Alaskan Malamutes are known for their distinctive and rich double coat that gives them their fierce-yet-adorable wolf-like look.
We all know that this fur coat should be maintained by daily brushing. However, this can quickly become too time-consuming to do every day, and improper maintenance can cause mattes that can become breeding grounds for infection. In the summer months, their thick fur can also cause them to overheat and feel ill.
But do Alaskan Malamutes need haircuts? Is it the solution to the problem? Would it cause harm? In this article, we’ll answer all of those questions and more.
Do Alaskan Malamutes need haircuts?
Ideally, you should never have to trim your Malamute’s gorgeous fur. A bad haircut can easily damage their beautiful coat, and they might even react negatively in sensitive areas.
If absolutely needed, your first choice should be to go to a licensed professional for your Malamute’s grooming.
Should I shave my Malamutes?
Avoid shaving your pet’s fur at all costs unless it’s absolutely required, such as in the case of a medical operation or procedure.
Not only is shaving highly unnatural and irritating to them, but their thick coat is also essential to regulate their body’s temperature. If their fur coat is compromised, Malamutes become even more at risk of heatstroke and sunburn. In the worst-case scenario, these irritations could fester and develop infections.
Do Malamutes have hair or fur?
When it comes to dogs, ‘hair’ is often used interchangeably with ‘fur.’ Those with a single layer are referred to as ‘hair’ more commonly, while those with a double layer are referred to as ‘fur.’
In the case of Alaskan Malamutes, they have a specific kind of fur called a ‘double fur,’ so named because it has two layers: a thick outer coat called ‘guard coat’ and a more luxurious undercoat.
Although thick, a Malamute’s guard coat is coarse and short. Meanwhile, the undercoat can reach up to two inches long and has a silky, wooly feel for repelling water and providing warmth.
This double coat is used by Malamutes to protect them against the elements. The Arctic region where they originated is a place of extreme cold, and so they’ve adapted to withstand that climate. Today, this double coat is seen as a distinctive trait and is enhanced through selective breeding.
How Can I Keep My Malamutes Clean?
Although an Alaskan Malamute’s luxurious double fur coat is one of its most distinctive features, it’s also one of the aspects that make their care so challenging.
Nevertheless, as fur parents, we have to do our part to keep our fur babies happy and healthy. Aside from professional grooming, we can do the following things at home:
Set regular bathing schedules
While they don’t need to be groomed and trimmed all the time, regular bathing can help your Malamute in various ways. Aside from keeping them cool, clean, and looking good, you can also minimize shedding if you bathe your dog at least once every one to two weeks.
Use the right shampoo and conditioner.
Don’t get us wrong — regular shampoo works just fine in keeping your dog clean. However, if you want to go the extra mile, nourishing shampoos can help your Malamute’s coat look healthier.
If their coat appears to be dry, conditioners can help things along. Whatever you apply, make sure you research it well first and start slow.
Blow-dry their fur properly
Perhaps more important than using the right shampoo and conditioner is blowing your Malamute’s fur properly.
A wet coat easily attracts all sorts of dirt and germs. If you don’t dry it properly, your Alaskan Malamute might be even dirtier than when you started. You can buy a high-quality blow dryer for this, but many grooming salons now rent out their blowdryers for home use.
Brush their fur regularly
Malamutes require regular brushing at least once a week and professional grooming at least once every 6 to 8 weeks to avoid mats on your Malamute’s coat.
While little mattes aren’t that big of a deal, improper maintenance of your Malamute’s fur could lead to severe matting. This can harbor all sorts of infections. Your Malamute’s fur might need to be shaved if the matte becomes too much. As mentioned, shaving is highly discouraged for this dog breed, so best avoid it as much as you can.
How Often Should You Brush Your Malamutes?
Your Malamutes should be brushed properly at least once or twice every week on their normal days.
However, you will have to brush them every day during their shedding seasons to keep them clean and shed-free. You should also carefully clean the abundant amount of shed fur that Malamutes will have in this period. If you have carpeted floors, you may need to vacuum daily or invest in many lint rollers to keep your carpets fur-free. You can donate the excess fur to yarn shops that accept dog wool.
You should start brushing and grooming your Malamutes early on. This makes them more likely to get used to grooming and relax under treatment than when they’re fully grown. To make this process easier, you can brush them during the quiet hours of the day or night to help them be more relaxed.
Alaskan Malamutes don’t need haircuts, not exactly. Instead, they need proper maintenance for their lovely fur coat, and as their owner, that responsibility falls on you.
In this article, we learned that:
- Malamutes have a double fur coat that they adapted to help them in colder temperatures.
- Trimming your Malamute’s fur should be done very carefully.
- You must never shave a Malamute unless absolutely necessary..
- To keep your Malamute’s fur healthy, bathe them regularly, use the right implements, blow-dry properly, and regularly brush their fur.
- You must take your Malamute to the groomer at least once every six to eight weeks, bathe and brush them at least once a week.
- During shedding season, brush your Malamute every day.
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