There are over 300 different breeds of dogs and many mixes thereof. There are dogs with long coats of fur and dogs with fur that is sleek and hardly covers their skin. Some dogs have double coats and some dogs have no hair at all on most or parts of their body, like the Mexican Hairless or the Chinese Crested.
Of the dogs which have the thickest coats of fur, the Siberian Husky is in this category. The Husky has a double layered coat, having an undercoat that gets very thick and serves as insulation in the coldest months of the year. Once, sometimes twice, per year, the Husky ‘blows their coat’ which is the terminology used to describe the enormous shed of the undercoat.
The hair of this dog will tuft up through the main coat, making them look very unkempt in appearance. Regular brushing is imperative to keeping this shed to a minimum. Stepping outside with your Husky and using a shedding blade to pull this hair out and rid it without it blowing through your home is important.
If you take your Husky to a groomer at this time of the year, the groomer will use a high-powered blower to force the dead hair up and out of their coat. The room will fill with fur and the groomer will look like cotton candy trying to form on a stick. Some groomers wear something to cover their mouth so that they can breathe. That is how bad Huskies shed.
Do They Shed All Year Like That?
Huskies typically blow their coat once or possibly two times per year. The rest of the year you can expect normal shedding which can be heavy from time to time. Regular brushing is essential to making sure that shedding is as little as possible. There are also sprays and coat treatments that can be applied to help reduce shedding.
Dog groomers will be able to help you with the type of brush you should be using and what products will help to keep shedding reduced and more manageable for the average Husky owner. Some people try to clip Huskies but this isn’t a wise way to care for their coat. The coat of dogs not only keeps warmth in but it also protects from the sun and helps to keep animals insulated from the heat of the sun as well. Dogs can get sunburn very easily so caution is advised when you consider clipping their coat short.
The coat of the Husky can come in many different colors that include Agouti, which is most wolf-like in appearance. The black and white Husky face is very common, gray, pie-bald, gray and a ‘dirty gray’ color that is more gray-faced than the other gray. There is a copper color that is also very beautiful. Huskies can also have variations in eye color as well as coat.
What Else Should I Know to Properly Care for my Husky?
Huskies are a very strong and powerful breed of dog, even though they aren’t overly big in stature. Huskies typically don’t weigh more than 55 pounds for males which are larger than females. They have incredible stamina that seems to have no limit. When these dogs are conditioned well, they are incredible athletes that can run for miles in the worst of conditions.
The Iditarod race is a sled-dog race that is always dominated by Huskies. It is a 938-mile journey from Anchorage to Nome. The dogs run in the weather no matter what Mother Nature throws at them. The sled-dog handler must be knowledgable and be able to always take great care of his dogs. The race is typically run in just over a week but may take up to 15 days or more, depending on the weather conditions. This is the life that Siberian Huskies were bred for and they love it. Malamutes were often used as sled dogs but lost favor to the more streamlined Husky that has more stamina than the much larger Malamute.
You can’t take a dog that was bred for many generations to be athletic like a Husky and expect him to adjust to a life of lounging around the house all day long. If this is your lifestyle, a Husky will most likely drive you crazy. They require large amounts of exercise and they also do not do well in very warm climates.
With that said, they make fantastic family pets. Huskies are incredibly intelligent, loyal, trainable, and seem to have a sense of humor. If you own a Husky, you know of their ability to seem to enjoy playing pranks on their humans and other animal companions in the home. They have a playful personality and are typically quite friendly. Huskies love children and with proper training and supervision, do very well with children.
Taking Care of Nutritional and Health Needs
Huskies are usually good eaters if they are getting adequate exercise. They need fresh water down at all times and food that is high in protein, low in carbs, with a small amount of healthy fat. Many vitamins are only able to be metabolized with fat as they are fat soluble. This makes fat an essential part of the diet.
Dogs require adequate fiber in their diet and they need a healthy balance of vegetables and minerals. Most decent commercial dog foods will cover all of these bases but you should do a little homework because not all dog foods are equal.
When it comes to dog food, the most expensive is also not necessarily the best. You can expect to pay approximately $1 to $2 per pound of decent dry kibble. Premium dog foods can range as much as $5 per pound. You can typically find great food for somewhere in the middle.
It is acceptable to supplement kibble with fresh foods, adding a slice of good quality meat or some green beans or carrots if you like. Be sure that you are positive that the food you are sharing with them is safe. Some fruits, vegetables, and human foods are very bad for dogs; with some foods from our table being extremely toxic to dogs. A good healthy diet will ensure that the beautiful Husky coat stays beautiful too.
Dogs who eat canned food should also be given some dry kibble or crunchy food to help keep teeth clean. They also may not drink as much water like a dog that is only getting dry kibble will. Most dogs self-regulate water intake very well on their own. You should only be concerned if your dog is not drinking any water. This can be a serious issue and they should see the veterinarian right away.
Laura Barnes is a passionate blogger and animal rights activist. She is a pet lover, certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, pet nutritionist, and former veterinary technician. She continues her work while writing blogs for pet lovers around the globe.