It seems there are two types of huskies when it comes to eating. Finicky and Food hogs. I happen to have 3 dogs that are finicky. This is not an isolated example at all. I’ve read many accounts of people like me wondering why their dogs won’t eat like… well dogs.
Eating like a dog is not necessarily required for a husky. Selective breeding for thousands of years produced dogs that could work hard with very little food. They also have an ability to switch their metabolism that to this day researches still cannot understand.
What happens when they are worked very hard, is their bodies switch to burning fat instead of glucose. This keeps muscles from becoming worn out and sore after a strenuous work out. The muscle cells start extracting fat directly from the blood and somehow transport this fat across the cell membranes and into the cells, where it can be burned as fuel. This is why they can run 100 miles in a day, and get up and do it again and again. (More can be read here: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/sled-dog-science/)
I fought the finicky eater battle for a few years before I found a solution that works for me.
First of all, you need to understand that if your husky eats very little, it isn’t necessarily bad for them. I think its difficult for most people including me, to get used to that idea. We are conditioned to believe that a dog will eat everything put in front of it. Mine seemed quite healthy eating next to nothing, and still working (pulling) for two years before I found a way to increase their appetites.
My dogs have turned up their noses at almost every good brand of dry dog food I have tried. I’ve also tried many brands of canned food to no avail. Having heard much about raw diets I decided to try it. I began slow with raw chicken and fish (Boneless.) I still do not feed bones on the off-chance that they may choke or get a blockage from them. It is said that dogs can eat bones if they are not cooked. When cooked… bones become brittle and can splinter. Even with that being said, I find it not worth the risks to my beloved huskies. They do not get bones to “Eat” they do get marrow bones to lick the marrow from the inside as a treat.
One husky will only eat chicken (cooked) and does not like fish. The other two love fish, but will eat the chicken raw as well.
Many people worry about the mess of raw food. I’ve found it is not a problem because of the way I feed it. The fish stay in the freezer. At feeding time, I yank out a couple of frozen fish and give it to them. Off they go to enjoy.
This sounds unappetizing to humans but not to my huskies. For thousands of years this is how and what they were fed. My dogs lay out in 10-degree cold weather, enjoying their frozen fish. It’s quite natural to them, and they don’t seem the least bit put out by it.
So now, after approximately 3 months of this, I can tell you that the once finicky eaters have found real appetites. Each morning they want their breakfast fish or two. Then in the evening around sun down they want dinner. They also have times when they want some canned food. Before this was never heard of in my house. They still hate dry food, but with all the pet food recalls that is okay by me.
My dogs fur looks the best it ever has. They have lots of energy to burn. But just to make sure, I give a supplemental vitamin in case I’m missing something important. True raw diets need organs as well as other parts to achieve balance. I do it with vitamins and fish/chicken.
Should you do this? I would recommend that you study up on raw diets before you decide. It seems to work for me even though my vet doesn’t approve. But then I don’t always agree with him on every topic. They remain healthy so far, and I only see improvement not degradation of any kind.
In my opinion dogs have eaten raw meat since day one. Dry food was invented to please humans not dogs. Like all things related to your pets, you are the leader and you must decide what is best for your own dogs.
I just wanted to share my experience with my huskies. You should do some research and see what works best for yours.
Excellent article, TJ.