Bizarre Viral Pic of Shaved Husky Raises Questions About Pet Welfare
A very strange picture of a fully shaved husky went viral this week. The photo was tweeted by Twitter user Omona Kami. “If you’ve never seen a husky with absolutely no body hair then here you go. Enjoy,” he wrote.
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
Now, as humorous (and certainly surreal) as some might find this photo, it’s important to note that huskies have double-coats of fur, as do dozens of other dog breeds. The outer coat is longer, while the one underneath is shorter and denser. This obviously keeps them warm in the cold weather, but also plays a vital role when it’s warm outside too.
“In my opinion, double-coated breeds should never be shaved unless there’s a medical reason to do so, as their undercoats act as an excellent insulator against the summer heat,” veterinarian Karen Becker wrote on “Healthy Pets”. “It seems counterintuitive that an extra layer of fur would help a dog stay cooler, but it does. Air is a natural insulator, and air trapped between the hair follicles and hairs on your pet’s body does a really efficient job of keeping body temperature in balance.”
Some have defended the dog’s owners, suggesting that the animal may have been shaved for surgery. Some have also suggested that it’s a work of trick photography, which mirrors the villainous Low Men in the works of Stephen King.
But others are worried the husky was shaved as part of a cruel joke.
One commentator wrote, “This isn’t cute,” and posted the following pic, listing five reasons not to shave your double-coated dog.
This doesn’t just apply to dogs with double-coats though. Even those with a single-layer don’t need a haircut to be kept cool. But, for those who insist on it, “Web MD” suggests leaving at least an inch of hair to protect your pet from sunburn.
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