Can you shave a husky during blazingly hot summer days?
Sure you can. But should you?
In fact, you should never shave double-coated dogs like huskies unless they must undergo a surgical procedure or have a skin condition that requires the hair to be removed.
We tell you exactly why it’s a bad idea below!
Can You Shave a Husky’s Double Coat?
The short answer is: no! The long answer is still ‘no’ but requires a longer explanation.
In essence, huskies spend up to two years getting rid of their puppy coat and growing their beautiful double coat—one of the reasons they are a very popular dog breed.
When huskies reach adulthood, they start shedding their undercoat twice a year—in spring and in winter—which is needed to adapt to the temperature changes between the seasons.
Hence, huskies already have a thermal regulation system in place, and if you shave their coats, you are robbing them of their ability to stay cool in summer and warm in winter.
So, is it bad to shave a husky? Definitely, and unless your pooch has a specific medical condition that would benefit from a shave, it’s best to leave their glorious coat be.
What Happens If You Shave a Husky?
You’ve probably chuckled at a picture of a shaved husky with a disproportionately large head. But it looks like that because an integral part of its anatomy was removed.
Below, we outline the reasons why you should never remove a dog’s coat!
1. Affected Temperature Regulation
As mentioned previously, a husky’s undercoat is thinner in summer, which helps it release heat faster, and thicker in winter, which instead allows for heat retention and insulation.
Without their coat, they lose this essential biological function, which puts them at risk for heatstroke and hypothermia—two potentially fatal conditions.
2. Improper Coat Regrowth
By shaving a dog’s coat, you’re removing its fur and hair follicles, too—an action that will permanently damage its coat and significantly affect its ability to regrow it.
Once a shaved coat regrows, it will be patchy, thin, and with a different texture. Depending on your husky’s age, health, and genetics, it may even never properly grow back.
3. Risk of Skin Diseases
Hairless dogs are exposed to allergens and parasites that cause health problems since, without hair, the skin is susceptible to infections, rashes, and other irritations.
Plus, a husky’s pale skin is particularly prone to dermatitis and melanoma since harmful UV rays can reach their cells more easily, resulting in painful burns and long-term damage.
4. Embarrassing Your Dog
While not expressing the full emotional range as humans, dogs can express feelings, and those that were shaved too closely tend to exhibit behavior issues.
In some cases, dogs that lose their entire coat also become closed off and exhibit typical signs of depression, i.e., lack of appetite and energy to be their old energetic self.
Any Alternatives to Shaving a Husky?
Since a husky without fur is an unseemly sight at the least, and can even have the opposite effect, i.e., lead to overheating, since huskies cool down differently than us, here are some more sensible steps you can take to keep them comfortable during hot summer days.
1. Give Them a Trim and a Bath
What can you do if a completely shaved Siberian husky is out of the question?
Experts over at the American Kennel Club suggest only trimming the dog’s paws since its sweat glands are located in its paw pads so that it can cool down more easily.
However, professional groomers go a step further and recommend trimming the dog’s stomach and legs, so it can better manage its cooling during hot summer months.
If you are doing this job at home yourself, use sharp scissors and do not cut too short so that a short layer remains to fend off pests and protect against sun damage.
Also, you should give your husky regular baths, regardless of whether or not you choose to trim its coat slightly. That way, you’ll both keep it clean and pest-free.
2. Brush Them Regularly
Apart from cutting your husky’s coat, you should also brush it regularly to remove dead hair and fur mats, thus allowing for better air circulation through its dense protective fur. By doing so, you will also evenly distribute the hair’s natural oils throughout the coat.
So how often do you need to brush your dog’s fur? Well, while short-coated canines may only need one brushing per week, long-haired huskies will most likely require it daily, especially if they are outgoing and active outside your home.
3. Take Them to a Groomer
At the end of the day, if you don’t feel confident in trimming or clipping your husky’s fur yourself, you can always use a professional grooming service. The professionals working there have the experience, knowledge, and clippers needed to pamper your pup safely.
Groomers can take care of your husky’s every need: from nail trimming and ear cleaning to full haircuts. Just remember to find a reputable service in your area to avoid long trips.
You can shave a husky, but that doesn’t mean you should, and in this particular case, you really shouldn’t. From damaging their coats to increasing the risk of skin diseases, there are plenty of reasons why shaving dogs, especially these long-haired beauties, is not ideal.
Instead of shaving, you can help your pooch cool down by brushing its fur, bathing it regularly, and trimming only those parts of its body that enhance cooling, such as its legs and stomach. Also, keep its bowl full of cool water and walk it early or late in the day!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do dogs get cold after being shaved?
Since dogs rely on their fur to maintain their internal temperature, shaving it off will prevent them from keeping the cold and the heat at bay during winter and summer months.
Do dogs like being shaved?
Contrary to popular belief, dogs have feelings and most likely dislike being shaved since they feel uncomfortable and depressed after a close shave and exhibit behavioral issues.
Can you shave a husky in the summer?
Shaving huskies in hot weather ranges from unnecessary to outright animal cruelty since their inner coat serves as an insulating layer against the heat. That said, a trim-down might be necessary for medical emergencies, either to operate on or treat a skin condition.