When it comes to feeding dogs, we all pick between dry dog food, also known as kibble, and wet dog food, or cans.
As far as dog food, that’s how things have gone for the past century or so. Just recently, additions in the form of supplements and toppers have entered the market.
But what if I told you those aren’t the only options for feeding your Husky doggo? What if I told you there’s something else, something that’s been around longer than kibble and cans?
I’m talking about a raw diet. What stops you from feeding your Husky a raw diet?
The first Huskies surely didn’t have any kibble with the Chukchi tribe. They used to eat meat, bones, and food leftovers. Raw diet was all the rave back then.
Today, I see it coming back in a big way.
More and more dog owners are opting to choose this kind of diet for their Huskies instead of picking a bag of kibble in the market.
I get it: Kibble is easier to buy, serve, and chew. But a raw diet meal is more natural and helps the dog get in touch with its primal side.
Today, we’re all about going back to the basics, getting acquainted with nature once again. Why don’t we introduce our modern Huskies to food their ancestors ate? Why don’t we make our Huskies canines that enjoy a raw diet again?
If you keep on reading, I will try to bring a Husky raw diet closer to you, point out what are the benefits and what are the downsides, and I’ll even give you some pretty cool dog meal ideas for when you’re in a rush.
I pawmise you’re gonna have fun reading this article!
What Do We Mean By A Husky Raw Diet?
Before we answer this question, let’s elaborate on what a raw diet actually means. Many dog owners aren’t really certain if it’s feeding raw meat or if such meals consist of something else.
Back in the days when the first canines were domesticated, humans didn’t know about proper dog feeding. What they were taught was proper was to let the dogs feed themselves on their catch or to have the remains of what the tribe ate.
There was no dog kibble, no wet food, no supplements. Dogs ate raw, or eventually, homemade leftovers. Their raw diet consisted of raw meat, bones, and meaty organs.
When hunters of the tribe got back with their prey of the day, dogs always got their share.
In most situations, dogs even assisted in the hunt.
Hunting as a pack member is in a dog’s DNA because they come from wolves. Imagine the level of pack mentality of Huskies and their ability to hunt.
As wolf-like dogs, Huskies are very similar to their ancestors in size, appearance, and behavior.
Thus, it’s natural to serve them raw food.
Even though today’s Huskies are fully domesticated and friendly, their prey drive is still present. Their jaws are still strong, and their teeth are sharp and pointy. These dogs have physical predispositions to eat raw.
Dogs aren’t meant to chew their food as humans do. They move their jaws up and down and swallow their food almost intact.
As such, Huskies are ideal candidates for a raw diet.
What Is A BARF Diet?
I bet you have heard of the term BARF diet. Every dog owner that’s into raw feeding has. You won’t find this term in a commercial dog food because BARF diet stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food and Bones and Raw Food.
The whole BARF Diet movement was founded by a professional veterinarian and nutritionist Ian Billinghurst.
Mr. Billinghurst figured out a unique meal plan for dogs that was still a terrific protein source packed with other vitamins, minerals, and supplements.
It’s the Husky raw diet we know and discuss today.
But the BARF Diet isn’t just for Siberian Huskies. All dogs can consume raw meat and raw bones. After all, they come from the same ancestor that used to love eating raw — the wolf.
The BARF Diet wasn’t designed just because Mr. Billinghurst was bored. He knew exactly what kind of benefits a raw diet offered. And now, you’re about to learn those benefits too!
What Are The Benefits Of A Raw Diet?
I’m really glad even the scientists have confirmed the many benefits of raw food for dogs.
I mean, would we still have dogs today if raw food weren’t so good for them in the past?
The raw diet managed to raise our dogs and bring them throughout the centuries. Who are we to say it’s not good or it’s too problematic to handle?
The numerous benefits of a raw diet can’t all fit into one sentence, so I’ll divide them into several paragraphs for easier understanding.
Familiar With The Ingredients
Sadly, our canine buddies can be allergic to some foods, and finding them store-bought food that contains zero allergens can be tricky. That’s why a lot of dog owners opt to make their own meals for their four-legged buddies.
When you make your Husky a raw diet meal, you know exactly what goes inside one. You can add all the ingredients your dog likes and avoid the ones that he is allergic to or simply the ones he doesn’t like.
You won’t find any artificial flavor, colors, or something worse in the raw diet. Only the good stuff goes in such meals.
How can a bag of kibble ever beat that?
Numerous Health Benefits
It’s proven that dogs that eat raw food have shinier and healthier coats. They don’t shed like crazy, and they don’t have bald patches on their coats. We all know how much Huskies shed. They’re notorious for it.
But everything can go down the drain — all your fancy grooming brushes and tools — if you don’t offer your dog a nutrient-rich diet.
One of the ways to stop your dog from shedding is introducing a healthy diet. It’s scientifically proven that poor ingredients in a bag of kibble may cause hair loss and skin problems.
Switch that with a home-cooked meal packed with real proteins, minerals, and vitamins, and you’ll have nothing to worry about.
Another benefit of giving your Husky raw diet meals is the regulation of bowel movements. Raw food tends to be rich in natural fibers, which help to promote regular stools of normal consistency.
Also, some owners add yogurt or dairy products that contain probiotics and prebiotics for a stronger and better-functioning digestive system.
Lastly, we shouldn’t forget to mention a boosted immune system! Dogs with a strong immune system resist disease easier than those without it. It’s as simple as that!
A Husky that eats raw is likely to have more energy than his buddies that eat kibble or wet food.
What’s the first thing you notice about a Husky dog? He’s an active doggy!
Huskies have always been working dogs with lots of energy. They need a balanced diet that will help them store energy for sled pulling or everyday shenanigans.
Sadly, some kibble has pretty low nutritional values, so it doesn’t provide enough energy reserves for your doggo.
But the raw dog food has it all to keep your Husky up and running. Trust me, these dogs are extra, and they need a little bit extra of everything. Pet food isn’t just something you throw into the feeder. Make it delicious, nutritious, and valuable.
What Are The Downsides Of A Raw Diet?
Everything has good sides and bad sides. So does feeding your Husky a raw diet.
Raw diet meals bring so many benefits to your dog’s health, but downsides aren’t too far behind either.
What I want to emphasize is that I’m not saying you shouldn’t feed your Husky raw just because such meals can be time-consuming or expensive. I want to give you all the details about this diet so you can decide on your own.
Most dog owners won’t mind the price of the ingredients, especially if they’re buying in bulk or if they have a butcher friend.
But some owners will. Also, some owners will be bothered by the fact raw meals can spoil easily.
What are the exact downsides of a Husky raw diet? We’re about to see…
Food is getting more expensive every day. Meat was always pricey, but these days, the prices are sky-high. When a diet consists mostly of meat, you’ll definitely notice the high cost of the ingredients.
But the price factor is not a downside you can’t control. Sure, you can’t control price tags in the market, but there are some ways to outsmart society.
My dad used to say that every family must have a good butcher or be familiar with one. That is, if you eat meat. I like to spin his saying a bit and add that every dog owner must have a butcher friend.
I’m cool with the guys at my local store, and they always keep me organ meat and scraps for my dogs with each purchase.
Of course, I still buy lean meat, but getting some meaty bones or chicken livers is always a nice bonus.
Prices can also be altered if you buy in large quantities. Buy in bulk because that always saves some money.
If you buy lots of meat and other ingredients in large amounts and you prepare and freeze meals out of it, you’ll be set for a while and always have a meal ready.
We all live a fast life and rarely does anyone have some extra time to cook extra meals. To be honest, I don’t have time to cook for myself too often.
But I manage to find time to cook for my dogs. I put my dogs first no matter what.
Meal prepping can be so time-consuming! Still, I know a few ways to manipulate time and make the preparation shorter.
What I like to do is pick ingredients that are simple to clean, chop, and prepare. Ground meat always helps, as well as some pre-sliced veggies like pumpkin.
I have bags of chopped veggies in my freezer to simplify my meals and my dogs’ when it’s necessary.
Also, what I do from time to time is pick a day of the week and multitask. If I want to cook meals for my dogs, I put on a big pot of meat with veggies, broth, some brown rice, or oats, and I make several meals out of it.
Then, I freeze those meals into portions, and I have them ready for consumption.
You can make as many meals like this as you want.
A Husky raw diet meal doesn’t have to be time-consuming at all. Prepare meals while you’re watching your favorite show or talking on the phone!
Easier To Become Spoiled
Just like any homemade meal, a raw diet meal for your Husky can easily become spoiled if not treated the right way. This process is even faster in warm climates or if it’s too hot inside your home.
Never leave food out for too long. It’s a general rule for food to be out for no more than two hours. However, I recommend you make that time even shorter.
As soon as the food is cold and you want to serve it again, place it in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.
That’s why you should never feed your dog meals that smell questionable.
If you believe it’s spoiled, toss it away!
Another issue that may occur with the food’s validity is the way the meals are prepared.
Always clean the surfaces you’re preparing your food on, as well as your hands, ingredients, tools, and containers in which you store it. A pair of dirty hands can destroy a meal for good.
What Should A Husky Raw Diet Consist Of?
If you want your Husky raw diet meals to be fully beneficial, you should know exactly which goodies to put inside. A raw diet meal doesn’t only consist of lean meat and bones.
It’s important to know the percentage of each group of ingredients that goes into a raw meal.
The biggest part of each meal is certainly lean meat. You should ensure at least 70% of lean meat for each meal. This includes muscle meat as the most nutritious kind.
Moving on, 10% goes to bones, mostly meaty bones. I don’t recommend you cook bones of any kind as they usually become too weak and split into splinters, and those can severely harm your dog.
Pick smaller bones like chicken or turkey necks, something your butcher can chop up or grind for you.
We’re still not done with meat. Including 5% of something may not seem like too much, but in this case, it is. A total of 5% goes to the liver, an excellent source of zinc, iron, phosphorus, and vitamins.
The next 5% is for organ meat, i.e. lungs, brain, tongue, kidney, heart, etc.
It sounds gross to us humans, but it’s super delicious to our Husky buddies.
Lastly, a raw food diet shouldn’t go without fruits, veggies, and good grains. This is the part where you can be as creative as you want. Of course, remember which fruits and veggies dogs can eat and which are forbidden.
Fruits and veggies are an abundance of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, fibers, and phytochemicals. I normally recommend a healthy mixture of both, i.e. spinach and blueberries in one meal or apples and kale. Use your imagination.
What Kind Of Meat Should Huskies Eat?
To be honest, dogs enjoy all kinds of meat. Some prefer chicken, while others prefer raw fish. If you’ve ever wondered which animal protein is natural and holistic to dogs, it’s lamb.
People in the past didn’t really have many chickens or much beef to consume. What they did have was sheep. Hence all those shepherd dog breeds!
Other than lamb, Huskies can absolutely consume poultry of all kinds (chicken, duck, turkey, etc.), lamb, beef, venison, raw fish (preferably salmon), pork, rabbits, and small prey animals.
If one source of protein suits your dog, don’t switch it abruptly for another one. Chicken is cheap, but some dogs are allergic to it, so there’s no point in experimenting and risking your dog’s health.
I recommend you pick the type of proteins that are easiest to find. Sure, salmon is delicious and full of nutrients, but maybe your local grocery store doesn’t carry it. What would you do if you ran out of it? Your Husky may not like the switch.
Stick with common ingredients. Venison isn’t something you order off Amazon.
Creating Meals: How Much Raw Food Should A Husky Eat?
Feeding your Husky a raw diet doesn’t mean you should let him eat as much as he wants. Even raw diet meals have recommended quantities, and you should stick to them.
Overeating and obesity are severe issues with Huskies, so be careful.
Every Husky should have controlled meals with specific amounts so they stay fit and healthy.
Usually, dogs have two meals a day. I would recommend the same with Huskies. Just make sure you adjust the amount of food given with each meal. This is where that meal prepping and freezing into portions comes in handy.
The total amount of food for your Husky on a daily basis will depend on several factors.
When determining the quantity of a single meal, we should keep in mind the stage of life that the dog’s currently in, the level of activity, and the overall health status.
Active dogs always need more food.
A Husky puppy eats three to four meals a day, but the calorie intake isn’t as high as with adult dogs.
An average adult Husky should eat 2 to 4% of its weight. A kitchen scale will be your best friend when it comes to planning and serving your Husky raw diet meals.
For example, if your Husky weighs 60 pounds and he’s highly active, you should multiply his weight by, let’s say, 3.5%.
So: 60lbs x 3.5% = 2.1 lbs
Your Husky is entitled to 2.1 pounds of raw food each day. Divide this amount equally into two meals.
Puppies and senior dogs need 1.5 to 2% food of their weight.
Should Huskies Eat Human Food?
Well, basically, raw food is human food, but it’s usually not cooked. Dogs that eat raw eat all the ingredients humans normally eat with the exception of bones and some organ meat.
A short answer would be: Yes, Huskies can eat human food.
But let’s go into detail and discuss what kind of human food.
The list of forbidden and allowed ingredients for dogs is quite long. What every new dog owner must know is that there are some ingredients dogs should never consume.
The first three foods are onions, garlic, and chocolate. They can cause severe complications and may even have a fatal outcome.
PupVine’s done a fair share of articles that detail the no-list for dogs. Some of them are pretty obvious, while some are a surprise.
Check out why dogs shouldn’t eat:
Of course, the list of allowed ingredients is long too. There we have:
Besides, junk food is packed with bad carbohydrates. What good comes out of that?
No matter how much your dog begs you to share a bite with him, don’t let your guard down.
Why Shouldn’t Your Husky Eat Raw?
Before we jump to raw food recipes, I want to give you some advice for situations when raw food isn’t advised for your Husky.
Don’t worry, it’s not because some people believe a raw diet is linked with aggressive behavior. That’s nonsense.
Situations in which you wouldn’t want to feed your Husky a raw diet include health problems that may prevent your dog from enjoying his usual raw meals.
In fact, some of the conditions require an abrupt ban on raw food to prevent further complications.
We’ll start with the most dangerous condition: canine cancer. It strikes all dog breeds, including Huskies, and it’s not something you can prevent. Unfortunately, that’s the truth. But you can fight it, treat it, and try not to make things worse.
If your Husky has cancer and wants to eat raw food, you should stop it. No matter how high-quality that meal is, the raw food can cause your dog to vomit yellow matter and thus make the condition even worse.
Huskies with other conditions like digestive problems shouldn’t consume raw food either. They’re better off with dry food for sensitive tummies.
Nothing raw should enter their digestive system, not even the raw eggs some owners like to give their dogs for a shinier coat.
Every dog with some sort of a condition should be under vet’s supervision. Canine kidney patients should be on a special diet controlled by their vet. Raw food is not an option.
Top 3 Raw Diet Meal Ideas With Recipes
When you decide to feed your Husky a raw diet, chances are you’ll stumble upon some issues with meal diversity. I get it, we all lose our inspiration when it comes to cooking meals on a daily basis.
Even though our dogs don’t savor their food, it’s still important to bring a balanced and interesting meal to the food bowl.
I’m sure your Husky won’t mind if you serve chicken several times in a row, but after a while, he might get bored of it and decline his meals. No one likes to eat the same food all the time. That’s why we all Google for meal ideas.
When you’re a dog owner with a dog that eats raw, meal ideas for dogs are also in the search bar.
To save you some trouble and ease the meal prep for you, I’ve gathered some pretty interesting meal ideas. You can adjust the ingredients and prepare as much as you want.
Of course, you can also freeze them so you have a meal ready when you’re in a hurry!
Pork And Fish Feast
Normally, I don’t combine contrasting proteins in my or my dogs’ diet, but this combination was a nice surprise.
Adding fish to a dog’s diet will bring lots of benefits. Fish is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, iron, etc. An abundance of goodness is hidden in all kinds of fish.
For this recipe, you can use any type of fish you want. I normally use salmon when I want to treat my dogs, but mackerel is pretty good too.
What you do is chop the pork meat and debone the fish. We don’t want any bones getting stuck in your dogs’ teeth or injuring them.
Once everything is nicely chopped, add veggies or fruits you like, i.e. butternut squash, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or some apples. Pork and apples always go hand in hand.
The important thing is to keep the ration in favor of meat. Also, don’t forget to avoid adding chunks of food that are too big for your dog to swallow. Huskies are pretty greedy when it comes to food, and they often don’t see what they’re eating.
This pork and fish meal is an absolute feast.
Turkey has gone green.
Just kidding! Turkey’s always been a healthy meat option, but now, in this recipe, it’s fortified with good green veggies.
Use the recommended percentage of meat in all meals to put this one together. You’ll need lean turkey meat like thighs or breast, then some turkey organs like liver, and lastly turkey necks to serve as meaty bones.
As for the green part, combine zucchini, lettuce, broccoli, and sweet potatoes. I know that last one isn’t a green veggie, but it’s packed with good carbs, fibers, and beta carotene.
Make sure everything is chopped up nicely, and voila: Your Husky can enjoy some healthy turkey.
Learn more on how to cook sweet potatoes for dogs.
Almost sounds like leafy greens, doesn’t it?
Well, we’ve got that part covered too. For this recipe, you’re gonna need all the healthy green veggies like kale, celery, collard greens, and also a green fruit — apples!
I recommend you grind the beef, including the organ meat and meaty bones for a compact mashup. Beef meat is often a bit chewy and difficult to digest, so it’s better to have it smooth and grounded.
Add one organic egg to the mixture to help everything come together.
This one kind of looks like a canine hamburger, doesn’t it?
There you have it: Your Husky can now munch on this lovely beefy dinner!
What’s The Verdict?
Now that you know pretty much everything about it, would you feed your Husky raw diet meals?
You’ve seen the benefits, and you’re familiar with the downsides. Which side will prevail?
The first time I heard about feeding dogs raw food was in my childhood. I thought it was normal.
But society teaches us differently. Instead, kibble is considered normal and dogs that eat raw meals are thought to be more dangerous. I guess people immediately equate raw food with blood and aggression.
(Shaking my head)
As you can see, a Husky raw diet is not something you should be afraid of. It’s quite simple to learn how to prepare raw meals and which ingredients to include. If you’re ever in doubt, you can run it by your vet and ask for some guidelines.
I’m pawsitive lots of my fellow DVMs will be thrilled to see a new addition to the raw diet club!