so)

It's important for your two husky's to understand that the new puppy is now a part of the family and they will need to get along, eventually. So welcoming in the puppy and showing the puppy attention in front of your huskies will of course be a way to do that, however as one of your huskies really isn't into the new puppy, it may be best to have periods of the day where the puppy is kept in a different part of the house, and you can give your other husky or huskies a break, so to speak. Engage in activities that your husky used to like, play with them, show them attention and care. Try some basic training with rewards, anything to get your husky enthusiastic and "happy" again will help. Try doing all of this while the other puppy is in a different area. Having said that, it's important not to create a separation between the two, as this will prolong the bonding process.

It's mostly about balance, your husky will have to eventually get used to the new puppy, and with time, she will. Try balancing some time away from the puppy and time with the puppy, and always remember to show adequate time, attention and interest in your husky just as much as the puppy.

For the most part, this kind of reaction is normal, but it's important for her to start eating. If you can't get her to eat anything in the next day or two, I would at least call the veterinarian.

I hope this helps! Kind regards and good luck Harry

Jessica Bekkari

Monday 11th of May 2020

Thank you so much for this article, Harry. It was really enlightening for me. In this quarantine, the 2 only vets of my city in Morocco are not working at all these last 2 months, and my Husky only feels like eating once every 1-2 days. He is losing a lot of weight and now we have a better idea of what to do to help. THANK YOU!


Monday 11th of May 2020

Thank you for your comment, Jessica! And I'm glad to have helped! Hopefully, the vets will be opening up back soon and I would still advise to pay them a visit when they do, just to be on the safe side. If the tips in the article don't work, feel free to email and I will help further :)


Saturday 9th of May 2020

My husky is only eating meats I am unable to get her to eat anything else. I am able to give her probiotics with a syringe only. We did travel but it has been a week since a true meal. I have taken her to a vet but they said there is nothing wrong with her. What do I do?


Monday 11th of May 2020

Hi Melinda! Thank you for your comment, when you say meats, are you referring to raw meat, or cooked meat like cooked chicken breast? The good thing is at least she is eating something. Although meat alone may not be a good solution for a prolonged period of time. To give the best solution it's really important to find out the root cause, it's surprising your veterinarian hasn't helped you better than that! For the travel, were you travelling for long distances with her? or was she at home while you were away, one week may still be early and she may take longer to readjust. I would try the classic diet used for dogs that aren't feeling too well, this is boiled chicken breast and white rice, try giving her this with a small amount of rice, as it's important she doesn't just receive meat alone. Adding a small spoon of natural (unsalted) peanut butter to her meals will also help her get some fats in, but that should just be a short term addition to get her eating extra calories. As I mentioned, it's important to find out the cause, it may be that she's gone off the previous kibble you had her on, have you tried changing kibbles? Although veterinarians can be a little expensive, I would consider speaking to another one, as I wouldn't be happy with that response from your veterinarian. It's important to resolve this as soon as possible! Feel free to message me privately as well :) Thank you! Harry

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