How to Groom a Siberian Huskyby Katherine Barrington
Originally bred for use as sled dogs in arctic regions, Siberian huskies have dense coats that protect them against harsh weather. The thick double coat of a Siberian husky is made up of a soft, dense undercoat and a coarse topcoat. While huskies tend to be fastidious about keeping themselves clean, regular grooming is necessary to control shedding and to keep your dog's coat healthy. If you do not want to spend a small fortune on grooming costs, consider grooming your Siberian husky yourself.
Combine one teaspoon of unscented conditioner with 16 ounces of water in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle to combine the mixture, then spray it lightly over your husky's coat. This mixture will serve as a detangler, helping to separate clumps of matted hair.
Go over your husky's coat with a wide-toothed comb with rounded teeth. This type of grooming tool is better for the coarse outer coats of Siberian huskies than the slicker brushes and pin brushes often used on some breeds. Work through any clumps of matted fur gently to avoid causing pain.
Use a fine-toothed comb to work through the fur on your dog's head and neck. If you encounter a tangle, use the comb and your fingers to gently pull the tangle apart.
Brush your husky's coat, using a large bristle brush. Start by brushing the fur on your dog's head and shoulders in the opposite direction of hair growth, then brush it back in the natural direction of hair growth. Brush with the hair growth along the back and rump.
Use a large undercoat rake to help control shedding. Hold the rake at a 45-degree angle to your dog's skin, and move it in short, firm strokes. Depending on how heavily your husky is shedding, you may need to pause frequently to remove accumulated hair from the rake.
Fill your bathtub with enough warm water to come about halfway up your dog's legs. Encourage your dog to get into the bathtub by offering him a treat.
Wet your dog's coat thoroughly, taking care not to get water into his eyes or ears. You may need to use a pet sprayer or hand-held shower head to penetrate your husky's thick undercoat.
Squeeze a bead of dog shampoo along your dog's back, and gently work it into a thick lather with your hands.
Rinse your husky thoroughly, using a pet sprayer or hand-held shower head to remove every bit of soap residue from his undercoat. Care is needed to remove all the soap, so be patient and do not rush the rinsing process.
Drain the tub, and use a large bath towel to remove excess water from your husky's coat. You may opt to use a blow dryer on the lowest heat setting to finish drying your dog.
Other Grooming Tasks
Clean your husky's eyes as needed, using a soft, damp cloth to wipe away any discharge from the corners of the eyes. If discharge is a recurring problem, take your dog to the vet for a checkup.
Check your dog's ears at least once a month for signs of mites and infection. Symptoms may include redness, discharge and a foul odor. If your dog's ears exhibit any of these symptoms, visit your veterinarian.
Clean your dog's ears once a month to remove wax and dirt build-up. Squirt a few drops of dog ear cleanser into the ear canal, and massage the ear to distribute the fluid. Use cotton balls to wipe away the dirt, wax and extra cleanser.
Brush your dog's teeth once a week, using a dog toothbrush and dog toothpaste. Apply a small amount of paste to the brush, wet it, and rub it against your dog's teeth. Regular brushing will help prevent plaque build-up, which could eventually result in the need for a thorough cleaning by your veterinarian.
Items You Will Need
- Unscented conditioner
- Spray bottle
- Wide-toothed comb
- Fine-toothed comb
- Large bristle brush
- Large undercoat rake
- Dog treats
- Pet sprayer or handheld shower head
- Dog shampoo
- Large bath towel
- Blow dryer
- Soft cloth
- Dog ear cleanser
- Cotton balls
- Dog toothbrush
- Dog toothpaste
- Depending on where you live, you may occasionally find ticks on your Siberian husky. To remove ticks, pinch the tick as close to your dog's skin as possible using a pair of tweezers, and pull it free. Discuss the best ways to protect your dog from ticks and fleas with your veterinarian.
- Do not try to clip your dog's nails at home unless you have been taught how to do it properly. If you accidentally cut the quick, it will cause pain and bleeding, and the dog will try to avoid future nail-trimming.
- Your Siberian husky will shed his undercoat twice a year, during the spring and fall. During these periods, you may need to brush your dog more frequently, using an undercoat rake to control the shedding.
- It should not be necessary to bathe your husky more than a few times a year. Frequent bathing of a dog can result in dry, irritated skin.
- Husky image by SapphireHU from Fotolia.com