How often should you bathe a Siberian Husky

You are reading this because you want to know how often you should bathe your Husky. There are many opinions on this, and as a dog groomer I have found there to be much inaccurate and misleading information on this subject.

So, how often should you bathe a Husky? This should be minimal. Every 3 to 4 months is more than sufficient. Huskies are a very clean breed than groom themselves much like a cat. In addition, being a Spitz type breed their coat is fairly dirt resistant and doesn’t have that doggy odor associated with many other breeds.

Over bathing your Husky can result in stripping the natural oils from their coats and dry the skin. This can cause skin irritations and make them smell more. In addition, stripping the natural oils from the coat can lead to them producing more oils to compensate making the coat greasy. This will cause the dirt to attach to the coat making them smell more.

If you Husky has rolled in something unpleasant such as a dead animal or feces a bath is probably needed. The other best times to bathe your Husky is when they are at the start of a heavy shed. This will aid in loosing and lifting the unwanted dead undercoat making it easier to remove.

How often do Huskies shed their coat

When your Husky is having a major shed of their coat it is known as blowing their coat. A dog’s coat is said to be blown when it is coming out easily and in volume.

Most Huskies will blow their coat twice a year depending on the climate you live in. This is usually during spring as the weather starts to heat up leading into summer. This is to aid in keeping them cooler. They may also blow their coat just prior to winter. This is to prepare for the new undercoat to develop to keep them warm on the colder weather. Some Huskies only have a major shed of their undercoat once a year.

During this period where the coat is blown you should brush your Husky daily to remove the unwanted undercoat to prevent matting. During other times when the shedding is not so much, brushing once or twice a week is sufficient.

Regular brushing will also help to keep them clean as the dirt is removed along with the undercoat.

How to bathe a Husky at home

How you bathe your Husky at home will depend on what set up you have. Most Huskies don’t like water or getting wet so bath time that turn into a messy operation. Your options may include:-

  • In a shower with a hand held shower head. This is probably the easiest approach as you can wet down and rinse your Husky a lot easier.
  • In a bath tub. With this method you will need to fill the bath tub to about a quarter height and have a couple of buckets of warm clean water on hand to rinse.
  • Outside with the hose. This means the water will be cold, but if the weather is warm it is OK. Having a couple of buckets of warm water on hand will make this less unpleasant for your Husky. The advantage of doing it outside will prevent a huge mess to clean up inside.

Steps to bathe your Husky

Step 1

Brush your Husky before the bath to remove as much undercoat and any tangles or knots. Matted fur holds water which will tighten the knot when it drys. It will also save drying time.

Step 2

Start by thoroughly soaking your Husky’s coat being careful not to get water in the ears. It is a good idea to put cotton balls in the ears before you start to avoid this.

Step 3

To wet your Husky’s head use your thumb to flatten down the ear and from back to front wet that side of the head. Repeat on the other side. Gently hold your dog’s head down by the muzzle and wet face. Now raise the head up and wet under the chin being careful not to get water in the nose.

Step 4

Use tearless baby shampoo to thoroughly wash your Husky’s face. Then apply the other regular dog shampoo down the dog back and work into a lather using your fingers or a rubber dog bathing brush such as The Zoom Groom.

Step 5

Many shampoos are quite concentrated so you can premix with water which will help the shampoo lather and will rinse better. Work in the direction the coat lays or the coat will be trained to stand up. Never use human shampoo on your dog as human hair has a different pH level and it will dry and irritate your dog’s skin. Human shampoos may also contain chemicals that may cause a skin irritation.

Step 6

Then rinse your dog using the same process you use to wet them. I always do two lots of shampoo as it gets the dog much cleaner and the clean smell lasts longer, so with the first rinse, you don’t have to rinse as thoroughly as you will with the final rinse.

Step 7

Once you have done the two shampoos and thoroughly rinsed all the shampoo out of the coat scoop excess water off your dog with your hand. If you don’t want your dog to shake while in the bath put a towel over them and pat to dry.

Step 8

Then dry as best as you can by rubbing with a towel working in the direction of the coat as much as possible. You can even leave them wrapped in a towel for a while to absorb as much water as possible. Don’t forget to remove the cotton balls from their ears.

For more tips on bathing your dog see here.

How to dry a Husky after bathing

Huskies can take a long time to dry naturally, especially if they have a lot of undercoat. You can either wait until they are dry, perhaps the next day, or to blow dry. Using a hand-held dryer for human hair is fine for a small fine-haired breed such as a Yorkshire terrier. For a Husky with a thicker heavier coat, this would take an awfully long time.

The best solution is to use a dog blow dryer. Commercial dog blow dryers like those used in grooming salons are very expensive. However, there are available smaller dog dryers available at very reasonable prices.

I would recommend something such as these low-cost dryers which come with two airspeed settings and three heat levels (no heat, medium and high) and several easy to attachments to increase air flow.

I have blow-dried Huskies with this type of dryer and it was more than up for the job. Although small dryers like this don’t have the air velocity of large commercial grooming dryers by using the heater the coat still drys quickly.

Get your Husky as dry as possible using a towel, micro cloth or chamois. You can wrap the towel around your dog and hold in place with clothes pegs or bulldog clips and it will absorb a large quantity of the water in the coat.

Now you are ready to blow dry your Husky. Start on the lower back area so your Husky doesn’t get a fright when the dryer starts. With the nozzle about half an inch from the coat, move the nozzle back and forth in a continuous motion. You can use your other hand to move the coat or brush as you dry.

If you have the blow dryer on a high heat setting be aware of the air temperature. If it is too hot, turn down to a lower setting.

How to give your Husky a dry bath

If you are wanting to clean you Husky without giving them a full bath there are a couple of options. This is a handy approach if they have rolled in mud or something else unpleasant. This is a good way to give your dog a clean when you are unable to give them a full bath. However, waterless and dry shampoos cannot replace bathing completely.

The first option to clean your dog is a waterless shampoo. Work the waterless shampoo into your dog’s coat. Using a towel or sponge, wipe the shampoo and dirt from the coat.

The second option is to use a dry shampoo. You can purchase dry shampoos here at Amazon. Alternatively, you can make your own using cornstarch. There are a couple of ways you can do this.

Firstly you can use cornstarch by itself or you can use an equal part mix of cornstarch and baking soda. The cornstarch helps absorb oil and dirt in the coat while the baking soda is great to deodorize your dog.

As an optional extra, you can mix in a few drops of a selected essential oil to add a fragrance to your homemade dry shampoo. Eucalyptus essential oil can also be used as a flea deterrent.

Mix the powders in a container or bottle with a reasonably large hole at the top. You may need to use a funnel if using a bottle. Add 1 cup of cornstarch and 1 cup of baking soda. Mix in a few drops of essential oil if you wish also. Give the powder a good mix up.

Sprinkle a liberal amount of the dry powder on your dog’s coat. Cover the face, to avoid getting any in their nose and eyes. Rub the dry shampoo into the coat until it reaches the skin.

Your dog may want to have a shake at this stage. This is fine as it will help remove any of the excess powder. Wait five minutes and brush your Husky to remove the remaining powder. You will find that the powder also makes it easier to brush and remove any tangles from your dog’s coat. Give your dog a good rub down with a clean towel to ensure there is no more powder remaining in the coat. That’s it. Quick and simple.

Best shampoo for a Siberian Husky

What shampoo is best for your Husky will depend on any special needs. For most Huskies, using a deshedding shampoo will be the obvious choice. This will help to loose the undercoat and keep their coat in a healthy condition.

However, if your Husky has sensitive skin or is prone to skin allergies I would recommend one of the other shampoos.

Best shedding reduction shampoo

FURminator deShedding Ultra Premium Dog Shampoo 

It contains Omega 3 and six fatty acids, papaya Leafs, and calendula extracts work to reduce shedding of your dog’s fur and maintain the health of its skin. The shampoo is also compatible with the FURminator conditioner to achieve the best results.

Best shampoo for sensitive skin

Paws & Pals 5-in-1 Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

Oatmeal is one of the best ingredients for sensitive skin. It has all-natural ingredients and is soapless so it won’t inflame or irritate dogs’ eyes. It is an excellent all-purpose shampoo being a 5 in 1. This shampoo aside from cleaning conditions, detangles, moisturizes, is anti-itch and controls odor.

Best antifungal and antibacterial shampoo

Nootie Medicated Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

This shampoo is very concentrated and when you apply it forms a really thick and rich lather. It also works really well in treating yeast infections and cooling and soothing your dog’s skin It will also always leave your Husky smell really clean and fresh and leaves their coat beautiful and shiny.

Husky bathing FAQs

At what age can you bathe a Husky?

The general rule of thumb for giving your Husky puppy their first bath is around 16 weeks old unless they are extremely dirty. By this age they would have had all their vaccinations.

Prior to being fully vaccinated, a puppies immune system is weaker. Puppies are also less able to control their body temperature, especially if they get wet. This can leads to potential issues including hypothermia.

Can I bathe my Husky once a week?

Huskies are a relatively clean dog compared to other breeds. They really don’t require frequent bathing unless they tend to roll in mud or unpleasant odors. If you do wash them frequently it is best to use a gentle soap free shampoo. This will aid in preventing skin issues and oil build up in the coat.

If you do need to give them a clean more frequently it is best to use a waterless or dry shampoo. See above for more details.

Do Huskies like to bathed?

In general, Huskies don’t like water or being wet. Many Huskies will probably protest being bathed while others may be more tolerant. To make bath time less of a drama, it is a good idea to give them exercise first to make them calmer.

You can also try giving them plenty of praise and treats during the while process so they have more of a positive association with being bathed.

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