If there’s one thing that everybody knows and loves about huskies it’s their coat, their super fluffy doubt coat that is specifically meant to protect them from cold environments.
If you didn’t know already, huskies basically originated in Siberia; one of the coldest places on Earth, where they were primarily used to pull sleds over long distances. For this reason they developed a thick double layered coat with a denser and packed short undercoat that helps them retain body heat, and a longer outer coat that resists water.
Clearly, they were made to endure sub-zero temperatures well, and while it contributes towards their ultra-good looks and makes them fluffy cuddle buddies, there’s a very common question or concern that people have about their coat, and that is, “do huskies shed a lot?”
In this article we’re going to address that very question for you in detail and clear the air of any misconceptions that may be doing the rounds. If you’re considering getting a handsome husky pet, you definitely need to do some due research anyway. So let’s get started.
Do Huskies Shed a Lot?
Given that that they have a thicker and fluffier coat of fur than some other dog breeds, yes, huskies do shed more.
They typically shed once or twice a year, perhaps once in the Spring and then in the Fall season. Some huskies shed only once a year.
However, if you live with your husky in comparatively warmer climatic conditions, or if you’re someone who likes your dog to be indoors with you at all times, warm and comfortable, then your husky might tend to shed throughout the year.
If you’re like typical dog owners, there’s a good chance that you pamper your pet a lot and put him on your bed or couch with you throughout the day. In which case, yes, your husky is going to shed a lot!
(Does your husky have blue eyes, brown eyes, or a mix of both? Find out everything you could possibly want to know about your huskies eye color, including what you should do when their eyes are red!)
How Much Do Huskies Shed?
All dogs, or in fact, all animals with fur, do shed naturally. Just like human hair, for natural reasons, the hair on dogs also falls out. And this is often a bit heavier during summers and lighter during winters.
Huskies are essentially made to live in cold climates. Hence, taking them to warmer places may make them shed more than other dogs.
This is because they already have a double coat, and hence their shedding may appear heavier than a dog that does not have two layers of fur.
Either way, slightly heavier shedding twice in a year can be expected of huskies.
Different huskies shed differently depending on the specific weather conditions of their place.
According to findings by the American Animal Hospital Association, an animal’s fur is typically affected by the amount of daylight received throughout the year.
When Do Huskies Shed?
For all normal furry pets, here’s how it typically works. Every winter, they shed their light summer coats and develop thicker coats for the winter. In the same way, during summers, they shed their thick winter coats and prepare for the warmer climate.
For huskies specifically, since they have a double layered coat, their summer shedding can be quite heavy. And by heavy, I mean, prepare for what could be a “hairpocalypse”.
Sometimes, as mentioned before, huskies living in warmer places, may shed more throughout the year. They naturally have thicker winter-ready coats in a normal case, and hence may need to shed more often.
Fun fact: such kind of heavy shedding of the soft undercoat is often called blowing the coat.
What Causes Huskies to Shed?
There are a number of reasons why huskies may shed, including the differences in the weather. Sometimes it may be very natural and not something you should be concerned about, but some other kinds of shedding may need immediate attention.
Here are a few possible reasons why your husky may be shedding.
As the weather gets warmer, your husky may have to shed its soft undercoat so that he or she can deal with the heat better. This will cause some heavy shedding, as the undercoat is often thicker.
In the same way, as the weather gets colder, your husky may shed its overcoat and develop a thicker undercoat to deal with the cold.
In both cases, the shedding may appear even throughout the body and there’s usually nothing to worry about.
One thing to note though; do huskies shed a lot, excessively and untimely, because of weather changes?
The answer is no.
A Poor Diet
Huskies are known for their high energy and endurance. Hence they need to have a significant amount of calories on a daily basis to support their metabolism. They also need fairly high amounts of fat and protein as well. A diet that does not cater to these special nutrient needs may cause a husky to shed more.
This kind of shedding usually occurs when you’ve made changes in your pet’s food habits.
Just like for human beings, stress causes huskies too to shed more than usual. And they can get stressed about a number of things including a wound that may not be as apparent, mistreatment by someone or separation from loved ones. For example, if you’ve moved homes or shifted your husky over to a separate place, there’s a chance that he or she may get overly stressed over it and lose more fur.
Diseases and Illnesses
Any kind of illness can cause huskies to shed more than usual. And illnesses can range from minor viral infections to other major issues. Even slight symptoms of being unwell, can cause a lot of shedding. Whatever the cause and severity of the illness or disease is, it is always a good idea to get this kind of shedding checked by a vet.
Skin Problems Including Ticks and Fleas
Needless to say, skin issues always cause huskies and dogs in general to shed more than usual. This type of shedding would however be very uneven and sudden in occurrence.
Fleas and ticks affect the skin in patches and hence shedding can also occur in patches. Sometimes certain topical medicines or care products that you may have used on their skin could also be the cause of skin irritation and in turn shedding.
In any case, it would be best to take measures and cure the skin condition first. In severe cases of course, it’s always better to consult a veterinarian.
Do Huskies Have A Double Coat?
Yes, huskies do have a double coat. The outer coat is their to keep the inner coat away from the elements, so in essence it helps to keep them dry. Whereas the inner coat is there to keep them warm, and regulate their temperature in the summer when they’re hot.
And remember, the coat is also their not just to protect them from the cold elements but the hot ones as well. During the summer months, while removing their coat could potentially cool them slightly, it’s also going to result in them getting sunburn and possibly worse skin damage.
Another reason that huskies shed so much is that they need to shed both coats in the fall and spring ready for the hot and cold months.
The only time you should think about shaving your huskies fur is for medical reasons, and it should always be veterinarian or medical professional that decides for you.
How to Reduce and Control the Amount of Hair Being Shed
If you have a husky for a pet, you are certainly going to have to face the occasional “hairpocalypse” as mentioned before. Hence you might as well learn to deal with it. There are a few simple things that you can do to reduce and possibly control the amount of fur being shed.
Let’s see what they are.
Have a Systematic Brushing Routine
It goes without saying how important it is to brush a dog that has a lot of fur. Especially for huskies that have two layers of coat, you absolutely need to brush out all the dead hair promptly. It will allow your husky to keep cool and will also stimulate new hair growth.
On average, it will be best to have a systematic brushing routine of a few minutes three to four times a week, which your dog can get used to. On top of the shedding issues, the last thing you want is a fussy husky that won’t let you brush. Hence, ideally, around three to four times a week would suffice.
Remember, over brushing is also a thing and can cause skin irritation.
Use De-Shedding Brushes
When brushing huskies, you need to use de-shedding brushes that would actually help you get rid of the excess dead hair and not just keep the hair combed and in place. De-shedding brushes have wider teeth that would help collect the dead hair without it getting stuck. You can start off with wider brushes resembling rakes to remove dead hair and follow up with a finer brush to remove the finer hair and also tidy up.
Never Shave Your Husky
A very common misconception when it comes to shedding in huskies is that they should be shaved for the shedding to stop. That’s nothing but a big fat myth.
Your husky’s coat protects it from the heat, the cold, the insects, the harmful rays of the sun and a lot more. Hence, what you’re doing when you shave your dog is actually putting him or her in more danger.
Besides that, shaving can also cause matting of the fur, especially in double coated dogs like huskies. The undercoat usually grows a lot faster than the overcoat and after shaving it creates a tangled mass of hair, which is not only unhealthy but also not protective. It doesn’t help with body temperature regulation and often causes clumping and stickiness.
Bathe Your Husky
Bathing is another very important routine for your husky. It will help get rid of all the dead hair and keep your husky fresh and free. Experts recommend bathing your husky once every month. You can also give an extra bath during the shedding seasons. Be sure to use only mild shampoos with natural ingredients so as not to harm your husky’s skin.
Feed Them A Healthy Meal
As mentioned before, huskies need a lot of protein and high calorie foods to feed their high energy and metabolism. It is best that you consult a dietician for your husky and provide only wholesome healthy food for your dog. Also don’t cheap out when buying dog food. You need to make sure that you are feeding only the best.
Never Shave Your Husky
One important thing to remember is that you should never shave your husky. You may think that you’re doing them a favour, but this actually causes a number of problems. Their double coat has evolved over thousands of years to handle hot and cold. By shaving it off, you could end up causing serious health problems.
And even if you don’t, the hair will never grow back the same. Because of their double coat, when the fur does grow back, the inner fur could mix with the outer fur, making both of them less useful.
When Is Shedding Abnormal and What Should You Do?
Shedding caused by changes in climatic conditions, or changes in the living conditions of your husky is often quite natural and normal. Typically, as the temperature gets warmer or colder, huskies do tend to shed more than usual and that is usually fine as this kind of shedding is typically even and gradual.
But do huskies shed a lot due to other factors?
Yes. In some cases, you will need to pay extra attention. These are cases where the shedding happens unusually and abnormally and these include:
- Excessive sudden shedding without any climate changes
- Uneven shedding in patches all over the body
- Isolates patches of shedding along with itching
- Heavy shedding leaving bald spots
- Shedding accompanied by illnesses or injuries
- Shedding along with behavioural changes
All of the above mentioned cases are often abnormal and caused by something that is affecting the overall health of your dog. In most of these cases it is always best to consult a vet as you don’t want to wait for guess work and assumptions to show results.
However, if you keep track of your husky’s habits you may be able to find some solutions yourself. For example, if you’ve changed your husky’s diet, you may want to note down the date of change. If your dog starts shedding unusually since the diet change, you can always go back and correct the diet.
In the same way, you can keep your husky’s living environment clean and free from fleas and other insects. Always wash your pet’s bedding promptly with soap and apply flea control disinfectants every now and then. These practices will ensure that your dog is not affected by skin conditions.
Suffice it to say, huskies may require a little extra care and attention than other kinds of dogs. And this is because of their unique double coat. They do shed more than some other dogs, as their body is designed for colder weather in general.
However, do huskies shed a lot and create menaces for pets?
Absolutely not! Following routine hair care practices can let you manage the shedding and bring it under control. Once you and your dog settle into a comfortable care routine, you will be able to enjoy the fluffy hair of your husky without hassle. All they take is a little extra love and care and they’ll shower you with their love and affection. They’ll get you pumped with their energy and you’ll only have happy dopamine filled productive days in your life!