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The Ultimate Guide to Caring for a Siberian Husky
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The Ultimate Guide to Caring for a Siberian Husky

Jack, Critter Culture Staff
Updated Sep 4, 2020

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The thought of a Siberian husky may conjure images of intense and athletic dogs pulling a sled through the snow. While Siberians are still used as sled dogs to this day, their temperament and striking appearance make them a great family companion, too. But before adding a husky to your pack, it's important to make sure this canine's needs and personality are right for you.

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1

Huskies have a wolf-like appearance

Siberian husky dog on the shore of a foggy lake Sergeeva / Getty Images

Siberian huskies are known for their thick coats, colorings, and regal stature. Their coats can present a variety of color combinations, including white, black, silver-gray, tan, and red, and are often what makes them look so much like a wolf. Female huskies weigh between 35 and 51 lbs and are 20 to 22 inches in height. Males weigh between 44 and 60 lbs and are 21 to 24 inches in height.

2. Huskies make great family pets

Huskies may look like serious dogs, but these goofy and loving dogs are a great addition to families because of their temperament. These dogs are alert, intelligent, friendly, outgoing, and gentle. They are loyal and thrive in pack-like environments, making them ideal for families or those who already have a dog. However, like with any breed, it's important to socialize children with these dogs so they can get acquainted and learn how to better interact with each other.

Man walking his dog on the street Dobrila Vignjevic / Getty Images

3. Huskies and other dogs

Huskies do well with other dogs, especially when they are raised as puppies together. If you plan on getting another dog when your husky is an adult, introduce the other dog to your husky first. As with any introduction of a new dog, there is a risk your original canine companion will be protective of their home territory. But with a gentle and slow transition, your husky may warmly welcome a new family member into the home. Huskies are incredibly social and don't like being alone, so a friend for them may be a good idea if you are ready or willing to consider getting another dog.

Siberian Husky in winter snow Sergeeva / Getty Images

4. Huskies have special diet requirements

Siberian huskies have notoriously sensitive tummies. They can be fed commercial wet and dry food varieties as well as raw food, but their sensitive stomachs cannot handle more than two food types at once. They also require a consistent feeding schedule, and feeding them too soon after exercising can cause bloating and gas. Talk to your vet about the best diet options and feeding schedule for your canine.

Husky dog ​​begs for food from the owner Sergeeva / Getty Images

5. Engage your husky with toys

Siberian huskies are intelligent dogs, which means they get bored easily and require lots of mental stimulation. When these dogs get bored, they can become destructive. Engaging toys, such as Kongs, rotating puzzles, and similar toys, will keep your pup engaged and entertained for hours. Interactive toys are also great for Huskies. Any toys that make Huskies active are perfect.

Little husky dog playing with rope toy MPeev / Getty Images

6. Training tips for huskies

Most dogs can be trained relatively easily, but huskies require extra dedication and patience with training. These dogs are known for being stubborn, so you'll need more than basic commands to train them correctly. Engaging in obedience training is recommended.

Preteen Asian girl (12 years) training Alaskan Klee Kai puppy (12 weeks). kali9 / Getty Images

7. Take your husky for routine dental checks

Huskies are more susceptible to dental health issues than other dogs. regular brushings or treats meant to remove tartar are recommended for husky owners. If the tartar is not removed, it can progress into a gum infection that affects the roots of the teeth. Poor dental hygiene also has adverse effects on the dog's joints, kidneys, liver, and heart. Routine dental checkups help prevent dental problems and catch infections during their early stages.

Vet doctor checking up teeth of his patient shironosov / Getty Images

8. Huskies shed. . . a lot

Like many dogs, huskies shed. These dogs shed before significant seasonal changes, but shed particularly a lot after winter to prepare for the coming warm months. Huskies who live in extremely warm climates will continuously shed to protect them from direct heat and improved circulation. To help with shedding, huskies need a grooming routine, frequent exercise, a healthy diet, and proper bathing. Never shave your husky's coat; huskies depend on their coat being tact to regular their temperature, even in warm weather.

Siberian husky enjoying his daily grooming time Petko Ninov / Getty Images

9. Susceptible diseases and conditions

Huskies are more susceptible to different diseases and conditions than other dogs, including hip dysplasia, eye defects, and uveodermatologic syndrome. Eye defects, such as juvenile cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and corneal dystrophy can also affect huskies. Huskies are prone to a bleeding disorder known as Von Willebrand's disease, a blood clotting disorder that is usually discovered if a dog becomes injured. Diagnostic testing can be performed to determine if a dog has Von Willebrand's disease. Don't let these health considerations put you off husky ownership — most huskies have long, healthy lives.

Siberian Husky Puppy Visiting the Vet dkiethr / Getty Images

10. Huskies were bred as work dogs

Huskies are often confused with a similar dog breed, the Alaskan Malamute. Siberian Huskies belong to the Spitz genetic family. Dogs that belong to the Spitz genetic family, including Norwegian Elkhound, Akita Inu, and others, were bred to help humans with pulling sleds, hunting, and herding in 1909. Since then, Siberian Huskies have become a part of many families.

Herd of panting Siberian Huskies running through lonely winter landscape. RelaxFoto.de / Getty Images

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