Is your Husky eating their fur?
I bet you’re alarmed!
I know. Gross, right??
They eat their hair that sheds out!
Or worse, they pluck the hair off their skin.
If your dog has this behavior, keep reading this article.
In this article, you’ll discover:
- Why your Husky eats fur.
- 5 solutions for them to stop this habit.
- 5 skin-related diseases your Husky might have.
- What happens if your Husky eats their own hair.
- And so much more…
Table of contents
- Why does my Husky eat his fur?
- 7 reasons why your Husky eats his fur
- 5 tips to stop your Husky from eating his fur
Why does my Husky eat his fur?
Your Husky eats fur because he’s anxious and this is the way they express his anxiety. Skin problems like allergies, skin infections, dry skin, and zinc-responsive dermatitis can make him eat fur too. Another skin problem to watch out for is parasites.
7 reasons why your Husky eats his fur
Anxiety can cause destructive chewing in your Husky.
Destructive chewing is when they try to gnaw on objects compulsively. They do this out of stress when their dog parent is away.
On the other hand, anxiety is when your Husky is overly dependent on you so they’ll be too worried once you’re not near them.
Don’t get me wrong. Chewing is a normal part of a Husky puppy’s growth. But they will get over it on time.
A dog with anxiety, however, will continue to chew things. They do this as a coping mechanism.
Other Huskies chew on random objects, but yours chose to chew their fur.
Fur-chewing is dangerous because it can interfere with your Husky’s shedding process. This can lead to skin infections too.
Some signs that tell your Husky has anxiety:
- Refusing to eat.
- They’re restless.
- Frequent shaking.
The good news is, your Husky can learn how to spend time alone when they’re puppies. Adding another dog can also decrease the chance of this condition, a study finds.
Note: Huskies are known as independent breeds. But, you should observe the way they act when you’re going away.
#2: Food allergies
Allergies can happen to your dog. And a Husky with allergies is prone to scratching and eating their fur.
Allergies due to food and the environment can cause this behavior. Parasites and zinc-related tendencies can also occur but I’ll get to that later.
Food allergies happen because it’s an immune response to food. The best way to know if your Husky is allergic is to go to a vet when symptoms occur.
The hard thing about food allergies is that they can vary from dog to dog. And you won’t know if your Husky is allergic to a certain food unless they tasted some and had an allergic reaction to it.
Some symptoms of food allergies include:
- Itchy ears.
- Constant licking.
- Red, inflamed skin.
- Swelling of the face.
Here are some foods that mostly causes allergies in Huskies:
- Chicken eggs.
Dairy products can also cause an adverse reaction to a Husky. But, studies tell that this is mostly from lactose intolerance, not a food allergy.
Lactose intolerance is a digestive problem because your Husky’s body doesn’t produce enough lactase to digest lactose.
But, food allergy is a response of the immune system when there is a foreign antigen entering their body.
#3: Environmental allergies
Another type of allergy that your Husky could have is environmental. Your Husky can get this through mold, pollen, and dust.
When this happens, expect a lot of fur-swallowing from your Husky.
In other cases, these allergies can be seasonal.
These allergens can be inhaled by your Husky or absorbed by their skin.
Here are the most affected areas of skin allergies:
- Around the eyes.
- Between the toes.
Bear in mind that skin allergies can happen everywhere.
Biting and scratching are the most common symptoms of environmental allergies. In most cases, the spot your Husky scratches is inflamed and reddish.
Your Husky can also shed their fur excessively when they have allergies. Dandruff is also a common side effect.
#4: Skin infections
A bacterial skin infection a.k.a. Pyoderma can be the reason why your Husky eats their fur.
If your Husky has pustules that look like a pimple, then they have it. It’s harder to spot this in long-coated dogs like Huskies unless hair loss happens.
The symptoms of this include a dull coat, scales, and shedding.
If your Husky chews their fur, they’re likely to get this. This is because their exposed skin is more prone to bacteria.
You shouldn’t shave your Husky for the same reason, skin exposure.
Pyoderma can also be a result of excessive scratching.
Here are other ways your Husky can get pyoderma:
- Skin injury.
- Fungal infections.
- Moisture exposure.
- Hormonal imbalance.
- Weak immune system.
- High doses of steroids.
Vets do blood tests to know if your Husky has a skin infection and if the infection is due to hormones.
They will also check your Husky’s medical history and perform other tests. One of these tests includes skin culture.
Parasites are the most common reason why your Husky eats their fur. They try to get the parasite out of their skin but instead, their fur is the one they got.
Many people think that ticks and fleas are the only ones that affect a dog’s fur. But, internal parasites like ringworms can also do heavy damage.
Ringworm can affect your Husky’s skin. You can tell that they have this if there are areas on their body with no hair.
These bald spots aren’t usually itchy. But, scabs can also grow in these areas at times.
Your Husky can have it but show no symptoms. Sometimes, infections won’t show right away.
Fleas and ticks can make your Husky munch its fur as well.
If you find fleas in the ears or paws, then these parasites are all over your snow dog.
Fleas are more dangerous than you think.
Besides itching, the dangers of having fleas include:
Here are the places dogs mostly get fleas from:
- Dog parks.
- Other dogs.
- Grooming stations.
#6: Dry skin
There’s a chance that your Husky chews its fur due to dry skin.
There are many reasons why Huskies have dry skin which makes it harder to diagnose if they have this.
Now, I’ll only tackle 2 overlooked reasons, bathing and medical problems.
Some Husky parents bathe their Husky more than they should. They think that their Husky needs more baths because they might feel hot.
This isn’t true. Long-haired breeds such as Huskies require only 1 bath every 4-6 weeks.
Bathing your Husky too much can cause dry skin and wash away the natural oils that make your Husky’s coat shiny. And once there’s an oil imbalance, the Husky’s skin will produce more.
Eventually, your Husky’s body will smell.
And what will the dog parent do? Bathe them again which only repeats the cycle.
Shampoo is also important. You can’t apply human shampoo for your Huskies.
Dry skin can be a sign of a bigger problem for your Husky. Dry skin can be from hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease.
In some cases, hair loss and itching indicate that your Husky has cancer. Dry skin should not be taken lightly.
But, there are times when breed-specific diseases cause dry skin and one of those is…
#7: Zinc-Responsive Dermatosis
Husky breeds are prone to type 1 zinc-responsive dermatosis. The lack of zinc can make them swallow their fur.
Zinc is important for your Husky’s thyroid and immune system. Itchiness is the least dangerous thing if they lack zinc.
Here are other dangers from the lack of zinc:
- Poor sexual function.
- Weaker immune system.
- Slower cell development.
- Abnormal iodine metabolism.
This is more harmful to puppies. A Husky pup’s body doesn’t respond to zinc supplementation.
Puppies with this condition also experience:
- Slow growth.
- Crusty paws.
- Skin infections.
Unfortunately, Husky pups with zinc deficiency usually die or get euthanized.
Type 1 zinc-responsive dermatosis in Huskies may be linked to stress and problems in the GI tract.
Huskies who have this disease have lesions around their eyes, mouth, and sex organs. Lesions can also happen in other areas around the skin.
The best way to treat a Husky with this condition is avoiding generic dog food and switching to a premium one. Crushed zinc tablets are also a huge help.
5 tips to stop your Husky from eating his fur
#1: Have their bathing needs met
You learned earlier that you only need to bathe your Husky once a month. This is to prevent their natural oils from imbalance.
“But, what about instances when my Husky rolled in trash or mud?” Well, that’s an exception but make sure to bathe your Husky fast.
Sometimes, they take the chance to “snow bath” during winters. They just roll around in snow which is perfectly fine.
That being said, your Husky can survive cold weather. But, it’s best to bathe them in lukewarm water. Their shampoo is important too.
You should get them a hypoallergenic shampoo that has natural ingredients. These ingredients can either help their coat become shiny or fragrant.
Be sure to get shampoos with any of these ingredients:
- Tea tree oil.
But, it’s best to get an anti-flea and tick shampoo if your Husky has these parasites.
#2: Purge parasites
If you’re dealing with endoparasites like worms, deworming is the best solution.
You can contact your vet and let them prescribe you a deworming tablet. Most of the time, your Husky will need 1 tablet per 10 kg. (22 lbs.).
This means if your Husky is weighing 25 kg. (55 lbs.), they should take 2 deworming tablets.
But, always ask your vet first. There are deworming agents that don’t rely on body weight to work.
For Huskies who have ticks and fleas, there are several ways of eliminating them.
First, you can use anti-flea shampoo and powder for your Husky’s coat each time you bathe them.
Then, you can also use flea and tick drops. All you have to do is drop this liquid on your Husky’s nape or any body part they can’t lick.
#3: Exercise your Husky
Exercising your dog can decrease their chances of developing anxiety. And less anxiety, less fur-eating for them!
The best exercise is at least an hour of walk every day. This gets their energy drained and decreases the likelihood of them feeling anxious.
#4: Feed them right
Feeding your Husky right is crucial if you want them to have better fur and skin.
Once you know what your Husky’s allergic to, you should never let them eat that food again.
In cases of Huskies lacking zinc, there are more vitamins than you can give to sustain these needs.
You should also feed them more of these:
- Red meat.
Warning: Make sure that you cook eggs and meat before feeding it to them. These foods can cause worm infestation if served uncooked.
You might also want to check out: 7 Reasons Why Huskies Are Always Hungry + Dangers & 7 Tips
#5: Go to the vet
Clinical trials should be done if your Husky eats their fur.
Yes, there are cases where your Husky obviously needs help from the looks of their skin.
But, there are times where you only see them scratching and chewing their fur. The vet will know what your Husky’s problems are.
It’s best to visit your vet once a month to see your Husky is still in good condition. There are skin diseases that don’t appear until they’re worse already.
Self-diagnosis and medication will do no good. It may even worsen your Husky’s well-being.
In fact, the vet has a medication for every problem in this article. If your Husky eats fur, don’t hesitate to ask a vet.