If you’re thinking about shaving your husky then you need to read this first.
Shaving a husky is a terrible idea, to put it simply, and should only be done under the advice of a veterinarian. It will make it more difficult for your husky to regulate its temperature and exposes the skin to the sun and wind which can lead to irritation and health complications. The fur will likely not grow back the same, either, and there are lots of risks associated with the shaving process as well if you aren’t experienced.
In this article, I’ll take you through all of the risks associated with shaving your husky and what alternative options there are to shaving. Let’s get straight into it.
- The Double Coat
- 6 Reasons Why You Should Never Shave A Husky
- What To Do Instead
- The One Exception
The Double Coat
Before I get into all the reasons why it’s a terrible idea to shave a husky, it’s important to understand how a huskies coat works.
Huskies have a double coat, which is made up of two layers. These are the undercoat – a dense layer of short hair – and a long coat of long guard hairs.
This double coat allows huskies to regulate their temperature both in hot and cold environments. When it gets too hot the inner layer traps cool air against the skin, and when it’s too cold it traps warm air for insulation – pretty smart right?
This is similar to the Alaskan Malamute, another type of dog with a double coat that also should not be shaved.
6 Reasons Why You Should Never Shave A Husky
Here are the six most important reasons why you should never shave a husky.
1. Exposes The Skin To Sun And Wind
Removing the fur exposes the skin to the sun and the wind.
The skin will be at risk of sunburn, and prolonged exposure to the sun will increase the likelihood of certain cancers. In very cold places the skin will be at risk of windburn, where cold winds that would otherwise not be a problem damage the skin.
2. Fur Helps With Temperature Regulation
I touched on this earlier, but the double coat is essential for temperature regulation during both hot and cold seasons.
Shaving your husky takes away their ability to keep themselves at a comfortable temperature naturally. This means they will get too cold during the winter, and potentially too hot in the summer.
3. It Might Not Grow Back The Same
Shaving your husky affects how the coat will grow back. It takes up to 2 years for the top coat to grow back, and it may not grow back as it once was after shaving.
Very severe cases can actually cause alopecia, where the topcoat doesn’t grow back to the same length or at all in patches.
4. Grooming Can Maintain The Coat
Shaving should only be a last resort for health issues, as grooming can maintain a huskies coat perfectly well.
Huskies should be lightly groomed every day and multiple times per day when they are blowing coat. It is neglect in this area that leads to matted fur and eventually owners contemplating shaving their huskies completely.
Bathing should be done sparingly a couple of times per year and only when needed, and that’s about it.
5. Excessive Licking And Scratching
Huskies are great at keeping their own fur clean, but if they don’t have any fur to keep clean they will lick and scratch their skin which can cause irritation.
6. Difficult To Do
Shaving a husky is no easy task and it actually has a few risks for the dog as well.
The first of these is that you can easily cut the skin if you aren’t careful. Clippers are designed to be forgiving, but if you haven’t had experience there’s a good chance you will cut your husky’s skin if you try to shave them.
The second is from the heat generated by the clippers. These clippers tend to get very hot, especially if you are using them on a larger dog breed, and this can burn the skin if you hold them on for too long.
What To Do Instead
Fortunately, there are plenty of other options for keeping your huskies coat healthy without shaving it off.
Grooming is your best friend when it comes to keeping your husky’s coat mat-free.
You should groom every day with a basic comb, and do a more intense grooming session as needed. This session involves using multiple grooming tools to target the undercoat and overcoat, and we have a detailed breakdown of this process here.
It is best to bathe a husky a few times a year when needed, rather than every few weeks.
Regular bathing can cause problems because it removes natural oils and damages the coat, but it is necessary if your husky starts to smell or if their fur has become matted with mud that cannot be removed with grooming easily.
A balanced diet is crucial for keeping your huskies fur in good condition.
We recommend feeding your husky complete dog food, as these contain all of the nutrients that your husky needs. If you feed a raw diet make sure you are covering all the nutritional needs and consider adding foods like eggs, salmon or chia seeds that are great for fur health.
Regular Vet Visits
If you are ever worried about the condition of your huskies coat you should speak to your veterinarian as there could be a health issue responsible, especially if you are grooming regularly but not seeing any improvement in the condition of the fur.
The One Exception
Before you shave your husky, you should always speak to your veterinarian and listen to their advice.
They will only recommend shaving your husky as a last resort to combat things like severe matting or skin conditions, and you should only shave your husky under your vet’s approval.
It may also be necessary before surgery, where there is no other option but to shave.