- This post contains affiliate links. Read more here.
- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
With their thick coats, fluffy tails, and bold black-and-white coloration, Huskies are a sight to behold. These dogs are incredibly friendly, but they do have destructive tendencies and high exercise requirements that make them a challenge for inexperienced dog owners.
Proper socialization and training are a must for Huskies, but so is a healthy diet. Check out our top picks for the best dog food for Huskies to make sure your pup gets the nutrients he needs for optimal health.
Your Dog’s Basic Nutritional Needs
The Husky is known for his wild appearance and endless energy. These qualities are in large part inherited from his ancient ancestors, the wolf.
Though domestic dogs like Huskies are a far cry from their wild ancestors, their basic nutritional needs are still quite similar. Dogs aren’t true obligate carnivores like cats, but they still do best on a meat-based diet with limited carbohydrate content. Your dog can get what he needs from commercial kibble or canned food, but you need to pay close attention to nutrient levels to make a smart choice.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has determined the minimal requirements for key nutrients in dogs. AAFCO recommendations state a minimum of 22% protein for canine growth and reproduction (puppies and lactating females) and an 18% minimum for adult dogs. For fat, these numbers are 8% and 5%, respectively.
To meet these requirements, feed your Husky a high-quality dog food made with real, whole-food sources of these nutrients. Animal protein like meat or poultry should be the focus with higher than average fat to meet your Husky’s calorie requires. The carbohydrate content of your dog’s diet should be limited.
Remember that AAFCO standards exist to encourage commercial pet food products to adhere to minimum nutritional requirements. You’ll probably agree, however, that your Husky deserves more than the bare minimum. Checking for an AAFCO statement of nutritional adequacy on the label is a good way to weed out the really bad dog foods, but the statement itself isn’t a wholesale guarantee of quality.
It’s your job as a dog owner to understand the truth about dog food. Take the AAFCO statement with a grain of salt and do the work to make sure the food you’re considering is of high quality and will do more than just meet your Husky’s minimum nutritional needs.
Breed-Specific Nutrition for Huskies
All dog breeds have the same basic nutritional requirements, though there are certain additional factors to take into consideration.
For example, Huskies are prone to hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce adequate levels of thyroid hormone. This hormone regulates your dog’s metabolism, so dogs with hypothyroidism may gain weight despite eating less. Dogs with hypothyroidism don’t necessarily need a special diet but unexplained weight gain is cause for concern and a visit to your vet to talk about it.
Something else to consider is that the Husky was developed as a working breed. Sled dogs like Huskies can burn up to 10,000 calories a day while working, but the chances are your Husky isn’t getting anywhere near that kind of exercise. If your dog is highly active or you’re training him for dog sports, you may need to increase his food intake by 10% for every hour of hard work, but it’s not something you need to be overly concerned about unless your dog starts to lose weight.
More important than the calorie content of your Husky’s food is the quality. The best dog food for Huskies is comprised of wholesome, natural ingredients to support optimal nutrition.
You don’t have to be too concerned about scheduled feedings to prevent overeating, either. Huskies are extremely efficient at burning calories, so they may not need to eat as much as other breeds. These dogs tend to only eat until they’re full, so free feeding is definitely an option.
Choosing the Best Dog Food for Huskies
When shopping for your Husky, you might be considering a large breed dog food. Though some Huskies grow up to 60 pounds, many don’t exceed 50 pounds which is generally the point at which a dog is considered a large breed.
High-quality commercial dog food made with wholesome, natural ingredients is the best choice for your Husky. Follow the feeding recommendations on the package according to his age and weight but monitor his body condition. If he starts to gain too much weight you may need to switch from free-feeding to scheduled meals and if he loses weight, you might need to switch to a higher calorie recipe.
Here are some general things to look for in a dog food for Huskies:
- High-quality animal protein as the first ingredient (meat, poultry, or fish)
- Two sources of animal protein within the first three ingredients
- Moderate fat content (healthy animal sources like chicken fat or fish oil)
- Limited digestible carbohydrate content (like whole grains and low-starch veggies)
- No artificial additives like synthetic dyes, flavorings, or preservatives
The higher the quality of your Husky’s food, the more efficiently his body will be able to digest it and absorb the nutrients. Natural foods such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are more valuable sources of vitamins and minerals than synthetic supplements. Avoid recipes that contain a long list of synthetic nutrients—this is usually an indication that the ingredients themselves are low in nutrients or that there has been significant nutrient loss during processing.
The Best Dog Food for Huskies
Despite being known for their high energy levels, Huskies don’t tend to eat as much as other breeds because their bodies are so good at burning calories. That being said, the quality of your dog’s diet is all the more important. Here are our top picks for healthy, nutritious dog food for Huskies.
Featuring 85% animal ingredients, this protein-packed puppy food incorporates meat, organs, cartilage, and bone for a carnivore-friendly feast.Shop on Chewy
This high-protein recipe is perfect for growing Husky puppies, made with real chicken as the first ingredient and supplemented with beef liver and fresh salmon.Shop on Chewy
Skip the transition from puppy to adult food with this versatile recipe. It contains a limited number of ingredients and a single source of animal protein to optimize digestion and maximize nutrition.Shop on Chewy
Packed with protein from fresh chicken and chicken liver, this canned food is cooked in a flavorful gravy. It also comes in a beef flavor if your Husky prefers red meat.Shop on Chewy
Made in Kentucky with whole, wild-caught New England fish and regionally-sourced produce such as peas, pumpkin, and squash, this high-quality dog food includes plenty of protein and whole food ingredients.Shop on Chewy
When it comes to a healthy dog food for Huskies, this 100% natural canned food recipe is a great choice. It features fresh lamb as the primary ingredient and utilizes dried fruits and vegetables for key nutrients, negating the need for synthetic supplements.Shop on Chewy
Formulated for the unique nutritional needs of senior dogs, this recipe contains just nine simple ingredients which makes it easier and more efficient for your Husky to digest.Shop on Chewy
This recipe is designed to deliver complete nutrition to your senior Husky in support of three key aspects of health and wellness: digestive health, skin and coat health, and hip and joint health, and includes ingredients such as flaxseed, glucosamine and chondroitin, and whole grains for healthy fiber.Shop on Chewy
Huskies are curious, energetic, and hard-working dogs. These same qualities that make them so lovable also make them a challenge and a handful at times. As with all things in life, being a Husky owner is a balancing act but choosing a healthy dog food for Huskies can help you enjoy as much time with your pup as possible.
For more Husky-related reading, check out: