One of the most defining features of a Siberian Husky is its coat. Their wolf-like appearance makes them a highly sought-after and easily recognizable breed, but what is it like to maintain them? And do Huskies shed a lot?
There’s no denying that Huskies shed a lot. They will shed year-round, and twice a year they blow their coats when they transition into and out of their summer coats – during this time; shedding is much more frequent and heavy.
If you want to learn everything there is to know about Husky shedding, keep reading below.
Why Huskies Shed A Lot
Huskies shed lightly year-round, no more than any other dog. The real shedding happens during seasonal changes when the Husky will change from their winter coat to their summer coat and vice versa.
When this happens, Huskies will purge large amounts of fur quickly in a process referred to as ‘coat-blowing.’
Owners who have never experienced coat-blowing before are in for quite a shock; even we are still surprised by how much fur they seem to lose during this period.
Coat blowing is completely normal and perfectly healthy. It’s common for new owners to think that losing this amount of fur so quickly is related to a health condition, but it’s a natural process that you will soon get used to.
As the Husky loses large amounts of the undercoat during the coat-blowing season, it often falls out in clumps and tufts. We actually find it satisfying to sit with our pups and pick out the clumps to help speed the process up, as it is painless for them!
Coat blowing normally occurs once or twice yearly and lasts for around three weeks.
The process can be slightly sped up if your Husky cooperates and will put up with long grooming sessions. Their double coats will remain once the process is complete, but their undercoats will be much lighter and less dense.
So, Huskies don’t shed much more than a standard dog on a day-to-day basis, but seasonal changes mean that we have to classify Huskies as heavy shedders.
Husky Shedding In Winter/Summer
As mentioned, Huskies shed year-round; the only exceptions are when they blow their coats.
Coat blowing usually happens before the summer in spring, and this is typically the heavier blow of the two.
After summer is over, expect a less intense coat blow in fall.
Huskies And Their Double Coats
Huskies are a double-coated breed which means their coats are made up of two layers.
The layer closest to the skin is called the undercoat and comprises short, wooly fur that acts as insulation. The undercoat traps a layer of air next to the skin, which helps the Husky to regulate its core temperature in both hot and cold weather.
The outmost layer is the topcoat, which comprises longer, tougher guard hairs.
These repel moisture and dirt from the skin to help keep the Husky clean and dry.
Through years of evolution, huskies have developed these impressive double coats to help them survive cold climates.
They are the reason that Huskies can thrive in temperatures that we would find unbearable, and it is why you might find your Husky prefers to sleep outside – even if it’s raining!
As an owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure your Husky’s coat remains in the best condition possible. You never should never allow their coat to deteriorate into a condition where shaving is required.
Huskies rely on their double coats to regulate their temperatures, and shaving them off can result in serious health issues. Even in warm weather, a Husky’s coat helps them to stay cool, and having exposed skin could cause heatstroke.
The only reason they should ever be shaved is for medical reasons, such as surgery. If you take your Husky to a groomer, ensure they have Husky experience and know not to shave their precious double coats!
Are Huskies Hypoallergenic?
Hypoallergenic is a term used to describe something that causes fewer allergic reactions.
It was first introduced in the 50s in advertising programs for cosmetic products but has since gone on to be used for various things. Today, hypoallergenic describes dogs that cause fewer allergic reactions in people with dog allergies.
Hypoallergenic isn’t much of a technical term, as all dogs are capable of causing allergic reactions, but Huskies are considered not hypoallergenic due to their shedding.
If you suffer from allergies, a Husky is not a great choice of dog.
How Often Should You Groom A Husky?
Now we know that Huskies are unusual shedders, let’s get into our recommended grooming routine.
We like to give our Huskies a quick brush daily to stay on top of it. It’s not a particularly intensive grooming session, just five minutes with a pin brush to remove loose hairs and check for matting.
We try to do this after their daily exercise when they are a little more tired; we’ve found this is when they have the most patience with us. Our daily walks and hikes are also when our Huskies get the dirtiest, and giving them a quick brush helps to dislodge any dried mud from their topcoats.
Daily brushing is also great for identifying any ticks they’ve picked up or for getting rid of tangles before they start matting into the fur.
When Huskies aren’t going through coat-blowing, you can get away with once or twice weekly brushing, but we believe the benefits of daily grooming are worth the extra time.
During the coat-blowing season, daily grooming sessions are essential. You may find yourself having to go through multiple grooming sessions a day as Huskies don’t have the best patience for putting up with brushing, in our experience.
Hairs not properly removed from their undercoats can get tangled and cause matting, which is painful for the Husky as it pulls on their skin.
To prevent matting from occurring or to catch it early, you will need the right set of tools and a good amount of determination.
Essential Grooming Tools For Huskies
We have lots of experience with grooming double-coated breeds such as Siberian Huskies, and as a result, we’ve tried what feels like every tool on the market.
To make your search for the right tools easy, we’ve listed our current favorites and how and when to use each tool in your grooming session.
|Image||Product Name||Brush Type||Purpose||Buy|
|Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush||Slicker Brush||Effectively removes loose hairs, check sfor tangles||CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON|
|Safari Dog De-Matting Comb||Dematter Comb||Gently removes matted fur||CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON|
|Flymoqi Stainless Steel Deshedding and Dematting Undercoat Rake||Undercoat Rake||Rakes large clumps of fur from the undercoat during coat-blowing season||CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON|
|SHINY PET Dog Comb for Removing Tangles and Knots||Grooming Comb||Grooms delicate areas and works away at tangles||CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON|
|Sharper Image 2 Sided Bristle Grooming Brush||Bristle Brush||Used for daily brushing to flatten coat and brush away dried dirt||CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON|
We start our grooming sessions with a slicker brush to comb through the Husky’s undercoat. These are wide brushes with many short, tightly packed bristles that effectively remove loose hairs.
We recommend starting with the areas of the densest fur first such as around the rump and the neck, as this is where tangles are the most likely to form.
As owners of Huskies, we try our best to prevent matting from occurring.
Sometimes though, they can fly under our radar and it’s better to be prepared for when that happens. A dematter comb has lightly serrated blades that gently cut matted areas out of the coat.
An undercoat rake will be your best friend during the coat-blowing season. These efficiently remove large clumps of undercoat in a short amount of time.
We recommend avoiding undercoat rakes with serrated edges as these can damage your Huskies coat.
Undercoat rakes with non-serrated teeth are as effective and gentler on their coats.
A basic comb that can be used for daily brushing. Once we finish the undercoat rake, we use them to remove the remaining loose hairs and check for any missed tangles.
Grooming combs are also ideal for combing more delicate areas and working out tangles that don’t need to be cut out.
Our daily grooming tool. These are perfect for giving your Husky a quick brush to remove dried dirt and flyaway hairs.
They’re also ideal for ensuring your Husky’s coat is lying flat and in the direction of natural growth to encourage the production of natural oils.
So, there you have it.
Huskies aren’t heavy shedders for most of the year, but the coat-blowing season is undeniably challenging to cope with.
As long as you have the right tools, patience, and a resilient vacuum cleaner, you should be able to handle the shedding that comes with owning a Husky.