10 Best Dog Food for Huskies

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best dog food for huskies

This is our review of the best dog food for huskies in 2021. 

Huskies need a high protein, high fat diet. We came to a conclusion that Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Great Plains Red Recipe is the best overall diet for huskies. 

We’ve done the research and have provided a review of the best brands for each category of dog food. 

Our Best Dog Foods For Huskies 

  1. Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Great Plains Red Recipe (Best Dog Food For Huskies Overall)  
  2. Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Healthy Development Small Bites Dry (Best Dog Food For Huskies Puppies)
  3. Wellness Core Wholesome Grains Original High Protein Recipe (Best Dog Food For Huskies Adults
  4. Victor Purpose Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food (Best Dog Food For Huskies Seniors
  5. Sport Dog Food K-9 Series Project K-9 Hero Multiple Protein Formula (Best Dog Food For Huskies For Joint Support)  
  6. Hills Prescription Diet Skin & Food Sensitivities (Best Dog Food For Huskies For Allergies
  7. Natural Balance on the Move Chicken Formula (Best Canned Dog Food For Huskies
  8. Wild Earth Clean Vegan Protein Formula Adult (Best Vegan Dog Food For Huskies
  9. Nature’s Logic Canine Chicken Meal Feast (Best Budget Dog Food For Huskies)
  10. Orijen Original Dry Dog Food (Best Premium Dog Food For Huskies

10 Best Dog Foods For Huskies Reviewed

All dog foods included in this list meet the standard AAFCO nutrient profile guidelines for dogs. Always talk to your vet before making changes to your dog’s diet.

Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Great Plains Red Recipe

merrick backcountry raw
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 34%, Crude Fat: 17%, 391 kcal/cup 
  • The first five ingredients: Deboned beef, salmon meal, chicken meal, brown rice, dried egg product
  • They also include oats, rabbit and lamb protein, and glucosamine. 
  • Make sure it is the recipe WITH grains. NOT the grain-free option! 
  • Pros: extremely high in protein, great amount of fat as well, is suited for all breeds
  • Cons: This recipe is for adult dogs only.

Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Healthy Development Small Bites Dry

hill's science diet
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 25%, Crude Fat: 15%, 374 kcal/cup 
  • The first five ingredients: Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Sorghum, Whole Grain Corn
  • Also contains fish oil, Vitamin A and E
  • Pros: Natural ingredients, adequate macronutrient content, relatively more affordable 
  • Cons: Small bites might not be enough for a larger husky pup 
  • I am hesitant to advise feeding your puppy a brand that is suggestive for “all life spans” due to the fact that puppies are so fragile, sensitive, and specific to their dietary needs. 
  • For example, dog food brands made specifically for puppies will contain extra calcium and phosphorus, which is necessary in their diet to support bone growth.  
  • I strongly recommend discussing your husky pup’s food plan with your local veterinarian. Puppies have very strict requirements that need to be met to ensure optimal bone, brain, and overall development. 
  • Their optimal protein limit is 22-32%- it is not recommended to exceed that.
  • Fat content can range from 10-25%, depending on your dog’s size, activity level, predispositions, etc. Carb content should reach around 20%.  

Wellness Core Wholesome Grains Original High Protein Recipe

wellness core high protein
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 34%, Crude Fat: 16%, Crude Carb: 27%, 422 kcal/cup 
  • The first five ingredients: Deboned turkey, chicken meal, turkey meal, oatmeal, chicken fat 
  • It also provides a quality source of glucosamine and Vitamin A. 
  • Make sure it is the recipe WITH grains. NOT the grain-free option! 
  • Pros: Very high in protein and adequate fat and carb percentage. This is for adult dogs only.  
  • Cons: Slightly higher caloric intake. This brand is also pretty expensive. 

Victor Purpose Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

victor senior healthy weight
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 27%, Crude Fat: 11%, 360 kcal/cup
  • The first five ingredients: Beef Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Millet, Grain Sorghum, Chicken Fat, Menhaden Fish Meal 
  • Nutrient-dense recipe with glucosamine and chondroitin for long-term joint health. 
  • Includes L-carnitine to help convert fat to energy for lean muscle development
  • A dog is considered a senior at 7 years of age and older. Once they hit this number, it is time for a consultation with your veterinarian to discuss a diet change. 

Sport Dog Food K-9 Series Project K-9 Hero Multiple Protein Formula Flax-Free Dry Dog Food  

sport dog food k-9
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 30%, Crude Fat: 22%, 542 kcal/cup
  • The first five ingredients: Chicken meal, whole ground sorghum, chicken fat, whole grain millet, pork meal 
  • Additional fat and calories are necessary for pregnant dogs as their bodies are working overdrive.  
  • The higher ingredient content can benefit dogs trying to lose weight by supplying them with a nutrient dense meal, allowing you to feed a smaller quantity and still keep them fuller for longer 
  • If your dog needs to gain weight, this is a great choice too – it works both ways! 
  • Pros: Great nutritional content for pregnant dogs 
  • Cons: Can be pricey 

Hills Prescription Diet d/d Skin & Food Sensitivities

hill's prescription diet
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 14%, Crude Fat: 13%, 371 kcal/cup
  • The first five ingredients: Potatoes, Potato Starch, Venison, Potato Protein, Soybean Oil
  • Highly digestible single intact animal protein source and single carbohydrate source to help avoid common food sensitivities in a gluten-free formula
  • Combination of clinically proven antioxidants helps maintain a healthy immune system and skin barrier function
  • This diet requires veterinarian approval
  • All you have to do is provide your pet and vet clinic information at Checkout and we’ll follow up with your veterinarian to confirm.
  • In Vet Tech school, this was our go to diet for our dogs with skin and food allergies! 

Natural Balance on the Move Chicken Formula 

natural balance on the move
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 8%, Crude Fat: 6.5%, 450 kcal/cup 
    • The first five ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Brown Rice, Chicken Meal
    • Formulated with calcium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese for healthy bones and joints
    • Antioxidants promote hip and joint health
    • Contains high-quality protein to support joint structure
    • On the expensive side, but might be worth the quality. 
  • People typically incorporate canned food into kibble to add more flavor, texture, water source, and volume. 
  • Feeding a dog strictly canned food could be troublesome for the dental hygiene and digestive system.
    • Canned food without a dry, formed meal can cause chronic diarrhea and pancreatitis.

Wild Earth Clean Vegan Protein Formula Adult  

wild earth clean vegan protein
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude protein: 31%, Crude fat: 10.50%, 333 kcal/cup 
  • The first five ingredients: Chickpeas, oats, peas, pea protein, potato protein 
  • The ingredients such as chickpeas, sweet potato, oats, pumpkin, and spinach are all high quality, nutrient dense foods that bring significant health benefits to your pet. 
    • They contain Vitamin A which is significant for vision.
    • These foods also contain a quality amount of fiber which strongly aids in gastrointestinal problems. 
  • I would strongly advise to incorporate a meat additive into their diet as well- chicken broth on their kibble, meat protein treats, etc. 
  • Huskies still need a meat protein source for ample zinc supply. 
  • However, this is a safe food if your dog has meat or dairy allergies. 
  • Pros: High quality ingredients with a high protein percent; fit for adult dogs.  
  • Cons: Lacking a meat protein, and fat percentage is low. This is not suitable for puppies. 

Nature’s Logic Canine Chicken Meal Feast

nature's logic canine chicken meal
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 36%, Crude Fat: 15%, 417 kcal/cup 
  • The first five ingredients: Chicken meal, millet, chicken fat, pumpkin seed, yeast 
  • Pros: For ALL life stages! Extremely high in protein. Affordable
  • Cons: Slightly higher caloric intake than the others mentioned. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, it is dependent on your dog’s activity level and weight goals. 

Orijen Original Dry Dog Food  

orijen original dry dog food
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 38%, Crude Fat: 18%, Crude Carb: 17%, 451 kcal/cup 
  • The first five ingredients: Chicken, turkey, flounder, whole mackerel, chicken liver, turkey giblets
  • WholePrey foods mirror the diet that your dog would eat in nature and feature the most succulent parts of prey including poultry or fish, organs and bone
  • Kibble is crafted with 85 percent quality poultry and fish ingredients for a strong source of essential protein, vitamins and minerals.
  • Pros: Extremely high in protein. 
  • Cons: Expensive. This is for adult dogs only.

Guide To Buying Dog Food For Huskies 

  1. Be aware of your dog’s individual dietary requirements. 
  2. Check the ingredients. The first should be a protein or “meal” (unless you’re buying a vegan brand.)
  3. Check the crude protein percentage. We are aiming for 30% and up.
  4. Check the crude fat content. We want 18-20%. 
  5. If the crude carb fat is visible, it should be around 30%. 

What Makes This Breed Unique? 

To answer that we have to look at this breed’s predispositions and overall personality. 

Huskies are most commonly known as the drama queens. They are extremely smart animals that require a lot of attention and exercise. 

Due to their intelligence, they are categorized as working dogs (ex: sled dogs).  

When a husky is lacking stimulation, they are known to become quite mischievous (and noisy). They need to be trained strictly and cared for attentively. With such a big personality comes considerable health predispositions. 

What Diet Requirements Are Specific To Huskies? 

While the average amount of protein in a food brand for an adult dog to consume should be around 28%, huskies need more than that. 

The protein content for kibble should be over 30%, carbohydrates should be at 30%, and fat should be around 18-20% [1]. 

A diet with that high of protein is called a lean diet. 

They need a lean diet to keep up with their high activity level.  

Protein causes one to feel full for a longer amount of time, therefore, hunger decreases. 

Huskies are specifically known for being picky eaters so when they are full, they typically will not eat. 

Increased protein content also aids in building and retaining lean muscle mass [2]. This would be especially helpful as your dog ages. 

Lastly, the more protein in the diet, the less space for sugars, sodium, carbs and fats, even though huskies need high (healthy) fat content in their diets as well.

Pro Tip: The first ingredient listed for a dog food should be a protein or “meal.”

Joint Issues 

Another reason they need a lean diet is because of their predisposition to joint issues.  

Hip Dysplasia is an extremely common disorder for large or giant breed dogs. It can severely disrupt your dog’s quality and quantity of life. 

The hip joint works as a ball and socket. Hip dysplasia causes those to misalign, resulting in bone grinding against each other instead of a gliding motion. 

This can be extremely painful and eventually cause deterioration and loss of function of the hip joint altogether [3].  

Causes of hip dysplasia include genetics, growth rate, exercise level (too much or too little), and weight and nutrition

Huskies are prone to hip dysplasia; some symptoms to look out for are [4] : 

Loss of muscle mass in hind legs Decreased range of motion Stiffness when walking 
Limping or walking abnormally Lameness in the hind legs Decreased exercise 

Addressing the issue as soon as possible will yield the best results. There are preventative and maintenance treatments for hip dysplasia as well as possibly surgical options. 

Zinc deficiency

Huskies are also prone to a zinc deficiency which is responsible for the quality of their skin and coat. 

Zinc deficiency causes abnormal skin production. 

This can occur if they are fed zinc deficient diets or diets that hyperfocus on plant ingredients. 

A couple of conditions can form from this: 

  • Zinc Responsive Dermatosis 
    • This is an uncommon disorder that occurs in arctic breeds such as huskies. 
    • The overall prognosis is good, although zinc supplementation may be required for the remainder of their life. 
Clinical signs [5] : Hair loss 
Crusting and scabbing around the mouth, ears, eyes, and chinPressure points (elbows and footpads) can be irritated, inflamed, and affected 
Red lesions Excessive scratching 
  • Follicular Dysplasia 
    • Structural disruption of the hair follicles can occur for no specific reason.
    • This occurs in young dogs; the onset is as early as 3-4 months old 
    • They lose their primary coat hairs but not the secondary. This can cause their coat to change color to a reddish brown [6].   
    • Hair loss typically happens in random areas on their body, it’s not generalized. 
    • There is no known cure or treatments and hair loss becomes permanent. 

Eye Diseases

There are actually four common eye disorders that are prone to huskies. 

  • Cataracts 
    • 10% of all Siberian Huskies develop cataracts between 6-12 months of age [7]. 
    • It can also be developed later in life 
    • Cataracts can often lead to partial and/ or complete blindness. 
    • Symptoms to watch out for may include:
      • Loss of coordination and bumping into things 
      • Scratching at the eyes 
      • Pupil size may get bigger or smaller 
      • Eyes look cloudy 
      • Reluctant to run, walk, jump, etc. 
    • Prognosis of improved vision is poor. Cataract surgery is possible. 
  • Corneal Dystrophy
    • This is a broad term to describe the deterioration of the cornea.
    • This is when the cornea becomes extremely cloudy 
    • This does not mean that your dog cannot see! 
    • There are multiple different locations that vary in symptoms.
    • Beyond eye ointments and maintenance care, there is no proper treatment or cure
    • It is possible for your dog to lose vision eventually, but that would likely happen from secondary causes to this condition. 
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
    • This affects the photoreceptors in the eyes. These cells are called rods and cones
    • Rods: low light and motion detection 
    • Cones: color detection 
    • There are two types of this disorder [8
      • One type is developed around 2-3 months of age
        • Leads to early blindness
      • The second type is a later onset of 3-9 years old 
        • The cells develop properly but quickly deteriorate 
    • Fortunately, this is not known to be a painful condition.
    • Symptoms would show that your pet seems to be losing their vision or is fully blind
  • Glaucoma 
    • This is when the pressure inside the eye increases
    • The most common clinical signs are: [9
      • Watery discharge from eye 
      • Physical swelling of the eye; bulging eyeballs 
      • Lethargy and/ or reluctance to move 
      • General eye pain – scratching at the area 
      • Cloudy or bluish cornea 
    • If any of these symptoms happen rapidly, then you need to take your dog to the hospital immediately.
    • Acute Glaucoma is an emergency. It can result in permanent blindness, life long treatment, and in worst case scenarios, death. 

Diet almost always plays a major role in our pet’s health status.

To ensure healthy vision and eyes, you’ll want to make sure your husky gets plenty of foods with Vitamin A:

Carrots, spinach, sweet potato, and most green leafy vegetables.

Incorporating those into their diet on a weekly basis could be greatly beneficial.   

NO Grain Free Diets!  

In 2018, the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) started to investigate a link between grain-free diets and canine heart disease after receiving copious amounts of reports. 

Since then, it has been known in the veterinary world to avoid grain free diets at all costs. 

The dangers of grain free diets has been discussed at length in another one of our articles, explaining the connection with heart disease, which breeds are predisposed, and what to do if you feel that your dog is struggling. 

Heart disease affects any dog negatively, but with the energy level of a husky, they need a strong, working heart and grain free diets severely lack that nutrition. 

Our Verdict

Huskies are unique, beautiful, and high maintenance creatures. They need a high protein and high fat content in their diet. They also need 30% or more in protein content, 18-20% for fat, and 30% for carbohydrates. 

Our verdict is that Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Great Plains Red Recipe is an excellent choice when it comes to Huskies.

The smartest thing to do is to consult with your veterinarian to come up with the best plan for your dog to live their best life. 

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Author
Rachel Wood

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