Siberian Husky Care

The Siberian Husky is a complex animal: the breed is affectionate and independent, athletic and needy, and high-shedding--yet doesn't need too much grooming. These medium-sized sled dogs are extremely intelligent, and are popular pets and working dogs for those living in colder regions. Even so, some are unaware of how to take care of a Husky puppy or adult. Not to worry--this page is chock full of Husky tips, maintenance help, and other info on raising a Husky puppy.

Below you'll find plenty of details on caring for a Siberian Husky: puppy care and development, exercise needs, diet and nutrition, and more are covered here. For answers to your questions about how to care for Huskies, read on!

Siberian Husky Breed Development

As a medium-sized breed, Siberian Husky growth stages typically span 17-18 months from birth to full maturity.

Physical Development: Husky puppies grow rapidly in height and length for the first 7-8 months, then those growth rates slow while the adolescent "fills out" by gaining muscle mass and fat. And at what age do Huskies stop growing? Puppies reach their adult size (an average of 22 inches and 50 pounds) by about one year of age.

Social Development: For a Husky growing up, pups reach adolescence at about six months, sexual maturity from 9-11 months, and full mental maturity by 18 months.

For more Husky puppy to adult info, see the following:

Siberian Husky Exercise Needs

Because this breed was developed to be a sled dog with lots of speed and endurance, Siberian Husky exercise needs are quite extensive. These dogs will need a variety of physical activities that both condition them physically (walking, jogging, fetch) and stimulate them mentally (games, canine sports); they'll also benefit from some muscle-building exercises like weight-pulling to tone that considerable Husky muscle. These dogs make good bicycling companions as well.

And specifically how much exercise do Huskies need each day? In short, they need a lot! The typical adult will need at least 90 minutes of proper exercise per day. How much exercise does a Husky puppy need, though? Not as much: you can start exercising your Husky puppy at three months old by taking it on short, slower walks, then you can increase the walks' length and speed as the puppy grows.

While you're exercising your Husky, though, some precautions should be kept in mind: first, puppies younger than nine months old shouldn't do too much jumping, running on hard surfaces, or navigating of stairs, as these can injure their still-developing joints and bones. And as they grow into adults, Huskies become incredible escape artists! These dogs will need to exercise in yards with secure fences--and even then, they'll need close supervision to ensure they don't just dig under (or jump over!) the fence. When in public, owners should keep their Siberian Huskies leashed to make sure they don't run off. And finally: these dogs have a strong pack mentality, and don't do like being alone--so they'll need to exercise with others (whether human or canine).

Safeguards aside, exercising a Husky every single day is a must. Not only are they athletic and energetic, but these dogs are intelligent and independent--which means if they become bored or restless, they'll create their own "exercise" by digging, howling, and escaping to freedom. Consistent exercise will be great for both the dog's and your own peace of mind! Learn more about just how to exercise a Husky with these exercise ideas:

  • Walking/Jogging/Bicycling: Two 30-minute walks (or 20-minute jogs or bike rides) per day is a good target
  • Fetch/Frisbee: These dogs love chasing a ball, stick, or Frisbee
  • Tug-of-War: Great indoor activity; use a rope or old towel
  • Weight Pulling: Attach one end of a rope to a heavy object like a spare tire, and the other end to a harness for the dog
  • Dog Park: If properly socialized, Huskies enjoy the company of other dogs
  • Canine Sports: These dogs can excel at obedience and agility trials and other events

If your Siberian Husky spends time indoors, give the dog access to balls or toys that will allow it to burn excess energy. It's also good to establish a regular exercise schedule for the dog, such as walks, jogs, or bike rides after breakfast and dinner and a play period in the afternoon.

Siberian Husky Maintenance

In terms of shedding and drooling, these dogs need moderate to frequent care. Siberian Husky shedding is moderate for most of the year, and heavier during the spring and fall shedding seasons; drooling is a minor issue.

Siberian Huskies have medium-length, thick, double-layered coats that shed regularly most of the time--but when the breed "blows" its undercoat in the spring and fall, a Husky sheds heavily. Contrary to what some believe, a "non-shedding Husky" doesn't exist! Owners will need to brush their Huskies with a pin brush once or twice a week to minimize the shed, and hair cleanup--vacuuming the floors and lint rollers on clothes and furniture--will be necessary pretty regularly. (During shedding season, daily brushing and use of a Husky shedding tool like a shedding blade will be required, as will frequent cleanup.)

Ans a Siberian Husky might drool some in anticipation of food, after drinking water, or when especially excited or nervous--but the drooling won't be excessive like that of a Saint Bernard or Bloodhound. Owners who keep spare rags or towels in rooms where the Husky spends time--particularly near where the dog normally eats--should be fine.

Siberian Husky Diet

Like that of all breeds, the Siberian Husky diet will need to include plenty of animal proteins and carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, and omega fatty acids--the three canine nutrient groups that provide dogs with balanced nutrition to sustain their health in the long term. The best Siberian Husky dog food, then, is premium dry kibble, as it contains substantial amounts of the above-listed nutrients (and very few "filler" ingredients).

In reality, though: what does a Husky eat? Almost anything! Some owners prefer giving their Husky a "raw diet" of fresh meats, fruits/vegetables, and other protein sources, as that mimics what Huskies eat in the wild--but if fed a regular diet of premium dry kibble like Royal Canin, a Husky will be very healthy.

And exactly how much to feed a Husky puppy or adult? Grown Huskies will need about 2½ cups of premium dry food per day, divided into two meals. Portions of food for Husky puppy dogs are a bit smaller: depending on the pup's age, about 1¾ cups of premium food per day, divided into three meals (not two) until six months old.

For more info on feeding these dogs from puppyhood through maturity, here's a handy Husky puppy feeding guide:

*--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. Though this breed doesn't have a very high tendency for obesity, a Husky certainly can become overweight if constantly overfed (and under-exercised)--and fat Huskies will have numerous health problems, a potentially shortened lifespan, and general unhappiness because of decreased physical activity. You can help control your Husky's weight by having consistent feeding and exercise schedules, by not feeding the dog table scraps (and easy on the Husky treats!), and by not leaving food in the dog's bowl all the time. It's better to put the bowl down only at mealtimes, then pick it up when your Husky is finished.

If you're worried your Siberian Husky is overweight, give the dog this test: run a hand along its side, and if you can't feel any ribs, it's Husky 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.

Living Environment

In reality, the Siberian Husky is both an indoor and outdoor breed. Plenty of daily outdoor exercise is a must for these dogs--but at the same time, their pack mentality means they'll need to live inside with their people (and hopefully, other dogs). A Siberian Husky in apartment life isn't a good idea, as breed members simply need more room than an apartment offers.

Another consideration for owners of a Siberian Husky: temperature tolerance. The breed was developed to be a sled dog--so a Husky in cool (or even freezing!) temps will be fine. On the flip side, a Siberian Husky in hot weather isn't a good fit. Occasional warmth is okay, but for people living in warm climates, a Husky in summer will be miserable. In a nutshell, this breed is much more suited to life in colder regions.