There are many Huskies out there who drive their poor owners crazy with their picky eating habits. These Huskies seem to pull their nose at every food placed before them. They can be habitually bad eaters or sometimes they are seasonally poor eaters. We have discussed the particular and unique needs of the Husky diet in previous articles.
It does not really matter how a Husky come to be underweight, whether illness or rescued from a neglectful situation, sometimes it becomes crucial that you find a food that is palatable for the dog so that he can get some much needed calories and nourishment into his body IMMEDIATELY. When it is medically unsafe for your dog to be at the weight that he is at, then the scheduled use of Satin Balls may be warranted. You can find recipes for Satin Balls further in the article.
First eliminate the following:
Poor Quality Diet
Food not high enough in protein and contains wheat, corn, or soy. Many Huskies won’t eat food that they instinctively know is not good for them.
Huskies seem to do best when the protein base of their food is rotated every three months. It seems to follow the changing of the seasons. So if your Husky loved his chicken based food for the last three months but now won’t eat it, try switching the main protein ingredient to salmon, duck, turkey, etc. and see if that does not entice your picky eater to start eating again. Be prepared to rotate the protein base in another three or 4 months.
Northern Breed dogs as well as many Giant Breeds have a higher than average zinc requirement. Zinc is the second most used element in the body. It needs to be present and available for a long list of body processes. Along with Zinc Responsive Dermatosis (ZRD) digestive issues (included in this is a lack of appetite) is another common symptom of early onset ZRD. Add extra zinc (25 mgs. per 50 pounds of dog weight of zinc in chelated, picolinate or gluconate form) to your dog’s diet and see if their appetite and digestion improves.
If your Husky is not eating for extended periods of time, make sure that a vet checks out the dog for other underlying medical conditions causing the not eating. While periodic fussiness or pickiness in Huskies is common, extended long term not eating can be associated with a general failure to thrive or other medical conditions.
Do have your Husky checked out by a vet BUT do not be talked into placing your Husky on brand name prescription “vet food”. These foods are often high in wheat, corn, and soy and will only cause more digestive issues in your Husky. If a food change is order, make sure that you change to a food that supports the unique needs of your Northern Breed dog.
Satin Balls Recipes
Satin Balls are a very high calorie, very enticing food, used for getting nutrition and calories into dogs that are not eating. This is by no means a complete food. It is NOT meant to be fed as a long term option. It is VERY high in calories and fat and it is meant to be used in emergencies and as a stop-gap measure to immediately place nutrition into a dog.
It can be used sparingly to entice a very picky dog to start eating but this cannot be the only food they eat in the long term. You can also try mixing in this food along with your dog’s kibble to see if this mixture will excite their taste buds. Please use good judgement when using this food. Long term use of high fat food will take a toll on your dog’s liver so be mindful of how and when you use this food.
There are a lot of variations of this recipe out there but many of them have added sugar or the use of boxed breakfast cereals as one of their ingredients. In the case of Huskies, wheat, corn, or soy should be avoided so I have only included versions of this recipe that do not use the boxed cereal ingredient. Steel cut oats are a much better alternative ingredient than boxed breakfast cereals . I have also included a few different versions of this recipe in hopes that one of these versions will pique your Husky’s interest.
You will want to print these recipes out and have them on hand should you ever need them, especially if you are dealing with a very sick dog. You do not want to spend time searching the archives for this post during a dog health emergency.
These recipes call for approximate amounts of ingredients. Mix in ratios to create a workable food base.
Satin Balls Recipe #1 (small batch)
- 1 pound of regular ground beef,
- 1 8oz. Package of cream cheese,
- 1 small jar of natural crunchy peanut butter,
- 1 small jar of wheat germ (non GMO source) (wheat germ is used more efficiently than whole wheat products),
- 12 egg yolks or 12 whole eggs (add more oats to stiffen up the mixture if you are using the whole egg),
- All the crushed eggs shells,
- 1 cup of steel cut oats that have been soaked in milk or cream.
- Mix together all ingredients.
- Form into large golf ball sized portions or 3 inch long fat logs.
- Arrange on a flat surface and freeze until the portions are frozen hard.
- Place into freezer bag to keep for future use.
- Remove from freezer and unthaw portions in fridge to use.
Satin Balls Recipe #2 (very large batch)
- 10 pounds of regular grind hamburger,
- 2 – 8oz packages of cream cheese at room temperature,
- 1 – 454gr package of wheat germ,
- 2 pounds of cooked steel cut oats,
- 10 whole eggs hard boiled plus crushed shells,
- 1 ¼ cups olive oil,
- 10 pkgs unflavoured gelatin in just enough hot water to dissolve the crystals,
- 1 ¼ cups dark molasses.
*This mixture is very stiff so attempting to mix it together as one batch will not work very well. Divide meat into a few smaller portions, add the proper ratio of the other combined ingredients to the smaller portions, mix well, and eventually add all the mixed portions together and continue mixing well together. *
- Cook meat and reserve some of the fat to mix back into mixture.
- Divide into portions.
- Dissolve gelatin in a small amount of hot water. Divide into as many portions as the meat has been divided.
- Divide cream cheese into equal portions.
- Cook oats as per instructions on package. Divide into portions.
- Shell and chop eggs. Crush shells into mixture mixing well. Divide into portions.
- Add wheat germ and divide into portions.
- Add olive oil to the portions.
- Add molasses to the portions.
- Mix individual portions together well. Add some of the reserved ground beef fat is the mixture is too thick.
- When all the individual portions are well mixed, mix all the portions together. Continue mixing until the whole mixture has been thoroughly mixed.
- Roll into portion sized balls or logs. Freeze flat and then store in freezer bags. This recipe makes about approximately 14 freezer bags of bars!
Satin Balls #3 (peanut butter and cheese – used for putting on weight)
- 1 pound raw hamburger (regular grind),
- 12 hard boiled eggs with shells crushed,
- 1 pound jar of natural crunchy peanut butter,
- 1 container of regular Quaker Oatmeal,
- 2 cups of evaporated milk (yes this does have a bit of sugar in it),
- 1 jar of wheat germ,
- 8 oz of cream cheese at room temperature,
- 1 envelope of unflavoured gelatin.
- In a bowl combine oatmeal and evaporated milk and allow to soak until oats are soft and the liquid has been absorbed.
- In another bowl, add the hamburger plus all the other ingredients except oatmeal mixture.
- Using your hands, mix all ingredients together well.
- Now add Oatmeal mixture and mix well again.
- Once the mixture is well blended, roll the mixture into small portion sized balls or logs.
- Arrange and freeze on a non stick cookie sheet.
- When the balls are frozen, store in freezer bags.
I hope you never need to use these recipes but if you, I hope it helps to get some much needed nutrition into your dog.
As always, we welcome your questions, comments and stories regarding this topic. When we share our stories we may well be helping someone who is struggling with their Snow Dog.
Helping ALL Snow Dogs … one owner at a time.
*Huskies with Liver disease should NOT be fed this food as their livers will not be able handle the high fat content of this food.