Public Service Announcement: DON'T SHAVE YOUR HUSKIES!

Good grooming practices are essential for maintaining health and happiness for you and your dog. This is a forum to exchange tips and advice for proper care of your dog's hygiene needs.

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It's ALL About- The Nika!
Barked: Fri May 23, '08 5:56am PST 
Why NOT to Shave Your Husky

The Siberian Husky should never be clipped / shaved except in medical emergencies. Yes, there are "professional" groomers out there who will tell you to shave your Husky. They will even do it without asking your consent! There are vets who will tell you to shave your Husky. These vets are uninformed about the breed.
Dogs do not sweat like humans. Their cooling process is done via panting from the mouth, sweating at the paws and cooling the blood in their ears. Shaving the dog does nothing to keep the dog cool. It just makes the human feel better when looking at the coated dog.
The Siberian Husky has little to no pigmentation in its skin. If you shave the Husky, you expose it to the sun without protection. Now you have a dog that can come up with a variety of skin problems including skin cancer.
Fur acts as a protection against insects and parasites. You remove that protection the dog is exposed to even more insect problems than he would have had if he had been allowed to keep is protective coat.
Furthermore, if you clip or shave a Husky it will eventually ruin the coat and disturb the proper shedding process.
Shaving/clipping makes Huskies more susceptible to skin allergies, sun burn and parasite infestation. The treatments for these problems can then lead to more serious conditions.
The husky “color-coat” also known as the top coat works as the reflective barrier. Shaving this coat exposes the undercoat and when the two coats grow they no longer “blend” properly to allow the maximum protection necessary or maintain the look in which the husky is known for.
I hope that this will prevent people from shaving their poor Husky's beautiful, protective coat, and I hope it will also educate people so that they won't go telling Husky owners to shave their dogs!

Ways to Keep Your Husky Cool In the Heat

For dogs that like to wade, lie or play in water, a plastic kiddie pool is AWESOME!
If your Huskies like to play in water, let them run through the sprinkler with the kids!
Make a "sand box" in your yard where your Huskies are allowed to dig. Many Huskies will dig ditches and lay in them to keep cool.
ALWAYS make sure that your Husky has plenty of fresh, cool water!
NEVER leave your Husky out in the heat for long periods of time without checking on them and giving them the option to come in and cool off!
A cooling mat - You get it wet in the bath tub, wring it out, and then put it in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes. Then put it in your dog's crate and they can lay on a nice icy cold mat!

Mommy's little- princess
Barked: Fri May 23, '08 9:47am PST 
I dont think it is good for any undercoated dog to get shaved. Thats what the undercoat is for to keep them cool in summer and warm in the winter. As long as you brush your dog all the time to prevent the undercoat from getting clogged you should be fine.
Webster's- Icing on the- Cake-

Barked: Fri May 23, '08 2:09pm PST 
I agree with everything you posted. However, you left out a very important statement.


So many husky owners neglect the grooming of their huskies resulting in matted dogs which can lead to all kinds of problems, including rotting of the skin, disease, hot spots, etc. In order for the undercoat to act as an insulator for hot or cold it must remain brushed out.

Tutu - CGC/TDI

Tuff Fluff!
Barked: Fri May 23, '08 2:43pm PST 
It is the same thing for us poms but I think pom owners are WAY worse about listening to reason then the husky owners (at least the ones I have seen).

the- distinguished- gentleman
Barked: Sat May 24, '08 8:09am PST 
Nika, thank you for the thread.big grin I have had this debate with so many humans. I 100% support what you wrote.....as well as the added "keep them brushed and groomed".

Late last summer a debate came up here about this very issue. I shared a story about my furiend (a large Great Pyrenees) who died of heat stroke the day after he was shaved. The groomer that shaved him was in the same building as the vet and the vet had no warning for the owner. It was done simply to save time and effort in brushing and to keep the dog cooler in the summer heat! I was in the office when they were talking about it and I tried to tell the owner not to do it. The vet basically told me I didn't know what I was talking about and to mind my own business. The next day I went in to pick up my records (I wouldn't take my dogs there again) and when I walked in he was on the floor in the waiting room and they were giving him CPR. It was heartbreaking and could have been prevented. The man trusted the vets advice and he lost his loving companion.

NEVER NEVER shave a double coated dog, especially a giant breed. Only when medically necessary and then you must find ways to keep them very cool until it grows back. Our fur is like an igloo and we need it to stay cool. Give us ice packs, air conditioning, kiddie pools, fans....... anything but shaving. wink
Jade- Alexandria

Dont mess with- me, I'm- chihuahua!
Barked: Mon May 26, '08 3:21pm PST 
Dogs with undercoat shouldn't be shaved, but many clients like to do it for reason that they don't want to deal with the hair in their homes. That, and their too lazy or too cheap to have the dog groomed on a regualr basis. Thus, shaving the dog is done. As long as the groomers use the 7F Blade (Summer Cut) the dog will not sun burn and will be just fine. The 7F leaves the coat just under a 1/4 long. Just long enough to NOT sunburn. Anything shorter, then watch out!!!

May be a fox
Barked: Mon May 26, '08 8:37pm PST 
Amen. If only people would do even the tiniest bit of researching.way to go

the- distinguished- gentleman
Barked: Mon May 26, '08 10:44pm PST 
I'm sorry but 7F is WAY too short. It's not a matter of sun burning. That thick coat is an igloo. If someone cut my fur down to 1/4" I might as well be bald.shock Giant and large breed double coated dogs have special needs when it comes to fur and if a groomer is not an expert or even VERY familiar with the breed, a cut shouldn't be made. The groomer that shaved our Great Pyr pal has never groomed another dog. Simply because she felt responsible after he died. She had a complaisant view on shaving and learned the hard way. BTW, he was cut 1/2" short. thinking I'm sorry but please don't shave unless absolutely necessary.

Example of what people don't realize about fur...
I am a Newfoundland, a swimmer. My outercoat is designed to absorb water and act as a floating devise. My undercoat is designed to repel water and insulate my skin from extreme weather and sub zero water. I am the only dog that can survive submersed in freezing water for great lengths of time.
If even my out coat was removed I would likely drown. I am a great swimmer, but I weigh nearly 200lbs and will not be able to hold my weight very long, let alone carry the weight of a human I'm rescuing. Even a leisure swim could prove fatal. If I was shaved down to 1/4" I would freeze and drown. shock

Dog fur has a purpose besides making us look fabulousbig grin

Princess Grace,- that's me!
Barked: Tue May 27, '08 4:43am PST 
Just playing the devils advocate here. As much as I try to educate people on the risks of shaving, the fact is that some people insist it be done. Some people have been doing it for years without a negative effect, and some insist that their dog is happier. I don't want people who shave their dogs to think that they're giving their dog a death sentence, or to make them think that they are terrible owners.

. In the area that I live I see so many goldens shaved. I asked my vet about over heating in dogs, and although he in no way advocated doing it, he felt that if people used common sense overheating is easy to avoid. He stated that he has seen more dogs without shaved coats die from overheating (This is in no way saying shaving is good!).The fact is, people put dogs, shaved or not shaved, in dangerouos situations that lead to overheating.

I've shaved dogs for all kinds of reasons....kids with allergies is a big one, dogs who get really muddy, to prevent long hair in the pool filter system, to expose hot spots or other skin problems for application of medicine per vet instructions, because people didnt do research and didn't realilze how much their dogs would shed (yes I do know that shaving doesn't reduce shedding, it just makes the hairs smaller).

Yes, I do believe that educating people is very important, but, like I said, I feel that people are saying "you're killing your dog, you're a horrible owner" if people do decide to shave." and that's just not fair.
Jade- Alexandria

Dont mess with- me, I'm- chihuahua!
Barked: Tue May 27, '08 9:40am PST 
In response to Elvis- Most large large dogs and that includes all members of the thick coated breeds that are going to be shaved usually HAVE to have a 7F done, maybe a 5F in some cases, but even thats hard. You have to be able to get the blade under the coat to cut it, not on top of even in between it. A longer blade won't pull through even, making anything longer then a 5F extremly choppy and the dog ugly as ever. In Vegas where its 100 and stupid in the middle of summer, all dogs are shaved to 1/4 inch or so. Some people even want shorter, knowing the full extent that the dog can be sunburned. In cases like this, we advise people to keep the pet in the house as often as possible for the first 2 weeks. And the only way a 200 lb Newfy would freeze and drown if it was shaved if it was cold outside. Most people only have them in the summer, not in the dead of winter.
In response to Gracie- AMEN SISTER!!!

Edited by moderator Wed May 28, '08 7:01am PST

Edited by forums moderator
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