Siberian huskies are incredibly popular and have spread across the globe, including places like Florida where the weather is much different to that in Siberia or Alaska. But, can huskies live in Florida or is the weather too harsh?
Huskies can live in Florida, but you need to be aware of the temperature outside when exercising your husky and what the signs of sunstroke are. Grooming is also essential, as well as keeping a fresh supply of water and providing lots of shade.
In this guide I’ll walk you through how to keep a husky in Florida safely; including when to take them for walks, what types of exercise to do and more. Let’s get into it.
- Florida Weather
- Why Are Huskies Able To Live In Warm Climates?
- What Temperature Can Huskies Handle?
- 5 Tips For Keeping Huskies In Florida
- Can’t You Just Shave A Husky?
- Summing It Up
In order to understand how well huskies can live in Florida, let’s take a look at the data to see just how hot and humid Florida really is on average.
The average temperature in Florida ranges from as low as 40°F during the winter (and sometimes even lower!) to over 100°F in the summer (source).
So, there are plenty of times when it is cool enough to take a husky outside for intense exercise, but there will also be days when it’s better to keep your husky inside.
Humidity is also a crucial factor to consider when keeping a husky because it makes it more difficult for them to cool down in the heat.
Florida is very humid, with average relative humidity between 70-80% most of the time and higher in the mornings. If both humidity and temperature are very high, exercising your husky is not a good idea.
North Vs South Florida
North Florida is more temperate with colder winters; these are usually about 5 to 10 degrees cooler than in South Florida.
This isn’t a huge difference, but it’s something to consider when getting a dog like the husky that thrives in cooler temperatures.
Why Are Huskies Able To Live In Warm Climates?
I’ll get into the specific temperatures that huskies can (and cannot) handle in a moment, but it’s important to understand why huskies are able to do so in the first place.
Huskies have a double coat, similar to other dogs such as pomeranians and golden retrievers. Huskies use their double coat to cool down by trapping cold air within their inner coat which helps to keep the skin cool (hence why grooming is so important).
They will also lose their undercoat before the summer in a process known as blowing coat, which helps them to stay cool.
They also have other ways to keep cool such as panting and sweating through their paw pads.
When you consider all of these mechanisms it’s not actually too surprising that huskies can withstand quite warm temperatures despite originating from Siberia. They also adapt to the heat as well, but this doesn’t happen right away and takes a long time.
What Temperature Can Huskies Handle?
When temperatures start to exceed 70°F (21°C) you should be taking steps to make your husky more comfortable, such as keeping them in shade or using AC.
Huskies can tolerate temperatures up to 85°F (30°C), it is not ideal to expose them to this temperature for long periods of time as they are susceptible to heatstroke. They will adapt to the heat slowly, but temperatures this high will never be comfortable and it’s better to simply keep them inside with the AC running.
How Does This Affect Exercise?
Huskies need a lot of exercise – ideally 2 hours per day.
When it’s super hot outside like it often is in Florida, you simply can’t exercise your husky. When the temperature gets above 70°F (21°C) you should only take your husky for small walks, and ideally, you should take them for exercise early in the morning when temperatures are at their lowest.
5 Tips For Keeping Huskies In Florida
Here are 5 essential tips for keeping a husky happy if you live in Florida.
1. AC Is Crucial
Sure, there are some places in Florida (particularly in the north) that are cooler on average, but air conditioning is still important during the summer months.
There are people who keep huskies without air conditioning, but in my opinion, it is better to have it and not need it than to not have that option when it gets warm.
2. Exercise Safely
If it’s hotter than 70°F (21°C) outside you need to cut down exercising into much smaller sessions. I’d recommend taking your husky for a few smaller walks when the weather becomes hot and keeping an eye on them during the walk to make sure they are handling the heat okay.
You can supplement exercise by playing games with them both in the yard (if there is a good amount of shade) and inside the house. If your husky likes to play games like fetch this is an easy way to tire them out.
Another great tip for exercise is to go out in the early morning. Even in southern Florida, the temperature should be in an acceptable range very early in the morning to take your husky for a longer walk. Although huskies do love to run, you should only do this when temperatures are well below 70°F (21°C).
3. Learn The Symptoms Of Heatstroke
Although heatstroke is most common when dogs are left in cars, huskies are susceptible to it when exposed to high temperatures for long periods of time.
The symptoms of heatstroke include dry or sticky gums, elevated breathing rates, lethargy and even seizures. If you plan to keep a husky in Florida you need to learn all of the symptoms as it is an immediate medical emergency and you should take your husky to a veterinarian as soon as possible if you notice any symptoms.
4. Learn To Groom Properly
Grooming your husky is important no matter where you live, but in hot climates such as Florida it becomes even more important due to a few factors:
- Maintain the double coat – The double coat is essential for temperature regulation, which means grooming to keep it in good shape is also essential.
- Remove trapped fur – Any excess fur that is trapped in your husky’s coat will not serve them well in a hot climate. Daily grooming is essential to keep the coat free of excess fur which will help your husky stay cooler.
5. Access To Shade And Water
Make sure your husky can easily access a cool area, ideally in the shade if outdoors, as well as fresh water at all times.
Can’t You Just Shave A Husky?
Surely it would all be easier if you could just shave your husky to help them cope with the heat better? Unfortunately, shaving a husky is not a viable option at all and is actually something you should never do.
If you shave your husky it will not only struggle to regulate its temperature, but it will also expose its skin to the sun which will put it at risk of burning. Shaving their coat is something that you should only do under the advice of a veterinarian.
Summing It Up
Let’s wrap things up with a quick summary of everything there is to know about keeping huskies in Florida.
- Monitor the temperature – If it’s higher than 70°F (21°C) reduce exercise.
- Go for walks or runs in the early morning when the temperature is forecast to be high during the day.
- Learn the key symptoms of heatstroke.
- Keep your husky’s fur groomed properly at all times.
- Provide plenty of shade and access to water at all times.