There’s nothing cuter than a Husky puppy, so it’s no wonder that you couldn’t resist bringing one home. But now you have to figure out what to feed it.
Offering your dog a high-quality food is of paramount importance when they’re puppies, as the developmental strides they make now will determine how healthy they are as adults. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to figure out which foods are actually good and which ones are junk.
That’s why we researched the top brands on the market to make our recommendations of kibbles that are ideal for developing Huskies.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2022
The 6 Best Dog Foods for Husky Puppies
1. Blue Buffalo Puppy Dry Dog Food — Best Overall
Active puppies need a large amount of protein to fuel their adventures, and Blue Buffalo Wilderness offers it in spades. It boasts a whopping 36% protein, sourced from chicken, chicken meal, fish meal, and eggs.
Not only that, but it has quite a few high-quality fruits and veggies as well. You’ll find peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, cranberries, blueberries, kelp, and more. That’s a fantastic nutritional foundation and more than enough to keep your little Husky growing strong.
It has plenty of omega fatty acids as well, thanks to ingredients like flaxseed and fish oil. These antioxidants are essential for brain and immune system development, so you want your dog to get as many of them as possible.
The chicken and fish meal are full of glucosamine, which is essential for healthy joints, and there’s chicken fat in here to help with that as well. Huskies are big enough that hip dysplasia is a real concern, so they need all the joint support they can get.
Our only issue with Blue Buffalo Wilderness is that it’s heavy on plant proteins, which lack the important amino acids found in meat. The recipe more than makes up for that with all its animal-based protein sources, though, so that’s hardly enough to knock it from its perch atop this list.
2. Nutro Ultra Puppy Dry Dog Food — Best Value
As you might expect, the highest-quality kibbles are usually also the most expensive, as they use premium ingredients. If you want to feed your dog a top-notch food without paying through the nose for it, consider Nutro Ultra. It still uses excellent foods like chicken, salmon meal, and lamb meal, making it our pick for the best dog food for Husky puppies for the money.
The overall protein levels aren’t overwhelming at 28%, but as mentioned above, they come from premium sources. The food is also packed with rice and oatmeal, which makes it easy on the digestive system.
The amount of rice is somewhat suspicious, in fact. They have three different kinds of rice listed in the first five ingredients, which is indicative of a controversial practice called “ingredient splitting,” where manufacturers try to disguise how much of an ingredient is in a food by breaking it up.
Even so, there’s plenty of other good stuff in here, like flaxseed, fish oil, sunflower oil, and chia seed. We just wish it had a bit more fiber than the 4% it currently offers.
Still, those are minor quibbles in a food at this price range, and Nutro Ultra does more than enough to earn the silver medal here.
3. CANIDAE Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food — Premium Choice
Many dogs have issues digesting grains, so grain-free dog foods have become all the rage in recent years. Of these, CANIDAE PURE is perhaps our favorite.
The problem with most grain-free kibbles is they skimp on protein too. This food doesn’t have that problem, as it has 30% protein from ingredients like chicken, fish meal, and eggs. The eggs are a bit of a concern, as they can cause upset stomachs in some dogs, but the rest of the list is solid.
Instead of grains, this kibble uses foods like lentils, potatoes, and alfalfa. Those are all easier for dogs to tolerate, although the potatoes may cause gas.
One thing we love about this food is the fact that it’s loaded with taurine, an amino acid that’s vital for heart health. You definitely want to start your Husky puppy out with a healthy cardiovascular system, and this kibble is a good way to do that.
Be prepared to shell out a good amount of cash for it, though. Of course, quality foods are rarely cheap, and at least CANIDAE PURE manages to be worth the money. The only reason it’s not higher on this list is that we feel the two foods above it are just as good while being a bit cheaper.
4. Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food
Merrick Grain-Free is almost as good as CANIDAE PURE, as it has the same amount of protein and a similar ingredients list, but the problematic foods are used in greater quantities in each bag of Merrick. Potatoes and eggs are high up on the list, and there’s quite a bit of salt inside too. However, Merrick is also a bit cheaper, which balances things out a bit.
If you read far enough down the label, though, you’ll find superfoods like blueberries, apples, and salmon oil, all of which are fantastic for your dog. We also like that the manufacturer has included probiotics for digestive health.
One issue with this food is that it has quite a bit of pea protein, which isn’t ideal. That’s enough to knock Merrick Grain-Free off the podium, but not enough to convince us that this still isn’t a good food.
5. Wellness Grain-Free Complete Health Puppy Dry Dog Food
Wellness Grain-Free Complete Health is another food that could easily have cracked the top three. It’s truly fantastic — the other foods are just a little bit better in a few important regards.
One of those is the price. This food is expensive, which makes sense, considering it doesn’t use cheap fillers or animal by-products. It is fairly heavy on the potatoes, though.
The ingredients that it does have are all good. Chicken, chicken meal, salmon meal, blueberries, apples — you’ll find all of these and more inside.
The protein levels are excellent at 32%, and there’s no plant protein to beef up those numbers. The fat content is good as well (18%), so this kibble should provide your dog with plenty of long-lasting energy.
One potential issue you may encounter is that many dogs don’t care for the taste of foods like chickpeas and lentils, and this kibble is heavy on them. Even though this is an extremely nutritious option, there’s a real risk that your pooch will turn their nose up at it.
If you can convince them to eat it, Wellness Grain-Free Complete Health is one of the best puppy kibbles on the market. It’s just a victim of fierce competition in this category, which is why it only reaches the number-five spot here.
6. Natural Balance L.I.D. Puppy Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Natural Balance L.I.D. aims to calm sensitive stomachs by limiting the number of ingredients in the food, the idea being that the fewer items in the kibble, the less chance that one of those items will irritate your dog’s tummy.
It’s a good idea and effective in that regard, but the rest of the kibble leaves too much to be desired for this to warrant a strong recommendation.
The protein and fat levels are low (22.5% and 11%, respectively), so your little Husky pup will have to eat more of this stuff to get the energy they need.
Protein isn’t even the first ingredient — potatoes are. That’s less than optimal, as potatoes don’t offer much in the way of nutrition, and they can give some dogs gas. Potato protein is the fourth ingredient as well, indicating that much of the overall protein in here doesn’t come from meat at all.
There’s a large amount of canola oil in here as well, which boosts the antioxidant levels but also increases the risk of weight gain. You’ll need to make sure your pup stays active if you feed them this food.
Natural Balance L.I.D. may be a good choice if your dog has reacted poorly to other kibbles, but if not, you’re probably better off opting for one with more meat inside.
Buyer’s Guide: Finding the Best Food For Your Husky Puppy
There’s much you need to know before buying dog food, and chances are that you’re too busy to take the time researching every single option. In the guide below, we’ll walk you through the basics you need to know so you can be certain to find a food worthy of your little Husky pup.
Do Husky Puppies Have Special Dietary Needs?
Not as such, no. You don’t need a food that’s specially designed for the breed.
However, they are fairly large and extremely active, so you need to find a kibble that will provide them with the high-quality fuel they need. Look for something with a large amount of protein in it (at or above 30%), as well as a good amount of fat (at least 15%).
Also, beware of cheap fillers like wheat, corn, soy, or animal by-products. These are usually found in inexpensive foods, as they cost the manufacturers very little. They provide almost no nutrition for your dog, though, and can be packed with empty calories.
Do Huskies Have Sensitive Stomachs?
Somewhat, at least when compared to other breeds.
That’s because they were originally bred to be sled dogs, which meant they’d need to do a great deal of work on very little food. Their diets largely consisted of raw meat and bones, likely from whatever animal they or their owners could catch along the way.
You don’t have to feed your Husky puppy a raw diet, but it’s always a good idea to avoid unnecessary chemicals, additives, and any other ingredient that would clearly be out of place in a wild dog’s diet.
Are the Really Expensive Kibbles Worth It?
You shouldn’t assume that a food is good just because it’s expensive. Many expensive foods are actually filled with junk ingredients, so check the label before buying. The best puppy food for Husky dogs isn’t necessarily the most expensive.
However, as a general rule, you will need to pay more for food that’s worth feeding your Husky. The good news is that giving them high-quality kibble should keep them happy and healthy, reducing the risk that there might be a sizable vet bill in your future.
What Health Problems Should I Be Aware Of, and Can My Dog’s Diet Help Prevent Them?
There are three major problems that Huskies are prone to experiencing: hip dysplasia, eye issues, and follicular dysplasia, a condition that causes hair loss and skin infections. Fortunately, the right diet can help treat or prevent all of them.
There are two primary ways to avoid hip dysplasia. The first is to keep your dog’s weight under control; this means avoiding kibbles that are packed with empty calories and watching how much you feed them.
The second way is to ensure that your dog gets plenty of glucosamine and chondroitin. Many labels will tell you how much of each is in the food; if not, look for ingredients like animal meals (make sure the label states which specific animal it came from, though, or else you’ll likely get a mishmash of animal by-products). You may also want to consider giving your dog a glucosamine supplement.
The most important ingredients for improving eye health are omega fatty acids. These antioxidants help prevent issues like macular degeneration and glaucoma. Look for foods that include things like fish and fish oil, flaxseed, chia seeds, and canola oil.
There’s no cure for follicular dysplasia, but the right diet can help prevent it or at least manage the symptoms. Omega fatty acids are fantastic for coat health, as are ingredients like biotin and brewer’s yeast. Perhaps the most important thing, though, is to avoid food allergies, so watch how your puppy responds to anything you feed it.
Does It Matter How Much I Feed My Husky Puppy?
Yes. As mentioned, hip dysplasia can be caused or exacerbated by obesity, so don’t let your dog eat to their heart’s content. Instead, offer them a few reasonable portions every day, and pick up the bowl after they’re finished.
Puppies have higher caloric requirements, so you may want to feed your dog three times a day until they reach adolescence. Read the label to see how much the manufacturer recommends feeding your dog, and try not to exceed it. Just remember that smaller portions are less likely to cause bloat.
Huskies generally prefer to eat after exercising, so you may want meal times to coincide with walks, training, or other strenuous activities.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness is our favorite kibble for Husky puppies, as it’s jam-packed with protein, high-quality veggies, and omega fatty acids. It has absolutely everything that a young dog needs to grow up big and strong.
Nutro Ultra is our second-favorite food, as it’s filled with meat and gentle on sensitive stomachs. It’s also a bit cheaper than Blue Buffalo Wilderness, making it a good value for budget-conscious shoppers.
It’s not easy to find a food worthy of your adorable little Husky puppy, but we hope these reviews have made the whole process a bit easier to handle. Our top picks should be more than satisfactory for both you and your dog, but rest assured that if your baby Husky doesn’t like it, they’ll have no problems letting you know at the top of their lungs.
Featured image credit: Nikki_Nicole, Pixabay