Ahhh, summertime is here! It is the long-awaited season of fun in the sun and having our furry best friends accompany us on so many of our adventures.
With summer, comes that ol’ hot summer heat, and while a double-coated northern breed dog, such as a Siberian Husky, may make you feel hot looking at all that fur, and you may be tempted to shave him/her, I am here to tell you, don’t do it! Maybe you have seen one of those so-called “funny” shaved Husky memes going around on social media, but the truth is shaving a Husky, unless recommended by a vet for a medical reason, is not funny. In reality, in can be downright dangerous for the dog to be shaved, “just to be shaved.”
Shaving a Siberian Husky is a very important and serious issue that many new, novice, and potential Husky parents (and some groomers) who are not familiar with the breed, should be aware of.
Here are the main reasons why you should not shave a Husky:
Fur Acts As Insulation
A well-groomed Siberian Husky’s coat actually acts as insulation to not only keep them warm on cold days, but also helps keep them cool on hot days.
Exposure Spells Trouble
Shaving exposes the dog’s skin. In doing so, that skin is now susceptible to many summer dangers, including allergies, sunburn, and skin cancer.
Bugs Love Bare Skin
The exposed skin can more easily allow for bug bites and parasite infestation.
Yes, you read that right! Shaving a Husky can actually corrupt the regrowth of the fur. It can change the coat’s appearance, feel, and color, and also risks ruining future fur growth.
Properly Caring For the Double-Coated Husky Fur
If you share your life with a Siberian Husky (or five, like me!), then you are quite familiar with the “blowing coat” season. If you are thinking about getting a Husky, know that when they “shed,” it is excessive and will look like a summer snowstorm, with tufts of undercoat coming out faster than you can pluck them! That undercoat needs to shed out and you can help it by regularly brushing your dog, which will allow proper airflow between the top coat and the dog’s skin.
My FiveSibes™ Top 4 Tips to Keep Your Husky’s Coat Beautiful:
- Have your dog on a wholesome diet, including some healthy oils (omega 3 and organic virgin coconut are good examples. Check with your vet for proper amounts to give your dog).
- Unless your Husky is particularly dirty (or tangled with a skunk), baths are not an often necessity with this breed, just a couple of times a year is all they actually need! Whey they are bathed during shedding season, ask your groomer about specific shampoos that can help in loosening the shedding fur.
- Daily brushing with an undercoat rake and a self-cleaning slicker brush I find to be the best grooming method and the brushing will help to keep the shedding somewhat under control.
- When the shedding season is in full swing, along with brushing, using a good dog blow dryer that has a cool air setting will help to release the shedding undercoat. I highly recommend doing this outdoors, as it will look like you are in a blizzard of flying, twirling fur! An added bonus for doing it outside – it makes for wonderfully warm nesting material for your neighborhood birds!
Did You Know…? You Can Donate Your Husky’s Shedding Fur to Help Other Huskies in Need!
So, you have finished grooming your Husky, and you have bags and bags of blown-out fur. What do you do with it? Did you know that your Siberian Husky fur can be spun into “Siberwool” and wonderful items such as hats, gloves, sweaters, etc., can be made from it and auctioned off to benefit Siberian Huskies in need? Over at Save Our Siberians Siberspace Rescue Fund (SOS-SRF), they have skilled volunteer spinners who do just that! To find out more about donating your Husky’s fur that has been collected after grooming, visit the Save Our Siberians Siberspace Rescue Fund website.
May you and your furry best friends enjoy this wonderful season of long and leisurely summer days! And for those thinking about adding a Siberian Husky to their family, please remember—unless for a specific medical reason— #NeverShaveAHusky!
Dorothy Wills-Raftery is an award-winning photojournalist and author of EPIc Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy; the FiveSibes™ Tales children’s books What’s Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy and Getting Healthy With Harley: Learning About Health & Fitness; and Buddy, the Christmas Husky~Based On A True Holiday Miracle books (ArcticHouse Publishing), as well as the international FiveSibes blog, based on the lives of her five Siberian Huskies. Her work has also appeared in American Pet Magazine, Ruff Drafts, The Sled Dogger, and Hudson Valley Paw Print Magazine. Dorothy is the writer and host of “The Sibe Vibe” Dog Works Radio show.” Named “Best Author” in 2015 & 2016 by Hudson Valley Magazine and all four books named “Best in Print” by American Pet Magazine, Dorothy is a 5-time Dog Writers of America Association “Excellence” nominee, winning the prestigious Maxwell Medallion in 2016 for her writing. An official International Purple Day® for Epilepsy Ambassador since 2012 and a volunteer case manager for The Wally Foundation-Canine Epilepsy, Dorothy is the creator of the FiveSibes #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness campaign inspired by her own epileptic Husky, Gibson. In addition to her Siberian Huskies, Dorothy shares her home with her husband, daughter, son-in-law, and new grandson. You can follow Dorothy and her FiveSibes on Facebook at FiveSibes: Siberian Husky K9 News & Reviews, on Google + , Twitter, and Instagram (@FiveSibesMom).