As the winter months approach, you may be wondering if your Malamute can sleep and live outside. This article will run through some important winter safety guidelines and how your malamute can safely live outside.
Yes, Alaskan Malamutes can sleep outside in winter. They originally lived completely outside and are extremely resistant to cold weather conditions. You should still provide a protective dog house.
Can Malamutes Sleep and Live Outside In Winter
Malamutes are one of the oldest sled dogs in history originally bred to pull heavy loads across large distances, hunt seals, and protect the tribe from bears… All while sleeping and living in arctic weather.
Alaskan Malamutes love being in cold, freezing conditions, and can withstand temperatures as low as -60C.
Whether it’s snow, ice, or hail, the thick double-coat will allow your Malamute to thrive in such climates.
There’s just one thing! Despite his resistance to cold conditions, you must provide a fully weather-proofed house that will protect your Malamute, keeping him warm and safe.
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● How To Keep Alaskan Malamute Cool in Summer?
● My Malamute Won’t Eat: 6 Reasons Why and What To Do
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Your Malamute Can Sleep Outside, But Should He?
Although your Malamute is more than capable of sleeping outside in winter, an important question to consider is whether he should in the first place?
Here are some important considerations:
1. Malamutes Hate Being Alone
Although Malamutes are working dogs, they are known for developing a strong bond with their tribe (which is you and your family!). This breed gets very attached to their owners and craves having human-company.
Malamutes love being around their human family to the extent where being left alone can lead to destructive behavior, stress, depression, isolation distress, and separation anxiety.
So you have to ask yourself, how much human interaction will you have with your Malamute if he sleeps outside?
Unless you have a large pack of Malamutes, many snow dog owners wouldn’t consider this to be a healthy or fair lifestyle.
2. What’s Your Relationship With Your Malamute?
This may sound a little funny at first, but what I mean, is whether your Malamute is a family dog, or is he for working purposes only?
Dogs who are allowed to live and sleep inside the house with their owners are in general better behaved, more friendly, affectionate, and loyal.
There’s a strong argument that even if your Malamute is for working purposes, he will still be as good a worker if he’s allowed to sleep inside the family home.
3. How Old Is Your Malamute?
Your Malamutes age will play a factor in his ability to sleep and live outside in winter.
Young Malamutes (under 2) are still growing, acquiring body mass, and are not yet mentally mature. To have a well behaved, friendly Malamute it’s advised to raise him inside your home for the first couple of years.
On the flip side, senior Malamutes (over 7) start becoming prone to more health conditions and should be able to spend the remainder of their life in the comfort of your own home.
It’s only recommended that Malamutes in their prime (2-7 years old) sleep outside. This is when they are physically fit enough and healthy enough.
4. Are you able to provide proper housing?
Providing sufficient housing a must if you want your Malamute to sleep outside in winter.
Housing not only requires you to have enough space but can also cost a lot of money if you need one professionally made.
Yep, that’s right, you may need one custom made using thick timber and even metal to ensure it’s strong and safe enough for your Malamute to live in.
More will be covered below about suitable housing units below.
What Temperatures Can Malamutes Tolerate?
How cold is too cold? Alaskan Malamutes can tolerate temperatures as low as -60°C. Their thick double-coat, specially adapted paws, furry ears, and large muscle mass all play a collective role in keeping them warm in extremely cold weather.
Their topcoat or otherwise known at guard hairs are somewhat water-resistant and protect against snow and ice, which seemingly falls off with one shake.
Their undercoat is thick, soft and fluffy and sits just above the skin. This layer provides incredible insulation and keeps their body heat where it should be, inside!
Temperature is one thing, but weather conditions are another. If your Malamute gets too wet, his ability to withstand cold weather is SIGNIFICANTLY impaired and hypothermia will happen in a blink of an eye. Ensure your Malamute stays dry.
Suitable Dog Housing
If you are seriously interested in keeping your Malamute outside, you will need to provide suitable housing. Let’s run through what makes an ideal housing unit below:
● Raised flooring off of the outside ground
● Wind-proof (no drafts)
● Rain-proof (completely leak proof)
● Very strong roof to hold the weight of thick snow
● Protective door to prevent other animals from trying to enter
● Ceilings no higher than 5-6 foot, to prevent the heat sitting at the top
● Hay or warm soft blankets for a bed
● Internal heater (for very cold climates)
● Water bowl located where it will not freeze
As you can see, you need a pretty sturdy house. And rightfully so, if your Malamute is living in here, it needs to be of a high standard.
If you’re handy with woodwork, you can certainly build your own.
If your winters are not arctic-like, you may get away with using a dog house that you can purchase online like this one. But if your winters are very cold, houses like this will not suffice and you will need one professionally made.
Your Alaskan Malamute can live and sleep outside in winter and would have lived entirely outside in arctic conditions many thousands of years ago.
Although your Malamute can live and sleep outside, a better question to consider is whether this is ideal for them? Malamutes may be working dogs, but they are also fantastic family dogs that crave human interaction. They really don’t do well when left alone, so it raises a moral issue as to whether or not it’s fair.
And if you do opt for the outside decision, ensure you provide a dog housing unit that’s good enough for a human to sleep in!
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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.