How to Help a Siberian Husky Lose Weight

BY | September 20 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
How to Help a Siberian Husky Lose Weight

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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 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 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 a 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 your 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.

Getting Your Dog or Cat to Lose Weight

Getting your pet to shed some pounds requires consistency and dedication. Learn the tricks and tips you need to get your pet back into shape here.

When cats and dogs gain weight, it’s generally the result of excessive eating and insufficient exercise. So it should come as no surprise that to help pets take off the pounds, you’ll need to increase their amount of exercise and decrease their amount of food. Before instituting any major change to your pet’s diet or exercise regimen, please take some time to consult with your veterinarian about the best weight loss strategy. In general, it’s best for dietary shifts and increased exercise to be implemented gradually.

Changes to Diet & Feeding Habits

Making the following adjustments to how your pet is provided with food can make a huge difference to the amount of calories being ingested.

Switch Foods

It’s worth taking the time to check the ingredients of the primary food your pet eats. A nutritionally sound food will list meat as the main ingredient and not a meat by-product. Avoid foods that have a carbohydrate, such as grains or corn, as the primary ingredient.

Stop Feeding Pets Human Food

It’s easy to give pets scraps of your food, especially since they seem to want it so badly. But even small scraps of human food can add up to lots of extra calories. Giving a pet your leftovers for dinner can allow them to cherry-pick the high-calorie items - even if it looks like not much was eaten, your pet may have ingested a significant amount of calories.

Reduce & Switch Treats

It’s worth repeating: Food is not love. Treats are a nice way to reward your pet’s good behavior and a helpful training tool. However, giving your pet treats to show affection can easily introduce lots of extra calories to your pet’s diet, especially if you feel particularly affectionate toward your cat or dog. Try praising pets in some of the situations when you’d normally give out a treat. Also, check on the ingredients within the treats - just like the snacks that people eat, pet treats are often an unhealthy choice. Look for options that are low-fat, and keep in mind that treats should be a very small percentage of your pet’s total dietary intake.

Portion Control

Pouring food into a bowl can be deceptive. Is that really a cup, or have you strayed over? Just a little bit of extra food each day can make a big difference. Measure your pet’s food, whether it’s wet or dry, and provide the same amount of food daily. Keep in mind also that the guidelines on the pet food packaging are not always precise - your vet can help you determine the right amount of food for your pet.

Feed Pets Several Small Meals

For pets that are overweight, the “free food” method, with food constantly available, may not work well since pets may have trouble self-regulating how much they eat. Instead, feed your cat or dog several small meals throughout the day.

Exercise and Move Around

Food plays a big role in weight gain, but a lack of exercise could also be the reason your cat or dog is growing in size. Walking, jogging, swimming, playing fetch, and hiking are all great ways to get your dog to burn off calories. (Some fitness options may make more sense for some breeds than others.) Avoid shocking your dog’s system, and do not institute a vigorous exercise routine abruptly. Build up exercise tolerance slowly -- get your dog accustomed to a long daily walk before going on a strenuous hike. During the summer heat, too, be conscious that dogs can’t sweat to cool off, and avoid overdoing it since that can lead to heat exhaustion. With cats, try playing games - use a laser pointer to encourage cats to jump and frolic around, or try toys covered in catnip or even something as simple as an empty paper bag or crumpled piece of paper for them to chase around. Also, try providing a cat tree or cat climbing furniture.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get my Siberian husky to lose weight?

To help your Siberian husky lose weight, you should first consult with a veterinarian to determine a healthy weight goal and to rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to weight gain. Once you have a weight goal, you can use a combination of diet and exercise to help your dog lose weight. When it comes to diet, feed your dog a high-quality, low-calorie dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. Measure out your dog's food and limit treats. Also, avoid human food and table scraps. In terms of exercise, provide your dog with regular exercise, such as daily walks, runs, or playtime. Gradually increase the intensity and duration of exercise as your dog loses weight. Encourage your dog to be active throughout the day by providing interactive toys, puzzles, and other activities. Weight loss should be gradual, and you should monitor your dog's weight and body condition regularly. If you see any signs of weight loss that is too rapid, or if your dog is not losing weight despite your best efforts, consult your veterinarian again.

How long does it take a Husky to lose weight?

The length of time it takes for a Siberian husky to lose weight will depend on several factors, including the dog's current weight, desired weight, and age and activity level. In general, it is recommended to aim for a weight loss of around 1-2% of the dog's body weight per week. This is considered a safe and healthy rate of weight loss for dogs. For example, if your husky currently weighs 50 pounds and you want to get them down to 45 pounds, it will take around 4-8 weeks. However, this is just a rough estimate, and the actual rate of weight loss can vary based on the individual dog and its specific needs. It's always best to consult with a veterinarian and monitor your dog's body condition and weight loss progress. Weight loss should not be rushed, and it is better to take it slowly, as weight loss that is too rapid can be dangerous for a dog. Also, it's important to focus not only on weight loss but also on the overall health of the dog.

How can I help my overweight Husky?

Helping an overweight Siberian husky lose weight and improve their overall health will involve a combination of diet and exercise. Before making any changes to your dog's diet or exercise routine, it's important to consult with a veterinarian to determine a healthy weight goal and to rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to weight gain. Feed your dog high-quality, low-calorie dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. Measure out your dog's food and limit treats. Avoid human food and table scraps. Consult with a veterinarian or a professional nutritionist to help you create an appropriate diet plan. Provide your dog with regular exercise, such as daily walks, runs, or playtime. Gradually increase the intensity and duration of exercise as your dog loses weight. Encourage your dog to be active throughout the day by providing interactive toys, puzzles, and other activities. Keep track of your dog's weight and body condition, and monitor progress regularly. If you see any signs of weight loss that are too rapid, or if your dog is not losing weight despite your best efforts, consult your veterinarian again. Remember that weight loss should be gradual, and you should not rush the process. It may take time for your dog to lose weight and reach their healthy weight goal. Instead of focusing only on weight loss, focus on the overall health of your dog. Weight loss should be a byproduct of a healthy diet and exercise routine.

Do green beans help dogs lose weight?

Green beans can be a healthy and low-calorie addition to a dog's diet and can potentially help with weight loss. They are a good source of fiber which can help to keep a dog feeling full and satisfied, which may lead to eating less overall. Green beans are also low in calories and fat, making them a good option to add to a weight-loss diet. Additionally, green beans are a good source of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A, and are also a good source of antioxidants which can help to boost your dog's overall health. Green beans should not be the only source of nutrition in a dog's diet and should be given in moderation. Green beans should be given as a supplement to a balanced diet. They should not replace any of the essential nutrients that a dog needs. Also, it's important to check that your dog doesn't have any allergies or sensitivities to green beans before adding them to their diet.

Is walking enough exercise for a Husky?

Walking can be a great exercise for a Siberian husky, but it may not be enough to meet all their exercise needs. Huskies are a high-energy breed that was originally bred for work, such as pulling sleds, and they have a strong desire to run and play. In addition to daily walks, huskies may also benefit from additional forms of exercise, such as running, hiking, swimming, or playing fetch. It is recommended to aim for at least 30-60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per day, depending on the individual dog's needs. However, it is important to gradually increase the intensity and duration of exercise as your dog loses weight to avoid any injuries. Huskies also have a strong desire to work, and providing them with mental stimulation can be just as important as providing them with physical exercise. Activities such as obedience training, agility training, interactive toys, puzzles, and games can help to keep a husky's mind active and engaged. Each dog is different, and their exercise needs may vary based on factors such as age, health, and overall fitness.

More on Diets for Weight Loss

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This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, diagnosis, or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.
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