As the weather starts getting warmer in many parts of the world, malamute owners become increasingly worried about keeping their furry friends cool. This article will run through practical tips you can try today to keep your malamute cool during the hot weather.
I normally write about huskies, but Malamutes are their close cousins, so today we’re going malamute style! 😎
The best 9 ways to keep a Malamute cool:
- Keep him out of the midday sun.
- Protect his paws from hot surfaces.
- Use an elevated cooling bed.
- Do not shave his coat.
- Provide access to a cool shaded room.
- Exercise at a suitable time of the day.
- Encourage him to drink plenty of water.
- Give him space.
- Get a doggy paddling pool.
Can Malamutes Live in Hot Weather?
Despite being known for cold weather, malamutes can still live a happy life in hotter conditions, as long as we help them keep cool and comfortable.
In fact, malamutes are quite a popular breed just like huskies in countries such as India and even tropical climates like Southeast Asia. They are also popular in some of the warmer states of America, like Texas, Southern California and Florida. Whether or not this fair on them is subjective and is a different topic left for another day.
Yes, their thick coat does keep them warm, but it actually plays an important role in keeping them cool too. Many take one look at the coat of a Malamute and think that surviving in hot weather isn’t possible, but that’s far from the truth. As long as we provide a helping hand to the giant fluff ball.
I will run through the 9 ways to keep your Malamute cool in hot weather in more detail below. Let’s get to it!
9 Best Ways to Keep Your Malamute Cool
Below are the 9 best ways to help keep your malamute cool in hot weather. All the tips are equally important and should be implemented with your malamute when the temperature starts rising.
When the temperature starts rising in the high teens or above 15 degrees Celcius or 60 degrees Fahrenheit you should start assisting him to keep cool.
1. Keep Your Malamute Out of the Midday Sun
Between the hours of 12-4 when the sun is usually the highest and strongest, it’s important to keep him in a shaded spot.
We may like to be out sunbathing during these hours, but it’s not a great idea for your Malamute. Keeping him out of the direct sunshine when it’s at its strongest is the first simple step in keeping him cool.
It would be preferable to keep him inside your home in a cool shaded room. If you have tile flooring this will be a bonus as it will help draw out heat from his belly.
In nearly all hot states and countries, Air Conditioning comes as standard in most houses. It would certainly be advised to have the AC running for your Malamute. This may increase your bills, but it’s a sure-fire way to keep your furry friend happy when it’s scorching outside.
2. Protect His Paws From Hot Surfaces
A less commonly known fact about all dogs is that their paws are extremely sensitive to heat. In fact, dogs sweat from only two main places, their nose, and their paws!
It goes without saying that it’s very important to keep his paws cool and protected. Paws can get burned from hot tarmac or concrete easily and can be very painful.
A good rule to remember is if the ground or concrete is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for his paws.
This becomes very important when you take your malamute out for walks, or if you have any concrete in your own yard. It’s much preferable to keep him on grass or a surface that doesn’t heat up in the sun.
3. Use a Cooling Bed
Cooling beds are something I am a huge fan of. I recommend them to all my husky readers, and honestly, any dog owner out there.
They work so well because they’re elevated off the ground and support your dog on a strong mesh. Not only is it very comfortable but it provides constant airflow all-around the belly area while laying down. It’s simple but incredibly effective.
Don’t worry, if you’re thinking they’re as expensive as regular dog beds, they certainly aren’t! I recommend the cooling bed from Frisco. It’s one of the best out there, having received thousands of 5-star reviews, and it’s extremely affordable at just $21 (at the time of writing this)
4. Do Not Shave His Coat
For most malamute owners, their impressive coat is what makes a malamute, a malamute! But you would be surprised, still to this day many people shave off the thick double coats of malamutes and huskies, in an attempt to cool them down.
This does not work!
Shaving a double-coated breed will cause more harm to them than good. Plus it could potentially ruin their coat for the rest of their life. Yep, really.
Double-coated breeds have two layers, the topcoat, and the undercoat. The topcoat is made from tougher hair that’s more coarse to touch.
The topcoat never sheds and protects your Malamute from external problems, such as UV rays, dirt and even biting insects and bugs.
The undercoat is the soft fluffy hair sitting close to the skin, this is also the hair that sheds. This is responsible for insulating and keeping your Malamute warm in winter months.
As the warmer months approach, your Malamute will begin shedding, and may even blow his coat completely.
This typically leaves just the topcoat. This allows for greater airflow while blocking direct heat from the sun. A shaved Malamute will not be able to block direct heat, and airflow will not be encouraged.
One more thing to mention. After shaving, the two layers grow back at different speeds, which could cause a tangle between the two coats. This leads to matting, and matting is just as bad as having no protective coat in the first place! As you can see, shaving is one big no-no.
5. Provide Access to a Cool Shaded Room
It’s not just about keeping your malamute out of the midday sun (like tip no.1) it’s having a place for him to retreat to at any time he feels that he needs to.
It may not be midday, but the temperature could still be high.
Having the choice to either be out in the yard where it’s hotter or inside where it’s cooler is invaluable and will go a long way in making your furry friend feel comfortable throughout summer months.
It’s like when you’re at the beach and there’s no shade, it’s not comfortable. As soon as we have access to the shade as well, we are able to cool our selves down a little if needed. Our canine companions do the same.
6. Exercise at a Suitable Time of The Day
Exercise is very important for malamutes and even in hot weather, still require daily physical activity.
This means having to choose a more appropriate time to take him out. Early morning or late evening (before dark) is when the temperatures are normally lower compared to midday.
This will be a much more suitable time of day to go out for his exercise.
Another tip would be to avoid traveling far away from home if you’re on foot. If the local park is far away, take him in the car to the park, then give him his exercise there. This will help to avoid overheating before he gets his exercise.
7. Encourage Him to Drink Plenty of Water
Although most of the time dogs will drink when they feel they need to, they can sometimes forget. Drinking plenty of water is essential to keeping cool, just like it is with us!
Always provide fresh cool water in his bowl. Even if the bowl still has water in it, if it’s old or dirty, wash it out and refill it. He’ll be more inclined to take a sip.
You can also try a fun game that will help with water intake. Take a couple of ice cubes, and plop them in the water bowl. It won’t be long before they melt but your malamute will be quite amused and happy to play with the ice cubes in the water. Without noticing he’ll intake quite a lot of water.
Just do this outside, it may become messy!
8. Having Space is Important
Sometimes, managing heat is partly just about being comfortable in it. Having adequate space to lay down, roam around and stretch out is important.
Malamutes are not small dogs, and hopefully, you already have a spacious area or yard where your Malamute doesn’t feel cramped up.
Having space won’t directly cool him down like sitting by the AC would, but it will go a long in helping him to feel comfortable, relaxed, and content.
9. Get a Paddling Pool
Yep, that’s right, a paddling pool.
Your malamute may be hesitant at first and it usually requires at least a handful of “beginner sessions” You may even have to get in the paddling pool yourself to show your big fluff ball that’s it ok to get in.
Once your malamute learns to get in, you won’t be able to get him out, this will be the ultimate playtime and it will work wonders at keeping him cool outside in the hot weather.
You’ll officially be the coolest pet parent around! In both ways!
Keeping your malamute cool isn’t as challenging as you may have first thought. But it does require you to act. It’s important to provide help and always be aware of his health and safety. Especially if you need to leave the house, keep him in a cool shaded room with ventilation and a large supply of freshwater. (and don’t leave for a long time!)
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