Why You Should Not Shave a Siberian Husky

Ahhh, summertime is here! It is the long-awaited season of fun in the sun and having our furry best friends accompany us on so many of our adventures.

Why You Should Not Shave a Siberian Husky

With summer, comes that ol’ hot summer heat, and while a double-coated northern breed dog, such as a Siberian Husky, may make you feel hot looking at all that fur, and you may be tempted to shave him/her, I am here to tell you, don’t do it! Maybe you have seen one of those so-called “funny” shaved Husky memes going around on social media, but the truth is shaving a Husky, unless recommended by a vet for a medical reason, is not funny. In reality, in can be downright dangerous for the dog to be shaved, “just to be shaved.”

Shaving a Siberian Husky is a very important and serious issue that many new, novice, and potential Husky parents (and some groomers) who are not familiar with the breed, should be aware of.

Here are the main reasons why you should not shave a Husky:

  • Fur Acts As Insulation

A well-groomed Siberian Husky’s coat actually acts as insulation to not only keep them warm on cold days, but also helps keep them cool on hot days.

  • Exposure Spells Trouble

Shaving exposes the dog’s skin. In doing so, that skin is now susceptible to many summer dangers, including allergies, sunburn, and skin cancer.

  • Bugs Love Bare Skin

The exposed skin can more easily allow for bug bites and parasite infestation.

  • Corrupted Regrowth

Yes, you read that right! Shaving a Husky can actually corrupt the regrowth of the fur. It can change the coat’s appearance, feel, and color, and also risks ruining future fur growth.

Properly Caring For the Double-Coated Husky Fur

If you share your life with a Siberian Husky (or five, like me!), then you are quite familiar with the “blowing coat” season. If you are thinking about getting a Husky, know that when they “shed,” it is excessive and will look like a summer snowstorm, with tufts of undercoat coming out faster than you can pluck them! That undercoat needs to shed out and you can help it by regularly brushing your dog, which will allow proper airflow between the top coat and the dog’s skin.

My FiveSibes™ Top 4 Tips to Keep Your Husky’s Coat Beautiful:

  1. Have your dog on a wholesome diet, including some healthy oils (omega 3 and organic virgin coconut are good examples. Check with your vet for proper amounts to give your dog).
  2. Unless your Husky is particularly dirty (or tangled with a skunk), baths are not an often necessity with this breed, just a couple of times a year is all they actually need! Whey they are bathed during shedding season, ask your groomer about specific shampoos that can help in loosening the shedding fur.
  3. Daily brushing with an undercoat rake and a self-cleaning slicker brush I find to be the best grooming method and the brushing will help to keep the shedding somewhat under control.
  4. When the shedding season is in full swing, along with brushing, using a good dog blow dryer that has a cool air setting will help to release the shedding undercoat. I highly recommend doing this outdoors, as it will look like you are in a blizzard of flying, twirling fur! An added bonus for doing it outside – it makes for wonderfully warm nesting material for your neighborhood birds!

Did You Know…? You Can Donate Your Husky’s Shedding Fur to Help Other Huskies in Need!

So, you have finished grooming your Husky, and you have bags and bags of blown-out fur. What do you do with it? Did you know that your Siberian Husky fur can be spun into “Siberwool” and wonderful items such as hats, gloves, sweaters, etc., can be made from it and auctioned off to benefit Siberian Huskies in need? Over at Save Our Siberians Siberspace Rescue Fund (SOS-SRF), they have skilled volunteer spinners who do just that! To find out more about donating your Husky’s fur that has been collected after grooming, visit the Save Our Siberians Siberspace Rescue Fund website.

May you and your furry best friends enjoy this wonderful season of long and leisurely summer days! And for those thinking about adding a Siberian Husky to their family, please remember—unless for a specific medical reason#NeverShaveAHusky!

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dorothy wills-rafteryDorothy Wills-Raftery

Dorothy Wills-Raftery is an award-winning photojournalist and author of EPIc Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy; the FiveSibes™ Tales children’s books What’s Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy and Getting Healthy With Harley: Learning About Health & Fitness; and Buddy, the Christmas Husky~Based On A True Holiday Miracle books (ArcticHouse Publishing), as well as the international FiveSibes blog, based on the lives of her five Siberian Huskies. Her work has also appeared in American Pet Magazine, Ruff Drafts, The Sled Dogger, and Hudson Valley Paw Print Magazine. Dorothy is the writer and host of “The Sibe Vibe” Dog Works Radio show.” Named “Best Author” in 2015 & 2016 by Hudson Valley Magazine and all four books named “Best in Print” by American Pet Magazine, Dorothy is a 5-time Dog Writers of America Association “Excellence” nominee, winning the prestigious Maxwell Medallion in 2016 for her writing. An official International Purple Day® for Epilepsy Ambassador since 2012 and a volunteer case manager for The Wally Foundation-Canine Epilepsy, Dorothy is the creator of the FiveSibes #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness campaign inspired by her own epileptic Husky, Gibson. In addition to her Siberian Huskies, Dorothy shares her home­ with her husband, daughter, son-in-law, and new grandson. You can follow Dorothy and her FiveSibes on Facebook at FiveSibes: Siberian Husky K9 News & Reviews, on Google + , Twitter, and Instagram (@FiveSibesMom).

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37 Responses to Why You Should Not Shave a Siberian Husky

  1. Kelly says:

    Wonderful and important information! Not all dogs should be shaved, yes, there are breeds that get trimmed but dogs such as Siberian Husky’s have and need their coat for a reason. My neighbour has a Husky and I’ve heard all about their shedding season!

    • FiveSibesMom says:

      Thank you, Kelly! A Husky’s shedding season can be intense, but shaving is not the way to go. It’s so important to get this message out! I so agree, they have that coat for a reason!

  2. Amy says:

    I agree 100%. Huskies in hot climates just seems like an odd choice. I know people move from state to state, and sometimes these things cannot be helped, but I agree that vets & groomers need to help owners of climate-specific dogs make healthy choices for their dogs.

  3. This breed is absolutely gorgeous. So often people get a dog and have no real understanding for the breeds dos and don’ts. You did a fabulous job showcasing the important facts to remember for this breed! Thank you!!!!

    • FiveSibesMom says:

      Hi, Kristen! Thank you so much, I really appreciate your saying so. It is so important that people educate themselves on the breed (any breed) before welcoming one into their home.

  4. This is a GREAT topic! I’m so glad you covered the issue of shaving/clipping double-coated dogs in the summer. It used to drive me nuts when our neighbor shaved their Chow each year. I had a facebook friend ask me about shaving their GSD (yikes!) because she didn’t like all the shedding… sheesh.

    • FiveSibesMom says:

      Thank you, Amy! I actually had someone from FB send leave me a comment saying how shaving cuts down on indoor shedding. *shudder* That is so not the way to help a shedding Husky! Misinformed people make choices that are not healthy for the dog. I hope we can get this message out to more folks so they understand that they need to familiarize themselves with the breed of their choice before they welcome one into their home.

  5. Shayla says:

    I’m always so sad when I meet naked huskies! They are so stunning, and really do need their coats! Great advice to all double coat dog owners!

  6. I love the idea of using the fur for spinning! While Ruby doesn’t shed much at all, our rabbit Lulu sheds like crazy. Her fur is so pretty and I always wondered about using it for something.

    I learned a lot in the post and had no idea that their fur also keeps them cool in the summer and that they can’t be shaved.

    • FiveSibesMom says:

      I’m so glad you found this article informative! Isn’t spinning the shedding fur a wonderful concept?! And the fact it is then made into items that are sold and the donated funds help other rescue Huskies in need, is just wonderful! A real win-win!

  7. Great suggestions! Gonzo isn’t a husky but he does have a double coat. I would never consider shaving him. I used to work with polar bears and would give the fur as insulation argument to visitors to explain why the bears were quite comfortable. After all, they had the option to choose between AC inside or being out in the sun. (They usually chose outside). Their fur protects them.

    • FiveSibesMom says:

      Thank you, Heather! I love that you worked with polar bears! Oh, the wonderful stories you must have. And a great point about their protective coats that is a lesson in itself!

  8. Jana Rade says:

    Our friends at the farm always shave(d) their Goldendoodle. They present all kinds of reasons but I don’t by any of them. Dogs have fur for a reason. Our dogs ever only get shaved for medical reasons/procedures. Period.

    • FiveSibesMom says:

      I absolutely agree, Jana. I’m always so surprised that folks who have Huskies and love their beauty and their fur coats, are the same folks who can’t stand the fur when it sheds and resort to shaving. As you know, I’m with you – shave for medical reasons only.

  9. I never knew about not shaving a Husky. I would never do it anyway and always wonder why people want to shave their dogs and cats. Many people who have Persians always want to give them the “lion cut” and claim their cats love it. I don’t believe them. I think the cats are more comfortable because they finally don’t have mats because their owners don’t brush them regularly. Your dogs are beautiful!

    • FiveSibesMom says:

      Thank you! My dogs and I are flattered! I always wondered about the cat cuts…I have to agree, if they were well-groomed and free of mats, that would be something I can see them loving. Same with Huskies – regular grooming (not shaving) leads to a happy, healthy coated (and more shedding controlled) Husky!

  10. I have a friend who runs a pretty active Husky Rescue in North Carolina. She will be very happy to see this post. And I love, love, love that there is an organization re-purposing husky fur for a good cause. What an amazing idea!

    • FiveSibesMom says:

      Cathi, I so appreciate your sharing this with your rescue friend! I know it’s a constant awareness effort for rescues to have folks understand the dangers of shaving a Husky, unless for a medical reason. Isn’t the Siberwool aspect wonderful, especially that the monies raised from the sale of items helps other rescue Huskies in need! I love that idea, too!

  11. Dash Kitten says:

    Wow – Cat owner talking here… I had no idea it could be SO risky to trim a Husky’s fur! Thank you for a hugely important post – Huskey owners need to know all of this.

    I saw a wonderful ‘rake’ comb demonstrated at our local pet expo. It was the real deal, expensive, but outstanding quality, made in Germany and BOY did it to the job!

    • FiveSibesMom says:

      Thank you! It is my hope that potential and novice Husky families all over read this! I love our undercoat rake. I wonder if it’s the same one? Good grooming tools are so key for double-coated dogs like Siberian Huskies. Our self-cleaning slicker brush is pretty awesome, too!

  12. Kamira Gayle says:

    Wow. I don’t have a Husky but still found this post very informative and helpful. Who knew? I think it’s really great that you can donate the extra fur to Siberwool.

    • FiveSibesMom says:

      Thank you, Kamira! I’m so happy you found my article helpful. I’m with you – I love that SOS-SRF collects donated fur sheds! Pretty cool way to recycle and help other Huskies in need!

  13. So important! I brush my dog almost daily so he stays clean, fresh and shiny. How fun about the husky hair, that is so neat.

    • FiveSibesMom says:

      Thanks, Tonya! I love that SOS-SRF spins the shedding Husky fur, too! Pretty neat, right?! And the best part is they use the money from the items made from the Siberwool to help other rescue Huskies! Such a win-win!

  14. I never knew that Huskies shouldn’t be shaved. These are some great tips for Husky owners, and also for people thinking about adopting one.

  15. LOVE this! People don’t realize dogs like this actually keep themselves cool with their undercoat! Not to mention, sunburn. Great tips!

    • FiveSibesMom says:

      Thank you, Shelby! So many people do not realize the dangers of shaving a Husky. I can only hope this article helps *shed* some light on the breed and help others to understand the reasons behind #NeverShaveAHusky.

  16. Sadie says:

    As a knitter I am fascinated to learn about Siberwool! I did know about not shaving double-coated dogs after I learned about it from our groomer. Mine are not double-coated and require grooming every five weeks. It is an important message you’re sharing. I will pass it along too.

    • FiveSibesMom says:

      Isn’t the spinning into Siberwool fascinating?! I can only imagine how warm those items would be! And the fact that they are sold and the funds donated to help rescue Huskies in need, is just wonderful! Thank you for sharing my important message – I truly appreciate it!

  17. Beth says:

    I’ve seen photos of a collie who was shaved and the fur never grew back correctly. That’s awesome that people are using Husky fur to help other Huskies! I wish I would have saved all the fur from my Keeshond and had someone spin it and then make something awesome.

  18. Nadine says:

    I am dog-sitting for my son who is getting new fencing at his house. The dog was a rescue & I am not a big pet person. This dog has kind of weird habits but is a nice dog. Doesn’t bark much, but is shedding like crazy. He is also biting & scratching a lot & causing red bald spots mostly on his legs. He does not have any fleas…my daughter & I gave him a bath, but he was still itching like crazy. I’m glad I saw this blog, as my hubby wanted to take him to get shaved!
    Any suggestions?

    • FiveSibesMom says:

      He could have hot spots or is scratching due to allergies (food or environmental). I’d suggest check with the vet who could tell you best and help you with what to use. Once you know why, you can also ask about natural remedies, too. Good luck and keep me posted!

  19. Nadine says:

    I took the dog to a vet, who gave my husband and I the ‘stink-eye”, like we are bad pet people. He told us that the dog did have fleas & gave me a 3 month oral anti-flea chew, called Bravecto. (I had just given him a dose of the liquid Sentry & vet said that stuff doesn’t work.) He also gave him antibiotics to get rid of the hot spots. He then proceeded to tell us not to believe everything we read on the Internet & that the dogs should go to the groomers once per month for a bath. :/

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