Why Is My Husky So Fat?

Overweight Husky eating peanut butter off a spoon

A Husky is a medium-sized and well-built dog breed. They are typically muscular and regal looking, given their lineage of being hard-working sled dogs.

However, when they are not pulling sleds and working hard in snowy conditions, they need to be kept active so they can be healthy and fit. If you notice that your Husky is putting on weight, that is certainly something you must pay attention to.

The following are possible reasons for your Husky’s sudden weight gain.

Improper Diet

An improper diet is one of the leading reasons for a Husky to gain weight. It could be that the Husky is getting the wrong kind of diet. Even if you are giving it the right kind of nutrition, perhaps you need to be more mindful of portion control.

Could it be that the dog is being fed twice by accident? Perhaps, you need to coordinate meal timings with all members of the household.

You also need to be disciplined about what kind of treats you are giving your pooch and how frequently they get to enjoy special treats. If they are eating carbohydrate-heavy treats every day, it is no longer a novel treat but simply becomes a part of their diet.

It would be useful to get an idea of how many calories a day your Husky should be getting, based on their age, gender, geographical location, etc. On average, a Husky should be getting 860 to 1290 calories in a day.

You should also ensure that they do not have access to food outside of mealtimes. If your Husky can get into the pantry easily, it is worth considering a different locking system. Simply pay attention to what you are feeding your pet and whether there is a chance others in the house are feeding them something that isn’t a part of their meal plan.

Lack of Exercise

Huskies are an active breed that needs to get a lot of exercise and stimulation. After all, they are snow dogs that manage to stay warm and active even in sub-zero temperatures!

Sure, their coat has a lot to do with how they stay warm in the Siberian winter, but one will never hear of a Husky going into hibernation or being lazy even in the coldest winter.

For a breed that likes to stay so active, it can have detrimental effects if they do not get the right kind of exercise. The weight gain is an obvious side effect of your Husky not getting the right kind of exercise.

However, it can also lead to other symptoms, such as restlessness and destructive behaviors. The energy that Huskies have needs to be expended somewhere. Simply taking them for a stroll once a day will not be enough.

They need to be able to exercise their limbs and run around freely if they wish to. Keeping a Husky confined in a small apartment can certainly have adverse effects on their health, including weight gain, depression and destructive behaviors.

Also Read: Are Huskies Good Guard Dogs?

Illness

Huskies may be prone to gaining weight if they suffer from hypothyroidism, which is a condition that is frequently occurring among Huskies. This is a condition where your Husky may not be producing enough of the thyroid hormone, which in turn will reduce their metabolic rate.

This can result in dry skin, hair loss, behavioral changes such as sudden aggression, and often even weight gain. If you suspect your dog’s thyroid levels are not balanced, you will need to get them tested.

Obesity, in general, is something that Huskies may be prone to, especially because they are such active dogs, so if they do not get the right kind of exercise and nutrition, it can be quite easy for them to gain weight.

Look out for other symptoms if you suspect that your Husky is suffering from an illness or a medical condition. The sooner you get the condition treated, the better it will be for your pooch’s health.

Genetic Condition

Your Husky’s weight gain may just be as a result of its genetic makeup. If the weight gain is not sudden and you have always noticed that your Husky has leaned towards the bulkier side on the weighing scale, then it is likely something that can be attributed to its ancestry.

Even so, there are ways to help it reduce weight if you pay attention to its diet and exercise. But if the vet does not see any issues with their health even if they tend to weigh slightly more, then it need not be something you have to worry about a lot.

Age

It could simply be age related. As your Husky grows older, they may not have the same strength and stamina to be active. Their limbs will grow weaker and their metabolism rate may also reduce. This is not something that is unique to Huskies as a breed, but is true for any kind of dog. As they grow older, you will notice changes in their body and behavior.

Do not fret about a little weight gain and drop in activity for your senior Husky. Simply provide them with the right kind of love and nourishment, and they will live a happy and content life.

Is It Fat or Just Fluffy?

You have to consider whether your Husky is actually fat or simply fluffy? Often when the Husky has been shaved (which is not recommended as they have their own system of shedding and growing new coats), you will find that the pooch is actually a lot smaller than they seem.

Their big and fluffy coat is what might make it seem like they are very big even if they are not. So simply run your hand over your Husky’s coat and ascertain whether they are actually gaining weight or if their coat is big.

How to Make Your Husky Reduce Weight

If your Husky has suddenly put on a considerable amount of weight, it need not be how things have to stay. There are a few things that you can do to help them lose weight and keep it off. The following are some important lifestyle aspects to consider:

Right Diet

It is important to ensure that your Husky is getting the right kind of diet, with a good balance of proteins and carbs. Sure, carbs may be what often leads to weight gain but a diet devoid of carbs will also not give them the energy they need to stay active. The key is to find a good balance so that your pooch’s dietary needs are taken care of.

If there are multiple members in your household who care for the pooch, then ensure there is coordination between everyone about what the pet is eating and when they have been fed.

Often, pets may be fed multiple times in a day by accident. You cannot rely on the dog to refuse food if they are getting a meal, even if they have already eaten. So, maintain clear coordination when it comes to their meal timings and try to avoid snacking or treats in between meals.

Calorie and Portion Control

Even if they are getting the right diet, you need to ensure that they are consuming the right amount of calories compared to how much they may be burning in a day. So portion control is important even if they are getting a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet.

It may be useful to invest in a kitchen scale or even plan their meals for the week ahead of time so you can take into account the number of calories in each meal.

Exercise Regime

It is important to maintain a proper exercise regime for your pooch. This requires some discipline on your end too as you need to be motivated to take your dog out every day and ensure they get an adequate amount of exercise.

If possible, you can even take them out to a farm or a large park once a week so they have some open space to run around in. Other than that, they need to get out of the house at least twice daily so they can stretch their limbs out and stay active.

If you cannot commit to an exercise plan for them, consider hiring a dog walker as this is not something that should be compromised on.

Also Read: Can Huskies Be Service Dogs?

Final Thoughts

A Husky is an active and well-built breed of dog that requires a lot of care and nutrition to live a healthy life. While they can be self-sufficient, they are working sled dogs and need to be kept stimulated.

If you notice your Husky is putting on more weight than usual, it is not something you should take lightly. Look into whether there has been a lifestyle change that may be attributed to this sudden weight gain.

If you draw a blank as to why your dog is gaining weight, consult a vet to get the required health screenings and checkups done. If the vet gives your pooch a clean chit even if they have put on a little weight, simply provide them a healthy diet and lifestyle but you need not worry about the weight gain.