Huskies aren’t necessarily picky, but like any dog, they may experience appetite problems. This can cause panic among their owners, especially if the doggo is refusing to eat for days. To help you address this problem, we answer this question: why is my Husky not eating? We also included solutions you can try to stimulate your pet’s taste buds.
Remember that each dog has unique preferences over food. Some Huskies don’t mind eating the same thing for years while others will get tired of their food after a few months.
It’s all about understanding what your Husky likes and trying different products until you found one that matches your pet’s taste.
Why is my Husky not eating?
Dogs can develop different eating habits over time. But if your Husky isn’t eating for some reason, the following might explain why:
1. Your Husky doesn’t like the food.
The most common reason why Huskies won’t eat is the food itself. Your doggo probably dislikes the taste or texture of the food you’re giving.
Moreover, Huskies can be finicky eaters. At some point, a Husky may start to get bored of its food and refuse to eat it unless you give them a new formula.
It’s possible that your dog prefers a tastier and more aromatic food product. Aside from that, your dog might prefer wet food over dry or vice versa. In this case, you need to try several food products or cycle them to prevent your Husky from getting tired of it.
In addition, some Huskies will stop eating a specific food product if their stomach got upset with it. And even if the food isn’t the culprit, your Husky may associate the bad experience with the taste and odor of the food.
Overall, picky eating is common in dogs and is one of the easiest reasons to solve. Nevertheless, you should still get other possible reasons on this list ruled out just to be sure.
2. Your Husky doesn’t have a fixed feeding schedule.
Dogs thrive in a routine, so if your Husky doesn’t have a fixed feeding schedule, it may start to refuse food.
Failure to follow a feeding schedule means that your Husky will be grazing for food throughout the day. As your doggo gets small amounts of food all day, it will not be hungry once you decide to feed it.
Aside from that, tossing table scraps and leftovers to your dog will also impact their appetite. In the long run, your doggo may refuse actual meal times and prefer to wait for alms by the dinner table.
Just like any task, it’s important to train your Husky to follow a feeding schedule. This way, the pooch won’t beg for food all day. Aside from that, a fixed feeding schedule also means that your Husky will also have a normal and regular bowel movement.
Overall, an adult Husky should be fed two large meals: one in the morning and another in the evening. For puppies, a day’s worth of food must be divided into 4 to 5 servings.
3. Your Husky is anxious.
Have you ever been in a very stressful situation? You can’t eat properly, right? This is the same thing when it comes to dogs.
Huskies are sensitive dogs and they may grow anxious without ample physical and mental stimulation. Also, Huskies that are left alone for long periods will develop separation anxiety. This problem can impact a dog’s appetite, not to mention that it could also branch into other behavioral issues.
Huskies can develop anxiety if you moved into a new home, got another pet, a member of the family passed away, and so on. These sudden changes will disrupt a dog’s routine, which will wreak havoc on their behavior.
Usually, anxiety-related hunger strikes won’t last long. At some point, your Husky will be so hungry it will start to seek food on its own. Still, you should help your pet cope, so it won’t suffer from further stress.
4. Your Husky doesn’t get enough exercise.
Lack of exercise can also put your Husky off its food. It’s because understimulated Huskies won’t burn enough energy, which means they won’t be as hungry as usual.
Take note that most Huskies will eat their food based on their activity level. It’s unique for dogs, a species known to be highly food-driven.
Overall, exercise gives Huskies a reason to eat. So if you don’t give your dog enough exercise, it will not eat enough as well.
If combined with stress, anxiety, and poor food quality, your Husky will have all the reasons to stop eating. This isn’t good since it can have irreversible effects on puppies and adults suffering from an underlying health problem.
5. Your Husky was vaccinated recently.
Newly vaccinated Huskies will have a poor appetite. This is a common side effect, whether your dog is given a core or non-core vaccine.
Moreover, dogs will become lethargic for a few days after receiving a vaccine. This happens as the canine’s body absorbs the vaccine and builds immunity.
Usually, poor appetite due to vaccination will resolve by itself. Just let your dog rest and make sure that it’s fully hydrated.
Take note that these side effects after vaccination should only last for around three days. If your Husky remains weak and with poor appetite, you should call the vet. While rare, this could be an adverse reaction to inoculation.
6. Your Husky has dental problems.
Dental problems make it difficult and painful for your Husky to chew. This is common as your dog ages, but even young Huskies aren’t invincible to this problem.
Rotting teeth is as painful to canines as it is to humans. So even if your pet is hungry, it will not eat because it feels excruciating pain whenever it chews on the kibble or wet food.
Aside from that, sore gums can also affect your Husky’s appetite. Worse, unaddressed dental problems can branch out to more infections, even a condition as serious as heart disease.
Take note that dental problems never go away on their own. The condition will just get worse over time, which will make your Husky more reluctant to eat or even drink water.
Nevertheless, if your puppy is just teething, there’s nothing to worry about. This phase will be over once your dog reaches 6 months old and after all its adult teeth have erupted.
7. Your Husky has an upset stomach.
A stomach ache will make your Husky reluctant to eat. It’s possible that your pooch consumed something bad or an inedible item that’s upsetting its tummy.
Moreover, Huskies with stomach aches will be restless. It will pace and whine because of the pain. Aside from that, the canine will suffer from diarrhea and vomiting. Loss of appetite will also linger until the stomach ache has been resolved.
Most stomach aches of Huskies are short-lived and will be fixed once the doggo defecates or vomits. But if your pet is exhibiting symptoms for days, it’s best to call a veterinarian instead.
8. Your Husky has underlying health problems.
If your Husky is refusing to eat for days, it might be experiencing a health problem. However, since the loss of appetite is a general symptom, it could point to many things.
The best way to identify your Husky’s condition is to consult a veterinarian. At the vet’s clinic, your dog will undergo several tests to determine what’s causing its poor appetite.
But if you’re wondering, the following might be potential reasons behind your dog’s poor appetite. Again, only the vet can tell you what’s wrong with your canine.
- Intestinal parasites. Intestinal worms can sabotage your Husky’s appetite and overall health. However, this can also be a two-edged sword. Some Huskies with intestinal parasites may eat relentlessly while others will shut down food completely. Take note that this problem needs to be addressed immediately to avoid life-threatening complications.
- Gastric torsion. Gastric torsion or gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV) can also be the reason behind your Husky’s poor appetite. This happens when a canine’s stomach twists and prevents food and gas from being expelled. Loss of appetite is just an initial symptom as this condition can turn deadly in a matter of minutes. This is a medical emergency that should be treated as soon as it occurs.
- Zinc deficiency. Huskies are highly predisposed to zinc deficiencies due to genetic-related issues. Aside from poor appetite, other symptoms also include hair loss, skin lesions, thickened foot pads, and stunted growth. The vet will have to conduct either a blood test or a skin biopsy to detect zinc deficiency in canines.
- Kidney/liver failure. Organ failure will directly impact your dog’s appetite. But aside from that, your canine will also suffer from life-threatening consequences. Ultimately, if organ failure isn’t treated, your Husky will die.
How to stimulate your Husky’s appetite
There are easy ways to fix your Husky’s poor appetite as long as it’s not an emergency. Here are a few of our recommendations:
1. Give your Husky ample exercise
Before trying any other solution, you should reassess your Husky’s physical activities first. Many times, poor appetite can be easily fixed by taking your dog on long walks or scheduling more playtime sessions.
Remember, dogs like routine. This is why you should also schedule your Husky’s activities to ensure that you’re meeting its physical needs.
Huskies are energetic working dogs that require at least two hours of exercise per day. By helping your dog burn its excess energy, you’ll also help stimulate its appetite.
2. Stick to a feeding schedule
You should come up with a feeding schedule for your Husky and stick with it. This way, your dog can predict when food is coming. Also, it will help your pet see eating as a routine and not just a random activity.
Adult Huskies can eat two meals per day, which are scheduled in the morning and night. Meanwhile, younger ones need to eat multiple meals in small servings of up to 5. You can also divide your adult Husky’s meal into multiple servings if it gets easily hungry during the day.
Whatever feeding schedule you prefer, you should stick to it and follow it religiously.
3. Switch to a new food
If your Husky won’t eat its food but will happily munch treats, it means that your doggo just dislikes the food you’re serving. Try switching to a new product with a different flavor. After that, see if your Husky will regain its appetite.
Overall, each Husky has unique taste preferences. Some may like fish while others won’t. You’ll have to go through the process of trial and error to find the food that will seal the deal for your Husky.
Whatever dog food you choose, make sure that you perform the switch gradually. Start by replacing a small portion of your Husky’s meal with the new formula. From there, you can keep increasing the replaced portion until your doggo has adjusted to the diet.
4. Top it with tasty treats
Another thing you can do is use your Husky’s favorite treats as toppings to its food. You can also mix it in, especially in wet food, to spread the flavor and encourage your pet to finish the entire serving.
However, make sure that you factor in the number of treats you’re going to use to the canine’s calorie limits. You wouldn’t want to overfeed your Husky.
5. Add warm water or broth
Is the treat hack not working? If so, you can try adding some warm water or low-sodium broth to your Husky’s meal.
Many dogs prefer warm meals since it simulates the temperature of fresh meat of their prey in the wild. Remember, warm but not boiling water should be used.
On the other hand, the warm low-sodium broth is a good way to heat your pet’s food and add flavor at the same time. You’ll be surprised by how much it can turn the tables on your picky eater.
6. Deal with separation anxiety
It’s important to train your dog out of separation anxiety to reduce problems related to its diet. Desensitization is the key here, especially for rescue dogs that suffer from severe anxiety when left alone at home.
Huskies are specifically prone to this problem, so you should train the pooch as early as it arrives at your home. It also helps to have someone look after your doggo while you’re away at work, on errands, or on vacation.
7. Observe proper dental hygiene
Poor dental hygiene can cause tooth decay and a slew of gum problems on your Husky. If this persists, your dog will find it hard to chew and even swallow food. Worse, Huskies with severe dental problems can also suffer from massive infections as bacteria enter through the mouth sores and into the bloodstream.
As much as possible, you should brush your Husky’s teeth at least once a week. If you can do it daily, it would be better. This way, food bits won’t rot between its teeth and cause decay.
You can also use water additives for your Husky. This additive is formulated to help reduce tartar formation. It acts like a mouth wash for your dog that’s safe to ingest.
Aside from that, you should invest in an annual dental cleaning for your Husky. While this costs a fee, it’s much cheaper than having your Husky treated for severe dental issues.
8. Feed your dog in a quiet spot
Some Huskies are sensitive to loud and unfamiliar noises. In this case, they may refuse to eat due to fear or anxiety.
It will help a lot to feed your Husky in a different spot. For example, instead of feeding the pooch in an open space, try putting the bowl inside the crate with the door open. This can help calm your nervous doggo.
You can also try different areas in your home with the least foot traffic. From there, see where your dog will be the most comfortable during meal times.
9. Ask the vet about appetite stimulants.
If all your efforts at home aren’t working, you can ask your dog’s vet about the potential use of appetite stimulants. Take note that appetite stimulants should only be used under strict guidance by the vet. This is to guarantee the safety of the drug and the use of proper dosage.
Veterinarians commonly use mirtazapine for dogs with a loss of appetite. This is an anti-nausea medication, which also helps restore a canine’s appetite under specific conditions. It’s safe to administer daily as long as you follow the vet’s instructions.
Aside from mirtazapine, a medication called Entyce is also being used lately. This is a new medication designed specifically for doggos with appetite problems. It works by mimicking the function of the hunger hormone called ghrelin. This way, your Husky’s appetite will be stimulated safely and properly.
10. Schedule annual vet checks for your dog.
Lastly, you should schedule an annual vet check for your Husky. This way, the veterinarian can spot potential problems before it becomes worse. It will also help prevent potential causes of poor appetite in canines.
Whether your Husky has appetite problems or not, an annual check-up is still recommended. This is part of keeping check on your pet’s health. If you’re going to the doctor for regular checks, your dog should, too.
Although these vet visits cost a fee, it’s just a small thing compared to the money you’ll save from treatments of severe conditions that are diagnosed late.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are Huskies picky eaters?
A: For the most part, Huskies aren’t picky eaters. Still, they are known to get tired of their food faster than other breeds. This is the reason why they may come across as picky or fussy when it comes to their diet. Finicky eating isn’t just the reason why Huskies will not stop eating. Other problems like health conditions, poor food quality, dirty bowls, and so on can also affect your pet’s appetite.
Q: When should I worry if my Husky isn’t eating?
A: If your Husky isn’t eating for more than 24 hours, you should consult the vet. However, if the refusal to eat is accompanied by other symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting, you should see veterinary care within 8 to 12 hours. It’s because vomiting and diarrhea will cause dehydration, which can be deadly in a matter of hours.
Q: Should I take the food away if my dog doesn’t want to eat it?
A: If your dog refuses to eat, you should take the bowl away. This is to prevent your dog from consuming spoiled or stale food that could upset its stomach. Usually, dogs won’t starve themselves to death, unless they have an underlying condition. At some point, your dog will start to get tired of being hungry and begin eating. Make sure that you continuously offer food during mealtime hours.
Q: Do dogs get bored of their food?
A: Some dogs may get bored of their food, especially if it’s not as flavorful as other options. Aside from that, some dogs are just born finicky, so they may refuse a food product even if others find it delicious. Huskies, for one, are known for this dilemma. Pet owners with this problem may have to try different food products just to find one that their Huskies will love to eat.
Q: Do Huskies have sensitive stomachs?
A: Huskies are notorious for their sensitive stomach. They are prone to food allergies, intolerances, skin issues, and other health problems related to their diet. If your Husky suffers from this problem, it’s important to involve the veterinarian. This way, you’ll receive proper advice and recommendations to stimulate your pet’s appetite.
Why is my Husky not eating? Appetite problems are commonplace among Huskies due to food preferences, poor feeding schedule, anxiety, lack of stimulation, or even an underlying condition. It’s always best to consult your pet’s veterinarian to know more about the best solution.
Have you ever encountered appetite problems on your Husky? How did you handle it? Share your thoughts below!