Alaskan Husky Care

The Alaskan Husky--which is a type or category, rather than a specific breed--is a playful, energetic, hard-working animal famous for its fantastic sled-pulling skills. Overall, dogs of this type will need a moderate amount of care, much of which will consist of exercise, exercise, and more exercise.

Below you'll find plenty of details on caring for an Alaskan Husky: puppy development, exercise needs, diet and nutrition, and more are all covered here. For answers to your questions about Alaskan Husky care, keep reading!

Alaskan Husky Exercise Needs

Alaskan Huskies are extremely athletic, agile, and blessed with great endurance, so their exercise requirements are as extensive as any dog breed known. From centuries of pulling sleds for hours on end, these Huskies will need a huge amount of daily activity--and that activity should challenge them mentally as well as physically. They also make fantastic jogging and bicycling companions.

In a nutshell, an Alaskan Husky will need as much daily exercise as you can possibly give it. 90 minutes of proper physical activity a day should be the minimum, and your Husky can handle much more than that! You can start exercising your Husky at three months of age by taking it on short (10- to 15-minute) leashed walks, then you can increase the walks' length and frequency as the puppy grows.

There are, of course, some precautions to consider when exercising your Alaskan Husky: first, puppies younger than nine months old shouldn't participate in activities that include a lot of jumping, running, and navigating of stairs, as doing so can injure their still-developing joints and bones. And all Alaskan Huskies, regardless of age, require a leash when in public. These dogs are playful, curious, independent, and social, and many have high prey drives, so they will quickly run off in search of new playmates, environments, or smaller animals if not closely controlled with a leash. Even when exercising in your own yard, the area must have a high, secure fence; dogs of this breed category are notorious for their jumping skills and wandering tendencies, and will easily leap a five-foot fence and run off if given the chance--so close supervision is required during yard play. And finally: because they were developed in Arctic climates, Alaskan Huskies suffer terribly in heat. Owners are advised not to exercise their Alaskan Huskies in temps above 75 degrees, because their dogs will be susceptible to heat stroke. Generally speaking, if you live in a hot climate, the Alaskan Husky is not the dog for you.

Safeguards aside, exercising your Alaskan Husky every single day is an absolute must. Constant physical activity is in this breed type's nature! If bored or restless, an Alaskan Husky will bark, chew, dig, and simply be miserable--so consistent Alaskan Husky exercise (and plenty of it) will be great for both the dog's and your own sanity. A few exercise ideas:

  • Walking/Jogging/Bicycling: Two 30-minute walks (or 20-minute jogs or bike rides) is the minimum requirement
  • Fetch: An Alaskan Husky will chase a ball or stick for hours
  • Tug-of-War: Great indoor, rainy-day activity; give the dog a treat when it finds you
  • Sled Pulling: These dogs can pull sleds for many miles without stopping
  • Dog Park: As pack animals, Huskies love the company of other dogs
  • Canine Sports: Alaskan Huskies excel at agility trials, flyball, and other competitions
  • Hiking: Excellent bonding activity; your Husky will even carry the backpack

If your Alaskan Husky must spend long periods indoors, it's a good idea to give the dog access to one or more balls or chew-toys that will allow it to burn excess energy. It's also recommended that you establish a consistent exercise schedule for the dog, such as walks, jogs, or bike rides after breakfast and dinner and a play period in the afternoon.

Alaskan Husky Maintenance

In terms of shedding and drooling, dogs of this breed type need low to moderate care. Alaskan Husky shedding is light for most of the year, but heavier during the spring and fall shedding seasons. They also drool a little, particularly after exercising.

Alaskan Huskies have thick, double-layered coats that shed a little for most of the year--but when they "blow" their coats in the spring and fall, the shedding is heavier. Owners will need to brush their Huskies once or twice per week (and daily during shedding season) to keep the shedding to a minimum. Occasional hair cleanup may be needed for most of the year, but during the 2- to 3-week shedding seasons, vacuuming the floors and lint rollers use on clothes and furniture will be necessary every few days.

And an Alaskan Husky may drool a bit in anticipation of food or after drinking water--but these dogs are known to pant heavily after exercising, during which time they'll drip saliva from their tongues. It might be best to leave your Alaskan Husky outside for a few minutes after the dog finishes exercising, so it can cool down and stop panting.

Alaskan Husky Diet

As an athletic breed type, the Alaskan Husky diet will need to include food that has plenty of animal proteins and carbohydrates for energy; vitamins, minerals, and fiber for digestive and immune health; and omega fatty acids for coat and skin wellness. This means the best choice of food for Alaskan Huskies is the premium dry kind, because it has balanced portions of the above-listed ingredients--nutrients your Husky will need to sustain its health in the long term. Orijen, Royal Canin, and Taste of the Wild are three recommended brands that have excellent lines of premium dry kibble.

Some owners and breeders choose instead to feed their Alaskan Huskies a diet of fresh/prepared foods including lean meats, fruits and vegetables, eggs, and other protein sources--and while this food source is a great choice, many find such a diet for their dogs to be too expensive and time-consuming, and prefer premium dry food. Owners wanting to bolster their Huskies' diets can can add some prepared food (a bit of chicken and a few raw baby carrots, for example) to one meal a day, if they desire. Cheap, generic dog food is not recommended for Alaskan Huskies, because it contains mostly empty "filler" ingredients that simply won't keep a Husky healthy and energetic.

In regards to portions: the typical adult Alaskan Husky, depending on its age, size, and activity level, will need about 3½ cups of dry food per day, divided into two meals. Puppies, again depending on their age, will need a bit less: about 2½ cups per day, divided into three meals (not two) until six months of age. For more info on feeding an Alaskan Husky from puppyhood through maturity, refer to the following chart:

Alaskan Husky Feeding Chart
Dog AgeDog WeightFood TypeAmountFrequency2 Months8 lbsDry (Puppy formula)0.3 cups3x/day3 Months15 lbsDry0.5 cups3x/day6 Months25 lbsDry0.8 cups3x/day9 Months35 lbsDry* (Puppy/Adult)1.5 cups2x/day12 Months+45 lbsDry (Adult formula)1.75 cups2x/day

*--Around this time, transition to adult food by first mixing in a bit of adult formula with the puppy formula. Over the course of a week, with each meal add a little more adult food to the mixture, until the dog is eating it entirely.

If possible, try and stick to the above-listed portions. As energetic dogs, Alaskan Huskies aren't especially prone to obesity--but these dogs can become overweight if constantly overfed and under-exercised. A fat Alaskan Husky will have major joint, breathing, and digestive problems, not to mention a shortened lifespan. You can help control your Alaskan Husky's weight by having consistent feeding and exercise schedules, by not feeding the dog table scraps, and by not leaving food in the dog's bowl all the time, thereby allowing it to eat anytime it wants. It's better to put your Husky's bowl down only at mealtimes, then pick it up a few minutes after the dog begins eating.

If you're worried your Alaskan Husky is overweight, give the dog this simple test: run a hand along its side, and if you can't feel any ribs, it's diet time. Reduce the dog's daily food consumption by one-fourth, and add an extra walk, jog, bike ride, or play period to its daily exercise schedule.

Alaskan Husky Grooming

Read the grooming requirements for Alaskan Huskies including coat care and other maintenance.

Go to the Next Page

Similar Breeds

About this Article

Authored by:Dog-Learn
Updated:May 12, 2018