Essential Items for Adopting an Alaskan Malamute: Our Complete Checklist

Before adopting an Alaskan Malamute, there are several essential items you need to purchase to make sure you’re correctly equipped to look after them. We’ve got you covered with our essential checklist of items, specific to Alaskan Malamutes, that we recommend to all first time Malamute owners.

To make your adoption process even easier, we’ve listed our own personal recommendations for each category that have been tried and tested on our Malamutes through the years. Keep reading to make sure you’ve got everything you need before bringing your new Mal home!


1. A Large Enough Bed

Ultimate Dog Bed with Orthopedic Memory Foam by PetFusion

Our Pick
PetFusion Ultimate Dog Bed X-Large
  • Firm orthopedic mattress provides excellent joint support
  • 3 colors and 4 sizing options available
  • Non-skid base for tile and hardwood floors
  • Removable bolster to provide neck support
  • 3-year warranty included
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It should be obvious that your Alaskan Malamute is going to need somewhere suitable to sleep. We must admit that many of our Malamutes have been more than happy to sleep on the floor, often preferring it in warmer weather, but it’s important to provide them with a more comfortable option too.

This is particularly true for older Malamutes as the breed is unfortunately prone to joint problems in later life. Providing them with a suitable bed made with orthopedic foam or memory foam will support their joints and allow them to get the rest they need to remain healthy.

One of the favourites amongst our Malamutes is the Ultimate Dog Bed with Orthopedic Memory Foam by PetFusion which is available in both X-Large and XX-Large. As suggested by its name, the inside mattress of this bed is made of firm memory foam to support your Malamute’s joints and it has a waterproof liner to protect it from any accidents. The outside cover is both water-resistant and tear-resistant but if you’re still worried about it getting damaged by your Malamute, it also comes with a 3-year warranty. What we particularly like is that the raised perimeter of the bed provides extra neck support for your Malamute and can be detached and washed separately, making it easier to fit in a washing machine.

Click here to check out all our recommendations for the best dog beds for Alaskan Malamutes!


2. A Strong Leash

6ft Strong Dog Leash by iYoShop

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One of the most essential items for adopting an Alaskan Malamute is a sturdy leash. Alaskan Malamutes were bred to be working dogs with their strong builds allowing them to pull cargo sleighs for miles in harsh climates. This immense strength can sometimes make an appearance on dog walks, and when combined with their typical stubbornness it can lead to disaster if they decide to pull. That’s why you need to buy a strong and durable leash that can withstand any sudden pulling without snapping.

We recommend the 6ft Strong Dog Leash by iYoShop which is not only incredibly sturdy but is also available for a very low price. The leash itself has reflective threading woven into it to increase your visibility whilst walking in the dark, and the metal hardware has been made thicker than what is used in most other leashes available. The handle of the leash has been designed with comfort in mind, with extra padding that keeps your grip secure on even the longest walks.

Check out our guide to the best dog leashes for Alaskan Malamutes by clicking here.


3. A Padded Collar

The Comfort Collar by Black Rhino

Our Pick
Black Rhino - The Comfort Collar Ultra Soft Neoprene Padded Dog Collar Black Rhino - The Comfort Collar Ultra Soft Neoprene Padded Dog Collar

The collar has a thick layer of neoprene padding along the inside which prevents it from digging into your Mal’s coat and stops any irritation whilst they are exercising.

  • Thick neoprene padding for added comfort
  • Heavy duty stitching
  • Available in several colours
  • Adjustable fit
  • Not very reflective
  • Buckle can be tricky to open
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Providing a collar for your Alaskan Malamute is important for two reasons: it will allow you to attach identification tags to your Malamute and you can use it to attach a leash. For Alaskan Malamutes in particular, we recommend choosing a padded collar as these typically offer the best protection for their thick double coats and don’t dig into their skin.

Our recommendation is The Comfort Collar by Black Rhino which is made with thick neoprene padding to prevent irritation during exercise. This collar is very heavy duty and we’ve had no problems with it fraying, even after months of continuous daily wear. The stitching around the collar is reflective for added visibility during night-time walks and the buckle is particularly sturdy to prevent it from easily coming off.

This collar is available in 5 different colours: aqua, red, pink, blue, and black.

If you’re looking for a different style of collar, make sure to check out our list of recommendations for the best Alaskan Malamute collar by clicking here.


4. A Comfortable Harness

Powerharness by Julius-K9

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When it comes to walking an Alaskan Malamute, we will always recommend using a harness to attach their leash, particularly for longer walks and hikes. Using a harness distributes the force from your Malamute’s pulling evenly over their chest preventing strain injuries and providing you with greater control during sudden pulls. Choosing the right harness can be tricky with so many styles available to buy. We recommend looking out for a design that will protect your Malamutes coat, repeatedly withstand pulling during daily walks, and is large enough for an Alaskan Malamute to wear without being too tight over their chest.

A firm fan-favourite and our go-to is the Powerharness by Julius-K9. It comes in a wide range of both designs and sizes and is made with high-quality fabrics that will protect your Malamute’s coat during strenuous exercise. There is a large reflective stripe across the chest piece to increase visibility at night, and the durable stitching means this harness will last you longer than others on the market. We’ve found that most Malamutes fit comfortably into either a size 3 or 4, but make sure to follow the manufacturer’s sizing guide before making a purchase. This is one product that we can agree with all the hype around!

Make sure to click here for our full list of suitable harnesses for Alaskan Malamutes.


5. The Correct Grooming Tools

Deshedding and Dematting Undercoat Rake by Flymoqi

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Before adopting an Alaskan Malamute, you should be aware that they are extremely heavy shedders and require regular grooming to keep their coats looking and feeling healthy. On top of this, Alaskan Malamutes will blow their coat at least once a year which typically requires twice-daily shedding to completely remove all the loose hairs. To get you through these intense shedding periods you will need the correct tools that won’t damage your Malamute’s coat during grooming sessions.

Arguably the most important tool is an undercoat rake which has widely spaced teeth to remove loose undercoat tufts without damaging the protective topcoat. We love Flymoqi’s Deshedding and Dematting Undercoat Rake which claims to reduce shedding by 90% (we can certainly vouch for this!). This is because it has two separate rows of teeth at different heights to maximise the amount of undercoat removed.

We believe that many other rakes on the market are too harsh to be used on Alaskan Malamutes. In the past we’ve tried other popular brands that have left our dogs with damaged topcoats that don’t grow back properly. Since moving to non-serrated rakes that have wider-spaced teeth, we’ve noticed a big improvement in not only the quality of our dog’s coats but also their attitudes towards being groomed. Learn from us and don’t put your Malamutes through the same discomfort!

Make sure you get all the essential grooming tools for an Alaskan Malamute by reading our complete grooming guide here!


6. Plenty of Toys

Dog Rope Toy for Aggressive Chewers by BLUEISLAND

Best Rope Toy
LECHONG Tough Rope Chew Toy for Large Dogs LECHONG Tough Rope Chew Toy for Large Dogs
  • Made from 100% natural washable cotton
  • Extremely durable compared to other similar toys
  • Replacement guarantee if it breaks
  • Large size
  • Some users report of a chemical smell
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Alaskan Malamutes are typically a very energetic breed and giving them toys is one way to stop them from getting bored. Preventing boredom in your Malamute is essential to prevent destructive behaviours from developing such as chewing items of furniture. One thing to consider when choosing the right toys is the size of your Malamute. Because they are an extra-large breed, you will need to purchase toys that are an appropriate size and strength so they aren’t destroyed in an instant.

A toy that should be in every Malamute’s collection is the Dog Rope Toy for Aggressive Chewers by BLUEISLAND. It’s a standard rope toy that we’ve all seen before with the exception of being extremely durable, even against the most aggressive chewers. The rope is made from 100% natural cotton fibres that are washable and safe to be chewed. The length is 3 feet long making it the ideal size for an Alaskan Malamute, and BLUEISLAND claim they will replace the rope if it does eventually get damaged.

Check out our list of the best toys to keep an Alaskan Malamute busy by clicking here!


7. Nutritious Food

Premium Quality Dry Dog Food by Orijen

Best for Adult Dogs
ORIJEN Dry Dog Food, Original, Grain Free, High Protein ORIJEN Dry Dog Food, Original, Grain Free, High Protein

First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, flounder, eggs, whole Atlantic mackerel

  • Made with 85% animal ingredients
  • High in protein for active dogs
  • Based on a ‘biologically appropriate’ diet
  • Grain-free
  • More expensive per lb than other kibbles
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Undoubtedly one of the most important things to consider when adopting a Malamute is what you’re going to feed them. Finding a brand that contains lots of beneficial nutrients with no filler is necessary to keep your Malamute healthy and maintain their weight.

Our personal pick is the Premium Quality Dry Dog Food by Orijen which is made with 85% quality animal ingredients and packed full of nutrients to promote a healthy immune system in your Malamute. Orijen has created this dry food with active dogs in mind by adding a higher protein content than most other dry foods available. This kibble is also grain-free making it perfect for Malamutes with more sensitive stomachs.

Orijen also sells dry food made specifically for puppies and seniors, along with a ‘fit and trim’ mix which is designed to help overweight dogs get back to a healthy size in a sustainable way.

Read our full guide to the best dry food for adult, senior, and puppy Alaskan Malamutes by clicking here.


8. Healthy Treats

Mini Naturals Training Treats by Zukes

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Other essential items for adopting an Alaskan Malamute include plenty of nutritious dog treats. Alaskan Malamutes are highly food motivated and treats are a necessity to make training as easy as possible. Similar to finding the right food for your Malamute, it’s important to choose dog treats that have beneficial ingredients and ideally a low-calorie count.

Our go-to dog treats are the Mini Naturals Training Treats by Zukes which are tasty little nibbles that come in at less than three calories each. They are made with all-natural ingredients that are packed full of vitamins and fibre, and there are several flavours available. We recommend using these treats to reward your Malamute for good behaviour during important training sessions or on walks.

Grain Free Dental Dog Treats by Whimzees

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We also recommend purchasing daily dental treats for your Alaskan Malamute to keep their teeth and gums healthy and prevent bad breath. We love the Grain Free Dental Dog Treats by Whimzees which fight oral bacteria and contain amino acids to promote a shinier coat. They’re grain free and as an added benefit, they are large enough to keep your Malamute occupied for a good amount of time whilst they eat them.

Make sure to read our full guide to the best dog treats for Alaskan Malamutes by clicking here.


Final Thoughts

Using our essential items checklist, we hope you can feel better equipped to look after your new Alaskan Malamute. If you have any questions about the content or products mentioned in this article, please don’t hesitate to contact us by clicking here or by leaving a comment below!

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About The Author

Caitlin is the owner and lead writer for The Malamute Mom. She has over 10 years of experience with Alaskan Malamutes and Huskies. She is currently working on getting her PhD in materials science but continues to write for The Malamute Mom in her spare time.

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