Caring for dogs is a commitment. It means allocating resources–such as time, money, and effort–to give your dog a happy and healthy life. Being a fur parent can mean waking up to your dog littering in the room, having fur all over you that you had to change clothes, spending money to have your dog trained, or adjusting your schedule to take your dog to the vet. And depending on its breed, dogs can be pretty much high maintenance. Take a husky, for example. A husky is a high maintenance dog breed requiring maybe a bit more attention, dedication, and patience from the owner than any other breed.
In this article, we will tackle everything you need to know about a husky: where it came from, its appearance, personality, and how to care for a husky in a tropical country. The Furry Companion believes that this article would help aspiring fur parents who have not decided on any dog breed. By listing down tips on how to care for a husky, this article would also help fur parents who already own them.
All About the Husky
The Siberian Husky, commonly called the husky, initially served as sled dogs by the Chukchi people in Eastern Siberia. They arrived in America through Alaska for sled-dog racing. Being a working dog breed, a husky is exceptionally active and needs constant training and exercising to maintain endurance.
A husky is recognizable by its pointed, erect triangular ears and thick double coat. This dog’s double coat, which consists of two layers, is thicker than that of other dog breeds. The most common coats are black and white, copper-red and white, grey and white, and pure white.
It has almond-shaped eyes that are moderately spaced. Commonly, it has brown, blue, or black eyes. Some huskies have one of each of said colors, in which case it has parti-color or parti-eye, which does not affect the his vision.
A husky has a cold and moist nose that can be black, brown, or reddish-brown. Some huskies have snow noses, usually pink during winter, but return to its original color after the cold season.
Huskies vary in height and weight. Female huskies usually are 20 to 23 inches tall and weigh 35 to 55 pounds. Male huskies, on the other hand, are typically 21 to 24 inches tall and weigh 45 to 65 pounds.
A husky’s tail is heavy with fur. Commonly during cold seasons, this dog uses its tail to cover its nose. This practice is the Siberian Swirl, and its purpose is to provide additional warmth. The tail is noticeably low when he is relaxed and curved upward when the dog is excited.
Most huskies are friendly, affectionate, and energetic dogs. They are very loving towards their pack and can be friendly even to strangers if they are well trained. They may show a lousy temperament when they did not have adequate training and exercise.
The husky is often confused with a larger dog breed, the Alaskan Malamute. However, these two breeds are not the same. The Alaskan Malamute is a bigger dog breed, typically 20-25 inches tall, and weighs 85 to 100 pounds. A husky usually lives for 10 to 14 years, while the Alaskan Malamute can live for 10 to 12 years. Malamutes can be aggressive towards same-sex dogs, but huskies are pack dogs that are friendly with other dogs. As to energy levels, malamutes have slightly less than huskies, but they still do need daily exercise.
Taking Care of a Husky in a Tropical Country
It is common knowledge that this dog thrives in cold climates. However, huskies are exceptionally adaptable dogs. They can survive even in warm, tropical countries. However, as owners, we should care for these huskies properly to help them survive. Listed below are some helpful tips in caring for your dog if you live in a tropical country.
Do not Shave or Cut Your Husky’s Coat
Your husky’s thick double coat has a purpose: it helps the dog regulate his body temperature. If you shave or cut your dog’s fur, there is a tendency that the dog will suffer heat stroke because there is no ability to control his body temperature. Give your husky these nutritious vitamins.
Keep Your Husky in an Airconditioned Place
If you can, let your pet stay in an airconditioned part of the house during the hottest part of the day. It is also better to keep the temperature below 20 degrees Celsius to ensure their comfort. However, if you do not have an airconditioning unit, you can use fans or a cool-air blower. You can also let your dog lay on your tile flooring if you have it in your house to help draw heat from the dog’s body. Also, it is advisable to always check the pads on your pet’s paws since these paws are sensitive to heat. Make sure that you keep your furry friend around in a place where the floor is not too hot. Check this mesh house for your husky.
Always Keep Your Husky Hydrated
Huskies are active dogs. They exercise and are fond of running around and playing. Ensure that you keep your dog hydrated by providing him clean, cold water in a large water bowl. Keep his water bowl full at all times. It is vital to keep your pet hydrated because it helps in regulating his body temperature. Make sure to always check whether your husky is well-hydrated. To check, Jenna Ashton DVM, MS, DACVIM, said, “Pets with normal hydration typically have adequate saliva in their mouths, so your finger should slide easily over their gums. In severely dehydrated pets, the gums can feel dry or “tacky” to the touch.”
Do Not Exercise Your Husky During Mid-day
Although Huskies need to exercise a few hours a day, avoid taking your dog out to exercise during the hottest part of the day. Especially in the summer, when the weather can be extremely humid. It is best to walk your dog early in the morning or later in the evening. Also, as much as possible, do not travel far from your house on foot. If you take him to a walking area or a park far from your home, take him by car to avoid overheating and dehydrating him before he even has his exercise. Make sure that the pavement where your dog is walking is not burning hot so as not to hurt your husky’s paws. Check this agility training for your husky.
Consider Getting a Kiddie Pool for Your Husky
If you have the money and the space in your house to set it up, consider buying a kiddie pool. Filling up a kiddie pool and letting your dog splash and jump around can help him cool down, especially during summer. It is also an excellent way to bond with your pet since playtime is essential. According to Marty Becker DVM, “The invisible ties that bind us to our pets can have a dramatic impact on our lives and our health.”
Caring for a husky can be high maintenance. And as a fur parent living in a tropical country where it is mostly humid, you may find it more challenging to do so. However, it is do-able. If you take time and effort to care for your dog and be responsive to his needs, you will not have that big of a problem. Keep in mind that even if your pet is adaptable to hot climates, you must be a responsible fur parent. You should take extra precautions in providing your furry friend a habitable, safe, and cold environment to live.
On how environmental enrichment helps de-stress your dog, Tony Buffington DVM, MS, Ph.D., DACVN said, “As in any relationship, once problems arise, they can be difficult to correct.” He adds, “The goal of environmental enrichment is to avert problems before they start. To do this, learn to read your particular dog’s body language and behaviors; they are your best guide to what is working and what isn’t.”
If you are interested with husky cross breed, you can check this article out.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is a husky a good pet?
Yes,it is an excellent pet to have in a household, especially that with children. Consistent with their personality, huskies can be friendly and tolerant of children and strangers alike. However, like any other dog, these dogs should be handled with precaution. Children should, at all times, be under supervision when in the presence of a dog.
Do huskies like to cuddle?
Yes, huskies like to cuddle. Generally, huskies are cuddlers. Being a loyal breed, huskies tend to be very affectionate towards their pack. If your family has a husky, then your dog considers you and your family his pack and, therefore, would love to kiss you and snuggle with you.
Do huskies shed a lot?
Yes, all huskies shed a lot. Depending on the climate of your place of residence, huskies blow their undercoat twice a year. Some blow only once a year. You can brush your huskies a lot during their undercoat blowing to minimize shedding around your home.
Can I leave my husky home alone?
No, you should not leave your pet home alone. Huskies need constant affection from their pack or other huskies. If you leave your pet alone for a long time, it may show signs of separation anxiety. This anxiety, in turn, will most likely exhibit violent behavior depending on their temperament and the amount of time the dog was left alone.
Are huskies hard to train?
Depending on the dedication of the trainer, huskies can be hard to train. Huskies are creatures of order and leadership. They can be pretty much stubborn and independent. Therefore, in teaching them, you have to establish direction and dominance. Huskies are smart dogs, so they will learn fast as long as you know how to be assertive and patient.
How often should I walk my husky?
Since Huskies are working dogs, they are incredibly active and should, therefore, exercise or walk every day. To train them and maintain their endurance, huskies need more than 2 hours of diligent training per day.
Are huskies high maintenance?
Yes, huskies can pretty much be high maintenance. Caring for a husky requires a bit more work than caring for other dog breeds. Huskies have to be groomed, exercised, and trained regularly. They also have to be shown affection by their pack or owner, or else they will exhibit separation anxiety.
What should huskies not eat?
Huskies are working dogs that require more nutritious food in their diet. Huskies cannot eat dairy in large amounts, prunes, raisins, grapes, citrus fruits, cherries, avocado, raw eggs, sweets, chocolate, macadamia nuts, soda, coffee, undercooked or raw meat, garlic, onions, and salty food.
How often should huskies eat?
Most huskies need three meals a day. Usually, more prominent and older huskies need to feed only twice a day. Since Huskies are active dogs, it is advisable to split their food into different meals a day so that they have calories to burn while exercising throughout the day.
Can huskies sleep outside during winter?
Yes, most huskies can live outside and enjoy it. Being active dogs, huskies need enough space to walk and run around. Huskies are also dogs that can adapt well. As long as you give them enough shelter and protection, they can be allowed to sleep outside during winter.
Do I need to shave my husky’s coat?
You should only do this if your vet tells you that it’s needed. Your husky’s coat actually helps in keeping it healthy. Not surprisingly, because they experience both extreme heat and extreme cold where they come from, their coat helps in keeping them both cool and warm, depending on the situation. You might think you’re doing the best for your pup because you’re in a tropical country, but there are better ways to care for them rather than shaving their coat.
A fitness junkie and a cosmopolitan traveler, Kathy is the mom of peppy baby Malaya and mixed beagle Holly. She’s a capable businesswoman who balances work with living a wanderlust life with her hooman and fur babies.