Advice From Real Owner: How To Take Care Of Alaskan Malamute Dogs
Do Alaskan Malamutes do well in hot weather? In this article, we will learn all about caring for Alaskan Malamute dogs.
Can Alaskan Malamutes Live In Hot Weather?
Malamutes are double coated dogs, and because of that, most people have the preconceived notion that it is cruel to have a malamute if you live in warmer climates. That is false. That double coat works as an insulator, it insulates it from the cold as well as the heat. As long as you take adequate measures, your Mal can have a fulfilling life even he/she is living in a tropical country. Aurora is a 2nd generation Malamute born in Malaysia. She will sneeze during monsoon season.
1. Never shave their hair unless it is for medical reasons. Once you shave your Malamute, his/her coat will not grow back the same as before.
2. Always walk them before sunrise and after sunsets. When it gets hot, bring them indoors to play.
3. Have frozen treats and cooling food such as yoghurt, snow pears, pineapples, coconut water on standby when it gets really hot.
4. Have the air condition on for them if you can afford it. If not, a table fan will be sufficient.
Malamutes are generally self-cleaning dogs with a coat that repels dirt. Nevertheless brush your dog daily especially when he/she is blowing his/her coat.
1. Brushing is the key to removing the dead hair, dirt, preventing the hair from matting and even distribution of their oil. Always brush them before baths to prevent matting.
2. Never ever use a ‘Furminator’ on a Malamute. It damages their coat. Use a comb and brush instead.
3. Baths are not necessary; only required once or twice a year if you live in cooler climates. However, if you live in warmer climates, it is good to bathe them at least once a week or every fortnight. Make sure your Mal is blow dry thoroughly after a bath to prevent hotspots or fungal infection.
4. Use a blow dryer to part Malamute’s fur to check for ticks and fleas after every walk.
5. Brush their teeth daily if you can. Periodontal disease leads to many other complications for dogs such as heart disease, arthritis and etc.
6. Clean their ears every time your Mal gets wet to prevent ear infection.
7. Cut their nails every fortnight and trim their paw pads hair to prevent them from slipping on a tile floor.
There is a misconception that Malamutes have to be big, and the bigger the better. In fact, some unscrupulous breeder will breed them with mastiffs to get the gigantic size and passed them off as purebred Alaskan Malamutes. That is the worst mistake any potential owner can make is to purchase a Mal because he/she is big. The more unnatural the size, the higher the changes the giant pups developing hip dysplasia by one year. If the pup is doing the ‘bunny hop-hop’ instead of walking and running like all puppies, then that puppy has a very high chance of hip dysplasia.
1. Always keep them lean. The bigger and heavier they are, the more taxing it is to their joints. For their huge size, Malamutes are relatively small eaters, an adult Malamute only requires between 2-2.5 cups per day. They are also known to self-regulate by not eating for days. Aurora takes 2 cups of cook food a day, snacks on the frozen raw meat or vegetables and she occasionally goes on a self-regulation mode by fasting for a meal or two.
2. Put them on a low protein diet. Puppy food speeds up growth. For a normal breed, that may be fine but malamutes can grow up till 4 years old. Their growth plates fused at 2, hence if you rush their growth, they may be more prone to hip dysplasia and joint issues.
3. Do not allow them to haul weights until they are two and that their growth plates have fused.
4. For healthy skin coat, add one of the followings to his/her diet alternating it daily: fish oil, coconut oil, grinded pumpkin seeds, grinded egg shells, honey, and turmeric.
5. Add offal to their diet. Northern breeds are notorious for zinc deficiency. Aurora gets offal every alternate week. If your dog has hairy paws, browning around his/her mouth and snout, he/she, most likely suffer from zinc deficiency.
6. Large breed dogs are prone to bloating. To prevent that, you should space out their meals, never feed them before and immediately after their exercise or playtime. Aurora’s meal is split into 3 small meals a day.
Alaskan Malamutes are exceedingly intelligent and obstinate. Hence, they require consistent and firm leadership to follow. If they sense that you’re not a strong leader, they will assume the leadership role.
There is a training technique called “Nothing in Life is Free” (NILF). As the owner, you have, and are in control of all the resources your dog wants. Make them earn it through good behaviour.
——Written by Lynette Yee