If you have been considering getting a Siberian Husky as a companion, one important aspect to explore is the lifespan of a Husky. Understanding the details of a Husky’s life expectancy is crucial to ensure the best care for your furry friend.
The Siberian Husky is known for being a very efficient working dog with a relatively long lifespan. That said, lifestyle, diet, living conditions, and veterinary care still play a role in a Husky’s healthy life.
This article will walk you through everything you need to understand about the Siberian Husky lifespan, including its common health problems, causes of death, and tips on how to make Huskies live longer.
Husky Life Expectancy: How Long Do Huskies Live on Average?
The Siberian Husky has a lifespan ranging from 12 to 14 years. This is relatively long compared to the average lifespan of medium- to large-sized dogs, which is 9 to 12 years. That said, the quality of life of a Husky as well as its diet and genetics, may make or break its long life expectancy.
Many Siberian Huskies are reported to even live longer than their average lifespan. However, this only happens when optimal care is given to them from their birth up until their senior years.
On the other hand, take note that not all Siberian Huskies are born under the same circumstances. Hence, how long an individual Husky lives will depend on their overall genetics and general well-being.
The Oldest Living Husky: How Old Is the Oldest Husky in the World?
Currently, there is no official record of who the longest-living Husky is. However, the oldest documented one is Balto, a dog from Bagley, Detroit, Michigan, who is now 19 years old and will turn 20 in July 2023.
This is impressive, given that the average Siberian Husky lifespan is just about 12 to 14 years. Further, Balto’s age of 19 years is equivalent to a 101-year-old human.
Even in his senior years, Balto still enjoys playing in the snow, hanging at the dog park, and of course, taking a nap. Balto is now being applied for the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest living Siberian Husky.
Other contenders for the title of the oldest living Siberian Husky are Tori, who turned 19 in September 2022, and LouLou, who is 18 and a half years old as of September 2021.
Watch this video to see LouLou, the Husky with a long life:
However, there were no updates on whether LouLou lived long enough to get the official world record.
Factors That Determine the Lifespan of Your Husky
Reputable breeders and responsible pet owners alike must be aware of the factors that influence the lifespan of the Siberian Husky breed. Familiarity with these factors is critical to preventing common Husky health problems.
The following are some of the most significant factors that contribute to the Siberian Husky lifespan:
Overall Health and Genetics
The health predisposition of individual Siberian Huskies starts with responsible breeding.
It is important to ensure that the breeding stock is free from any genetic disorders before mating them. This gives peace of mind that the litter is also going to be free from any genetic defects.
Naturally, a Siberian Husky bred out of a healthy bloodline is expected to also have a longer lifespan. This is something that can be expected from selective breeding done by a reputable breeder.
On the other hand, puppies born out of unethical and irresponsible breeding are more prone to health problems.
Further, part of building the overall immunity of Siberian Husky puppies is ensuring they complete their initial set of vaccines to protect them from the most lethal illnesses.
It is observed that the female Husky usually outlives the male, but not by a notable margin, so this is quite insignificant.
However, similar to other breeds, the gender of Siberian Huskies affects their overall lifespan in a way that males and females are predisposed to different sets of gender-related health conditions.
Hence, spayed females and neutered males have a higher chance of enjoying a longer life, as they don’t carry the threat of developing these health issues.
Diet and Nutrition
The quality and composition of dog food given to Siberian Huskies impact their overall health. Their diet ultimately affects how long they live.
The best possible diet for Siberian Huskies is one that is high-quality, complete, and balanced. This must be observed regardless if they are given kibbles, soft food, BARF diet, or homemade meals.
In their natural environment as sled-pulling and working dogs, Huskies are also known to consume high-protein and high-fat diets that their bodies can digest efficiently.
Since Siberian Huskies have hearty appetites, their food intake needs to be monitored to ensure that they consume just the right amount to keep them at the ideal weight and prevent obesity.
Lifestyle and Exercise
With the Siberian Husky’s roots as a sled dog, it is a naturally active dog that is inclined to an active lifestyle. This lifestyle is essential for them to stay healthy and live longer.
This is highly important to the breed that the Siberian Husky Club of America (SHCA) does not recommend the Husky for inactive fur parents.
This means that Husky owners should be ready to live an active life as well since Siberian Huskies need about two hours of exercise daily. This practice will also prevent them from being overweight dogs.
Further, Huskies are smart dogs, so the right level of mental stimulation activities must also be given to keep their behaviors intact and their stress levels down, making them good family dogs.
These types of physical and mental activities should all contribute to improving the life expectancy of the Husky.
Just like with other dogs, it is very important to ensure that our Siberian Huskies live in a comfortable, clean, and stress-free environment.
Ideally, a Siberian Husky will do well with a large fenced yard that is spacious enough for it to enjoy running and roaming. A Husky owner must also ensure to spend time bonding with their best friend daily.
It is critical to also keep their surroundings clean to prevent them from getting illnesses brought about by unsanitary living conditions.
Giving them an environment where they feel happy and loved will drastically lower their stress levels and will likely prolong their life.
How to Identify the Age of Your Husky in Human Years?
You may have encountered the rule stating that a dog’s age is equal to seven human years on average. However, this is not scientifically accurate.
Recent studies based on changes made to a dog’s DNA over time suggest a new guideline on how to convert dog years to human years.
The new formula of computing for Husky lifespan takes the following into consideration:
- The first year of a medium-sized dog is equal to 15 human years.
- The second year of a dog is about nine human years.
- For the third year and above, each dog year is approximately five human years.
This correlation is also based on the condition that humans and dogs share the same living environment, including habitat, medical treatment, and other surrounding factors.
Using a natural logarithm calculator, take the natural algorithm of your Siberian Husky’s age and multiply it by 16. Add 31 to its result to get the Husky’s human age equivalent. You may check the formula below:
16 ln (Your Siberian Husky’s Age) + 31 = Human Age
Meanwhile, you can also refer to the table below, which lists the age of medium-sized dogs in human years as per the AKC:
|Siberian Husky Years||Human Years|
Regardless of the conversion, we must also bear in mind the rule of thumb that Siberian Huskies are considered adults once they turn a year old. Meanwhile, they become seniors once they reach eight years of age.
What Do Siberian Huskies Usually Die From?
Like all living beings, it is unfortunate that there will come a time when we need to say goodbye to our precious furbabies, and the Siberian Husky is not exempted from this fact of life.
Aside from old age, other possible factors may contribute to the demise of Siberian Huskies that we need to be aware of, no matter their life stage.
Common Causes of Death in Husky Puppies
The puppy years of a Siberian Husky’s life are the most critical in terms of survival. This early age is when they are vulnerable to many environmental factors and diseases that can be threats to living a longer lifespan.
Here are some of the common causes of death in Siberian Husky puppies:
- Parvovirus: Parvovirus infection is a natural killer in young unvaccinated dogs. The major cause of death in parvo patients is persistent bloody diarrhea that leads to dehydration. Immediate veterinary care is needed to increase a parvo-infected Siberian Husky’s chance of survival.
- Distemper: Canine distemper is another viral and lethal health condition characterized by fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, vomiting, and seizures. Intense monitoring and veterinary treatment are necessary for Siberian puppies to survive this condition.
- Genetic Problems: Siberian Husky puppies born out of irresponsible breeding and sickly parents are most likely to inherit congenital issues, such as poorly developed and malfunctioning organs. Unfortunately, there are a lot of dogs born with genetic problems, including Siberian Huskies and even Alaskan Huskies.
- Accidents: Even healthy puppies are not exempted from possible accidents that may occur, even at home. These may include a mother dog accidentally stepping on its puppy, a puppy falling from a certain height, or ingesting a toxic substance.
The good thing about being conscious of these factors leading to the death of a Husky puppy is that it can be prevented. This can be done through proper vaccination and by providing a safe environment for your dog.
Common Causes of Death in Husky Adults
Even if the Siberian Husky is a resilient breed, adult Huskies are still at risk of external factors and genetic dispositions that appear during the later years that may affect their quality of life.
The following are the usual causes of death in adult Siberian Huskies:
- Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is a condition where the hip joint does not mature or align properly, which results in ball and socket dislocation. This condition is quite common in large dogs such as the Siberian and Alaskan Husky. While hip dysplasia does not directly cause death, immobility brought about by this condition may increase the likelihood of sickness, which may lead to death.
- Eye Problems: Siberian Huskies are prone to eye-related problems. These include cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, corneal dystrophy, and glaucoma. These eye issues cause a lot of stress since these can cause dogs to feel more overprotective and threatened. This also affects their mental and emotional state and the overall quality of their lives.
- Cancers: Cancer is one of the threats to a long Siberian Husky lifespan since this breed is prone to different types of this lethal disease, such as basal cell tumors, sebaceous gland tumors, anal gland tumors, and hemangiopericytomas.
- Accidents: Similar to puppies, accidents can also happen to adult Siberian Huskies. Many dog owners have reported losing their Huskies to road accidents due to their tendencies to sprint. Further, when not mentally stimulated, they can swallow things out of boredom which may lead to stomach or intestinal blockages.
Other possible reasons that can shorten the Siberian Husky lifespan are arthritis, hypothyroidism, degenerative myelopathy, heart disease, and zinc deficiency.
7 Easy Tips to Help Your Husky Live Longer
A major responsibility of Siberian Husky owners is to ensure that their dogs reach their maximum potential life expectancy by providing them with the best quality of life they deserve.
Here are some methods to effectively prolong the life of your Siberian Husky:
1. Provide the right diet and nutrition
Giving your Siberian Husky top-grade dog food with high-quality proteins and the right level of fats is the recommended diet for your dog. This should be good for its high energy requirements and overall nutritional well-being.
The right amount and interval of feeding are factors as well in maintaining the Siberian Husky’s ideal weight. This has to be tailor-fit according to the activity level of your dog.
Further, always ensure to give them a steady supply of fresh water to keep them hydrated, which is essential in supporting all other bodily functions.
Lastly, supplementation with essential vitamins and minerals may be considered for increased resistance against critical illnesses.
2. Ensure sufficient physical and mental activities
As extremely active dogs, Siberian Huskies need enough exercise to meet their daily energy needs and improve their cardiovascular and musculoskeletal health.
Mental stimulation activities are also equally important for their overall well-being and stress reduction. Two hours spent on physical and mental exercises should be just right to keep your dog trim and healthy.
3. Give the necessary training
Even at an early age, training is a crucial component that contributes to prolonging the Husky’s life expectancy.
Socialization, obedience, and leash training are all critical to prevent the Husky from getting itself into an accident or situation, like running after a small critter and getting hit by a car or fighting with other dogs.
4. Ensure regular vet checkups
There is no excuse good enough for dog owners not to bring their Siberian Huskies for regular vet checkups. This is one of the most effective ways to diagnose potential health issues early and prevent them from worsening.
For starters, the initial set of vaccines must be completed, along with regular deworming. This is your Husky’s armor against the leading causes of puppy death.
5. Get them spayed or neutered
It has been observed that intact males and spayed females live longer compared to their unaltered counterparts. Spaying and neutering are effective ways to eliminate gender-related health risks in dogs.
Further, a male Husky neutered or a female Husky spayed must be monitored closely so it avoids doing something that can delay its healing, like being hyper or jumping vigorously.
While this is a procedure that you need to do if you get your puppy from a breeder, most dogs coming from rescue organizations are already spayed and neutered.
6. Groom regularly and be hygienic
It may seem trivial, but grooming and proper hygiene can actually increase the life expectancy of Siberian Huskies. These prevent the proliferation of parasites in their bodies, making them less prone to infectious diseases.
A well-maintained coat means about 2 to 3 times brushing a week and a bath every 6 to 8 weeks, which can be more frequent during the Husky’s heavy shedding season.
7. Support only responsible breeding
Reputable breeders of Huskies steer away from irresponsible and unethical breeding.
They even implement genetic testing for both parents before they are mated to ensure that their litters are free from any genetic disorders or other health issues.
You can identify these breeders easily since their puppies come with health certificates from credible organizations, like the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF), declaring the pups free from genetic eye problems.
This principle applies to getting dogs from local rescues as well. Choose reputable rescue organizations that prioritize the health and welfare of Husky dogs.
Senior Siberian Husky Dog Care
As your Siberian Husky reaches eight years, expect it to have a tapered-down activity level, and some health issues related to old age may begin to show.
As they go through their delicate senior years, giving them the proper care can prolong their life even more. Here are some tips on how to do this:
- Visit the vet more often. The Siberian Husky needs to be guarded against the potential health issues that they are prone to, especially as they reach their senior years. The best way to do this is to increase the frequency of their vet visits to catch health problems at the onset and treat these immediately.
- Consider a senior-friendly diet. With its lowered metabolism and energy level, consider switching to formulated dog food for senior dogs. This would usually be calorie-dense food that will be enough to give them their daily energy need without needing to consume much. Do not forget to give a steady supply of water for hydration, too.
- Continue with physical activity. Although a senior dog may not be as active and vibrant as a younger dog, daily short walks will keep its bones and joints strong and healthy. Just avoid difficult obstacles and too much movement, especially if they suffer from hip dysplasia and other bone or joint-related illnesses.
- Provide a comfortable resting area. An older Siberian Husky’s body might not be able to tolerate resting on hard surfaces anymore. Providing it with a soft and comfortable bed will prevent its body from getting sore.
- Monitor surrounding temperature. An elderly Siberian Husky may have difficulties adjusting to external temperature, unlike its younger self. Hence, watch out for signs of shivering and excessive panting, and keep it in a temperature-controlled environment as much as possible.
Keeping your senior Siberian Husky healthy and happy might be a more challenging task, but patience and the right routine adjustment shall help your dog live its best life as a senior dog.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a Husky Live for 20 Years?
There has not been any official record of any Husky living to 20 years old. However, multiple Huskies have reached 19 years of age and are possible candidates for being the world’s oldest living Siberian Husky.
What Age Is Considered Old for a Husky?
Like other medium-sized dogs, the Siberian Husky may be considered old or senior as they reach eight years of age.
During this period, adjustments need to be made to provide them with more intensive care to help them reach their optimal life expectancy.
What Age Do Most Huskies Die?
Most Siberian Huskies die when they reach the age of 12. However, many Huskies have been proven to live longer than this.
A dog’s life expectancy will also depend on a lot of factors, such as genetics, gender, diet, lifestyle, and environment.
How Do I Know If My Husky Is Dying?
Some signs that your Siberian Husky might be near passing include lethargy, refusal to eat and drink, loss of coordination, incontinence, labored breathing, and seeking comfort.
The sad part about having pets is that they have significantly shorter lifespans than their owners, so providing them the best quality of life is the most effective way to show them how much they are appreciated.
On a lighter note, and like with any other dog breed, Siberian Husky owners can shape how long their pets live. Fortunately, there are a handful of factors owners can control to prolong the life of their Husky dogs.
Hopefully, you have learned a thing or two from this article. Drop us a comment if you have some tips on how to better prolong the Siberian Husky lifespan.