Why Is My Alaskan Malamute Not Eating? 5 Reasons Why

Why Is My Alaskan Malamute Not Eating
Photo by Péter Andi on Unsplash

It’s worrying when a beloved pet refuses to eat its food—more so if you’re not sure why. In this article, we’re going to discuss possible reasons and fixes for your Alaskan Malamute not eating.

It’s not always easy to distinguish what’s causing this behavior in your precious Malamute. Alaskan Malamutes are great pets who are typically playful and loving, so it can be very strange to see them down and upset. As a fur parent, you must figure this out before it leads to something worse.

Here are some reasons why your Alaskan Malamute is not eating.

Your Malamute may be sick

sad alaskan malamute not eating
Photo from Wallpapers Safari

Do you enjoy eating when you’re sick? If you’re like most people, you probably don’t feel like eating when you’re ill.

The same can be said for your Alaskan Malamute. Underlying health issues can sometimes show up in symptoms like a lack of appetite.

This means that if your Alaskan Malamute has a health problem, it can cause them to stop eating.

They are especially prone to Zinc deficiency, specifically Type 1 Zinc-responsive dermatosis. This nutrient is primarily responsible for maintaining the body’s normal functions. A lack of Zinc can cause a loss of appetite in Malamutes.

Aside from that, there are many other illnesses that affect dogs in general, so regular check-ups at the vet is important.

Your Malamute doesn’t like the dog food

This is the most common reason for Alaskan Malamutes not eating. However, it’s not always that straightforward.

To say it simply, not all dog food is created equal. Most cheap dog food brands use low-quality ingredients like by-products, fillers, additives, preservatives, chemicals, and other irritative or harmful components.

For Malamutes, eating low-quality dog food may not just taste unpleasant. It can also make them ill.

Plus, Malamutes have excellent metabolism, which means they can go for a long time without eating. They’re more likely to pass on bad food because their metabolism affords them to wait until something better comes along.

Something is stressing them out

alaskan malamute quiet
Photo by Alexei Scutari on Unsplash

Dogs are generally very sensitive to their environment, and they feel the most vulnerable to danger when eating.

Alaskan Malamutes, in general, have very strong senses. The slightest change in their surroundings can put them off their food.

Major changes, like moving houses, have a higher chance of stressing them out. However, even minor changes like a new pet or an unfamiliar noise can lead to the same result.

If you think your Malamute is too stressed to eat, try moving his food bowl somewhere more private and less prone to interruptions.

It has a highly irregular feeding time.

Dogs, like humans, are creatures of habit. They feel more at ease when they have a set routine.

If you’re not feeding your Alaskan Malamute according to schedule, it’s time to start doing that now. Routines can help dogs cope better with changes in the household and primes their appetite.

Once you’ve made a feeding schedule, make sure to stick to it. Eventually, your Malamute’s body will adjust and expect food at those times, making it easy to predict their appetites.

He’s restless from a lack of exercise

Alaskan malamute chilling
Photo by ertuzio on Pixabay

Alaskan Malamutes were bred to be one of the most hardworking dogs known to man. They were trained to have the energy for days of heavy pulling across countries in harsh arctic conditions.

Since your Alaskan Malamute has lots of energy in his body, he needs to release it somehow. This breed requires a minimum of two hours of exercise per day, more so if he’s in his prime.

Sled dogs, in general, have an interesting metabolism. They can consume many calories, but when needed, these dog breeds can “flip a switch” that lets them endure strenuous conditions for days while consuming only very little food.

Simply put, not eating for a day or two is a piece of cake for an Alaskan Malamute that isn’t using up its energy.

How to Get Your Alaskan Malamute to Eat

Now that we know some of the most common reasons for your Alaskan Malamute not eating, here are a few fixes that you can try.

Switch to higher quality dog food

Alaskan Malamute with a bone
Photo by Mohan Nannapaneni on Pexels

Pick a brand that doesn’t contain common allergens like chicken, lamb, and pork. Instead, go for one that uses turkey, duck, or fish as a primary protein source.

You can also try adding wet food to your Malamute’s diet. Aside from being tastier, wet food also contains a lot more nutrients than dry kibbles. You can try mixing your Malamute’s favorite wet food with wet kibbles in an 80-20 split to entice it to eat more.

That said, keep in mind the amount of calories he’s eating, and don’t give him too much wet food.

Visit the nearest vet

If it’s not the dog food, then it could be something worse. To clear your doubts, it’s best to take a trip to the vet.

As mentioned above, lack of appetite can be a sign of a severe health condition. Your vet will perform all the necessary checks and will recommend the appropriate actions based on the findings.

Increase exercise and playtime

active alaskan malamute
Photo by Jaanus Jagomagi on Unsplash

So you’ve changed food brands, and the vet says nothing is amiss health-wise. And yet, your precious pet is still not eating.

Don’t worry, you just need to increase his exercise and playtime. As mentioned, Alaskan Malamutes need plenty of exercise to function at optimal conditions.

Older or younger Malamutes are usually okay with less than two hours of exercise. But Malamutes at two to seven years old may be satisfied with that. Try getting it to be more active and see if it sparks that appetite.

Also, make sure to time their exercise so that it’s not within two hours of eating.

Final thoughts on your Alaskan Malamute not eating

It can be worrying for you to see that your Alaskan Malamute is not eating, but luckily, there are plenty of ways to solve this problem.

In this article, we learned that:

  • Underlying health issues can cause your Malamute to lose its appetite
  • Low-quality dog food might be putting off your pet
  • Sudden changes can stress out your Malamute
  • Your pet might have unpredictable appetites
  • Restlessness can stem from a lack of exercise
  • You can solve the problem by changing dog food brands, going to the vet, and giving them more exercise time

Want to learn more about Alaskan Malamutes? Don’t forget to check out our blog here at Husky Habits!