8 Reasons Why Your Husky Might Be Overweight (And How to Address It)

Video how to help a dog lose weight husky

If you think your husky might be carrying a few extra pounds, you’ve come to the right place. While there could be various reasons behind their weight gain, it’s essential to understand the causes and take corrective action. In this article, we’ll delve into the most common reasons for husky weight gain and share practical tips to help your furry friend achieve a healthier weight.

How to Determine If Your Husky Is Overweight

There are three ways to assess whether your husky is overweight:

  • Check your husky’s ribs: If you can’t feel their ribs, it’s an indicator of excess weight. Similarly, if your husky lacks a visible waistline, they might be obese.
  • Consult with your veterinarian: Sometimes, we might not accurately judge our husky’s weight. Seeking advice from a vet can provide a reliable assessment.
  • Use weighing scales: For fully grown male huskies, a healthy weight ranges between 45-60lbs (20-27kg), while females should ideally weigh between 35-50lbs (16-23kg). If your husky is not mature yet, refer to the growth chart below to estimate their weight with age.

Male Husky Growth Chart
Male Husky Growth Chart (According to AKC standards)

Remember, these figures are averages, and individual huskies may have different builds, including more muscle mass.

Female Husky Growth Chart
Female Husky Growth Chart (According to AKC standards)

Why It’s Important to Address Husky Weight Issues

Your husky being overweight can have detrimental effects for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it increases their risk of developing health problems such as cancer and heart disease. Secondly, huskies are known for their remarkable endurance as working dogs capable of running over 100 miles when in optimal shape. When overweight, they may struggle to exercise adequately, leading to depression and potentially destructive behavior.

See also  Dog Chewing Hair Off Tail! - Why? What to Do?

The Top 8 Reasons for Husky Weight Gain

Let’s explore the most common causes of husky weight gain:

1. Lack of Exercise

Huskies have high exercise requirements, typically needing at least 2 hours of activity each day. If their exercise needs are not met regularly, they are likely to gain weight. Additionally, insufficient physical activity can lead to behavioral issues.

2. Excessive Food Intake

When was the last time you checked the feeding recommendations on your husky’s food label? It’s easy to unintentionally increase their food portions. Be mindful of the recommended amount to avoid overfeeding.

3. Excessive Treats

We all love to spoil our furry friends, but excessive treats can contribute to weight gain. Reserve treats for training sessions or exercise, and avoid sharing human food, as it’s challenging to gauge calorie intake accurately.

4. Aging

As huskies age, they naturally become less active and require fewer calories. However, reducing their food and treat intake can be difficult for owners who use these as replacements for exercise-induced happiness. Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial during this stage to minimize health risks.

5. Hormonal Factors

Huskies are prone to hypothyroidism, which can cause weight gain due to a decrease in thyroid hormone production. This condition affects their metabolism, slowing down calorie burning. Hormone replacement therapy is typically used to address this issue.

6. Personality Traits

While most huskies are energetic exercise enthusiasts, some can be more laid-back and less active. While underlying issues may be responsible, it’s also possible that it’s simply part of your husky’s personality.

See also  Getting Your First Pet Sitting or Dog Walking Clients: A Beginner's Guide

7. Neutering

Neutering can lead to weight gain if there are no adjustments made to their diet at the time of the procedure. Changes in hormone levels can slow down metabolism and increase appetite. Consult your veterinarian for a feeding plan during this period to prevent rapid weight gain.

8. Underlying Illness

Conditions like heart or liver disease can cause sudden weight gain in huskies. If you suspect any health-related problems, it’s essential to seek veterinary advice promptly.

How to Help Your Husky Shed Pounds

The first step in helping your husky lose weight is to take responsibility. If there are no underlying medical issues, the excess weight is likely due to overfeeding or lack of exercise. The good news is that these factors are easily adjustable with some effort.

Portion Control

The most straightforward aspect to control is the amount of food you provide your husky. Opt for a “complete” dog food that meets all nutritional requirements. Start by comparing the recommended portion size on the label with what you currently feed your husky. If you’re overfeeding, gradually reduce the amount by around 10% and monitor their weight over the next few weeks. This allows for a gradual and healthy weight loss. If your husky is on a raw diet, make similar 10% reductions with each meal.


As mentioned earlier, huskies require around 2 hours of intense exercise per day, though they can handle more. When starting with an overweight husky, increase exercise gradually to avoid excessive stress on their joints and muscles. Here are some gentle exercise ideas for overweight huskies:

  • Walking/Hiking: Begin with short walks or hikes and gradually increase the duration each week.
  • Swimming: Swimming is a low-impact exercise that is excellent for huskies, especially if they’re obese.
See also  What Happens When a Dog Eats Fly Bait?

Aim to increase exercise time by about 10% each week until you reach the 2-hour mark. Remember, start with gentle exercises and progress to more intense activities, such as running or playing fetch, as your husky loses weight.

Moderate Dog Treats

Instead of sharing leftover human food, purchase healthy dog snacks that can be used as rewards during training or exercise sessions. For example, you can incorporate treats into a game of fetch to reinforce positive behavior. Huskies love working for rewards, so this keeps them mentally stimulated while managing their weight.

Use Toys

Dog toys are an excellent way to increase your husky’s overall activity. Consider chew toys, like the Kong stuffable, which allow you to hide a treat inside. Alternatively, opt for toys that allow you to throw the ball further, encouraging more physical activity.

How Long Does It Take for a Husky to Lose Weight?

Aim for your husky to lose 2-4% of their body weight per week, as this is considered a healthy rate of weight loss. Anything more substantial may be too fast. Once they reach their target weight (refer to the growth charts above), you can increase portion sizes to maintain their weight.

Balancing Exercise and Food

The key to helping your husky lose weight is making gradual changes over time. Monitor their weight closely to ensure they’re not losing weight too quickly. Adjust exercise and food intake accordingly as you progress. For instance, if you plan an extended walk, increase food portions to account for the additional energy burned.

When to Consult a Veterinarian

If your husky experiences sudden weight gain or loss without any changes in diet or exercise, it’s crucial to consult with your veterinarian. These fluctuations may indicate an underlying health condition that requires immediate attention.

Remember, a healthy weight is vital for your husky’s overall well-being. By addressing the reasons behind their weight gain and taking appropriate action, you can help your furry friend live a happier and healthier life.

For more helpful information and resources on pet care, visit 1mquotes.

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Looks Blog by Crimson Themes.