The Siberian husky is full of personality, and it’s the most enthusiastic dog breed you’ll come across.
Huskies are also quite friendly and social towards other dogs and make great companions for kids, adults, and other animals alike.
Add in their impressive physical features, and resisting this breed becomes impossible. But can huskies live outside? Here is the answer to that and more.
Can Huskies Live Outside?
Yes, huskies can live outside, preferably in cold weather (as that’s their natural habitat).
Here is what makes husky a good outdoor dog breed.
They Were Bred to Survive the Outdoors
Huskies were originally bred by a Siberian tribe known as the Chukchi.
They would use them to pull sleds for long distances at temperatures of up to -75 degrees Fahrenheit.
They were bred to survive, taking care of themselves, and lived entirely outside. As a result, huskies are exceptionally intelligent and independent.
That means even when left out, a husky will not only find its way around but will also take care of itself.
They’re Highly Energetic
Huskies aren’t just intelligent and independent, they’re also highly energetic.
That is, however, no surprise since they were made for running and lived in packs. They would run for endless miles, pulling sleds packed with goods or people in sub-zero temperatures.
With proper training and love, a husky will not only do fine but will also enjoy living outdoors.
Keeping your husky outdoors is particularly beneficial if you don’t lead an active lifestyle since it’ll get the space it needs to run around and release its pent-up energy.
Can Husky live Outdoor in Cold Climates
As noted, huskies were initially bred to survive extreme weather conditions.
Their excellent tolerance to cold weather is thanks to their fluffy double coats.
The dense undercoat keeps the dog warm and regulates temperature, while the topcoat consists of medium-length, guard hairs that trap air and keep snow and water off the undercoat.
However, just because huskies can thrive in the cold doesn’t mean you lock your husky out and go.
Here’s how to take care of this gentle giant in cold climates:
Provide Adequate Shelter
Although a husky’s double coat does an excellent job at keeping it warm, it needs protection from elements to live outside comfortably.
That said, the first thing you should do is provide adequate outdoor shelter for your furry best friend.
Find a dog house big enough for your husky to move comfortably around but small enough to trap the husky’s body heat when it’s cold.
Consider insulating the shelter using a thick hay or straw layer, especially if you live in an area with icy winters. Alternatively, you could get an insulated dog house.
Signs it’s too Cold Outside for Your Husky
A husky might be a dog from the north, but that doesn’t make it immune to the cold. Here are signs it’s too cold for your furry best friend:
- Shivering: A husky only shivers after trying to keep warm for some time. So if you see your husky shivering, take action immediately.
- Ice on fur: When exposed to snowy temperatures, huskies produce enough heat to melt ice on their fur. However, if exposed to these conditions for long, the ice reduces their undercoat insulation, and ice starts sticking to your pup’s fur.
- Anxiety: Excessive whining or barking while staring at you, changing sleeping spots, or wanting to come inside are some indicators it’s too cold even for your husky.
If you notice any of the above signs, it’s time to take your husky back inside until you properly insulate their shelter.
Can Husky Live Outdoor in Hot and Warm Climates
Even though huskies are genetically predisposed to survive extreme colds, they can also survive outdoors in hot and warm climates.
Their undercoat regulates body temperature while the topcoat facilitates airflow to help them cool off.
They also shed during spring which helps prevent them from overheating during summer. Here’s how to take care of a husky in hot and warm climates:
- Provide adequate shelter
- Provide plenty of shade and water
- Offer frozen treats
- Get a kiddie pool, cooling mat, vest, or collar for your husky to cool off when it’s hot
- Do not shave your husky’s coat during summer. It regulates body temperature, and shaving exposes your husky to sunburns and overheating
Signs Your Husky is Overheating and Dehydrated
Just because a husky can do well outside doesn’t eliminate the risks of overheating.
Signs of overheating typically include loud panting, discolored gums, disorientation, lethargy, and convulsion.
Overheating is often followed by dehydration, so it’s essential to know the signs too.
They include sunken eyes, a dry nose, poor skin elasticity, and a dull coat appearance. If you notice any of the mentioned, do the following:
- Lay a cold towel on your husky
- Give them plenty of water
- Offer cold treats such as bone broth popsicles, or if you don’t have any, use ice cubes
You must act as fast as possible since overheating and dehydration are both serious conditions and may even cause your husky’s death.
How to Train Your Huskies to Live Outside
It’s your responsibility to ensure your husky’s life outside is comfortable.
You can only see to this if their transition to the new outdoor environment is smooth.
That said, here’s how to train your husky to live outside:
Have More Outdoor Time with Your Husky
As with any other dog breeds, huskies are loyal, and while independent, they also take to their owners.
That said, if your husky was mainly an indoor pet and you suddenly start leaving them outside alone, the transition will be rough on them.
So, start spending more time with your pooch outdoors.
You don’t have to play with them. Just be there, so they’ll feel cared for and get comfortable with being outside.
Gradually Leave Your Husky Out Alone
Once your husky gets comfortable with being outside, start leaving them alone gradually.
For instance, take them out, sit for a while and then go back inside but don’t close the door to see how long it takes them to come back inside. Soon enough, you’ll even leave them outdoors for a couple of hours, and they won’t even notice.
Keep Your Husky Well Fed and Create Shelter
Huskies are incredibly intelligent but super stubborn. They’re even harder to train when hungry. If you want your husky to stay busy with the squirrels and the bunnies while you acclimatize them, keep them well-fed.
Build a comfortable shelter as well, and place more food and water next to or inside it. As a result, every time your husky is hungry or thirsty, it’ll run there and slowly get used to being in the shelter.
Things to Do before Keeping Your Husky Outside
Getting your husky used to the outdoors is a milestone, but it’s only half the battle. Here are things you should do before making your beloved husky an outdoor dog:
Install a Good Fence
Huskies are highly energetic, curious, stubborn, and intelligent and love to run. These traits make them loveable, and at the same time, put them at risk. They can run away at any time.
Even with a good fence, huskies are amazingly intelligent and have been known to dig their way out. They are even referred to as escape artists. So, even before you acclimate your husky to the outdoors, install a sturdy, impenetrable fence. You can reinforce your current fence by pouring concrete around it so your husky can’t dig.
Secure Your Compound
Due to the increasing popularity, the demand for huskies is quite high.
As a result, huskies are common targets of dog-napping. Some people even steal them as bait for dog fights.
In that light, besides installing a good fence, ensure you secure your compound. Consider installing motion-activated alarm systems or even CCTV cameras.
Get Dog Toys
Huskies are social animals. While leaving them outside means they get to chase squirrels and collect sticks, they eventually get bored. When a husky gets bored, it becomes destructive or might find intelligent ways to escape.
That said, get your husky as many toys as possible to keep them busy when the rest of your household is indoors.
Can Husky Puppies Live Outside?
Planning to get a husky puppy and not sure whether it should live outdoors or indoors? If yes, then outdoors is not an option.
Husky puppies are too small for their bodies to generate enough heat to keep them warm. Also, their fur isn’t thick enough to regulate or insulate their bodies. In other words, husky puppies can’t survive the outdoors alone.
Enjoy a Smooth Transition
Adult huskies can live outside, and with the tips highlighted above, transitioning your husky from an indoor to an outdoor environment should be easier. While at it, remember huskies are not the easiest dogs to train, and the transition might be more challenging than you expect.
You signed up for this when you first brought a Siberian husky to your home. So be patient because your husky relies on you to offer them a stable, loving home, and making their life as easy as possible is a lifelong commitment.
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