It makes life so much easier if you can provide your dog with the same food as you and your family are consuming yourselves. There may be many reasons why you would want to do this of course and whether these are for ethical reasons, cost or it’s just easier for you, the underlying reasons are all valid.
However, the Husky is a very special breed of dog with a very special set of requirements. They need a lot of
Can Siberian Huskies eat vegan? Yes, Siberian Huskies can be fed a vegan diet. However, there are many potential risks to doing this which you need to understand before you go down this path. It is a lot easier to ensure your Husky gets all the nutrients and vitamins they need from animal-based products than it is from plant-based products.
What Exactly Do We Mean By Vegan?
The word ‘vegan’ has actually been around for some time. In fact, it was coined during the second world war, over 70 years ago! Vegan people make a lifestyle decision not to consume any food product that has originated from any animal. How they differ from vegetarians is that vegans will not consume any dairy product or eggs, whereas vegetarians can.
Vegan people believe that eating any food product sourced from an animal is exploiting them and is, therefore, cruel. They believe that animals should have as much freedom to live on the planet as us and should also have greater rights than they currently do.
If you are wondering whether Huskies can consume milk, by the way, do consider checking my article out about this (opens in a new window).
There is another reason why people choose this path though – they believe that not eating animal-based products is healthier. They believe there is less chance of dying from some cancers and heart disease than on a ‘regular’ diet.
Finally, people may choose to be a vegan as they believe there is less of an environmental risk to the planet. For example, producing meat undoubtedly necessitates the use of large amounts of water that could be used in so many other, worthwhile situations.
Whether it’s one of these reasons, a combination or all of them, vegans believe in their cause. If a vegan has a dog then typically they will need to buy dog food which contains meat. It may be difficult for the vegan to be in close contact with the meat because of their beliefs. So, this is why we are asking whether the Siberian Husky can be fed a vegan diet.
Is It Safe To Give Vegan Food To A Husky?
Yes, it can be safe to give vegan food to your Siberian Husky, however – you need to know what you’re doing. Before you jump in with both feed and start stock-piling on tofu and carrots, there are some concerns about providing canines with a vegan diet that you should be aware of. Although, things have improved significantly in the last twenty years or so and now you can buy food for your Husky that is purely vegan, and it’s pretty good too!
Be under no illusion though, despite buying specific vegan food for your Husky, there are still risks, here are some examples of the more serious complications that can arise on a vegan diet:
- Insufficient Taurine – this is an amino acid that is very important in the metabolism of fats. Your Husky can only manufacture this through proteins contained within their diet.
- Insufficient Vitamins D and A – it is not possible for your Husky to create vitamin D from their skin so it has to come from their diet. To be more specific, what they need is vitamin D3, not D2, however, D3 comes from animal sources and D2 comes from plants.
- Insufficient protein intake – needs to be more than about 25 g per 1,000 calories.
If these problems are ignored (and it may, unfortunately, be difficult to spot symptoms until it’s too late) then issues can develop that may even be irreversible. If you are still considering a vegan diet for your Husky, then the general recommendations are:
- If you are planning on possibly breeding your Husky in the future then you should not feed your puppy a vegan diet.
- Ensure the vegan food that you provide to your Husky has been through proper food trials – do your research!
- Ensure your Husky has regular check-ups at your vets at least once a year and preferably twice a year – let them know that they are on a vegan diet.
The key thing is to just do your research and really think about what you need to do to ensure they are getting all the nutrients they need.
Siberian Huskies And Their Food Habits
The Siberian Husky is not your typical breed of dog, in so many ways. We used to have a Cocker Spaniel who managed one day, to access our fridge. He ate everything in it, including a big tub of butter! He was sick for many days after that but my point is, most dogs will eat and eat until they are either sick or fall over, whichever comes first. They are also, typically, quite possessive about their food and if you approach them whilst they are eating, they might growl to give you a warning to back off.
The Siberian Husky is not like this. Firstly, they are not a possessive dog so if a small child approaches them whilst they are eating, they won’t care. In fact, they might even try and share some with them! Not only that though, and this is the thing that’s truly quite different from other breeds, the Husky will only eat as much as they need. Have you ever seen an overweight Husky? It’s unlikely as they just don’t have the desire to stuff their faces all day, like many breeds.
What you will find is that the amount the Husky eats is directly related to the amount of exercise they do. So, obviously, the more they exercise they have – the more calories they will need to consume. If, for whatever reason, they spend a day without getting any exercise, apart from being most likely quite miserable about it, you will find that they really don’t eat much at all.
What Is The Best Diet For A Husky?
The best diet is a meat-based diet as your Husky will then be getting everything they need to remain healthy but the purpose of this article isn’t to preach. You can get (mostly) the same nutrients from non-animal based sources but you do need to make sure you’re getting everything that your Husky needs.
The V-Dog series of foods is well received in the vegan community and many owners use this as their primary vegan diet. Well, not the owners, the Huskies obviously 🙂 These products are available on Amazon and if you’d like to take a look at a good example of some dry kibble food, then click here as I was rather surprised about the price (opens in a new window).
Are There Any Vegan Treats You Can Give Your Husky?
Yes, similar to the V-Dog kibble, you can also get some treats (click the link to get the latest price from Amazon). Yes, there are about a hundred times more options for the non-vegan eater but you should be prepared for this if you’re a vegan eater yourself (the chances are that will be the case) as in most restaurants although you can usually find a vegan option these days, you won’t exactly have a lot of
But then when you make a lifestyle choice such as this then there’s going to be a price to pay. As long as you know what the price is, then you can’t be disappointed, right?
When Should You Stop Giving Vegan Food To Your Husky?
If you switch your Husky on to a vegan diet and you notice any negative aspects to either their temperament or physical abilities you should really consider switching their diet back to a meat-based one. You may find this frustrating and you may put their change of behavior down to other things but sooner or later, you will need to accept that it’s not working for your Husky. You shouldn’t beat yourself up about this though. It’s not just vegan food that they can have problems with. Sometimes, you will find your Husky has a particular reaction to a particular dog-food or treat, in which case – you stop providing it – it’s no different really.
So, the point is here, although you may think you’re doing the right thing for the environment and for their health, you may not be. You may be doing the right thing as far as other animals are concerned, but what about your animal. In fact, you may be causing more harm than good so please put the health of your animal first. There are other things you can do that is morally correct without harming your loved one 🙂
This has been a difficult article to write. It is a passionate and controversial subject for most and sometimes it’s hard not to put your personal opinion into what you write. However, I think that the facts speak for them-self. There are more and more products becoming available for the vegan Husky so you certainly can have more variety than you could even just 10 years ago.
However, that can’t hide the fact that this is arguably not the most healthy option for your dog. They have been designed to exist on the vitamins and nutrients that are found in meat-based products, not plant-based products and if care and due-diligence aren’t applied then your Husky could start suffering from problems that are irreversible.
The Siberian Husky is a fascinating breed of dog in so many ways and if you’d like to find out more about them then do check out my Complete Guide to the Siberian Husky, where you will find all you really need to know about this wonderful pet.