Why Do Dogs Pant? When Is It Too Much?

Why Do Dogs Pant? When Is It Too Much?

When the dog days of summer are beating down on you, the endless sweating makes you feel like you are melting. While you can cool off by sweating, our canine companions use a different method to cool down. While dogs can technically sweat, this bodily mechanism is not as effective at cooling a dog’s body as it is for a human.

Why Is My Dog Panting? An Explanation for This Common Dog Behavior

Despite popular belief that dogs only sweat through the paw pads on their feet, dogs do have sweat glands on their body. Their fur traps moisture, which prevents it from evaporating, which helps the dog feel cooler. Panting is how dogs most effectively cool off. Some breeds are known for panting more than others, such as labrador retrievers and pugs.

When dogs pant, water evaporation occurs in the dog’s mouth and tongue. This evaporation helps cool the blood in the vessels near the skin, and this cooled blood then travels throughout the dog’s body. Pretty great cooling system!

Other common reasons for your dog’s heavy breathing can be if your dog is feeling excited or anxious. Anytime your dog’s heart and breathing rate increase, they pant in response. You can expect to see your dog pant on hot days, after playtime and exercise, or in response to a new toy or treat.

Abnormal panting can also indicate underlying issues, so it’s important to note if the panting is present with other symptoms. Of course, if your dog has worrisome panting, consult with a veterinarian.

Brachycephalic Panting

Some dogs may pant a great deal, and this may be due to their breed. Breeds like pugs, bulldogs, and Boston terriers have short snouts and soft palates that are longer than other breeds. This longer and softer palate can block the trachea, which is the windpipe needed for breathing.

This condition is referred to as being brachycephalic, which essentially means that their face is flat and their airflow is compromised. This combination is not the best for breathing: Air has a difficult time moving around the airway, resulting in decreased airflow.

Dogs with brachycephalic issues commonly experience excessive panting, even if they aren’t exercising. For this reason, it is critical to monitor breathing in these breeds for wheezing, coughing, and reverse sneezing.

Avoid taking them outside when the weather is hot and humid, and give them plenty of breaks whenever they are on a walk. Keep cold water available during the walk and throughout the house and yard.

When Is Your Pet Panting Too Much?

It’s normal behavior for dogs to pant, as this behavior helps a dog cool down on warm days and after a long session of play. If your dog is excessively panting, this could be a sign that your dog is experiencing discomfort or breathing difficulties. Some reasons for excessive panting may include being in pain, anxiety, or heart failure.

However, one of the biggest culprits for extreme panting is heatstroke.

Signs of Heatstroke

Heatstroke is when your dog’s body temperature is at a dangerously high level, which causes overheating. This can be due to spending too much time outside during a hot day without access to adequate shade and water. It may also occur with too much exercise in the heat.

Another common cause of heatstroke is leaving a dog in a car on a warm day with no ventilation. Cars can get very hot very quickly. Never leave your dog in a vehicle on a warm or hot day without supervision.

Review the symptoms of heatstroke ahead of time so you can act quickly:

  • Heavy panting
  • Drooling
  • Lethargic body language, like dizziness, stumbling around, or limping
  • Reddened gums
  • Vomiting/diarrhea

What To Do In Cases of Canine Heatstroke

If you suspect your pooch is experiencing heat stroke, get them taken care of as soon as possible. Heatstroke and its side effects are dangerous for your dog and can cause heart and organ failure if action is not taken.

Move your dog to a cooler, shaded spot, and offer them fresh water to drink. While it may make sense to offer them ice or very cold water, doing so can induce shock. The aim is to gradually reduce your dog’s body temperature. You can also cool your dog off by placing a towel soaked in cool water on their back.

If you suspect that your dog is experiencing a heat stroke, take your pet to their DVM for treatment immediately. This condition can move fast, and it’s important to take it seriously. Your dog’s veterinarian will be able to diagnose and determine the best treatment so your dog is back on their paws.

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Don’t Stress: Keep Cool With AskVet

While being a pet parent is one of the most rewarding roles you can have in life, it can sometimes induce stress if you have a question you are worried about. AskVet is your go-to spot whenever you have a question about your pet’s health and wellness.

While we can’t stress enough that visiting your veterinarian is the best choice when there is an emergency, a little proactive planning is great for your peace of mind. Anytime you have a question about your dog’s health, AskVet is here to give you the information you need to make well-informed decisions regarding your best furry buddy.

If you believe that your dog’s panting could be caused by another issue, like stress or anxiety, chat with one of our Certified Pet Lifestyle Coaches™ (CPLC™). They can help create a personalized 360-degree plan with alternative options and solutions to improve your pet’s everyday life.

We can help support your pet with customized plans for pet health and wellness. Join today for $9.99 a month and schedule a virtual chat with a CLPC™ today to get started!


Panting in dogs: Paths of air flow in response to heat and exercise | ScienceDirect

Brachycephalic breathing problems | Kennel Club

How to Tell if Your Dog Has Heat Stroke: Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention | Memphis Emergency Vet

Do Dogs Sweat? | AKC

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop & How Do You Stop It? 

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop & How Do You Stop It?

As humans, when we think of delicacies, we think of things like caviar, escargot, or maybe even truffles! For some dogs, poop is their delicacy. It may be their poop, another dog’s poop, or another animal’s poop that gets them salivating. Cue the big “Ew!” from pet parents, or really anyone for that matter.

It is a quizzical thing to ponder over. Why in the world would a dog want to eat poop when there are plenty of other options to choose from? You may even think that truly, anything else would be better than poop, even garbage!

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop? Dogs Eating Feces Explained

You may joke that your dog can be a weird dog! Maybe they like to stare at you while you work out, or they have a particular way they like their blanket in their bed. You may argue that one of the weirdest behaviors is ingesting poop, but it may not be as odd as you think.

There are some pretty clear reasons why dogs eat poop, and we will dive into that.


It’s hard to fathom that our adorable furry friend’s ancestor was the mighty wolf, but selective breeding and domestication will do that. Dogs share some characteristics of their wolf ancestors, including the need to live in packs (whether with other dogs or with you), similar body language, and a sense of smell.

It has been hypothesized that the eating poop habit is inherited from wolves as well.

This habit, called coprophagia, is thought of as a natural and normal behavior for dogs. Although not every dog partakes in this habit, it is thought to have originated from wolves. In fact, almost a quarter of dogs have been caught in the act of eating poop.

The thought is that poop-eating helped scavenger wolves with nutritional deficiencies to obtain nutrients that were not fully digested the first time around. Wolves can go long periods of time from meal to meal.

As such, eating every snack possible could serve as a means of survival and nutritional enrichment. Wolves may have been keen on ingesting poop from other wolves or animals that had different diets from them, maximizing possible nutrient ingestion.

This habit proved to pull double duty (absolutely no pun intended) in that it helped to keep wolve’s dens clean. It also prevented the spread of intestinal parasites and diseases, which can lead to medical issues.

Stool Eating in Motherhood

A mother’s job is truly never done, and this includes dog mothers. Mother dogs will lick their puppies’ stomachs to help them use the bathroom. As the puppies use the bathroom, the mother dog will eat the poop in order to keep their area clean. In the wild, this was a proactive way to keep away predators that may have been attracted to the smell of feces.

Since nursing mothers require more high-quality nutrition, they may choose to eat their puppies’ poop as a way of obtaining additional nutrients.

Behavioral Changes

If your dog has ever had an accident in the house, you have witnessed that they likely know they did something wrong.

For instance, if your dog knows that they will be corrected when you find the poop in the house, they may ingest their poop so they won’t get into trouble. In their mind, no poop equals no punishment.

Boredom Might Cause a Dog’s Poop-Eating Habits

If your dog doesn’t have a way to keep themselves occupied, they will find a way to relieve their boredom. They will find their own fun! This boredom may be cured by getting into the trash, tearing up couch cushions, or eating their poop.

Of course, eating poop can get a reaction from you. Your dog now finds that they will take any attention when they are bored, thus creating the vicious attention-seeking cycle of eating poop to get your reaction.

How To Stop a Dog From Eating Poop

Even though poop eating seems to be a common and instinctual behavior in dogs, it is a behavior that we would like our dogs to avoid. Not only for the general ick factor but the fact that your dog likes to lick you.

Veterinarian Visit

It has been hypothesized that puppies and adult dogs ingest their own feces to obtain nutrients, especially ingesting the poop of other dogs who may have different diets. If your dog is eating poop, taking them to the veterinarian to ensure they are receiving all the nutrients they need can be helpful.

Your DVM will be able to run all the necessary tests to see if there is anything missing in your dog’s diet and can make any recommendations. Your vet can also diagnose any digestive issues your dog may have, like conditions that may cause the malabsorption of nutrients.

Pick Up Duty

Your dog cannot get into poop if there isn’t any poop around. While it can be a pain, ensuring that your yard is clear of poop keeps your dog from ingesting any. If your dog relieves themselves on puppy pads, dispose of the pads properly and secure the trash.

This pickup duty extends to other animals. If you have cats in the home, make sure that their litter box is always clear of cat poop or is hard to access by your dog.

Leash & Treats

If your dog tries to eat their poop as soon as it has been deposited, take your dog out on a leash. As soon as they are finished with their business, lead them away from this forbidden snack. Redirect them to a more palatable treat to reward them for leaving the poop alone. Pretty soon, they’ll learn to associate that anytime they poop, they will receive a tastier treat from you.

Keeping your dog on a leash is also very important when going for walks. Redirect your dog anytime they come across another animal’s droppings, and again offer them a high-value treat as an alternative.


Always check with your veterinarian about this topic; there are additives that can be added to your dog’s food that will make their feces less desirable to ingest.

Play and Exercise

Ensuring that your dog has plenty of opportunities to play and walk will keep them from being bored at home. Use toys that give your dog mental and physical stimulation, like treat puzzles, to help them avoid boredom during the day.

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AskVet: Your Pet Answer Paradise

While eating poop is gross to us, dogs have a different idea of what is palatable. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but a dog with a powerful nose will find palatable things amongst the gross.

Preventing your dog from ingesting poop will be all about being proactive and keeping them from having the opportunity to get into anything undesirable.

If your dog has been partaking in this behavior for a while, it may seem like it will take a miracle to break the habit. Have no worries, though. Your pals at AskVet are the perfect resource when it comes to any pet question you may have, as well as tips and tricks when it comes to training and behavior issues.

Our Certified Pet Lifestyle Coaches™ can help create a pet lifestyle plan tailored to your pup’s needs and strengths, which will help you and your pet thrive. As you very well know, sometimes your dog can act like an animal. With our behavioral experts, you’ll learn and put into place basic obedience and positive reinforcement techniques.

Schedule a virtual session with a CPLC™, and put your dog’s habit of eating poop behind you both!


Why Does My Dog Eat Poop? | American Kennel Club (AKC)

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop? | Mallard Creek Animal Hospital

Why do dogs lick? | Blue Cross

Why Do Dogs Sniff Butts? 3 Reasons

Why Do Dogs Sniff Butts? 3 Reasons

Nice to meet you! As humans, we like to greet each other by waving, handshakes, or hugs. Each varying degree of greeting is determined by our relationship with a person.

However, with dogs, they really get up close and personal by sniffing each other’s butts! No matter if they are meeting another dog for the first time or if it is their best buddy, to each other’s rear ends, they go. Talk about making a first impression!

While we would never imagine greeting another person like this, this is “Etiquette 101” for our furry pals. It leads us to wonder, why in the world would you sniff there? Let’s chat about some reasons why our dogs like to sniff butts.

Sense of Smell

As a pet parent, you know the shenanigans your dog can get into when they follow their nose. Trash cans get overturned, holes get dug in the yard, and Houdini has nothing on some dogs if there is something out there they want to investigate.

Humans rely on their sense of sight to get to know the world around them, but your puppy uses their nose. Your dog’s sniffer is a powerhouse in the senses department, and it is the main sense they use to perceive information about the world around them.

A dog’s nose is hyper-sensitive — it’s 100,000 times more powerful than our smelling abilities. Our pups can be overwhelmed by scents we wouldn’t even pay attention to.

Let’s get into some reasons why dogs sniff each other’s butts and how that helps them learn about the world and other animals around them.


While it’s easy to think that your dog is trying to smell another dog’s poop, that is certainly not the case. While the location is a bit unfortunate to humans, to dogs, it is just a part of nature. Dogs have anal glands, which are two sac-like glands that produce pheromones that give chemical signals that relay info about diet, health, gender, and mood.

By sniffing each other’s rear ends in greeting, dogs can exchange a wealth of information. Dogs can also remember each other’s scents and recognize when they have met a particular fluffy friend before.

Gathering Information

If you are old enough to remember chat rooms of the early days of the internet, you would remember being asked A/S/L, which stands for age/sex/location. This acronym helped to establish a little bit of personal information with whoever you were chatting with.

Dogs do the same when meeting new dogs or when they are in a new location. Canines use their sense of smell to gather information about the world around them. This even includes if things happened in the past, like another animal wandering through the area. A quick sniff gives them a multitude of important information.

When dogs meet each other, their smelling habits help to establish or reestablish their relationship. Even if your pups have met before, they will likely still sniff each other’s butts to get a status update on how your dog is doing. Like humans, dogs want to catch up with each other and get all the updated information since they last saw their pals.

Establishing Dominance

We know that dogs like to mark their territory, as this tells other dogs in the area that this particular patch of grass belongs to them. Urine marking helps your dog feel more secure in their space and that they are in charge.

When other dogs come into this space, they can smell that another dog has marked this territory. When the canines sniff each other’s rear ends, the connection is made that this dog’s scent matches the markings in the territory, and this helps to establish a social hierarchy.

While other types of body language help to establish dominance in dogs, you can see this dominance by order of sniffing. A dominant dog will initiate the sniffing, and the submissive dog will wait their turn.

If your dog is meeting another dog for the first time, watch this interaction closely. Some dogs do not like lengthy smelling sessions, and they may show aggression if it is going longer than they like. Watch for growling, raised hair on the back, certain tail positions, and raised lips. If this occurs, separate the dogs and try again later. Even dogs who have puppy play dates frequently should be monitored as they romp.

If things get a little hairy and you aren’t sure what to do next, check out our dog training resources for advice and training tips.

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Get To the Bottom of Things With AskVet

While our dogs exchange information in ways that we may otherwise opt out of, we still want to get reliable and trustworthy information about our pets. Dog behavior can leave us scratching our heads sometimes. You may ask yourself, “Why does this behavior happen” or “Is this behavior normal?”.

AskVet is your go-to anytime you have a pet parent question. While sniffing butts is completely normal in the dog world, your human guests may not quite enjoy that same greeting when coming to your home. You may want advice on if there is anything you can do to get your dog from being the most personable welcome wagon ever, and our behavioral specialists can help you with that.

Whether you have a specific question or need to construct a personalized plan for your unique dog (or any other pet), book a virtual session with a Certified Pet Lifestyle Coach™ from AskVet who can help.

With personalized plans for your dog and the AskVet Clubhouse, you can feel like a well-prepared pet parent, no matter your dog’s breed or age. No need to go sniffing for solutions — we have them here!


The Nose Knows: Is There Anything Like a Dog’s Nose? | AKC

Canine Olfaction: Physiology, Behavior, and Possibilities for Practical Applications | National Library of Medicine

Understanding Dog Appeasement Signals | Whole Dog Journal

Urine Marking in Dogs | UC Davis

Dog Behavior 101: Why Do Dogs Bark?

Dog Behavior 101: Why Do Dogs Bark?

Isn’t it funny to think about how our dogs can communicate with us and how we can communicate with them? We live with actual animals, but we can interpret and convey messages back and forth with each other. We love them so much, but the entire idea can be a wild one when you think deeply about it. We’re social, and so are they!

Our dogs understand “treats,” dinner,” “bath time,” “vet,” “walk,” and countless other words. We also know that they act accordingly to whatever word they hear. We witness this by our dog getting all tippy-tappy and excited when they hear a word they like or hiding behind a piece of furniture when they hear a word they don’t like.

It’s clear that our dogs understand us. We can see that they comprehend our words and actions through the canine training process (and their reactions to things we say and do).

The big question is, do we truly understand them? Dogs communicate in various ways, and the most famous way they make themselves known is through their bark.

Let’s dig in on what our dog’s barks mean and if there are ways that we can figure out what they are trying to tell us.

Why Do Dogs Bark?

Out of all the sounds in the animal kingdom, a barking dog is probably one of the most well-known and recognizable sounds. Dogs use their bark to communicate, and just like humans use their voices, barks can be used in a variety of ways.

Of course, barks can sound different from breed to breed. Larger dogs will have a more intimidating boom of a bark, while smaller breeds will have a high-pitched yap. As the relationship between you and your dog grows, you’ll recognize their barks and determine what they are trying to communicate.


Do you have a built-in welcoming committee when you walk through the door every afternoon? Your dog is excited to see you, especially if you have been at work all day. You may see them act the same no matter if you’ve been gone for thirty minutes or eight hours.

Either way, it is a sweet way to be welcomed home, and we appreciate our furry best friends for always being excited about our presence.

With their happy barks, your dog is showing that they are thrilled to see you and have missed you. Their barks will be more high-pitched and can be compared to a cheerful “Hey! You’re home!” This is often seen with a wagging tail. Your dog may even hop around and jump on you during their welcome greeting.


Does your dog hang out by the window all day and bark whenever another person or animal passes? Your dog is telling the passer-by that they are encroaching on their territory.

These barks might go on for longer and be louder than the “I’m hungry” barks. This will likely be partnered with a stiffer stance with direct staring at the trespasser in question. Essentially, the more worked up your dog is about something, the more excessive the barking.

To our dogs, it doesn’t matter if it is a mail carrier dropping off a package or a cat slinking through the yard, someone is in their area, and your dog is going to tell them and you all about it.

Attention Grabbing

When your dog is trying to get your attention, they’ll use different sounds along with their bark to indicate that they want something. Maybe their food or water dish needs to be refilled, or they need to relieve themselves outside. Either way, your dog may have more of a commanding bark along with other vocalizations to indicate that they need something.

Your dog may pair their vocal calls with certain body language, like trying to lead you to the door or to their empty dish. Depending on the urgency, like the call of nature, dogs may whine to indicate that they are in a hurry.


Do you ever catch yourself whistling or singing when you are doing a monotonous task? If your dog is bored, they may bark as a way to alleviate the silence and stillness that is around them if they are left alone for long periods of time. They are looking to release pent-up energy and seek attention from anyone or anything that will respond to their bark.

To ensure your dog doesn’t resort to barking to alleviate their boredom, give them ample opportunities to exercise and stimulate their mind. If you work out of the home, leave your dog with chew toys and treat puzzles to keep them occupied. You may also want to arrange a dog walker or take them to doggy daycare, depending on how long you’ll be away.

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Bark Up the Right Tree With AskVet

As your relationship with your dog grows, you’ll be able to determine what your dog’s barks mean. You’ll know when they feel excited or when it’s time to take a potty break.

Sometimes though, our dogs may bark at things we don’t hear, see, or smell. While we know that a dog’s senses can differ from ours, sometimes it’s hard to tell if our dog is barking at something tangible or if there is a behavioral issue occurring.

Enter AskVet. Our experts can help out when you are having a ruff time with behaviors your dog is exhibiting. If excessive barking is giving you and your home a headache, our team of Certified Pet Lifestyle Coaches™ can help with tips and tricks to help reduce any unwanted barking.

Schedule a virtual session with a CPLC™ and see how our experts can help with not only problem-solving solutions but also creating wellness plans so you and your pet can enjoy all the time you have together.


Ethology of Barking – Why Do Dogs Bark? | Australian Institute of Animal Management

The Meaning of Your Dog’s Barks | American Kennel Club

Do children understand man’s best friend? Classification of dog barks | ScienceDirect

Canine Olfaction: Physiology, Behavior, and Possibilities for Practical Applications | PMC

Why Does My Dog Stare at Me? The 411

Why Does My Dog Stare at Me? The 411

The more you get to know your dog, the more you will become familiar with their behaviors: one of them could be the stare-down. Most dogs have quirks that can notify you of changes or peculiarities, as a dog’s behavior is indicative of how they are feeling.

Staring at their human can be a dog’s way to communicate several different things. In general, your dog staring at you is exactly that: them trying to relay information. It’s generally the same reasoning for why cats stare at people as well. Using other context clues, you might be able to determine what your dog is trying to tell you.

Keep reading to learn more about why your dog is staring at you and how to guess what they are thinking.

Dogs Pay Attention To Dog Lovers

It’s no secret that dogs like to follow their humans. Not only are they intrigued by everything that you do, but you are their main source of — well, basically everything. You feed them, give them treats, pet them, take them outside for walks and bathroom breaks, and much more! If you’re at home and around your pet, their eyes are going to be checking in on you as much as possible.

Despite your dog’s eyes being on you all the time, they might not be trying to say the same thing to you with each stare. Every stare could mean something different, from needing to use the potty to simply showing you affection. You can usually figure out what their needs are by looking at the other behaviors they are exhibiting.

Reasons Why Dogs Stare 

There could be multiple reasons why your dog is staring at you. You know your dog best and might be able to figure it out quickly, especially after years of figuring out their communication style.

Being fluent in your dog’s body language and what certain changes mean can help you understand your dog better. However, if you’re a new pet parent or meeting a new dog, you might be wondering what their stares mean.

1. Your Dog Wants Something

The most common reason for your dog to be staring at you is that they simply want something. They might be standing and staring at you because they want you to get a toy that has rolled under the couch. Or they could be staring at you on the couch, wondering when you will make your way over to give them a good cuddle. Dogs use eye contact to express all these desires.

When you or a dog trainer are training your dog, you often reward them when they look at you. During dog training sessions, this becomes a learned behavior that teaches your dog that when they look at you, they might get a treat or a pat or some kind of positive acknowledgment.

Consider what is going on around your dog that might be an indicator of what they want. Is the food you’re eating during mealtime more appetizing than the dog food in their bowl? Is it your spot on the couch? Are they staring at the door because they need to go potty?

A dog’s stare (and the so-called “puppy eyes”) can be quite powerful and persuasive.

2. Showing You Affection

Dogs staring at you can be a sign of affection from them. When you know a pup personally, staring into your eyes could be a way for them to convey how they feel about you. Studies revealed that mutual staring between a human and their pet could cause an increase in the release of oxytocin, AKA the love hormone.

To reward them for their loving gaze, shower them with affection. It is what they deserve!

3. Expressing Aggression

While this isn’t always the case, sometimes a dog staring at you can be a sign of aggression. With your own dog, you might be able to sense when something is off with their behavior if they are staring at you and it’s making you uncomfortable. However, with dogs you don’t know, the stiff posture and hard stare can be intense and aggressive behavior.

You should never make prolonged eye contact with a dog that you don’t know or that is seemingly aggressive. This can send the wrong signal to that dog. Dogs that are staring you down while also being very still and seeming agitated are warning you to back off. At this point, listen and ensure your personal safety, as well as the dog’s comfort.

4. Your Dog Is Aging

As dogs enter their golden years, they might try to convey distress through an intentional stare.

Canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome can affect older dogs, and it can result in more confusion and disorientation. This stare might look blank as if searching your eyes for more guidance.

If your dog is staring at you with a glazed-over look, contact your veterinarian to seek help or possible treatment. They can help you treat any underlying conditions as well as make things easier by helping them to live in a stress-free environment.

Give your pet the personlaized care. Get the app!

Should You Be Concerned?

Unless you feel uncomfortable or sense that something is wrong with your dog, their staring and fixation with you is likely quite normal. They love you and don’t know how to say it in the same language we would with them. They want to look at you because they do genuinely like you and want to communicate with you.

When we say you know your dog best, we mean that! But that doesn’t mean that questions and concerns never come up. When you feel a question forming, chat with a Certified Pet Lifestyle Coach™ from AskVet for help.

You can get real-time responses that can help guide you to the next steps in understanding your pet’s staring behavior better. Schedule a virtual session with a CPLC™ for any assistance you need with every non-human member of your family.

With access to answers, a community of other pet parents, and resources for helping your pet, AskVet has got you covered.


Oxytocin-Gaze Positive Loop And The Coevolution Of Human-Dog Bonds | Science

Communication In Dogs | NCBI

A Review On Mitigating Fear And Aggression In Dogs And Cats In A Veterinary Setting | NCBI

Cognitive Decline In Aging Dogs: What To Know | VMBS News

Siberian Husky 101: The Owner’s Breed Guide

Siberian Husky 101: The Owner’s Breed Guide

The allure of the majestic yet goofy Siberian husky is hard to beat. Not only are these pups from Siberia beautiful dogs, but they are smart, active, and extremely lovable. Husky lovers know just how much of a handful their pup can be, yet once you have a husky, it is hard to adopt any other kind of dog. Once you become a husky parent, you truly are one for life.

However, the Siberian husky is not a dog that you should acquire if you aren’t familiar or haven’t done extensive research about the breed. They are an active, working breed that rely on their humans to keep them mentally stimulated and exercised. If you are concerned you won’t have the time and resources to give your husky the best life, you might want to reconsider adopting one.

To learn more about the Siberian husky and the care they need to thrive, keep reading!

Overview of a Siberian Husky

The Siberian husky is a regal, bouncy, and vocal dog breed that is easily recognized around the world. If you see a husky, you might do a double-take, thinking you’re seeing a wild wolf. But alas, it’s likely your goofy neighbor who also happens to be an escape artist.

Huskies are confident and boisterous working dogs who like to go off on their own to explore. They are independent dogs with a strong sense of self, making them more likely to talk back to you when they get into trouble.


Huskies are classified as medium-sized dogs, but their thick coats often make them appear much larger. Males tend to be slightly larger than females, weighing around 60 pounds and being 24 inches tall. Females weigh up to 50 pounds and can stand 22 inches tall.

They are known for their erect ears and curled tails which can also enlarge their appearance. Pair that with their confident stance and proud chest, and this dog has no fear and knows their strength. Although, that might not stop your husky from climbing into your lap or fearing the suspicious noises coming from the radiator.

Coat Colors

A Siberian husky’s coat is what really stands them apart from other dogs. Like the Alaskan malamute, they are double-coated.

Their double coat keeps them warm and comfortable even in arctic-level cold weather. It insulates their body heat and allows them to go hours without wanting to come inside, even in brutally cold climates. It even helps keep them cool in the summer, despite how furry they appear.

Siberian huskies come in a variety of different colors, including:

  • Pure white
  • All black
  • Black and white
  • Sable and white
  • Red and white
  • Brown and white
  • Agouti and white
  • Black, tan, and white
  • Gray and white

Life Expectancy

Siberian huskies are known for their relatively strong health and active lifestyle. With the proper nutrition and plenty of exercise, your husky will live a long and happy life. Due to their high energy levels and high prey drive, they need regular, strenuous exercise to stay fit and healthy. In general, they have a lifespan of between 12 to 15 years by their human’s side.

History of the Siberian Husky

The Siberian husky is often referred to as an ancient breed because of how far back we can trace their lineage without having mixed different breeds of domesticated dogs.

Siberian huskies originated among a tribe of Siberian nomads, the Chukchi. The Chukchi used Siberian huskies as sled-pulling dogs to help transport them across long distances, and they were treated as a part of the family. It’s said that they even provided warmth to the children at night.

The Siberian Husky We Know Today 

What was first known as the Chukotka Sled Dog began being imported into Alaska around 1910 to be used as sled dogs during the gold rush. However, when the Soviets closed the border before World War II, the dog stopped being imported as well.

With the inability to import the Chukotka sled dog, the Siberian husky we know today has changed slightly from their foundation dog breed. Despite this, the breed flourished in North America. Today, the Siberian husky is a notable and AKC-recognized dog breed that lives in many homes across the continent.

Notable History 

These dogs became a sensation overnight when they were used to rush hundreds of yards through Alaska to deliver a serum that would help treat a diphtheria epidemic that had broken out in the town of Nome.

Balto, the last lead dog to deliver this serum, was honored with his very own statue in New York City’s Central Park, and an animated movie based on the dogs’ heroic actions was also released.

In recent years, Togo, the lead sled dog, has earned his well-deserved fame for leading the expedition through the most perilous and longest stretches.

Breed Characteristics

Huskies are somewhat of an enigma. They all have very specific personalities that will likely keep you entertained for hours each day. However, they share many of the same natural-born instincts, making them somewhat predictable.

They are specifically famous for their vocality, hyper-independence, selective hearing, and dramatics. They are lovable and intelligent dogs that need the energy they give to be reciprocated. With that, they will be the best pet you could ever ask for!


Huskies of both Alaska and Asia are often regarded as independent and maybe over-confident, akin to malamutes. Their natural instinct is to roam and hunt, so being confined to a small yard or apartment might not be ideal. They are going to want to escape, and they are quite talented at doing so.

Whether your pup is a bonafide escape artist or not, accidents happen. Check out the One Pet ID, which can help you track down your missing pet and bring them home.

They are quite playful and like to find ways to get your attention. They want to play with you rather than alone and often do well with another dog around. They are pack animals, so getting two can bring them both comfort and play.

Huskies are great family dogs and watchdogs due to their history with the Chukchi people. They are pretty gentle with children, but it’s always important to supervise your dog around young children. Because of their friendly nature, they do well meeting strangers and other dogs outside of the home. They might get a bit too excited, so be sure to train your puppy early and consistently.


Training your husky is essential. They are powerful and independent dogs who are known to have selective hearing. If you don’t establish a hierarchy with your dog, they may not listen to you during crucial moments.

Huskies that are bored are bound to find their way into trouble. These dogs are high-energy and require a human who is active and willing to meet their needs daily. When you do this, you are giving your dog their best chance for success. They will be content and happy, and so will you!

Providing plenty of mental stimulation throughout the day — either training or enrichment such as a puzzle or game — will help to keep your dog active even without physical activity. Learning new tricks and giving your husky a job will also fulfill part of your husky’s energy needs.

Leash training is an absolute must. Crate training is also recommended. This way, you can handle your dog comfortably on walks and ensure that your pup is safe at home when you’re away from them.


Huskies are good at adapting to new scenarios thrown at them. Especially when raised from puppyhood, huskies become rather attached to their humans and will put their trust in them. Huskies that live in small spaces need more outdoor time than huskies that have space to roam.

You can live in an apartment with a husky, as long as you are providing them with ample amount of time outside and mental stimulation to help with feelings of being confined. If you socialize them well with all kinds of people, animals, and places, you will have a dog that doesn’t care about the environment they are in. They’ll trust that you have things covered!


One lovely characteristic that is seen across the board is the husky howl. Huskies aren’t prone to barking: it’s usually a long-winded howl. Huskies talk — a lot. They are internet famous for their sing-song voice and ability to have back-and-forth conversations with their humans.

They are a very noisy breed of dog, which might discourage you from apartment living. It always helps to introduce your husky to your neighbors, so they know where the howling is coming from at night!

Caring for a Siberian Husky

Siberian huskies require a significant amount of your energy and attention in order to thrive. If you’re looking for a sled dog, a hiking dog, or a dog to go running and biking with – this could be a great match! They are highly active with big personalities, meaning their human needs to be prepared to put in the work. They are not a dog that does well with novice dog parents. You might need more than just a crash course to fully understand how to train your husky.

Physical Needs

Huskies are strong and durable dogs that do well in high-intensity situations. One 15-minute walk a day simply won’t cut it for a husky. They require at least an hour-long walk a day; the more time spent outside, the merrier!

Puppy play dates, walks in your neighborhood, a swim in a pond, or a hike on a nearby trail will be the perfect amount of exercise for your dog each day. Having toys and puzzles around for mental stimulation will also burn your husky’s energy, which means more naps for them and quieter for you.

Grooming Needs

Huskies have a double coat, so their fur is very dense and full. They have two seasons: shedding season and not shedding season. Their undercoat sheds twice a year, in which you will be vacuuming your house twice a day. Keep up with brushing to avoid mattes or clumps falling out in your home.

You can maintain good upkeep with their coats by grooming them at least once a week throughout not shedding season and daily during shedding season. Be prepared to be covered in fluffy furs throughout the year, no matter what season it is.

It’s also important to keep an eye on how long their nails are getting to ensure they don’t become painful for your dog to walk on. Generally, huskies don’t need to be bathed more than a few times a year (or if they become covered in mud), as they are pretty adept at keeping themselves clean.

Nutritional Needs

All dogs deserve the highest quality of dog food. Huskies that are actively working may require a bit more than the average household husky.

You might get a husky that eats until they are full and stops midway through their dinner. Don’t stress too much; your husky knows their body well. On a similar note, huskies may try to use their puppy dog eyes to get a second breakfast — don’t fall for it, no matter how cute it is!

Typically, huskies eat between 1.5 and 2 cups of food a day, split between two meals. However, your dog’s needs will be specific to them. Therefore if you notice that your dog is not keeping on weight or putting on too much, you can adjust how much they are eating every day.

Health Concerns

Siberian huskies are a relatively healthy breed. Like all dogs, they are more prone to certain health conditions than others. If you are going through a reputable breeder, you should be able to access health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand’s disease.

Huskies are prone to other health problems, such as:

  • Cataracts
  • Corneal dystrophy
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)

Seek Out Your Husky Pack

Huskies can be a lot of work, but talking with others about certain behavior and how people worked to train their huskies can help make having one a bit easier. When you use AskVet’s services, you can get any question you need answered, and you can also join in with other pet parents to discuss your beloved pets and all their quirks.

Finding a community of other pet parents will help you to better understand your dog’s breeds. Now, with AskVet, this is easier than ever.

Schedule a virtual session with a Certified Pet Lifestyle Coach™ from AskVet to get started on creating a 360-degree lifestyle plan for any animal family member you have, including your husky. A CPLC™ can help answer any wellness and behavior questions that might pop up. Call us up and see how we can help you!


Siberian Husky Dog Breed Information | The American Kennel Club

Siberian Husky | Characteristics, Overview, Temperament, & Facts | Britannica

Puppy Parties And Beyond: The Role Of Early Age Socialization Practices On Adult Dog Behavior | NCBI

Siberian Husky – Breed Info | Animal Health Clinic

Caring for your Siberian Husky | Winter Park Veterinary Hospital

Can Huskies Talk and What are They Saying? | The American Kennel Club

Alaskan Malamute Dog Breed Information | The American Kennel Club

Chukchi | Alaska Native Collections | Smithsonian Institute 

Togo | U.S. National Park Service

Your Husky’s Life Span & How To Make the Most of It

Your Husky’s Life Span & How To Make the Most of It

From the moment we bring a dog into our home, we work towards giving them the healthiest and happiest of lives. Every dog breed has a specific life expectancy that correlates to their health, their genetics, and how they are being taken care of.

Unfortunately, larger dogs tend to have shorter expected lifespans; scientists assume it’s because larger dogs age much faster than their smaller counterparts.

However, huskies are somewhat of an anomaly. They are relatively large dogs, but their breed-specific health traits and physical characteristics improve their lifespan rather than shorten it.

To learn more about your Husky’s lifespan and how you can make the most out of it, keep reading.

A Husky’s Life Expectancy

In general, a healthy and active Husky will live between 12 and 15 years. Despite their medium-size and heightened activity, they are strong and adaptive dogs that are known to stick around for as long as possible.

How long a Husky lives will vary for each dog, but you can play a large role in extending their life and keeping them healthy. Often, how much care you put into your pet will be reflected in the amount of time they spend in your life. Of course, accidents happen, and we can’t prevent all things such as diseases from impacting our dog’s life expectancy.

Factors of Life Expectancy

There are a wide range of factors when it comes to life expectancy. Huskies fall towards the higher end regarding medium-sized dogs’ life predictions. Huskies are generally healthy dogs that don’t have too many known issues. They are an ancient breed that has survived thousands of years working alongside humans and being loved as family pets.

A few details might play into how long your Husky lives. Some of these you may have control over and can influence, while others, not as much.

Here are four possible factors that can affect our Huskies:


If you are going through a breeder, choose someone responsibly. A breeder should run all of the appropriate genetic tests needed to ensure most hereditary diseases are not a concern. You will also want a breeder that chooses their dogs based on temperament and health. Avoid backyard breeders and look for corresponding red flags.

If you adopt a Husky from a third-party source, such as a rescue, you might not be able to find out much information about your pup’s parents. However, you can pay for your own genetic testing to see if your dog has inherited any genetic diseases that would impact their lifespan. Typically, rescues, especially breed-specific rescues, will have dogs seen by veterinarians to flag possible health concerns as well as vaccinate, spay, or neuter.

Physical and Mental Exercise

Huskies are dogs that need a lot of stimulation, both mentally and physically. Exercising your Husky will help you to keep them in good shape. Huskies like a lot of space to run around; they should get ample amounts of time outdoors.

This high-energy breed can be the perfect fit for the right family or individual, but before welcoming a Husky into the family, really review their physical and mental needs. Huskies are adept at escaping their yards and can be very distraught and destructive without the right physical and mental stimulation.

Huskies are a working dog breed, which means that they are built to work, play, and simply go. The longer you are able to keep your Husky active, the longer they will live. That means that if you are still able to get your 14-year-old Husky on a walk, you should be doing so (with caution).

Proper exercise that is continuous and built-in to your pet’s day can help to limit the onset of mobility issues and arthritis. Plus, a walk or two a day will is good for us people as well!

Nutrition and Diet

Huskies burn a lot of their energy with their constant playful attitude and high drive. They like to work, they like to learn new tricks, and they do like to eat. Huskies know their bodies well and can often determine when they have reached their own nutritional goals.

If you provide your dog with a well-balanced diet, they should be feeling good and healthy for many years to come.

Regular Veterinarian Appointments

Another way that you can prolong your Husky’s life and keep them healthy for as long as possible is to make sure they are getting regular veterinarian appointments. By doing this, you can have a baseline on your dog’s health and track how they are doing over time.

With check-ups, your vet can catch anything that looks out of place and have your dog treated before issues progress. Your dog will stay up-to-date on vaccinations and preventative medications that will keep your pup healthy. The earlier you are able to catch something, the better the prognosis!

Health Concerns of Huskies

Huskies are known to be very healthy dogs that live long, happy lives. Conditions that might be of concern will more likely impact your dog’s quality of life rather than their life expectancy.

For instance, hip dysplasia might not be your dog’s cause of death, but it can limit their mobility and make life a bit more difficult. This decrease in physical activity might lower your dog’s quality of life which could have an impact on their life span.

Additionally, Huskies are known to have ocular issues, like:

    • Glaucoma
  • Corneal dystrophy
  • Juvenile cataracts
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)

Give your pet the personlaized care. Get the app!

Get Answers With AskVet

Questions are bound to arise when it comes to being a pet parent. It’s normal to worry about little changes your dog displays, but we here at AskVet have got you covered. If you want a quick answer to ease your anxiety or help you act fast, join our app and set up a virtual session with our Certified Pet Lifestyle Coaches™.

Pet parents might feel like they have too many persistent questions to ask, but that’s how most pet parents feel! Join in with our Clubhouse, and you might realize that your concerns are concerns that are shared with other Husky parents.

The best thing you can do for your dog is to listen to your intuition when it tells you something is off. Sometimes that intuition will be a whine, and sometimes it will be Husky-loud-howl, but with that skill and the help of knowledgeable experts, your dogs, cats, lizards, and more can thrive.


Veterinary-Prescribed Physical Activity Promotes Walking In Healthy Dogs And People | NCBI

Diagnosis, Prevention, And Management Of Canine Hip Dysplasia: A Review | NCBI

Why do small dogs live longer than big dogs? | Pursuit by The University of Melbourne

Buyer Beware: The Problem with Puppy Mills and Backyard Breeders | PAWS

Huskies are wonderful pets for the right person or family; but do your research! | The Daily Journal

Signs of a Responsible Breeder | American Kennel Club

Your Husky’s Growth Chart: Tracking Their Progress 

Your Husky’s Growth Chart: Tracking Their Progress

For dog parents all over, we know how important it is to cherish those first few months of puppyhood. Soon, your little buddy will have seemingly sprouted overnight into a troublemaking teenager. Huskies grow fast, and so do their energy and physical needs.

Week by week, you will begin to see your Husky rapidly grow in height and weight. You might be wondering if the rate your dog is growing is normal – likely it is. It’s just much faster than you might have hoped for or expected!

Keep reading to learn more about the growth and development of the Siberian Husky and how to prepare for each and every change.

How Big Will My Husky Get?

Huskies are described as medium-sized dogs that are muscular, agile, and famous for how vocal they are. They are active dogs and, because of this, are good at maintaining a healthy weight without much assistance from their humans. Huskies don’t require as much food as one might think, considering their activity levels. Their natural instinct is to eat lightly in order to be faster and more efficient.

Depending on how your dog eats, exercises, and is cared for, they might fluctuate in weight and muscle mass. Some dogs will be bigger than others, and that’s something you might be able to tell from their parents. In general, your Husky will be medium in size with the appearance of a bigger dog.

Weight of a Husky

A fully grown adult male Husky can weigh up to 65 pounds, with more weighing between 50 to 60 pounds. The adult male’s body mass is bigger than females, making them slightly larger and heavier.

Females are also medium in size but typically weigh between 45 to 55 pounds. They might appear to have smaller frames than males, but it can vary between each dog.

Height of Husky

Huskies are average in their height and will likely come up to your thigh when standing on all four feet. Their dense fur can make them appear larger than their actual frame, but in general, they don’t grow taller than two feet.

Factors That Impact a Husky’s Size

While each Husky you come across is going to vary from the next, certain factors will play into their size. As a Husky grows older, you might be surprised at how big they are getting. You might think you’re taking home the runt of the group but end up with a hefty 65-pound Husky.

Huskies do eventually stop growing, but the range can vary. You might think they’re done and wake up to find out they don’t fit comfortably in their crate anymore.

The factors below factors can be solid indicators of how big your Husky pup will grow to be:

Paw Size

The first thing to do when checking out puppies of any breed is to take a look at their paws. Compare their paws to others in their litter and see where they stand. Are your puppy’s paws twice the size of some of their siblings? If so, you can expect a big dog!

The bigger a puppy’s paws, the more likely that dog is to be bigger as an adult. Dogs grow into their paws more so than their paws grow with them. Puppies with big paws tend to be stronger and more sturdy dogs as they age and grow into their bodies.

Huskies have rounded, compact paws (similar to the Alaskan Malamute). Note that when investigating your Husky’s paws, you’ll likely spot webbing between the toes.

This webbing helps Huskies and other snow pups navigate icy terrain by increasing the surface area. Still, the webbing is less than that of strong swimming breeds like the Newfoundland and the Portuguese Water Dog.


By simply understanding your dog’s growth timeline, you can have a better understanding of where your dog should be in size.

Huskies usually take 1.5 years to reach their adult height but can fill out their bodies for up to another 1.5 years. If your puppy is below 1.5 years, they are likely still growing, and you can expect to see changes.

After a year and a half has gone by, your dog might still be gaining weight to fill out their height, but they are almost at their final size. Of course, as dogs mature, they could encounter changes in lifestyle that would fluctuate their weight from time to time.


If you want to get a good indicator of how big your dog might be, ask to meet or see pictures of the mother and father. Puppies born to that litter will likely be around the same size as their father or mother, depending on if they are male or female.

For instance, if you have a male Husky puppy, they might be similar in size to their father, while female Husky puppies will be closer in size to their mother.

When Do Huskies Stop Growing?

It usually takes between 1.5 to three years for your Husky to reach their full grown size. All Huskies are one-of-a-kind and will follow their unique growth and development path, but be prepared for yours to surprise you. Overnight it can feel like your Husky has doubled in size, with their puppy behaviors and looks quickly turning into that of a young adult dog.

Two Months

When you first get your Husky pup around the two-month mark, you will be smitten with their adorable, cuddly, teddy bear energy. They are sure to be spunky from the beginning, but their clumsiness and fluffiness will captivate you. At this point, your dog might weigh anywhere between ten to 30 pounds, usually only being up to a foot tall.

Six Months

By the six-month mark, you will have noticed rapid growth. Your Husky is still a puppy, but they have become more into their own personality, keeping you on your toes. At this point, female Huskies will be closing in on 40 pounds, with males jumping to between 40 to 50 pounds.

These puppies will need much more regular exercise than they did just four months ago, as they will sleep less, have more energy, and have bones/joints that can support more vigorous exercise. Training, walks, and mental stimulation will become key in maintaining your pup’s growing needs.

One Year

In one year, your Husky will be in their teenage stage. They might become more mischievous, causing a ruckus more often than not. They will be bursting with energy which will mean more walks on your end. Like other high-energy breeds (for example, German Shepherds and Border Collies), Huskies can become destructive and disruptive when bored.

Along with this energy is a burst in size, making them more than halfway done with their growth and development. At this point, both males and females will be about as tall as they are going to get, and will fill out even more as time goes on.

1.5 Years

By 1.5 years, your Husky is done growing in height. They will be as tall as they’re going to be, with only a bit more weight to put on. Some Huskies will be completely grown at this point, but that is typically the case for females. Males can still put on a few more pounds at this point.

Two to Three Years

When your Husky reaches the age of two, the next year is for finishing out their development stage. They will grow or weigh as much as they ever will at this point in their life. While fluctuations in weight are possible, what your Husky weighs at this age is an average of what your Husky should look like for the rest of their life.

During this stage, you’ll see your Husky as more of a dog than a puppy. Their adorable puppy fur will be long gone, and their adult features will be more apparent.

Lucky for you, their puppy-like behavior never seems to go away. They still maintain their goofy and playful spirit.

Husky Growth Chart

Female Husky Growth Chart:

Age (Months) Height (Inches) Weight (Pounds)
2-4 9-12 10-30
4-6 11-14 25-37
6-8 13-16 28-43
8-10 15-18 32-44
10-12 17-19 32-46
12-14 18-20 33-48
14-16 19-21 34-49
16-18 20-22 35-50

Male Husky Growth Chart:

Age (Months) Height (Inches) Weight (Pounds)
2-4 9-12 10-30
4-6 11-15 30-41
6-8 14-18 39-50
8-10 17-20 41-55
10-12 18-21 43-57
12-14 19-22 43-58
14-16 20-23 44-59
16-18 21-24 45-60

What Should I Consider Overweight?

Your dog might fluctuate in their weight, and this could be dependent on a lot of factors. How much they exercise, their nutrition, and how much they eat, as well as the environment they are in can alter their size.

In a healthy Husky, you should be able to feel their ribs when you touch the sides of their bodies, and their waist should be definable. Of course, some Huskies may weigh more than the average Husky and still be perfectly healthy and happy. Consider reaching out to your pet’s veterinarian if you are concerned with the health or weight of your dog.

Give your pet the personlaized care. Get the app!

How Do I Get All of My Questions Answered?

With AskVet, of course! Having a dog and a Husky, no less, is a lot of work!

It’s common to question if what you are doing is right for your dog. We all want to do what’s best for our dogs and ensure that they are growing up to be healthy and strong.

It’s impossible to have all of the right answers. With a community like ours, you don’t have to worry about figuring it out on your own. With AskVet, you can ask any question you have and get an immediate response from our Certified Pet Lifestyle CoachesTM (CPLC).

Additionally, you can join our Clubhouse and talk with other pet parents about all pet-related things. It’s nice to know you’re not alone and find others who are going through the same things, whether they be exciting milestones or similar concerns. Schedule a virtual chat with a CPLC™ and start building a healthier future for all your animal family members today.


Siberian Husky Dog Breed Information | American Kennel Club

The Influence of Breed, Sex, Origin and Housing Conditions on Undesirable Behaviors in Ancient Dog Breeds | NCBI

Ancestry-Inclusive Dog Genomics Challenges Popular Breed Stereotypes | Science