Huskies shed so much their hair could be used to make more huskies. I deal with it everyday - because not only do I groom them in my shop, but I own a few of them as well.
Thankfully, over time I've learned every trick of the trade, and I've cut down husky shedding in my home by a significant margin. And with my de-shedding treatment I have husky owners thanking me everyday for giving them some sanity back in their homes as well.
So here's our little secrets to to minimize shedding, and the tools we use in our dog grooming shop.
Quick look at my Recommended Tools: (More details below)
High Velocity Dryer
Why Does My Husky Shed So Much?
A Tale of Two Coats
Your husky's fur coat is made up for two layers - their top layer acts as a natural protective barrier against dirt, debris, UV rays, and excessive moisture. As you may have already guessed, this layer is called the Guard Coat.
Underneath they have what's called the Undercoat - this hair is softer, insulating, and used to regulate body temperature (keeping them cool in the summer, and warm in the winter).
While most people brush their Husky on a regular basis, they aren't getting deep enough to brush out that undercoat (we have a perfect tool for this). If you notice a huge increase in shedding during spring and fall, you can blame the undercoat for shedding and preparing itself for the new season.
Double-coated breeds will naturally adjust the thickness of their coat based on temperature and daylight hours, therefore you can expect two big spikes in shedding every year - Spring and Fall. We call this "Blowing their Coat", and it often causes husky owners to question their own sanity.
This hurricane of shedding typically lasts for 4 - 6 weeks, during which owners have to weather the storm until it's over. Thankfully, there's a few tools that can make a massive difference (deshedding treatments and brushes) which I'll go more into detail down below.
Other Health Factors
Excessive shedding may also be the result of other health concerns that require the help of a vet to properly investigate.
If heavy shedding is also accommodated by dry and flaky skin, a dull coat, and rough feeling fur, it may be the result of nutritional deficiencies, allergies, physical pain, or stress.
Sudden outbursts of shedding can also be related to hormonal changes, sometimes from pregnancy or recently being neutered. Or it may be related to extreme stress or pain.
Itchiness can lead to more scratching, which can lead to a lot of extra shedding. Check your dog for fleas, tickets, or parasites, or if they may have developed allergies.
In each case you must consult with a vet to better understand the root of the problem, so that you may resolve it.
Get Control of Shedding
I hear the complaints everyday in my grooming shop "My Husky NEVER stops shedding!" Trust me, I know...
The bad news is you can never completely stop husky shedding (husky hair is a force of nature after all), but there are some steps we can take to really take back control. As a groomer, and a husky owner: here's all our little secrets to cut down on shedding...
Brushing with the Right Tool
Our primary defense against shedding is simply brushing, and all you'll need is one tool for the job: an Undercoat Rake. Thankfully this amazing tool is very affordable, and the most effective method of getting deep into their coat and gently brushing away all those trapped hairs.
How to Reduce Shedding with an Undercoat Rake
- Use an undercoat rake once every 3 days, gently gliding through your husky's entire coat.
- Apply gentle pressure, and mind sensitive spots such as behind the ears and armpit.
- Don't overdo it - dog's love the feeling of being brushed but overtime it can cause discomfort. Don't go over the same spot more than twice. Repeat the process in a few days.
What NOT To Use
Do not use Furminators or other similar deshedding tools on your husky. While they do indeed get a lot of hair out, deshedding tools actually cut the cut hairs instead of brushing them out. This results in a very choppy and rough looking coat over time. I recommend you stick with the a good undercoat rake instead.
Bathing with DeShedding Treatment
In order to get the most out of thick double-coated dogs, we often use a deshedding shampoo. These are full of extra conditioners and omega oils that slick the hair down and allows for easier removal. And it works!
Simply bathe your dog like you normally would, while applying a generous amount of deshedding shampoo to scrub into their coat. Let the shampoo works it's magic for 5 minutes before thoroughly rinsing and drying.
While they're still a bit damp, gently brush them out with an undercoat rake, and just see how much extra hair comes off, it's actually quite amazing.
Blowing Out Their Coat with a High Velocity Dryer
Many professional groomers have a high-velocity dryer which blows all the loose hair off your dog in a short amount of time. Think of a leaf-blower with a hose, designed specifically to dry and remove dog hair. It's extremely effective, and reduces shedding for 2 or 3 weeks afterwards.
Another option is to buy your own high velocity dryer, which can save you many trips to the groomer, and be a huge life saver in terms of shedding. Check out this video I found to see just how effective it is.
Found a great video on YouTube that shows just how great this works. Hop to 1:20 of the video to see it in action.
Please ensure you receive proper instruction on how to properly use a high velocity dryer on a dog to avoid any possible injuries.
If you're interested in getting one for yourself, read more about high velocity dryers and my pick of the best one for your money.
Food can make all the difference. Up to 30% of your dog's daily protein requirement is used to grow and maintain hair follicles, meaning that a poor diet can lead to an unhealthy (and shedding) coat.
Understanding the nutritional requirements of your husky, and ensuring they receive a balanced diet of proteins and fats will help improve skin elasticity, and hair follicle strength. And not to mention, it will keep your dog feeling healthy and happy.
The Best Brushes for Huskies
These are the exact tools I use everyday in my grooming shop on all double-coated breeds that come in. My goal is to make sure that dog has no shedding left in them by the time they leave (or at least cut down shedding significantly).
High Velocity Dryer
1. Undercoat Rake
To get into that thick undercoat you’ll need an undercoat rake, which is a soft-edged metal comb that rakes deep into their coat to remove loose hair and mats. It's a very simple tool that massively reduces shedding, and is much more effective than your typical brush. Also, dogs absolutely love the feeling!
My Recommendation: Coastal Pet - Safari Long Tooth Undercoat Dog Rake
- Very Affordable.
- Soft blades for comfortable grooming.
- Very effective at getting out undercoat.
Amazing tool, all the groomers at my site use this particular one. Cheap and effective.
2. Grey Hound Comb
I call this my "seek and destroy" tool, I glide through their coat with a greyhound comb to find any left over mats I may have missed. It's perfect for finishing your dog and making sure they're 100% clear and free of tangles.
My Recommendation : Andis Pet Steel Grooming Comb
- Super Affordable.
- Extra long comb for removing deep mats and debris.
- Quick tool for finishing touches.
- These break down over time, and comb needles will bend. Thankfully, it's cheap to replace.
The Best Deshedding Tools for Huskies
DeShedding Shampoo and Conditioner is a treatment to slick hairs with omega oils, making each hair heavier and easier to remove. It's a very effective and safe way of removing excess hair. We found that you only really need the conditioner to get the full effect, however it doesn't smell great. So if you want your dog to smell nice as well, apply a shampoo beforehand.
My Recommendation : FURminator deShedding Conditioner
- Helps with removing some of that stubborn undercoat, while keeping your dog clean and soft.
- Moisturizes with omega oils, helps with dry skin and dander.
- Uses all natural and safe ingredients, no weird deShedding chemicals.
- If you brush your dog often then deShedding Shampoo will take care of that last remaining bit, but it won't make a huge difference on it's own.
- The smell isn't great, if you want your dog smelling nice then use a shampoo as well.
DeShedding conditioner is an additional tool to reduce shedding, and works great if you use it along with regular brushing. This will take care of that final 20% of shedding that never seems to go away - and you'll notice a difference for about 10 days afterwards.
Quick note: You might notice an increase in shedding for 24 hours after use. Since you've loosened up so much hair it will continue to fall out for a short time, but then they'll be shed free for a week or two.
High Velocity Dryer
My Recommendation : ChallengAir 2000AD XL Dryer 2 Speed
- Extremely effective at blowing out coat, leaving your dog shed-free for up to 3 weeks after each use.
- Dries coat effectively and safely.
- Very durable, commercial grade dryer.
- Quieter than most other dryers on the market.
- Expensive. This is a high end product, and by no means necessary for the typical dog owner. However, owners of heavy shedding dogs, and professional dog groomers, will find this is the holy-grail of quick deshedding and drying.
- Dryers are very loud. Unfortunately there is no such thing as a quiet dryer, but this particular one is quieter than most.
Your local groomer will have access to high velocity dryers in their shop. Or, to avoid many trips to the groomer you can get one for yourself and live a shed-free life.