Should you shave your husky? The short answer is absolutely not. However, if you’re still tempted to shave your husky’s coat, please read the rest of the article to understand why it’s never a good idea.
Why Can’t I Shave My Husky?
Huskies and Malamutes are double-coated breeds, meaning they have two layers of fur. The first layer, closest to the skin, is their undercoat; it’s made up of delicate, fluffy, and short hairs. This is the fur that sheds—this layer is responsible for insulating the dog by trapping air. Therefore, you should never shave a husky.
The second layer is what we call the topcoat. It’s made up of coarse, tough guard hairs. True to their name, they do just that, they guard your dog against UV rays and insects. The dogs were given a coat capable of keeping them both warm in the Winter and cool in the Summer. Shaving your snow dog’s coat does much more harm than good. Owners shaving their dog’s coats are a significant cause of heat stroke. The only time your dog’s coat should be shaved is for medical reasons.
Shaving Your Husky Will Not Help It Cool Down
To my dismay, I see people posting pictures of their newly shaved huskies almost daily in the warmer months. I appreciate that it’s a bit of a strange concept to grasp, but dogs do not sweat and release heat from their skin like humans. Instead, dogs cool themselves primarily by panting and secondly from the pads of their paws, the only part of a dog’s body that sweats.
Not all owners shave their snow dogs because they believe it’s best for their dog; some do it because they’re tired of the shedding, which is especially bad when they “blow”. Typically huskies will blow their coats twice per year, once in the Spring and again in the fall. The entire process can take up to 6 weeks. You will be dealing with much shedding during this time, but please don’t be tempted to shave your dog.
The final reason I see people shaving their huskies is for fashion. This is utterly despicable; huskies are not fashion accessories.
Anatomy Of The Double Coat
Managing Your Huskies Coat
While we tell you never to shave your husky, you should regularly groom your husky to maintain his coat. During the warmer months, their undercoat will come loose and come out in clumps; this will need to be brushed out with a rake. This allows cool air to reach the skin and circulate while keeping the topcoat intact to protect it from the sun. Leaving the undercoat unmanaged will block cool air from getting to the skin, potentially causing your dog to overheat.
What About The Furminator?
The Furminator is a cause of much controversy among husky owners. Some swear by it, while others complain that it causes damage by cutting and snapping the guard hairs. There are two versions of the Furminator one for short coats and another for longer-haired breeds. The version for shorter coats will undoubtedly cause damage to a huskies coat. The version for longer coats can also cause damage if overused. If you use a Furminator, use it minimally after the rake to clean things up a little. Use with caution.
In conclusion, it is essential to understand that shaving your husky’s coat is never a good idea. Huskies have a double coat, which provides insulation to keep them warm in winter and cool in summer, and shaving it off can cause more harm than good. Owners who do so often do it out of convenience or fashion, but they should not compromise their pet’s health and comfort.
Instead, regular grooming with an undercoat rake is recommended to maintain a healthy coat and allow cool air to circulate. While the Furminator can help remove undercoats, it should be used cautiously and minimally, especially for longer-haired breeds like huskies. By taking care of your husky’s coat, you can help them stay healthy, comfortable, and happy.
88 thoughts on “Can I Shave My Husky”
Overall the Siberian Husky needs very little grooming compared to other breeds, no trimming of hair is needed, just a regular brush to remove any dead hair. Do not shave, strip or clip your husky close. The undercoat insulates against the coat and the top provides protection from harmful ultra violet sun rays and should not be cut short.
Never clip your huskies whiskers – they are sensory devices that your dog needs. Whiskers vibrate as a warning to the dog when they come into contact with something solid.
Who said they’d be out on the sun though? What if they’re inside dogs??
Hi my husband got a husky before we were married and he stopped brushing him which lead to massive amounts of matted hair down to the skin. What do I do to get the matts out
Plenty of brushing and proper dog shampoo and conditioner. I’ve found that with my Sibes, a good bath session helps loosen up the matted hair and once the coat is dry I can brush them out better. You will probably need a few good grooming tools for this job as well; a good rake and a long bristle brush. If all else fails the husky to a groomer who knows the husky coat well.
I might take it a little far but I think there are things that people should take to atention.
1. Just like people, dogs can get cancer. People have no fur to protect it from the UV light so the skin developed in a way it provides peotection. Dogs have fur for that. If you shave the dog, you take the protection layer away from it and expose it to UV rays. Those rays cause local genetic demage that the sysstem cant always fix and sometimes fixes incorrectly. Those errors create permenant demage that can lead to cancer.
2. A more immediate demage that might be not as bad on the long run is sum burns. Dogs have skin that gets sun burns very easily and thise burns are deaper than in people (once again-adaptation on the skin over evolution). People shave their dogs and never consieder dog-safe sun screen and other ways to protect the dog. It can cause really bad burns which in turn can leave scars.
3. If the shave or fur cut is too short, the dogs skin will get itchy. They will bite and scratch themselves in order to fix the itch. Essentially, the dog can injure itself. My dog was shaved ones and he ended up scratching and biting to the point his stomach was bleeding.
I’m rescuing a husky whose previous owner used to shave her a lot. Is there anything I can do to make sure her hair grows back properly?
It will grow like any other follicular growth that’s been cut off. Just take care of it as it comes in.
My Alaskan Malamute / GSD used to encourage the blowing coat off with vigorous play and occasional supplemental professional bath & brush, but two shedding seasons I had major surgery, this year she had acute but regenerative anemia and another mystery so she’s quite lumpy. Malamutes are easier dogs overall than Siberians except for brushing. Mine have both screamed even though introduced to the brush in infancy with regular reintroductions. It never improves. My sweet Keeyush even has had diarrhea from the stress of being brushed at a groomer and there was one who was awful to her about it.
My husky is full of ticks and have tried so much medication (got her from the shelter full of ticks) and I just feel bad because they keep coming back no matter what, she’s the only dog in the house so I want to shave her just to get rid of them but I guess not so send me advice pls
Hi there! There’s some medication you could give her so the ticks can die, ask your vet they should know. Apple vinegar is also good for that.
Hi, I live in Australia and my Siberian husky had a previous owner, that had him shaved a couple of times before I owned him. I haven’t done it, would his fur still be protecting him from the element and insects? I hope so, thank you Marcie
I’m not an expert (at all), just relocating some information I’ve seen. First, brush them! It’s been said many times in these comments, but I’m saying it again because it’s important. And brush them thoroughly. Second, your husky may enjoy being in a kiddy pool filled with ice if it’s hot out. I saw a YouTube video of a man providing this for his husky, and she enjoyed it immensely. She laid down in the pool, and let her owner cover her in a light layer of ice cubes. This may not be true for all Huskies, but I think it’s worth considering.
Great advice! I have done the cold pool of water, a wading pool, for my husky every summer. He absolutely loves it. I have not put ice in it though, just cold water. Also, I brush him thoroughly several times during the late spring and summer months.
I get the whole not shaving but somebody please explain why this causes permanent damage??? The air follicles aren’t damaged by a close trim. Why doesn’t it grow back right?
Sun damage maybe?
Oh thank you so much for this piece of information, because initially I thought my husky living in a hot climate country will be suffering because his coat is too thick, and shave his fur every few months. Thank you for letting me know this.
Good evening. I have a question for You.
I have a siberian husky for around 10 years, really rare. He grew up here (ex Yugoslavia, Montenegro) which is not quite nice place for them but he is doing just fine.
He had a tumor few months ago, on his back, spine. Veterians are not good here so the woman who was trying to heal him, cutted his hair too much, 0.5 cm near his skin.
I’m afraid his hair won’t grew anymore ’cause I can’t see any progress.
Can you tell me anything that could help his hair grow?
Don’t mind my english. I’m trying as much as I can.
Thank you very much.
Do not worry, it will grow back. The reason you don’t see much improvement is because the rest of the fur is normal leanth. This makes the “hole” stand out more. Your dog is a senior so the fur might take longer to grow back than usually. He is also putting all of his energy into healing the wound right now and less goes to growing the fur bach. Normally, for healthy dogs with a long coat it can take up to a few months to get the fur to its proper leanth (at least from my experience). Give it some time, it’ll grow.
In cases of surgery, the fur must be shaved in order to allow the skin to heal properly. Usually the area that is shaved looks too big for the ingury but its the correct way to do it. In this aspect, the vet did her job the way she was supposed to do.
When it comes to healthy fur, the better the food ypu give your dog, the better and the healthier the coat will be. You should also groom your dog often. Those 2 things might help the coat grow better but i am not too sure.
P.s. I am not a vet or a professional, just had to deal with lots of dogs after surgeries.
I would like to add that if you bought the Furminator online you may have gotten a knockoff which causes pulling and cutting. We bought ours from an Amazon seller and it turned out to be fake even though the packaging and everything was identical to the real thing. After buying one from a local retailer it worked as a completely different tool. You get what you pay for.
Me too im a bit worried that my 6mos old husky has been shaved for some medical reasons..she has hotspots and the vet told me its better to shave the coat for better treatment..but im so sad every time i looked at her, would the coat regrow back to its normal coat and if ever, how many months would it take? Would appreciate much if any one could reply..my heart aches by just looking at my beloved dog..and i heard vco/coconut oil would help a lot, do you think it would really help?tnx
We were given a 3 year old husky that had just been shaved to our dismay. Her owner was moving and couldn’t take her. She has started scratching but has no fleas. Is there anything we can get to put on her skin?
Somethings that could be making your husky itchy 1. Only bathe husky with a Good Dog shampoo.
Using shampoos and conditioners not made ( SPECIFICALLY for dogs ) CAN MESS UP THERE PH BALANCE and can make them itch and cause skin irritation
-Rinse Rinse Rinse Until all products are 100% rinsed out of Ur Dogs coat. Itching and skin irritation can occur If any amount of products shampoo or conditioner is Not rinsed our completely from ur Dogs Hair.
I have a husky so rinsing out products is rather difficult .I have found that If I dilute the shampoo like half water half shampoo same thing with the pets conditioner it’s so much easier to rinse out. (Get a second container and pour some of the shampoo or conditioner into it and use that to experiment with finding a ratio of product and water mixture that works for you )! then apply The mixture that you like to your bottle so you can use it for future washes..
-I also suggest a pet conditioner they have one at H-E-B or Walmart that’s pretty good it is a cream colored bottle and it’s just a oatmeal conditioner it’s like eight or nine bucks and it really helps out with the brushing out and dry skin but I dilute it as well.
– you also should get some coconut oil make sure to get the organic cold processed virgin coconut oil you can starting out very slowly in the cable one bowl put a fourth of a teaspoon mixed very well and with the one bowl of dry food you feed do that it’ll help moisturize a pet scan code and it stops itching and stuff like that do not overdo the coconut oil because their dog is not gotten used to it if you do it’s going to give it the runs so like I said for a large dog in a large bowl of food I would do a fourth of a teaspoon mixed in very well with us it’s food to a sure that it you know gets all over the food and it’s not as eating it all at once
I’m the idiot who let and helped my X shave my Husky. So what now? He has spotty hair growth and looks like he has mange. A while back he had some surgery, and in that spot of the incision his hair grew back in a matter of weeks. What can I do if anything to promote regrowth without surgery or causing him pain?
Hi, I would like some advice. My husband hates brushing my husky’s fur. Which for me I don’t really have a problem with brushing him. He’s all white, and my husband wants to cut his hair due to the changing weather and thinks that with the shorter fur, my husky will be better. What will happen if he does cut it? Cause he even bought one of those electric razors for cutting dog hair.
Our husky likes to be vacuumed. As soon as the vacuum comes out she comes running. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3K4vymTs04g
I have a two-year-old husky. When he was one, a paralysis tick latched on to him. Due to the length of his coat, it was really difficult to find it, and we almost lost the poor little fellow. The vet advised to shave his coat to ensure there were no other ticks on him. And shave him he did! All but his head and the tip of his tail, right down to the skin. One year on, and he’s doing fine. However, his coat has not grown back the same colour; whereas before it was a rich reddy-brown, it is now a burnt orange, if you can picture that. Does anyone know if it is normal for this to happen; or if this is an anomaly; or if his coat will eventually return to its original colour? (I’m not even sure if it has finished growing back again.)
Would this also include a Newfoundland poodle mix? I know newfs have double coat but not sure about newf/poodles.
I had to take my malamute to the vet. Hey had to put him on an IV. They had to shave his forearm just above his paw. I was wonde if any one else has been through this. And if so, how long it might take for the fur to grow back. Thank you for any advice.
I just got a husky and i need to get him groomed, what exactly do i tell the groomer to do for best results. I live in Texas btw
Double coated Dogs were bred to live and work in very cold climates, not live in the southern states. If you own a double coated dog and you regularly groom them and by regularly, I mean at least brush the coat all the way to the skin once a week. If you don’t brush your dog and get out the layer of dead wool against the skin and all you do is brush the top layer thinking you are doing a good job, think again. If you can’t part the hair and see skin then you aren’t getting that layer out. I live in NM and I shave down double layer Dogs all day long cause lazy dog owners who don’t want to spend the time to properly brush out their dogs will let the dog become matted to the skin and I will be able to shave the coat off in one piece. That my friends is called a turtle back. The dog comes to me acting depressed and lethargic, after I removed that one piece of coat and give it a good groom the dog comes alive and acts happy and full of energy. If you let your dog live in the sun with a matted heavy wool coat on you are killing your precious baby. It will over heat! The people who own the dogs I shave down sing my praises because their dogs are acting happy and healthy again. I can’t stress enough, brush brush and brush some more or spend the money and let a good groomer do it. I challenge you to put on a black wool floor length coat and go lay in the summer sun and humidity and see how it feels. That’s my opinion and you can take it for what’s it’s worth, two cents.
I am offended by your comment that people who cannot maintain their dogs coats are “lazy”. I have an extremely woolly/long-haired husky that I rescued at 1 year old who came with a lot of behavioral issues. She was never brushed before coming to live with me and she despises being brushed, and has actually bitten me while brushing her. This summer I have taken her to two different groomers and spend $200 on grooming, and she still has tons of thick woolly undercoat and is overheating. These groomers were considered reputable and recommended by others. I have spend $1000s on training her, but training her to like grooming was not top of the list of concerns as she has some behavior problems that are worse then that. Unfortunately I cannot afford to take my dog to the groomer as much as it seems to be necessary for her and I cannot brush her at home or I will get bit. I don’t think that makes me “lazy” and I think you are making a lot of assumptions about people. I am willing to spend some money on groomers but at this rate I cannot afford $100 per month on grooming alone especially when the groomers cant even get all of her undercoat out.
I don’t think you should be so quick to judge your clients. You don’t know their lives.
Buy a muzzle.
I tried that, the act of muzzling her and me forcing her to be brushed made her aggressive towards me when I’d try to pet her. She but me once unprovoked. Trainer and I agree it’s not worth having her associate me witg brushing. Have also tried treats, drugs from vet…
Hi , I’ve got rescued Husky 13 years now and he has the same problem he hates brushing so only logical resolution was to shave him as we lived in warm climate as well. He prefers to be shaved than brushed and for so many years now I shave him myself ones a year now as we moved to UK and he lives inside with heating on. Also the treatment for fleas wasn’t working successfully on his thick coat as supposed! His fur is regrowing fine every time so let me have different opinion on tis matter
I live in Australia and my Siberian husky had a previous owner, that had him shaved a couple of times before I owned him. I haven’t done it, would his fur still be protecting him from the element and insects? Thank you
I agree with Sherry. Huskies need constant brushing. If you can’t brush them to the skin once a week and keep them out of the sun, then Huskies are not your thing. I am learning this the hard way and I treated my Husky like any other dog caused her coat to be neglected. They are very high maintenance grooming dogs but it’s all worth it… I love my Husky.
Okay, I have to wade in here.! My husband and I had very hairy Alaskan Malamutes for over 20 years…at one point, 13 adults….we would Never consider shaving them, unless it was a small area for Medical Reasons Only…not for show, not for cooling and certainly for for “fashion”.
I suggest that if you aren’t prepared to groom properly and regularly to keep shedding under control…then you chose the wrong breed. If where you live is so hot that your dog can’t move or breathe…then you chose the wrong breed.
You can’t expect your dog to lead the same life in Arizona as it would in a temperate climate.., any more than a chihuahua could do well outdoors in the Yukon.
I no this is about Huskys but I have 2 Sammies and would never use a Furminator on any of them a rake is just as good Sammies have two coats to
I have a 10 year old that had to be shaved when he was six months old. His fur never came back in right. His undercoat gets caught beneath his guard hairs and it takes hours at the groomer to give him even a little relief.
I have 3 huskies…1 of which is a wooley (the longer hair). I too believe that some people only shave their huskies out of their own convenience or not understanding that it is not in the dogs best interest. I have found that the rake does the best job for my babies and it is so much cheaper than the furminator. If people can’t take the time to groom their husky properly than they shouldn’t take on the responsibility.
Thanks, we had to shave ours for medical reasons. Fortunately his coat came back perfect, but we were warned that sometimes the coat does no grow back properly n can cause the problems described, luckily it came back beautifully. We use the furbinater n it does a great job when attached to the vacume. We use it about twice a month and shedding is kept to a minimum! !!! Thanks
this is the most frustrating thing i’ve read in a while…not just the article either but the comments. You say never shave the husky….ok, fine. Give me a reason why supported with hard facts and not just your opinion! Who are you that I should trust your opinion? I cant understand people agreeing with this and saying it’s well written…..all you’re really done is say,”Don’t do it.” repeatedly.
Because of all the reasons given, they often get a ski irritation afterwards. They are then very vulnerable to sunburn and it ruins their beautiful cost. Also get a paddling pool and fill ad ice to the water they love it… Also hose them down and take them to the beach.
Why don’t you just do the research! Common sense is all it takes to figure it out! I’ve had Huskies since 1998!! Since she’s not making it clear enough for you.. Look it up!!! Sun will cause their skin to burn, also bugs can easily get to their skin in summer.. In winter months the fur keeps their skin protected from the freezing temps and weather.. Common Sense!!! She knows what she’s talking about. I think everyone on here does, with one exception!!!
Shan. Animals never shave each other so why should we! There is a reason the shed their own coat, it is called evolution and heat managment! until dogs are born with razors I don’t see a reason for them to be bold!
That logic makes no sense. Dogs don’t brush their own fur. Should we stop brushing them and let them get all matted?
Hello, it is a nice article but i still without answer for my question…so here it goes…my husky is 2 years old and she never shed or “blow” as the pictures that a see online. She sheds a little and we are thinking about cutting her fur because is getting a lot of knots and she hates when we try to brush her.
Ana! I’ve had 10 Huskies through my life! They have all been different! I only have one now! She just turned 3! She has only shed once a year. Then back in December.. I saw her first BLOW.. Wow!! My other ones never really did that. It freaked me out. I thought she was going bald! It lasted for weeks. I brushed and brushed! My other ones, that are all gone now, never really blowed! We live in Florida and of course she doesn’t go out much when its hot! I think its just the dog! I’m hoping I don’t see another blow until next year, if it has to happen!! Some Huskies shed constantly, some twice a year! I just brush mine alot. She’s not shedding at all now and I figured she would since it’s been so hot.. Good Luck
The fur between the pads on my huskies paws is getting long. I heard you should trim it back to keep the husky cooler. Is this true? If so, how short should I trim it?
Hi Connie, if the fur is getting too long you can trim it back without fear, I would take it down to the same level as the pads. Use a beard trimmer or similar.
Well, Thank you so much for this info, I didn’t knew it , so i shaved mine because she’s so fluffy , and I thought it’s too hot for her in summer. She’s having problem with her skin , :( looks like itching , or maybe she have allergies but I don’t know , and I don’t know what to do , right now I have to move because the owner of the trailer where I live , he died so the new owners don’t wants pets and I can’t leave her just like that NO WAY , so I can’t bring her to a vet , Some suggestions?
Depending on your state, the new owners can’t retroactively force changes to the lease. They may be able to deny renewal, but again… depends on the state.
I’d have gone to jail over someone shaving my shepherd and especially for laughing about it. Not that I promote violence but to people who are truly committed to dog ownership these creatures are not only a privilege and a blessing, but like our own children ! I lost it when my daughter’s step mom cut her hair and I’d lose it again if someone did it to my baby boy shep ! Arrrrgh ! He gets groomed quite often and I keep a fan blowing on him while we sleep (we both like that) plus I know this is about huskies etc but can you imagine a shaved shepherd ? I would just die of a cardiac infarction if I didn’t hurt the person that shaved him first !
Great article, I have had huskies for over 20 years and YOU NEVER SHAVE A HUSKY PERIOD, for 1 you don’t do it for you, 2 you don’t do it because you think your dog is over heated and 3 you don’t do it to show them, There coat is there for a reason, like our skin, There coat keeps them warm in the winter and cool in the summer, I just had a friend shave her husky because she didn’t like him blowing his coat and he was hot, and she knows better, So remember when you think your husky is hot, give him/her a ice cube….:)
I lost a Husky/wolf 18 yrs ago due to a vet groomer shaving her. My Tosha had demodectic mange (I found her at the county dump), I treated her with the only method known then, dips. She had gotten better but her hair was so thick, I was unable to get down to her skin and took her to the vet for a TRIM!!! to help with the process of reaching her skin and not so much fur. First of all, I was told I couldn’t have her groomed there unless she had ALL OF HER VAX!. She’d had rabies vax and been treated for everything under the sun due to her condition. (the vet wasn’t present) I’d come this far w/her and her coat was so beautiful, so I didn’t want to go backwards in the process of healing her and I allowed them to give all vax. When I picked her up,,the bitch groomer had SHAVED her!! And what really pissed me off was that she stood in the background a laughed about it! Before I got Tosha home, she began vomiting…and within a month died…A dog with a immune disease such as demodex should never be given all vax at once to begin with, and (in the middle of Feb),,NEVER BE SHAVED! I was aware not to shave, but not about the vax at the time..I’d spent almost a grand in a short time trying to save this girl’s life and I gotta’ tell ya, it broke more than my checking acct when she died. See, 18 yrs later at 3 a.m.it’s still fresh in my memory and still breaks my heart…
Hey Kathy, what a heart breaking story, I’m so sorry for your loss. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us though. Isn’t it amazing how these memories stay with us forever, as though they were yesterday. I cannot fathom why they shaved your poor dog and stood laughing about it afterwards, sometimes humans are capable of such cruelty.
So cruel and sad. I am considering adopting a husky from a rescue who’s previous owner shaved her. Do you know how long it will take for her two coats to grow back and will it look like it did or be different? Thanks.
Paul, I have a question for you. You obviously know how huskys have shorter hair on their legs. Well, what’s your opinon if a husky gets their coat shaved to that length? Would that still be bad?
So sorry Kathy ! That’s awful ! My heart goes out to you !
This is a really great article. It explains it nicely for those that don’t understand. We have 3 Huskies and 4 Labs. I’m a dog trainer and have been for 14 years. I’ve trained the Huskies to be good for grooming and furminate them once sometimes twice per year. It really speeds up the “blow” of the coats and helps the air better circulate close to their skin. We have one plush coat, one medium coat and one woolly. Just like knowing what Huskies need. Most people don’t know that you should never soap a lab, aside from the occasional spot clean as needed. Just rinse with cool to slightly warm water towel then air dry. Allowing them to swim floats away dead loose hair.
Hey Jillian, thanks, I’m glad its easy enough to digest. Sometimes it’s more complicated trying to keep something simple. It’s great to see that we’ve attracted such an experienced dog trainer here, welcome! Interesting to know about the labs coat too, thanks for sharing that with us.
I live in Australia and my Siberian husky had a previous owner, that had him shaved a couple of times before I owned him. I haven’t done it, would his fur still be protecting him from the element and insects? I’m really worried, thank you
Regarding the furminator, why do you suggest only using after a rake? Secondly, could you recommend a good rake as the furminator is the only brush we have found to remove the majority of the hair.
I understand where people are coming from when they talk/write about this topic. But the reality is that none of them can actually ask how the dog feels about it. I was firmly against shaving my sibe for a long time because of what the books and web articles said. But we live in MS and it gets super humid and hot in the summer. Last year when spring arrived, my sibe started acting like a completely different dog: moody, sad, and lethargic. She couldn’t just take a nap because she was constantly panting heavily and trying to get comfortable (she’s an inside dog–temp set to 70 just for her sake, which still wasn’t cool enough.) SO we asked them to shave her one day at doggy daycare and were shocked! It was as if she was suddenly 5 years younger: happy, playful, and energetic. AND she started sleeping soundly. The exact same thing happened this spring.
I will say that we do monitor the amount of time she spends in the sun to avoid sunburns, but its OK because she doesn’t like to be out in the yard during the summer anyway. She goes to doggy daycare where the play area is shaded–outside of that she’s mostly in the house with us.
Furthermore, we cannot take her to our local hiking trail with a full coat in the summer (which is her all-time favorite thing) because ticks are so bad. With shorter hair, I can get them off immediately. Good luck finding little ticks on your sibe with full hair.
So please don’t automatically judge someone who shaves their dog. And don’t say that the hair “actually keeps the dog cooler” because well, you don’t know that. We love our sweet girl very much and wouldn’t still be giving her summer hair cuts if it wasn’t completely obvious that she prefers it that way.
Liza, you’re right, we can’t ask our animals how hot they are, nor where there favourite run area is. Though we have to make certain assumptions.
I’m not judging you for shaving your husky. I have no doubt you love her very much and want only the best for her, I like to think most of us do.
Please bear in mind that this article isn’t my opinion or observations, it’s based on science and the anatomy of the huskies coat.
But in order for their coat to effectively protect them from the sun and heat, it must be a well maintained and groomed coat. If the husky were to have a fair amount of loose, dead hair, then there’s a good chance they will overheat in the sun.
If you take a well groomed husky with a full coat, and a shaved husky, the well groomed husky with a full coat will fair better in the sun.
In regards to hiking and ticks, personally I wouldn’t use this as a factor of whether you shave her or not. I would personally stop taking her to the problem area, even if I believed it was her favourite area. Huskies love the outdoors and spending time with us, there will be plenty of places for you to enjoy without the fear of ticks.
I’m not telling you or anybody else what to do, our aim is simply to help guide owners.
Hi, I could use some advice on finding ticks on my husky mix. He is all black (they think he’s husky & black GSD mix) with the typical double coat. I live in CT near the shore so ticks & Lyme disease are very prevalent. I do what I can to keep the population down in the yard, but there’s a farm just 2 doors away & deer in the area, so it is a losing battle.
My black lab mix who passed at age 16 last summer got ticks all the time, despite using collars and then topicals. But since she didn’t have the double coat and her coat was MUCH shorter, even though she was also all black, I could see her skin & find the ticks fairly easily. Not so with my husky mix.
His fur is so thick I can’t really see his skin well at all & finding a tiny deer tick on him would be like finding a tiny dark dot in a black forest!! I adopted him last November so this is my 1st spring with him. He hasn’t had any ticks (that I have found anyway) but I’ve gotten a few on me, so I think it is only a matter of time!!!
Do you have any tips for finding ticks? Some people have suggested combs but others say they are ineffective. Right now I am going more by feel than by sight, but if the tick isn’t bloated, in which case my poor pup might already be infected, I probably wouldn’t be able to feel or see it. I had a shepherd-husky before my lab mix but her fur, although double-coated, long, & thick, was light, so the little dark “spots” stuck out. Any advice would be most appreciated.
I have been a groomer for over 30 years and had always believed this about not shaving these breeds until I became the owner of a husky mix that had a full husky coat. I live in NC where it also very hot and very humid. When my dog was about 5 years old I decided to try shaving him down because he was so miserable every summer. It made such a difference in his comfort level ( less panting, pacing and not laying with his head on the a/c vent ) that I did it every summer until he passed away. Again I am a groomer his coat was always well kept and not allowed to matt or pack. This experience has stopped me from telling people not to shave their double coated breeds. Just because science says it doesn’t always make it right. You’d have to live with a well groomed dog and a shaved one at the same time and place to truly determine which if either fared better than the other in the sun. Speaking from experience.
Do you have any proof this idea that the undercoat protects them from overheating, is “based on science”? I’m talking about scientific articles/studies specifically. I do not consider groomers, breeders, or rescue organizations reputable sources of scientific information, as a veterinary professional I have personally heard some of these people give out blatantly false information to pet owners.
As far as I can tell, huskies fur keeping them cool is a commonly talked about idea with zero science behind it and only anecdotal evidence which means nothing. If no one has ever studied this, then how can we know it’s true?
If you have found some information that I have been unable to find, I would love to hear it.
Groomers, breeders, and advocacy organizations are not scientifically qualified or trained.
As you pointed out, even scientists have internal biases in subjects they are not specifically trained in – a molecular biologist will not be 100% accurate discussing volcanology.
What is truly happening, in terms of physics, for a shaved husky vs. a non-shaved husky?
I’m going to make it relatable, but anyone who wants a deeper, drier, textbook and equations response, please ask! I will gladly do it, I promise.
Boiled down to its most basic element we’re all wondering about insulation (i.e. resistance to heat transfer).
We naturally approach questions through heuristics – also known as rules of thumb, or intuition.
We try to understand novel problems (like the effects of a Huskies thick coat during summer) by relating them to the most applicable solved problem we’ve experienced (say, wearing my thick winter jacket in the middle of the summer). We then intuitively compare/contrast them in our head and, by rule of thumb measurements, come to a reasonable conclusion.
The insulation in our attic keeps the heat in during winter while also keeping the cold air in during summer. In other words, it is a thermoregulator that keeps the inside temperature stable.
If a Husky lays out in the sun during the Summer its internal temperature is protected. The heat from the sun does not penetrate the insulation. A shaved Husky, however, experiences a radical increase in temperature as that heat is absorbed. Take an insulated water container and a glass, fill them both with 102.5 F water (a dog’s internal temp), and set them in the sun for 1 hour. Then, take their temperature. This is science, and you can do it at home right now. The non-insulated glass of water will now be far higher than 102.5 F, while the insulated container is still nearly 102.5 F.
If that insulated water container had a panting system where it could release heat by panting out its top it would actually be LOWER than 102.5 F.
This is why short-snouted dogs are more at risk of heat stroke than Huskies – we bred out their internal cooling system. A dog’s snout is not there to make sniffing the ground easier, it is an elaborate echo chamber where moisture, cool air, and hot air mix to act as a literal A/C system for a canine.
10 times out of 10 a short-haired, short snouted dog is in more danger of heat stroke than a Husky. There is a neat caveat here: the smaller the dog the greater its ratio of surface area to volume, which allows for better heat transfer out of the core. Basically, short-snouted, short haired dogs are in progressively more danger as they get larger due to the thermodynamics of surface area to volume ratios.
Liz I’m with you. I had a husky/black lab dog and we had a very hot and humid summer one year. It was in the mid 90’s which is very rare in Upper Michigan. But that one year, the only time I ever shaved him, he was very uncomfortable, listless and lethargic panting so hard I thought he may pass out. He wasn’t eating well and drank about 3 gallons of water a day. he would perk up and get back to normal when we took him to the lake. So one day it was almost a 100 degrees, I bought an animal shaver and took his hair from about 5 inches long and cut it took about an inch and a half. He was the happiest dog you ever saw! He wanted to go for walks again and started eating normally again! His whole mood changed. I would do it again in the same situation.
I completely agree with you. My baby is like that as well. If I do not shave him in the summer he really doesn’t look and act happy.
I totally agree with you, my MIL’s husky that lived in northern Wisconsin, started
Acting lethargic etc, he died the next day and it was from the heat. Wasn’t left in car… I always thought she should of had him trimmed….. Then I read it keeps them cool
The shaved dog in the picture looks Malamute, not Husky
It’s hard to tell for sure with that goofy haircut, but my guess would be a husky due to the ears and eyes. The info is relevant for both breeds though.
Since mine was a puppy, I shave his belly for summer.. just his belly (& not completely bald, just very short) bc he loves the cool feeling on his tummy when he lays on the tile floors..since his underside doesn’t get direct sunlight, I figured this wasn’t harmful..-Is this ok?..
Hi I just want to know about Yorkies is it ok to shave them, as mine is so small but her hair tangles so much and she is dragging in all the leaves with that long hair, it is so difficult to get the leaves out of the long hair. But she is always inside too scared to leave her outside they will steal her as she weigh 1.2kg and is 2 years old now. is to ok to shave her or should I rather leave it long is summer time?
I don’t know much about yorkie’s but I know traditionally they do get a cut in the Summer? And I don’t think they have a double coat? I would ask your vet to be sure, but I think it’s ok to cut him shorter in the summer.
Yorkies are single coated. Their coats don’t insulate the same way. Short or long it won’t matter much as long as it’s not so short as to sunburn the skin. They’re not temperature resistant like Huskies. They shouldn’t be left outside alone for long for many reasons. Temperature, hawks, fox, coyotes, and they love to dig out under fences. Yorkies are great for snuggles inside.
I am a groomer.
Yorkies are single coated, non shedding dogs. all of them need to be trimmed so the hair doesn’t drag the ground. It can be trimed short, or long. Some have hair that matts, and it is more comfortable for the pup if he is kept short. If your dog’s hair is short enough for you to see skin, keep him inside until it gets a bit longer to avoid sunburn.
I would also like to know if Pomeranians should get shaved? I know they are also double-coated. Thanks.
yorkies have hair not fur it does not stop growing ! dogs with hair can be safely shaved -poodles chinses chrested I have 2 -Shitzes laso abso . portgese waterdogs – bouvies can all be shaved , as their hair regrows
Thank you so much for this informatiom ;)
It’s a pleasure Alejandra :)
My groomer told me to never shave my huskey. I bought a forced air dryer and comb him then blow out the undercoat and it works great
Sorry about spelling. Screen changed in the middle of the word. Excellent solution!
I’m so glad I read this about a husky coat. You would think shaving him would cool him. So glad I read this first, I will be keeping a furry husky and I’ll brush him and sweep the floor!
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