Siberians in Florida you say?
The first thing that might come to mind is that it’s too hot! You might wonder how a Florida Siberian Husky can survive the heat. You would be surprised how many people think you must have to shave them in that heat!
There is no doubt that Siberian Huskies are a beautiful breed and extremely photogenic. Of course, people like us at this site think they are THE most beautiful breed. Just looking at them is a delight. But the gorgeous dogs you see at dog shows got that way because of the we put into the dog in maintaining the coat. Working and living with double coated dogs means that you must have an understanding that they shed and you WILL have hair in the house. If you don’t like grooming and vacuuming up hair in your house, this is NOT the breed for you!
A Siberian Husky even in Florida, should never be closely clipped or 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 also Vets who will tell you it is acceptable to shave your Husky. Most Vets though will take the CYA approach and say something nebulous like “No trimming or shaving of hair is required or recommended” but they will draw the line at outright saying “Don’t do it” implying that if you still want to do it go ahead, it’s your decision. While it may result in a non-issue in some cases the potential for problems ranging from mild to severe make the choice an easy one – err on the side of the dog’s safety. [singlepic id=5 w=320 h=240 float=right]
The Husky “color-coat”, also known as the top coat, works as a reflective barrier. Shaving this coat exposes the undercoat and when the two coats grow back they no longer “blend” properly to allow the maximum protection necessary or maintain the look in which the husky is known for.
Furthermore, if you shave a Husky the hair may grow back a different color, grow back coarser than originally, and may even eventually ruin the coat and disturb the normal shedding process.
The northern breeds like Siberian Huskies, have a double coat. This double coat is made up of an undercoat that is soft and short. The outer coat is made up of longer guard hair. This outer coat has a sleek sheen, when healthy, and water dropped on this coat will most often run off, never penetrating to the undercoat. The coat combination offers excellent thermal protection for the dog from extremes of cold and heat. This is why a Siberian Husky can do just fine in Florida.
Siberian Huskies, like the desert peoples of the Sahara, are better off fully dressed than nude. Shaving away the outer coat exposes the undercoat, which cannot adequately protect the skin from the ultraviolet radiation of the sun. This can lead to severe sunburn.
Huskies and other dogs do not perspire 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 absolutely nothing to keep the dog cool. It just makes people feel better when looking at the coated dog thinking its cooler with no coat.