Having a pet is a lot like having a child. The slightest hint of a problem and the most stoic of owners might be seen in a panic, thinking the worse and wondering what they should do next. The advantage of having a child over a Husky is the child can at least try and communicate what the problem is. With a dog, you need to try and work it out for yourself!
Why is my Siberian Husky not eating? Your Husky is not eating because they are probably anxious, have a stomach issue, have a dental issue or less likely is related to vaccinations. There could be something more seriously wrong, of course, but this is less likely. Find out more about why they are not eating and what you should do, below.
When it comes to food, your child will most certainly have their favorite. My son, Joe, for example, would happily eat chicken nuggets, chips, cucumber and tomatoes every single day if it was up to him. But we try and mix it about occasionally to try and maintain some variety and also to ensure he gets a proper, balanced diet. Much to his displeasure, I should add!
Your Husky will also have his favorites and like children, us owners (or parents) need to ensure that they get a proper, balanced diet. In fact, it makes such a big impact to their long-term health that it is arguably the most important thing to consider when you first own such a dog.
Should I Be Worried My Husky Isn’t Eating?
Not initially but you should be vigilant. Just because your Husky isn’t eating doesn’t mean they have some serious condition that’s going to cut short their little lives! I know that we, as owners, do tend to think the worse – it’s only natural. However, you should get some comfort out of knowing that in the vast majority of cases the root cause is nothing sinister whatsover!
However, sometimes it’s good to be worried. The worst thing you can be is complacent and just assume that everything is okay. Although it probably will be, don’t ignore it – start making a journal (yes, I know this is boring) of when you feed them and how much (if any) they consumed. The Husky can go many days without consuming any food without it causing any long-term problems but you want to record when the first day was that you noticed a problem.
Owners tend to report these problems with the Husky more than other breeds as to put it simply, they don’t eat as much as other breeds! More on this later though. If you’re wondering, by the way, how long a Husky can go without eating – have a look here (opens in a new tab).
What Could Cause Your Siberian Husky To Stop Eating?
There may be a few different reasons why your Husky has suddenly decided to stop eating, such as an upset stomach or something that’s causing them high amounts of stress. Let’s take a look at the more common reasons:
- Anxiety Related – it may seem obvious but moving the location of where your Husky eats, even by a short distance may not have been something that you’d think would cause these problems but indeed it could. Most dogs are creatures of habit and if they are used to eating in a certain location then moving this, may upset them to such a degree that it puts them off their food. This doesn’t usually last longer than a day though.
- Stomach Problems – your Husky may have eaten something that disagrees with it. We all know that when this happens to us, you often don’t immediately want to eat. It’s your body just telling you to hold off the food-intake for a bit to give it time to sort itself out! This is probably the easier of the problems to diagnose though as, if you’re vigilant, you may be able to spot problems with their toilet routines also, such as diarrhea. Or failing that, they may be constipated and their stomach may just hurt. Until they pass whatever is in their stomach, they may not want to consume anything new.
- Dental Issues – I do feel sorry for Huskies that have
toothache. We all know how bad it feels when this happens to us and we can whingeand whine about it to whoever’s listening before going to see the dentist and getting it fixed. The poor little canine though can’t tell anyone though! Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly is often forgotten but more often than not, you get lucky and they don’t suffer from any problems. That’s not to say that you don’t need to, you certainly should! However, if (or when) your Husky does start to develop tooth decay or other related problems, they may not want to eat as it hurts so much. Other signs of this are dribbling and eating from one side of the mouth.
- Vaccinations – Less likely than the rest but if your Husky has had a recent round of vaccinations then, like us, they may for a while feel somewhat under the weather. Like us, they may not want to eat whilst they feel this way.
- Something Else – It’s this that no one wants it to be. Something other than the usual and indeed, it will be unlikely that it is. However, if after a couple of days they still haven’t eaten – please call your vets. This is more likely the older the Husky is.
So, as you can see there are a few reasons which might cause your Husky to stop eating and most of those will only be temporary. The best thing you can do is, as I said earlier, make a note of when they last ate and keep an eye on them.
Siberian Husky Eating Habits
The Husky is not like other breeds of dogs. But then, if you’re an owner, you already know that! They are different in so many ways but one of the more surprising ways is their approach to food. It all stems from their background, many hundreds of years ago – that’s an interesting story which we’ll come on to in a sec.
The Husky is not possessive so it doesn’t become aggressive, unlike many other breeds, if you approach them during their mealtime. But what is really unusual is that they will only eat as much as they need. Other dogs, given the opportunity, will eat until they run out of food, are sick, or they fall over. Whichever comes first. It’s like they have to stuff as much as food into them as possible for fear that they will not get fed again! Anyway, the Husky isn’t like that.
The Siberian Husky will only eat as much as they need and how much they eat will depend on how much exercise they are getting. This should be quite a lot but even then they won’t eat a great deal – how often have you seen an overweight Siberian Husky? The point here is, food isn’t always a priority for a Husky, unlike other breeds and they won’t eat just for the sake of eating. So, many owners who have had dogs in the past will be used to them just sucking up all food within their vicinity and then may incorrectly assume that the Husky, as it isn’t like that, has a problem – when really, it’s quite normal!
Siberian Husky Background
The reason why I’ve included a section on the background of the Siberian Husky is that it is relevant to the subject. You see, for hundreds (maybe thousands) of years, the Husky (it was not known as the ‘Siberian’ Husky at this point) lived with the Chukchi people in Northern Asia (Chukotka Peninsula, Siberia).
The Chukchi people needed a dog that could travel long distances, quickly and (here’s the key point that I’m making) survive on not much food. This was a necessity as there wasn’t a lot of food to go around. The Chukchi people hunted seals on the coast and then required the Husky to use sleds to transport the food back to their in-land community. This meant a lot of energy was used with little food available for it to replenish it. Over generations, animals adapt and their metabolism adapted to help it deal with this.
This trait hasn’t been lost in the hundred years or so since the Husky first appeared outside Siberia (it was imported into Alaska in the early part of the 20th Century).
So, now you know the reason why the Siberian Husky doesn’t have a requirement for vast quantities of food – it’s all related to their fascinating past!
Best Siberian Husky Diet
The best diet of the Siberian Husky, or indeed any canine, is a controversial subject. Many people are passionate about what they give (and what they don’t give) to their beloved Husky. The subject of providing raw food is probably the most controversial and will cause a passionate debate on any social media platform where it is discussed. What’s more interesting though is the fact that even professionals can’t seem to make up their mind about this. You can ask your vet what they think about the subject and the next vet will have the complete opposite view! So, do your own research and just remember that whichever side of the fence you land on half the people will think you’re awesome and the other half will think you’re crazy!
The best diet is, of course, one that provides all the vitamins and nutrients that the Husky needs. Some people even opt for a vegan diet and although this can work (see my post all about it here which opens in a new tab) it sure is a lot harder to make sure your Husky gets everything they need than if you were to opt for a ‘normal’ meat-based diet.
As long as you apply some common sense, make sure it’s balanced, add some variety with the occasional treat, you’ll do just fine!
When To Take Your Husky To The Vet
Well, this is the question only you can answer. If you feel there’s more to your Husky not eating than the reasons I’ve mentioned above, then call your vet. If it’s been a couple of days without them eating then call your vet. Yes, do what you’re doing now and research this online but remember, people can say whatever they like online. Use your gut instinct and if you’re not happy about how your Husky is behaving, don’t waste time. If they are also not drinking, then don’t leave it more than a day before you call them.
Although dogs can last several days without food before long-term effects can occur, the lack of water is a lot more serious and these problems will occur after only a day or so and they can only live for about 3 days without water. Don’t waste time.
I do hope that this post has helped you in some way identify the reason behind your Siberian Husky not eating. The key things to get out of this are:
- Ensure you keep a journal of when they had their last meal and record how much (if any) they eat at every meal time.
- Look for any related problems, either physical or mentally related. If there’s any unusual behavior related to their lack of food intake, contact the vet.
- If there is no obvious reason why they are not eating after a couple of days, contact your vet.
If in doubt though, you know what to you should do. Call your vet and talk it over.
If you’d like to know more about this amazing breed of dog, do check out my Complete Guide to the Siberian Husky, where you’ll find everything else you’ll ever need to know about them!