It’s a bit like having a baby. In the days, weeks and months leading to the new arrival, you buy all the things you think you need. When they do pass the threshold you soon discover that the things you bought aren’t appropriate! You then have to start replacing the stuff you already bought. The same can be said for the experience many have with their Siberian Husky – whether it is a puppy or not. The purpose of this article is to help you gather all the things you need to get before the exciting day comes. I will hopefully remind you of the things you must get and some things that are more optional (but recommended).
What do I need for my Husky? There are several things that you need for your Husky, such as:
- Personalized ID Dog Tag
- Dog Locator
Amongst other things that we will go into below. Not just for your Husky but for your home as well!
I do recommend certain products that I myself can guarantee will do the job. There’s no reason why you need to buy these, of course, it’s just to give you some ideas but the ones I’ve recommended here, you won’t be disappointed with!
For Your Husky
First, let’s concentrate on your Husky itself. There are some things that you will, of course, absolutely have to get. These are the things that will stay with the Husky for some time (err unless they lose them).
Harness for your Husky
I would always recommend a harness with the Siberian Husky. They are a dog that should always be kept on a leash when outside, due to their high prey drive. The Husky, if it sees an animal it likes the look of, will be going after it. If it can escape from you during this time, it will. With a collar, there is always a chance it can come loose or they could escape from it. This isn’t the case with a harness, they are secure and, if you get the right one, they are comfortable.
My only recommendation currently for a harness is Chai’s Choice Best Outdoor Adventure Dog Harness (click the link to see the amazing reviews on Amazon).
What I like about this harness is that they seemed to put the comfort and safety of the Husky first. It was designed so as little pressure as possible would be put on your dog’s neck. This is very relevant for the Husky as when they are out they can sometimes make a quick dash towards an over-confident rabbit or squirrel. Harnesses allow the pressure that is exerted by you via the leash to be more evenly distributed around their body and not focused on one area of their neck.
Siberian Husky Leash
The leash for the harness should be an extendable one (or otherwise known as a retractable). As you are (hopefully) not considering letting them off the leash, you want to be able to give them some freedom. Just allowing that extra bit of movement so they are not stuck to your left leg will make the experience that much more enjoyable for the Husky.
With the Husky, the recommendation is to get something that is strong enough to cater for a larger dog. Now, as we know – the Siberian Husky is not a large dog. In fact, it’s officially classed as a medium-sized dog. The reason why you want something that little bit stronger is that although the Husky isn’t the largest dog in the world, it is strong and it is fast. The leash that you get will need to be strong enough to cater for your Husky for the next several years and they will test it.
The Flexi retractable dog leash offers great freedom of movement for your Husky and will allow 26 feet of leash. This provides them with more than enough space to be able to play around a bit when you take them out but the control is still with you. It is a top of the range product but still reasonably priced and has a very smooth action to it. You can certainly get cheaper leashes than this but my analogy is this – if you’re going to buy a Ferrari you’re not going to put cheap
Personalized Husky ID Dog Tag
Not hard to find but make sure you get your Husky a personalized dog tag that you can attach to their harness before they go out for the first time. Include their name and at the very least a contact number. Some people include an address but really there’s no need these days unless you change your mobile number frequently!
Get something that’s stainless steel and there’s no need to spend much money at all on this.
My recommendation: Stainless Steel Pet Id Tag (personalized) – Less than a takeaway meal and that includes personalization. (Click the link to read reviews on Amazon)
Dog Locator (optional)
Hopefully, you’ll never need to use this but if you are unfortunate enough to lose your Husky, you may struggle in getting them back. The Husky is capable of running all day and it is more than capable of surviving perfectly well without us. If it has escaped from your garden then before you even realize it has gone it could be a few miles away. If it escapes whilst you’re out exercising it (as it saw something it wanted to chase and you weren’t holding on tightly enough) – then you won’t be able to catch it.
Without a dog locator, you may not see it again. With a dog locator, you will, it’s as simple as that. However, if you are going to get one of these, make sure it’s a GPS version. I do have a favorite (actually I have a couple) and I have a separate article here as to why I picked what I did (opens in a new window).
Basically, when you’re looking for a dog locator, you need to make sure it satisfies a few things:
- It’s small enough so it won’t annoy your dog.
- Its technology enables you to track it not just line-of-sight, this means the device has to utilize GPS.
- How long the battery lasts for.
- What do other people think of it?
The above is exactly what I looked for when choosing mine. If you look for these things then it eliminates a whole load and you’re basically just left with a couple, which are the ones in my article mentioned above. Take a look if you’re in the market for one. If you’re not, and it’s certainly not mandatory when buying a Husky, just keep a good hold of them when you’re out with them!
I could put this as optional but I would rather not. You see, for any dog, I think insurance is really important and if possible, the cost should be factored into the running costs for your dog. There are some genetic problems that the Husky can suffer from, however, it is generally a healthy breed of dog. However, if it does need to have any urgent veterinary works, it can easily cost >$1000 after only a couple of days. If there is any way at all you can afford insurance for your Husky, please do consider it!
If you are thinking of insurance, I’d really recommend PetPlan – I have found them not only the easiest to deal with but the cheapest. Do check out the link if you’re interested.
For Your Home
So, we’ve dealt with all the things you need to buy for the Husky itself. What about the things that need to be in your home for when it arrives?
First things first, what are you going to feed it? This seems to be such a personal thing it’s difficult to recommend anything. Not only is it dependent on what the owner wants to do but it is, of course, dependent on what the Husky likes! They don’t all like the same thing. I know there are some owners who will say that they will just have to eat what they are given but I don’t totally agree, well – within reason. I mean, I’m not getting them steak and chips every evening with a croissant for breakfast. However, if it’s obvious they don’t like a food, I’ll try them with something else. I want them to be happy.
So, whether it’s kibble, tinned food, raw food or something else – start out what you think best and then adjust accordingly.
Food & Water Bowls
It’s all very well getting them the right food in but what are they going to eat out of? This is surprisingly forgotten often and they end up eating out of pasta bowls for the first few days!
Personally, I recommend a stainless steel bowl. The other options are plastic, which soon gets ruined and you have to replace them. It’s all very well buying them as they are cheap but when you have to replace them every six months you might as well have bought something better that lasted longer. You can also get them a ceramic bowl. There are stories of the lead that is used within these causing problems with the dogs but I’ve not heard of any first-hand. It’s a personal preference for me and I prefer the easy to clean, nice to look at stainless steel variety.
My Recommendation: Neater Feeder Deluxe – this thing is awesome (click the link to read reviews on Amazon.
It has both the food and water bowl together but what I like is that they are both contained in a stand which means your food (and water) doesn’t end up all over your floor. Which it most certainly will if you don’t have one of these. The elevated position of the bowls (because they are in the stand) apparently make it easier for the dog to eat from but whether that’s true or not I don’t know, but they do look comfortable when they’re eating from them.
It’s silly how excited you get when you’re buying these things for your dog before they arrive. I made the comparison to getting a nursery ready for a baby and (having done this) it really does feel quite similar 🙂
There’s one other thing I’m going to suggest to you. Not that you should leave your Husky alone for any amount of time, but if you absolutely have to – you may want to consider an automatic pet feeder. Do check out which ones I think are best in the link above.
Doggy Camera (optional)
The Siberian Husky is not a dog that should be left on its own for more time than absolutely necessary. There are many reports of this dog starting to suffer from separation anxiety literally minutes after you leave them alone. If you’re thinking of leaving them for more than around 30 minutes, do consider getting a crate (more on this below).
However, these days life does sometimes get in the way and you just have to pop out for a bit without your Husky. What a lot of people do is invest in a pet camera. These cameras allow you to view what’s going on at home by using your phone. Not only that, the better ones allow you to remotely scan the camera around the room and zoom in, so you’re able to keep an eye on your whole room. One last feature that is really useful is the two-way audio – if you can get it. If you’ve been having complaints about your Husky howling whilst you’ve been away (very possible) then you can listen in on what’s going on whilst you’re watching them but not only that – you can talk back to them!
So, in my quest to find the perfect webcam, without spending too much money, the above were the things I was looking for primarily.
My recommendation: Elotech Pet Camera – you can see my review and the reasons why I ended up buying this camera myself here (opens in a new window).
You’re going to need somewhere comfy for your Husky to crash out after a long run. This will be their sanctuary and will end up going to whenever they are tired or just need some security. Ideally, get something like memory foam as it’s super comfy and also something that will be easy to clean as you’ll be vacuuming up the hairs from it on a daily basis.
My recommendation: PetFusion Breathable Dog Bed – there are several reasons why I went for this one (Click the link to see reviews on Amazon).
The first was its quality and ease of cleaning, something that will prove very important to you as the weeks and months go by. Next, it is tear-resistant – so when your Husky is teething it is unlikely they’ll be able to rip this thing up. Finally, it is water-resistant, just in
When I first thought about crates a couple of years back I was actually dead against them. To me, at the time, it felt like I was putting the Husky in some kind of confinement, almost like a prison. I started doing some research into it though and discovered that actually, your Husky will not feel the same about it as you do. They will see the crate as a sanctuary. It will be somewhere that they feel safe and if you are going out for anything more than about 30 minutes, you should consider using one. A lot of people use them at night also.
I only have a couple I recommend these days and you can see these here if you are interested.
As anyone who knows anything about the Husky will be aware of, they need a lot of exercise. At least two sessions a day and each one should ideally be about an hour in length. If you can’t provide them with enough exercise then they will start to show signs of anxiety and depression. Not being able to fulfill the mandatory requirements of this dog is one of the main reasons why so many new owners have to, unfortunately, return them only weeks or months after buying them, a desperately sorry situation to be in.
So, although it can’t replace it, what can complement outside exercise is inside exercise, but how do we achieve that? Well, consider a treadmill designed for dogs! You may have not heard of this but they are becoming increasingly popular these days and although you won’t be able to convince them to use it overnight, I haven’t seen a Husky that hasn’t happily been using them after a couple of weeks.
There aren’t a lot of decent treadmills on the market currently so it was relatively easy to point you in the right direction – take a look at my review of the DogPacer treadmill for doggies (click the link to read reviews on Amazon). This one is arguably the most popular and the one that has been the most well-received by the community. There are others available of course but my recommendation is to take a look at this one first.
Getting Ready for Your Husky – Outside Your Home
It’s not just the inside of the house and the Husky itself that you need to think of. You need to make sure you are prepared for them getting outside, which – if there’s any way they will be able to get out there, they will find it. Take a look at the below suggestions.
High and Secure Fencing
The Siberian Husky is an escape artist. Unless you have fencing that’s 9 or 10 feet high, there is a good chance they will eventually be able to escape from it. If it’s less than around 4 feet they’ll jump clean over it and if it’s higher than this then, if they can, they will climb up and over it. Then they’ll be off (and I hope you’ll have that pet finder if they do). So, just make sure your garden is enclosed and the fencing is adequate. Also, make sure they can’t dig under it. Historically, their ancestors dug to either catch prey or they dug to make a shelter. It has been reported that they can, in under 5 to 10 minutes, dig under your 9-foot fence and out the other side. I’ve not seen it for myself but I have seen how quick they can dig. So, make sure they can’t do this 🙂
Dog House / Kennel (optional)
There are some owners who choose to keep their Siberian Husky outside. This is a contentious point but each to their own. Others keep their Husky outside for longer than others and wish to provide a kennel to protect them from the elements. There are lots of choices available to you, not only around size and construction but also whether you choose to have a door (recommended) and whether it’s temperature-controlled (also recommended).
Of course, a lot depends on the climate where you live but do make sure the thing is waterproof. I’m not going to recommend a dog house myself as I don’t have one and don’t really know enough about them to do so, however, there are quite a few standard types online available to you. It’s not something that would be used as soon as you get the Husky anyway (typically) so this can be something you can spend some time thinking about.
Maybe just let them sleep in your bed instead 🙂
For the Family
There are some things that the whole family should be involved with. Getting the whole family involved (if you have a family, that is) will help with the Husky’s socialization and will also help the bonding process between the different members of the family and the Husky itself. Particularly get the children involved, although I’m sure you won’t have too much trouble doing this!
Buy some books and learn about the dog you’re going to spend a good part of your life with. I have several books about the Husky myself so can easily recommend these. It’s fine looking online if you know where to go (like here for example) – but sometimes it’s just nice to have a book on the coffee table or in the bathroom. Something you can just pick up occasionally.
Have a look at my recommendations for Husky related literature here (opens in a new tab).
These are tools you’re going to become very familiar with over the next 15 years or so. The Husky has quite a long double-coat so you need to take special care of this. For the undercoat, I’d recommend the FURminator Deshedding Tool. Check out the reviews and latest price by clicking on the link. It’s a quality bit of kit that will help with removing any hair that’s coming out and this thing has been around for years. It is widely accepted as the best in the market and it is also not expensive.
Once you’ve used the de-shedder, you should probably use a wide-toothed comb – something like this might be of use to you. This one also has a fine-toothed comb and you can make use of this also.
Next, you’ll need a brush to give you Husky’s coat a final going over, something like this bamboo groom palm brush (clicking on the link will take you to the product on Amazon in a new tab) would do this trick. It’s made of bamboo (err obviously), looks great and is waterproof – and costs next to nothing. Do check out the reviews if you’re after one.
There are plenty of different options online and even complete kits that you can buy if you want to. I’m not going to suggest shampoo etc. as ideally this would be performed by a professional, however, do make sure any shampoo you use is dog-friendly and not something that is designed for us!
Toys For Your Husky
So, finally – the fun stuff. We will all buy too many toys for our Huskies, no matter what anyone says. I have lost track just how many I have bought in my time, only for the dog to discard it almost immediately. Through trial and error, I have found just a handful of toys that seem to consistently work with all Huskies. Yes, you will end up getting more of these but do check out my recommendations here (opens in a new window).
It’s fun buying toys but my advice would be to only buy a few initially and see what they like playing with. Get some that they will chew (for teething) and just accept that they will not last forever.
How to Make Your House Dog-Proof
There are a few things that you really must do before the Husky sets paw into your home. This is primarily for their safety and is often forgotten by new owners.
If you have any open fires then consider getting fire-guards for them. The Husky fur, like all longs dogs, can ignite quite quickly if exposed to a flame. It won’t necessarily continue to burn but it can shoot up and cause burns to their skin. Their first reaction will be to run away, which isn’t ideal if they are on fire and you’re trying to catch them. Therefore, the best advice is, of course, prevention and just beware of anywhere that has an open flame. Also, don’t forget the candles – never leave the Husky in a room where there are open candles and no-one is supervising.
Keep Your Windows Closed
It’s obvious when you think about it but when you have so much else to think about at this time, it’s easily forgotten. Pay particular attention to high windows in bedrooms and upstairs. The Siberian Husky, as I mentioned earlier, is an escape artist and will find ways you couldn’t imagine to get outside. If you give it any opportunity then it will take it, not just as a puppy but throughout its life. This is why it’s important to have a sealed off garden and high-enough fences to prevent any further escapes.
Remember, your Husky will be exploring your home and anything that is in reach will be initially fair-game to it. So, if you have bleach or other cleaning products within paw-reach of it, just put it away somewhere. You’ll look stupid but sometimes it actually helps if you get down on all fours and you’ll then see what your Husky will see – and you’ll know what you need to move!
If you love your house being ‘just right’ then just know that things are soon going to change for you. If you have
If you have any valuable possessions, then put them out of paw reach. Anything that’s on any tables that you want to keep, it might be best if you just store them for a few months unless you want to risk them being broken of course 🙂
You’re going to need a good vacuum cleaner and you’ll probably end up wanting to do suck-up daily. Now, if you have a vacuum cleaner with a cord, this will soon become tiresome. My recommendation is to invest in a cordless cleaner, something like the Dyson V10 would do the trick. This way, you can just quickly pick it up, do a few mins of vacuuming and put it back.
If you live in a house where all your cables are neat and tidy, that’s awesome – move on. However, if you have loose cables then you should tidy them away if possible. Your Husky is going to be looking for things to chew and you don’t want them to choose an electric cable for this!
There’s a lot more to looking after a Husky than just visiting a breeder, paying the money and bringing them home. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to be prepared. I’m not going to say this is the best bit as obviously having the Husky in your home for about the next 15 years or so will be pretty darn good – but it sure is fun getting everything ready for them.