Studies have shown Siberian huskies require 60% less food than typical dogs. Their unique metabolism has evolved over centuries as hard working sled dogs in Russia. They typically burn glucose and preserve fat stores for as long as possible. I’ve owned several over the years and until recently had four, now we have three after losing our alpha boy this past spring.
Our dogs have been raw fed and currently are fed a grain-free high protein kibble like Blue Buffalo. The boys were hard mushing, hard playing, hard working dogs and yet they only eat a fraction of what most dogs eat and when not playing or mushing reduce their consumption on their own.
The girls are a different story. Lulu is a rescue who was only 25 pounds when we got her and pregnant with Quinn. She came up to a normal weight after she weaned Quinn, but never gained an ounce while pregnant or nursing. Tala began gaining over time and is quite heavy ranging from 75 to a high of 92 pounds! She is on thyroid meds and that helped bring her down to the mid 70’s -still about 20 pounds overweight. She does not eat more than one cup of kibble a day! I suspect it all goes toward building fat reserves -she is also the laziest dog on the planet -we joke she is saving herself for the zombie apocalypse.
I suspect Tala’s switch involves extreme exercise -to get pass that glucose-burning to fat-burning switch. I am currently walking each morning to try to get my stamina up to about 4 miles, so I can walk her 4-5 miles a day. I should be ready by end of August when the mornings are cooler. Right now the southern summer is not healthy for her 95º and 85% humidity… I want her to get in shape, not die of heat.
Lipid metabolite responses to diet and training in sled dogs. (note ‘Alaskan sled dog’ is not synonymous with the ‘Siberian husky’ breed