Perhaps only 20 years ago, most people would not have even contemplated the Siberian Husky as a pet. However, with the advent of the internet and social media, things changed. The stunning looks of the Husky helped to make this breed of dog become more popular each time someone shared an image of it online.
It would prompt some people to ask where they could buy one and all of a sudden, there’s a market for Siberian Huskies in locations where they wouldn’t naturally be found. Breeders, who saw a gap in the market, filled it. Nowadays, the Siberian Husky, despite not exactly being a ‘mainstream’ family pet is becoming ever more popular. However, is this a dog that can live in environments that it wasn’t originally designed for?
Can Siberian Huskies live in hot weather? Yes, a Siberian Husky can live in hot climates, however, extra care must be taken during exercise and cool places for her to rest need to be provided. The Husky can overheat at temperatures greater than 0 °F, which is most locations on the planet!
A Brief History of the Siberian Husky Dog
The Siberian Husky is a dog native to the harsh Siberian climate and one that has been in existence for at least the last 3,000 years although some suspect longer than this.
The inhabitants of this region, known as the Chukchi people originally bred two breeds (ancestors of the Husky) known as the Spitz and the Laika. This cross-breeding provided the populace with the ideal dog for their needs as it was able (and most definitely willing) to pull sleds long distances in conditions not favourable to us humans.
In the early part of the 20th Century, they were introduced to Alaska and they are now increasingly becoming a very popular pet, not just within the States but across the planet.
The Siberian Husky’s Coat
The coat of the Siberian Husky is thick and consists of two layers. There is a dense undercoat and a layer of fur above this called the primary coat. This consists of guard hairs which help to provide an extra layer of insulation to the dog as well as to assist in protecting them from superficial injuries and also as a barrier to help prevent insects from reaching its skin. This coat will shed all year round so expect to be finding hairs all over your house for the duration of their lives!
Bearing in mind the Siberian Husky is native to Arctic conditions (it’s not usual for temperatures to drop down to −50 °C (−76 °F) during Siberian winters) it’s hardly surprising that the Husky has a thick coat.
Frequency of Siberian Husky Coat Blowing
The undercoat of the Siberian Husky will typically blow a couple of times a year, once around Spring time and once in the latter parts of Fall. The blows are triggered by hormonal changes within the husky which in-turn are related to the length of daylight.
As summer approaches, the thick undercoat that has kept her warm during winter comes off, typically in clumps. This enables a new, thinner undercoat to grow in time for the hotter weather, this undercoat will provide some protection against the ultraviolet rays and also from insects as mentioned above.
Then, when the daylight shortens as we approach winter, the thin undercoat will come off to allow a thicker undercoat to grow in-time for colder weather.
What is the Ideal Climate for the Siberian Husky?
You would think that if you took the Siberian Husky out of its natural environment it would not do well. Its thick double-layered coat, combined with its working-dog mentality and associated exercise requirements could easily make you assume that this breed is suited for only one climate and owner-type.
This Husky is quite adaptable though it seems. Photos of this good-looking beast started circulating aggressively during the onset of social media and their attraction is obvious.
These days they are seen throughout the world and are thriving, becoming increasingly popular in the last couple of decades. Note that I’m not suggesting the Husky is suited for all environments, just that it is able to adapt to many.
The ideal environment for the Siberian Husky though is probably the environment is was exported from all those years ago, colder climates. However, there’s more to it than just that. They were perfect for this environment as they are naturally hard workers and you’d rarely see them pausing for breath in these snowy conditions.
Although it was cold, their coats protected them to quite a degree but it was this, combined with the fact that they were usually found running around that meant they never really had a chance to get that cold.
So, although the climate is important, it’s also about what their purpose is in that environment. I would argue that they may not be so happy being ‘just’ a family pet in those cold conditions if they don’t get a chance to run around much.
What Climate is Not Ideal for the Siberian Husky?
The worst type of climate for a Siberian Husky is one where there is constant direct sunlight and little or no shade. The Husky is now quite popular around the world and was, in fact, the 12th most popular dog in the United States in 2017 (this is the most recent data from the American Kennel Club).
It is becoming increasingly popular so I expect it to rise higher in both 2018 and 2019 (where we are now). Even in hot climates, like Arizona for example – it is possible to own a Siberian Husky however if there isn’t plenty of shaded areas for them to exercise in, combined with a very hot home – there are many dogs better suited for the climate.
Particularly as the Husky likes to spend so much time outside. The perfect dog for you doesn’t always mean it’s the perfect dog for where you live, unfortunately.
Can You Exercise a Siberian Husky in Hot Weather?
You can exercise a Husky in any weather but for obvious reasons, more care must be taken during the middle of the day when temperatures are typically at its highest.
Also, in colder climates, these dogs would be able to run for the best part of the day but when I’m talking about cold climates I’m talking about temperatures colder than you (most likely) experience.
Serious owners of the Siberian Husky start to become concerned about the Husky overheating once temperatures exceed 0°F (that’s almost -18°C). There aren’t that many places in the US that see these kinds of temperatures, except perhaps Alaska which is where interestingly they were first imported into the States from Siberia.
One thing to mention about the Husky in hot climates. They must not be shaved. The undercoat is thinner in the summer and protects their skin from the Sun. Without this, they can easily get sun-stroke which can turn fatal very quickly.
Shaving the coat of the Husky actually has a detrimental effect and the negatives far outweigh any perceived positives. The coat has other uses though, such as protecting it from insects (more common in humid conditions) therefore, it is less likely to get infections and diseases.
Can A Siberian Husky Live in India?
A lot of people in India like the Siberian Husky and would like to know if they can keep one there. Well, the answer is yes, of course – as long as care is taken on exercising and a cool environment is provided inside.
Perhaps the question shouldn’t be about whether a Siberian Husky can live in India or not but whether they should live in this kind of climate that they just aren’t designed for. From a personal perspective, I’m not sure why anyone would choose this breed when there are so many dogs that are better suited to the environment.
Of course, I’m generalizing as India is a big country. In fact, the northern regions have more of a temperate climate rather than the tropical South so it does also depend on where you live.
I think the thing to take out of this though is that before you buy any breed of dog you should look into their preferred environment, how much exercise they need etc. to understand whether it is the right dog for you.
It was always a tricky article to write for me. I have a personal opinion on the matter but that isn’t the question really. Yes, the Siberian Husky is quite adaptable and is perfectly able to have a good life in a hot climate.
Extreme care must be taken though when exercising outside with adequate breaks in shaded areas and plenty of water provided. When at home, it should ideally be air-conditioned or failing this, cool areas of the house provided for the Husky to rest in.
There are so many wonderful breeds of dog available so why choose a Siberian Husky if you live in an extremely hot climate? It’s clear this breed wasn’t designed for this. Siberian Huskies are ideal in colder climates.