Why Your Malamute Isn’t Fluffy (7 Reasons & What To Do)

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There are many reasons why your Malamute isn’t fluffy, and it isn’t bad if they are not as fluffy as other Malamutes.

The biggest factor to consider is genetics. If your Malamute comes from a line of woolier Malamutes, there’s a good chance they will also be very fluffy. Other factors are significant, including diet, grooming, and much more.

In this guide, I’ll explain seven factors that affect how fluffy your Malamute is and why you don’t need to worry if your Malamute isn’t fluffy as long as their coat and skin are healthy.

Let’s get into it.

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Should All Malamutes Be Fluffy?

Most Malamutes are fluffy because they have a thick double coat.

This means that their coat is split into two distinct layers: a short, dense undercoat and a longer guard layer.

Both of these layers contribute to how fluffy they look.

The short undercoat is dense, but some Malamutes have a thicker and denser undercoat than others, contributing to their coat’s overall fluffiness.

Likewise, the guard layer can also be longer in some Malamutes, making them look more fluffy.

Wooly Malamute Toews - Sent in by one of our readers.
Wooly Malamute Toews – Sent in by one of our readers.

Wooly Malamutes, like Toews sent in by one of our readers pictured above, look much fluffier because they have naturally longer and denser coats.

Some Malamutes can also naturally have shorter coats and less dense layers, making them seem less fluffy.

This is completely normal and not something you should worry about as long as their coat and skin are in good condition! If you suspect that an underlying health condition is affecting their coat, always speak to your veterinarian.

7 Reasons Why Your Malamute Isn’t Fluffy

There are a lot more factors that can affect how fluffy your Malamute’s coat is than you would expect.

Here are the seven most important factors that play a significant role in the appearance of their coats.

1. Genetics

The main contributing factor to how fluffy your Malamute looks is their genetics.

As I mentioned before, the length and thickness of each layer of their double coat varies depending on their genetics and bloodline.

If your Mal naturally has a thick and dense undercoat with a top coat longer than normal, they will look much fluffier. Likewise, your Mal might naturally have shorter, less dense layers, making them seem less fluffy.

Certain breeders purposefully breed for woolier Malamutes, so their heritage plays a significant role in their fluffiness.

2. Age

Age can also play a significant role in the fluffiness of your Malamute.

Malamute puppies tend to look much fluffier because they have so much hair compared to their bodies. The proportions change as they grow up and transition into their adult coat, making them look less fluffy in some cases.

Brown Malamute smiling at the camera

As your Malamute approaches their golden years, their coat may become thinner naturally, and health problems can exacerbate this.

3. Diet

Diet plays an important role in the appearance and condition of a Malamute’s coat. In fact, it is the most important factor contributing to the overall appearance of the coat.

A Malamute’s diet should consist of high-calorie, quality food (see our recommendations here) that is high in protein and contains plenty of fatty acids and other nutrients like zinc, biotin, and B vitamins.

4. Health Problems/Neglect

It’s common for Malamutes to shed excessively when they are under stress, which can make them appear less fluffy.

This stress usually comes from disease or if they are being neglected.

Common diseases that can affect a Malamute’s coat include hormone imbalance, digestive issues, and cancer.

5. Seasonal Shedding

If you’ve noticed your Malamute’s coat changing to looking much less fluffy during the summer, this is due to seasonal shedding.

This happens because your Mal will blow their coat to help them prepare for the warmer weather, transitioning from winter to summer coats.

The summer coat isn’t as thick, so it won’t appear as fluffy as their winter coat. You can tell when they blow coat because they will shed much more than usual!

6. Lack Of Grooming

Some people assume that grooming their Mal’s coat less often will help it to appear fluffier, but it actually does the opposite.

If you neglect their coats, it will start to get matted quickly. When the fur mats, it looks unkept and much less fluffy than before, and it can also cause them pain as well.

This is why we recommend daily grooming and more intense grooming sessions a couple of times per week to keep their coat in top condition.

7. Over Bathing

Malamutes shouldn’t be bathed often as it interferes with the natural function of their double coat and the oils found within it.

Frequent bathing dries out their skin and damages the hair, which can be made worse if you use the wrong type of shampoo.

The result of this is a less fluffy appearance with damaged fur.

How To Encourage Your Malamute To Have A Fluffy Coat

If your Malamute’s coat isn’t very fluffy from their genetics, there are still steps you can take to ensure their coat looks as fluffy as it can.

Here are some easy tactics you can implement to make sure their coat is as healthy and fluffy as possible.

Get Their Diet Right

Getting the diet right for your Malamute is essential for their overall health and development, but it will also help their coat dramatically.

If their coat is dull and doesn’t look healthy, this is a clear sign to vets of a lack of nutrition.

Malamutes need high-calorie food to meet their energy output and high protein from a high-quality protein source.

Watch out for filler ingredients like soy and corn, and make sure the food has plenty of fiber and fatty acids as well.

Check out our recommended foods for Malamutes here.

Groom Regularly & Bathe Properly

Grooming and bathing correctly are super important for maintaining the health of your Malamute’s coat and making it fluffy.

You should give your Malamute a quick groom every day, if possible, with a regular grooming comb to maintain their coat.

After that, once or twice weekly, you should spend some time grooming their coat properly using a few tools. I like to start with a slicker brush to remove loose hairs, followed by a de-matting comb to remove matted fur.

An Alaskan Malamute on a wooden bench

After that, I’ll use an undercoat rake to target their undercoat while keeping the top coat safe.

A grooming comb can be used next to target any missed loose hairs or matted areas, and finally, a bristle brush will set the fur in the right direction and help your Mal relax after the session.

You can find our recommended tools for grooming your Alaskan Malamute correctly in this guide.

Outside of that, you need to bathe your Malamute on a good schedule and use the right shampoo to protect their coat.

We recommend bathing once every 3 to 4 months as needed.

This might not sound like a lot, but it’s for a good reason. The double coat of the Alaskan Malamute is great at regulating itself and keeping itself clean, so bathing is actually detrimental to its condition.

When it comes to bathing, use a shampoo that is suitable for sensitive skin and contains natural ingredients.

You can find our recommendations for Alaskan Malamute shampoo here.

Contact A Veterinarian About Any Health Concerns

If your Malamute’s coat still looks unhealthy and not fluffy after addressing any grooming or nutritional problems, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

They will be able to identify any health-related issues that could be causing their coat to be this way.

In Summary

Not all Malamutes are as fluffy as wooly Malamutes; it depends on your Mal’s genetics more than anything.

You can encourage their coat to grow and look as fluffy as possible by grooming and bathing properly and ensuring their diet is nutritionally complete. Still, it shouldn’t matter if their coat is not as fluffy as other Malamutes.

As long as they are healthy, that is all that matters.

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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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