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Have A Husky? Here’s How to Make Them Live Longer

At A Glance

Huskies can live a long life (12-15 years) when they get adequate care and attention. They need an active lifestyle complemented by ample social activities to stay their healthiest best.

  • Cancer, hypothyroidism, and autoimmune diseases are some of the leading causes of death in Huskies.
  • However, regular vet visits, vaccinations, and a nutritious diet can help you prolong your pet’s life.

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How long do huskies live?

12–15 years on an average.

While that husky lifespan is equivalent to 69 to 90 years in human years, several factors affect a husky’s life expectancy. Natural-born athletes, purebred Siberian huskies are known for their ability to pull sleds and are generally quite healthy.

As Randall Devman from Oregon, DVM in Veterinary Medication notes, Huskies are less prone to dental problems than quite a few other breeds. But even then these beautiful dogs aren’t invincible.

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husky age chart infographic

How Long Do Female Huskies Live?

Female huskies could outlive their male counterparts, as is the case for most mammals.

In fact, the female of the species have a lifespan that’s 18.6% longer than the males.

However, in case of Huskies, the difference isn’t stark. The female lifespan still falls within the average range of 12–15 years.

That said, a study found that spaying and neutering your dogs at the right age can prolong their lifespan and help them lead a healthy life too.

Dog parent Pixie from Indiana shares on Husky-Owners.com forum that their 15-year-old female husky was fit as a fiddle, still donning the hat of the alpha of the pack at the time when the comment was posted.

In the same forum, a couple of husky owners also shared their female huskies passed on just shy of their 18th birthdays. So, if you got a Husky girl for yourself, take good care of her, and she’ll be around for a long time!

How Long Do Male Huskies Live?

Male huskies share the same average lifespan as their opposite gender.

The debate surrounding one gender of the breed living longer than another does not have any scientific viability and therefore does not merit a detailed discussion.

It’s just that female dogs are prone to uterine illnesses while male dogs can develop prostrate cancer. Such factors can influence their life expectancy adversely and cause early deaths in some.

huskie puppy

Life Stages of a Husky

Neonatal

Huskies experience the neonatal stage of their lives up to 2 weeks after birth.

Newborn huskies fumble around like most newborn mammals do: their eyes are yet to open and ears are not fully unfurled.

At this stage, pups rely on their sense of smell to cuddle with their mother and need to stay close to them for at least eight weeks. Neonates are extremely vulnerable and therefore demand a lot of tender loving care.

Preventive care, including vaccinations, deworming, and defleaing should be only done once the pups are 6-8 weeks old.

Socialization Period

Between 8 to 20 weeks, Huskies are ready to socialize with other puppies, animals, and people.

At this point, husky owners should allow the litter to experience new things—new places with new sounds and surroundings.

Introducing puppies to new settings will make them less fearful of things growing up. Fear due to socialization deficit may be a reason for aggression during adulthood, although many factors contribute to such behavior.

As Mable Dunn, Dog Trainer by profession points out, “The purpose of socializing your husky puppy is to introduce your dog, in a controlled way, to a wide variety of new situations, new people, sights, sounds, and smells. Ideally, this socialization should occur very early in the life of a puppy. This keeps him from becoming overwhelmed and fearful later on in life.”

Socialization is imperative to a good (p)upbringing but take it slow and easy. Pace it out based on your Husky’s preference. Just remember to be consistent with the routine since Huskies can be quite stubborn.

Juvenile

Also referred to as late puppyhood, Huskies start losing their razor-sharp teeth at this stage. Their baby teeth give way to permanent ones.

This period occurs between three and six months of age when you will also notice a sudden growth spurt in your pup.

And it is just about the right time to introduce a regular exercise routine to your pet’s life. Brisk walking or running at least once daily is a great place to start.

Husky In The Snow

Adolescence

The growth of huskies slows down during adolescence when they’re between 6 and 12 months of age. At this stage, the husky’s true personality also starts to reveal itself.

You could expect your Husky to behave like a teenager.

After all, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association studies, the first year for a medium-sized dog, like a Husky, is equivalent to 15 years in human years.

Adulthood

Any Husky will continue to mature physically, intellectually, and emotionally till the age of two. It should reach its full height of 20 to 24 inches and its full weight of 35 to 60 pounds at this time too.

How long do Siberian huskies live?

You will have at least a decade more with your husky after it reaches adulthood.

Senior Years

Huskies are usually considered seniors when they are eight years old.

However, it doesn’t automatically mean that they become slow and sluggish. Some remain active in their twilight years if given proper care and regular exercise.

Huge Siberian Husky Chewing A Toy

Leading Causes of Death in Huskies

You might’ve found your answer to how long do huskies live, however, it doesn’t matter if your pet is unhealthy.

What is the most common cause of death in huskies? Turns out, there are common causes,

Cancer

Cancer is the leading cause of death among dogs, and Huskies are no exception.

According to the Winter Park Veterinary Hospital in Florida, Huskies are prone to anal gland tumors, basal cell tumors, hemangiopericytomas, and sebaceous gland tumors. Tumors are sometimes surgically removed or treated with chemotherapy.

Hypothyroidism

When the thyroid gland in your pet’s body is underactive, it slows down metabolism, leading to a condition known as Hypothyroidism.

Symptoms include unexplained weight gain, lack of energy, dull coat colors, and excessive shedding. While all breeds are susceptible to the condition, it is the most prevalent in dogs between 4 to 10 years of age.

According to VCA Animal Hospitals, the disease is treatable but not curable. Your Husky needs to be on medication for the rest of its life if it gets diagnosed with Hypothyroidism.

Bleeding Disorders

Huskies can suffer from congenital or acquired bleeding disorders.

But the most common bleeding disorder among Siberian Huskies is Von Willebrand’s Disease. Dogs afflicted with this condition lack a protein called Von Willebrand Factor (VWF) that helps with blood clotting.

Hence, Huskies with this disease stand the chance of bleeding to death in case they suffer cuts, wounds, or injuries.

This is a congenital disorder and therefore there’s no way you can prevent your dog from getting it. However, you can certainly treat the condition with standard blood transfusion.

Laryngeal Paralysis

Laryngeal paralysis, which happens when the vocal cords get paralyzed, is common among older Huskies. Because they are very vocal dogs, it’s not unusual for Huskies to strain their vocal cords over time.

Symptoms of Laryngeal paralysis include noisy breathing, especially when the weather is hot.

Cute Husky Lying On The Grass

High Blood Pressure

Siberian Huskies are more likely to have a high blood pressure than any other dog.

Hypertension could root from an underlying medical condition or just on its own.

Skin Infections

A skin infection may raise its ugly head if your Husky isn’t getting enough zinc or not absorbing it.

Symptoms of zinc-responsive dermatosis include red crusting or scaling skin around the mouth, eyes, and ears. In some cases, your Husky could also develop lesions on the nose and foot pads.

Regulating zinc levels through a balanced diet is the most common way of treating the condition.

Autoimmune Skin Diseases

Autoimmune diseases of the skin manifest on it through blistering lesions. Treatment is usually a cocktail of medications.

Unfortunately, this is a genetic condition and there’s no way in which you can predict if your pet will develop an autoimmune condition or not.

Good news: most of these ailments are treatable.

Get your canine companion all its vaccinations and take it for regular checkups to prevent medical mishaps.

Getting your pup from a reputed and ethical breeder could help you ensure your pet is healthy and fine! Any reputable breeder worth their salt will get you a complete history of the dog you’re taking home, including health certifications.

Husky Sitting On The Floor

Common Health Problems

Although not life-threatening, the following are also common health concerns among huskies:

Behavioral Issues

Huskies are naturally social because they are used to being in a pack.

So, if you’re not home and leave your dog on its own for long periods, it might develop behavioral issues.

Sometimes Huskies might act out if you don’t give them enough attention.

Corneal Dystrophy

Corneal dystrophy is an eye issue common among female Huskies. It happens when a small white dot appears on their cornea, resulting in hazy vision.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is one of the eye diseases common among all mammals.

It is rather painful and could lead to blindness. Many Huskies develop glaucoma when they are one or two years old. Among the symptoms of the disease are watery eyes, cloudy cornea, redness, and squinting.

Hereditary Cataracts

Out of the more common hereditary conditions that affect dogs, cataracts could lead to blindness.

Did you know that Huskies can develop mild cataract when they are 6 to 18 months old?

While they can adjust to having cataract, it needs to be surgically removed to restore vision.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia, an abnormality in the hip joints, develops in the first two years of a Husky’s life. It is usually progressive, causing inflammation, pain, arthritis in the affected hip, and leading to mobility issues.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a group of degenerative diseases characterized by cells deteriorating over time. It may cause your Husky to go blind.

PRA is also hereditary.

How Do You Help Your Husky Live Longer?

You cannot predict how long do huskies live for with certainty.

You should just take care of your dog, make sure it gets plenty of exercise, and shower a lot of love on it for as long as you enjoy its company.

Also, the following can help keep your husky healthy while possibly expanding husky life expectancy:

Vaccines

There are legally mandated core dog vaccines and non-core ones that are elective on the owner’s part.

Ask your veterinarian to recommend non-core vaccines that they think will keep your pet from harm’s way. The vet will also provide you with a schedule for all vaccinations.

Regular Vet Checkup

Ideally, your husky should see their veterinarian at least once or twice a year—more if they have a disease.

Huskies should also undergo crucial health screenings from the Orthopedic Foundation of Animals (OPA) to reduce the incidence of genetic diseases and the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) to lower the risk of inherited eye diseases.

Parasite Control

Disease-causing parasites like heartworms, hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms can be detrimental to your Husky’s health.

Talk to your veterinarian about parasite control and consider periodic deworming.

Spaying and Neutering

Neutering and spaying lowers the risk of cancers, hernias, and other diseases. Dogs live longer and healthier lives when they’re operated upon at the right age.

Consult your veterinarian and get your pet spayed/neutered.

An Active Lifestyle

Huskies are always high on energy and extremely active. So, you must make sure they get plenty of exercise.

Squeeze in at least two hours of exercise and playtime for your pet.

A bit of brain exercise through dog puzzles should go a long way in keeping your canine companion engaged.

Adorable Furry Husky Sitting By The Window

Factors that Help Expand Your Husky’s Life Expectancy

Nutrition

Huskies don’t require heavy meals, but as working dogs, they need a special diet.

They can have both a raw food diet and a commercial diet. But when buying commercial food, check the label to ensure it has at least 30% protein, 30% carbohydrates, and 20% fats.

Lower protein levels at around 20% are good enough for them only during the summer months.

However, if your Husky is working during wintertime, its food should have at least 32% protein to help prevent muscle breakdown.

Environment and Conditions

Huskies love cold weather and enjoy a run in the snow, but they also adapt easily.

They can survive the heat in temperate or tropical regions provided you’re always conscious about their well-being. Notice signs of dehydration or overheating like excessive panting, lethargy, etc. in your pet.

Feed them frozen treats and take them for swims when the mercury soars.

As work dogs, Huskies need regular exercise and access to a large yard where they can freely run around.

Housing

Huskies need space. It’s true that they can adapt to living in high-rise units, but they thrive when they are living in homes with yards.

They could become destructive if they have a lot of pent-up energy from staying cooped up all day.

Dental Healthcare

Dental hygiene is of paramount importance when it comes to your dog’s health and wellbeing.

Start cleaning your Husky’s teeth when it is still a puppy. Allow your pet to get used to the process. That way your pet will not be combative when you regularly clean its teeth.

Go for a vet check up at least once a year.

As dog trainer Charlotte Erickson points out, plaque and tartar buildup can cause your dog’s mouth to stink. Poor dental hygiene can also cause illnesses.

What the Fact!
Did you know that the easiest way to tell the age of any dog breed, including Huskies, is through its teeth?

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Husky Staring

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do Huskies Live as Pets?

Huskies can go on to live for 12-15 years and beyond. However, you should provide them with proper care, a balanced diet, and ample time and place for exercise.

Where Do Huskies Live in the Wild?

Huskies are domestic dogs. Even the original Siberian huskies from Northeast Asia were bred to work the sled by Siberia’s Chukchi People. The breed does not thrive in the wild.

Are Huskies Good Family Dogs?

Huskies are wonderful family dogs because they are sociable and they love playing with people.

How Long Do Male Huskies Live?

Male Huskies live between 12 and 15 years if they receive the proper care and attention.

Sick Husky Lying On The Floor

That Husky Life

How long do huskies live?

Not long enough, to be honest.

When they are perfectly healthy, they can live for 15 years and maybe more.

The key is to pay attention to your Husky. When it seems like your beloved dog is not at its best, you should visit the vet immediately before the issue becomes a major health concern.

 

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Paul Andrews
https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-andrews-172490189/

A digital marketing expert by profession, Andrews is a gifted writer and animal lover at heart. A self-confessed "pawrent", Andrews is well-versed in all things dogs. He uses his years of experience of raising puppies into show-quality dogs to help guide first-time pet parents. He believes in spreading the joy that comes with being a dog dad and advocates more families to adopt pets.