The Siberian Husky is a beautiful breed. It’s hard not to fall for those blue eyes and mysterious wolf-like appearance. They are friendly, intelligent, and playful. But why do vets and dog trainers not recommend them to first-time pet parents? The truth is, besides their tough nature they are also the worst shedders! Read on so you’ll know how to deal with tufts of hair off your Husky.
Understanding the Husky’s Coat
Huskies have thick double coats both of which serve a purpose. The top coat is long and serves as the Husky’s protection from rain and dirt. Underneath, you will see shorter strands of hair with soft fuzzy texture. This undercoat keeps the dog well-insulated regardless of the weather conditions.
This provides your buddy resistance against the harshly cold or scorching hot weather. It can also protect the dog from the harmful UV rays. Like people, dogs can also suffer from sunburn and cancer due to intense sun exposure. The rays from the sun actually bounce off when the Siberian Husky is exposed to sunlight. Instead of allowing the sun rays to pass through, a healthy coat allows cool air to get through to the skin.
Once or twice a year, a Siberian Husky blows its coat for roughly six weeks. It is the time of the year when these dogs shed their entire undercoat. It happens when the warmer months kick off or when the cold weather is about to come. Your dog needs to have his hair removed so new hair can grow in time for the changing of the seasons.
It is worth noting that shedding can occur throughout the year if you live in a warm region. Huskies can withstand even harsh weather, although they can still live in hot climates. However, their shedding level varies depending on the climate of the place they live in.
How to Groom the Siberian Husky
It is not advisable to remove the undercoat of a Siberian Husky. Some Husky owners make the mistake of shaving the undercoat, only to realize after that it was not a good idea. This will only make it more difficult for your dog to cool down when spring or summer comes. Even if it is tempting to do so or even if you have good intentions, don’t shave the Husky’s undercoat. To keep his coat clean, ensure you give it regular grooming.
If you think shaving it is a good idea because your Husky is infested with ticks, resist the idea and ask your vet instead for dog-safe anti-tick medication. Some owners who want to do it the natural way use apple cider vinegar. There is also a brush that prevents ticks and fleas. Just be careful when choosing a grooming tool for your Siberian Husky because some of them don’t have a safe blade cover.
Grooming Siberian Huskies involves weekly brushing. It should be done at least once a week using a de-matting tool or a wide-toothed dog brush. There are a lot of de-matting tools and doggie brushes out on the market, but not all of them are suitable for long coats. Always go for one that will not scratch or cause pain to your dog.
A paddle brush can also be used just to smoothen stray hairs. All in all, a brush should work its way from the top down to the undercoat layers of a Siberian Husky. Take caution when using a furminator. Make sure to use one that is intended for long hair, otherwise, your Husky’s coat will be damaged.
Brushing should be done even during winter. In fact, your Husky will be more prone to having mats when it’s cold so it is important to be consistent in brushing. Winter-time tangles are common in double-coated breeds like the Siberian Husky. In fact, there are Huskies that shed more during winter than they do in summer.
If you want to minimize shedding, feed your Siberian Husky a high-protein diet. When the body does not receive all the nutrients it needs, it will not function properly. In the case of dogs and especially for active breeds, protein is a very important nutrient. Depriving your pet of protein has many negative side effects, including hair loss.
During the shedding season, it is a must to brush your pet more often and thoroughly. This way, the new hair strands will grow faster and they will be stronger. Use an undercoat rake to remove clumps of dead hair fast. It also works in removing loose hair and tangles fast. Giving your buddy a warm bath should help get rid of the dead hair more effectively.
In terms of bathing, you don’t have to wash your Husky too often even if you have one very playful buddy right there. Huskies living in warm regions should only be given a bath no more than once a month. Those living in colder regions should only be bathed once a year. When giving the Husky a clean-up, use mild water and soap intended for double-coated dogs. Don’t use too much shampoo because you will have a hard time rinsing it.
The Siberian Huskies are dubbed as the worst shedders among all dog breeds. The shedding never stops when you have one. If you are planning to adopt a Husky, be prepared for clumps of hair especially during the blowing of their coat. Have your grooming tools and vacuum ready, just in case you are planning to take a Husky home.