A photo of a shaved husky, save its face, has gone viral, partially because it is so bizarre, but also because there is a lot of controversy surrounding the shaving of huskies and other Arctic breed dogs.
The controversy began when @OmonaKami tweeted a photo of an unidentified husky, sitting on a table, fully shaved except for its head. The photo was shocking, as the furry head was disproportionately larger than the compact, shaved body. It almost appeared as if the Husky head was photoshopped over a thinner dog. The caption below the photo was, “If you’ve never seen a husky with absolutely no body hair then here you go. Enjoy.”
When people saw this photo, they were pretty upset. The person who did originally tweet the photo stated in a Twitter reply that the dog was not his. He just explained that he found the photo online, but people continued to pose questions, and to argue whether a husky should ever be shaved. It was clear that the craziness of the shaved husky photo and controversy over the shaving made it go viral.
While one person, Lorelie Mission, @LoreleiMission, pointed out, “Sometimes there are medical reasons that a coat has to be shaved. Some dogs arrive at shelters covered in road tar. One never knows,” another, Lily Stark @StWolbodo, was quite adamant that this was wrong, as she wrote, “This permanently destroys their coat and causes it to no longer function how it should. “
If you've never seen a husky with absolutely no body hair then here you go. Enjoy pic.twitter.com/BQww3jUbmB— Shishou ???? (@OmonaKami) June 8, 2017
Should a husky ever be shaved? Houston station KHOU spoke with Luther Edmonton, a dog groomer since 1961. His first observation is that the groomer went too wild with shaving.
“They took too much hair off in my opinion.”
In fact, the professional explained that a dog like this should never be shaved at all. If a dog needs a cleanup, or got into a messy jam, then it is ok for a “light trim.”
“I would brush it out and leave their outer coat — some people don’t understand, they think that their dog is getting hot. You take that undercoat out and the outer coat of hair, it protects them — kind of like somebody in the desert.”
Veterinary radiation oncologist Catrina Soto, also spoke to the station, explaining that the double coat of Arctic breed dogs like the Siberian Husky, Samoyed, or Swedish Lapphund, act as a cooling system for the dogs. That same double fur that keeps the dog warm in the winter, works to cool the dog in the summer. Shave off the fur, and suddenly, there can be some serious consequences. One of those consequences includes the fur never growing back, or in patches.
The 20-year veteran explains that when you shave the fur off of an Arctic breed dog, you put the pet at risk for melanoma, as well as other serious skin issues, such as the painful hot spot, which is an open sore on the dog’s tender skin.
“It can start to flake a little bit or get more skin irritations, like hot spots, we are opening up that window just a little bit more.”
Solo has only seen shaving happen for specific reasons.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea. The only time I’ve seen it is for medical reasons only.”
Now that the hot, summer months are here, what do owners of Arctic breed dogs do to make their canine companions more comfortable? A kiddie swimming pool in the yard is helpful, as well as a shady place for the dog to rest. Many owners will walk their dogs before sunrise, and then after sunset, avoiding any exercise during the the middle of the day. Others will turn on the air or a fan so that the dog can get a cool breeze inside the house during the peak sun times.
Did you see the photo of the shaved husky? What are your thoughts or feelings about it? If you own an Arctic breed, what do you think of the shaved husky photo?
[Featured Image by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images]