When most people think of Huskies, the first things that come to mind are snow and pulling a sled across a vast frozen landscape. The breed’s name is Siberian Husky, after all.
Huskies are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world and for good reason! They’re intelligent, playful, and majestic looking with beautiful thick coats, distinct markings, and a wolf-like appearance. What’s not to love!?
If you live somewhere that gets warmer than a Husky might traditionally be used to, you might be wondering if Huskies can live in hot weather. The answer is yes! A Siberian Husky can live in hot climates, however, extra care must be taken to keep your husky cool in warmer environments.
Before adding a Husky to your home, be sure to follow these simple tips to keep your Husky cool and safe all summer long!
Check this out: Why Do Huskies Howl and What You Can Do About It
A Little Background About The Husky
To understand if a Husky can live in hot weather climates, it’s helpful to understand a bit more about the breed and where it’s from. The Husky is made for sub-zero temperatures.
According to the AKC (American Kennel Club), the Siberian Husky was developed by the Chukchi people, an indigenous people living in Russian, at the edge of the Bering Sea. This cold, sub-zero climate is what caused the Husky to develop its thick, dense coat.
So, can a dog from the Siberian tundra live in hot weather? Can a Husky adapt? The short answer is, yes. Absolutely! Huskies are an incredibly versatile breed. But, in order to keep your Husky safe and comfortable in hot weather, you will need to follow a few tips.
Tips to Keep Your Husky Cool in Hot Weather
- Do not cut, trim or shave your Husky’s coat
- Avoid exercise during the hottest part of the day
- Protect your Husky’s paws from heat
- Make sure your Husky has access to fresh water
- Avoid putting your Husky in a crate during warmer months
- Purchase cooling mats or an elevated dog bed
- Outdoor kiddie pools
Do not cut, trim or shave your Husky’s coat – ever
It’s understandable that your first instinct when trying to figure out ways to keep your Husky cool in warm weather is to shave or trim down that thick, snow-proof coat. You may think, I would never go out in the middle of summer wearing a heavy-duty coat, why should my Husky?
It seems counterintuitive, but your dog’s thick coat actually helps him stay cool! How does that work exactly? Well, Huskies have two coats: a thick undercoat and a less dense topcoat.
Despite being extremely thick, the undercoat allows for air circulation near the skin. The topcoat, on the other hand, protects the Husky from the sun’s powerful UV rays. Cutting that coat, or completely shaving it off, will disrupt its natural cooling system, and may put your Husky at risk
Whatever you do, do not shave your Husky!
Avoid exercise during the hottest part of the day
If you live in a place that experiences extremely hot, dry summer temperatures, like Arizona, or the California desert, avoid exercising or walking your Husky when temperatures approach ninety degrees.
Similarly, if you live in a climate that experiences warm temperatures and high humidity, like Texas or the South, you should avoid taking your Husky outside during the hottest parts of the day.
In some parts of the world, that may even mean avoiding any outdoor activities after 9 am, or before 8 pm when the sun goes down. The best time to exercise your Husky in extremely hot climates is early in the morning, or later in the evening.
Trying to exercise your Husky in the middle of the day, when temperatures are their highest, could put your dog at risk for heatstroke.
Don’t forget to protect the paws
A dog’s paws are more sensitive to heat than you think. It’s important to consider the temperature of the pavement and sidewalk when taking your Husky outdoors in warmer months. Even after the sun goes down, the sidewalk and pavement will retain heat and may still be above 100 degrees for hours in some cities.
To help your pup avoid the hottest parts of the ground, try walking them in grassy areas, or on soft dirt trails in a park. These types of natural footing become far less hot than pavement, which retains heat and takes longer to cool down.
A helpful rule of thumb: if you touch the sidewalk and it’s too hot for your hand, then it’s too hot for your dog’s paws!
To learn more about dog paw care, see our 9 tips for taking care of your dog’s paws.
Make sure your Husky has access to fresh water
Like all dog breeds exposed to warm temperatures, your Husky should have access to a large bowl of clean water all day. The Husky’s extra thick coat means that they may lose hydration more quickly than a dog with a thinner coat, especially if it’s hot outside.
If, when the temperature has cooled a bit, you plan on taking your Husky for a longer than usual walk, or to the dog park, bring a collapsible water bowl and some fresh water with you to ensure he gets the hydration he needs.
Use caution when allowing your dog to use public water bowls like those sometimes found in parks, they can be a breeding ground for parasites or other infectious diseases.
Pet parents who are away from home for a significant portion of the day may want to purchase a self-replenishing water bowl for their pup. These bowls often hold up to a gallon of water or more and automatically fill when the bowl gets low on water.
Self-replenishing water bowls are a great way to ensure your dog always has access to clean water, even if you’re at work all day.
If you don’t want to purchase a self-replenishing water bowl, another option is to place more than one water bowl in the house.
Avoid putting your Husky in a crate during warmer months
If you’ve ever been in a car on a hot day, you know how quickly temperatures can rise in small, confined places. Keeping your Husky in a small space like a crate when temperatures are soaring will not allow him to stretch out and distribute his body temperature.
In other words, it will prevent him from being able to quickly cool down. Crates also often have blankets in them, which will further prevent your Husky from adequately cooling himself. Crating will also limit his access to fresh, clean water.
It’s important that your Husky has a good amount of space to stretch out and walk around when it’s warm outside.
Purchase cooling mats or an elevated dog bed
Husky owners love using dog cooling mats to help keep their pets cool and comfortable in hot weather. Some mats are so easy to use, they don’t even require refrigeration! Instead, they’re activated when the dog steps or lays down on the mat.
Most cooling mats will stay cool for several hours at a time, so you don’t have to worry about changing the mats constantly.
Elevated dog beds are also a great way to help your Husky regulate their temperature and stay cool. The elevated space beneath the bed increases air circulation below your pet. They’re also helpful for older Huskies that have arthritis because they relieve painful pressure points when the dog is elevated.
If you find yourself in a pinch and don’t have access to a cooling mat or elevated dog bed, soaking a few large towels in water and encouraging your dog to lay on them will also provide relief from the hot weather.
You may want to do this in the kitchen or on a tile floor for easy cleanup – and, as always with wet surfaces, both humans and dogs should be careful of slipping!
Outdoor Kiddie Pools
If you have access to a yard, outdoor kid’s pools are an easy, inexpensive way to provide your Husky with a fun way to cool down. You may want to supervise your dog while they’re playing in the pool, some pools have thin linings and your Husky’s nail may accidentally tear the bottom.
Specialty-made doggie pools are also available at some pet stores. These pools are more heavy-duty than your average backyard kiddie pool.
If both your kids and your dog are playing in the pool at the same time, be sure to supervise both to prevent accidents!
While Huskies are an adaptable breed, and they can do well in hot weather, it’s important that you take the correct precautions to protect your dog’s safety when temperatures warm to an unsafe level.
Remember to never leave your dog outdoors unattended in warm weather. And, it goes without saying, do not leave your Husky in the car. Even with the windows cracked, and temperatures are in the low 80’s, cars can heat very quickly, and your dog may suffer from heatstroke if left inside.
In all hot weather situations, if you notice your Husky exhibiting any signs of heat-related distress like lethargy, weakness, excess panting, or confusion, call your veterinarian immediately and seek help.