Are you wondering, ‘Why won’t my husky eat?’ You’re not alone!
Once motivated by treats, your Husky’s sudden disinterest in food can be concerning. Is it the food or a health issue? This change, especially when he no longer eagerly awaits his kibble, prompts important questions about his well-being and appetite.
Your Husky may refuse to eat due to illness, stomach sensitivity, stress (from new environments or loud noises), dental pain, a slowing metabolism, boredom with their usual food, medication side effects, or reduced appetite in senior dogs.
Understanding why your Husky isn’t eating is just the first step. In the following sections, we’ll delve into each of these reasons in detail, offering practical solutions to help your furry friend regain their appetite.
Keep reading to discover how you can turn mealtime into a joyful experience for your Husky once again!
Why Won’t My Husky Eat?
If your Husky has stopped eating, his diet preferences or his health might be responsible. These can be further segmented into 7 tangible causes that can be remedied. As a responsible pet owner, you should try to figure out the cause and never assume that the disinterest is arbitrary.
Your Husky may have stopped eating because he:
- Is bored with current food
- No longer has an appetite due to age
- Has dental problems or is in pain
- Has separation anxiety
- Is a fussy eater
- Is feeling unwell
- Prefers eating at certain times
There could be other reasons as well, but they all generally fall into the two groups mentioned earlier; preference reasons and health reasons. Regardless of whether your dog stops eating because of the food’s taste, boredom, or an ailment, the ultimate effect of not eating is on his health.
So you must try to uncover the main reason behind his disinterest. Let’s look into each potential cause covered above in a little more detail.
1. Boredom With Current Food
Like humans, dogs can get tired of eating the same food daily, although I never tire of my daily fix of chocolate! If your Husky slowly loses interest in eating, you might want to try buying a different dry food, adding wet food to his dry food, or soaking his dry food in some warm water or unsalted broth.
I wrote an article on the best diet for Huskies, where you can find a ton of helpful ideas and suggestions. This includes all the types of diets you can feed your dog, such as raw or homemade.
Another way to be sure your dog is not eating because of the food itself is to try and offer him meat or alternative treats. If he shows interest in human food and other treats, then the problem is likely in the food itself. And when your dog is a fussy eater, you cannot starve away their preferences.
However, if your Husky is refusing all food, the most likely cause is that they are unwell.
2. He No Longer Has An Appetite
If your dog is older and doesn’t eat as much, it might be a result of the natural slowing of his metabolism. As dogs get older, they lose their appetite and even some weight. Their activity levels also decrease.
So if your dog is a senior Husky, then you don’t need to get too concerned about this natural change. You can get him checked by the vet, who will likely diagnose him as being old. Generally, dog food for seniors can help turn this around, albeit a little.
However, not all mature dogs may benefit from switching to a senior diet, but it’s definitely something you can test.
Make sure to choose a good quality brand with sound ingredients and proper proportions, as contrary to popular belief, a reduced protein diet is unsuitable for an older dog. In fact, it can cause additional muscle loss.
You should also select dog food meant for large breeds. Go for something like Hill’s Science Diet, Large Breed, for Seniors from Amazon. This food is recommended by vets and has a multitude of positive reviews.
Note: Clicking the above link(s) will take you to Amazon or an online store where we have an affiliate relationship. If you make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
Huskies are also known for being one of the breeds prone to a sensitive stomach and may suffer from mild sickness and diarrhea to far more severe conditions like bloat (GDV).
3. He Has Dental Issues or Pain
When your Husky suddenly stops eating his dry kibble, it could be because the kibble is causing him pain in his mouth. This might result from gingivitis, an abscess, or a damaged tooth. If you’ve ever had a toothache, you’ll know how painful it can be!
Other signs that your dog has dental pain are bad breath, red and swollen gums, bleeding gums, excessive drooling, discolored teeth, and generally feeling under the weather.
If that’s the case, you should try adding warm water to his food to make it soft or temporarily switching over to some soft food and then have his mouth checked by the vet.
4. He’s Stressed Out Enough to Lose His Appetite
You and your Husky are attached at the hip, but you know how anxious and nervous he gets when you’re out of sight, especially if he is the clingy type.
Huskies are known for being extremely affectionate towards their owners. They are very social due to their breeding history of working in packs as sled dogs.
If your Husky spends long periods alone at home, he might be experiencing excess stress and anxiety, known as canine separation anxiety, which would directly reduce his appetite.
This recent study highlighted that Siberian Huskies (and other ancient breeds like the Akita and Alaskan Malamute) are even more at risk of undesirable behaviors like separation-related behavior, especially if living in poor housing conditions such as indoors with or without access to a backyard.
Additionally, have you relocated, traveled, or undergone any significant home changes or routines lately? These things frequently make dogs reluctant to eat. Stressed-out dogs may go on a hunger strike, but this often only lasts one or two days.
5. He’s Simply a Picky Eater
If you’re wondering why your Husky might not be eating properly, here is some food for thought!
It would be great just to buy a 30-pound (14 kg) bag of dry dog food every month or so and feed it to your Husky for years to come.
Unfortunately, your Husky might not be eating because he’s a picky eater. Why will he settle for dry dog kibble if he’s used to getting treats or table scraps as a snack?
If you give treats just to entice your Husky to eat, YOU are turning him into a fussy eater!
So, are Huskies fussy eaters? The fact is, it’s the owner who is usually responsible for making their dog a picky eater! Now and again, a little healthy treat is just fine. You can also try fruit or vegetables, especially if the treat cupboard is bare.
6. He’s Feeling Unwell
If the food isn’t the issue, your Husky might have something else going on. Severe conditions like cancer, kidney failure, and infections could directly impact your dog’s desire to eat and cause a loss of appetite.
Your Husky may have also eaten poisonous food while roaming in the garden or fields. Dogs are known for eating anything they can find left lying around or even getting into the garbage!
Beware of foods like chocolate or grapes, and never leave these lying around where your dog can get at them, as they can be highly toxic.
If your Husky has had his recent vaccinations, sometimes these can cause adverse reactions, including loss of appetite. The good news is this should only be brief – just ensure your dog is drinking plenty of water and keeping himself hydrated.
Huskies need access to clean water at all times, and it’s a good idea to change their water every few hours.
If your Husky is struggling to keep hydrated and you’re worried, you can always get a pet water fountain as the free-falling stream of water entices your dog to drink.
I like the Petsafe Drinkwell as it’s a great size for medium-large dogs, looks great, and even comes with carbon filters to remove bad tastes and odors from the water.
If nothing else seems to be working and you are worried, you should schedule a visit with the veterinarian as soon as possible.
7. He Prefers Eating at Certain Times of the Day
Just like you might not like to eat breakfast at 6 a.m. your dog might make a habit of only eating at certain times of the day. Though this can be concerning at first, you should be keeping track of how much food in total your Husky is eating throughout the day.
If he still eats about the same amount, he simply might prefer to eat at specific times of the day!
My dog used to eat one meal in the morning and one in the evening. However, now that she is older, she prefers to eat both meals in the evening.
She won’t eat them all in one go (this is not recommended to prevent bloat), but she will eat them within 2-3 hours, which is fine.
Learn More On Why Your Dog Is Not Eating In This Video…
Tips to Get Your Husky Eating Again
So, now that you think you might know why your Husky isn’t eating, it’s time to make some changes to see if you’re right. You’ll first want to see if his current food is the problem by switching to a new feeding style.
Modify His Feeding Behavior
Here are some ideas for changing your Husky’s feeding habits:
- If you have been hand-feeding your dog, try stopping for a while. Or try hand feeding for a while if you don’t usually do this.
- Take your dog on a long walk before feeding – so he works up an appetite.
- Don’t feed your Husky an hour before or after exercise – this also helps prevent bloat.
- Change your Husky’s bowl, as some dogs don’t like to see their reflection in stainless steel or glass bowls, so you could try switching to a ceramic one instead.
- Always ensure your dog’s bowl is clean.
- Give him lots of praise when he eats from his bowl.
- Make feeding time fun – try putting a lid on his food, so he must remove it first.
- Keep your dog’s mealtimes separate from yours and shut him out while your family eats – that way, you won’t be tempted to give him scraps!
- Try an interactive dog feeder that can make your Huskie’s mealtimes fun. They’re perfect if your dog is easily distracted by his environment. Check out the Outward Hound Fun Feeder. It gets over 115,000 top reviews!
- If your dog refuses his meal, take his bowl away after 15 minutes and then only put it down again a few hours later.
- Limit treats to training times only.
It’s also important for you to stay calm and confident while changing your Husky’s feeding behavior. If he senses that you are stressed and anxious about his loss of appetite, he may also become stressed and not eat at all!
If your Husky is still not interested in eating and other feeding behaviors have started to change, you might want to call your vet and have him checked over. A sudden lack of appetite and resulting weight loss can signify other issues.
Switch His Food
If your dog slowly loses interest in food over a few weeks, he might no longer like his current food. Here are some ways to target his diet and boost his loss of appetite.
- Choose a more fragrant food. If you take a whiff of your dog’s current food and find the smell unappealing, your dog might also do so! Try picking food that smells more like meat and has a more intense aroma.
- Add wet food or soak his food in warm water. These methods will change your dog’s food texture, taste, and smell. The more the food smells and tastes like meat, the more likely he’ll want to eat it.
Fortunately, I have never had to switch my dog’s food, and I’ve fed it to her for many years, from being an 8-week-old pup. I feed her cold-pressed dog food, which she adores and thrives on.
Hopefully, these steps will fix the situation and return your dog to regular eating habits.
Take Him to the Vet
Vet visits can be costly, but so are the treatment methods for the condition or disease your dog might be experiencing. I would always recommend having a decent pet insurance policy, which will always give you peace of mind.
Remember: Your dog’s appetite and weight loss will harm his health, but if they directly result from some other underlying issue, you must tackle the causes of your dog not eating first.
Here are some conditions and diseases that your vet will be looking for:
- Kidney failure
- Mouth/teeth issues
After a complete evaluation and a discussion about your Husky’s change in eating habits, your veterinarian will hopefully be able to determine what the current issue is.
If that’s the case, don’t worry; you should have a treatment method ready to go, and your dog will return to eating like normal very soon.
How Long Can a Husky Go Without Eating?
An adult Husky can go 3 days without eating food, while a senior Husky might be able to go 5 days without eating. In either case, you should find a remedy for your dog’s poor appetite because he needs to start eating again in order to maintain his weight and health.
Do Huskies Lose Their Appetite?
Huskies can lose their appetite as they age or if they are ill. Sometimes, Huskies lose their appetite out of boredom and get hungry after taking a break from their food. Huskies might also lose their appetite if they are in pain or are generally anxious.
Do Huskies Skip Meals?
Huskies wean themselves from their 3-meal diet to a single meal as they grow up. They can skip meals and get hungry at random times. This can be confusing to some dog owners. Generally, keeping food accessible can help. But if your dog doesn’t eat for multiple days, you should get him checked.
Do Huskies Eat Less in Hot Weather?
Huskies eat less in hot weather because their thick coats already maintain their body heat and are even pumped up by the hot weather. Food generates heat, so the dogs might instinctively want to eat less.
Sometimes, giving your Husky a cold garden hose bath can help work up his appetite. But this should be reserved for the summer only.
Huskies may occasionally skip meals, with not eating for up to two days being normal, though rare. To address this, start with simple solutions and escalate as needed.
Try switching their food or adding wet food or warm water to enhance palatability. Observe changes in behavior and mood. If these steps don’t resolve the issue, consult a vet for a thorough check-up.
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