Everything You Need to Know About Caring for a Malamute in Singapore [With FAQs]

Embrace the challenge and joy of raising an Alaskan Malamute in Singapore, a breed that combines strength and loyalty with a majestic, wolf-like appearance. Despite the city’s warm climate and compact living, Malamutes can find their place alongside those prepared for their size and energy.

This guide covers the essentials of caring for these noble dogs in Singapore’s unique environment, from managing their thick coats to meeting their exercise needs. 

*Disclaimer: This article is designed to offer general guidance and should not replace professional advice from a vet. Always consult a vet for personalised care and health management for your Malamute.

Malamute Singapore Infographic

Key Physical Traits of an Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamutes stand out for their remarkable blend of power and companionship, marked by their impressive size and friendly nature. 

Here, we outline the key traits that contribute to the Malamute’s unique identity, from their sturdy build to their plush coat.

Weight38–56kg
Height58–71cm
Life Expectancy10 - 14 years
Fur CoatThick double coat that can handle extreme cold.
Coat LengthShort to medium
Coat TextureDense and plush, with a softer undercoat and coarser topcoat
Common Coat ColoursRanges from white and light grey to black, and includes shades of gold to red and liver, often with markings
SizeLarge
Kennel Club GroupWorking

What does working breed for dogs mean?
Working breeds are dogs bred for specific tasks like guarding, pulling sleds, or herding. They’re smart, strong, and independent, often needing more physical and mental activity. These breeds, including the Alaskan Malamute, thrive on engagement and purpose.

Common Personality Traits of Malamutes

Alaskan Malamutes are renowned not just for their impressive physical attributes but also for their distinctive personalities. These dogs have a mix of traits that make them as engaging and lovable as any dog breed out there. 

Loyal

Malamutes form deep bonds with their families, showcasing a level of loyalty that’s both heartwarming and profound. They are pack-oriented, considering their human family as part of their pack, which means they’re not just pets but true members of the family, always ready to offer support and protection.

Friendly

Unlike their fierce loyalty that might suggest a one-person dog, Malamutes are known for their friendly and outgoing nature. They greet friends and strangers alike with enthusiasm, making them poor guard dogs but excellent companions. Their friendly demeanour extends to children and other animals, though their size and playfulness require supervision.

Independent

With their history as sled dogs, Malamutes have a streak of independence. They can be willful, which can present challenges in training. However, this independence also means they’re content to entertain themselves at times, making them less demanding of constant attention compared to some other breeds.

Energetic

Despite their size, Malamutes have a lot of energy and love to play. They thrive on regular, vigorous exercise and enjoy activities that engage their body and mind. Whether it’s a long walk, a hike, or playtime in a securely fenced area, they need ample opportunities to expend their energy.

Affectionate

Malamutes are incredibly affectionate with their families. They enjoy being part of the household activities and often seek out physical closeness, whether it’s a gentle nudge for a pet or joining you on the couch for a snuggle. Their affectionate nature makes them wonderful companions who add warmth and joy to any home.

Caring for a Malamute in Singapore

Affectionate Malamute

Alaskan Malamutes, with their grand stature and warm hearts, demand thoughtful care in Singapore’s climate. This section highlights key considerations—from navigating housing regulations to addressing their grooming and exercise requirements—to ensure your Malamute leads a joyful and healthy life in the city.

Housing Your Malamute in Singapore

Malamutes, with their grand size and love for activity, need a bit more room than some other breeds – as such they are not a HDB-approved dog breed. For those in Singapore, a home with ample space is essential. A house with a garden or easy access to dog parks where they can stretch their legs and play is ideal. This ensures they get the exercise and freedom they need to be happy. 

If you’re considering a Malamute, make sure your home meets these needs, keeping in mind the local regulations for large dog breeds. 

Grooming Your Malamute

Malamute at the groomers

Grooming is an essential part of caring for a Malamute, not just for their appearance but for their health and comfort, especially in Singapore’s humid weather.

Grooming Activity
Frequency
Details
Skin and coat CareDaily brushing; Bathe once a monthBrush daily to manage their thick coat, remove dirt, and spread natural oils. Baths keep their coats healthy and mat-free. Regular grooming strengthens your bond.
Eye careDailyCheck and clean their eyes daily with a moist cloth to remove debris and prevent infections.
Ear care1 to 2 times every monthPerform bi-weekly ear checks to keep them clean and free from infection. Use disposable ear wipes for cleaning.
Teeth brushingAt least thrice a weekPrevents tartar build-up and promotes good oral health.
Nail trimming1 to 2 times every monthTrim their nails as necessary to prevent overgrowth and discomfort.

If life gets hectic or you prefer expert care, consider taking your Malamute to a professional groomer in Singapore. 

Exercise and Activity Needs of Alaskan Malamutes

Alaskan Malamutes are full of energy and love being active. Since Singapore is warm, it’s best to find cooler times for their workouts:

  • Walking and jogging: These are perfect for keeping your Malamute in shape and mentally sharp every day.
  • Biking and backpacking: These activities let your Malamute use up energy and enjoy new sights.
  • Tracking: This stimulates their brain and taps into their natural love for following scents.

Remember, while staying active is important, the heat in Singapore means you need to be careful. Arctic breeds shouldn’t do too much in hot and humid weather. Keeping exercise indoors, like using a treadmill, or sticking to shaded areas can help. 

For outdoor activities, early mornings or late evenings are cooler and more comfortable. A mist spray with UV protection can also protect your dog from the sun and keep them cool.

Diet of an Alaskan Malamute

Feeding your Alaskan Malamute properly is key to their overall health and joy. Adults should have two meals per day, and puppies, who are still growing, need three. It’s crucial not to let them eat all they want at any time because Malamutes can overeat quickly and become overweight. A slow feeder bowl is a good tool to help control how fast they eat.

The exact amount of food your Malamute needs will vary. Factors like their age, how big they are, and their activity level all play a part. Dog food bags give a general idea, but talking to your vet gives you advice that fits your dog perfectly.

Their diet should also help with their joint, eye, and coat health. Adding dog supplements with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin C is beneficial. Make sure they always have access to fresh water. For the best diet plan, including how to mix in dog treats the right way, your vet is the best resource. This ensures your Malamute stays healthy and happy.

AgeCaloric Intake (Per Day)
2 – 3 months653 – 1,488
4 – 6 months865 – 1,668
7 – 9 months1,456 – 1,873
10 – 12 months1,668 – 2,070
1 – 6 years1,578 – 1,733
7 years and above1,262 – 1,386

Malamutes not engaged in high-energy activities may require fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight. Owners should consider reducing the daily food intake slightly for Malamutes who are less active to prevent obesity and related health issues. 

It’s best to always consult with a veterinarian to tailor the diet to your Malamute’s specific energy needs and lifestyle.

Training a Malamute

Training your Alaskan Malamute is crucial for their growth and ensures they become well-mannered family members. Effective training fosters clear communication and a foundation of mutual respect.

Ensure your Malamute is Well-Fed and Hydrated

Make sure your Malamute is fed and hydrated before training sessions. A comfortable dog is more receptive to learning, helping avoid distractions from hunger or thirst.

Use Positive Reinforcements

Reward good behaviour with positive reinforcement. Malamutes respond well to treats. However, if they’re dieting or less food-motivated, praise, head scratches, or belly rubs work just as well. Avoid negative reinforcement, as it can lead to unwanted behaviours or fear.

Keep Training Sessions Short

Keep training sessions brief but regular. Shorter sessions maintain your Malamute’s focus and interest, making learning more effective. Frequent sessions reinforce learned behaviours and commands.

Change Up Your Training Environment

Mix up training locations to keep sessions interesting and test their skills in different settings. This approach helps your Malamute learn to follow commands amidst distractions and in various environments.

Keep your Commands Consistent

Be consistent with commands and cues. Using the same words and gestures helps your Malamute understand and follow your instructions. If multiple people are involved in training or living in the same household as your Malamute, ensure everyone uses the same commands and cues for clarity.

Common Health Problems in Malamutes

Health problems in Malamutes

Alaskan Malamutes, celebrated for their robustness, also face health challenges. Routine vet check-ups are crucial for catching and managing these issues early. To reduce costs and ensure comprehensive care, owners can also consider pet insurance to safeguard your Malamute’s health and well-being.

Day Blindness

A genetic condition affecting vision in bright light, making Malamutes clumsy during the day but not at night.

Symptoms

  • Bumping into objects
  • Difficulty navigating steps
  • Refusal to move from shade to sunlight
  • Improved navigation and activity in darker environments

Treatment

  • Diagnosis by a veterinary ophthalmologist; carriers should not be bred.

Hypothyroidism

Malamutes are prone to dental problems that can lead to tooth loss and affect major organs.

Symptoms

  • Weight gain despite no changes to diet
  • Lethargy
  • Increased skin and ear infections
  • Dry and brittle hair

Treatment

  • Lifelong thyroid hormone replacement therapy

Hip Displacement

A common condition in dogs that causes a malformation of the hip joint.

Symptoms

  • Medication for pain management
  • Weight management
  • Surgery in severe cases

Treatment

Often, a dog’s knee cap may shift back to its place naturally, so your vet may suggest monitoring your dog for signs of discomfort or arthritis first. If their kneecap doesn’t shift back naturally, medication or weight management may be recommended. In severe cases, however, surgery may be necessary.

Polyneuropathy

This disorder impacts the nervous system of Alaskan Malamutes.

Symptoms

  • Frequent falling
  • Walking on the tops of the feet
  • Changes in their voice
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Unable to exercise

Treatment

There’s no cure, but dogs with mild cases can lead relatively normal lives. Severe conditions, however, may require owners to make tough choices.

Cost of Owning a Malamute in Singapore

Cost of owning a Malamute

Owning an Alaskan Malamute in Singapore brings immense joy and companionship, but it also comes with a significant financial responsibility. From the moment you decide to welcome a Malamute into your home, you’ll encounter various costs, from initial expenses to ongoing care needs. Understanding and planning for these expenses will ensure your Malamute receives the love and care they deserve.

One-off Costs

Purchase or adoption price

Owning an Alaskan Malamute in Singapore can be a significant investment, with costs largely influenced by the breeder’s reputation and the age of the dog. While prices for a Malamute from reputable breeders can be high due to the care and ethical breeding practices involved, adopting from a rescue organisation offers a valuable alternative that can also be more affordable.

Sterilisation costs

Spaying or neutering your Malamute is crucial for preventing unexpected litters and can lead to better health and behaviour. This cost varies, generally ranging from $200 to $600, depending on the clinic and the dog’s size.

Licensing costs

In Singapore, licensing your dog is mandatory. The fee for a sterilised dog with a one-year licence is around $15, and for a non-sterilised dog, it can go up to $230 for a three-year licence.

Microchipping costs

Microchipping, a one-time procedure, is essential for identification and costs between $50 to $100.

Recurring Costs

Keeping your Alaskan Malamute healthy and happy also involves ongoing expenses like:

  • Food: Up to $150 each month 
  • Grooming: ~$150 per session
  • Medical and Dental Checkups: ~$50 per month
  • Vaccinations: ~$30 to $60 per vaccine
  • Accessories: Essentials like dog crates, dog beds, and toys also factor into recurring expenses

For those welcoming a new Malamute puppy, Pet Lovers Centre has a special Puppy Bonus Plan designed to help you and your new friend start off on the best foot.

Pet Lovers Centre Puppy Bonus Plan

This Puppy Pack comes loaded with items from reputable brands such as Pronature, Fish4Dogs, and Trustie. It includes everything from nutritious wet and dry dog food to treats, odour and stain cleaners, shampoo, and even a poop bag. Plus, joining the plan grants you a one-year VIP membership!

*Eligibility for the Puppy Pack requires the puppy to be under 12 months old.

FAQs About Owning a Malamute in Singapore

When properly socialised, Malamutes can get along with other dogs. However, they possess a strong prey drive, so caution is advised around smaller animals. Although they can coexist with other pets if introduced and socialised from a young age, it's generally not recommended to leave them unsupervised with smaller pets.

Malamutes are intelligent and can be responsive to training, provided they have a confident leader. Malamutes lose interest fast, so training should be fun and varied but with consistent commands to keep them focused and learning.

Known for their friendly, affectionate nature, Malamutes can be wonderful family pets. They are loyal and playful, often showing a gentle side that makes them suitable for households with children.

Authors

  • Wai Ling

    Author:

    Foodie at heart and (almost) always with a camera in hand. When she's not busy with work, you'll find her munching around Singapore or snapping pics in some cool new spot.

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