Huskies and Heat

Certain dogs might need your help to keep cool, even at temperatures we find comfortable. It is a pretty common stereotype that Siberian Huskies only live in colder temperatures. But can these and other long-haired pooches live comfortably in hot climates?

As a little girl, one of my favorite movies to watch was Balto. It was based on the true-life event of a team of sled dogs running across the state of Alaska to get medicine into the town of Nome. The sled dogs that comprised this team were all Siberian Huskies, at least in the film. Therefore, when I was a child I assumed huskies could only be found in Alaska. However, this is not true. Huskies can live anywhere–it is just a matter of keeping them cool when the temperature is hot. Just to put it in perspective, a hot temperature for a husky is anything above 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you have a longhaired pooch and the temperatures are climbing, consider these tips for keeping a dog cool:

  • Keep water-shampooing to a minimum. This may seem odd, as water is usually a coolant. However, whenever you bathe a dog like a husky and use shampoo, it breaks down the protective skin oil. Instead of traditional shampoo, use dry shampoo and brush your dog’s coat.
  • Determine if you would like to shave your pet’s coat. While this is not normally advised because of the dual layers in a husky’s coat, sometimes it is the better option. Huskies that live in areas with high temperatures and who like to swim should probably be shaved, experts say. As a bonus, shaving your pooch can also help improve your ability to spot fleas and ticks.

Before coming to any final decisions on whether to shave a husky, talk with your veterinarian. The fur will grow in thinner after it has been shaved. But a cool husky is a happy husky!

How do you keep your dog cool in the summer? Share your tips with us in the comments!

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