Ice plus dogs in a sled could only conjure an image of a Husky. These well-built dogs are very distinctive because of their thick coats and seemingly alert triangular ears.
Are you curious about how long these Huskies live? You are on the right page!
Quick Facts about Huskies
First, let’s get to know about these dogs that never bothered the cold, anyway:
- Husky is the American Kennel Club (AKC)’s 14th most popular dog in a list of 196. Huskies are also described as mischievous and outgoing but loyal.
- Huskies have average working intelligence and they are on the top 45! This means that Huskies understand new commands after just 25 to 40 repetitions. So challenge your Huskies with mind activities!
- Did you know that Huskies do not know how to swim? Teach them how they love water!
- Huskies thrive when they are tired and busy; with this, they make excellent service dogs.
- Huskies have a high prey drive and they will chase cats away!
How Long Do Huskies Live?
Smaller dogs tend to outlive the bigger ones. However, you can expect your Siberian Husky to have a life expectancy of 12 to 16 years! This compares favorably versus other dogs of similar size like the Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd and Golden Retriever.
Why are they considered healthy and strong, overall? Since they live in extreme cold, weaker dogs are unlikely to survive thus propagating only survivor dogs.
Of course, as with any dog, how you take care and give attention to their needs and nutrition will spell a big difference in their day-to-day survival.
Husky Age In Human Years
Puppyhood of a Siberian Husky is before they reach 12 months of age. In their first to seven years, they are already considered adult dogs. When he reaches more than 7 years, your Siberian Husky is in his senior year already.
How about in human years? You might have this notion that one dog year is equivalent to 7 human years. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, a medium-sized dog’s first year is already equivalent to 15 years!
The second-year is equivalent to another 9 years and the next years after that range from 4 to 6 years.
Doing the math, a 3-year-old Husky is about 30 human years old already!
Common Health Issues of Husky
Huskies are generally strong; however, that does not mean that they have bionic-like bodies not susceptible to any health problems. The most common health problem of a Husky is usually eye-related. It is not life-threatening but for a very active and working dog such as Husky, eyesight is important.
If you start seeing that their eyes start to gray or form some sort of opacity, visit the vet right away for immediate attention. But here some common health issues of a Husky:
Cataracts – you might think that this is an old dog’s problem. Unfortunately, it is one of the biggest concerns of Huskies and can manifest as early as 6 to 12 months of their lives. Cataracts are characterized by a somewhat cloudy lens that when progresses, can lead to a loss in vision.
Corneal Dystrophy – this condition meanwhile makes the vision of a Husky very hazy.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) – this can also appear in young dogs where the retina thins and withers. Ultimately, too, it can cause blindness to your Husky.
Glaucoma – another problem that affects the eyes of Husky. It builds up fluid pressure in their eyeballs, causing it to stretch and expand and thus blurring their vision. Huskies with glaucoma can be treated but only the symptoms itself and not the cause. In this case, when your dog has glaucoma, lifelong therapy is necessary.
Hypothyroidism – signs of this problem are your Husky getting lazy and getting weight suddenly. Good thing hypothyroidism is treatable.
Hip Dysplasia – common to other breeds, hip dysplasia also plagues Siberian Huskies. This painful condition happens when the joint and the socket do not fit well with each other. In mild cases, pain relievers will do the trick but once it worsens, hip replacement may be required.
Follicular Dysplasia – manifesting as early as 3 to 4 months, this type of issue is damage to the skin. This is characterized by abnormal hair growth, fur loss and skin infection; as you may have realized, their coats are important to weather sub-zero temperatures.
Top Causes of Death for Husky
As with many dogs, cancer is the main cause of death which is the same with Huskies. Here are the top causes of Huskies death:
- Cancer – some of the common cancer are brain tumor, carcinoma and lymphoma
- Neurologic issues – such as Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), seizures and spinal diseases
- Cardiac issues – this is where heart attack, heart failures and cardiomyopathy come in
- Gastrointestinal– problems such as gastric dilatation/ volvulus (GDV), gastroenteritis and colitis
- Hepatic– such as liver disease and liver failure
Tips to Increase Husky Life Span
How long your beloved furry best friend will live will depend a lot on the care he is provided. Here are some tips to ensure a healthy Husky:
Stay at a healthy weight
Did you know that according to The Veterinary Journal, an overweight dog tends to have shorter lives where 31 out of 100 dogs admitted in hospitals were obese?
Make sure your dog is slim and trim and that could translate to an additional two to three long years.
Choose high-quality kibble complete with all the nutrients they need. In choosing treats also, go for nutritious ones and not just empty calories.
Give proper vitamins and supplement
Feed your dog a diet complete with all the essential nutrients he needs like water, protein, carbohydrates and fats. You may also periodically provide vet-approved vitamins and minerals.
Spay or Neuter the Husky
According to a study from the University of Georgia, spayed or neutered dogs live 1.5 years longer than other dogs. Although the reason is not exactly clear why it prevents inflammation and tumors in their genital area.
A regular visit to the vet
Take your Husky to a vet regularly or at least once a year for a routine check-up. In addition to that, ensure also that your Husky has all the vaccines he needs to ensure he is protected from life-threatening diseases and even from parasites that may plague his body.
Have an active lifestyle
A Husky with a sledge is indeed a common mental picture of this breed as they indeed need an active lifestyle. Let them run all day, climb, descend, pull, race and what not to work their energies off. A tired husky is a happy one and work is just second nature to them!
Huskies also need companionship and the Siberian Husky Club of America (SHCA) recommends not leaving them often or just have them as the only pet. That said, they need lots of interaction and bonding activities with other pets and humans.
Train your Husky!
Some causes of death of a Husky are accidents! Since they are mischievous and tireless, they just run off when they see cats and sometimes they get hit by a car!
Giving your Husky obedience training, while of course letting him still roam around, is the key to ensuring your dog’s safety.
Ensure proper grooming and hygiene
Grooming is not really only for aesthetic purposes. For Huskies with double layers of fur, brushing on a daily basis and regular grooming will prevent skin and fur health issues.
Buy from reputable breeders
Unfortunately, there are so many puppy mills around that do not have regards to proper breeding for as long as they earn hefty money. Dealing with reputable dealers ensures that the parent dogs are healthy, with proper vaccines and tests. This will save you also lots of money in the future.
How to Care For An Old Husky
All dogs will arrive in this stage and more than ever, they need your loving support and care. Here are some of the things you can do to make old age for your Husky a lot bearable:
- Huskies love to be physically active but when they reach old age, do not physically overload them.
- Even if you Siberian Husky seems to be perfectly fine, twice a month visit to the vet for examinations is recommended.
- Provide the vitamins and other supplements recommended by the vet.
- Give them a diet appropriate to their age and never overfeed them.
There is no trick to ensuring that your dog will live long. But the good old rules apply: proper diet, exercise, regular check-up are all golden.
While it will take a lot of work on your end, you will be rewarded with many days with your dog!