Deciding to own a pet goes beyond picking the cutest of the lot. It involves knowing the needs of each dog breed and evaluating if we would be able to care for it. From physical to emotional and financial wellness, being a responsible pet parent means preparing ourselves and our homes to welcome these furballs into our lives. Kinda like family planning 😉
Hence, in this series, we will have Malaysian pet owners share their 2 cents on their experiences in raising a furchild.
Huskies are a beautiful breed of dogs. Be it an Alaskan Malamute, a Greenland Dog, a Samoyed or a Siberian Husky, their wolf-like appearances and cheeky charm makes it too easy for us to fall in love with them.
Hence, meet Blue! This handsome boy is a Siberian Husky and the furchild of Nikita.
How old is Blue now and how old was he when you first got him?
He was 2 months old when we got him on 1st March 2018. Currently he’s at 2 years and 2 months.
Is there a story behind Blue’s name and how you chose him out of the rest of the litter?
We name him Blue because one of his eyes is blue in color. Haha and among the litter, he’s the only grey one. That’s why we chose him.
Is Blue a purebred Husky? How do you differentiate purebreds from mixed?
Yes, Blue is a purebred Husky with a traceable family lineage of purebred Huskies. You can usually tell it’s a mixed breed just the look of it where some of their characteristics don’t match huskies.
What are some things to look out for when choosing a Husky? (like behavioral and physical characteristics, breeding conditions, etc.)
We didn’t really consider so much when getting Blue. As long as we love him that is all that mattered.
How has Blue’s character developed from the first day you got him till today?
He’s a properly trained, obedient and playful boy.
Caring for a husky
Grooming and Bathing
Do Huskies smell and do they require frequent baths?
Huskies don’t smell but it also depends on where they stay. If it’s indoor then no, huskies don’t smell but if it’s outdoor then yes, they would smell especially after getting wet from the rain.
We usually shower him once a month unless he ends up being covered by mud from playing at the park (it happens sometimes).
We see that Blue really loves his water day! How did you get him to love being around water?
When he was 4 months, we brought him to the beach and he jumped into the sea water on his own. Ever since that day, he loves playing with water.
Do Huskies shed a lot? How do you manage it to ensure your home isn’t constantly carpeted in fur?
Generally all dogs have their shedding season, which means they shed way more than normal days. Blue shedded a lot back then and we had to constantly vacuum the floor almost everyday otherwise you can see piles of fur piling up in the corner. But those were the days when he was still eating kibbles.
Right now after changing his food diet to Petchef, he no longer sheds that much (you can hardly find his fur on normal days) and during his shedding season, you can see tiny, small balls of fur only. Hence, a dog’s diet really will affect the amount of shedding.
Diet and Feeding
Do Huskies eat a lot?
Not really because they are the most picky eaters among all dogs. They have to eat quality food and they get diarrhea easily.
The diet of Huskies consists of 35% protein. What meats do you feed Blue and what does his diet look like?
As we are feeding him with the Petchef program, I think it covers the source of protein that he needs. He’s currently on the chicken and salmon menu.
How do you know if Blue prefers or is allergic to a certain food or ingredient?
Blue was eating kibbles since we got him. There were days when he would be bored of his kibble food and refused to eat so we either changed to another kibble brand or made him chicken breast.
But since we started the Petchef program in March, he loves it so much and gets very excited to eat it every time. He would be jumping here and there and keep barking from excitement so that’s how we know he prefers this food. If he dislikes the food, he usually will not finish the food or get bored of it easily (we used to change the flavour of his kibble every month).
However, if he’s allergic to it, Blue will usually get diarrhea.
Social and Behavioral Management
Male Huskies tend to be more clingy and rebellious. How did you train Blue to follow the ground rules you set for him?
We trained him since young and we have to be strict. All dogs need an alpha aka his dad; but he gets rebellious too because he found a weakness spot aka his mom who spoils Blue a lot.
Huskies tend to dig as a replacement behavior. Has this been destructive and how do you manage this behavior for Blue?
Nope, he will only dig when he is allowed to.
Are Huskies highly social pets? Now with the CMCO enforced, how do you keep Blue entertained indoors?
Yes, Huskies are highly social pets. Blue does love going to the park but with the CMCO enforced, we can only let him play with water with the kids inflated pool, let him play with his toys more often (Especially tug of war, he loves this game!), and train him indoors with new tricks.
We heard that:
Huskies can speak. Can Blue speak? If yes, how did you train him to do that?
Huskies usually howl and sing rather than talk. Blue does too but we didn’t train him, he naturally knows how to do it. When Blue gets too excited, that’s when he would start to bark, howl and sing.
Huskies require a cool and air-conditioned room to live in. Is that true and how do you keep such a thick furred dog cool in our warm climate?
Yes, huskies do need a cooling and air conditioned room to live in.
If it’s indoor, then an air-conditioned room will be enough. If it’s outdoors, we usually will only bring Blue out in the morning or evening. It’s also a must to bring water for him to drink and for us to wet his belly to cool down his body temperature if he gets too hot.
Huskies are one of the more expensive dog breeds to care for. From your experience, is this true and what are the general costs?
Yes, it’s true. The general costs will cover the electricity for the air cond, supplements like vitamin, food (as it has to be high quality food usually about RM400-500 per month) and a lot of toys. Plus there’s also grooming but we groom Blue on our own.
The Final Woof
Any additional advice for future pet parents who are looking to own and love a Husky?
Huskies require a lot of patience and you need to put in a lot of time to train them but it will definitely be worth it as they are really adorable and loving!
Do remember that caring for a furkid is almost like caring for a human kid. We wouldn’t leave them in the car unattended nor would we let them live on a diet of salty crackers only.
Here at Petchef, we love helping pet owners feel confident and believe that they’re giving their absolute best to their furkids. Hence, if your pet seems to be losing clumps of fur or they’re seemingly bored with kibbles, perhaps you might want to give the fresh food diet a go! Click here to speak to our pet nutrition experts and we’ll create a suitable meal plan for your furkid.