If you are a dog owner wondering how to groom a Husky, or a groomer with Husky clients, then these tips can set you on the right path.
Despite their thick double coats, Siberian Huskies are very easy to groom and only need to be bathed 1 -2 times a year unless they have rolled in dirt. Yet, the thought of tackling the mounds of hair they shed is enough to send most pet owners scampering for cover.
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Husky Grooming!
So, here is a look at how to groom a Siberian Husky and what you can do to deal with the problems that you will encounter along the way.
Husky Grooming: A Different Kind of Coat!
A double coated breed, the Husky has two layers of hair:
- a softer undercoat which insulates the dog and keeps him warm
- a longer, top coat which has rough guard hair.
This top coat is nearly weather proof and shields the animal from rain and snow. In fact, this dense coat is a boon for Husky owners as it repels dirt and mud.
However, the undercoat which consists of softer hair is prone to matting if not brushed regularly. A matted undercoat will not protect the dog, leaving his body exposed to plunging temperatures.
Managing Grooming with a Husky Grooming Kit
This Husky Grooming Kit includes what you need to keep your Husky in top condition between visits to a groomer: brush, comb, shampoo, conditioner and a spray to finish off that sleek appearance.
Husky Puppy Hair
Husky puppies only have the soft haired undercoat but the guard hair grows right through this between the ages of 10-14 months. As the puppy grows, it will shed all of its fuzzy soft hair which will be replaced by an adult coat.
So, one thing is for sure, you will need a heavy duty pet vacuum cleaner and lint cleaner to deal with all that hair.
How to Deal with Hair Matting?
Weekly grooming sessions will help to keep your Husky’s coat healthy and shiny and are vital to his well being. If you can undertake short grooming sessions that involve a thorough brushing once a day, even better.
It is imperative to understand that Husky grooming has to be done regularly, regardless of the season and the outside temperature.
A lot of Husky owners think that grooming is not needed in winter but the hair begins to mat quickly in the wet season and this destroys the insulating capability of the undercoat.
When brushing the coat, always start with a wide toothed comb and only pick a tool with rounded teeth to prevent skin abrasions. The wide toothed comb will help to remove the tangles easily. Follow this with rigorous brushing in the direction of the hair growth.
Expert tip: Instead of brushing the whole body down, go for smaller sections which makes the job more manageable and thorough. Do not forget the parts where the limbs meet the body, the belly and the tail. These are the areas that are most prone to hair mats.
How to Handle Hair Shedding in Your Husky
Shedding usually starts at the onset of summer and can last for up to six weeks. This is a natural process and there is simply nothing that you can do to prevent it.
But Siberian Husky shedding can be managed
Clipping or shaving the dog’s coat will prove futile because the hair will just grow back coarser and thicker and will be that much harder to maintain.
Instead, regular brushing will keep the volume of hair sheds low.
Husky Grooming: The Right Kind of Brushing!
The right kind of brushing requires the best dog brush for Husky that you can find and most fit nicely into any grooming budget.
During the non-shedding season, you will only need to brush the coat once a week.
Remember to brush first and bathe later as a matted undercoat can be hard to dry and once the hair are wet they pull painfully before breaking, making it harder to brush.
You can also use a conditioning spray which will help to smooth out the tangles. Go for a commercial variety or simply use your dog’s regular after bath conditioner with some water mixed in a spray bottle. Start by using a long toothed coat rake first and then a bladed tool for removing the undercoat hair and finally a metal comb.
When using the rake, use it against the hair growth while the wide toothed comb should be used in the direction of the growth. Start brushing from the head down to the torso and the tail. Finish one side then the next, then the back and finally the belly.
A lot of Husky owners seem to have the same question:
What is the best brush for Husky?
So here are a few that you can consider:
How Often to Bathe a Husky?
Huskies do not have oily coats, so they do not smell like regular canines. In fact, you could easily get by with bathing them just once or twice a year.
Actually, given the dryness of the coat, bathing them too often can prove harmful. If you are concerned about hygiene, go for waterless baths. You will need some waterless shampoo and your comb and this can be done once a week.
In winter, Huskies love to roll in snow, this is the nature-intended way for these animals to keep their coats clean.
Unlike other breeds with long hair, you don’t need special conditioning shampoos for your Husky. A de-shedding shampoo followed by any quality organic dog shampoo and conditioner should work out to be the best shampoo for Husky. When using the blow dryer, set it on cold and dry thoroughly as leaving wet matted hair can lead to rashes and skin infections.
Expert tip: If bathing the dog in the bathtub, do not forget to screen the drain or you will have the mother of all hair clogs on your hands.
5 General Tips on How to Groom Your Siberian Husky
Here are 5 general grooming tips that you need to incorporate in your weekly sessions to keep your dog healthy and happy.
Check for wax buildup, infections and scratch wounds.
Wipe the floppy, fleshy part with a damp washcloth and then some tissue and then proceed to use a veterinarian approved cleanser with cotton wool on the inside.
Trim them once a month as overgrowth can injure the paws.
Do not the cut the quick or the pink flesh inside the nails as this can cause profuse bleeding. If you do accidentally end up doing so, use flour on the wound to stop the bleeding quickly.
It is most important to choose the right dog nail clippers.
- Teeth brushing
Get your dog used to teeth brushing when he is a puppy with daily brushing sessions. For an adult dog, weekly teeth brushing along with special dental chews will be enough to prevent plaque buildup and periodontal diseases.
- Eyes and Paws
Wipe out any discharge from the eyes immediately and check the paws to ensure that there isn’t any gravel lodged in the pads.
When grooming, a flea inspection is a must. Use a flea comb for dogs to remove the fleas.
Keep a container filled with hot water to dip the comb so that the fleas removed from the body can be drowned.
The Tools You Will Need for Husky Grooming!
Make sure you have your tools ready on the table before you fetch the dog for the grooming session. This way, you will not have to leave an over-energetic animal alone while you go about finding the tools you need. Your tool box should include:
- A coat rake
- A furminator for Husky – A bladed tool for removing undercoat hair; this is known as the furminator and you will need one that is meant for long hair.
- Conditioning spray
- Blow dryer
- Metal comb
- Nail Clippers
- Ear cleaner and cotton wool
- Tooth brush and tooth paste
- Paper towels
Should a Husky’s Hair be Trimmed or Clipped?
Never clip, trim or shave yourHusky’s hair. This will leave the animal vulnerable to the elements including UV rays, insect bites and skin infections. Also, after shaving, the coats may grow out in uneven patches and the guard coat will inevitably be coarser.
A Husky Grooming Video
Video: Bathing a Husky
Video: Using a Furminator
How to Groom a Siberian Husky Video
I hope that these videos and tips have been able to give you some valuable insights on how to groom a Husky at home or in the salon.
~ Guest Author ~