Although the Siberian Husky’s origin is in the incredibly cold, icy environment of Siberia, they can and do live in warmer environments. Whether it be a tropical environment such as Singapore and the Philippines, or a dry heat such as outback Australia, a Siberian Husky can live a long and happy life. There are a few things you first need to know before raising a Husky in such an area to maintain the health of your dog:
Keep the coat
Whatever you do keep the Husky’s coat and do not shave them! The hairy coat, although thick, actually insulates the animal from direct heat. If you remove it your dog will not be able to regulate its own temperature and become very sensitive to the warmth of the sun.
Regular brushing of the coat will also clear away dead and stray hairs which will keep your puppy happy. We have more information available on Grooming and Maintaining the Coat of a Husky.
Exercise out of the sun
In warm environments the day can heat up quickly in the morning, and remain hot until sunset. You should consider exercising your Husky early morning and later after sunset, when it is coolest. Be mindful of the intensity of exercise, especially for puppies who can not sustain long playtime sessions without a rest. Your Husky might find it easier to have two shorter walks a day, rather than one long walk.
Stay cool during the day
Whether you are home or not your Husky needs to stay cool. In hot environments that might mean a room that is cooled or air conditioned, or at least very well insulated from the heat. It is probably not enough to leave a Husky in a shaded area if that is only marginally cooler than a sunny area. Take the hint: if your dog howls to be let inside to where it is cooler then that could be a sign he or she is too hot outside.
Clean, cool drinking water is also required. Keep it in a shady place so that it doesn’t heat up. You might also consider freezing treats in ice (hint: ice cream containers are great to freeze large ice blocks).
A kiddie pool for the Husky is also a great idea. Fill it up and position it in a shady area. Dogs love to jump in and out for a quick cool-down.
Other things to keep in mind
- Concrete and brick floors and walls can absorb a lot of heat and radiate it out for days. Your dog might feel better lying on wooden or some other insulated material that will not retain so much heat. This especially goes for the dog’s sleeping area or kennel.
- Don’t leave your dog in the car! A car’s temperature can escalate to extreme levels in just minutes. If you wouldn’t leave your child in the car then it’s no place for a dog either.
- Keep in contact with your local Siberian Husky club or breeder who can give you some further advice specific to your environment. Yes there are even Husky breeders in Hawaii where you think Huskies might struggle. Check out Facebook where some groups are being formed such as the Siberian Husky Owners of Hawaii.
Raising a Siberian Husky puppy in a warm or tropical climate is not difficult and just requires some common sense. Shade and cool during the day, exercise on the fringes of daylight, and lots of water to cool down. It might not be the environment the Husky was bred for, but your dog can and will survive if you give them a helping hand.