Huskies are a stunning dog breed known for their thick, beautiful coats. Did you know that their coats do more than just make Huskies look like the regal dogs they are? It’s true! Their fur keeps them warm in the colder months and, surprisingly, cool in the summer. If you have a Husky, you must know how to care for your dog’s coat to not only keep it looking its best but to ensure it can perform its job of regulating your pup’s temperature.
Read on to find our grooming tips for Huskies.
Top 10 Tips on How to Groom a Husky
1. Gather Your Grooming Supplies
You’ll need to have a few essential grooming supplies on hand to tackle your Husky’s coat.
If you are looking for the perfect, pet-friendly shampoo and conditioner combo, we highly recommend the products by Hepper. With a soothing oatmeal shampoo, free of soaps and other harsh chemicals, and a rich coconut-based conditioner, your pet's skin and coat will be smooth, hydrated, and irritation-free.
At Pet Keen, we've admired Hepper for many years, and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!
2. Perform a Pre-Bath Brushing
Give him a good brush before you think about getting your pup wet. This can help get his coat cleaner while removing tangles and loose hairs. Brushing a wet undercoat is very difficult. Do a few passes over his coat with your undercoat rake first, then follow up with the slicker brush.
3. Bathe Your Pup
Huskies don’t usually need more than two or three baths yearly as they don’t have very oily coats. This means they don’t have that stereotypical dog odor sometimes associated with other dog breeds. So baths should be infrequent unless they’re particularly dirty or dealing with fleas. Approach bath times cautiously, as bathing too often can cause fur and skin to dry out.
Pro Tip: We highly recommend placing a screen over your bathtub drain to catch the loose hair before it goes down into your plumbing. Failure to do so will 100% lead to the worst hair clog you’ve seen in your life.
4. Give Him a Post Bath Brush
Now that your Husky is fresh, clean, and completely dry, it’s time to brush his coat…yes, again. This time, you’ll need to take your time and ensure you’re doing it right. Use the undercoat rake all over his coat. Please use caution when using this tool and ensure you’re not putting too much pressure on it so you don’t injure the skin. Be extra careful when working around areas where your dog’s skin is thin, such as in the hock area, flank, and armpits.
After you’re finished with the undercoat rake, do several passes over the entire coat with the slicker brush. Be thorough, as this is the last brush. Your goal is to remove all the remaining loose hair from your Husky’s coat.
5. Trim the In-Between Toe Hairs
Now, let’s focus our attention on your Husky’s toe hairs. You shouldn’t allow the hairs between his toes to grow too long, as it can cause his joints to be out of alignment and may result in permanent joint, ligament, or tendon damage.
Using small scissors, level the hair with the toes so your pup won’t walk on it when he’s out for walks.
6. Clip the Toenails
No groom is complete without paying attention to your pup’s toenails. However, this is a delicate job that requires a keen eye, so if you’re not 100% confident in your toenail clipping skills, we recommend leaving it to the professionals.
To clip the nails, look for the “quick” which will appear pink. You’ll want to trim the nail no closer than two millimeters from the quick. It’s helpful to watch a groomer or veterinarian do this for the first time and even allow them to show you the ropes. If you cut too close to the quick, it will bleed and can be quite painful for your dog since it is a nerve.
7. Prepare for Your Husky’s Natural Sheds
You should expect your pup to shed his entire coat (AKA “blow his coat”) at least once yearly. The process can take several weeks, but you’ll know when it’s happening. You’ll want to keep your vacuum on hand during this season to keep up with the shedding and brush his coat to encourage strong re-growth.
8. Uses a Shedding Brush Weekly
Use a shedding brush once weekly to keep up with your pup’s shedding and encourage his coat to look its best. Use the shedding brush in swift, side-to-side motions all over his coat. We recommend having an extra set of hands nearby to operate a vacuum during this process. This will prevent your dog’s hair from flying all over your entire home and keep it out of places you don’t want it (e.g., furniture, bedding, etc.).
9. Start Young
Our best piece of advice for any Husky owner looking for tips on grooming their pup is to get him acclimated to the process from a young age. Brushing your dog when he is a puppy allows him to learn to relax and enjoy it.
10. Uses High-Value Rewards
Nothing says “good job” quite like a tasty high-value reward. You may need to do some trial and error to find a treat your Husky goes wild for, but once you know what it is, reserve those treats for post-groom congratulations. This will encourage your pup to sit well for you and make your grooming job much easier.
Should I Cut My Huskie’s Hair Short?
Generally speaking, heavy double-coated breeds like Huskies shouldn’t be shaved or have their coat cut short.
Many well-meaning owners will shave their pups during the summer as they think it’ll keep them cooler during the hot months, but this isn’t how it works. Shaving a Husky can harm their coat and may make them prone to sunburn as they have almost no pigmentation in their skin. Shaving will expose your Husky’s very sensitive skin to harmful sunlight and may make him vulnerable to several skin issues, including skin cancer.
Though it may sound counterintuitive, a Husky’s thick coat will keep them cool in the summer. Their undercoat is naturally thinner during the warmer months, so it can trap a layer of cool air to protect your pup from overheating and sunburn, too.
Though this sounds overwhelming, Huskies are relatively low-maintenance dogs. Weekly brushings are all you’ll need to stay on top of shedding. Of course, you’ll want to give him a good full groom once or twice a year that includes pre- and post-bath brushings and a bath, but other than that, a once-weekly groom session should be more than enough. However, we recommend investing in a high-quality vacuum cleaner as that will make your life much easier during the shedding season.
Featured Image Credit: Rodica Vasiliev, Shutterstock