Siberian huskies are one of the most beautiful breeds out there, and over the last years have gained so much popularity. They are one of the most sought after breeds! In all seriousness though, they are a very high energy and high maintenance breed. When trained, groomed, and properly taken care of and maintained they are some of the best companions you could ask for in a four-legged friend <3
How to Maintain a Huskies Coat
Anyone who has a husky (or knows someone who does) knows that they shed the very most when the seasons change, but the shedding never really stops. In this article, I’m going to go over my personal tips and recommendations on grooming at home for your furry friend.
Blowing Out /Brushing
If you are looking to get a decent amount of loose hair and undercoat out of your Husky before a bath, or even just regular brushing, I highly suggest investing in a dryer. I know, it sounds crazy that you would dry your dog before a bath, or dry it before brushing. In my experience, blowing out the coat with a dryer before a brush out or bath can save you so much time and get a large amount of hair off with less work and less annoyance to your pup. Huskies especially can be very sensitive and impatient with brushing, so the dryer is nice for you and them. Here’s a stepless adjustable pet dryer you can purchase on Amazon.
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It’s a reasonable price, and if you want more info, the reviews and description will give you more information! This particular dryer is quieter than most professional pet dryers, but if your pup is sensitive to noise, you can use a towel and wrap it around their head and ears, gently securing it underneath their chin. If you have sensitive ears, you may want to get some headphones or earplugs for yourself too!
When blowing out, you want to go back and forth in a repetitive motion just like you would when drying your own hair. The closer you are to the base of the hair, the more undercoat is going to blow out. The pressure of the dryer is going to quite literally send the hair flying, it’s going to look like its snowing so be cautious of where you do this unless you don’t mind cleaning up all the hair you get off later. Depending on the pup depends on what setting you want the dryer on.
Using it on high may not be the best idea if your pup is very nervous, but if they don’t mind then the higher the setting, the faster the hair will come off. Maintain the temperature constantly! You should have your other hand petting and comforting them and also checking the temperature of
the air. I recommend air temperature or the lowest setting for temperature when blowing out because you aren’t drying, just removing hair. If the dryer starts getting toasty just keep an eye on your pup. If they start panting or showing signs of getting uncomfortable and warm- give them a break.
This isn’t a short process so you shouldn’t be in too big a rush anyways. The spots that you are going to get the most’ bang for your blow’ out are of course the furnishings on the back end, the sides by their hock, their chest and neck, sometimes the middle of their belly, and sometimes the tail. Just a little note of caution, do not hit their sanitary area, their ears, or face and eyes with the dryer. If it’s not an area thats shedding, just avoid it entirely.
I normally spend anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes blowing out a breed like this, monitoring their stress while doing it, giving them water and breaks when needed. If you aren’t getting much hair off then don’t bother, but sometimes it does take a minute or two for the hair to loosen up enough to start coming off.
Once you’ve successfully blown them out, you’re going to do one of 3 things.
- If bathing, you will start rinsing thoroughly and breaking through every inch of their hair.
- If you’re doing regular brushing, you will begin brushing.
- If you’re bathing and your pup has had enough of the dryer, you can brush some more, although I have a better alternative I’ll talk about
You can, of course, use this the whole time, but I have found doing this first all over the body and then going in with Furminator brush is the best. Please keep in mind that a Furminator brush is not meant to be used as an everyday brush and should be used sparingly.
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The undercoat rake is very similar to a blade because of how tight together the teeth are. You have to use very even pressure and not brush too hard or you can cut or irritate the skin. Do not use this for too long in one spot, you want to keep it moving. This is going to get a lot of hair out and depending on the dog’s hair and skin type you may not want to use this the whole time, you may want to go back to the slicker brush.
Make sure that before using the undercoat rake brush you make sure the pup’s coat and skin are 100% dry. If it is even a little bit damp it can be unsafe to begin brushing using an undercoat rake, especially when using a Furminator. It can remove too much hair and can change the coat if used too much in that one spot, I’ve seen it happen before.
The de-shedding rakes are wonderful for removing hair as well, again, with any of the brushes and tools I mention you must be careful and use a gentle
but even pressure. When I do a de-shedding grooming package on a husky, I normally brush for 45 minutes after the bath and drying, however depending on your dogs skin and coat you can do less. One rule I like to apply to brushing is if you go behind the neck or on the side of its coat and pull at the hair (not hard, pull lightly) if you get more than 3 hairs then you can still keep brushing. If its only one or two hairs, then you’ve more than likely have taken the most hair off. You can do this test after every 10 minutes of brushing if you like. Of course, some areas may have more, focus on the areas that have more hair coming off, giving that area a break still every now and then.
Giving these breaks are important so that you’re not giving your dog brush burn. Brush burn an area of irritation, and can sometimes open up into a wound, where the skin has been brushed too hard for too long a time. To avoid this, keep your brush or tool moving and go back to areas that are shedding once you’ve given the skin a break. You can pull back the hair and check the skin to make sure this isn’t happening. If the skin looks red or irritated or if your pup is whiny and squirmy for a certain spot, give it a rest for a while. If you have a hard time getting your pup to focus or hold still for brushing you can use a treat, a kong toy filled with peanut butter (containing no xylitol), or you can tether your dog to something
safe and secure to keep them still. It never hurts if you have an extra person who can help distract the pup too. If none of these options are possible, I recommend a professional groomer who you trust or a veterinarian that offers grooming.
Bathing / Drying Tips
Bathing, rinsing, and drying a husky is very time consuming if you’re giving it 100% effort. There is nothing wrong with a quick bath with the garden hose in the back yard and then letting your pup run wild, but these instructions are more for a bath aimed towards excessively reducing shedding 🙂
For bathing, I always suggest the Furminator de-shedding shampoo and conditioner. The conditioner is honestly a must for me.
This is the best shampoo I’ve encountered for shedding and getting very clean all in one. It helps strengthen the hair follicle to prevent excess shedding while removing the undercoat and excess hair. You can buy it at most pet stores and online! It is a strong shampoo and may not be best for Huskies with sensitive skin. If you question if this is the right choice for your sensitive skin pup, consult a vet first.
First, you must rinse your Husky all the way down so that the coat is entirely saturated. Wash them with the shampoo twice, scrubbing it deep into their thick coat. If using Furminator shampoo, do not use this around their eyes at all, use a face washing shampoo for the head. You can use a rubber curry brush to really scrub in the shampoo through the coat, and you’ll likely get clumps of hair out doing this as well. After you’ve washed the second time, you have to completely rinse the shampoo. In my experience with huskies it takes twice the amount of rinsing due to the thickness of the coat. If your pup has a collar on be sure to remove it so that no shampoo is left under it if you have him tethered with a collar be sure to lift it and rinse completely under.
Once you’ve completely rinsed the shampoo off, you’ll use the conditioner. Focus mostly on the thickest area of the coat like the furnishings on the back end, the chest, the belly, but completely cover the hair except for the head and face. This is where I really suggest the premium conditioner, whether you’re using the Furminator brand, Chi brand, etc. You can use the dryer to blow the conditioner into the coat, and it helps to remove a lot of undercoat. The Furminator conditioner is my favorite for this; it makes such a difference and gets so much more undercoat and hair out than just pre blowing out or brushing.
Your pup’s hair will be softer and have much less shedding if you take the time to do this simple step. You don’t have to blow the conditioner in long, usually 3-5 minutes. Again use your judgment, if a lot of hair is coming off keep going if very little hair is coming off then start rinsing the conditioner off. Again with the Furminator conditioner just like the shampoo, you must rinse very thoroughly. It will try to stick wherever it can, under a collar, in the armpits, on the belly, on the inside of the legs, under the tail. Rinse completely and then rinse again. Premium conditioners such as the Furminator are stronger and have to be rinsed completely off or it can cause a chemical burn or skin irritation.
Once your pup is completely rinsed you’ll need to towel dry thoroughly; this is going to save you and your furry friend a lot of time with the dryer. What you do next is entirely up to you, but for the best shed reducing results I recommend towel drying and then going in with the pet dryer and thoroughly drying your pup. Again just like with blowing them out, give them breaks if they need it, monitor the dryer temperature, give them water when needed. If they seem overly stressed let them run it off or walk it off for a while. Once they are 100% dry, and yes I mean 100%, you can start brushing. This might be hours later depending on how they are liking being dried. As I mentioned before if they aren’t 100% dry when you start brushing with a de-shedding rake, or Furminator brush it can irritate their skin and remove too much of their coat if you aren’t being cautious.
For their safety and protecting their skin, wait to brush until they are dry. Some groomers will use a rubber curry brush during drying to help dry the hair quicker and remove more moisture at once. Feel free to try this technique if your pup is letting you. Use the rule I mentioned above for knowing how long to brush your pup after the bathing and drying process.
If more than a few hairs come out, keep brushing. I wouldn’t suggest brushing more than 30 or 45 minutes but as long as you are checking their skin for irritation, it is ultimately up to you. If you’ve used one of the premium shampoos and conditioners and completely dried like recommended above, they shouldn’t need much more brushing at this time. Depending on your Husky’s skin and coat depends on how much brushing is needed in between baths and grooming. You may need to brush your dog a couple of times a week, or you may be able to do once a week. Find what works for your pet!
When it comes down to it, you know your dog better than anyone. If any of these suggestions or recommendations aren’t realistic for you to try at home, seek the professional help from a groomer or veterinarian who offers grooming. It’s always okay to ask questions and decide what is best for your dog. These recommendations may not be right for your Husky, or they may be perfect. Either way is fine; it’s about finding what works!
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