If you’re considering getting an Alaskan Malamute but suffer from dog allergies, then you need to read this article first.
Alaskan Malamutes are not hypoallergenic. They shed year-round and require frequent grooming, which means they are not suited for people with dog allergies.
Keep reading to learn exactly why mals are not a great option if you suffer from allergies, as well as some alternatives and tips for living with them.
- What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?
- What Are Dog Allergies?
- Why Alaskan Malamutes Are Not Hypoallergenic
- Alternatives To Alaskan Malamutes If You Suffer From Allergies
- Top Tips For Living With Alaskan Malamutes If You Have Allergies
- In Summary
What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?
Hypoallergenic is a term used to describe something that causes fewer allergic reactions.
It was first introduced in the 50s in advertising programs for cosmetic products but has since gone on to be used for a wide variety of things.
In terms of dogs, it is used to refer to dogs that are known to cause fewer allergic reactions to people with dog allergies.
What Are Dog Allergies?
Dog allergies are allergic reactions to proteins found in a dog’s skin cells, saliva, or urine.
They are most commonly triggered by dead flakes of skin, which are often found in shed hair. This is why dogs that shed often are not ideal for people who suffer from allergies, as the shed hair will contain dander that triggers the allergies.
Why Alaskan Malamutes Are Not Hypoallergenic
Alaskan Malamutes are not hypoallergenic because they shed a LOT.
Mals have a thick double coat, which means that there are two layers to their coat:
- A short, dense wooly layer that acts as a layer of insulation for hot and cold temperatures.
- A top coat made of long guard hairs. This layer repels moisture and protects the fur from dirt.
Double-coated breeds shed very often and require daily grooming. They will also blow their coat twice a year, which is a process where they transition from their winter coat to their summer coat.
During this time, they will shed even more than usual.
So, yeah, mals are not a great idea if you suffer from dog allergies.
Can’t You Just Shave Them?
Shaving a mal is simply not an option.
Their double coat serves a lot of different functions:
- It regulates temperature
- It protects their skin from sunburn and windburn
- It keeps dirt and moisture out and is self-cleaning
If you shave their coat, you will cause a lot of problems, and it will also make them look pretty silly as well…
Alternatives To Alaskan Malamutes If You Suffer From Allergies
If you’re searching for Alaskan Malamutes, you probably like the look and personality of Arctic breeds.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of Arctic breeds also have thick double coats and tend to shed a lot. Think Huskies and Samoyeds, for example.
There are a lot of large dog breeds that don’t shed, though. Here are a few examples:
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Giant Schnauzer
It’s usually pretty easy to tell whether a dog will shed often. First, take a look at their coat – if it’s short and dense, there’s a good chance they won’t shed much.
The next check is whether they are double-coated. Double-coated breeds shed much more than single-coated breeds.
Top Tips For Living With Alaskan Malamutes If You Have Allergies
Although we highly recommend not getting an Alaskan Malamute if you suffer from dog allergies, there are some tips you can use to make things a little easier.
Use HEPA Filters
HEPA filters (high-efficiency particulate air filters) can theoretically remove up to 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold bacteria, and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns.
These can be expensive, but they are incredibly effective at removing hair and dander from the air, which can help allergy suffers with their condition.
Avoid Carpet & Fabric
Carpet and fabric furniture will hold onto hair much more than hardwood flooring or leather furniture, for example.
Obviously, there isn’t much you can do if your furniture is all fabric and your floors are carpeted, but it’s something to keep in mind if you suffer from dog allergies.
Keep Your Bedroom Locked
Keeping your bedroom free from hair is absolutely crucial if you suffer from dog allergies.
Keep your door locked, and don’t let your mal into your bedroom, no matter how much they want to go in.
Ideally, somebody else in the house who doesn’t suffer from allergies should take the responsibility of grooming your mal every day.
This should be done regardless of whether you suffer from allergies, and it will help to get rid of any loose hairs that can then be discarded properly rather than ending up around the house.
If you suffer from dog allergies, the Alaskan Malamute is not a great dog to consider.
They shed year-round and even more when they are blowing coat which happens twice per year. There isn’t really a way to stop them shedding either, as it is a natural process for their double coat.
Shaving their coat is not an option either, as it can cause a lot of problems for them. If you’re still looking for a dog, consider getting a breed with a shorter single coat, like the giant Schnauzer or Greyhound.