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Caring for an Alaskan Malamute in the Summer

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: August 31, 2017
Caring for an Alaskan Malamute in the Summer
Alaskan malamute

Animal file: Alaskan malamute

Did you know that the Alaskan Malamute is one of the oldest breeds of sled dogs? This breed is native to the Arctic and is known for its beauty, great strength and ability to work, which is why this type of dog was chosen for expeditions to the Arctic Circle and rescued wounded people during World War II.

While this basal breed is closely related to the wolf and has hardly changed its appearance over the years, its temperament is very balanced. The Alaskan Malamute is a loyal, affectionate and playful dog with a strong protective instinct towards children.

The Alaskan Malamute is commonly identified by its thick, bulky coat. It is precisely its fur what makes this breed a pet that requires special care. In this AnimalWised article we'll learn all about caring for an Alaskan Malamute in the summer.

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  1. What is an Alaskan Malamute's coat like?
  2. Can you have an Alaskan Malamute in a warm region?
  3. Caring for an Alaskan Malamute in the summer
  4. Prevent heat stroke

What is an Alaskan Malamute's coat like?

The Alaskan Malamute has accompanied Inuit tribes over the years in truly adverse climate conditions, for which this dog breed was especially prepared. In addition to its robust structure, its biggest ally in icy weather has always been its coat.

Another breed that shares these characteristics is the Siberian Husky. Although it is similar to an Alaskan Malamute, there are various differences between them.

Like many dog breeds, the Alaskan Malamute a double coat:

  • The external layer has a very thick and rough texture.
  • The internal layer is less dense, has an oily feel and a texture similar to wool.

Its fur reaches a greater length on its neck, shoulders, tail and back. Another genuine feature of the Alaskan Malamute is that when it gets wet, its size is not reduced.

Can you have an Alaskan Malamute in a warm region?

In warm areas, the weather during the summer can reach temperatures beyond 38 ºC (100 ºF). If this sometimes feels like too much for us to handle, imagine what it can be like for an Arctic dog! However, does that mean you can't have an Alaskan Malamute?

Not at all, but you should know that it will not be pleasant for your dog. If you are responsible in providing the necessary care during this time of year, you'll maintain your dog's optimal health and wellness, even when the environment is completely different from the breed's native habitat. Caring for an Alaskan Malamute in the summer, then, is of key importance.

Caring for an Alaskan Malamute in the Summer - Can you have an Alaskan Malamute in a warm region?

Caring for an Alaskan Malamute in the summer

How can you make heat bearable for your Alaskan Malamute? There are some lifestyle tweaks that will be of great help.

  • Avoid having the dog outdoors during the day. While it should remain inside the home during the main daylight hours, this is not enough. Your dog will need something to cool down the heat at home, like a fan or AC system. Keep your home ventilated at night and keep the blinds down as much as possible during the day.
  • Your dog needs fresh water constantly. This is obvious for any dog, but it is especially important for an Alaskan Malamute during the summer. Water will be the main way to lower the dog's body temperature to something it can bear. Change its water several times a day and if possible give it cold water: mix room-temperature water with water that has been chilled in the refrigerator.
  • Brush your dog daily to remove all the dead hair and any residue that might be found in its coat.
  • A dog like the Alaskan Malamute needs exercise every day, but as a responsible owner you should know you can only exercise your dog in the cooler hours of the morning and the cooler hours of the night.

Being attentive to your dog during the summer and providing it with all the care as previously mentioned will ensure a healthy pet.

Prevent heat stroke

The Alaskan Malamute is very susceptible to heat stroke, so it is very important that you monitoryour dog during the summer. Symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Very high body temperature
  • Bluish mucous
  • Breathlessness, wheezing and rapid heartbeat
  • Excessive salivation
  • Muscular uncoordination, frailty

If you see any these symptoms in your dog, it is important that you give first aid and you go to the vet immediately if there is no sign of improvement. Here you can learn more about heat stroke in dogs, its symptoms and prevention.

Caring for an Alaskan Malamute in the Summer - Prevent heat stroke

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Caring for an Alaskan Malamute in the Summer