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 pros and 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 your dog’s digestion to adapt. Also, please consult a Canine Nutrition Specialist who can guide you in ensuring 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 Raw Husky Diet
- The Importance of Nutritional Balance
- Raw Feeding Guidelines
- Cons of the Husky Raw Diet
- Other Types of Husky Diet
- In Summary
The Benefits of a Raw Husky Diet
The husky raw diet has grown in popularity in the last decade, fueled mainly by the endless food recalls from the manufacturers 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 fruits and veggies ground into the mixture too. Commercial raw food manufacturers pack raw meat into pucks.
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. Starting from scratch gives you complete control over what goes into your dog’s 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 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 commercially ground raw food is a safer option. 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 that the raw diets must be balanced to address your dog’s vitamin and mineral requirements. If you consider feeding an all-raw diet, research the subject thoroughly. You could also consult a canine nutritional expert. Dogs have their own unique needs for proper health and nutrition. Feeding a nutritionally complete diet can be better than feeding kibble. If the diet isn’t complete it can result in imbalances of vitamins and minerals that can impact your huskies’ health.
Raw Feeding Guidelines
The specifics of a good balanced husky raw diet are complex.
The approximate 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, and 5% 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, and 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 safe and supervise all bone-chewing activities if you have to intervene.
Adding Supplements To The Raw Diet
There is much controversy around whether raw diets should 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. You need to accurately gauge how much nutrition is absorbed from the Raw Diet; therefore, supplementation is necessary.
In any case, those who supplement Raw Diets may want to add the following items: Calcium, Zinc, Fish Oils, Plant Oils, Vitamin E, sources of Iodine, and Green Blends of alpha-alpha, spirulina, or other green foods.
Zinc can be especially important if your husky is suffering from signs of zinc-responsive dermatitis or other signs of zinc deficiency.
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 daily.
- 30kg (66 lb) dog at 2% would eat 600gr (22 oz) food. At 3% it would eat 900gr (32 oz) of food.
- 20kg (44lb) dog at 2% would eat 400gr (14 oz) food. At 3% it would eat 600gr (22 oz) of food.
- 10kg (22 lb) dog at 2% would eat 200gr (7 oz) food. At 3% it would eat 300gr (11 oz) of food.
If you are feeding a dog over 6 months, split it into 2 feedings per day.
The 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.
Cons 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 most significant danger with the diet is that uninformed owners feed their dogs a nutritionally incomplete and unbalanced diet. The dogs will likely experience health problems over time. To further complicate matters, some nutritional deficiencies take many months. You may not see the problem with the diet for quite a while. Indeed, a Raw Diet should not be fed unless someone has thoroughly 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 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 a 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 and hard to get, especially if you feed 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, you must be able to transport the raw food while safely keeping it at suitable temperatures. They may not be equipped for raw food storage if you are staying at a motel or hotel. 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 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, 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.
If you have young children, older adults, or someone with a suppressed immune system functioning, they may be at higher risk of becoming sick from pathogens in raw meat. Dogs with poor or suppressed immune functioning may not be excellent candidates to be able to handle pathogens found in raw food. Healthy dogs should be able to handle pathogens because their digestive acid is designed to be able to handle such things. But always ensure that the food you feed your dog is as safe and pathogen-free as possible.
Other Types of Husky 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 digestion mainly as a starch.
The Homemade Cooked Diet
The Homemade Cooked Diet differs from the Raw Diet in that all the food is cooked. It is a good alternative for owners who do not wish to feed a Raw Food Diet. It is a good alternative for dogs that may have trouble processing raw foods or have special needs issues, but this diet must be supplemented with Calcium to replace the missing aspect of raw bones.
Cooked diets can be made in larger quantities and then frozen into feeding-sized portions. Just take the frozen portion from the freezer the night before and let it thaw in the fridge. Hot water can be added to the thawed cold food to bring it to room temperature before serving. All supplements can be added at this time.
Cooked Diet Basics
The rule of thumb for a Cooked Diet is 40% protein, 30% grains, and 30% vegetables. As you should not feed cooked bones to dogs, powdered bone meal and other supplements must be added to the cooked diet to make it nutritionally complete. As with the husky raw diet, this diet must be nutritionally balanced and complete, or your dog’s health will suffer. Please do consider getting the advice and guidance of a Canine Nutritional expert before switching your dog to a Home-Cooked Diet.
As with any diet, switch your dog over slowly to keep him from having digestive problems.
The problems with this diet very much mirror the problems with the Raw Diet. Convenience certainly suffers in a Home Cooked Diet. Meals must be planned and made ahead. Travel or boarding issues are the same as with the Raw Diet. Food must be kept at safe temperatures, but there is no danger of raw food pathogens in the Cooked Food Diet.
One concern with the Cooked Food Diet is that cooking foods at temperatures above 118F tends to destroy or lessen the bioavailability of enzymes and some macronutrients. Cooking meat can change its proteins’ molecular structure, rendering them less nutritious. Some vegetables can lose some of their nutritional value in the cooking process. However, the nutrition of the ingredients in the Home Cooked Diet is still more wholesome and viable than the high-temperature processing that occurs in many processed kibble foods.
The truth is that there is no such thing as the perfect husky diet. They all have their benefits as well as their limitations. All we can do as good dog owners is to become very informed and take our cues from our dogs. It can become very apparent when looking at a dog whether or not it is thriving on its current diet. If your dog is not doing well with its current diet, consider making a change. Get help with creating a new diet from an appropriately qualified professional.
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