Is My Alaskan Malamute Shedding?

by Lisa

Owning an Alaskan Malamute brings joy, companionship, and the awe-inspiring presence of a majestic canine companion. However, with the beauty of their thick double coat comes the inevitable reality of Alaskan Malamute shedding. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of Alaskan Malamute shedding, helping pet owners understand the reasons behind it and offering effective strategies to manage and minimize the shedding process.

The Alaskan Malamute Coat

Before diving into the nuances of shedding, it’s crucial to comprehend the unique structure of the Alaskan Malamute coat. These dogs boast a double-layered coat designed to withstand the harsh Arctic climates they were originally bred to endure. The outer coat, known as guard hairs, is coarse and straight, providing protection against the elements. Beneath this outer layer lies the dense and woolly undercoat, serving as insulation against extreme temperatures. This double coat not only contributes to the breed’s distinctive appearance but also plays a significant role in their ability to thrive in cold environments.


Seasonal Changes

Alaskan Malamute shedding is a natural and cyclical process influenced by seasonal changes. Twice a year, typically during spring and fall, these dogs undergo a more pronounced shedding phase known as “blowing coat.” During this time, the undercoat sheds significantly to prepare for the upcoming season. This shedding process helps regulate their body temperature, allowing them to adapt to warmer weather in spring and a thicker, warmer coat in preparation for winter. Understanding the seasonal nature of shedding is essential for pet owners, as it enables them to anticipate and manage the shedding more effectively.


How to Identify the Shedding Phase

Recognizing the signs of shedding is crucial for Alaskan Malamute owners to adapt their grooming routines accordingly. During shedding phases, you may notice an increase in loose fur, especially when brushing or petting your Malamute. The undercoat sheds in clumps, and it’s not uncommon to find tufts of fur around the house. Additionally, your Malamute may scratch or groom themselves more frequently as they try to alleviate any discomfort caused by shedding. Keeping a keen eye on these signs helps you stay proactive in managing Alaskan Malamute shedding.


Factors Influencing Shedding

While seasonal changes play a significant role in Alaskan Malamute shedding, other factors can influence the intensity and frequency of shedding. Nutrition is a crucial aspect; a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, contributes to a healthier coat and may help reduce shedding. Stress and changes in the environment can also impact shedding patterns, so it’s essential to provide a stable and comfortable living environment for your furry friend. Regular grooming and maintenance can aid in managing shedding, preventing excessive fur buildup and matting.


Regular Grooming

To effectively manage Alaskan Malamute shedding, a consistent and thorough grooming routine is paramount. Regular brushing is the cornerstone of shedding management, helping to remove loose fur before it accumulates in your home. Invest in high-quality brushes designed for double-coated breeds, such as slicker brushes and grooming rakes. Brush your Malamute at least once a week, increasing the frequency during shedding seasons. This not only minimizes shedding but also promotes a healthier coat and skin by improving air circulation and preventing mats.

The Deshedding Process: Tools and Techniques

In addition to regular brushing, incorporating a deshedding process into your grooming routine can significantly reduce Alaskan Malamute shedding. Deshedding tools, such as undercoat rakes or deshedding blades, are specifically designed to remove loose fur from the undercoat without harming the topcoat. When using these tools, work systematically, focusing on one section at a time to ensure thorough coverage. Be gentle to avoid causing discomfort to your Malamute, and always follow up with a thorough brushing to eliminate any remaining loose fur.

Bathing: A Strategic Approach to Shedding Management

While Alaskan Malamutes are generally clean dogs, occasional baths can contribute to shedding management. Use a dog-friendly shampoo designed for double-coated breeds, ensuring it does not strip the coat of its natural oils. Bathing helps remove loose fur and promotes a healthy coat, but it’s essential not to overdo it, as excessive bathing can lead to dry skin and potentially exacerbate shedding. Aim for a bath every two to three months, or as needed, based on your Malamute’s activity level and environment.

Nutrition and Hydration: Supporting a Healthy Coat

Proper nutrition is a fundamental aspect of managing Alaskan Malamute shedding. A diet rich in high-quality proteins, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids contributes to a healthy coat and skin, minimizing excessive shedding. Ensure your Malamute has access to fresh water at all times, as hydration is equally vital for coat health. If you’re concerned about your dog’s shedding patterns, consult with your veterinarian to explore dietary adjustments or supplements that may benefit their coat condition.

Environmental Considerations: Creating a Shedding-Friendly Space

Creating a shedding-friendly environment within your home can significantly reduce the impact of Alaskan Malamute shedding. Invest in washable, pet-friendly furniture covers and regularly vacuum and clean your living space to remove loose fur. Consider designating specific areas for your Malamute, such as a comfortable bed with a washable cover, to contain shedding in manageable areas. Additionally, using air purifiers can help filter out pet dander and reduce allergens, contributing to a cleaner and more comfortable living space.

When to Seek Professional Help: Unusual Shedding Patterns

While shedding is a natural and expected part of owning an Alaskan Malamute, unusual shedding patterns may indicate underlying health issues. If you observe sudden or excessive shedding, bald patches, or changes in your Malamute’s coat texture, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian. Health conditions such as allergies, hormonal imbalances, or skin infections could contribute to abnormal shedding. Early detection and treatment of these issues not only address shedding concerns but also ensure the overall well-being of your furry companion.


In conclusion, understanding and managing Alaskan Malamute shedding is a vital aspect of responsible pet ownership. While shedding may seem overwhelming at times, particularly during the blowing coat phase, it’s essential to recognize it as a natural and necessary process for these Arctic dogs. By implementing a proactive grooming routine, incorporating deshedding tools, and considering factors such as nutrition and environment, you can minimize the impact of shedding and enjoy the company of your Alaskan Malamute with a beautifully maintained coat. Embrace the natural beauty of your furry friend, shedding and all, as you continue to build a strong and loving bond.


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