So you are about to, or already have picked up your Siberian Husky puppy from the breeder. What food do you feed it? And what feeding practices are best to ensure the puppy grows up healthy? Here are our tips for feeding your puppy…
Take the breeder’s advice
Hopefully you have taken our advice on finding a good Husky breeder and have been given a sheet of information with feeding instructions. The puppy’s digestive system takes a little while to develop so it is important you follow the directions. Typically you will engage in the same feeding rituals with the same food that the breeder has been using, at least until the puppy has settled in to his or her new home. Once settled you can then slowly begin to experiment with different foods and feeding habits.
As easy as 3-2-1
When the puppy is small it will not have a large stomach to eat meal sizes typical of an adult dog. You will want to start with three small meals a day, and move to two, then one.
Up to the age of three or four months your puppy should eat in the morning, early afternoon, and early evening. Between four and eight months (give or take a month) cut back to two meals, then by 9 months your puppy will be large enough to get through on one meal a day.
Watch the weight
Siberian Huskies have a metabolism different from many other dogs. They are bred for harsh conditions and being able to work over periods of time with little food. For that reason you should hold back a little on the recommended meal sizes printed on the packaging of food. If your puppy appears to be getting overweight you can cut back some more. If the ribs are pronounced then maybe increase meal size. Your vet should be able to give specific advice on the health of your puppy.
Consider feeding your puppy a premium food mix. Don’t let the price fool you: cheaper mixes often have “filler” that requires a greater amount of food to be fed to achieve the required nutrition. Plus you want to make sure your puppy gets all the required protein, vitamins and minerals required for it to grow up healthy.
What to avoid
Like all dogs you want to stick to meat and vegetables. Avoid table scraps, cooked bones, onions and significant amounts of dairy. These can make dogs ill. For example cooked bones can splinter and cause significant damage to your dog’s internals. Chocolate is also a no-no, it is very toxic to dogs. Click here for some specific advice on foods to avoid.
Also avoid having the dog hang around the kitchen. It will be easier in the long run if your dog has its own dinner time, separate from your family’s dinner time.
For more training help, check out Cesar’s Way for the best in pet training!
The good news is you can treat your dog occasionally. Perhaps a biscuit every now and again, and little treats during training. See our advice on snacks and treats for more information.
Meal time behavior
Try to stick to meals at similar times each day, so that your puppy can get used to the behavior. After your puppy eats it might be time to take him or her outside to poop. Check out our advice on housebreaking your Husky puppy for further tips on this. Don’t forget that your puppy needs fresh clean water AT ALL TIMES, and especially in that hour after a meal. The water helps digest the food and keep your puppy hydrated.
Need more info? David and Andrew over at My Husky have some more advice on feeding.
Feeding your Siberian Husky puppy is easy if you use common sense. Take your breeder’s advice, start with small frequent meals and over the first year of growth pull back to just one meal a day. Treats are fine. If you think your dog is over- or under-weight, get it checked out by your vet. Shedding pounds off an overweight Husky can be a big challenge!