Siberian Huskies are working dogs bred for speed and endurance. It’s important that their owners understand the breed and what it takes to keep a Siberian Husky healthy and happy.
One of the first questions you’ll have to answer when you get a Husky is: what is the best dog food for this breed?
Raw and commercial diets both have pros and cons, which is why you should take some time to make a careful decision.
Best Overall: Rachel Nutrish
If you’re in a hurry check out Rachel Nutrish Zero Grain + Natural. This is the best premium dry dog food to feed a Siberian Husky, because it is rich in protein, low in fats and calories and it’s 100% Made in the USA.
What we now know as Siberian Huskies started when dogs were crossbred with Arctic wolves thousands of years ago.
These wolf-like dogs were trained to help tribes by working alongside hunters, transporting goods, and scent tracking.
What you need to know about commercial dog foods
Commercial dog food gets a bad reputation these days because some brands use cheap, controversial ingredients and there have been several big name recalls over the last few years.
This has made some dog owners shy away from feeding their dogs commercial foods, but the truth is there are still many healthy and ethically produced dog food brands out there.
The wonderful thing about quality commercial dog food is that it’s formulated to meet dogs’ nutritional needs, down to vitamins and minerals. A high-quality commercial food gives your dog a complete and consistent diet.
Good commercial dog food is backed by food trials and supported by vets. Owners can also buy special formulas (puppy foods, senior diet, hypoallergenic, gluten-free, etc.) suited for their dog.
Some owners may be surprised by the price of better quality brands, but because they are made better dogs usually need to eat less.
Not All Brands Are Equal (AAFCO)
At this point, you’re probably thinking, “So commercial dog food is both good and bad?” and “How can you tell the difference?”
That’s where organisations like the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) come in handy.
According to their website, AAFCO is, “a voluntary membership association of local, state and federal agencies charged by law to regulate the sale and distribution of animal feeds and animal drug remedies.”
AAFCO has created standardized dog food nutrient profiles to help owners decide if a dog food is complete and balanced.
Commercial dog foods with an AAFCO nutrition claim need to be backed up by the state and pet food manufacturer, which can give owners some peace of mind.
What you need to know about raw feeding
Even though many owners happily feed their Huskies commercial dog food, others believe that a raw diet is much more beneficial. People who believe in raw diets sometimes see dogs as carnivores more than omnivores, hence the raw meat.
Other owners simply wish to provide their dog with the most natural diet possible, and like knowing exactly what goes into their dogs’ food.
Potential health benefits of a raw food diet include shinier coats, healthier skin, cleaner teeth, higher energy levels, and smaller stools, but do these pros outweigh the risks?
Since Siberian Huskies are hard-working and distantly related to wolves, it would make sense that a raw diet high in protein would be ideal. The problem is that it can be very hard to meet your dog’s nutritional needs even with dog food recipes.
When feeding your dog raw meat, you also run the risk of bacteria including salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, and Clostridium (1).
Foods to Avoid
There are several foods that you should never give your dog because they pose a health risk.
Here are a few foods to avoid, according to the ASPCA (2):
- chocolate or caffeine,
- citrus (in substantial amounts),
- coconut (in substantial amounts),
- grapes and raisins,
- onions, garlic, chives,
- under-cooked, raw foods,
- processed, salty foods,
- yeast dough
It’s important to follow a diet carefully designed by experts if you plan to feed your dog a diet of raw food prepared at home.
BARF stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. Foods designed to meet BARF standards are made to reflect what dogs’ ancestors ate in the wild to maintain their health and energy.
These foods are made with a careful balance of raw meat, bone, fruits, and vegetables.
Owners who want to feed their dogs a raw diet but don’t want to prepare it themselves can look for commercial BARF foods, some of which are made to meet AAFCO guidelines.
Huskey Feeding Guide FAQs
What kind of food do Huskies eat?
Dry dog food with low fat content might not be enough for a husky. If your husky will be used in dog sledding, their diet will need more fats and carbs to maintain their energy and keep them warm in the cold.
When properly and safely prepared, a raw diet may have some benefits for your husky. However, a good brand of commercial dog food is best in terms of ensuring a fully balanced diet and avoiding possible contamination from raw foods.
How much food do you feed a Siberian Husky?
You should always measure your dog’s food based on their weight, and then adjust based on things like their age and energy levels.
Feed your Husky as directed on food labels or per the guidelines of the raw food diet you’re following.
Here's a feeding and consumption guide for an adult Siberian Husky.
- Cups per day: 3
- Daily cost: $1.20 - $1.40
- Monthly cost: $34 - $45
What is the best food brand for Huskies?
A few great dog food options for Siberian Huskies are Rachel Ray Nutrish, Nutro Max, and Hill’s Ideal Balance.
Specific Siberian Huskies food allergies to watch out for
Like other dog breeds, Siberian Huskies can be allergic to food ingredients like soy, corn, wheat, chicken, beef, pork, fish, milk, eggs, whey, additives, artificial flavors or preservatives, and sugar.
Can you mix raw and dry dog food?
Yes, you can mix raw and dry dog food. Siberian Huskies are a breed that can get bored of their food easily. One way to spice up your dog’s commercial food is by adding a small amount of meat, fish, or vegetables to it.
Siberian Husky Feeding Guide
One of the best ways to feed a growing puppy is to find a food that is AAFCO certified for all life stages.
From there, measure food based on your dog’s weight and energy levels, keeping in mind that puppies need to be fed more than adult dogs, and senior dogs often need less food than adults.
Best Dog Food for Siberian Huskies
First Five Ingredients: Beef, Chicken Meal, Dried Peas, Whole Dried Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols).
Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Natural Beef, Potato & Bison Recipe is a high-quality dog food perfect for Siberian Huskies.
This dry dog food is grain free, made in the USA, and sources quality ingredients that are never from China.
One of the things that stands out about this brand over similar grain-free, made in USA brands is the fact that it is clearly labelled as meeting AAFCO nutritional levels for all life-stages.
Another thing that’s great about Nutrish is that it uses easy to digest, nutrient dense protein like real beef and bison to support healthy muscle growth.
This food uses alternative carbohydrates like potatoes, peas, and tapioca that are grain-free and easily digestible. In terms of nutrition composition, this food contains 26% crude protein and 14% crude fat. The calorie content is 342 kcal/cup.
When you look at the first few ingredients you see beef, chicken meal, dried peas, whole dried potatoes, and chicken fat.
These ingredients are great because they are named sources of protein and carbs, rather than artificial ingredients or cheap fillers.
Chicken fat is a source of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which help maintain your dog’s healthy skin and coat.
Nutrish is made with the help of pet experts at Ainsworth Pet Nutrition and a portion of the sales made go to Rachel’s Rescue, which helps dogs in need. To maintain freshness, owners should seal the bag when it’s not being used or keep the food in an airtight container.
It’s ultimately up to you whether you feed your Husky a raw or commercial diet.
If you choose to go with a raw diet just be aware that it takes commitment to prepare balanced and safe meals this way.
When choosing commercial dog food, owners should look in pet supply stores instead of going for cheap grocery store brands and pay close attention to the top ingredients.
Do you have a Siberian Husky? Do you feed him one of the foods on our list or something else? We’d love to hear! Let us know in the comments!