For years, huskies have been known for their thick, furry coats, making them popular among dog lovers looking for a cuddly pet. But as much as their soft coats may be adored, they can be a lot to take care of.
So when hot summer days come, you’re not alone in wondering whether you can shave a husky.
While thinking that shaving your dog would make their coat easier to manage is sensible, it’s actually not always a good idea. It might be beneficial in certain situations, but there are also some potential downfalls that you should be aware of.
Can You Shave a Husky
Despite the physical act of shaving being possible, it’s not always recommended. Huskies reach their adult size at 1–2 years old—the same amount of time it takes them to fully grow out their coat. Huskies have a double coat made of an outer layer of coarse guard hairs and a dense, downy undercoat. This particular type of fur protects them from cold weather conditions.
Shaving a husky down to the skin would remove both the outer guard hairs and the insulating inner layer, which may actually do more harm than good. Without their coat, huskies would be susceptible to several health problems.
So, it is bad to shave a husky in most cases. Unless your pooch has a specific medical condition that would benefit from a shave, it’s best to leave their coat be.
Your vet may recommend a good ol’ shave if your pet has severe matting, hot spots, or an underlying skin disorder that would be aggravated by their fur. Other than that, there are ways to manage their coat without resorting to shaving.
What Happens If You Shave a Husky
If you’ve ever seen a picture of a shaved husky, you may have noticed that they often look a little odd. That’s because their coat is integral to their anatomy and serves several purposes. Shaving it off can cause some severe issues, which we’ll lay out for you next.
This specific breed has a natural form of temperature regulation based on its coat. Their coat helps them stay cool by releasing heat through their skin when the weather is warm. In the winter, their coat does the opposite by trapping warmth and insulating their bodies.
Without their coat, huskies would be less able to regulate their body temperature, putting them at risk for heatstroke in the summer and hypothermia or frostbite in the winter. Both of these conditions can be extremely dangerous and even fatal.
So if you wanted a straightforward answer to your “should I shave my husky in the summer” question—the answer is no. It actually won’t do much to help them battle the heat. In fact, not only will it disrupt their inherent bodily functions, but it will also leave them vulnerable to extreme temperature fluctuations.
When you shave a dog’s coat, you’re removing not only its fur, but also the hair follicles. This can cause permanent damage that will significantly impact their ability to regrow their coat.
Patchy regrowth is common, and their new fur may not be as thick or full as before. In some cases, it may never grow back at all. This mainly depends on your pup’s age, health, and genetics.
Huskies are known for their heavy shedding during the so-called blowing season, which can be a real pain for owners trying to keep their homes clean.
Sure, going around and finding stray hairs in the most unexpected places can be annoying. But believe it or not, their shedding actually serves an important purpose.
In times of shedding cycles, their coat can get rid of any dirt, debris, and dead hair, resulting in a healthier coat overall. A hairless husky might seem like it’ll make home grooming and brushing easier, but it can also expose your furry friend to dirt and other potential contaminants.
Risk of Skin Diseases
Speaking of contaminants, exposing your pet’s skin to all sorts of parasites and allergens can cause several skin problems. Without their coat acting as a barrier, their skin is more susceptible to infections, rashes, and other irritations.
Plus, the pale skins of huskies are particularly prone to dermatitis, melanoma, and skin cancer. Harmful UV rays can reach their cells more easily, resulting in painful burns and long-term damage.
Alternatives to Shaving
Since a husky without fur can bring out more concerns than an unkempt one, you may wonder what options you have for dealing with their luscious locks. If a full shave is out of the question, there are still a few other things you can do—let’s take a look.
Give Them a Trim
While a shaved Siberian husky may be out of the question, giving your pup a minimal trim is a good alternative. This will help to keep their coat clean and tidy without compromising its natural functions too much.
Use sharp scissors or clippers, and make sure you’re not cutting the hair too short. You should also be careful not to damage their skin by trimming too close. This may result in post-clipping alopecia, with bald patches and hair loss.
Brush Them Regularly
One of the best ways to keep your husky’s fur healthy and manageable is to brush them regularly. This will remove any knots, tangles, and mats while also evenly distributing their natural oils.
How often you need to brush them depends on the length of the hairs. For example, short-coated canines may only need to be brushed once a week, while some with long coats need brushing daily.
Take Them to a Groomer
If you don’t feel confident about trimming or clipping your husky’s fur yourself, then you can always take them to a professional grooming service. These individuals have the experience and knowledge to safely and effectively pamper your pup.
From nail trimming and ear cleaning to full haircuts, there’s a lot groomers can do to keep your husky looking and feeling their best. Just be sure to find a reputable one in your area to avoid potential issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I shave my dog in the summer?
Most experts agree that shaving dogs in the summer is generally unnecessary unless there are specific medical reasons. Some breeds, such as those with very short hair, may benefit from a trimming or light shaving to help them stay cool, but a professional groomer should do this.
Do dogs get cold after being shaved?
Since dogs’ fur keeps them warm, shaving it off might make them more vulnerable to cold and multiple other health threats.
Do dogs like being shaved?
This is a difficult question to answer as every dog is unique and therefore has different reactions to being shaved. Some dogs may enjoy the process, feeling cooler and more comfortable in the heat, while others may find it stressful and irritating.
You can shave a husky, but just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should. And in this particular case—you really shouldn’t. From damaging their coat to increasing the risk of skin diseases, there are plenty of reasons why shaving this breed isn’t the best course of action.
Other, less invasive options, such as frequent trips to the groomer and routine brushing, are much better for your husky’s health in the long run. Not to mention the fact that they’ll still look just as fabulous as the day you first laid eyes on them.