What is the Best Dry Dog Food for Alaskan Malamutes? Adults, Puppies and Seniors

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Choosing the right dry dog food for your Alaskan Malamute can be tricky with seemingly hundreds of brands all claiming to offer different benefits. We recommend sticking to one specific food brand to prevent unnecessary stomach upset in your Alaskan Malamute, but certain circumstances may mean you have to switch to a new one.

To help you find the right food, we’ve got everything you need to know about choosing the best dry dog food for Alaskan Malamutes along with our personal recommendations on the best brands.

In a hurry? Here’s our number one pick for the best adult dry dog food for Alaskan Malamutes.

Best for Adult Dogs
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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What Should You Look Out For When Choosing the Right Food for Your Alaskan Malamute?

Alaskan Malamutes are a very large breed with the average Mal weighing between 70-100lbs, although some giant Malamutes can grow to be as large as 140lbs. Not only are they big, but they are also very high energy and can burn up to 2000 calories in a single day.

If you’re planning to try a new brand with your Malamute, there are a few things you should look for in the ingredients to make sure it can provide the right nutrients to keep them healthy and happy.

The first ingredient listed in any dry food you’re going to give your Malamute should always be some form of protein, preferably from a high-quality source. This is typically the meat that the food is flavoured with. Protein is essential to support your Malamute’s muscle tone and provide them with the energy they need throughout the day.

As Malamute’s are known for being a particularly strong breed, you can imagine how important it is to keep their muscles nice and healthy!

Included in the ingredients should also be plenty of vitamins which can be added artificially or in fruits and veggies. It may seem obvious, but vitamins are essential to maintain a healthy immune system and improve the overall well-being of your Malamute.

Fatty acids are also a necessity to keep your Mal’s coat looking shiny and to keep their skin healthy.

Finally, we recommend looking out for food brands that specifically mention including ingredients that promote better digestion. This is usually by including certain fibrous ingredients or by adding probiotics.

Ensuring that your Malamute can digest as much food as possible prevents unnecessary weight gain and will improve bowel movements.

Before purchasing supplements for your Malamute, it is crucial to seek guidance from a veterinarian. While some supplements may not be required if your dog’s diet is well-balanced, excessive intake can be harmful. PetLab Co. provides a specially formulated supplement for Malamutes, containing essential fatty acids, probiotics, and digestive enzymes to promote their overall well-being.

What Ingredients Should You Avoid in Your Alaskan Malamute’s Dry Dog Food?

The ingredients list is an easy way to tell the quality of your Mal’s food with cheaper brands often using low-grade ingredients to bring the cost down. Whilst all the ingredients are likely to be ‘safe’ for consumption, some can still lead to problems with your Malamute’s health.

The quickest way to tell whether a food brand is producing low-quality food is to look out for cheap filler foods such as soy and corn. These offer no nutritional value to your Malamute other than unnecessary calories and are simply there to bulk up the food to make it look like you’re getting more for your money.

In some dogs, these can also cause stomach inflammation and allergic reactions. Always make sure your Malamute’s food brand does not include these fillers within the first five listed ingredients to ensure they are getting a quality meal.

Along the same lines are artificial flavours, colours, and preservatives. These are usually put into the food to make it look better than it really is and they are a quick way to determine whether the brand is using quality ingredients.

If the food is made from high-quality ingredients in the first place, there will be no need to pump it full of unnecessary artificial ingredients to make it more appealing to your Malamute. The one exception here is artificially added vitamins, which do provide nutritional benefits.

Finally, there has been some research conducted by the FDA that suggests kibble with certain foods listed within the main ingredients can increase the risk of a dog getting canine heart disease. The foods they specifically mention are:

  • Peas
  • Lentils
  • Other legumes
  • Potatoes

We advise you to avoid any brand where these foods are listed within the first two ingredients to ensure the bulk of the food is not made up of them. You should consult your vet for further advice on whether to avoid them altogether if you are concerned.

What Is the Best Dry Dog Food for Alaskan Malamutes?

Searching through the ingredients of the several hundred dry dog foods available can be a daunting task. To make things easier for you, we’ve included our personal favourites that are bound to keep your Malamute feeling happy and healthy.

Keep scrolling for our puppy and senior-specific picks!

We have tried to focus on grain-free options where possible to accommodate Alaskan Malamutes with allergies.

1. Premium Quality Dry Dog Food by Orijen

Best for Adult Dogs
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
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Our absolute favourite is the Premium Quality Dry Dog Food by Orijen which is made with 85% quality animal ingredients. Their food is grain-free and packed full of nutrients to promote a healthy immune system in your Malamute.

It is a little pricier than some of the other kibble available but you’re paying for the high-quality ingredients which are locally sourced.

Orijen’s dog food is purposefully made for active dogs and is, therefore, higher in protein than some other dry foods available. This makes it perfect for Malamutes who need high amounts of protein to sustain their build but keep in mind that it may cause lesser active dogs to have looser stools.

Orijen also sells food specifically made for puppies and senior dogs, as well as a ‘fit and trim’ mix designed to help overweight dogs get back to a healthy size.

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

2. Canine Nutrition Chicken Dry Dog Food by GENTLE GIANTS

GENTLE GIANTS Canine Nutrition Chicken Dry Dog Food
  • Grain-free option available
  • Budget-friendly
  • Lower saturated fat
  • Made with larger dog breeds in mind
  • Hard to get outside of the US
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Don’t be put off by the packaging, the Canine Nutrition Dry Dog Food by Gentle Giants is both an affordable and high-quality choice for your Malamute.

The team behind Gentle Giants has a philosophy that is to use their ‘Feeding and Care Program’ to help dogs live their longest and healthiest lives at a low cost to their owners. The result is a range of natural dog foods that contain no preservatives and only 9% fat to keep your Mal at their healthiest.

Their chicken recipe in particular is a popular flavour with dogs but be warned that owners have said it has quite a strong smell (we’re sure your Malamute won’t mind!). They also have a grain-free option which can be found here.

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Pearled Barley, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Peas

3. Adult Dry Dog Food for Large Breeds by Eukanuba

Eukanuba Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food
  • Promotes healthy teeth and gums
  • Natural fiber and pro-biotic blend for better digestion
  • Made specifically for large dog breeds
  • Popular with dog-owners
  • Not grain-free
  • Contains cornmeal in the first 5 ingredients
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Eukanuba is a very popular dog food brand amongst Alaskan Malamute owners as they specifically make food for larger dog breeds. This means the ingredients are tailored to better suit their needs and that less food is required to get the same nutrients, helping to avoid obesity.

Not only is it packed full of nutrients that promote better joint and muscle health, but the kibble has also been shown to improve dental health and reduce tartar build-up. Our only issue is that they currently do not make a grain-free option so keep this in mind if your Malamute has shown to have an intolerance in the past.

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Corn Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Whole Grain Barley

Best Dry Dog Food for Alaskan Malamute Puppies

Alaskan Malamute puppies need to eat a different diet from their grown-up counterparts to make sure they can grow properly. Puppy food is typically more calorie-dense than adult food as puppies need to eat more calories per pound of weight than an adult Malamute.

It is also usually easier to digest and richer in certain nutrients that promote the growth of strong joints and muscles.

We’ve included our top three favourites that will keep your puppy healthy and looking forward to their next mealtime!

1. High-Protein, Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food by Orijen

Our Puppy Pick
ORIJEN Puppy Dry Dog Food, Grain Free, High Protein

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

  • Packed full of tasty meat-based proteins
  • Based on ‘biologically appropriate’ diet
  • Grain-free
  • Ingredients are fresh and not outsourced
  • High cost per lb
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

If you’re looking to give your Alaskan Malamute puppy the very best ingredients, the Puppy Dry Dog Food by Orijen is the product for you. As with their adult dry dog food, Orijen’s puppy food contains 85% quality animal ingredients ensuring your Malamute puppy will get the protein they need to grow.

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

2. Large Breed Grain Free Puppy Food by Wellness Core

Wellness CORE Grain-Free High-Protein Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food
  • Grain-free
  • Specifically made for large-breed puppies
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Contains no meat by-products
  • Peas are the third listed ingredient
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We love the Grain Free Puppy Food by Wellness Core as it’s specifically made to suit larger breeds such as the Alaskan Malamute. This means it’s packed extra full of the essential growth nutrients and proteins needed to help your puppy become a strong adult.

We should advise that peas are listed within the first three ingredients, and as previously mentioned there is evidence to suggest that consuming large quantities can lead to canine heart disease. We personally still believe this to be a suitable product as the first and second ingredients are protein-based and make up the vast majority of the kibble. If you are concerned, please contact your vet for further advice.

First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes, Lentils

3. Chicken and Brown Rice Puppy Food by Natural Balance

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Puppy Dry Dog Food with Healthy Grains

First 5 Ingredients:  Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran

  • Limited ingredient diet
  • Made with USA farm-raised chicken
  • Contains fiber for easy digestion (brown rice)
  • Packed with amino acids to build strong muscles
  • Difficult to get outside of the US
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Natural Balance is a brand known for their ’limited ingredient diet’ based dog food and their puppy formula is no different. Using only the essential ingredients, they produce a tasty kibble that’s full of necessary amino acids and fibre to support strong muscle growth and easy digestion.

Whilst Natural Balance does produce several flavours, we suggest sticking with their Chicken and Brown Rice formula as the primary ingredients are protein sources.

Unfortunately, their grain-free alternative lists potatoes as the first ingredient which has the potential to cause canine heart disease, and so we suggest avoiding it in favour of our other listed grain-free alternatives.

First 5 Ingredients:  Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran

Best Dry Dog Food for Senior Alaskan Malamutes

Just like puppies, senior Alaskan Malamutes should be fed a different diet to ensure they remain as healthy as possible. This is because as Malamutes get older, they tend to slow down which can often result in obesity if they continue to be fed their usual diet.

Ideally, their food should be lower in protein and fat but higher in nutrients that support healthy joints such as calcium. Keep reading for our personal recommendation.

1. Natural Grain Free Senior Dry Dog Food by Wellness Core

Our Senior Pick
Wellness CORE Grain-Free Senior Dry Dog Food
  • Naturally hypoallergenic
  • Controlled sodium levels
  • Contains glucosamine to support joints
  • 25% less fat than regular adult food
  • Small kibble might lead to speedy eating
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Our recommended senior dry dog food for Alaskan Malamutes is the Natural Grain Free Senior Dry Dog Food by Wellness Core. The food is made with 25% less fat than its equivalent adult food counterpart to help older dogs maintain a healthy weight.

It’s also packed full of nutrients such as glucosamine and taurine to keep your Mal feeling healthy through their later years.

Our only potential downside is that the kibbles are on the smaller side, which is fairly typical of senior dog foods as it makes them easier to eat. This could lead to some Malamutes eating their food too quickly.

If you’re concerned, you can check out our ways of slowing down a Malamute’s eating here.

First 5 Ingredients: Turkey, Chicken Meal, Peas, Dried Potatoes, Chickpeas

Alaskan Malamutes With Special Dietary Requirements

As with all breeds, Alaskan Malamutes are susceptible to certain health conditions that can impact their dietary requirements. The most common health problems that occur amongst Malamutes are:


It is not uncommon for an Alaskan Malamute to develop a food allergy and it is usually discovered through excessive itching, ear infections, soft stools, or vomiting. If your Malamute exhibits any of these symptoms, you should contact your vet for further advice.

If they believe your Malamute has an allergy, they may be able to conduct tests to determine any specific ingredients that need to be avoided in the future.

Hip Dysplasia

Alaskan Malamutes are a large breed which unfortunately makes them prone to hip dysplasia; an issue that causes the joint to pop out of place causing discomfort. To prevent this issue as much as possible, a Malamute should be fed food that promotes healthy joints and muscle growth (i.e. high protein foods). Obesity should be avoided to prevent unnecessary stress on their hips.

Canine Bloat

Canine bloat, also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), is a rare but serious health issue that leads to death in one-third of cases. It happens when a dog’s stomach becomes filled with gas and twists, causing it to become restricted.

Whilst the precise causes of bloat are still unknown, there is evidence to suggest that a poor diet can increase the risk along with fast eating.

You can read more about the causes of bloat and ways to reduce the risk here.


Senior Alaskan Malamutes are prone to eye conditions, including glaucoma which is a disease that causes insufficient fluid drainage from their eyes. Without proper treatment, glaucoma can lead to permanent blindness in your Malamute.

Making sure that your Malamute’s diet includes the correct nutrients to support healthy eyes is essential for their well-being. We recommend specifically looking out for fatty acids such as fish oils (think Omega-3s) and mentions of vitamin C in the nutrient breakdown.

Note that including these nutrients in your Malamute’s diet is not guaranteed to prevent eye issues, but we still recommend it to decrease the risk and improve their overall health.

Final Thoughts

Using our recommendations, you’re bound to find the perfect dry food for your Alaskan Malamute. If you have any questions about the products or content mentioned in this article, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here or leave 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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2 thoughts on “What is the Best Dry Dog Food for Alaskan Malamutes? Adults, Puppies and Seniors”

  1. Thanks Caitlin, I just read your very informative article about grooming malamutes. My girl, Chrissy Snow, is almost 8yrs. old and this last two yrs. she sheds constantly. I have been only using the slicker, but now I’m going to order the rest of the tools. Which side of the brush do you use? Also, I was thinking of adding salmon oil to her diet. Do you think that might help?

    • Hi Carrie, thanks for your comment! Upgrading to a larger set of grooming tools will give you much more flexibility in your grooming routine, and will hopefully mean you can go longer between grooming sessions without Chrissy Snow looking too untidy.

      If you’re referring to the double sided bristle brush then both sides are useful. I like to use the pin side as a massage tool for my Malamute – it helps to stimulate the skin underneath and keep the coat healthier. The denser bristle side is the final step in my grooming routine, I use it to brush away the remaining loose hairs from my girl’s coat so that she looks presentable.

      Salmon oil, as well as other fish oils, would be a great addition to Chrissy’s diet. Fish oils have many benefits when used in small amounts, and can help to keep a Malamute’s coat shiny and healthy. Hope this helps!

      Best wishes to you and Chrissy,
      – Caitlin
      The Malamute Mom Team


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