Essential Grooming Tools for Alaskan Malamutes 2021

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A blonde woman with her arms gently around the neck of an Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamutes are notorious for seemingly always shedding lots of fur. Long time owners of the breed will undoubtedly have their own arsenal of tools they live by to keep their Malamute’s coats in top condition.

We’re here to help those of you who are newer to the breed, or those of you looking to change up your grooming routine. We’ve compiled our essential grooming tools for Alaskan Malamutes that effectively remove their loose hairs without hurting them.

Table of essential grooming tools for Alaskan Malamutes

Below you’ll find a quick overview of the grooming tools we love and use on our Alaskan Malamutes, along with some alternatives that are available in different countries.

Why do Alaskan Malamutes need grooming so often?

One of the first things we tell new owners of Alaskan Malamutes is to be prepared for frequent and lengthy grooming sessions. Their coats are undeniably one of their defining physical features, but they take a lot of work from the owner to keep them looking healthy.

The reason for this is that Alaskan Malamutes are a double-coated breed. This means that their coats are comprised of two very different layers, instead of just one.

The layer closest to the skin is called the undercoat. It is made up of short, densely packed hairs that have a wooly texture.

An Alaskan Malamute’s undercoat is their insulation and it is very important for helping them regulate their temperature. It works by trapping a thin layer of air between the hairs and the Malamute’s skin, helping to keep them cold or warm depending on what they need.

The layer that sits on top of the undercoat is called the topcoat. The topcoat is made up of longer guard hairs that repel moisture and dirt away from the Malamute’s skin. This helps to keep them clean and prevent skin irritation from occurring.

Not only do double coats have a different physical appearance, but they also behave differently from a normal coat. Double-coated breeds, including Alaskan Malamutes, will periodically blow their coats.

Coat blowing is a messy process that sees your Malamute transition from their winter coat into their summer coat. Unfortunately for us, this involves shedding large amounts of their dense undercoats in a short period of time.

You’re going to need a good vacuum cleaner, a few garbage bags, and our list of essential grooming tools for Alaskan Malamutes to see you through the process.

Want to know more about coat blowing? Read our in-depth guide here!

Even when a Malamute isn’t blowing their coat, they still shed many hairs which can very quickly tangle together if they aren’t properly removed. If a tangle is left for too long, it will form painful matting that needs to be cut out of your Malamute’s coat.

Regular grooming will help to remove loose hairs from your Malamute’s coat and identify tangles before they can start matting together.

Alaskan Malamute’s coats have developed this way over thousands of years of evolution to give them the best possible chance of survival in conditions that would be unliveable to us.  It’s down to us, as owners, to do the best that we can to look after them and as a result, keep our Malamutes healthy.

Essential grooming tools for Alaskan Malamutes and recommended grooming routine

Now it’s time to get into the tools we actually use to look after our Alaskan Malamute’s coats. You can also treat this list as the order of what tools we use in our Malamute’s grooming routine. We’ve included some tips along the way so be sure to keep reading!

THE SLICKER BRUSH

Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush

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Your Alaskan Malamute’s grooming routine should start with a slicker brush. These are designed to comb through the undercoat and remove loose hairs, preventing matting from occurring.

We love the Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush by Hertzko as it feels comfortable to hold during lengthy grooming sessions. It also has a handy button which, when pressed, helps you to remove the hairs from the brush itself – hence the self-cleaning title!

We recommend starting by combing around the denser areas of fur first, such as around the neck and the rump. This is where matting is the most likely to occur so it’s better to use up your Malamute’s patience in these areas in case they can’t sit still for a long time.

Don’t forget to comb around your Malamute’s stomach and legs. These areas can be a little trickier to get to but tangles can still form here which will be much more difficult to remove down the line.

DEMATTING COMB

Dog Dematting Comb by Safari

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There’s a good chance that your Alaskan Malamute is going to develop a matted fur section at some point in their life – no matter how hard you try to prevent it!

Malamute’s have a lot of fur and are always shedding so it’s unsurprising that hairs sometimes get stuck.

When this does happen, you’re going to need a dematting comb. These combs have lightly serrated blades which gently cut stubborn tangles from out of your Malamute’s coat.

We stand by the Dog Dematting comb by Safari as being one of the best for the job thanks to its smaller size. Some other dematting combs are quite large making it harder to actually work around the problem area. The smaller comb head on the Safari demmatting comb makes grooming delicate areas a breeze!

Dematting your Malamute is never going to be a pleasant process but we can get the job done the quickest using this comb – meaning fewer complaints!

As a bonus, the head of the comb can be reversed making it comfortable to grip for both left and right-handed users.

UNDERCOAT RAKE

Stainless Steel Undercoat Rake by Flymoqi

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An undeniably essential grooming tool for Alaskan Malamutes is the undercoat rake. Ask any owner what grooming tool they can’t live without and it’s bound to be some variation of this!

Undercoat rakes are designed to remove loose hairs from your Malamute’s undercoat without damaging their topcoat. Trust us when we say it is going to be your best friend when it comes to coat blowing season.

In our opinion, many undercoat rakes on the market are too harsh to be used as often as an Alaskan Malamute’s coat needs. Many of them prioritise being able to remove as many hairs as fast as possible, and some even have serrated edges.

After trying these, we’ve unfortunately seen irreversible damage to our Malamute’s topcoats which haven’t grown back properly.

That’s why we love the Stainless Steel Undercoat Rake by Flymoqi, It has two rows of widely spaced teeth at different heights. This maximises the amount of hair that can be removed without actually damaging your Malamute’s precious guard hairs.

Since using this rake we’ve noticed a big difference in the quality of our Malamute’s coats. Not only that, but they are much more patient during grooming sessions – likely because their fur isn’t being painfully pulled at.

Learn from us and don’t put your Alaskan Malamute through the same discomfort!

GROOMING COMB

Dog Grooming Comb by Shiny Pet

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A grooming comb is one of the simpler tools on this list – you may even have one for yourself! That doesn’t make it any less essential for maintaining a healthy coat on your Alaskan Malamute.

We use a grooming comb once we’re done with the undercoat rake to remove any missed loose hairs. More importantly, a grooming comb makes it super easy to check for any matted areas that you have previously missed.

Also check out: Best shampoos for Alaskan Malamutes.

Our current favourite is the Dog Grooming Comb by Shiny Pet. Its grip is very comfortable to hold during tedious sessions, despite not having a handle, and the two different teeth widths make it ideal for grooming our Malamute’s entire body.

To top it off, Shiny Pet claim that the rounded ends of the teeth improve your Malamute’s circulation by massaging their skin during grooming sessions.

BRISTLE BRUSH

2 Sided Bristle Brush by Sharper Image Pet

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The final step in our Alaskan Malamute’s grooming routine is a good brush with a bristle or rounded pin brush.

After a long grooming session, especially those needed during coat blowing season, your Malamute is probably going to be feeling antsy and ready for some alone time. A quick once-over with a bristle brush is the perfect way to wind the session down and help them to relax.

These brushes also help to ensure your Malamute’s coat is all laid flat and in the direction of natural growth. It may seem obvious to do so to make your Malamute’s coat look tidy, but it also encourages the production of nourishing oils.

We love the 2-in-1 Bristle and Pin Brush by Sharper Image Pet which gives you the best of both worlds. The widely spaced pins massage your Malamute’s skin and the bristle side sweeps away hairs from the topcoat.

This brush is also our go-to for brushing dried dirt off of our Malamutes after a particularly muddy walk, helping them to look pristine until their next full grooming session.

Final thoughts

With these five essential grooming tools, you should have no problem maintaining a healthy and tangle-free coat on your Alaskan Malamute. You won’t need to use them all during every grooming session, but you’ll be grateful to have them on hand when the time comes!

If you have any questions about the content mentioned in this article, please leave a comment below or get in contact with us by clicking here.

We want to see your Malamutes! Send in your photos to themalamutemom@gmail.com for a chance to be featured on our site.

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