Sick Husky

High Calorie Food For Picky Or Sick Huskies

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.

Medical Conditions

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.

14 thoughts on “High Calorie Food For Picky Or Sick Huskies”

  1. Annmarie Pattison

    My siberian Akira is 18 months old and only recently has stopped eating her foods I have tried everything I can think of from rice and chicken to raw ground beef to no avail she turns her nose up at everything I put in front of her she is still drinking plenty and loves her exercise and fun but just wont eat she keeps burying her food too…o ly thing that has changed is sadly in november my 13yr old labrador had to be put down…any advice?? Thanks

  2. Steph Packer

    I have a question about how much to feed my Siberian husky with the satin balls. Shes 10 lbs underweight and we need to get her up a few lbs. What size portion balls should I make? And how often?

  3. Hi,

    I made the peanut butter recipe for the satin ball. My husky refused to eat it. She is not eating anything and she is getting so skinny. The vet says she still healthy weight. But since she has gotten spayed, she lost so much weight. I don’t know what to do and what she’ll eat. Any suggestions? Thanks.

  4. My Siberian started vomiting and having grand mal seizures a few hours after a parvo-lepto shot. Now I’ve been dealing with many food sensitivities, brain & heart weaknesses. The medicine didn’t seem to phase the seizures. Now I’m working with a holistic person and he’s taking supplements which were working well, but he can ONLY tolerate beef, bison, tuna and natural peanut butter for me to get the pills in. He also has seizures with many vegetables (it seems like the ones I was feeding him when he had the vaccination shot). He is starting to turn his nose at these foods now. I don’t know what to do. Any thoughts? My next step is an food sensitivity elimination technique, but I can’t get to that person for 1 month. Thanks…I’m wearing out. I don’t want to put him to sleep, but that’s what everyone around me says to do. He’s only 7 months old.

    1. Why would anyone give up on a 7 month old puppy. Don’t listen to those people. I had severe food issues with my husky. Try pPurina Pro Plan Forti Flora probiotics packets with every meal. It was a miracle worker for my husky!

  5. I have a 4 month old, 30lb Siberian Husky. She eats Wellness Core puppy formula, mixed with canned puppy food of the same brand. She has a set schedule of 3 meals per day– breakfast, lunch, and dinner–1.25 cups per meal, as the feeding guide says 3.75c/day at her weight&age. Dinner, however, is the only meal that seems to be at the same time every day, since my husband has been recovering from surgery for the last couple months and stays in bed until whenever he can get up. When I get home from work at 5PM, we walk/run her at 5:30 and feed her about 15-20 minutes after we get back–enough time for her to catch her breath since she is usually tired and flops down on the cool floor after drinking water.
    She used to be fine with her schedule and ate all of her food all gone each meal, with zeal I might add–regardless of the time it was offered. I am not sure that the schedule has anything to do with her issues she’s been having–actually, no, I am pretty sure there is no correlation.
    We do not give her people food, except maybe one lick of a spoon or our fingers, but despite that, we noticed her becoming less excited about her meals. It was as if she really wanted those licks of our spoons or tiny nibbles she would get, and was hoping we would give those to her instead of, or with her food. We noticed her waning interest in her kibble became really obvious when, at the advice of a trainer, we pretended to eat her food before presenting it to her, so that we could reinforce that we were alpha. After a few days of that, she began to just stare at us even though we would say “ok!” like we always did when telling her it was ok for her to eat. She was very hesitant to approach her bowl and sometimes didn’t approach it altogether. We present her food to her, and she will just sit there and look at it, or she will eat a few bites and just walk away. Sometimes she will sniff it and just go lay down or find something else to do. After this went on for about two days, we immediately stopped pretending to eat from her food, and no longer do that. She has started to approach her food again, and seems to feel comfortable about eating it, as she does take some bites, but we are still struggling to get her to eat it all–to the point that now for the last three to four days, she has been eating, in total, a maximum of 1.5 cups per day–this is after multiple attempts at offering her her kibbles throughout the entire day. We then tried mixing other things in with her food, but we feel it makes it worse because she just either picks out the yummy stuff (apples, carrots, chicken, etc.) and then leaves her kibble, or keeps expecting those things to be in her food and won’t eat altogether. We also try offering her food in our hands, which sometimes works. We have to work at it throughout the day, and as mentioned, after all our attempts, she ends up getting only 1 or 1.5 cups of food.
    We stopped mixing her canned food in because she turns her nose up at even that and we end up having to waste it, and Wellness is expensive!
    Her main treats that she gets are apples and carrots, with very minimal dog treats here and there in the day, since she has a very sensitive stomach. She gets about 1-2 half-inch apple slices and 3-5 baby carrots per day, to paint an image of how much extra food she eats. The apples are newly introduced about 1 week ago. She seems to really want the apples and carrots, and every time we open the fridge to get something for ourselves, she runs over, thinking she’s going to get some apples/carrots.
    Since she hasn’t been eating, sometimes I give in and just give her those, or a lick or tiny nibble of what I am snacking on because I am worried about her.
    Do you suggest we stop feeding her anything extra besides her actual food, in order for her to start eating her food again? What can we do to get her to eat? We are worried that she’s missing out on nutrition because she’s only 4 months and still has a lot of growing to do!
    Do you think her problems are because we are giving her the carrots, apples, or licks of our food? Or because we pretended to eat her food before? Or because she doesn’t like her food anymore?
    I don’t think she has been sick at all because she clearly wants other things to eat and asks for treats.

    1. Shane Kelley

      Many dogs know kibble is not great for them and don’t really like it (we wouldn’t either) – as told to me by an amazing vet internist/specialist what they really need is real food like we eat. He gave me recipes and started me making my own cooked (not raw) dog food many years ago because of a beautiful collie I rescued that was in trouble with renal disease (kidney) at only 5 years old. He said cook this recipe and she may live a few more years instead of a few months. She lived 3.5 more years and I started my husky pup and my samoyed on home cooked food at the same time. A few years later he told me to use the recipe book and supplement (must be used together and ordered through your vet) by animal nutritionist Hilary Watson – she knows more about dog and cat nutrition than most vets put together as that’s all she studied for her degree). Our husky, Sky, passed 3 years ago at age 18 ¼ and our samoyed, Freska at 19 ½. That convinced me that kibble is causing many health issues for our dogs and shortening their lives as the specialist told me (Dr. Yves Gosselin Montreal where we lived before moving to Vancouver area). More and more of my friends are making their food for their dogs after seeing how healthy and long lived mine have been – of course also luck with good health :) If anyone is interested the recipe book and supplement by animal nutritionist is the supplement of minerals and vitamins that goes with the recipe book is listed on vets ordering as Hilary’s Blend. Wishing all of our dogs (and cats) long healthy lives like Sky and Freska <3 I'm not an expert but if anyone wants to ask me questions about my experiences cooking my dog food just ask. I just got the catfood recipe book and supplement – just starting to use it. Cats must have low carb food….all kibble and the canned foods with sauce and gravy is high carb and SO bad for them – and cause of so many diabetic cats.

  6. Please help!!!!! I need help with my husky i just bought her and she wont eat the people i got her from said shes been to many homes and shes literally skin and bones i need to bring her up to a healthy weight what can i do? The previous owners gave me kibbles n biys and refuses to eat it i know huskies are picky eaters whats my next move?

    1. Judi Jones

      We live in the U.K. and have had five huskies over the last 16 years. We had this problem with Spirit who came to us aged 4. A breeder recommended Happy Dog food, which is made in Germany and he loves it. Mind you, like all our huskies they eat like wolves really, a good meal one day then will not eat for a day or so. We now do not worry as it is the normal thing for these dogs. They will eat if hungry. We give Spirit and Minka Happy Dog food in the morning and to keep their digestion regular and (nice!) and in the evening we give them greyhound racer food and we mix this with fish or beef (cooked well). The fish is varied from a tin of pilchards in tomato sauce to sardines and occasionally tuna. My dogs have never got on with chicken, which is a shame, as it either goes straight through or they are sick. I do cook that well too, but to no avail.

  7. Shane Kelley

    Hi Margit – we bought Sky (will be 18 on December 9th, 2014) from a wonderful breeder when he was a pup – yes he’s a wonderful old age and we’ve been blessed with him – a husky challenger like most of them but a sweetheart and a lot more mellow these days. Four years ago he had a nasty perianal tumor surgery – recovered and gained back his normal weight of 53 lbs (he was neutered during the surgery). This past years he’s been getting thinner and thinner no matter what I try – now down to 39 lbs and weak in the back end, especially on indoor floors (he wears non-slip socks but they come off all the time). I’ve made his food most of his life (vet recipes) – most recently recipes from animal nutritionist Hilary Watson – I lived in Vancouver and she was recommended to me by my previous amazing vet (Internist) in Montreal – definitely the most knowledgable vets I’ve every encountered. He also had a small benign fatty tumor removed from his chest/between front legs removed 9 months ago – good blood work and no sign of perianal tumor returning. He just doesn’t eat enough at a time (although he’s still happy to beg for whatever I’m eating – (I’m trying out sitting on the sofa with his food on a plate on my lap to try and trick him into eating more). I also have Halo salmon puppy kibble in his bowl – anything/everything to get more food into him. I’ve been cooking him more fish recipes lately (sole or salmon) and he likes that – would be perfect if he’d eat 4x as much. I looked at your satin ball recipes – will they work if cooked? I’m not comfortable giving him raw meat at his age as he can easily get the runs (and I’m a vegetarian so cooking meat for him and my family already grosses me out). Are satin balls (cooked – maybe with fat left in vs drained off) ok for a dog this old – I don’t want to cause other problems. Vet hasn’t had any other suggestions for weight gain but I’m SO worried as he has no muscle/fat left on him (but still beautiful – he’s a grey Siberian with Sky blue eyes). Thanks for any ideas…..Shane

    1. Margit Maxwell

      I suppose you can try cooking the meat. The purpose of Satin balls is for them to be high calorie and extremely palatable for the dog who REALLY needs the calories and nutrition. They are certainly not recommended as a replacement for the base diet. Make sure that your dog is able to eat the try kibble. Seniors may have trouble chewing dry kibble. You can try wetting the kibble with broth or even with wet tinned dog food. If your dog likes peanut butter you can mix a spoonful into the kibble just stick to organic PB with no sugar in it. Unfortunately, senior dogs have special needs and catering to their diminishing palette is one of those special needs. I still say that your senior Sibe may benefit from the addition of more Zinc in her diet

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