Why Is My Malamute So Skinny? 5 Possible Reasons Why

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Alaskan Malamutes are known for their big stature and their imposing figure, however, you’ve noticed your Malamute is looking a little skinny and have often heard yourself ask the question “Why is my malamute so skinny?” while inwardly wondering whether you’re just imagining it. Well, don’t. If you’ve noticed something not quite right with your mal then you need to listen to yourself. 

There could be any number of reasons why your malamute is looking a little on the skinny side, whether it’s because they are refusing to eat, whether they are on certain medications, or they have an underlying health condition you may not yet be aware of. 

Our article gives you the five most common reasons for a skinny malamute and what you can do to help improve your malamute’s health and well-being, so they can be back to the weight they should be and leaving you less stressed that something is seriously wrong.

Why Is My Malamute So Skinny? Possible Reasons

Malamute in field
Photo By fotorince via Envato Elements

There are plenty of reasons why your malamute is skinny. It could be anything from their genetics to a medication they may be on. Here are 5 of the most common reasons why your Alaskan Malamute is so skinny. 

1. Insufficient Diet

Your dog’s diet plays a huge role in them gaining weight. If your pup isn’t getting the sufficient nutrients they need to put on weight they are going to lose it. This can be a gradual loss or it can be a relatively fast process. Although you may think you are feeding them what they need if you are giving your malamute dog food that’s designed for smaller breeds they won’t be getting what they need for their dietary requirements. A raw food diet or home-cooked diet can also lack certain nutrients so it’s key to start looking at what you are feeding your pooch as the first reason they may be skinny. 

2. Underfeeding

Just as an insufficient diet would make your malamute skinny so if underfeeding them. Underfeeding can occur when you are inadvertently giving your malamute the wrong size portion of food or because they are refusing to eat. This all has a big impact on the weight and size of your malamute. It’s important that you know exactly how much food you should be giving your malamute as well as how many times a day you should be feeding them. This will change as they grow. So if you haven’t increased their portion size since they were a puppy this could explain why your Alaskan Malamute is underweight and skinny. 

3. Too Much Exercise

Alaskan Malamutes are known for their stamina and crave mental stimulation and regular exercise. The recommended amount of daily exercise for an adult malamute is around 2 hours a day, however, with puppies, it’s crucial that you aren’t over-exercising them. Puppies need more rest than exercise while they are growing. Over-exercising your Malamute along with an insufficient diet can lead to malnourishment and a very underweight dog. 

Hungry dog lying near a bowl of food and waiting for lunch
Photo By furmanphoto via Envato Elements

4. Health Concerns

Certain health conditions can contribute to an underweight malamute. If you’ve checked out other contributing factors such as diet, overexercising, and medication, the underlying cause could be an undiagnosed health condition such as diabetes.

The only way you can be sure that your malamute has diabetes is by taking them to the vet, if they have diabetes then their bodies have a shortage of insulin so they don’t get any nourishment from their cells so they take it from their fat and muscle stores. Other possible health concerns could be parasites like worms. These parasites invade your dog’s gut and gastrointestinal organs preventing them from putting on weight. Should your pooch have parasites they will often show other symptoms such as bloating. If in doubt, or you suspect something else may be going on, it’s best to consult a registered vet. 

5. Medication

Malamutes are predisposed to getting certain health conditions and some of these conditions such as epilepsy will require your mal to be on medication. Just like human medication, dog medication can also have side effects, and a common side effect is weight loss or difficulty gaining weight. If your malamute is on any medication it’s worth checking what the side effects are and if you suspect that could be a reason why your malamute is so skinny then it is worth consulting your vet.  

Solutions For Helping A Skinny Malamute?

Front view of big beautiful malamute lying and posing in medical cabinet in vet clinic. Two veterinary doctors wearing in white medical gowns, standing behind, looking at camera and smiling.
Photo By serhiibobyk via Envato Elements

Whatever reason you believe could be causing your Alaskan Malamute to be skinny or underweight you’ll want to make sure you get it checked out and verified by a qualified vet. They’ll be able to examine your pup, perform a physical examination, they’ll ask you some questions and they may even run some tests to rule out other potential causes.

Your vet will want to know things about your Malamutes diet such as what you feed them, how much, and what types of foods your malamute enjoys. If they feel that you may be under-feeding your malamute they may ask you to increase their caloric intake and see whether you have any improvements over time, if that hasn’t made a difference, you’ll need to go back to your vet for a more detailed examination. 

If they rule that the cause of your Malamute’s skinniness is due to any medications they are taking, they may decide to swap the medication to something different and see whether that improves anything. You and your vet will need to work closely together to try and determine why your beautiful Alaskan Malamute is so skinny, but once a cause is found, things should improve fairly quickly.

Unfortunately, if your malamute is skinny your best option is to speak to a vet first before trying tips and tricks on your own accord as the last thing you want to do is make them worse.

How much should an Alaskan Malamute weigh?

Alaskan Malamute dark color in the natural environment walking in the snow
Photo by Omelnickiy via Envato Elements

According to the American Kennel Club, Alaskan Malamutes are considered to be a large breed. The average weight of an Alaskan Malamute will depend on certain factors such as height, diet, and genetics. The charts below show the average weight for both a female and male Malamute. 

AgeWeight in lbsWeight in kg
2-4 Months25 – 30 lbs11.3 -13.6 kg
4-6 Months30 – 40 lbs13.6 – 18.1 kg
6-8 Months40 – 50 lbs18.1 – 22.6 kg
8-10 Months50 – 60 lbs22.6 – 27.2 kg
10-12 Months60 – 65 lbs27.2 – 29.4 kg
12-14 Months65 – 70 lbs29.4 – 31.8 kg
14-16 Months70 – 75 lbs +31.8 – 34.0 kg+
(Female Malamute Weight Chart created by author)

AgeWeight in lbsWeight in kg
2-4 Months30 – 35 lbs13.6 – 15.8 kg
4-6 Months35 – 45 lbs15.8 – 20.4 kg
6-8 Months45 – 60 lbs20.4 – 27.2 kg
8-10 Months60 – 70 lbs27.2 – 31.8 kg
10-12 Months70 – 75 lbs31.8 – 34.0 kg
12-14 Months75 – 80 lbs34.0 – 36.2 kg
14-16 Months80 – 85 lbs +36.2 – 38.5 kg +
(Male Malamute Weight Chart created by author)

Both female and male Malamutes will vary in weight, with males normally significantly heavier than a female. While these charts only go up to 16 months some malamutes will continue to gain a small amount of weight as they grow older. This is normally due to muscle gain and it is normally put on at a much slower rate than before. 

At what age is a Malamute full grown?

Two Alaskan Malamut, sitting and panting, isolated on white
Photo by Lifeonwhite via Envato Elements

An Alaskan Malamute is normally full-grown by 2 years old. It’s said that a fully grown adult Malamute is between 23 and 25 inches in height. While your Alaskan Malamute may be close to their adult height by the age of 6 months, they are not considered fully grown until they have matured, which is normally by 2 years of age. The growth charts below will give a good indication of your Malamute’s height. 

AgeHeight in inches
2-4 Months12-14
4-6 Months14-16
6-8 Months16-18
8-10 Months18-20
10-12 Months20-22
12-14 Months22-23
14-16 Months23 +/-
Female Malamute Growth Chart
AgeHeight in inches
2-4 Months12-14
4-6 Months14-16
6-8 Months16-19
8-10 Months19-22
10-12 Months22-24
12-14 Months24-25
14-16 Months25 +/-
Male Malamute Growth Chart