What is the Best Shampoo for Alaskan Malamutes 2023?

Known for their wolf-like appearance, the Alaskan Malamute is an arctic breed with a thick double coat that insulates them from all weathers. As an important part of the breed’s identity, keeping their coat well groomed and in good condition should be a priority to Malamute owners. Finding the right products when it comes to bath time can be very tricky, so what is the best shampoo for Alaskan Malamutes? We’ve got you covered with all our must-have recommendations that’ll keep your Mal looking and smelling fresh.


Table of the Best Shampoo for Alaskan Malamutes


How often should you bath an Alaskan Malamute?

Caring for an Alaskan Malamute comes with many responsibilities, not least of which is the mammoth task of grooming. Whilst Malamutes don’t need to be bathed as often as they need general grooming such a brushing, it should still be a part of their regular routine. A good grooming and bathing routine is vital to prevent any difficult mats and tangles from forming in their coat.

You can read about our essential grooming tool and grooming guide here.

Frequent bathing of your Mal keeps their coat looking tidy and smelling fresh and they are sure to appreciate the added attention they’ll receive. We don’t necessarily mean bathing your Mal every time they get dirty. In fact, a Malamutes double coat is designed to repel dirt away from the skin and you should find that a simply brush will keep them clean the majority of the time. For the average Malamute, we recommend giving them a bath roughly every 8 weeks although you will know if they need one sooner than that.

They can be bathed more frequently than this if you prefer, and Mals who partake in competitions are bathed as often as every week! There is evidence to suggest that more frequent bathing reduces shedding as hairs that are already loosened are able to be removed. That being said, shedding is just part of the fun of owning a Malamute so don’t expect to stop seeing hairs everywhere just because you’ve given them a bath!


What should you look for in a shampoo for Alaskan Malamutes?

An Alaskan Malamute’s coat is a big part of their identity and finding the right shampoo to keep it in good condition can be a difficult task. Companies often claim their shampoos can do the impossible for your dog’s coat and will happily charge a fortune for it. But is any of this really necessary?

When to it comes to Alaskan Malamutes there are two things we look for in a shampoo; whether the shampoo is hypoallergenic and whether the ingredients are generally considered to be soothing to the skin. This is because Malamutes are a breed that are known to experience various skin conditions. Our Mals have all had some form of skin irritation in the past ranging from dry skin to allergies and the infamous ‘hot spot’ so we prioritise avoiding harsh chemicals at all costs.

If your Malamute has a known allergy, you should always consult a vet before trying a new shampoo as ingredients can be listed under different names.

It is not uncommon for shampoos to be listed as ‘shed controlling’. In our experience, however, they have made no added difference to the amount of shed compared to using any other shampoo. We can’t speak for other dog breeds, but as Malamute are famously heavy shedders, we suggest not getting caught up on looking for that in a shampoo.

You may also see people recommending ‘brightening’ shampoos which claim to remove yellowness from a dog’s coat and stop it from looking dull. Once again, we personally advise against these shampoos as they frequently have quite harsh chemicals in them. The quality of your Mal’s coat is often an indication of their health and can be impacted by simple things such as diet. We should also note that dullness in a Malamute’s coat can be a sign that they are preparing to blow coat which is a natural and healthy process.

You can read our guide to coat blowing and what you can do to help them through it here.


Our recommendations for the best Alaskan Malamute shampoo

Over the years we’ve tried many different shampoos, all of which claim to do various things. In our experience it’s often the simplest shampoos that leave us with the best results. We’ve listed our personal favourites that have left us wanting to buy more when we’ve ran out and have kept our Mals looking their best year-round.


Soothing Dog Shampoo by Bobbi Panter – $$

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Undoubtedly one of our favourites and loved by owners of dogs with sensitive skin around the world is the Soothing Dog Shampoo by Bobbi Panter. The shampoo is made with tea tree oil and oatmeal extract in the perfect soothing blend and has a light lavender scent that lasts up to a week. Bobbi Panter make a point of not including salt in their shampoos to prevent your dog’s coat from drying up and we can certainly vouch for them that it works.

Made right here in the USA and cruelty free, we can’t speak highly enough of their shampoo for keeping our Mal’s sensitive skin in perfect condition.

Bobbi Panter does ship to the UK but if you’re looking for a way of avoiding the expensive handling and custom fees, we recommend buying the Oatmeal Dog Shampoo by Pro Pooch. The formula has very similar hypoallergenic ingredients.


Moisturizing Waterless Shampoo Spray by BioSilk for Dogs – $

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Feeling like your Mal needs a bit of a spruce up but don’t have the time for a bath? The Moisturizing Waterless Shampoo Spray by BioSilk has you covered! It does exactly what it says on the tin and gives your Mal’s coat a freshen up without needing any water to rinse it through. The spray has a very ‘clean’ scent and is packed full of good ingredients such as oat extract and jojoba oil that are perfect for soothing your Mal’s skin.

BioSilk market themselves as a luxury brand (despite having a very affordable price) and their waterless shampoo certainly leaves our Malamutes feeling like they’re come straight from the spa. We wouldn’t personally use this in place of a regular shampoo but it is perfect for those particularly wet and muddy walks that leave your Mal with a certain smell.

A non-US alternative is available to purchase on Amazon here.


Natural Medicated Dog Shampoo by Arava – $$

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Don’t let the long ingredients list put you off of this shampoo. Different to the others we’ve recommended, this shampoo contains active antibacterial ingredients that are designed to specifically help against skin infections. When it comes to hotspots, this medicated shampoo has truly been a lifesaver and is the only one that has actually soothed our Mals enough to stop them biting at their skin.

Due to the ingredients involved, we recommend double checking with your vet before using it in case of allergies but the dilution of the shampoo should not be problematic. Unlike other medicinal shampoos, Arava’s natural dog shampoo has a light scent which is surprisingly pleasant for both you and your Malamute. Due to the nature of the shampoo, we only use the shampoo if a problem such as a hotspot arises and as a result, a single bottle lasts us for what feels like a lifetime.

Once again, this shampoo is available to ship to the UK if you’re willing to pay the added fees. For those of you looking to save money but want an equally suitable product, we recommend the Anti-Bac Dog Shampoo by C&G Pets.


Final Thoughts

Keeping your Malamute looking their best can be a difficult task but having the right shampoo will keep you mind at ease knowing their coat is getting what it needs. Our recommendations have kept our Mals looking and feeling their best year round.

If you have any questions relating to the mentioned products, or grooming your Malamute in general, don’t hesitate to contact us here.

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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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