I’ve only owned a couple of huskies, but learned most of the 8 care tips for a husky that I listed below from a vet who raised these loving furballs. Many of the care tips are similar to those for just about any breed of dog. However, there are a few tips that are specific to the breed itself. I hope you find these useful for your beloved husky or can pass them on to a friend.
8. Take Her for Annual Check-ups
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Siberians are known for their blue-eyes, which can be a problem in areas with lots of snow. There are many cases where this type of husky ends up going blind because of the sun’s reflection off of the snow. If you have a blue-eyed husky and live in a place where the winters are long, then it might be a good idea to monitor your dog’s eyesight. Hip dysplasia is a common disease among dogs that are active or hard working. It’s also always good to keep your dog’s shots up to date, for her health and yours.
7. Prevent Boredom
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Huskies are notorious for being extremely destructive when they get bored. I had one that was an avid hole digger. She would dig a hole for the heck of it. I never saw her bury anything in the hole, but sometimes she would lay down in it when the weather was a bit steamy. Nothing is sacred to a husky, when it comes to digging. Flowers are quickly unearthed and fences are easily shimmied under when a husky decides to dig.
6. Don’t Bathe Her Often
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The undercoat on a husky is so thick that it will stay wet for hours. I have a feeling that this is why these dogs tend to avoid water. I used to have a Siberian that would walk around puddles in the driveway. She loved the snow, but more so when the weather was cold enough to keep the snow rather dry. Huskies tend to be rather clean and I’ve never noticed a ‘dog’ smell coming from any of the huskies I’ve owned or been around. There are always exceptions to every rule, which is true in the world of huskies also. Yes, there are some huskies that like water and will actually swim when confronted with a cool lake.
5. Offer Ways to Exercise
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This is a very active breed, some might even be considered to be hyper. If you aren’t able to have a fenced in yard for your husky to play in, then you’ll need to have some way for her to exercise. Be sure to have a collar that she cannot wiggle out of and a leash that won’t be broken if she begins to pull hard on it. Sometimes it’s difficult to teach a husky to walk on a leash, so introduce walking with a leash attached at a young age.
4. Provide a Cool Area during the Summer
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The thick fur keeps huskies warm in winter, but it can be a negative feature in the summer time. Some people shave their huskies, which can cut down on the shedding factor, but it actually doesn’t keep the dog that much cooler. Some huskies might even feel too cold after their fur is shaved off. Believe it or not, a husky’s thick coat keeps the sun from beating down on their skin and giving them sunburn. Most professionals who study dog breeds say that the thick coat keeps huskies cooler in the summer. I always see all that fur and feel sorry for my dog, since I wouldn’t want to wear a fur coat in the summer. But, I do have to remind myself that dogs don’t sweat the way humans do. They pant to release heat, sweat through their paws, and lose heat through their ears as well.
3. Begin Training at a Very Early Age
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Having a pack is a big thing to most huskies. If you don’t have another dog for your husky to hang out with, then you will be her pack. When you are supposed to be the one in charge, you need to teach your husky that you definitely are the Alpha pack member. This training works best with little pups, but even older dogs will get the hint after a bit. Huskies are usually ‘talkers’ instead of ‘barkers’, especially the Siberian huskies. These dogs will respond quicker to a growl from their Alpha leader than they will a yell. When my pup would do something that she wasn’t supposed to, I would take her by the scruff of the neck, gently put her head on the ground and growl at her. This technique is actually part of the training offered by a group of monks and is used by many husky owners.
2. Be Careful Not to Overfeed
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Food is popular with most dogs, but huskies seem to be able to really pack on the pounds rather quickly. This is a breed that can’t usually deal with a bowl full of food that is accessible all day long. It’s best to measure out the correct amount of food for your dog’s weight and offer it as often as the bag recommends. Feeding her the correct dog food is also important. Don’t give her high protein food for active dogs if she is stuck in the house most of the day. She will definitely show rapid weight gain from this high protein food if she isn’t exercising regularly.
1. Brush Often during the Summer Months
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Keeping loose dog hair from flying through the air whenever you pet your dog is best done by using a metal curry comb and brushing your dog regularly. Your dog will also appreciate the help with excessive dog hair, since it means she will end up with less in her mouth when she licks her fur. At the beginning of summer, my Siberian would always shed profusely. I found it easier to take her to the groomers for a bath, than to sit and brush her for an entire day. The groomer was able to get the majority of the loose hair off with a single grooming.
These 8 care tips for a husky commonly work well with most husky breeds. Is there a tip that you feel should also be mentioned on this list? Have you found different methods of carrying out any of the above tips? Please feel free to share any care techniques you’ve used for your own husky.
Top Photo Credit: chris90cope