If you have the time and a little extra money, you might want to feed your husky his own homemade food. Doing so allows you to control the ingredients, and you can make sure you know exactly what your pet is eating. Many commercial dog foods can be very healthy, but with all of the advertising noise surrounding pet foods, you might get confused by mixed messages. By performing some basic internet research, talking to your vet, and following a few simple guidelines, you can create the best dog food for huskies with delicious, nutritious homemade meals.
Consider a husky's heritage
Even though you can find any type of dog in almost every country in the world, dogs evolved over many generations in specific geographic areas. This means they ate foods common in those countries. That means that sheep herding dogs ate lots of lamb. Portuguese water dogs, for instance, which helped fishermen fill their nets, ate lots of fish.
Huskies are cold-weather dogs that come from regions such as Siberia and Alaska. If your dog is a mix or you aren't sure exactly what type of husky you have, ask the person who gave or sold your husky to you or ask your vet. You can use a doggie DNA test to get information to help you. Once you know where your dog comes from, you can try to include more specific meat, fish, or poultry choices based on your dog's heritage.
If your dog is an Alaskan husky, for example, add more wild-caught Alaskan salmon to his diet. If you have a Siberian husky, see how he likes venison.
All meat or a combo?
Dogs are descended from wolves. Have you ever seen a pack of wolves or wild dingos hunting tomatoes? How about wheat? Probably not. That's because wolves and dogs aren't farmers — they are carnivores. However, based on modern humans' habit of feeding dogs human foods, many dogs are now more easily able to metabolize complex carbohydrates. Still, make the focal point of your dog food a lean animal protein source so you don't fight a dog's genetic evolution.
The American Kennel Club provides a list of fruits and vegetables dogs can tolerate. Some fruits, like cherries, contain cyanide and can be toxic for dogs if eaten in certain quantities. Chocolate contains theobromine, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and death if eaten in large amounts.
Try to go natural
Once you've decided on your ingredients, look for natural choices. Organics are usually more expensive than commercially produced foods and may not be that much more nutritious. However, foods loaded with additives, preservatives, colorings, sweeteners, and other artificial ingredients might not be good for your dog.
If you can afford it, opt for grass-fed or free-range meats and poultry choices that don't contain any growth hormones or antibiotics. Even here, no studies have conclusively proven that antibiotics and hormones fed to livestock transfer to the humans and pets who eat them and cause specific health problems.
Create a repeatable process
If you're going to make homemade food for your husky on a regular basis, you're going to want to set up a process that lets you easily store, prepare, and refrigerate leftover ingredients time after time. Write a list of the equipment you'll need (such as a food processor, grater, peeler, and storage containers) and purchase them.
You might not have a problem using the same containers for the meat and vegetables you mix for your dog, but it might freak out your family or guests, so consider buying a separate set of equipment for dog food making and storing.
Start out experimenting
Don't invest in large quantities of any ingredients until you find out if your husky likes what you've created. Also, don't let your first attempt be your only indicator. Your dog might balk at a new food the first time you serve it (especially if she's not hungry) but might start to take to it on subsequent servings. The same is true for a dog that enjoys your first new homemade dish but then later rejects it.
You can try combining raw foods or slightly cooking them to see how your dog likes these different husky meals. Cooking some foods brings out their sugars and makes them taste sweeter. Ask your vet for advice regarding serving raw or cooked foods to your pet.
If you're planning on taking your dog for a run or outdoor exercise shortly after you feed her, you might want to feed her more carbs than normal. Don't feed a meal of heavy protein to a dog right before bedtime either. As far as daily calories go, aim for between 860 and 1,290 per day based on the dog's age, size, and activity level.
Get some advice on husky meals
Look for online forums where you can ask other dog owners what homemade dog food options work for them. If possible, look for forums of husky owners, drilling down to the type of husky you own. Ask a breeder of huskies and your vet for advice.
Ask about adding garlic to the food as a way to help ward off fleas and ticks. A professional pet sitter deals with many different breeds and sees what many different owners feed their pets and can be a wealth of information.
Follow the results
Track the results of your new homemade husky food recipes for at least two weeks. Write notes about which foods your dog lapped up immediately and enthusiastically and which he hesitated to start eating. You can set out two bowls of different foods and see which your dog eats first. Try this not only with your homemade foods but also by offering a choice of store-bought and homemade bowls of food. Don't forget that a homemade dog food can consist of a combination of fresh ingredients and commercial dog foods.
Make sure your dog has plenty of fresh water next to his dog bowl at each meal. This will allow him to lap up some water if your recipe is a bit dry and will keep you dog satisfied with your meal.
Don't forget that dogs like routines. If your dog opts for one dish over another, it might be because that dish was served in his regular dish, and you used a new dish or one of your human bowls or plates for the other. Even moving a dog's bowl from one part of the house to another can stress your dog and cause a bad reaction to the new location and new food.