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Alaskan Malamute Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Breed Selection Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books

Alaskan Malamute

Start your Alaskan Malamute off on the right foot by feeding the right food, giving the right vaccinations, finding the right vet, and if you're going to spay or neuter, don't do it too early.


Jump down to this list of
Alaskan Malamute Health Problems


Or check out my advice for raising a healthy Alaskan Malamute puppy or adult dog:

Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Malamute lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet... [read more]

numeral 33 Best Ways To Feed Your Dog Healthy Food
You can dramatically increase your dog's chances of living a long, healthy life by feeding the right food. Cutting right to the chase, the best foods for your Alaskan Malamute are... [read more]

Real homemade dog food A Quick Way To Make Homemade Dog Food
Your Malamute will love real chicken, turkey, beef, fish, eggs, yogurt, broccoli.... this is not just "people food" and I'll tell you why... [read more]

Dry kibble and canned dog food 5 Best Kibble and Canned Dog Foods
Some are better than others, but I must be honest – I'm not a huge fan of dry or canned dog food. Here are my concerns... [read more]

NomNomNow homemade dog food service Feed Homemade Dog Food Without Needing To Make It
Would you like to feed your dog homemade, but don't have the time to make it? I have a solution for you... [read more]

Pet insurance Should You Buy Pet Insurance? An Honest Review
My advice on the pros and cons of pet health insurance. The best pet insurance company I've found is... [read more]

Information on booster shots for your German Shepherd. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Alaskan Malamute puppy really need? Does your adult dog need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed! Find out what some vets aren't telling you... [read more]

Information on spaying Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Should your female Alaskan Malamute be spayed? Current research says, "The AGE at which you spay can be vitally important to your dog's future health." So what's the best age? [read more]

Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Have you been told that you must neuter your male Alaskan Malamute? Current research shows that the issue is not so simple. Pet owners are not being told about some risks associated with neutering male dogs, especially neutering too early... [read more]

Information on choosing the best vet Make Sure Your Vet is the Best!
Is your current veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Here's how to tell... [read more]

Assisi Loop Assisi Loop Review
Does your Mal suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, colitis? My honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to reduce inflammation and pain. [read more]

Alaskan Malamute

Complete list of Alaskan Malamute health problems

According to an Alaskan Malamute Club health survey, the number one health problem in the breed is hip dysplasia. The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of over 14,000 Alaskan Malamutes and found 12% dysplastic.

Other orthopedic diseases in Alaskan Malamutes are elbow dysplasia, osteochondritis, panosteitis, luxating patella, Wobbler's syndrome, and a rare disease called chondrodysplasia.

According to the club survey, the second worrisome health problem in Alaskan Malamutes is a serious eye disease, cataracts. One form of cataracts appears at less than a year old, while another form appears around age six.

Other eye diseases of concern include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), corneal dystrophy, glaucoma, and entropion.

Also day blindness, which is an inherited eye disease in Alaskan Malamute puppies. It's officially called hemeralopia or cone degeneration. Cone cells help your dog see in bright light, so when they die, your puppy becomes "day blind." He may seek out shaded areas in the yard and be reluctant to enter sunny areas, where he will walk hesitantly, stumbling or tripping over things. There's no cure for day blindness, but the condition doesn't get any worse with time and with their acute senses of smell and hearing, most puppies with visual difficulties learn how to compensate very well, especially in familiar surroundings.

According to the club survey, hypothyroidism is third on the list of health concerns in Alaskan Malamutes. According to the Michigan State University Thyroid Database, up to 18% of Mals have low thyroid levels.

With their deep chest, Alaskan Malamutes are at higher-than-normal risk for the emergency gastrointestinal syndrome called bloat.

Cancer is a leading cause of death in the Alaskan Malamute, especially osteosarcoma, lymphosarcoma, and mammary cancer.

Allergies cause itchy skin and often lead to pyoderma (bacterial skin infections). Other skin diseases reported in the breed include follicular dysplasia, zinc-responsive dermatosis, and the (fortunately rare) Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome.

Blood-clotting diseases include hemophilia B, factor VII deficiency, and von Willebrand's disease.

Other health issues in Alaskan Malamutes include epilepsy, diabetes, polyneuropathy, and myasthenia gravis.

Alaskan Malamutes are prone to losing pigment on their nose and muzzle – this can be caused by nasal solar dermatitis, vitiligo, or lupus, but most commonly it's a harmless condition called snow nose where the nose only loses pigment in the winter.

Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if your dog inherits from his parents the genes for an eye disease called PRA, he will go blind and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

Dog feeding and health book by Michele Welton But most health problems can be prevented by the ways you raise your dog.

My best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to raise your Alaskan Malamute in all the right ways that help prevent health problems. Become your dog's health care champion!

Michele Welton with BuffyAbout the author: Michele Welton has over 40 years of experience as a Dog Trainer, Dog Breed Consultant, and founder of three Dog Training Centers. An expert researcher and author of 15 books about dogs, she loves helping people choose, train, and care for their dogs.

To help you train and care for your dog

dog training videos Dog training videos. Sometimes it's easier to train your puppy (or adult dog) when you can see the correct training techniques in action.

The problem is that most dog training videos on the internet are worthless, because they use the wrong training method. I recommend these dog training videos that are based on respect and leadership.

book coverRespect Training For Puppies: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved puppy. For puppies 2 to 18 months old. Your puppy will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
If your dog is over 18 months, you'll want book coverRespect Training For Adult Dogs: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved dog. Again your dog will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
book coverTeach Your Dog 100 English Words is a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your adult dog to listen to you and do what you say.
book cover11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy helps your dog live a longer, healthier life.
book coverDog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams will help you find a good-tempered, healthy family companion.