How to Travel With An Alaskan Malamute – Veterinary Insight

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Do you have an upcoming trip planned with your Alaskan Malamute? Or do you simply need to plan for the future just in case?

You’ve come to the right place! We’ve got everything you need to know on how to travel with an Alaskan Malamute by car, airplane, and train, fact-checked by a veterinarian.

Traveling with a malamute doesn’t have to be a difficult experience, and we’re here to tell you how – so keep reading!

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General Alaskan Malamute Travel Advice

Before we get into our more specific travel advice, we wanted to give you some general tips that apply to all modes of transport.

The first and most important is to make sure your Alaskan Malamute is up to date on their injections.

Traveling to a new area could expose your malamute to potentially harmful diseases, which in some cases, are preventable.

Some countries may need to see the documentation that your malamute is up to date on their jabs before allowing them into the country. It is also very likely that your malamute will need to be microchipped if they are entering a new country – be sure to do your research before traveling!

Here is an example of the requirements set by the UK government before a pet can travel out of or into the country. Similar precautions are needed by most countries to prevent the spread of diseases.

Secondly, remember that your malamute is very temperature sensitive and won’t be able to handle hot temperatures very well without your help. Always carry water and a bowl with you on your journey, and ensure your malamute stays in a well-ventilated area.

Similar to an earlier point, if you are traveling using public transport, make sure to check whether they have any restrictions against traveling with pets or any requirements you may need to fulfill. Keep in mind that Alaskan Malamutes are a large dog breed that is not easy to accommodate!

Finally, keep your Alaskan Malamute under your supervision at all times (unless they are traveling in aircraft cargo). They are your responsibility, and you should not risk traveling with them unless you know that they can stay by your side during the journey.

How To Travel With An Alaskan Malamute By Car

The vast majority of you looking at how to travel with an Alaskan Malamute will have a car journey in mind.

Traveling with an Alaskan Malamute by car should be a breeze as long as you follow a few simple steps. Remember that their safety is key and that it is your responsibility to provide the necessary care.

Make Sure They Are Secure

The most important thing when traveling with any dog by car is to keep them secure. Much like how we humans need to wear a seatbelt, your malamute will need to have some form of safety restraint during the journey.

We hear many people complaining that an Alaskan Malamute’s size makes it too difficult to restrain them properly, but in our opinion, this is no excuse.

All you need is a crate that is large enough for your malamute to lie down in. Secure the crate to either the back seat or the trunk of your car using bungee cables or a seatbelt to prevent it from sliding around.

Make sure to line the crate with a couple of towels or a blanket for comfort.

For emergencies only, such as traveling to the vet, you may need someone other than yourself to physically hold the Alaskan Malamute whilst traveling.

We always recommend having a suitable travel crate ready before adopting a malamute to prevent the need for this.

Keep It Cool

During the journey, make sure your car is very well-ventilated, either with air conditioning or a partially opened window. Alaskan Malamutes have thick winter coats and prefer to be in colder environments.

As the internal temperature of a car can get very warm, it’s important to make sure your malamute is kept cool.

Never leave your Alaskan Malamute (or any other dog, for that matter) alone in the car – a car’s internal temperature can rise rapidly and be fatal to your malamute.

Keep Their Heads In

If you do open the window of your car during the journey, make sure your Alaskan Malamute does not stick their head out.

If their head is stuck out, they could inhale harmful particles or be hit by flying debris, passing branches, or even other vehicles. Having cold air forced into their lungs at high speeds also has the potential to make them ill.

We must also ask here that you never travel with your Alaskan Malamute in the back of an open pickup truck.

Thousands of large dog breeds die every year as their owners transport them in open pickup trucks thinking that the space will be the best thing for them. A malamute can very easily jump out of the back of an open pickup truck or fall out if you are going at high speeds or over a bump.

Most state laws actually make it illegal to do this, but many people are unaware of this.

Take Regular Breaks

Make sure you plan for plenty of rest stops during your journey. Remember that your malamute can’t talk to you to tell you if they need a drink or a bathroom break, so it’s your responsibility to make sure their needs are met.

Always stop in a place where it is safe for your malamute to leave the vehicle, and make sure they are on a secure leash and harness at all times.

If it’s safe, take them for a brief walk to let them stretch out their legs and calm them down.

Bring Supplies For Accidents

It can be difficult to find somewhere to stop, and even if your malamute tries to hold it in, sometimes accidents may occur.

This is why you should always bring some supplies for cleaning up accidents, and also consider putting puppy pads in their crate or underneath for extra protection.

Don’t Allow Them To Eat 2 Hours Before Traveling

You should restrict feeding your malamute a few hours before traveling to lower the chances of them needing the toilet while you are driving.

Practice Runs

It’s a good idea to practice taking your malamute in the car before you go on a long journey.

Dogs can get travel sickness when traveling in a car, and it’s better to find this out before a long trip. It also gives them chance to get used to the environment as well, which will help to lower any potential anxiety they might feel.

If you want more dedicated car travel tips, check out our recent guide on traveling with huskies!

How To Travel With An Alaskan Malamute By Plane

Traveling with an Alaskan Malamute by airplane is not an easy task, and you should weigh up all the risks and challenges involved before deciding whether it is absolutely necessary.

Air travel is very stressful for Alaskan Malamutes, and in most cases, they will be separated from you for several hours. If your malamute is prone to anxiety, please consider all other options such as traveling by car, or leaving them with a pet sitter.

You should be aware that several dogs die from traveling by airplane every year. The blame is typically put on poor temperature regulation and rough handling.

Alaskan Malamutes are usually too large to be permitted into the cabin with you during the flight, but it is worth calling your airline to check if they will consider it just in case. You will usually have to pay a small fee, or in the case of an Alaskan Malamute, pay for another ticket to accommodate their space.

To travel by plane, you will need some kind of travel crate that your Alaskan Malamute can comfortably rest in. They do make travel crates that are large enough for malamutes, and they usually come with wheels to aid in your transportation.

Make sure your Alaskan Malamute has a good, sturdy collar on with their identification details (your name, address, phone number). Also, make sure that they have a good harness and leash on as, even if they are in their crate whilst at the airport, they will likely have to get out during security checks.

If traveling by plane with your Alaskan Malamute is the only option, please take into consideration the following advice:

  • Book direct flights – Direct flights have the shortest travel time and they eliminate the risk of mistakes occurring during transfers.
  • Choose flights that accommodate extreme temperatures – Alaskan Malamutes do not handle excessive heat very well. It is better to travel during the early morning or late evening when temperatures will be a little cooler.
  • Put a clear travel label on their carrier – It should contain your name, permanent address, telephone number, and their expected final destination.
  • Do not give them tranquilizers or drowsy medication – Only give them medication if it has been prescribed by a veterinarian specifically for use with air travel.
  • Avoid busy flights – Aircraft luggage handlers are not as rough during off-peak hours as they are not rushed.
  • Examine your malamute as soon as you arrive – If anything seems wrong, take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible and get the results of their examination in writing with the date and time clearly marked.

If you are concerned about the treatment of your Alaskan Malamute, please talk to a flight attendant or the pilot as you board your flight.

How To Travel With An Alaskan Malamute By Train

Before traveling with your Alaskan Malamute by train, make sure there are no restrictions put in place by the rail company you are traveling with. Many train services in Europe are very welcoming of dogs, but trains in the USA can be a little more restrictive.

The main thing to keep in mind is space. Alaskan Malamutes are not the most convenient breed to travel with as they can’t simply be put on your lap. Always choose an off-peak travel service, and where applicable, book out two seats next to each other – you will be very grateful for the extra legroom!

Make sure your Alaskan Malamute is secure at all times and can’t wander away from you. Your malamute will be your responsibility to care for, not the rail lines, so it’s up to you to feed them and provide water if necessary.

Be wary that trains are unlikely to wait for you to take them to the bathroom at station stops, so we recommend sticking to shorter journeys.

Finally, always be considerate of the other people traveling on the train! Not all people are dog lovers, so respect other people’s space and don’t allow your malamute to wander around the carriage freely.

In Summary

So, traveling with your Alaskan Malamute isn’t quite as simple as just getting in the car. There are a few precautions you need to take before setting off, but they’re worth it to make sure your malamute is as comfortable and happy as possible.

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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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