Given that these famous sled dogs are originally from Siberia, huskies have often relied on their fluffy coats to stay warm in the icy tundras. Their coat makes an attractive uniform, but once this working dog’s day is over, how do these coats perform in the house? Do huskies shed?
Huskies do shed, and they shed a lot. They’re some of the heaviest shedders of all the dog breeds, but they also have one of the lowest maintenance coats (as long as you don’t count vacuuming as maintenance).
We’ll explain what it’s like to share your home with a husky that sheds — from how much hair you can expect to how it can affect allergy sufferers. Plus, we’ll go over the husky’s shedding season and share tips that dog owners can use to reduce the hair around their house and care for the husky’s coat.
How Much Do Huskies Shed?
Siberian huskies shed a lot. These dogs have double coats, meaning the coat is made of two different layers of two different types of fur. The dense undercoat provides temperature control. It protects the dogs from cold weather in the winter and from warm weather in the summer.
Huskies also have a topcoat, which is a coarse outer layer of guard hairs that provides weather-proofing. It helps keep the undercoat dry. Think of it like putting on layers in the winter. You put on a thick fleece layer to stay warm, followed by a rain-resistant outer coat to stay dry.
The husky’s two layers of fur shed different amounts at different times of year. But, their thick coats will continuously fill your home with large amounts of hair, regardless of which part of the coat happens to be shedding at the time.
Double-coated dogs are notoriously some of the heaviest shedders. German shepherds, corgis, golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, and Australian shepherds are all double-coated dog breeds. But even among these excessive shedders, huskies produce a notorious amount of hair. These dogs often star in memes about shedding where owners take pictures of their husky next to a massive pile of hair they removed when brushing the dog.
Husky Shedding and Allergies
Because of their excessive shedding, Siberian huskies are not hypoallergenic. In fact, this breed is one of the worst for people with allergies. The amount of hair they shed will spread a lot of dander around your home, and it’s likely to cause an allergic reaction in people with even the mildest dog allergies. People with dog allergies do best with non-shedding dogs, like poodles, which are considered the most hypoallergenic choice of all the dog breeds.
If no one in your household is allergic to dogs, but you may have people with dog allergies visit from time to time, warn your allergic guests in advance about your heavy shedding dog so they can bring any prescription allergy medication they may need. Also, keep over-the-counter allergy medication on hand for guests who have an allergy attack at your house.
When Do Huskies Shed?
Huskies shed all year round, but they also have two shedding seasons that are especially heavy. These shedding seasons are caused by their two-layer coat.
The husky’s topcoat sheds moderately year round, while the husky’s undercoat sheds seasonally. Because they only need their undercoat in summer and winter, these dogs shed that part of their coat twice a year when the seasons change. They shed their summer coat in the fall and their winter coat in the spring.
When Siberian huskies shed their undercoat, it’s known as blowing their coat. At these times of the year, you will literally find husky hair blowing around your house.
What Can You Do to Manage Husky Shedding?
In spite of their excessive shedding, huskies remain one of the most popular dog breeds in America. Once you get the dog hair under control, huskies are easy-going housemates who are sociable with the whole family.
Here are the best tactics current and future husky owners can use to keep the dog hair around their house to a minimum:
- Invest in robot vacuum: One of the best tools for any dog owner is a robot vacuum, which you can program to run daily. It will suck up dog hair on its own, so you don’t have to vacuum by hand multiple times a week, which frees up more time for you to spend with your furry friend.
- Train your dog to stay off your furniture: A robot vacuum can’t climb on your couch to clean dog hair, so teach your husky not to go up there. Give the dog its own bed instead and help them learn to use it, and your furniture will remain fur free.
- Set room boundaries: If there are any rooms where you really don’t want dog hair floating around, like the kitchen or bedroom, train your dog not to go in them.
- Brush and bathe your dog outside: Brushing and bathing help remove loose hair, but in the process, that hair can get set adrift in your home. Keep this to a minimum by grooming outside in your yard or when leaving the dog park.
- Take good care of your dog’s coat: A little care can keep your husky’s coat healthy and reduce excess shedding. We’ll explain how to care for their double coat below.
How Do You Care for a Husky’s Double Coat?
The most important thing dog owners should know about caring for a double coat is that you should never shave a double-coated dog. Even in warmer climates, huskies need their coats in order to regulate their body temperature. Shaving can permanently damage their fur and lead to overheating and sunburn. Instead, use these tactics to keep the coat in good condition:
- Brush their coat weekly: Regular brushing removes dead hair, prevents tangles and matting, and helps spread the husky’s natural oils evenly throughout their fur. Use a wire-bristle slicker brush to remove more hair as you brush.
- Use an undercoat rake during shedding season: You don’t need a fancy deshedding tool like a FURminator to remove excess hair during shedding season. A simple undercoat rake will pull out loose hair from the undercoat, leaving less of it to float around your house.
- Bathe your husky a few times per year: The husky’s coat is extremely low maintenance, saving you from regular trips to the groomer. Weekly brushing is often enough to keep it clean and odor free, but they will need a bath 2-4 times a year. Use a gentle shampoo to avoid stripping too much of their natural oils.
- Try a deshedding dog shampoo: Bathe your dog with a gentle deshedding shampoo once per shedding season to help remove loose hair. Brush your dog right after the bath to get out even more hair.
- Choose a high-quality dog food: Nutrient deficiencies can lead to excessive shedding. Make sure your dog is getting everything they need by choosing a food that features real meat as the first ingredient and includes whole food fruits and vegetables in the ingredient deck.
- Include an omega-3 fish oil supplement: Omega Oil can help keep your husky’s skin and coat healthy, reducing shedding in the process.
Happily Ever After With a Husky
Husky puppies with their fluffy coats and ice blue eyes are hard to resist. But if you want a non-shedding dog (or need one because of allergies), a husky won’t be right for you.
Siberian huskies shed a lot all year round. But, that shedding is manageable with a little planning. So, if you’re a neatnik who is mainly worried about hair around your house, you may still be able to live happily with a husky.
Invest in a robot vacuum, train your dog to stay off the furniture, take care of your husky’s coat with regular brushing, and keep them healthy with high-quality dog food and a fish oil supplement. If you do, you’ll be rewarded with a low-maintenance, loyal, and sociable friend.
For more information on your favorite dog breeds, visit the Native Pet blog.