for the Alaskan Malamute:
on image for enlargement
to its Arctic origins, the Malamute is a breed that has evolved to live and work
on very little food. For this reason the Malamute metabolism is extremely
efficient and most Malamutes are easily overfed and are prone to obesity. The
Malamute has evolved to be lean, and the body structure is not designed to carry
excess weight - the Malamute should be an athlete.
Malamute is overweight if you can't feel the ribs distinctly under a very thin
layer of flesh - if you can feel a layer of flesh between your fingers and the
ribs then your dog is getting too much food. If you are not sure if your
Malamute is overweight, or don't know what to feed or how to get the weight off,
have a look at our article on
Obesity in the Alaskan
survival instinct of the Alaskan Malamute dictates that any meal could be
its last for quite some time, and feeding times are anticipated with much
relish - whatever you put in the bowl will never be enough in the eyes of
the Malamute. However, Malamute owners must resist the temptation to give
in to the hungry look of the Malamute, or they'll end up with a very
overweight and unhealthy dog, not to mention a huge food bill. This
is not a breed that you can afford to give all it wants.
importance of food to the Malamute also dictates that other dogs (and cats)
should be kept at a safe distance during feeding time. Another animal wandering
over to look in the Malamute's bowl (even if it is empty) can result in the
Malamute warning off the offender in whatever way it thinks best, and expensive
vet bills could result.
should be quite acceptable to the Malamute, however, if any human wishes to
handle or remove the food while he or she is eating. This should be reinforced
with your puppy as soon as you get it home, but make sure that the Malamute is
not teased with food as this could lead to food-related aggression later on.
the Malamute's survival instinct leads it to eat anything that it may consider
vaguely nutritious. Any animal products such as fur or leather can fall victim
to the Malamute - so watch out for those shoes, fur coats and leather lounge
suites! A few of our Malamutes like to have a "dirt" dessert, and
quickly rush off to the tastiest dirt patch in our yards to top-up after a meal.
worse is the tendency for many Malamutes to indulge in "copraphagia"
- the fancy name that means eating their own droppings. This is a natural
tendency for the breed as their strong survival instinct dictates that
they should eat anything containing even the smallest amount of nutrition
since it might be their last meal for a while! This habit should be
restricted as best you can as it results in the recycling of parasites
such as intestinal worms, and doesn't make it particularly enjoyable when
your poop-eating Malamute comes up to give you a big lick in the face!
about what you are giving your dog to eat. Resist the temptation to feed
table scraps if they really would be better off in the rubbish bin. Foods
that are salty or spicy might upset the Malamute's digestive system and should
not be fed, onions are toxic to dogs and non-digestible leftovers like corn-cobs
can block the stomach or intestines resulting in suffering and, if not treated,
death. Very sugary foods are of course not suitable for a dog - these
often have no nutritional value and will only lead to obesity and decayed teeth.
Malamute has a very basic digestive system that cannot cope well with highly
processed foods, such as canned dog foods. These processed foods often
give rise to diarrhoea and gas which is both very uncomfortable for the dog and
most unpleasant for your family! Foods should be fed in their most basic
form where possible and must always be fed raw. Cooking and processing
destroys valuable nutrients and cooked bones can splinter in the intestines and
cause a perforated bowel. So do not think you are doing your dog a favour
by feeding unsuitable "human treats" or by cooking the food, and do
not kill your dog with kindness by overfeeding.
you want to give your dog a treat, the Malamute is probably going to be just as
happy with a bone to chew on or a piece of raw vegetable. Make sure the
whole family is aware of what is and is not suitable to give the dog, and make
sure that the dog is not being fed bits and pieces by everyone at different
Back to "Understanding
Sandy Koch for Malamutes 4 Adoption - not to be reproduced without