The average Husky lifespan is 12 to 15 years. This compares favorably with other dogs of a similar size such as the Labrador, Golden Retriever, and German Shepherd. Of course statistics are only a guide, with some dogs living longer, and others shorter, lives. But to help your hairy hound live a long and active life, you can swing some factors in your favor. Here’s what you need to know to have the longest living Husky.
Husky Lifespan – How Long Do Huskies Live?
There’s a good chance of Husky life expectancy reaching the teens. It’s nice to think their heritage as active sled dogs means they come from hardy stock with good health.
As a general rule, the bigger the dog, the shorter their life expectancy. Meanwhile, small breeds tend to live longer. For a medium to large dog, the Husky lifespan of around 13 years stands up well.
Common Husky Health Problems And Impact On Husky Life Expectancy
Purebred dogs often have an Achilles heel where their health is concerned. Most breeds have an increased risk of developing certain health problems. The Husky is no different. However, there’s good news. Husky life expectancy is high because overall they are a healthy, strong breed.
This makes sense as these four-leggers are used roughing it in sub-zero temperatures. Weaker dogs were unlikely to survive to create the next generation. Those problems that do occur impact quality of life rather than Husky lifespan.
Huskies are prone to hereditary cataracts. The condition isn’t dangerous in the same way a heart defect might be. However, they cause premature loss of vision. For an active dog like the Husky, this isn’t great news, but they can do just fine with the aid of a caring owner.
A cataract refers to cloudiness of the lens within the eye. Like wearing a dirty contact lens, having a cataract stops light getting to the retina at the back of the eye. As the condition progresses, poor eyesight can turn into total loss of vision.
We tend to think of cataracts as an old dog’s problem, but sadly, Huskies can develop juvenile hereditary cataracts. This affects their ability to see from as young as one year old. For an active dog that loves to roam, this can be limiting, but not life-threatening.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Sadly, PRA is another condition which causes premature blindness in the Husky, and potentially in young dogs. This is another inherited health problem affecting the light-sensitive layer lining the eyeball.
From just a few months old, the retina thins and withers, causing the dog to go blind.
With a dedicated owner, PRA should not impact on Husky lifespan. The biggest risk is the energetic Husky that runs into the road unaware of oncoming traffic.
This makes it a challenge to give such an active breed enough exercise, but a long line and plenty of space goes a long way to keeping that fur-friend safe.
It seems the eye is the Husky’s weakness, since glaucoma is another condition that affects the eye. Glaucoma refers to a buildup of fluid pressure within the eyeball, causing it to stretch and expand. Not only does this blur vision but it is painful.
There are treatments which help reduce the impact of glaucoma, but these aren’t always successful. Also, they don’t cure the condition, but control the symptoms. This makes lifelong therapy essential.
Hip dysplasia is a common hereditary condition passed from parent to pup. It causes poor anatomy of the hip joint. In turn, the joint’s poor fit leads to inflammation and pain. In mild cases, pain relief is all that’s needed, but for the worst cases the pain is so severe as to require hip replacement surgery.
For dogs where such radical surgery is not an option, hip dysplasia has the potential to shorten Husky lifespan. It is the hardest decision to make. But rather than have a pet live in constant severe pain, choosing to end their misery is the humane option.
Although not strictly speaking a health concern, the Husky’s love of freedom and need for extreme exercise can be a problem. This breed is hard-wired to be on the go all day long. However, not every Husky has a suitably energetic owner.
When kept confined they can develop bad habits, such as barking, digging, and chewing. This can lead to them being abandoned or signed over to a shelter. With rescues full to overflowing, this could put the dog’s future in peril.
How To Help Your Husky Live Longer
Don’t despair, there is a lot you can do to maximize Husky life expectancy!
- Slim and trim: Look after your Husky’s waistline and they’ll live longer. Studies show that lean dogs live two to three years longer than their chubbier canine cousins. Avoid over-feeding to max out that Husky lifespan.
- Spay the girls: Studies show that female dogs live longer than males, and that spayed females live longer than those left entire. For a longer Husky life expectancy, get a female pup fixed.
- Vaccination: Vaccinating against common life-threatening diseases does actually save lives.
- Parasite control: Take advice from your vet about appropriate parasite control. For example, heartworm is a life-threatening, but preventable, condition.
- Active lifestyle: As a sled dog, the Husky is bred to run all day in harsh conditions. Your dog may love to curl up by the hearth, but this doesn’t do away with their basic drive to run. A bored dog may run off and become the victim of a traffic accident. Or else, they may become so destructive they’re impossible to live with. Make sure a Husky gets plenty of mental and physical exercise.
Good Husky Husbandry
Breeding from healthy Husky dogs is crucial to creating strong, healthy puppies. To do this requires breeders to behave responsibly and screen their dogs for genetic disease before breeding.
Then, only those dogs found to be free of disease should be used to create the next generation.
For example the Siberian Husky Club of America is signed up with the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC). The latter holds a genetic database for screened dogs with good scores.
These dogs have been hip scored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and passed. Likewise, dogs have been examined and certified by the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF).
Buying a pup with a good health pedigree makes for great Husky life expectancy.
And remember, to help your best buddy lead a long, healthy life, keep your dog trim and active, and don’t overlook regular preventative healthcare.
Roxanne Irazoqui says
I forgot to mention Slash was a Siberian Husky.
Roxanne Irazoqui says
I had to put my 15-year-old Husky named Slash to sleep this month (Aug 2022). He was a great dog, super energetic, I kept him trim and active and absolutely no table food. We gave them a lot of love, care, and time. He was very social, and he did not like to be alone. Huskies are “eternal puppies”, we loved his energy, he was an Alpha male too. He loved his long walks, run, and play all the time. Loved my Husky so much. Rest in peace Slash.
We have a lovely Siberian Husky named Zeus. She is a beauty still at 14 years and 5 months this March 22nd. People still comment that they thought she was just a pup!
My two sons named her, hence the masculine name. She has brought us so much joy, adventure and love to our family… it’s just inmeasurable. She is a total sweetheart and sassy. She has declined with a limp the past month, they say it’s arthritis. She’s getting high end supplements, brain cognitive support and animal chiropractic, with vet examinations. She’s still at optimal weight at 46 Lbs. But not eating well, unless it’s human food now. I am praying she will get better, she has been so dear to us… we don’t want to imagine life without her.♡
lilian ralton says
My Husky 12yo, just had a splenectony gor a ruptured tumor.Still in hospital.Not long yo live after this.I hope he at least gives us a few more months.
My 14yr old husky in just died suddenly, I can only guess at heart attack. We took her for walks almost every day, and that day was no different. She seemed fine and happy.
Christina Fishback says
The same thing happened to our 9 1/2 year old male husky makes no sense we are heartbroken
Utahna Green says
I have two rescued huskies. One is 14 years old, the other 9 years old. Both are walked for several miles a day and kept up with quality food and Healthcare. My 14 year old started losing weight but I started supplementing his food with eggs and we have added weight back on. He stumbles sometimes when walking but otherwise shows no real signs of his age. I adore both and can’t imagine life without my boys!
tracey peterson says
I have a beautiful male husky named Kuma.He will be 9 in March,..He still likes to play “catch me if you can”..if he happens to slip off
from his leash or when he gets distracted but he doesnt go too far ..unlike his puppyhood! we have developed a bond I never
experienced with any other dog breed I’ve owned ..My Best friend ..loyal ,loveable. Beautiful inside and out!😂
Diane Mavrinac says
We just had to put our Siberian down he developed a aggressive tumor on his spleen showed no signs until it ruptured is this common in Huskies, we adopted him near as we can figure he was 10 or 11 we are trying to make sense of this , he showed absolutely no signs until it was too late ,he was always on excellent food and treats , no toxic chemicals on our lawn our hearts are so broken , we had to put our 16 year old schnauzer down in December that’s two dogs in less than 2 months
Can anyone help I have a nine year old husky male he’s losing his hair and his skin is turning black the vet has done blood and urine all clear
I have a 12 year old Turkish Husky named Ares. Turkish breeds run small so he’s been around 35 lbs for the past 7 years.
Doesn’t seem like he’s slowing down besides the occasional limp from back hip. Love him to pieces.
I have a husky named Sheldon. I built him an a course to keep him busy. High jump, teter toter and a tunnel. He loved it
Roy Linderholm says
My Siberian Husky Thor is right on weight and height he’s kept up on shots and chipped he’s a great friend he’s my first husky he doesn’t chew or dig he’s been through obedience school twice and was best out of 32 and 28 he’s right now and we want to breed him he’s white with Brown ears and spots if anyone is near Waukegan Illinois let me know
Mary Nelson says
I have 7 Huskies. Daddy Chasta is 14 years, Bear,Montana, Demon, Maya & Minnie is 13 years and Cooper is 9 years old. I have Daddy at the age of 6 weeks, Bear never left me, Demon came back at 14 weeks, Montana at the age of 3 years Maya & Minnie at the age of 8 and I recuse Cooper at the age of 2 years. I lost their Mommy Dakota at the age of 12 years to Cancer. These are my kids
My husband and I inherited our litter-mates, Fantome and Lightning, when our daughters left home. They are now 5. At five months, Fantome lost his eyesight due to glaucoma. Having his eyes removed gave him a new lease on life, living pain free. He had an amazing recovery and most people don’t believe he’s blind because he looks up at birds and insects, runs without running into objects once he’s taken the route, and is a very happy dog. His brother started having the symptoms of glaucoma a few months ago and a few days ago, he had his eyes removed. He is on the mend and getting around pretty well. They are such smart dogs! We couldn’t imagine life without our buddies.
I have Sky( siberian Husky) for two years and I make her to rund with me and with scooter around 60 miles a week. She is very calm dog when she is in home. she plays carefully in house but she is super active outside and she always win to be a Alfa dog. She is not aggressive at all 🙂 I recommend who has husky to make them run with scooter or bicycle so she will be more healthy and will have longer life. I had some mistake as well. I gave her human foods several time last year or even bone. She always got sick after she ate them. I recommend only Dog food and I use Nolo (if i spell it correctly)
Jack R says
My siberian male is now 13 and he always eats people food along with his dog food. Luka use to get walked for 10 years or he ran alongside me on a bike but now he doesn’t get walked but runs in our large back yard. He gets let out when he wants but lately, he wakes me up in the middle of the night. His water intake has increased 3 times his normal. He does good in the house and we love him dearly . We feed him Wyld harvest dog food and whatever meat we eat with some vegies and sometimes rice . Most of the time he is picky and leaves his dog food alone and waits to see if people food is comming.
Ed Meyers says
My Siberian Husky and I have a thing going on. Frequent burn downs (daily) are very important. I’m glad they have longevity
Yes I have a Siberian husky his name is bandit and he is 9 years old. He runs around the yard, he is a picky eater and doesn’t destroy anything. He has the same toys since he was 11 weeks old from when I bought him .. He never leaves my side and loves me unconditionally. The vet says he is very healthy thank God people look at him and think he is still 4 years old.
WALTER VANCURA says
My huskey is 10/half old. a big male he is. I live in texas and keep
him out of the heat. his undercoat shedding has been the worst this year. sleeps by me and always at my side……..ON THE EIGHTH DAY GOD MADE DOGS AND SAT DOWN AND SMILED !!!