Dog Breeds Dog Health

Do Huskies Shed? – An Owner’s Guide to Husky Shedding & Grooming

Huskies shed quite a lot, and are considered one of the heaviest shedding dog breeds.
Written by Tiffany Jeng

Siberian Huskies are the “dogs with a thousand expressions.” They’re fierce working dogs with a silly and sometimes mischievous side. But if you plan to bring a Husky home, the shedding can be a real concern.

So, do Huskies shed? Huskies are heavy-shedding dog breeds. Largely thanks to their double coats, they’ll shed year-round and excessively during spring and fall. And according to Dr. Becker DVM, Huskies are some of the heaviest shedding dog breeds in the world.

These dogs are consistently on the top of any heaviest shedding dogs list. We’ll discuss the reasons they shed so much and ways you can minimize Husky shedding to enjoy a more comfortable living situation.

RECOMMENDED: 20 Most Stunning Husky Mixes

Why Do Huskies Shed?

Almost all dog breeds shed – perhaps with the exception of hairless dogs. Even some breeds we consider hypoallergenic (see full list here) will shed, though not very much.

But what is it that makes Siberian Huskies one of, if not the heaviest shedding dog in the world? We must first ask why Huskies were bred and the purpose they served.

Purpose of a Husky’s Coat

Siberian Huskies, as you may guessed, originated from Russia. As a matter of fact, they were originally bred by the indigenous Chukchi people, who lived in the northeastern region of Russia.

This region is adjacent to Alaska, where temperatures can reach a staggering negative 50 degrees. Furthermore, Huskies were bred to work outdoors, provide companionship and pull sleds for several miles at a time.

Huskies were bred for thousands of years to be in Arctic temperatures. When you see them out in the snow and cold, you realize how much happier they are. 

– Mikeyo43 (Reddit user)

The only way dogs are able to efficiently work in such harsh cold climates is if they have thick warm coats to protect them. And, that’s exactly what the Siberian Huskies have.

With the near-unbearable temperatures, Huskies had to develop double coats. This meant more layers of fur, which leads to more shedding.

Husky’s Double Coat

So what exactly is a double coat? It’s as it sounds – a coat that consists of two layers of hair or fur. But don’t worry, Huskies are not the only breeds to have this type of coat. They’re special dogs, but not like that.

At least 70 recognized breeds have double coats. As a matter of fact, almost all the heaviest shedding dog breeds all have double coats. So, it’s not really a mere coincidence.

The Husky’s coat is made up of an “undercoat,” which is an inner layer of short dense hair. It has a wool-like texture to it that you can feel if you run your fingers through their coats.

It’s a fantastic insulator and does a superb job in keeping your Husky warm during the freezing temperatures of Siberia.

On the outside, Huskies also have a “top coat.” It’s made up of much longer hair we call “guard hairs.” This layer will protect a Husky from all the potentially harmful elements in the environment.

Thanks to their remarkable coats, Huskies are able to pull sleds for several hours in the worst of conditions. But unfortunately, the double coat means more shedding – or twice the opportunity for shed fur.

Husky’s Seasonal Shedding

About twice a year, most dog breeds will begin to shed more than usual. Some dogs can experience “excessive” shedding. However, seasonal shedding is much worse for Huskies and other double-coated dogs.

Not only are Huskies adaptable dogs, but apparently their coats too. In preparation for the upcoming change in temperature, the coat will shed heavily during spring and fall.

Huskies blow their coats twice a year. This is your Husky’s first ever blow so it wont be too bad. At around 2 years you’ll see the full blow happening and it really looks like another full dog is shedding from your dog.

– Sidbuttmo (Husky owner from Reddit)

When spring rolls around, a Husky will shed its winter coat to grow a lighter coat in preparation for summer. Having a winter coat during summer would make it incredibly difficult for them to survive in many places.

Similarly, when fall has arrived, your Husky will shed the summer coat and grow out its winter coat. And, this shedding cycle continues.

Dogs release allergens into the air in the process of shedding. So if you’re allergic to dogs, or dog dander (dandruff), then your spring or autumn allergies could get real bad with a Husky.

Poor Nutrition & Shedding

Excessive shedding in Huskies can occur for multiple reasons. In addition to a change in seasons, malnutrition can cause your dog to shed more.

Dogs, as with humans, need the proper nutrition to maintain a healthy lifestyle. They need enough carbohydrates, protein, fiber, among other vitamins and minerals.

Though there are many health issues that may arise with dog malnutrition, excessive shedding is certainly one of them.

Not only can they experience a change in behavior (personality) and a loss of energy, but also start losing patches of fur. If this happens, it’s time to consult with your veterinarian immediately.

Make sure you’re feeding your Husky high quality dog food and treats. Also, fruits and vegetables are okay in moderation. Just make sure dogs can eat it first!

How Much do Huskies Shed?

We already know that Huskies shed a lot – and even more twice a year. But just how much do they actually shed? There’s no definitive answer to this as some dogs shed more than others, despite being the same breed.

So, we decided to ask real Husky owners this question. We surveyed the popular Husky Subreddit. Here’s what the owners had to say:

Real Owner Answers

1. Huskyblue says:Husky shed a lot. Owners must be willing to give up certain things in life, including dark-colored clothing and a clean house. Welcome to your new life.”

2. Floridahusky says:I have two Huskies and they both shed quite often. Plus, they need brushed at least twice a week and furminated too.”

3. Dividenhusky says:When people told me these dogs shed a lot, I didn’t really think it could be THAT bad. I was wrong…you have been warned.”

4. Savioronalaska says:You need to brush your Husky at least every other day. They have so much fur that it would be unwise to slack on it.

5. Jimbotreehugs says:My Husky sheds so much that it’s not unusual to see fur tumbleweeds rolling around the house with the fan on.”

6. Gezzir says:Is shedding really ever truly out of season for a Husky though? Shedding season for a Husky is year round.

7. Buckeyegal923 says:I’m a new home/pool owner, but an old husky owner. I really didn’t think things through before I brushed my Husky outside with a breeze. I think I’ll be skimming the pool for hours now…

8. Shippingmammals says:Huskies shed constantly. However, twice a year they’ll blow their coats out and you can literally pull handfuls of fur off them.”

9. Slyguy9766 says:Does climate dictate how much a Husky sheds? I’m asking because my Husky will only shed twice a year and not so much year-round. Also, I live in the UK where it’s mostly cloudy and rains.

10. Erivincaravan says:Anyone that tells you their Husky rarely sheds is lying or doesn’t actually own a Husky.”

How to Minimize Husky Shedding

Unfortunately, we can’t change the Husky’s ability to shed so much. However, there are ways you can minimize the shedding.

Most of the tips will revolve around grooming. A well-kept Husky coat will be less likely to shed all over the home. Here are the top tips for dealing with the shedding:

Brushing a Husky

If you’re not a fan of brushing dogs, then you probably shouldn’t be owning a Husky. These dogs need a lot of brushing. Not only can it minimize shedding, but keeps their coat from matting (tangling).

Twice a year, during their blowing coat seasons, they should be brushed at least every other day. And if you can, I would suggest brushing them every day during this period.

But any other time, Huskies only need to be brushed once every few days. At the very least, you’ll need to brush them once a week.

With double coated dogs, I highly suggest you look into the Furminator De-shedding Tool. Many Husky owners use it and some can’t live without it.

This brush was made for double coated dogs, or so it seems. It’s excellent at reaching the undercoat of your Husky to get out all the loose short hairs. However, I don’t recommend this for single-coated dogs.

Just check out the reviews and you’ll see why so many dog owners absolute love this brush. I highly recommend you check this out at Amazon.

Bathing Huskies

Taking regular baths is probably needed more with a Husky, especially if they frequently play outside. These dogs are playful and mischievous, so rolling in dirt mud is all part of their charm.

However, you do not want to bathe your Husky too often. This doesn’t mean you should neglect bath time, but the less the better.

The coats of the Husky have important oils that protect them from elements of the world. If you wash them too frequently, you’ll be washing this away.

With that said, you’ll want to bathe your Husky at least once every three months. At the most, you can bathe them every other week, though I don’t recommend this.

The most popular choices for dogs are oatmeal-based shampoos. Here’s just a few of my top picks for shampoo:

  1. Pro Pet Works All Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo – Made from all natural oatmeal, this shampoo is also made in the USA too! It’s one of the best shampoos out there and frequently recommended by vets. I have personally used this for my dog.
  2. Earthbath All Natural Dog Shampoo – This time-tested shampoo has been on the market for a while with raving reviews. I haven’t tried it (plan to try very soon), but all I hear are great things.
  3. Paws and Pals Dog Shampoo – My sister’s corgi uses Paws and Pals and she loves it! Paws and Pals may not be the most popular, but they’re a very reputable company. Her corgi is always soft and fluffy, so it works!

Now when picking your dog shampoo, it’s important that you find one that’s as natural as possible. A dog’s skin is very sensitive, so don’t even think about using human shampoo!

Indoor & Outdoor Husky

As we mentioned, these dogs tend to shed more depending on the season. However, there are factors that can cause variation in the timing.

For example, the weather condition and sunlight exposure can affect how much a Husky (or any dog) will shed.

In other words, the shedding cycle of your Husky will likely be influenced by whether it’s an indoor or outdoor dog.

For outdoor Huskies, they will experience typical shedding tendencies with heavier shedding during spring and fall.

On the other hand, indoor Huskies are a little more unpredictable. Some can experience typical shedding cycles, whereas others may just have consistent year-round shedding.

It also depends on how often your indoor dog spends outside every day.

So, Is a Husky for Me?

As long as you’re fine with the shedding, then a Husky is the perfect companion and family pet for active owners.

Not only will you have to deal with consistent shedding, but also with their hyperactive personalities and energetic temperaments.

Huskies are more work than you think. One owner called it a second “full time job.” Combine the grooming routines and the daily mental and physical stimulation, you’ll be spending a reasonable amount of time with your Husky, daily.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing, you just need to be aware of the time commitment. But if you’re fine with this, you should definitely get a Husky!

Heavy shedders or not, these dogs are amazing and spirited companions that can fit in just about any family.

Posts you may like:

About the author

Tiffany Jeng

Tiffany is a licensed vet tech and a product of Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine (class of 2022). Combined with over 5 years of veterinary technician experience, she's dedicated her life and career to dogs. When she's not studying or working, she's taking care of her Mini Australian Shepherd - Olympus! Read More.

Leave a Comment