Do Siberian Huskies Shed?
Animal file: Siberian Husky
The Siberian Husky is native to a region with one of the harshest climates on Earth: northeastern Siberia. This breed is very old and evolved during thousands of years under the watch of the Chukchi people, who bred them to adapt to their environment.
Northeastern Siberia is terribly cold during the winter, with temperatures stooping to below -50 ºC (-58 ºF). On top of that, the winds enhance the harshness of the extreme cold. Luckily, the Siberian Husky is perfectly equipped with a double coat that protects it from both elements, and also the rain. However, it isn't always cold in Siberia: during the midsummer heat, temperatures can easily rise to above 30 ºC (85 ºF).
The Husky can adapt to this situation by shedding. In this AnimalWised article we'll answer the questions of do Siberian Huskies shed, how does the process work, and how to care for them during this period.
The Siberian Husky's double molting
The change in temperature from one season to another is huge in Siberia, which is why the Siberian Husky molts twice a year instead of once, just like other dog breeds. So yes: Siberian Huskies shed, and more than other dogs.
The first molt takes place between spring and summer, and the second during the autumn-winter period. Moreover, the Siberian Husky may shed hair between the two molting periods due to dietary or vitamin deficiencies or allergies: your vet should control the excess hair loss and tackle the causes.
The traits of a Siberian Husky's coat
The Siberian Husky has a double coat. The undercoat is thick, silky and warm: this is the part that protects them from the cold, and it is the layer that is lost during the molting period. In fact, in the summer molt the undercoat practically disappears, and it may look like your Siberian Husky's coat has changed color.
The outer layer of the coat is a soft, shiny and dense, protecting it from the wind, rain and snow. This layer harnesses the warm air produced by the Husky's body and creates a comfortable thermal insulation. It's not unusual to see Siberian Huskies peacefully sleeping outside on the icy snow, with snow falling down on them.
How do Siberian Huskies manage in the summer?
The Siberian midsummer is extremely hot and humid, albeit short. However, the nights remain cold due to the permafrost, the underground part of the Earth's crust that is permanently frozen at these latitudes. The outer layer, meanwhile, becomes a quagmire during the summer thaw.
The Siberian Husky is perfectly adapted to the climate. By the time summer arrives, they have already lost most of the hair from their coat's inner layer, which allows them to doze in the midday sun. The outer part of their fur still protects them from the intense sun rays, and keeps their body cool. This is why many people enjoy a Siberian Husky's company despite living in a warm climate.
Caring for a Siberian Husky's coat
As you can see, the Siberian Husky smoothly adapts to any temperature. However, its organism continues with its ancestral pattern of molting twice a year. As such, you should brush your dog on a daily basis if you want to retain the beautiful glossy shine of its thick coat.
There's no need to spend too much time on it; five minutes of your time using the appropriate tools will be enough to do the job. Besides, Siberian Huskies love to be brushed, and soon it will become a fun part of your daily routine!
What do you need to brush a Siberian Husky?
To brush and groom your Siberian Husky properly, especially during the shedding period, you will need the following items:
- A towel to collect the dead hair.
- A bin bag nearby in which you can throw the hair collected with the towel, preventing the hair from spreading throughout the house.
- A metallic slicker brush. Use it against the grain of your dog's hair, careful not to scratch their skin. Slicker brushes don't hurt dogs as much as normal metallic brushes, since their thicker teeth do not get caught in the skin.
- A long-toothed plastic comb to brush the Siberian Husky's fur once you've removed all the dead hair with the slicker brush. It's advisable that the teeth of the comb are capped with small protective balls.
Veterinary supervision during the molting
Siberian Huskies are healthy dogs thanks to the excellent genetic heritage achieved by the Chukchi people. However, your dog's frequent hair loss can cover up some type of vitamin or dietary deficiency, or an allergy. As such, it is recommended to go to the vet for regular check-ups.
An annual veterinary check-up if the dog shows no signs of disease, a brief daily brushing and a bit of exercise will keep your Siberian Husky in tip top shape. They are a gentle, playful breed, and excellent if you have children.
Here you can learn more about the differences between the Alaskan Malamute and the Siberian Husky.
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