Is it challenging to make your Husky happy and healthy?
You found the right place for answers.
- 27 practical tips to make your Husky happy and healthy.
- Why you should not shave their coats during the summer months.
- How long your Husky’s exercise should be to keep them tired and happy.
- What to do when your Husky has the zoomies and whether it’s dangerous.
- And many more…
27 tips on how to make your Husky happy and healthy
#1: Let your Husky out of the house
Siberian Huskies are adorable and you always want to squish those fluffy faces.
But they are also balls of energy that will destroy your house if without adequate exercise.
Have you watched movies of Huskies pulling sleds? Then you’ve seen how they could work for hours on end. Siberian Huskies don’t seem to get tired.
That’s how strong their stamina is.
How much exercise your Husky can take depends on their age and health. Huskies at the peak of their health need at least an hour to exercise their jollies off. Twice a day.
Some dog breeds are satisfied with at least half an hour of daily walks. A few tug-of-war here and there and that’s it.
Huskies? They’re another story.
They need vigorous exercise outside your house
Without adequate exercise, your Husky will engage in undesirable behaviors. They’re going to run in the house, even knocking things over in the process.
Or they’ll chew whatever they can get their mouths on. Maybe destroy some things. You’ll go home and see your house is a disaster area.
Siberian Huskies are working dogs. And since they’re bred to run, their exercise must include running.
If there’s an opportunity, let them roam for miles. A hike will achieve this.
A good swim will also do your Husky good as it exercises all parts of their body.
And this isn’t a three-times-a-week happening. Huskies need to be active and busy on a daily basis to stay healthy and happy.
#2: Be fit
Your Husky can keep up with you. But can you keep up with them?
By deciding to get a Husky (or two), you swear to an active life. You should be willing to be active to keep up with them.
That said, please don’t be a couch potato. If you are, you’ll have your Husky arguing with you why you should take them out. Now.
Also, you must be ready to go for long walks with your Husky. Come winter, you’ll have a very willing jogging partner.
If you’re feeling generous, you may want to wake up half an hour earlier than usual. So that you can spend more time exercising your pooch.
#3: Invest in a treadmill
Siberian Huskies love to run.
Put that to good use by making them run as part of their daily exercise.
If you’ve got a yard, good for you and your dog. They’ve got space to run anytime they want to.
Your Husky will love spending hours outdoors.
Be warned, though. Siberian Huskies are escape artists.
So make sure your fence is sturdy. Because your Husky will try to destroy it to get out.
And oh, they’ll dig when you’re not looking. Get a dig protection around your fence.
The downside to having a Husky and living in an apartment?
Your pooch has very limited space to run around.
If that’s the case, find an open area where your Husky can run. If there’s a nearby dog park, take your dog if they are updated on vaccinations.
Or drive a little farther to get to an open space. Then let your Husky run to their heart’s content.
What about for days when you can’t take your Husky outside? When you’re sick, or something urgent needs your attention first.
Or you live where it’s not possible to take your Husky out as much as you’d like.
You might consider getting a doggy treadmill, like this DogPacer.
It’s the next best thing to make your Husky happy.
But only if you’re willing to spend on it. It’s a good investment but is expensive.
#4: Don’t let your Husky overheat
Siberian Huskies thrive in cold weather.
Their ancestors lived with the Chukchi people in northeastern Asia. The place was characterized by frozen areas in sub-zero temperatures. Here, the dogs served as endurance sled dogs.
Siberian Huskies can adapt in warm weather as well. But it doesn’t mean that owners have nothing to worry about.
Remember not to let your Husky overheat. They have double coats, and on hot days this could work against them.
In summer, keep your walks shorter. Stay indoors when it’s the hottest part of the day, between 10am and 4pm.
If your Husky has unlimited access to your yard, give them plenty of shade.
Always watch out for signs of dehydration and overheating.
Signs of dehydration include:
- Dry eyes.
- Dry nose.
- Loss of appetite.
- Excessive panting.
- Reduced energy levels.
However, many of these symptoms are also symptoms of something else. To help determine if it’s dehydration, do the following:
- Do the pinching test. Gently pinch your Husky’s skin. If the skin takes a while to return to normal, they are dehydrated. In healthy dogs, the skin goes back to normal quickly.
- Feel your Husky’s nose or check their gums. A healthy dog has a moist mouth. If they’re dehydrated, their gums will be dry. If you press on their gum, it remains white for a while.
On the other hand, these are what to look out for in overheating:
- Glazed eyes.
- Rapid breathing.
- Extremely thirsty.
- Excessive drooling.
#5: Let the water flow
Water is essential to keep your Siberian Husky from dehydrating.
On hot days, make sure they have easy access to drinking water. This is so they can readily drink water whenever they want to.
When you’re out with your Husky, bring a water dispenser for on-the-go. This water dispenser is portable and leak-proof.
No need to bring a separate bowl. Really super handy.
Have your Husky drink every 10 minutes. And give them breaks every now and then.
As much as possible, limit the time that your Husky is outside.
Note: Avoid the sidewalk or asphalt like a plague. It can get really hot from the sun and can burn your Husky’s paws. Make them walk on dirt or grass.
The ideal time to take your Husky working out is early in the morning and at night.
#6: Give your Husky plenty of positive attention
Do Siberian Huskies require a lot of attention? You bet!
You’ll find your Husky demanding your attention even after exercising them. You might even find them the most attention-seeking dog breed there is.
So don’t be surprised if they suddenly paw you. Or become dramatic and howl.
In some cases their howling is music to your ears. But when they’re arguing with you, it can be annoying.
Huskies are not shy about letting their feelings known.
Just like this pooch:
Make it a point to spend a lot of time with your Husky. That is, don’t wait for them to demand for your attention.
If they’re good, give them praises and attention. Even before they attempt doing something undesirable, give them attention.
Remember to spend time with them as this leads to a stronger bond.
#7: Give your Husky toys
I am sure of one thing about you: you spoil your dogs.
Don’t worry. Dog owners are all guilty of this. 🙂
One way pet owners spoil their dogs is by giving them toys. And I think that this is okay because toys have a lot of positive benefits.
For one, toys make your pooch busy and occupied. Sometimes an exercise outside is not enough.
So give them toys to keep them entertained.
Second, toys help your teething Husky. Let them have their toys than your couch. Or shoes. Or curtains.
Third, toys provide mental stimulation, which I will be discussing next.
#8: Give your Husky’s brain a boost
Does your Husky want your attention even after physically tiring them out?
Then provide them mental stimulation.
Physical exercise and mental stimulation are the right formula to a happy, tired Husky.
Huskies are intelligent dogs, so keep their brains sharp. One way to do that is by giving them puzzle toys.
Puzzle toys are designed to keep your dog figuring out how to get the treats. Smelling is also involved here, which is mentally stimulating.
If you want something to get your Husky’s brain working, get them a Stuffed Kong. This is an ideal toy to provide them mental stimulation and prevent boredom.
#9: Let your Husky sniff
Let dogs be dogs!
And I mean let them sniff when you’re walking.
As you know, dogs have powerful noses. They can smell (way) better than humans do.
In fact, they are sensitive to scents that humans can’t perceive.
An example is a recent study in 2019. The study found out that dogs can sniff and identify blood samples from people with cancer. And they did this with 97% accuracy.
This is a big step as this can help facilitate early detection of cancer.
But for now, allow your Husky time to sniff when they want.
Don’t just walk a straight line
Let your dog explore their surroundings using visual and sensory organs.
Use a cue such as ‘go sniff’. Then allow them free sniffing.
Did you know that sniffing can provide your dog mental stimulation? Even if you’ve gone down the same road many times, there’s always a new scent for your Husky.
Better yet, try a new route. Your Husky wouldn’t know which to sniff first!
Note: Huskies are much more tired when their walks include sniffing.
#10: Do fun training
When you’ve a Husky, training is a necessity.
It has to start from the time they set paws in your house.
Now, there are tons of things to teach your Husky.
The following are the things you need to train them on:
- Crate training.
- Leash training.
- Basic commands.
- Obedience training.
Siberian Huskies are intelligent and independent dogs.
Unfortunately, these positive traits make training a challenge. Why?
Because they are stubborn.
They’re going to challenge you and test your patience. They will do things their way, whenever they want.
Plus, they have mastered the art of arguing. They’ll use it any chance they get.
Like what K’eyush does:
Good thing his mum has patience to match his stubbornness.
#11: Don’t repeat commands
Imagine this scenario with your Husky:
You’re training them to sit. But they don’t respond. Let’s say there are too many distractions. Or they’re confused.
So you end up saying ‘sit’ a hundred times over. Only then does your Husky sit.
The bad news? They learn this stalling behavior.
And they’ll do this over and over, particularly with commands they don’t like doing.
But hey, you can actually make your Husky sit. In less than 60 seconds!
- Use a high value treat as lure. Lure is food in your hand that you don’t give to your dog. What it does is it directs your dog’s head to wherever you want.
- Have your Husky smell the food in your hand. Then place your hand high over their head. Your Husky will follow your hand with their head, causing them to place their butt on the floor.
- Voila! Your dog has learned to sit.
One trick to get your dog to do is to use high value treats. Hot dogs, cheese, or anything that you don’t give them often.
Avoid using aversive training methods, such as punishment. This study found out that these methods have negative effects on dogs.
If your Husky follows the command, give them the treat. Then follow with praise.
Level up by doing it in another location of your house. Eventually, reduce the treats and increase the praise.
And when they follow a command they hate doing, cheer like they’ve won the lotto! It’s important to make a big deal out of even the smallest progress.
So when they have learned a behavior, say the command just once. If they don’t respond, take them to another corner of the house. Then repeat the command.
If they still do not respond, look at your Husky in the eye. Take a step closer toward them.
Usually this technique makes a dog follow the command. Don’t forget to praise them.
#12: Teach your Husky something new
‘Training then forgetting’ is a bad idea.
Dogs don’t work on auto-pilot. It’s not enough to teach them everything. Then expect them to execute those commands perfectly every time.
The key here is consistency. It makes Huskies excel in what you want them to do.
Work your Husky’s brain by teaching them a new trick each month. Or simply improve on the basic commands. Perhaps add variations to what your Husky already knows.
You can also test their control by balancing treats on their nose or paws. This is not an easy trick, particularly if your Husky is food-motivated.
They might end up munching on those treats before you can even begin.
But if your dog learns to do this, that would be impressive!
So add more to your dog’s repertoire. It will boost your Husky’s confidence.
Plus it’s going to strengthen your relationship.
#13: Cut or trim Husky’s nails regularly
Long nails are going to hurt your Husky, seeing as to how they love running.
Thus, regularly cut or trim their nails short.
But how short is short?
Have them stand on all fours. If their nails do not touch the ground, that’s the right length.
Keep their nails this way to avoid foot problems.
Clipping nails is no rocket science. But it becomes difficult if your Husky is not used to it.
They’re gonna throw a tantrum, or howl their frustration.
Just like poor Broski:
Get some ideas from this momma when clipping a Husky’s nails:
#14: Brush your Husky’s teeth
Daily brushing of your Husky’s teeth can be overwhelming.
In fact, this is the reason why most pet owners don’t brush their dog’s teeth daily.
According to this study, brushing your Husky’s teeth 3 times a week is okay.
They don’t need to have teeth as white as snow. But clean teeth means fresh breath.
And your dog avoids plaque and tartar buildup. Both can end up in serious dental diseases if neglected.
#15: Bathe your Husky when necessary
Did you know that Huskies are self-cleaning?
They are good at that.
That’s why they don’t need baths often. You can give them a bath a few times a year.
Unless they roll in mud and get really dirty. Or they are starting to smell.
#16: Brush your Husky regularly
Your Husky will thank you, in their own ways, if you brush their coats regularly.
Who wants matted fur, anyway? Or the discomfort that comes with shedding?
A Husky needs lots of brushing to keep their beautiful coats. Otherwise you’ll have dog hair everywhere. Even in your mouth.
This is the reality of owning a Husky. They are heavy shedders due to their double coats.
Thus, they require more maintenance than single-coated dogs
Double coats mean having an undercoat and guard hair/top coat. The undercoat is shed in what is called ‘blowing of coat.’ Expect this phenomenon once or twice a year.
If your Husky sheds once, then it’s in the spring. If twice a year, it’s in the spring and in the fall.
So when it’s that time of the year, arm yourself with a vacuum. And a supply of lint rollers.
Regular brushing can keep their shedding under control. Brush them everyday to hasten the shedding. And to prevent matting and tangling as well.
Get your dog the right de-shedding tools, such as this Furminator. This tool gets all the loose undercoat, so that your Husky feels comfortable.
#17: Never shave your Husky, ever
Here’s the hard truth:
You’re not doing your Husky a favor by shaving them in the summer.
I understand you only want to keep them cool in summer. But shaving your Husky does more harm than good.
Here are the reasons why:
- Shaving exposes them to sunburn.
- They’ll be more prone to skin issues.
- Shaving removes a Husky’s protection against ultraviolet rays.
- After shaving, their coats will never go back to the same quality.
- Without coats, they will be unable to cool down in summer or keep warm in winter.
#18: Don’t leave your Husky alone for long periods
Siberian Huskies are social animals. They crave human company all the time.
That’s why it’s not a good idea to leave them alone for long periods of time.
This is not the same for all Huskies. Some can cope with 5 hours of your absence. Others much less.
But if they’re always alone, they won’t be happy. They’ll get bored or anxious, and this could lead to depression.
But sometimes, leaving them alone couldn’t be helped. You’ve got a job or other commitments that take you away from home.
For cases like this, consider the following:
- Hire a dog sitter.
- Enrol your dog in a doggy daycare.
- Have a friend or relative visit your Husky.
#19: Let your Husky play in the water
On a hot day, let your Husky have fun by playing in the water.
Whether in a big swimming pool or kiddie pool, your Husky will welcome a reprieve from the warm weather.
But if you can, take your pooch to the beach for a day of frolicking. I’ll bet they’ll have a blast swimming or just running around.
This happy pooch certainly did!
Plus, it’s a great way to exercise your dog. You’ll have a tired, happy Husky by the time you go home.
#20: Give your Husky a social life
A social life can improve your Husky’s overall well-being.
Having other dogs at home is not enough for socialization. Your Husky still needs to meet new dogs and even people.
If done right, socialization will leave your Husky happy. And if done regularly, it will make a huge improvement in their welfare.
#21: Provide your Husky a happy environment
You may not be aware of it. But Huskies are hypersensitive to their surroundings.
Thus, it’s vital that they grow in a calm environment where they are safe. This leads to them feeling happy and secure.
It’s understandable that you’re stressed sometimes. After all, life is all ups and downs. There are problems and challenges at work or family.
Your Husky can sense if you’re stressed. They get cues from your facial expression or the sound of your voice.
This study proved it. The researchers found out that dogs can discriminate between positive and negative emotions.
So if you’re stressed or happy, your Husky can absorb the emotion.
#22: Get help through obedience training
Because Huskies are stubborn, you might find it beyond your powers to train them.
One option is to enrol your Husky in an obedience training class. To get the most out of it, start their training from a young age.
Preferably when they are 4 months old. Then follow up with adult training when they turn one year old.
#23: Teach kids to respect your Husky
Kids and Huskies can get along well.
Unfortunately, many kids don’t know how to play with a dog appropriately. They scream, they run around or they hit things with their toys.
All of these could either scare your Husky or prompt them to act harshly.
Note: As an adult, it will be your responsibility to teach kids what is or isn’t allowed. Keep them monitored when they are playing. Interfere when you have to so that both the children and the Husky are safe.
#24: When your Husky gets the zoomies
Zoomies are fun!
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), zommies are ‘explosions of energy.’
The technical term is Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAPs).
It involves a Husky zooming like a bullet train back and forth. Sometimes they run around in circles before collapsing to a happy heap.
Here’s a Husky having the case of zoomies!
There are several reasons why they have the zoomies:
- Stress reliever.
- Peer pressure.
- Exercise junkie.
How do you know if a zoomie is about to hit your dog? You’ll notice a glint in their eyes. Sometimes they also play-bow before zipping away.
A few reminders when your Husky is having the zoomies:
- Supervise your dog.
- Remove obstructions in the way such as toys.
- Do not chase your Husky while they’re running.
- Stay out of your dog’s way and just enjoy the show!
Note: As long as your Husky is in a safe place while doing the zoomies, there’s nothing to worry about.
#25: Exercise, eat, sleep, repeat
Siberian Huskies are beautiful dogs. It’s going to be a waste if their health is neglected.
That said, feed them the highest quality of dog food. Ask your vet for help if you don’t know where to start.
For Husky puppies, feed them 3 times a day. By the 3rd or 4th month, they could begin a twice-daily feeding.
For adult Huskies, feed them once or twice daily. This depends on their age, size and health.
Note: Do not exercise your Husky at least 90 minutes after a meal. Also, think twice about giving your Husky human and canned food. These could lead to diarrhea or your dog becoming choosy.
#26: Have your Husky checked for diseases
You love your Siberian Husky so much. And you only want to take care of them the best you can.
As your Husky ages, they become susceptible to diseases. This can be worrisome.
For your peace of mind, consult with your vet. They can create a preventive health plan for your Husky.
There are diseases that are genetic. And there are some that put Huskies at a higher risk compared to other breeds.
These include the following:
- Hip dysplasia.
- Eye problems.
- Dental diseases.
- Bleeding disorders.
- High blood pressure.
- Degenerative myelopathy.
- Infections such as parvo and distemper.
If you notice symptoms, consult with your vet. Prevention is better than cure.
#27: Remove collar before bedtime
There is no science behind this tip. But this involves your Husky’s comfort.
It doesn’t take too much to remove your dog’s collar before they go to bed at night. This is to ensure they get the most out of their sleep.