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How to Help a Siberian Husky Lose Weight

By Team PetCareRx. July 09, 2012 | See Comments

How to Help a Siberian Husky Lose Weight

Huskies need a good balance of high-quality dog food and daily exercise to ensure they stay in good shape. Learn how to manage a Husky's nutritional needs here.

Siberian Huskies were bred to be hard-working dogs under the toughest possible conditions. To be healthy and fit, Siberians need the right amount of a high-quality dog food, and they need daily exercise in accordance with their needs as an energetic working breed. Your Siberian Husky is overweight if you cannot easily feel the ribs when you run your hand over the dog’s sides. If you don't see a waistline, the dog is obese. To help your Siberian Husky lose excess weight, feed the proper amount of a high-quality dog food, cut out the extras, and provide the daily exercise your dog needs.

Healthy Diet

Siberian Huskies require the correct amount of a nutritionally balanced diet to maintain their muscular bodies and physical stamina. A healthy diet for an adult Siberian consists of amino acids and proteins from meat and plant foods. A well-balanced diet also requires fats, vitamins, and minerals to supply energy and maintain a healthy coat. When choosing a commercially prepared dog food for your Siberian Husky, select a brand labeled "complete and balanced," meaning it meets the nutritional requirements to be a dog's sole nourishment, as established by the American Association of Feed Control Officials. Many dog food brands provide foods for specific life stages that ensure a nutritionally balanced diet for senior dogs, nursing or pregnant dogs, overweight dogs and puppies. Feeding your dog one of the appropriate dog foods helps maintain healthy weight.

Treats

Remove treats and table scraps from your overweight Siberian Husky’s diet. If you train your dog using treats as rewards, substitute the dog’s kibble for the treats, and subtract the amount from your dog's daily ration. Whenever you reward your dog with any kind of food, count it as part of the dog’s daily food intake, and cut the dog's ration accordingly. Since Siberian Huskies belong to the working group, they enjoy earning their food. You do not have to feed them their daily meal from a bowl but can give it to them throughout the day as they work or perform. However, make sure you're keeping track of how much you give your dog.

Dog Food Chart

As with humans, the caloric intake a Siberian Husky needs depends on the amount of daily exercise the dog gets. Dog food labels offer recommended daily feeding amounts for dogs, usually based on weight and activity levels. These charts are rough estimates and are not correct for every dog. If you have been going by the dog food label of a high-quality dog food and your Siberian is overweight, you should cut the daily ration. If your dog is elderly or unable to exercise, consult your veterinarian about changing to a dog food formulated for the dog's specific nutrition needs and activity level.

Measuring

Measure your dog’s daily ration instead of free-feeding the dog. Begin by decreasing the amount you've been feeding by 1/2-cup increments until your Siberian Husky begins to lose weight. Divide the total ration into two, or preferably three, daily meals. Giving several meals per day will prevent a cycle of overloading the stomach and then allowing the dog to get hungry. It also will help reduce the risk of bloat, also called gastric dilation and volvulus, a potentially fatal medical emergency. Once your Siberian Husky reaches the ideal weight, keep the food portion consistent, but always look at your dog at feeding time to keep close track of weight gains and losses and make minor adjustments accordingly. Just reaching the ideal weight is not enough. You must stabilize it, and the only way to do that is to pay attention.

Considerations

Male Siberians usually weigh from 45 to 60 pounds, and females weigh from 35 to 50 pounds, according to the American Kennel Club. Obesity can cause joint disease, pain, cardiac disease, skin allergies, and respiratory problems at any age. Ask your veterinarian about the ideal weight for your Siberian Husky and the recommended number of daily calories you dog should eat for good health.

The Siberian husky is an overall healthy breed with few genetic defects or health conditions, according to the Siberian Husky Club of America. Siberians can suffer from hip dysplasia. Keeping this breed’s weight in the normal range helps relieve the stresses on the hip joint and ligaments that excess weight can cause.

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