How often should you bathe a husky? It’s a great question with an important answer.
When it comes to bathing frequency, it can be the difference between a gorgeous healthy coat, or a dull, greasy, and smell one!
What you’ll learn in this article:
- How often you should be bathing your husky
- Why you shouldn’t bathe your husky too much
- The best kind of shampoo for a husky
- What to do if your husky gets dirty often
- What to do if your husky doesn’t like bathing
- Extra bathing tips for your husky!
How Often Should You Bathe Your Husky?
Huskies only need bathing once every 3-4 months. This is enough to keep their coat and skin clean and healthy without removing their natural oils.
Anything more than this would be considered overkill. Except for rare situations when you absolutely must bathe your husky (rolled in fox poop, again!)
I know a lot of husky owners that stick to THIS bathing frequency, and their huskies have amazing coats with zero skin problems.
Why You Shouldn’t Bathe Your Husky Too Much
Overbathing can cause a myriad of issues with your husky’s coat and skin. Sometimes, it can even result in a trip to the vets in the worst of cases.
The main issue with overbathing is that too many natural oils will be removed. And it’s these natural oils that keep your husky’s skin and coat healthy, shiny, and clean.
Ironically, the whole purpose of bathing is to keep our husky’s clean, right?
Like with all dogs (and us!) the skin releases oils to keep the hair and skin moisturized and protected. These natural oils are released at the appropriate amount just enough to do their job.
Ultimately, too much shampoo will strip away these oils. Then, what happens, is your husky’s body will suddenly start producing way too much oil, in an emergency response to having none of it…
This leads to a greasy, sticky, dull, and smelly coat. It can also lead to bacteria build-up and in severe cases, skin infections if left a long time.
Of course, making this mistake a few times isn’t going to be the end of the world. But it’s certainly best to avoid this situation if you can.
What To Do If Your Husky Gets Dirty Often
So, what do we do for all the adventurous huskies out there, the ones that come back muddy every other day?
The good news here is that getting wet isn’t the problem, it’s the use of too much shampoo.
So if your husky needs to be soaked often, that’s perfectly fine, so long as shampoo is not always used.
You may be thinking, “yuck! wet dog without shampoo sounds like a bad smelly idea!” And I can’t disagree with that!
However, once you’ve removed the excess mud or sea salt (whatever it may be), and thoroughly dry your husky, they should not smell.
I will also run through ways to keep your husky cleaner for longer below!
What’s The Best Kind Of Shampoo For a Husky?
When the time comes to bathe your husky with shampoo, which shampoo should you use? This is another great question with an important answer!
The absolute best shampoo for huskies is a natural-ingredient dog shampoo. The only other acceptable alternative if this isn’t available is baby shampoo.
Yep, that means avoiding regular pet/dog shampoo. No matter how good it smells or appealing the bottle looks!
Why natural ingredient dog shampoo?
Shampoos that are made up primarily of natural ingredients are inherently milder and will not upset the skin, dry it out, or remove the coat’s natural oils.
Why avoid regular pet shampoo?
Regular pet shampoos, regardless of how well they are advertised, are usually full of harsh chemicals, detergents, alcohols, parabens, soaps, and more… Not only does this irritate skin and cause dry skin issues, but they are very good at removing those precious oils.
You can find natural ingredient dog shampoos primarily online, and if one isn’t available, baby shampoo is a safe temporary alternative.
Please never use human shampoo on your husky either. Human shampoo is generally more acidic than pet shampoo and could ruin your husky’s acid mantle.
Should You Use a Conditioner As Well?
Yes, it’s generally recommended that you do use a condition for your husky’s coat. This will help keep their skin and coat properly moisturized.
Always read the label of the shampoo, some of them will sufficiently moisturize and condition the coat themselves. Others, may not, and you’ll need to get a separate conditioner for them.
As with the shampoo, it’s best to stick to a natural-ingredient conditioner.
Advice For Huskies That Hate Bathtime!
If your husky dislikes water, it’s usually down to a bad experience in the past. And if you can’t think of when this might have been, then it could just be that your husky is still yet to be properly introduced to water. I’ll cover the hose and shower too.
The best way to have a calm and relaxed husky during bathtime is to re-establish a positive relationship between them and water.
If your husky is still young, then it will be easier. If you have an adult that has disliked bathing for years, it’ll be harder! (but still possible).
The super slow approach is always best: (water introduction)
- Begin by introducing water to your husky by using a large laundry/washing bowl filled with water
- You can sit by it, and encourage your husky to come over and inspect
- Some huskies may already be freaking out at this point
- Keep up with encouragement but remain relaxed and positive with your voice
- Praise your husky and reward them while they gain the courage to inspect it
- Keep practicing this simple drill with plenty of treats and praise until your husky is no longer bothered by the large bowl of water.
Hose and shower tips:
Whether you bathe your husky inside or outside, with the hose or shower, the process will ultimately be the same.
Take your time (when your husky does not require bathing) to get them more and more familiar with the hose and shower.
Sit by it while it’s turned off, encourage them to come over, allow them to inspect it, and be sure to give plenty of praise and treats.
Eventually, you’ll be able to turn the hose and shower on, and run through the same routine.
The truth behind reducing the fear of the hose, shower, and water in general, is all about taking away their fear. And their fear comes from unfamiliarity. This can be resolved with a proper introduction in the beginning.
Your husky needs to have plenty of positive experiences and associations with this unfamiliar gadget before we try spraying them down.
Practice this for 4-5 weeks, and even huskies who have hated the hose and water for years will eventually change.
Recommended: Why Your Husky Isn’t Eating: 7 Reasons & What To Do
7 Helpful Bathing Tips For Huskies
Let’s run through some helpful tips to make each bath time easy and more productive.
1. Brush thoroughly before
Huskies need a bulletproof brushing routine (at least every other day). Whenever bathtime is coming up, be sure to give them a little extra brushing before getting them wet. Use an undercoat rake and a slicker brush for 5-10 minutes each.
Having less dead hair in the coat will enable the shampoo to work it’s magic more effectively on the strong living hair.
2. Keep talking to your husky
It’s easy to switch off and concentrate on the bathing, but it will help your husky tremendously if you keep talking and reassuring them.
Keep up with the “good boys” and “good girls” until bathing is complete. This will only help build better associations with bathing, and will make next time even easier and less stressful for your husky.
3. Lukewarm water only!
Lukewarm water is ideal for bathing. Avoid using either cold or hot water when bathing your husky.
Cold water straight from the tap could shock your husky and make the whole experience stressful. And while hot/warm water may feel nice, it’ll may leave your husky with dry skin afterwards, or cause them to become cold when bathtime is over. Info
4. Always rinse one extra time
After you have finally rinsed all the soap suds out, rinse one more time!
Ensuring that all the shampoo and conditioner is out of your husky’s coat is so important. The trouble is that some shampoos can be particularly difficult to remove.
Shampoo left in the coat can dry out their skin and cause serious itchiness which could lead to further issues.
Rinsing properly is absolutely crucial.
5. Peanut butter will keep your husky still
If your husky is still getting used to bathing, peanut butter could be the final piece of the puzzle.
Assuming you have already given your husky a dog friendly peanut butter and they tolerate it well, then try smearing a thing layer on a dinner plate and popping it down.
Your husky will be fixated on the plate, licking it for 10-15 minutes. They will completely relax and stay still while you get on with bathing.
Please always use a dog-friendly peanut butter (no xylitol or salt) and test it out first to ensure your husky tolerates it.
6. Always dry thoroughly
It’s always best to dry your husky as much as possible before letting them do the zoomies.
Even if it’s summer, it’s still recommended to towel dry your husky thoroughly before letting them go. If there is a little breeze outside, wet huskies will get cold quickly, even during summer.
7. Brush when dry
Brushing your husky after bathtimes is always a good idea. It’s best to wait until they are fully dry.
The bath would have definitely loosened up more hair, so take the undercoat rake and slicker brush and give them 5 minutes each.
This final brushing after the bath is the moment you can relax and admire your husky’s gorgeously groomed coat. Good job!
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