Many good dog owners get very passionate about the subject of what foods they feed their dogs. The husky raw diet therefore can be a perfect choice.
A good sound diet can contribute to the longevity and good health of our pets. The problem is that there is so much conflicting information about these diets. It confuses owners and makes them afraid to switch their dogs from a kibble diet to a raw diet.
In this article, you’ll find information on raw diets, both the pros as well as the cons. You will be able to make a well-informed decision as to the best raw food diet for huskies. As with all diet changes, please make all changes slowly to allow for your dog’s digestion to adapt. Also, please consult a Canine Nutrition Specialist who can guide you in making sure that your Raw or Homemade Diet is complete in nutrition. An unbalanced or incomplete diet will take its toll on your dog’s health.
Table of contents
- The Benefits of a Husky Raw Diet
- The Commercial Raw Food Diet
- The Homemade Raw Diet
- The Importance of Nutritional Balance
- Raw Feeding Guidelines
- The Downside of the Husky Raw Diet
- The Homemade Cooked Diet
- In Summary
The Benefits of a Husky Raw Diet
The husky raw diet is one that has grown in popularity in the last decade, fueled mainly by the endless food recalls from the manufactures of kibble based food. Dog owners like to be in control over the quality and the safety of what their dogs will be ingesting.
There are two major types of raw diets, commercial and home prepared. Commercial raw diets can be either in fresh or frozen form, only ground meat, or ground meat with bone and offal. They can also include fresh some fruits and veggies ground into the mixture too. Commercial raw food manufacturers pack raw meat into pucks.
The Commercial Raw Food Diet
The commercially prepared husky raw diet is convenient as the food is ready to use. The pucks can be thawed out overnight in the fridge and are ready to use for the dog’s next meal. It also allows you to mix and switch up protein sources. And the consistent size of the meat 500g pucks makes it easy to calculate how much to feed your dog. Proper hygiene is necessary when handling raw meat to prevent cross-contamination. No different from the precautions needed when handling raw food for human consumption.
You can feed a ½ raw, and ½ kibble diet. But ensure that you do not feed the two together at the same feeding. Raw food is digested at a different rate than kibble. Feeding them together can cause gastric issues in your dog. Raw food is processed as a protein and held in the stomach. Kibble will be viewed by the digestion mainly as a starch.
The Homemade Raw Diet
The homemade raw diet consists of whole meat, bones and offal. Optionally veggies, fruits and supplements can be added. The only difference is that the mixture is not commercially ground; instead, it is fed more or less whole and left for the dog to chew up. Starting from scratch gives you complete control over what goes in your dogs’ diet. This is especially good if your dog is allergic to a certain protein source.
Until you know how your dog will react to a husky raw diet or whole food diet, supervision is necessary. Dogs that are gulpers of food will try to swallow large chunks of raw food and can choke. People assume that since wild canines eat a whole prey diet that their dogs will automatically be able to handle eating a raw diet safely. This is not always the case. If your dog is a food gulper, then a commercially ground raw food is a safer option for your dog. Also, dogs that have issues with poor tooth health should avoid the whole food diet. They can get the same nutrition from commercially ground raw food pucks.
The Importance of Nutritional Balance
Be aware the raw diets must be given in balance to address the vitamin and mineral requirements of your dog. If you are considering feeding an all raw diet, research the subject thoroughly first. You could also consult a canine nutritional expert. Dogs have their own unique needs for proper health and nutrition. Feeding a nutritionally incomplete diet can be worse than feeding kibble. If the diet isn’t complete it can result in imbalances of vitamins and minerals can impact your huskies health.
Raw Feeding Guidelines
The specifics of a good balanced husky raw diet are complex.
The approximate overall ratio:
- 80% of meat, sinew, ligaments, fat,
- 10% edible bone,
- 5% liver,
- 5% organ meat.
- Meats are high in phosphorus. Bones are high in calcium. When the bone is fed at 10%, you have pretty much the exact ratios of calcium required by a dog. Whole prey, fish, eggs, and tripe help to complete a balanced ratio.
- Organ meats should not exceed 10% of the diet overall, and 5% of that should be liver. Feed the liver once a week and try to find an organic free-range fed source whenever possible.
- Pork or Salmon should be frozen for two weeks before feeding to kill parasites in the meat.
- Feed trachea, trim, poultry feet as they are an excellent natural source of chondroitin and glucosamine that help build and support healthy joints in your dog.
- Always feed only raw bones as cooked bones will splinter and pierce the stomach or the intestines.
- Always be on the safe side and supervise all bone chewing activities in case you have to intervene.
Adding Supplements To The Raw Diet
There is much controversy around should Raw Diets be a supplement. Some experts say that if you do it right, the diet is balanced and complete – you should not need to add supplements. Others say that too many variables occur from dog to dog, and you cannot accurately gauge how much nutrition is being absorbed from the Raw Diet, and therefore, supplementation is necessary.
In any case, those who supplement Raw Diets may want to add the following items: Calcium, Fish Oils, Plant Oils, Vitamin E, sources of Iodine, and Green Blends of alpha-alpha, spirulina, or other green foods.
Too much of a vitamin or mineral is just as bad for your dog as having too little. Do not guess when it comes to the nutritional requirements of your dog. Get expert advice from a professional.
How Much Raw Food To Feed Your Husky
Most dogs eat around two to 3% of their ideal adult weight per day.
- 30kg (66 lb) dog at 2% would eat 600gr (22 oz) of food. At 3% it would eat 900gr (32 oz) of food.
- 20kg (44lb) dog at 2% would eat 400gr (14 oz) of food. At 3% it would eat 600gr (22 oz) of food.
- 10kg (22 lb) dog at 2% would eat 200gr (7 oz) of food. At 3% it would eat 300gr (11 oz) of food.
If you are feeding a dog over 6 months of age, split into to 2 feedings per day.
Raw diet for husky puppies 4 to 6 months old should be split into 3 meals per day.
Feeding a puppy under 4 months old, split into 4 or more meals per day.
The Downside of the Husky Raw Diet
While acknowledging that a husky raw diet has potential benefits for your dog’s health, there are some difficulties and problems with it too.
The biggest danger with the diet is that uninformed owners feed a nutritionally incomplete and unbalanced diet to their dogs. The dogs will likely experience health problems over time. To further complicate matters, some nutritional deficiencies take many months to show up. You may not see the problem with the diet for quite a while. Indeed, a Raw Diet should not be fed unless someone has fully researched that subject and preferably has consulted and canine nutrition specialist for some guidance in this matter. Still, with the proper understanding of the nutrition, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that your dog requires to be healthy, a sound Raw Diet can be safely fed to your dog.
It’s a Lifestyle Change
For some people, a raw diet is just too much trouble to put forth the effort needed to make a lifestyle change for their pet. Depending on where you live, a husky raw diet can be expensive to feed and hard to get, especially if you are feeding hormone-free and organically feed meat. The Homemade Diet can be time-consuming to prepare and hard to fit into a busy lifestyle. Raw diets can be very inconvenient if you travel. If the dog comes with, you must be able to transport the raw food while safely keeping it at suitable temperatures. If you are staying at a motel or hotel, they may not be equipped for raw food storage. Some boarding kennels will charge a premium for dogs on Raw Diets because of the space required for food storage.
Another issue is that not all raw foods are necessarily well digested or tolerated by all dogs. Dogs can poorly digest raw vegetables. Whole chickens or any bony meat can easily become a choking hazard for some dogs. Feeding raw bones can cause tooth fractures for aggressive chewers while other dogs can swallow bone chunks which can become stuck in the GI tracts or cause intestinal blockages.
Bacteria and Pathogens
And lastly, and most controversially, there is the issue of bacteria and pathogens contained in raw foods. Raw foods have been found to contain Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli, Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium botulinum, and Staphylococcus aureus, all of which are known human and canine pathogens. If you choose to feed a Raw Diet, then safe food handling practices are essential to prevent cross-contamination. All dishes, utensils, and dishes and hands should be thoroughly washed and disinfected. Porous wooden surfaces should not be used to prepare food as they cannot be thoroughly disinfected.
You may want to take into account that if you have young children, older adults, or someone who has a suppressed immune system functioning, they may be at higher risk of becoming sick from pathogens contained in raw meat. Dogs with poor or suppressed immune functioning may not be a good candidate to be able to handle pathogens found in raw food. Healthy dogs should be able to handle the pathogens because their digestive acid is designed to be able to handle such things. But always ensure that the food you are feeding to your dog is as safe and pathogen-free as it can be.