The Average Lifespan of a Husky
As a pretty sturdy and robust dog breed, the Husky has a very good average lifespan of between 11 and 13 years. Some Huskies even live to the age of 15 and older! The Husky's life expectancy is actually longer than most other dog breeds of the same size. It is more or less the same as certain small breed dogs, renowned for their longevity. Bear in mind, though, that the average life expectancy of any dog breed is only an indication; several factors can affect it, including the dog’s living conditions, environment, and diet. Of course, no pooch is immune to accidents or diseases like cancer, but you can help prevent the onset of common diseases by taking a few simple precautions.
How Can I Increase My Husky's Life Expectancy?
There are a few precautions you can take that will help you protect your pooch and guarantee them a good quality of life.
Choose a High-Quality Diet
Your dog's food plays a vital role in their health. Low-quality dog food will have a direct impact on your Husky's health, and vice versa. Try to avoid buying supermarket dog food, as this tends to be very poor in quality and thus incapable of meeting your dog's nutritional needs. It’s better to spend a little more money to be sure the dry or wet dog food you choose has a healthy composition. Choose dog food rich in high-quality animal protein, not vegetable protein. Learn how to decipher product labels to understand exactly what you're feeding your dog and be sure to avoid products with added preservatives or sweeteners. You can even opt for tailor-made dog food for your Husky, specially designed to meet all their needs. Remember that your Husky's diet will change over time: a puppy will not eat the same amount of food as an older dog, for example.
Prioritise Dog Training
Training your Husky properly from the outset will indirectly affect their life expectancy. It may seem like dog training has very little to do with your Husky’s health. But the two are surprisingly closely linked. Quite simply because, the more your dog heeds your command, the more you are able to keep control of them during walks, and thus avoid accidents. A dog who understands exactly what is expected of them is much more capable of responding when they're called and stopping what they're doing when asked. By having control of your dog at all times, you can prevent accidents or stop them from running away. If you live in an apartment in the city, this is particularly vital as urban environments present many dangers (traffic, other dogs, etc.). Teaching your dog to walk to heel is therefore essential. Never let your dog off the lead unless you’re sure they will come back to you as soon as you call.
Get Serious about Vet Check-Ups
Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to ensure the good health of your pooch. Adhere to your dog's vaccination schedule and keep their antiparasitic treatments up to date to protect them against fleas and ticks. Finally, make sure to visit your vet every year for a little check-up, especially when your Husky starts to get older.
Make Sure Your Husky Gets Enough Exercise
Huskies need to exercise every day to feel perfectly balanced. This is not a dog breed that can spend hours doing nothing at the end of the garden: the Husky loves to run and discover new things. Take your Husky for a walk each day for at least two hours. If you like jogging, don't hesitate to take your pooch with you for a run - they’ll love it! Without sufficient intellectual and physical stimulation, your Husky is very likely to sink into depression, which will inevitably have an impact on their health.
What are the Most Common Diseases for Huskies?
Although generally a pretty hardy breed, Huskies are still subject to certain health problems:
Hip Dysplasia: This joint disorder is commonly associated with large dogs. Hip dysplasia involves abnormal formation of the hip socket, wherein the ball and socket do not fit or develop properly, and they rub and grind against each other, causing lameness and, in more severe cases, paralysis. Sometimes surgery is needed to correct this health problem. Hip dysplasia is often inherited, so make sure your breeder has properly screened your puppy's parents.
Primary Epilepsy: Also known as Idiopathic Epilepsy (IE), this type of epilepsy is defined as recurrent seizures with no identifiable cause. Seizures manifest as a loss of consciousness and convulsions that can last for several minutes. There is no cure for epilepsy, but treatment can be prescribed to help limit seizures and improve the animal's quality of life.
Eye Diseases: The Husky is particularly affected by progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), which is characterised by degeneration of the retina. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease and, eventually, the dog will go blind. While not particularly painful, it will nevertheless require certain adaptations in your daily life.
Pompe Disease: This disease is characterised by a deficiency of the enzyme that breaks down glycogen into glucose. Glycogen accumulates in various organs and mostly affects the liver, heart, and muscles. Pompe disease causes muscle weakness and trouble breathing. Unfortunately, there is no cure, and the outcome is often poor.
Degenerative Myelopathy: Degenerative myelopathy is a disease that affects the spinal cord. The progressive destruction of neurons in the spinal cord leads to hind limb weakness and paralysis. Canine degenerative myelopathy is a spontaneously occurring disease for which, unfortunately, there is no effective treatment.
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