Though they don’t require regular haircuts like breeds like Poodles and Shih Tzus might, Siberian Huskies do still require regular brushing to help keep all of that shedding under control!
Here we will explore some of the essentials of grooming a husky and share some tips and tricks on keeping a husky looking its best.
We understand that huskies are unique and require special care, so we’ve created this one-stop shop to help you find the must-have items for your furry friend.
- Grooming Tools
- Dog Food, Treats & Supplements
- Toys & Enrichment
- Training Aids
- Comfort & Safety
Helping your husky feel comfortable with grooming
Huskies are by no means naturals at getting groomed. They would likely rather be anywhere but being brushed or in the bathtub! That is why it is so important to work to ensure that it is a pleasant experience for your dog, whether they are an adult or just a young pup.
And the best way to do that is to work in short increments and use lots of yummy treats! Or even lick mats with some peanut butter layered on.
Rather than trying to do one long 30-minute brushing session in a day, try breaking it up so that you are just brushing your dog for five to ten minutes each time a couple of times a day. This way, both you and your dog can get a break!
Brushing is probably the most important factor in grooming a husky. The more often they are brushed, the easier it is to manage your husky’s shedding.
To keep the coat in good condition, it is best to stay on top of brushing and to brush your husky out every two to three days.
Note that these tips apply to standard huskies and wooly huskies. They may not be as appropriate for husky mixes. Although some husky mixes don’t shed as much as others. e.g. those mixed with a low-shedding dog breed or one with a short coat.
Husky brushing tips
Our natural instinct when brushing a dog is to start on its chest or the top of its back. However, if your husky isn’t a big fan of being brushed, it may be best to start brushing their rear end or “trouser” region first. This is often where a large majority of the shedding happens, and the fur in this area can easily become tight and compacted.
Starting here will help ensure that if your dog starts getting fussy about being brushed and won’t let you continue, at least then you’ve already brushed the area where a large part of the shedding happens!
Not all brushes are created equal. Each has a different purpose many suit different coat types. So make sure you have the full range of the best brushes for huskies.
Huskies don’t require frequent baths as they don’t typically get as stinky as some other dog breeds might. However, regular baths and blow drys can actually be a really great tool to keep their shedding under control and more manageable.
How often should you bath a husky?
A good starting point is to aim to give your husky a bath every two to three months. If done more frequently, you’ll want to make sure you are using a hydrating shampoo and moisturizing conditioner so as to not dry out their coat. See my recommendations for the best conditioner for huskies.
The best shampoo for huskies is usually one that helps with shedding. They are often marketed as deshedding shampoos and even conditioners that work to help loosen and remove any shedding fur.
This way, we can get all that hair out in the bath in one session as opposed to the hair gradually falling out all over your floors, beds, and couches!
Further reading: Why does my husky have dry skin?
Husky bathing at home step-by-step guide
Here is our step by step guide to bath your husky at home.
- Get your treats (AKA bribes) ready, as well as some towels.
- Get your husky completely wet or soaked.
- The wetter your dog is, the easier it is to work the shampoo into its coat.
- Apply the shampoo and scrub your husky’s entire coat with your hands or a tool like a zoom groom or rubber curry brush.
- Start with your husky’s back and work your way down. Don’t forget to scrub their feet! Save the face and head for last.
- Rinse thoroughly
- If adding conditioner, don’t worry as much about completely rinsing the shampoo. Any residual shampoo will come out when rinsing the conditioner out.
- If using conditioner, start massaging the conditioner into your husky’s coat, using your hands or a rubber curry brush to help loosen the dead shedding fur.
- Focus especially on the most dense areas of fur, like around the neck and the trouser region. Give the conditioner time to soak.
- *Pro tip: This is also a great time to brush their teeth with dog-safe toothpaste and clean their ears out with a dog ear-cleaning solution.
- **Pro tip: If you have it, use a high-velocity dryer on your husky’s coat while the conditioner is still soaking! Professional groomers love to do this as it really helps break up any compacted fur.
- Rinse thoroughly.
- Let your husky shake!
- If you have it, use a high-velocity dryer on your dog’s coat at this point to help break up any compacted fur and blow out any shedding fur with the dryer’s strength.
- If you don’t have one, you can use a curry brush or a slicker brush to help remove more shedding fur.
- If you don’t have a dryer, start towel drying!
- If you live in warm weather, letting your husky outside will also help the coat get dryer faster.
If you didn’t already do so before the bath, now will be the time to trim your husky’s nails (more on this below). Again, this is by no means their favorite activity! But it is important to their health, so do your best to get them used to it.
After the bath, brushing will again be a great step to help get any remaining loose fur off of the dog.
Must read: 👉 Best dog blower for huskies
Shaving your husky
There is never any need to cut or shave a husky’s fur (except for maybe their paw fur). Doing so can cause permanent and significant damage to their coat and to their health. A husky’s coat is designed in such a way that they are optimized for being out in the elements, even in summer!
Importance of your husky’s coat
The husky coat is double-coated, meaning that its coat consists of an undercoat and a top coat. The undercoat is usually incredibly thick, dense, and soft, while the top coat consists of medium to long, straight hairs.
Both the undercoat and the top coat play important roles in the health of a husky.
The topcoat’s primary job is to protect against the elements like rain and sun. The undercoat’s purpose is to help huskies be able to regulate their own body temperature.
For example, in the heat, a husky’s undercoat is able to trap a layer of cool air between the dog’s skin and the coat, which helps to prevent the dog from overheating.
Similarly, in cold weather, the undercoat traps the warm air and heat from the dog’s body and keeps it from escaping, thereby keeping the dog warmer in cold weather.
In addition to regulating huskies’ temperature, a husky’s coat helps provide the dog protection from the sun. Underneath all that thick fur, Huskies’ skin is actually quite pale, and without their fur, they can easily become sunburned.
Coat color changes
It’s worth noting that during shedding, your husky’s coat will change color. Well, it will seem like its changing color due to the lighter fur shedding and making its way to the surface.
Once you’ve brushed out all of the shedded fur, your husky’s coat color should be back to normal. Seeing your husky’s fur change color, which can look unhealthy, is not a reason to shave them.
Another reason to never shave a husky
Though it might seem like shaving a husky’s coat would make shedding more tolerable, in many cases, shedding is the same, just in a different way! Instead of long fur getting all over everything, a shaved husky will shed short, sharp fur everywhere. Yes, sharp!
These little tiny pieces of fur are often prickly and find a way to embed themselves in everything from your clothes, furniture, blankets and even in your skin like a splinter. It’s far more preferable to be able to at least easily see the long fur so you can clean it easier.
If your vet recommends shaving your husky for medical reasons, get the best clippers for huskies.
Best brushes for huskies
When considering the best brushes for huskies, you need to understand that there are different types of brushes for different purposes.
A metal comb is one of the best husky grooming tools for combing through a husky’s coat. It can help remove stray shedding fur, but it also acts as a sort of diagnostic tool. By starting your brushing session with a comb, you can get a better idea of what kind of condition a husky’s coat is in.
If the comb slides through the husky’s fur easily and doesn’t pick up much loose fur, chances are that continuing with a metal comb or a slicker brush will help keep the coat in good shape.
On the other hand, if the comb runs into quite a bit of resistance and picks up a fair amount of loose fur, it’s likely that you will need a grooming tool better designed for shedding and compacted fur.
A slicker brush is a wonderful tool for huskies as it works on both the undercoat and the top coat. It helps loosen and remove mats, tangles, and shedding fur. More than that, though, it also helps distribute the dog’s natural oils and remove dirt and debris that accumulates in the fur.
An undercoat rake is somewhat similar to a standard comb, except that the teeth of the rake are much longer and set further apart. Because of this, the rake is able to get through the husky’s thick coat all the way down to the skin. Being able to get deeper into the coat with the rake helps further loosen and pull out all that shedding undercoat.
Dematting comb or rake
Finally, if a husky hasn’t been brushed in a while, it can take some heavy-duty brushing to get rid of shedding fur that is compacted, matted, or tangled. This is where a dematting comb or rake usually comes into play.
Dematting rakes and combs are perfect for targeting trouble spots. They are made up of rather sharp stainless-steel teeth that make easier work of getting through lots of fur!
Husky paw care
One of the most important parts of caring for our husky’s paws is providing them with regular nail trims. This may not be the most fun thing to do in the world for you or your husky, but it is necessary.
Here are some reasons why you should cut your dog’s nails.
- Overgrown nails can cause discomfort and pain for dogs when walking or running
- Long nails can push against the paw pad, leading to soreness and even infection
- Long nails are also more susceptible to injury and damage
- Regular nail trims can prevent these issues
Moisturize your husky’s paws
Another important part of caring for your husky’s paws is using a paw pad and nose balm. This provides added moisture which has multiple benefits for your dog.
The balm can help prevent dryness and keep your dog’s skin and paw pads healthy and moisturized. If your dog’s skin is cracked or chapped, a paw pad and nose balm can help provide relief and promote healing.
These balms typically contain natural ingredients such as shea butter and coconut oil that can soothe irritated skin and promote healthy regeneration.
Additionally, paw pad balm can create a protective barrier that shields your dog’s paws from harsh weather conditions like hot pavement or cold, icy surfaces.
Dealing with paw pad damage
If your dog has already suffered paw pad damage, the balm can help promote healing and reduce inflammation. Furthermore, nose balm can keep your dog’s nose moisturized and create a barrier against harmful bacteria, reducing the risk of infections.
Be sure to choose a balm specifically formulated for dogs, as some ingredients in human skincare products can be harmful to dogs.
Trimming husky paw fur
Trimming your husky’s paw fur can help prevent them from slipping on smooth surfaces (e.g. tiles) and help prevent dirt from getting stuck in their paws.
Trimming your husky’s paw fur is one of the few places you are allowed to trim. If you are not sure how to trim their fur, make sure you take them to a professional groomer for this.
Further reading: Do huskies have webbed feet?
Cleaning your huskies teeth and ears
Both ear cleaning and teeth brushing are important components of maintaining your husky’s health and well-being. Regularly cleaning your dog’s ears and teeth can prevent health problems, reduce the risk of infections, and help you detect any issues early on.
To clean your husky’s ears, simply apply a dog ear-cleaning solution to a cotton ball. Use the wet cotton ball to wipe away any dirt, debris, or build-up in your dog’s ear.
To brush your dog’s teeth, get a toothpaste made specifically for dogs, ideally one that is a yummy flavor! Lift your husky’s lips and start brushing!
Professional husky grooming
Professional dog grooming can save you a lot of time and keep your bathrooms cleaner when it is time for your husky to get a bath!
Again, Huskies should never be shaved. But getting a bath from a professional groomer can help ensure their coat is in good condition, and their shedding is under control.
Groomers often have all the necessary tools, like a table for the dog to stand on, a high-velocity dryer, and a shop vacuum for cleaning up all that husky hair! And grates for the drains, so, not all that fur can get down the drain and cause it to become plugged up!
Final thoughts about husky grooming
If you’ve asked the question, ‘Are huskies hard to take care of‘, you’ve now got your answer. 😂 Regular grooming is an incredibly important aspect of owning any dog, but it is especially important when taking care of a Siberian Husky. Not only does it help maintain their coat and overall appearance, but it also helps ensure their physical health and well-being.
The most important takeaway is to brush your husky frequently, so the shedding doesn’t get out of control! Bathing them occasionally can also help keep their coat shining. Also, be sure to trim their nails, clean their ears, and brush their teeth. No one enjoys stinky dog breath!
By following these tips and being attentive to your husky’s grooming needs, you can help ensure that they remain healthy, happy, and beautiful for years to come.
What tips do you have for grooming a husky?
Share them in the comments below.
How often should a husky go to the groomer?
If you don’t groom your husky at home, you should take your husky to the groomer at least once per month.
How often should huskies be groomed?
You husky should be groomed at least once per month. Brushing should ideally be done multiple times per week while bathing only needs to be done every 2-3 months.