When your Husky walks away from their food leaving it untouched or doesn’t even go up to the bowl, it’s hard not to worry as a pet owner. Mealtimes are an exciting part of a dog’s day, and a time they usually look forward to. When they don’t want to eat, we often wonder why, and what we can do to persuade our Husky to start eating again. Huskies can be fussy or picky eaters, so it can be difficult to work out if the cause is because they are ill, or from other factors. We look at five of the most common reasons that a Husky doesn’t want to eat.
Some dogs are private eaters and need to feel safe before settling down for dinner. In the wild, it’s not uncommon for dogs to steal each other’s food so your husky may be reluctant to eat because they feel exposed or nervous. Try giving your Husky a more private place to eat such as the laundry away from the main activity of the house. If you have multiple dogs, try feeding them separately and keep the other dogs occupied in another room for complete peace of mind for your Husky. Using pheromone diffusers such as Adaptil in the feeding room can also help dogs to relax and eat.
Our dog’s sense of smell is thousands of times better than ours, and they can detect an off batch of kibble long before we can. Always check the expiry dates and inspect the kibble for mold. Moldy food can make your Husky incredibly sick. If you are raw feeding make sure the food has not been left out to defrost at room temperature for a long time, as again the meat can spoil. Any changes in the color of the meat or smell and it’s better to dispose of this food rather than feed it to your dog.
Lack of appetite or refusing to eat food even their favorite treat or human snack can be a sign of illness in your husky. Tummy upsets from gastroenteritis or pancreatitis are common in dogs who have eaten something outside of the normal for them.
Dental disease is another reason that dogs will not want to eat. Painful, rotten, or broken teeth can be hard to spot as dogs don’t always show us the signs of dental disease.
Common signs of illness linked to reduced appetite in dogs include:
If you see any of these signs, or your dog hasn’t eaten anything in three days a vet check is needed. This is especially true for young or senior Huskies, who are more at risk of serious illness. Your veterinarian may run blood tests or perform an ultrasound, or give medical therapy such as appetite stimulants depending on the underlying cause. In our other article, you can learn more about the possible reasons your husky might be skinny.
If you are treating your Husky to lots of tasty treats or human food, they may lose interest in their regular kibble. This is because human food and treats contain a higher quantity of calories, and so are considered tastier by your Husky. It’s easier to fill up on treats and then have no room leftover for dinner time.
Huskys are a clever breed and if they work out that you will give them leftovers from your plate or treats instead of their boring kibble, they will stop eating kibble. To correct this stop feeding any human foods and reduce the treats to what is needed for training only. This will help your husky feel hungry when it comes to mealtime, and more likely to eat their regular evening meal.
A Husky has high exercise requirements and needs a minimum of one to two hours each day out on a walk to burn off their extra energy. Huskys are very good at not overeating, so if you are not exercising them enough, their calorie requirements will be reduced, and as such, they will naturally consume less food to cover their calorie needs for that day. You can also try increasing your Husky’s exercise to increase calories burnt, and see if this helps increase their appetite.
Presenting the food in a different way can make mealtimes into game time. Puzzle feeders, Kong toys, snuffle mats, or even just hiding kibble in an egg carton can let your Husky use their brain to work out how to access the food. For more ideas, read this article.
Meal toppers are additions to a normal meal to enhance flavor or palatability. They often come as broths or crushed-up meat portions. The aim is to enhance the appeal of the meal and to use sight and smell to encourage eating.
It will depend on the brand of food you feed, always read the packet for feeding guidelines and remember if you are giving treats to reduce the main meal portion to make sure they are not eating too many calories.
Split your Husky’s meals into two, morning and night. It’s important to feed your Husky at least an hour before or after they have exercised to reduce the chance of a life-threatening condition called GDV, or bloat.
Huskies can be fussy eaters, but there are a few ways to encourage your husky to eat. The key is not to panic, work through the options in a methodical fashion, and rule out different causes one by one. A husky that will not eat anything at all for more than three days needs to be seen by a veterinarian, as the sooner a medical problem is detected, the quicker treatment can be given to relieve symptoms.