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Can Malamutes be Shaved: No, and This Is Why!

Many owners often wonder if they can shave their Malamute’s thick coat.

It’s a question that is commonly asked, especially during the hot summer months.

The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no, and in this article, I will provide you with all the information you need to understand the intricacies of a Malamute’s coat and why you should think twice before shaving them. Let’s begin!

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Understanding the Malamute’s Coat
  • Reasons NOT to Shave Your Malamute
  • Proper Care for a Malamute’s Coat
  • Alternative Methods to Keep Your Malamute Cool
  • Expert Opinions on Shaving Malamutes
  • Conclusion


Alaskan Malamutes are a beautiful breed with a thick, luxurious double coat that is both functional and attractive.

While their coat serves a purpose, many owners wonder if it’s necessary or even safe to shave their Malamutes.

In this article, we will explore the reasons why shaving a Malamute may not be the best idea and provide some expert opinions on the matter. We’ll also discuss how to properly care for a Malamute’s coat and some alternatives to keep them cool during the warmer months.

Understanding the Malamute’s Coat

Before we dive into the reasons not to shave your Malamute, let’s take a closer look at their unique coat. A Malamute’s coat is comprised of two layers:

  • Outer guard hairs: These are the longer, coarser hairs that make up the top layer of the coat. Guard hairs help protect the Malamute from dirt, debris, and moisture.
  • Soft undercoat: Beneath the guard hairs is a dense, soft undercoat that provides insulation and warmth during cold weather.

The combination of these two layers allows the Malamute to withstand extreme temperatures and stay warm in frigid climates. Their coat also helps them stay cool during hot weather by trapping air and creating an insulating barrier. It’s important to understand that their coat serves a vital purpose, and any modifications could impact their overall health and well-being.

The Final Answer: Should You Shave Your Malamute?

The answer is no. A malamutes coat should never be shaved, unless for medical reasons.

In certain situations, a light trim with scissors can be beneficial around troublesome areas like the ears, paws, tail, and underbelly if their natural hair grows excessively long.

4 Reasons NOT to Shave Your Malamute

There are a bunch of equally important reasons why you should avoid shaving your Malamute:

  1. Loss of insulation: Shaving a Malamute’s coat removes the natural insulation provided by their double coat. This can lead to an increased risk of overheating and sunburn during hot weather. Shaving also eliminates the protective barrier against cold weather, making your Malamute more susceptible to hypothermia.
  2. Skin irritation: Malamutes have sensitive skin, and shaving can cause irritation, razor burns, and infections. Their thick coat also serves as a barrier against allergens and irritants, so shaving can expose their skin to these harmful elements.
  3. Increased risk of sunburn: A shaved Malamute is at a higher risk of sunburn due to the lack of protection provided by their coat. Sunburn can be painful and potentially lead to skin cancer.
  4. Coat damage: Shaving can permanently damage your Malamute’s coat, causing it to grow back unevenly, thinner, or with a different texture. In some cases, the coat may not grow back at all.

Given the potential risks and complications associated with shaving a Malamute, it’s crucial to consider alternative methods to keep them comfortable during hot weather.

Proper Care for a Malamute’s Coat

The key to maintaining a healthy coat for your Malamute is regular grooming. Here are some tips on how to care for their coat properly:

  1. Brush regularly: Malamutes require regular brushing to remove loose fur and prevent matting. Aim to brush your Malamute at least once a week, or more often during shedding seasons. Use a slicker brush or undercoat rake to effectively remove loose hair from both layers of their coat.
  2. Bathe occasionally: Bathe your Malamute every 2-3 months or as needed, using a gentle dog shampoo. Frequent baths can strip the natural oils from their coat, leading to dry skin and irritation.
  3. Trim nails: Regularly trim your Malamute’s nails to prevent discomfort and potential injury. Long nails can cause discomfort and may lead to more severe issues, such as infections or joint problems.
  4. Clean ears: Check and clean your Malamute’s ears regularly to prevent wax buildup and infections. Use a gentle ear cleaner designed specifically for dogs and avoid using cotton swabs, as they can push debris further into the ear canal.
  5. Check for skin issues: Regularly inspect your Malamute’s skin for any signs of irritation, infection, or parasites. If you notice any issues, consult your veterinarian for advice on treatment.

By following these grooming tips, you can ensure that your Malamute’s coat stays healthy, clean, and comfortable.

Alternative Methods to Keep Your Malamute Cool

Instead of shaving your Malamute, consider these alternative methods to help them stay cool during hot weather:

  1. Provide plenty of water: Ensure your Malamute has access to clean, fresh water at all times to prevent dehydration.
  2. Offer shaded areas: Make sure your Malamute has access to shaded areas both indoors and outdoors to escape the heat.
  3. Use cooling mats: Consider investing in a cooling mat for your Malamute to lie on during hot days. These mats help lower your dog’s body temperature and provide relief from the heat.
  4. Limit exercise: Avoid strenuous exercise and outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day. Instead, opt for early morning or evening walks when the temperature is cooler.
  5. Use a cooling vest: Cooling vests are specifically designed to help dogs stay cool in hot weather. These vests work by evaporating water, which helps to lower your dog’s body temperature.

Expert Opinions on Shaving Malamutes

Many pet experts and veterinarians advise against shaving Malamutes due to the risks and complications mentioned above. For example, the RSPCA recommends against shaving double-coated breeds like Malamutes, as it can cause permanent damage to their coat and increase their risk of sunburn and overheating.

Similarly, PetMD states that shaving a double-coated dog like a Malamute can negatively impact their ability to regulate their body temperature and expose them to potential skin issues.

Lastly, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) advises pet owners to consult with their veterinarian before making any decisions about altering their pet’s coat, as each dog’s needs can vary depending on their breed, age, and overall health.


In conclusion, shaving a Malamute is not recommended due to the potential risks and complications associated with the process. Their double coat serves a vital purpose in providing insulation and protection against the elements. Instead, focus on proper grooming and coat care to keep your Malamute comfortable and healthy. If you’re concerned about your Malamute’s comfort during hot


The advice given in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice in any context. 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. For the FULL disclaimer Visit Here

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