Best Dog Food for Huskies: What to Choose And Why

Best Dog Food for Huskies
Anna Smith
Written by Anna Smith

Huskies are known for being very active animals, so it’s important that they have the right amount of calories to keep up with their lifestyle. Despite their small size, they do need high-energy foods to get them through the day.

Originally bred to be working dogs, such as for sledding, these traits continue to thrive in the breed, and have been known to travel far distances of even a small amount of food. That doesn’t mean that you can feed them just anything, however. Because they’re so different from other dog breeds, they don’t eat like they do.

Eating habits

When it comes to eating, most dogs tend to eat whatever food is put in front of them. This leads to the danger of over-eating and getting sick. However, huskies are quite different. They watch their intake of food to regulate how many calories they’re burning. If a husky is already full or isn’t very active, they won’t eat at all or will eat a lot less respectively.

Typically, a husky will only eat after he has had a lot of exercise. That isn’t to say that huskies won’t overeat, however. When they do, they put the weight on very quickly and it becomes quite difficult to lose. Overweight huskies also have shorter life spans than healthier ones, as they are more prone to other diseases and conditions that are associated with weight gain.

Eating habits

Another eating habit that is very common in huskies is a result of their stubborn nature. The smallest things could put a husky off of a certain food, and he may choose to avoid it altogether. Huskies are very individualistic, and can be quite particular of the food that they are being given. From the size and texture of the food, or being bored of eating the same food all the time, there are a number of reasons that a husky may not eat. Even experiencing sickness after eating can result in a husky not eating that kind of food ever again.

Boredom is a big factor to get over when it comes to feeding your husky. Leaving food out for too long can result in your dog becoming bored with it and will choose to avoid it altogether. If you find that he hasn’t eaten and there are no other signs of illness that could be causing this, return his food to the bag or container and try again at a later feeding schedule.

How often should they be fed

Before discussing the best foods for your dog, it’s important to consider just how much food you should be feeding him and how often. Huskies are known for being grazers, so leaving a bowl of food for them to much on throughout the day can certainly help them deal with their calorie count.

However, to avoid them getting bored with their food, divide their meals up into two or even three equal servings. This gives them a source of calories that they can burn throughout the day without them having to resort to the fat being stored in their bodies, which can cause them to lose weight unnecessarily.

Husky and raw meat

In conjunction with how often, knowing how much food to give can also help your dog from becoming overweight. They do not require as much food as other dog breeds, and can perform just as well on relatively smaller amounts of food. That’s why you should be careful with the amount of food that you put in your dog’s bowl. Overfeeding can quickly lead to weight gain, as well as upset stomachs and diarrhea.

It can be difficult to determine how much food should be given, as a dog’s weight and energy levels both play as factors. A good baseline range to work from is roughly sixty percent of the food that the manufacturer recommends and to adjust it accordingly to meet your dog’s needs.

What to do if my Husky is underweight

Whether you’ve adopted a new husky or your dog has gone through a period of illness that has caused him to lose a lot of weight, there are steps that you can take to help your dog regain what he’s lost. Weight management can be difficult, as it’s hard to see what your dog really looks like with all of the thick fur in the way. The best way to determine how healthy your dog is, is to feel through the fur to his body.

Nutro Max

If you can feel his ribs and spine easily, then your dog is underweight. Choose a high-quality dog food and mix in with dog food to provide the calories needed to start the weight gain process. Only choose a high quality dog food, as cheap stuff may smell great, but it won’t have the essential vitamins and minerals that will help to restore the function of your dog’s organs and muscles. To further increase weight gain, choose high quality treats that are also good for your dog. Some of the best treats include hard boiled eggs, raw baby carrots, and cooked pieces of chicken.

Choosing different foods

Due to their prone nature to boredom, there have been many questions as to whether a husky should remain on the same dog food or should be provided with a variety of foods in their meals throughout the day. Many vets and nutritionists are of the opinion that constantly switching a dog’s food can lead to an upset stomach, allergic reactions and agitation of the digestive tract.

However, there are other opinions that state that dogs are natural scavengers, and that there is nothing wrong with adding variety to their meals, and may even perform better on such changes. Instead of purchasing different brands of dog food, you can try sticking to one, and then adding different things to your dog’s food each day.

Anything that changes the flavor, such as different kinds of fish, raw minced meat, peas or shredded carrots, can make all the difference in the world and get your dog eating regularly again. Cheese in extremely small amounts is acceptable, but should be avoided in larger quantities.

Husky feeding

When adding new ingredients, reduce the amount of kibble and replace it with the equivalent measurement of the food you’re adding. Simply throwing in more food can quickly lead to overeating and giving your dog too many calories.

If you do decide to do a complete overhaul of the food that you’re giving your dog, it’s important that you do so on a gradual basis over a period of two weeks. Some of the old food should be exchanged with the new in order to see if there are any adverse reactions. Gradually decreasing and increasing these amounts respectively will eventually lead to your dog accepting the new food without any problems.

Finding the best dog food for Siberian Husky

Nutro Max chicken meal and rice

When it comes to large dog breeds, Nutro Max provides the nourishment that they need to keep going throughout the day. Only high-quality ingredients are used, such as chicken protein, from farm-raised chickens, and whole grain rice. There are no by-products, preservatives, artificial flavors or artificial colors that are added to the food. It was developed to provide a complete and balanced nutrition for any large dog breed, chock full of all the vitamins, minerals and calories that they’ll need to get the job done.

Nutro Max chicken meal and rice

The dry kibble bits will help to reduce any plaque and tartar on the teeth, the high protein content promotes the development and growth of the muscles, and the fatty acids improve skin and coat, so that your dog will look his best. Not only does Nutro Max help your dog on the outside, but it also helps within, promoting a strong immune system to fight off infections and illnesses that may arise.

If you interested you can buy it from Amazon.


Orijen Adult dog food has been specifically formulated to match the natural dietary needs of your dog. Containing over 90% meat ingredients made of chicken, turkey, eggs and fish that are delivered fresh each day to their processing plant, your dog will benefit from the calories that Orijen provides for their growth, development and calorie-burning.

Orijen Adult dog food

Their food is free from any preservatives and the ingredients are never frozen, which has shown to destroy some of the nutritional value of ingredients. Fruits and vegetables are also included in the making of their dog food, and they’re entirely grain-free, making it easy for you and your dog to avoid any grain allergies that may occur from cheap, mass-produced dog foods.

Like this great product? Then you can check its price on Amazon.


Made with all-natural ingredients, Innova is made with chicken, turkey, whole peas and fresh fruits, providing all of the vitamins and minerals that are needed to keep your dog healthy and happy.

The high-quality protein is harvested from farm-raised chickens and turkeys, and there are no by-products included to jeopardize the quality of the food being provided to your dog. Your dog’s skin and coat are also cared for with the inclusion of Omega-3 fatty acids, as well as the necessary ingredients to boost their immune system.

Innova dog food

If you interested in this product you can check its price here.

Blue Buffalo

Blue Buffalo has quickly gained popularity as one of the best dog foods to purchase as an alternative to the raw diet.

Blue Buffalo

They contain a unique blend of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to keep your dog’s health in shape. It is without any corn, wheat or soy, and only healthy grains are used, such as brown rice, barley and oats to give them the energy that their body needs to burn calories. Vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes provide the complex carbohydrates and roughage that are needed.

Like this product? Then you can check its price on Amazon.

Tolerance and health issues

Many huskies and sled dogs are unable to tolerate specific ingredients that are commonly found in commercial dog food. The cheaper brands of dog food are mostly guilty of this, which means that you’ll have to spend a little more at the pet store to find the right food for your dog. Avoid brands that include wheat in their ingredients, as this can lead to the irritation of the digestive system.

Your dog may also develop Zinc Responsive Dermatitis. The signs of this disease include scabs and hair loss, especially around the muzzle, ears and eyes. This is due to the fact that huskies and similar breeds of dog have difficult time absorbing zinc, so they will start to show signs of deficiency, even if the food that they’re eating has the right amount.

Symptoms can appear when your dog is stressed or is being fed a diet that is high in plant material and/or calcium. Adding a zinc supplement to his food should clear up the symptoms within a week or two.

Foods that should be avoided

There are some foods that should never be given to your dog on any basis. These foods include:

Large amounts of dairy: many dogs are known for being lactose intolerance. This means that they are unable to digest the specific protein that is contained in milk. Ingesting large amounts of dairy can lead to gas and loose stools. Each dog is different, however, and reacts to different amounts and kinds of lactose. Foods like whole milk and ice cream can have a sudden, adverse effect on your dog. However, low fat greek yogurt and some kinds of cheese can be fine for your dog to eat, as long as they’re provided in moderation.

Cooked bones and fat trimmings: you may think that it’s best not to waste food by giving your dog your table scraps, but you could be doing more harm than good. Fat that has been trimmed from meat can lead to pancreatitis, where the pancreas becomes inflamed from infection and causes serious abdominal pain. Dogs can choke on the bones from cooked meat, and they can also splinter within the digestion tract. This can lead to the obstruction of the bowels or lacerations that can cause internal bleeding.

Onions/anything in the garlic family: these ingredients in any form should not be included in your dog’s diet. Onions and garlic are known to destroy a dog’s blood cells, which can lead to anemia. Signs of this occurring include vomiting, weakness, difficulty breathing, having no interest in food and lethargy. Avoid these foods in any form, included powdered, dehydrated, cooked, or raw. Putting your dog’s health at risk simply isn’t worth it.

Hazardous food for dogs

Raisins, grapes or prunes: you may have heard recently that grapes and raisins can be detrimental to your dog’s health, but may not know why. Raisins and grapes can cause kidney failure; the kidneys are responsible for cleaning the blood of any waste products and removing any excess water to be excreted as urine.

The failure of these organs can lead to the rapid decline of your dog’s health. The first sign is repetitive vomiting for an extended period of time. Lethargy and depression soon present afterwards; once you notice these, you should take your dog to a vet immediately.

Macadamia nuts: cashews and peanuts may be provided to your dog as an occasional treat, but macadamia nuts are a no-no. These nuts can actually be fatal to your dog and lead to poisoning. Signs include muscle tremors, paralysis of the hindquarters, weakness in the hind legs, vomiting, increased temperature, and a rapid heart rate.

It’s best if you avoid giving any foods that contain these nuts. If you have done so accidentally, get your dog to a vet immediately.

Avocado: guacamole may be delicious, but your dog may not think so. Avocados contain persin, which affects dogs differently from humans. It can damage your dog’s heart muscles, which can lead to lethargy, difficulty breathing, vomiting and diarrhea.

Persin is present in the leaves, seeds and bark of avocado plants, so if you’re growing your own indoors, it’s important that you keep your dog way from them. Resist the temptation to share your nacho dip with your dog, and leave him to his regular treats instead.

Coffee or tea: caffeine can be great as a pick-me-up in the mornings, but your husky is not going to appreciate the effects of it in his system. Caffeine intake in large amounts can be quite fatal for dogs and has no known cure. Your dog will become restless, have muscle tremors and fits, heart palpitations, rapid breathing, and bleeding. Caffeine can also be found in cocoa and chocolate, as well as some energy drinks. Why not wake up your dog the old fashioned way with a good daily run and high-quality food?

Husky infographic

Taking care of your husky’s diet can be quite rewarding if done properly, and will help your husky to lead a full and healthy life. Though they are known for being quite finicky when it comes to their food, it’s important that you exercise patience when providing healthy meals that they also find attractive. Going through a period of trial and error is normal in any husky owner’s life, but once you’ve found the right balance, then all of your worries simply melt away.

About the author
Anna Smith
Anna Smith

Anna Smith resides in beautiful Santa Monica, CA, where she works as a Pet Nutrition Expert in a leading retail pet store. She is responsible for nutritional strategies for different breeds and development of new products on the market in compliance with Association of American Feed Control Officials. Anna's passions are education about proven methods and best practices in the industry and her dog Max, who is always well-fed.

  • Robert Rice

    Lactose is a sugar, and lactose intolerance is a lack of the enzyme (lactase) that metabolizes that sugar. A reaction to milk protein (i.e., whey & casein) is an allergy, not an intolerance. Sorry I felt compelled to correct that.

    • Anna Smith

      Many thanks for your valuable insight, Robert!

  • Lucy Daniels

    What would be the best dry kibble for a Siberian Husky pup? My friend and I are having quite an argument since she doesn’t really want to feed all dry goodies but also a raw meat diet. She kept complaining of the high cost of organic and prime dog food.
    My friend can be quite irritating when she begins whining about dog food costs. So what’s the best value dry dog food that won’t bust her purse AND will be good for her pooch?

  • Winona Matthews

    What’s the best dog food for a 2 year old Husky with no health problems? Dry kibble or canned? My cousin takes a little of both to feed her dog. Lately she’s been considering a raw food diet. Should protein be a large part of a Huskie’s diet?

    • Anna Smith

      Either can work for your fur baby, Winona. Raw food is also okay, provided that the source of the ingredients is confirmed to be clean and not contaminated.

  • Hannah

    Try Skinners Field and Trial puppy. I have recently put my 8 month old husky on this due to him being underweight and it’s not too pricey.

    • Anna Smith

      The Skinners is a good recommendation, Hannah. It is indeed reasonably priced and is packed with essential nutrients to establish a healthy dog weight.

  • Jessica Rollins

    What’s the best dog food for 2 month old female husky puppies?

    • Anna Smith

      Either wet or dry dog food is okay, as long as the supply is sustained and your dog likes it. You can also check the supplier’s recommendation which will also depend on your budget and personal preference.

  • Alexander

    Hi, Can you tell me if Tuscan Natural Carne grain free food is good for Husky puppy a bit less then 2 months? I was at the store where they promised it is best food for Husky. I am reading more now about food, I read this brand had some issues few years ago but not sure if it is good now or not, puppy seems to eat it ok but want to be sure it is healthy.

    • Anna Smith

      The Tuscan Natural Carne grain-free is fine with eight-week old dogs. They are highly digestible dog food variants and are good dog food options.

  • Alexander

    Which do you recommend better Tuscan Natural or Orijen? Or Blue Buffalo??

    • Anna Smith

      All three brands are excellent options, Alexander. I have tried all of them for my fur babies and they are fine. However, put into consideration what your dog wants to eat as well.

  • Luis Gastelum Martinez

    I have a 8 week old Siberian husky he’s really fat really cute and healthy but I’m feeding him the pedigree puppy grow food idk if I’m feeding him a good enough food what is recomended of needed in order for them to grow the fullest and healthiest?

    • Anna Smith

      Pedigree is okay. Although your dog will benefit from any upgrade in brand every now and then if sustaining it will be quite a strain in the budget.

  • Varilya Pryal

    My Husky is about 8 ((Alaskan Husky)) and a bit overweight. She is supposed to be around 60 but weighs around 70. I really want her to loose weight because it affects her joints when she is running around. It all started when she got fixed. I really need to know. Please help me.

    • Anna Smith

      Engage her in casual dog walks every day. This is a low-tension activity that can help her lose weight. You can also consider changing dog food brands as it may be contributing to the weight concern.

  • Karen Ramirez

    I’ve tried everything dog food in petco for my husky she will be 2 in September and she is skinny I can see her ribs and spine and I don’t know what I can do the one she’s currently on is Merrick backcountry

    • Scott Davis

      It may be beneficial to start dosing your dog with omega 3 (fish oil tabs) I give my 4 Siberians 1 scrambled egg once a week and a couple nights a week stuff their Kong toys with milk bones and peanut butter. We walk 3 miles a day and mush in the winter my dogs are very ideal sized. Btw… merrick is good!

      • Anna Smith

        Thanks for your comment, Scott! Merrick is indeed a great dog food option. I would recommend sticking with this brand because when it comes to Siberian Husky nourishment, this is one of the most balanced.

    • Janice Bowman

      Hi Karen: I adopted my Siberian, Archer and had him on Backcountry Red -Great Plains Raw-Infused for 4 months. Let me tell you what a nightmare I went through before I changed his diet. I know not all huskies are the same or have the same issues, but I have a feeling this is not an isolated issue. It took me 4 months to figure out that the Backcountry was actually causing his problems and not a list of everything else I thought it could be. Unfortunately, the ingredients list looks great, especially with the bonus of having the extra glucosamine and chondriotin, however, for whatever reason (and Archer did like the food) it did not metabolize in his system properly. I have since switched to Acana Regionals (there are four recipes: Grasslands, Ranchlands, Wild Atlantic, and Meadowlands). The only reason I do not buy Orijen (same company as Acana) is because it was recommended to change a Huskies diet for every season — (even if you live in a mild- slightly changing seasonal area — keeps them interested in the food as well). Since Acana «Regionals» offers those four recipes, I tried him first on the Grasslands (Spring-time) and his system cleared up in less than a month. In the summer I changed him over to the Meadowlands, Fall — Ranchlands and Winter — Wild Atlantic. He has since gained much needed weight and is digesting his food properly now. No more diarrhea and no more nightmares!!!!

      • Fridda Noriega

        Would Acana «Regionals» work for a four month Siberian? She’s been having diarrhea since I got her and I don’t know what to do anymore. Please help !!!! It’s a nightmare!!

        • Anna Smith

          Acana Regionals is a good option. You can do small but more frequent feedings for your dog on this case. Let us know what happened or what the vet recommended on your case.

      • Anna Smith

        Regarding the Orijen and Acana, you don’t necessarily have to shift the dog food based on the season especially if your dog is a very picky eater. Meadowlands is a good option and is a well-received dog food for medium to large breeds and this is something I do recommend for pet parents with dogs that need to establish a health weight.

        • Janice Bowman

          Totally agree Anna. I only do it now because I wanted to see which one he liked best and find if the information had some merit. Ive switched him from season to season and he seems to like the change, so at this point, my little husky gets his protein changes with the season and he is a happy pup. Is it necessary, probably not. Sticking to one of those is most likely just as fine.

          • Anna Smith

            Your Husky is very adaptable as some fur babies are quite picky eaters. As long as he adjusts fairly well, then everything should be fine. Thanks for sharing, Janice!

    • Anna Smith

      Discontinue the Merrick Backcountry first, this is one of the lesser compatible food preparations for dogs that require immediate nourishment. As what Janice have recommended, shift it to another dog food brand whichever your dog prefers and stay with that brand for a while.

  • Chris

    I joined a local husky group on Facebook and have seen a few people feeding raw meats. I was not sure about doing this because of it being raw. Is it fine to cook or cure the meats first? I don’t want my husky getting sick off of raw food.

    • Anna Smith

      If you’re not comfortable with raw feeding, you can always revert back to conventional dry/wet dog food. There are a lot of considerations when applying raw feeding, and while as effective, it requires more prep time and even cost.

    • Anjanette Blue

      If you cook the meat you lose the nutritional value of the raw food. Keep it frozen until night before defrosting then it’s fine. As with raw chicken with us be sure to wash utensils, counter, hands, etc. I believe in raw for specific breeds such as our Husky. For my Yorkie not so much.

      • Anna Smith

        Indeed, some dogs are more compatible with raw feeding than others because this is how they were brought up before they’ve reached the breed standards that they have today. Huskies, Malamutes, and other sled dogs are more inclined to raw feeding. On the other hand, older and far more domesticated breeds like your Yorkie are more accustomed to prepared dog food.

  • Rachelle Phillips

    We just adopted our Alaskan Husky from a shelter a few weeks ago, and she was severely underweight and had a touch of stomach upset from anxiety — we’ve been supplementing her kibble with boiled white meat chicken and rice and occasionally a scrambled egg, but she’s lately been quite itchy and has developed itchy/scabby spots on her elbows. I researched a bit and am curious if huskies are more prone to grain allergies than other dogs?
    I’m going to go out and purchase a grain-free kibble this evening just to test my theory, but I’m wondering how long I should expect it to take before I see results (not necessarily in the scabs, I know they’ll take time to heal) but in her general «itchy behavior»? Thanks in advance!

  • anjie

    Help one of my 7 month old siberian husky’s has a sensitive system. I’ve tryed nutro source, nutro lamb and rice, taste of the wild. they all have resulted in very loose stools. Taken him to the vet. can you recommend something that can help?

    • Anna Smith

      Have you tried Orijen or Acana systems for your Husky? That can be a very tricky situation, considering that he is also sensitive to Taste of the Wild.

    • OBS3RV3R

      Hope he’s doing better now. My husky did have the same problem as a pup and I found it to be that a high protein diet was causing the problem. The food I initially had was a high protein formula, which the pet store recommended (forgot the brand). We switched to Kirkland brand — a Chicken and Brown rice formula and since then he’s had no issues. He has solid stool. His dog food is mixed with selective table scraps. For years he used the same food, we now switched to Kirkland Nature’s Domain — Turkey with Sweet Potato (this new brand wasn’t available previously). He’s had no issues with this food brand either. He has had no stool issues ever since using Kirkland, he will be turning 6 years old in a few months. If my husky does get over heated, especially after a long walk, he does tend to let out a few small, very loose stools at the end of his walk but his main stool in the morning or at the start of a walk is normal with no issues. See what brand works for you as any adult formula will work for him, you just have to adjust to the puppy proportions to be higher and lower them as he gets older. He now gets 1.5 cups (+scraps) and has just one meal a day (dinner). He also gets a big Kirkland Dog biscuit for his breakfast. He’s been healthy, with ideal weight all his life. Hope this helps.