Huskies as Pets: Costs, Life Expectancy, and Temperament

Huskies are sweet, beautiful, and intelligent animals and there is a lot that their owners will need to know if they want to keep them as pets. They can be the best family-friendly dog to have, as well as a partner to exercise with. I decided to do some research on Huskies as pets and answer any concerns that people may have about owning one.

Huskies require a lot of care and attention. Like most dogs, they will need an owner who is willing and able to care for them. The owner will also need to know as much as possible when they’re taking care of a Husky. In the article below, we’ll discuss what to feed Huskies, how and when to groom them, the average cost of adoption, and much more!

At a Glance

Huskies are classic cold-weather dogs who are friendly, intelligent and affectionate to their owners. On the other hand, they can also be quite stubborn and independent.

Huskies do best when they have other humans around to socialize with. While they need do firm training as puppies, being gentle also works wonders.

Expectations

Exercise RequirementsThey need at least 40 minutes of outdoor or indoor activity
Energy LevelThey hold an average level of energy
Longevity RangeThey can live to about 11-13 years of age
Tendency to DroolLow
Tendency to SnoreLow
Tendency to Bark Moderate
Tendency to DigModerate
Social Needs Moderate
  • Height: Males grow to about 23 inches tall, and females grow to about 21 inches tall
  • Weight: Males weigh about 45 lbs, and Females weigh about 35-50 lbs
  • Best Suited For: Families who have active children, single people who are active, and families/singles who have a home with a fenced backyard
  • Comparable Breeds: Akita, Alaskan Malamute

Is a Husky Right for You?

Before diving head first into purchasing your first Husky pup, you need to figure out if this breed will be suitable for you. The personality and characteristics of a dog are very important to know beforehand. This is especially true if your characteristics or lifestyle do not seem to be the best fit for this breed.

For example, a Husky is great with families and loves to exercise, but if you are someone who is living by themselves, it can be a bit difficult for your pup to find the social interaction they need.

In addition, if you’re a person who likes to find comfort and solitude in your own home, you may want to think about the effect this will have on your Husky.

Their Cleanliness

Huskies are known to be a clean dog compared to other breeds. Many think otherwise because of their shedding and long coat. They are actually quite prideful in the fact that they keep their coat clean.

Huskies do not have a strong ‘dog odor’ emanating off of them like many other dogs do. Despite this, they might still enjoy the occasional muddy puddle. Give them baths rarely, since they can keep themselves clean, but always clean them off when there’s a muddy, stinky emergency!

Another great thing about Huskies is their clean eating. They aren’t very messy eaters which is good for you and your floors. This could be some pretty great news if you aren’t a fan of huge messes to take care of after every dog meal.

Finding a Quality Breeder

It is important to look into what your breeder is like. A dog that is raised in a harsh or harmful environment will not be the best match for you. Look into breeders who have good reviews and follow all of the regulations of breeding.

Be sure to also make sure that you are a good match for the breeder’s puppy before you contact them. If everything seems right, you can set up a meeting to go and see the litter.

Quality Breeders will do the following:

  • Produce high-quality Siberians (you should be able to ensure this information by looking at their website)
  • They will interview you to make sure that you will be a good owner and match for their puppy
  • The puppies they sell will be well-socialized, and this can be obvious when you go to visit
  • They might even stay in touch with you after you have purchased the pup
  • You will need to sign a purchase agreement from them
  • They will not sell any puppy that is less than 8 weeks old
  • They will provide you with registration papers

Choosing the Right Husky Pup

When visiting a litter, you will need to look for signs of the healthiest pup of the pack. Usually, if one puppy is sick, that might be a sign that the breeder is not doing their best on taking care of them.

Some signs to keep an eye out for would be bloated puppies. You should also be aware if the pup has signs of diarrhea or straining underneath their tail.

If the pup has bad breath, that might indicate some more problems. Although we know most dogs have bad breath, there are signs that will tell you if something is different. If their breath smells a bit like garlic, then you should be concerned.

A Husky puppy should be active and plump, and even compact in their build. The only difference in build would be between females and males.

Females are usually easier to house train since they mature sooner and can be less dominant than male pups. This can be useful because they will be less likely to be independent and challenge the authority of their owners.

Your puppy should be friendly and quite curious when you first encounter them!

It is important to also not confuse a very playful pup for a condition called Spinning. Spinning is a sign of stunted social skills and these dogs can be harder to train and socialize with.

Spinning is usually seen in puppies who have been in a contained space for a long time. Since they are contained, they will develop a compulsive behavior in which they spin around, not stopping for a few moments. Even if spinning seems cute, you should avoid these kinds of puppies.

A Husky’s characteristics can change as they grow older. Most of the time they are born quite dark, but there are sometimes pups that are born pure white.

Do not be concerned if your puppy has a pair of floppy ears because these will stand up on their own over time. You should check to make sure that your pup’s ears don’t have any discharge coming from them or a funny smell.

Best Containment Options

Since Huskies are curious puppies by nature, it is important to have some boundaries placed for them. This is especially important if you have them in your backyard or even an open field.

Unfortunately a simple fence may not be the solution. Huskies can jump to extreme heights from just in a sitting position. They develop some pretty strong muscular hind legs.

It is recommended that you have a 6-foot tall fence to keep them from exploring the rest of the neighborhood. Something with no horizontal rails will be just fine.

Be sure to also stop any attempts your Husky will make to dig underneath the fence. You can avoid this by planting some concrete retaining blocks under the fence line.

Their Preferred Climate

We all know that Huskies appreciate the cold climate since they are bred to endure that kind of extreme weather. Their double coat is also another way they are able to withstand extremely cold weather.

But this does not mean they can’t thrive in other climates as well.

You just need to be aware and careful of your dog’s temperature for wherever you travel or plan on living. Whether you live somewhere that can be very hot or cold, your pup will do their best adapting to the weather.

If you decide to take your pup to Australia, you will need to be careful of their temperature on the hotter days to make sure they won’t overheat. Any time they are outside on a hot day, make sure that shade and water is readily available to them.

Attention Needs

Despite their independant tendencies, Huskies do not like being left alone. In fact, they crave human attention and touch.

As much as they like making their own decisions, they love to spend time with their owner. The more time you spend with your pup, the happier they will be.

As a puppy, the attention you give them will be used to help them adjust as an adult.

With that being said, do not get a puppy if you will be away from home for more than a few hours every day. It is unfair to them to be spending most of their day alone because they enjoy and need companionship.

Something you can consider would be getting another dog to live with you. It is a great way to keep your Husky occupied, and with Huskies being pack animals they are more than likely to enjoy being around other dogs.

Costs

Owning any dog breed can be expensive if you take into consideration all of the factors that go into owning a dog. Luckily, I compiled a small list of items you can purchase for your dog! Whether you are just bringing them home or babysitting one!

This list has the essentials to having a puppy or dog in your home.

Collar

Every new dog needs a collar. As the owner, you can even choose the colors or wacky designs you can have on them.

On another note, how can you know if the collar fits your dog?

You can figure this out by sticking two fingers underneath the collar, and if it easily slips in then the collar should fit your dog comfortably. It may seem a bit tight, but you want a collar that will keep your dog from slipping out of it.

If you have a puppy, you will need to replace the collar in the future as they get older.

Purchase Here

Poop Bags

A responsibility that comes with owning a dog is the responsibility of picking up after them, and to keep the neighborhood and parks tidy (especially if your pup tends to leave their business around)!

Special bio-degradable bags have a clean scent built in them, and these bags help the environment as well!

Purchase Here

Leash

When it comes to choosing a leash, it’s all about preference! You can purchase a retractable leash or a standard one. I find that retractable leashes are a bit more functional and easier to use. A retractable leash will never accidentally pull on your dog’s neck unless you have unleashed it all the way.

It is a more adaptable choice.

Although if you are more concerned with training your puppy when you first get them, then having a standard leash is much better!

You can have much more control when training them with a standard leash.

Purchase Here

Kennel

Traveling can be a bit of hassle already, so having a kennel can be a great option for making traveling with your pet easier!

If you have a small puppy, this kennel will be a good choice to place them in. It will keep them safe and secure. Although, if you are leaving for a day trip, then having a wire kennel will be best for your larger dog.

If you feel odd about keeping your beloved pet in a cage, don’t worry too much. Dogs actually feel quite safe in an enclosed space!

At times, they can even choose to go into their kennel!

Purchase Here

Bedding

Bedding is just something you can add in their kennel to make the environment much more comfortable for them. You are not obligated to buy something new for them, you can use an old blanket to place inside the bed of the kennel.

If you choose to buy a bed, make sure nothing harmful is inside it. That way if they chew it up, they won’t be harmed by the contents. If your dog is fond of chewing things up as a puppy, then do not invest too much in a fancy bed.

Purchase Here

Cleaner

If you have a younger dog, then there are bound to be some accidents. Dogs will go back to the same spot they had their accident in the first time.

Because of this behavior, you will want to have something that will clean the affected area as well as get rid of the smell.

The product listed in the chart above is great at eliminating odor and cleaning your dog’s urine to the best degree.

Purchase Here

Food Bowls

You will want a size food bowl that matches the size of your dog. Getting a large food bowl can result in giving your pup too much to drink. Over time, that can become a bit of a problem.

If you have a messy eater, try placing a mat underneath the food bowl to keep any water or food off the floor.

Purchase Here

Gates

Having a gate is simply if you have a curious puppy you want to keep out of certain places around your house!

Purchase Here

Food Container

Having a food container is a great way to keep all of your dog’s food in one place. And you can make sure that it is protected from any little pests that try to make their way inside.

Purchase Here

Dog Treats

These aren’t necessarily essential to owning a dog but they certainly makes life more enjoyable for them! Who doesn’t love a good treat?

Not only that, but treats are a great reward for when your dog does something good at home. And you can use them to get your pups attention.

Purchase Here

What To Expect

The price of a Husky depends heavily upon on the location of where the Husky is, the gender, coloring, lineage and so much more!

You can expect to pay at least $600-$1,300 for a Husky. The median price to which you can purchase a Husky is $725.

In cases where the pup is of a superior pedigree then the price will skyrocket. A dog of that top quality will not be sold at a cheap amount. A purebred Husky can be bought at a starting of $1,4000.

The price can rise to as high as $6,000.

Costs of Feeding

You will want some quality food for your pup, and that can cost about $2-$3 a pound, so if you purchase a 30 pound bag for $55, that amount of food will give your dog 48 days of food.

Overall, you will be spending about $440 on 8 bags of dog food a year!

Costs of Training

For group lessons, you can be paying around $50-$125 for 4 to 8 weeks of one-hour training sessions. If you find that training is a path you want to take for setting up rules then go right ahead!

Vet Expenses

Paying for trips to the vet are never cheap. Fortunately the Husky breed is quite healthy and rarely get sick!

No breed is perfect though and your pup may suffer from the following problems listed below (with the average costs at the vet included):

Hip Dysplasia$1,500-$6,000
Entropion$300-$1,500
Corneal Dystrophy$300-$3,000
Deafness$100-$300
Follicular Dysplasia$200-$500
Uveodermatologic Syndrome$1,000-$3,000

Caring For Them

Feeding Your Husky

Despite Huskies being quite large, they only need a small amount of food at each meal! And unlike other dogs, Huskies are aware of how much of their food they eat!

  • If a Husky is full, they will not eat any more food
  • If a Husky has had a lot of exercise that day, they will eat more than usual
  • If a Husky has not been as active, then they will eat less
  • Huskies can become bored from eating the same food
  • Huskies can develop individual preferences
  • If your Husky feels sick after they eat a certain food, they may not eat that food again

That being said, do not overfeed your Husky, an overweight dog will have a shorter life than one that is healthy.

Something that can help with your pup becoming bored with its food is adding different ingredients to their meals! Though, do not drastically change what is in their food. It is important to keep well-balanced nutrition in their diet.

Finally, here are some foods to have your dog avoid. It is important to watch them for any worrying symptoms if they ingest these things. Take them to their vet if you noticed any changes in their behavior.

Something that no Husky, at any age should ever eat are:

  • Large amounts of dairy
  • Raisins, grapes, prunes, etc
  • Cooked bones
  • Onion

Grooming

You can expect your Husky to shed their entire coat at least once a year! This can be a pretty frightening thing to hear if you are not a fan of picking up piles of hair from the ground.

When this happens, you can simply put your pup in a warm bath and blow dry them. This will make the hairs drop evenly and you will have an easier time combing them out.

Other than this extreme annual occurrence, you can expect your dog to shed pretty consistently.

You should thoroughly brush your dog’s fur at least once a week to make sure that their coat is healthy. It is important to keep doing this, especially in the wet months because your dog’s coat can become matted if it isn’t regularly brushed.

And finally, fleas! You should follow a routine grooming inspection for fleas, especially if your pup tends to go exploring outside in tall grass frequently hangs around other dogs.

Health

  • Feet – Since dogs are not used to having anyone check their paws, start checking the paws of your pup while they’re young. The reason behind checking their paws is to make sure they do not have any chemical burns or grass seeds stuck between their fur.
  • Nails – You will need to remember to trim the nails of your pup every month. If you wait too long the nails will overgrow and that can cause some foot problems for your pup.
  • Teeth – Having the correct dental care for your pup is extremely important. Dogs have 42 teeth and sometimes cleaning them can seem like an impossible task. But, you can buy a special toothbrush and toothpaste designed for dogs.
  • Eyes – Any discharge that comes from the eyes you will need to clean with a damp cloth or you can even purchase special wipes made to wipe around the eyes.
  • Ears – Your pup should not have red ears or foul-smelling ears with any discharge coming from it. You should also look at the wax, make sure that it is clear or a pale yellow. If it is black or brown your pup may be suffering from an infection.
  • Fleas – If your pup is bitten by a flea, the itch will last 3-7 days. You will need to use a fine tooth comb to get rid of the fleas on your dog’s skin. You will know your dog has them by looking at the fur and spotting black or white specs.
  • Anal Sacs – If your dog is scooting along the ground it is probably because their anal sacs are blocked. To help them, you will have to talk to your groomer or vet to take care of the problem.

Vaccinations and Viruses

Parvovirus
This has an effect on your dog’s intestine and it can be transmitted by feces. It causes diarrhea so it can be quite severe for a dog to go through. There is no cure and your puppy should be vaccinated at an early age.
DistemperThis disease is notably the main killer of dogs all around the world. It is airborne and very contagious. It will start with a cough, fever, and yellow discharge coming from your dog’s eyes. Puppies should be vaccinated at an early age. 50% of dogs that are not vaccinated will die from the disease.
Kennel CoughThis is a respiratory disorder. It will seem like your pup will have a bad cold, most symptoms don’t exceed a runny nose or bad cough. Sometimes there can be an occasional fever. Puppies should also be vaccinated at an early age.

Training Your Husky

Huskies are highly trainable and intelligent. Though their stubbornness can be a bit of a challenge though. They are the kind of breed that will try to assert themselves by pushing boundaries during training.

You will need to establish yourself as the dominant one to make the entire process easier. Your Husky will be able to know what to expect and will then respect you.

A Husky may also greatly benefit from obedience classes since the environment is set up to help them learn better.

If you decide to train them from the comfort of your own home, your dog may not obey you. That is why it is better to start them young and away from home. That way they will understand that home is where the rules will be put to use.

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy of a Husky will be 11 to 13 years. If you are looking for a sweet, affectionate family dog then this might be the right choice for you.

Temperament

Huskies are quite frankly one of the happiest dogs you could have. They can become easily attached to their family. They are also energetic, fun and playful as well as laid back.

Since they are laid back they do not make the best guard dog. In fact, a Husky rarely barks, so you would not want to get a Husky if your main goal is to make them the world’s best guard dog.

They are also a classic northern dog. They are intelligent, occasionally independent and stubborn. They feel their absolute best when around human company.

They should receive firm, but gentle training as soon as you bring them into your family as a puppy.

This breed is born to run and, at times, that natural instinct to explore the world around them can overcome the obedience they feel for their owner.

Most Huskies are good team players when interacting with other dogs more especially with dogs they grow up with. And since Huskies have a high prey drive you can expect to catch them chasing down the neighborhood stray cat and livestock.

Related Questions

Is a Husky a good family dog? Huskies do very well with people and with other dogs who may live in the same home as them. Since they are a fairly large breed, it is not recommended to leave them alone with your young children. They may get a little rowdy, but they are good natured and very affectionate.

Are Huskies loyal? Huskies are extremely loyal to their families. Their entire lives revolve around the family they live with. Overall, Huskies are very friendly, so do not be discouraged if they are friendly to other people. They are still loyal to you.

Is it hard to take care of a husky? Any type of dog breed will be difficult to take care if you do not have the time to take care of another living being. For a Husky, it can be more difficult if your lifestyle does not fit their needs.

Recent Content