Can Alaskan Malamutes Be Left Alone? Tips You Must Know


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Whether or not your Alaskan Malamute can be left alone is something important to consider. With our busy lives and work commitments, it’s becoming increasingly more normal to leave our houses from morning to night, but how does your Alaskan Malamute handle that?

Alaskan Malamutes do not cope well when left alone, and should not be left alone for more than 3-4 hours at a time. Malamutes develop strong bonds with their owners and crave having human company as much as possible.

Everything will be explained in further detail below:

Content Menu:
1.
Can Alaskan Malamutes Be Left Alone?
2.
How Long Can an Alaskan Malamute Be Left Alone
3.
Negative Effects When Malamutes Spend Too Much Time Alone
4.
What’s The Best Thing You Can Do To Help?
5. What To Do When You Go On Vacation?
6.
6 Ways To Keep Your Alaskan Malamute Happy When Home Alone

Can Alaskan Malamutes Be Left Alone?

Malamutes are a breed that craves having both canine and human company, most of the time.

The social desire for constant interaction make Alaskan Malamute’s a breed that does not cope well when left alone.

This quickly becomes a problem when combined with busy work schedules, college hours, and running errands.

It’s becoming increasingly more normal for households to remain empty for long periods of time. And sadly, this is very detrimental to a dog’s mental health and behavior.

How Long Can an Alaskan Malamute Be Left Alone

The next question that most people ask is how long can my malamute be left alone?

This is a little harder to answer, and that’s because each dog is different from the next. Malamutes, in general, don’t cope well for very long, but each Malamute will have their own personal tolerance.

It would be unfair to give an estimate for all malamutes. Fortunately, there’s a simple way you can find out your Malamute’s own tolerance.

Finding Out How Long YOUR Malamute Can Tolerate:

A series of simple tests will help you know how long your Malamute can tolerate.

All you need to do is start by leaving him home alone for 30 minutes one day, then 1 hour the next day, then 2 hours the day after, and so on.

When you return home, you need to check the following:

Check his body language. Does your Malamute look calm? relaxed? Maybe it looks like he’s just woken up from a peaceful nap… Or does he look anxious, worried, is he shaking with his tail tucked under himself? Observing his body language is the most important thing to do the second you see him.

Signs of distress / destructive behavior. Did he rip anything? are there scratches near the door or windows? Destructive behavior is a go-to for dogs once they reach a level of boredom and frustration that they can’t deal with, regardless of how well-behaved they usually are.

Listen for whining, howling, or crying as you approach the house. If you hear excessive howling, this is a sign he’s already reached his tolerance.

The use of indoor CCTV will help you out dramatically, not only when finding out his tolerance, but for all future moments when he’s left alone. I will cover this in more detail further below.

It’s essential to find out your Malamute’s personal tolerance. This way, you can make arrangements to leave work for a break, or have someone visit your malamute before he reaches his threshold.

If your Malamute can tolerate 3 hours being alone before he gets agitated and frustrated, you know when to intervene.

By doing this, you will significantly reduce the negative health side effects that I’m about to cover below.

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Other Malamute Articles on The Blog
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Why Your Alaskan Malamute Isn’t Fluffy and What To Do!

Negative Effects When Malamutes Spend Too Much Time Alone

The issue with leaving your Alaskan Malamute home alone too much and too often, is that it’s detrimental to his mental health, behavior, and even physical health.

What may happen when your Alaskan Malamute spends too much time alone:

Depression
Stress
Isolation Distress
Separation Anxiety
Destructive Behavior
Aloofness
Disobedience
Temperament issues including increased aggression.

Those are some pretty serious issues that are also very hard to overcome once developed.

It’s important to remember, that dogs are highly social animals, and certain breeds rely on having company more than others, malamutes are one of these breeds.

It goes without saying, that spending too much time alone will take a serious toll on their overall health and well-being.

What’s The Best Thing You Can Do To Help?

Whether it’s working long hours, going to college all day, or needing to go out for a few hours, It helps to have plans in place to help reduce the stress caused by your absence.

Flexible hours or taking lunch at home

The first thing you can do, and I know for some of you this already isn’t an option. But getting flexible hours will help tremendously.

Even obtaining a lunch break that you can go home for, will be a HUGE improvement. Being able to go home for 30 minutes midday will at least help break up the time your Malamute is alone for, you can talk to him, play with him and take him out for some exercise.

Ask friends or family members to help

The next best thing is to ask your friends and family members to visit your home. I know It’s unrealistic to expect one person to do it every day, but between a few of them, you could secure 3-4 days out of the week that your Malamute isn’t left alone for hours on end.

Hire a dog sitter/dog walker ⭐

The last resort after friends and family, and maybe the most practical. Is to just hire someone to come to your house and either sit there with your Malamute or take him out for a nice long walk.

Dog sitting is now a well-established service, in most countries. There are many legitimate websites, that will come up with a simple Google search.

Dog sitters and walkers all have their own personal reviews that are left by dog owners. So you know that these ladies and gentlemen are actual pet lovers and safe to work with.

This is likely the best option, and although you need to pay for it, you can alter prices once you establish a good relationship with a particular dog sitter/walker.

What To Do When You Go On Vacation?

Going on vacation is another tricky situation.

Right off the bat, I would honestly avoid kennels completely. Kennels can be pretty wild, and this can have a huge negative impact on your Malamute’s mental health and behavior.

Imagine your dog going from a safe home environment to a kennel without you, and many other dogs, howling barking, displaying aggressive behavior, and disputing over territory… It’s like going to Walmart on Black-Friday, highly stressful.

Have your Malamute live with friends or family

If you have any pet loving friends or family members, then having your Malamute live with them is the first and best option to try.

Yep, I know, it’s a long shot, and for most of us, it may not be feasible.

Hire a house/dog sitter to live in your house while you’re away

House sitter or dog sitter, this is your next best option. Again, this sounds a little scary at first, but this is in fact a well-established service with many reputable companies doing an awesome job.

All people are vetted and have their own reviews left to their name by homeowners and pet owners. The reviews are really important so always choose someone with a lot of “house sits” and positive reviews.

Not only will your Malamute have someone permanently with them, but your house is getting looked after too.

6 Ways To Keep Your Alaskan Malamute Happy When Home Alone

Let’s run through 6 more ways you can keep your Malamute happy when you are home alone.

I want to mention, these are just additional tips to help him feel more relaxed and comfortable. The only true way to keep him happy is to have human company.

1. Give him an unwashed t-shirt

One of the best comforters for your dog is sitting right in your dirty laundry basket…

As long as your Malamute doesn’t rip soft items to shreds, this is certainly a good thing to try.

Your scent is very significant to your dog. Your scent will make your Malamute feel calm and safe.

Your Malamute can smell 10,000 to 100,000 times better than you… So you can see just how powerful this is.

In some cases, this may even lead your Malamute to think you are still in the house, simply due to having your scent close to by.

2. Exercise him before you leave

Exercise is very important for Alaskan Malamutes anyway, and they should receive around 1 hour of exercise per day, and for Malamutes in their prime, even more.

One thing you don’t want to do is leave your Malamute alone for hours, without having spent at least some of his energy.

This is asking for him to become bored and frustrated quickly!

So before you leave, regardless of the time, ensure you take your Malamute out for a run, ball chasing, or anything fairly strenuous.

The chances of your Malamute peacefully sleeping while you’re out of the house, significantly increase.

3. Leave the radio, TV or a recording of your voice playing

Let’s address the two easy ones first…

Leaving the radio or TV on will help drown out outside noises that would otherwise keep your Malamute on edge and unable to settle.

People walking by, cars passing, and other animals will heighten your Malamutes survival instincts and he won’t be able to rest.

Drowning out this noise is very important.

If you have the necessary equipment, record yourself having a generic conversation (with yourself) and keep this playing on repeat while you are out. This sounds a little “out there” but this really does work!

This has worked so well, that it’s even a way to cure separation anxiety (which is notoriously hard to overcome). If you leave the voice recording playing in another room, your Malamute will eventually assume you are still in the house.

4. Create a dedicated space for your Malamute

Creating a special space in your house for your Malamute to stay could help him feel more secure and safe. This space will act as his own little den.

The space or room should ideally be away from outside noises and distractions.

The room should have his crate, water bowl, toys, comfort items, and a blanket.

His immediate environment plays a big part in how he feels, so try your best to create a space for him to retreat to and feel good.

It’s a great idea to start playing with him in this space, as this will create good associations for him, specific to that area.

5. Provide Interactive Toys

Interactive toys are great for a few reasons.

They provide valuable mental stimulation which goes a long way in preventing boredom and frustration.

Mental stimulation is often neglected, but it plays a crucial part in feeling content and satisfied.

Not only that, but a simple interactive toy like the Star Mark Bob-A-Lot could keep your Malamute entertained for up to an hour, or even longer!

Putting down one of these toys just as you leave will keep him occupied and happy.

6. Two way pet camera with audio

For the gadget-lover, this might be your next purchase!

Two-way pet cameras allow you and your Malamute to see each other as well as hear each other.

After a little setting up, you’ll be able to see your Malamute within a few seconds from your smartphone, wherever you are.

Having the ability to instantly see your Malamute is invaluable. You’ll see whether he’s sleeping, playing with his toy, or if he’s looking distressed.

If action needs to be taken, you can acquire a short break from work, or call a friend or family member to go around and help out.

You can get a good pet camera from Amazon. This one is affordable and has awesome reviews.

Final Thoughts

Alaskan Malamutes don’t cope well when left alone. You shouldn’t leave your Malamute for more than 4 hours at a maximum. But even this may be too long your YOUR Malamute.

Each dog has its own individual tolerance, and it’s a good idea for you to find that out.

Dogs that spend too much time alone, too often, will likely develop a range of negative mental health issues as well as suffer from stress, anxiety, or depression.

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Disclaimer

The advice given in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute pet medical advice. Before making any decisions that may affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area.

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Harry

I started My Happy Husky for the true husky lovers and owners. Here you'll find all the information you need from training, behavior, health, grooming, and more. After owning dogs for more than 22 years, it's time to give back. Enjoy!

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