Never Shave A Husky

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Husky with its fur shaved

Should you shave your husky? The short answer is absolutely not.

Why Can’t I Shave My Husky?

Both Huskies and Malamutes are a double-coated breed, meaning they have two layers of fur. The first layer, closest to the skin is what we call their undercoat, it’s made up of delicate, fluffy, and short hairs. This is the fur that sheds—this layer responsible for insulating the dog by trapping air. You should never shave a husky.

The second layer is what we call the topcoat. It’s made up of courser, tougher guard hairs, true to their name they do just that, they guard your dog from the 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 dogs coat is a major cause of heat stroke. The only time your dogs coat should be shaved, is for medical reasons.

Shaving Your Husky Will Not Help It Cool Down

To my dismay, almost daily in the warmer months I see people posting pictures of their newly shaved huskies. I appreciate that it’s a bit of a strange concept to grasp, but unlike humans, dogs do not sweat and release heat from their skin. Dogs cool themselves primarily from panting and secondly from the pads of their paws, which are the only part of a dogs body that sweats.

Not all owners shave their snow dogs because they believe it’s best for their dog, some actually 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 and it isn’t pretty. During this time, your going to be dealing with a lot of shedding, 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

 

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Healthy Husky Coat

Healthy Husky Coat

Groomed and free from undercoat. Cool air can reach the skin, while the suns rays bounce off.

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Matted Husky Coat

Matted Husky Coat

Coat with impacted undercoat. Cool air is blocked and the suns rays are absorbed, trapping in heat.

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Shaved Husky Coat

Shaved Husky Coat

The shaved coat causes exposure to both cool air and the suns rays, allowing for easy sunburn.

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Managing Your Huskies Coat

Undercoat Rake While we tell you to never 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 from the sun. Leaving the undercoat unmanaged will block cool air from getting to the skin and potentially causing your dog to overheat.


 

What About The Furminator?

Furminator The Furminator is cause of much controversy with husky owners. Some swear by it, while others complain that it causes damage by cutting and snapping the guard hairs. The truth is; there are two versions of the furminator, one for short coats and another for longer haired breeds. The version for shorter coats will undoubtably cause damage to a huskies coat. The version for longer coats can also cause damage if overused. If you’re going to use a furminator, use it minimally after the rake, just to clean things up a little. Use with caution.

88 COMMENTS

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Who said they’d be out on the sun though? What if they’re inside dogs??

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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?

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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?

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