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The Siberian Husky didn’t get its name on accident.
Bred by the people of Eastern Siberia to be able to withstand the unbelievably cold temperatures in that climate, these dogs over time developed a unique coat that is totally and completely different than anything else in the canine world.
An outer coat (the uppermost fur humans love to pet) helps to insulate them against incredibly cold weather, but the underlayer of fur (even fuzzier, almost like a microfiber) is where the real magic happens.
There are definitely other dogs that have a double coat – dogs like the German Shepherd and the Golden Retriever – but none of them have a double coat quite the way that a Husky does.
With those other two dog breeds in specific you can cut their hair in the summer to help them beat the heat a little more.
Do that to a Husky, though, and you’re putting them in a real world of hurt.
Let’s dig a little deeper to find out why you should never shave a Husky unless absolutely, positively necessary.
Does Husky Fur Grow Back?
Let’s clear up this one misconception about shaving a Husky right away:
If you shave a Husky their fur is not going to be “permanently” gone forever. It will eventually grow back (though it takes a long time to do so). At least the topcoat will, anyway.
Those that tell you a Husky’s fur disappears forever once it has been shaved aren’t telling you the whole truth.
It’s not like you’re going to be walking around forever with a completely hairless dog after you shave your Husky.
What you do lose (almost permanently), though, is the critical undercoat on your dog – the layer of fur that insulates them from extremely cold temperatures but also insulates them from warm temperatures, too.
You see, that’s the difference between a Husky and most other “double coat” dogs.
Those other dogs use the undercoat to protect themselves from cold weather only and need to lose that undercoat as much as possible when the weather starts to warm up.
Huskies need that underlayer all year long. Without it they aren’t able to regulate their own temperatures and things get really, really uncomfortable.
You Should (Almost) Never Shave Your Husky – Here’s Why
In warm weather the undercoat on your Husky is going to naturally thin itself out – but it is still going to stick around a little bit to trap layers of cool air and insulate your dog against overheating.
On top of that, the undercoat hair is also going to work to protect the sensitive skin of your Husky from sun damage. These dogs can get sunburned very easily, and it’s one of the most uncomfortable things they can be subjected to.
The “guard hair” on the topcoat works to reflect sunlight away as well. This is going to help you beat the heat by preventing a lot of that UV energy from hitting your dog in the first place.
Shave that away in the summertime and you are going to be causing all of your Huskies “climate control” capabilities to go haywire!
You are also going to see a permanent amount of damage to the undercoat when you shave your Husky rather than allow them to go through the shedding process all on their own.
By shaving your dog down you are causing the primary guard hair and the undercoat hair to grow at the exact same time, even though they aren’t meant to. This can cause these hairs to intertwine with one another, to cause conflict with one another, and to cause a whole bunch of ingrown hair issues as well.
You end up with a dog that is particularly patchy, a dog that is always uncomfortable, and a dog that has a nightmare time trying to cool themselves down.
It’s also not uncommon for Huskies that have been shaved to be subjected to extreme sunlight damage on their skin, sometimes to the point of developing skin cancer that they wouldn’t have otherwise.
Remember that the Siberian Husky has absolutely zero skin pigmentation whatsoever.
Shaving them down is going to expose all of that unprotected “baby” skin to harmful UV rays, dramatically increasing their odds of contracting skin cancer while also causing them a lot of pain and discomfort from the inevitable sunburn that they deal with.
Just don’t shave these dogs!
Husky Fur Takes Forever to Grow Back
If your Husky does have to be shaved (for surgical reasons, for example) just know that things are going to take a long while to get back to normal.
Veterinarians understand how important the coat is for your Husky and they are going to try and do absolutely everything possible to minimize the amount of shaving they need to do.
It may take a couple of months (or even longer) for the fur on your dog to grow back. It may take even longer than that (sometimes a year or more) for the hair to normalize, too.
That’s perfectly fine. That’s par for the course.
Don’t try to rush things and certainly don’t try to shave the dog again to speed up growth.
Leave Husky fur alone, at least as much as possible!
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