How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Alaskan Malamutes
The Alaskan Malamute is an awe-inspiring breed. A true working dog, the Alaskan Malamute’s handsome good looks are reminiscent of a wolf. A breed renowned for its strength, stamina, and great intelligence, the Alaskan Malamute’s original job was to carry sleds full of supplies over extreme distances in the arctic cold.
Today, the Alaskan Malamute is an extremely versatile dog, exceling at many different events including conformation, agility, weight pulling, skijoring, and traditional obedience competitions. A highly active breed, the Alaskan Malamute needs daily exercise to remain physically and mentally content.
Considered to be a large breed dog, this athletic pooch requires a high quality diet to help fuel its daily activity level. As with all breeds, there are some health conditions the Alaskan Malamute can be predisposed to developing. A premium quality diet can help the Alaskan Malamute to stave off the development of health conditions by providing support for each of the body’s systems.
Among the health problems that can plague the Alaskan Malamute are:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Eye disorders
- Inherited polyneuropathy
- Hemophilia A and B
- Diabetes mellitus
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Alaskan Malamutes
Determining how much of the best dog foods for Alaskan Malamutes to feed a dog is typically a process that involves some trial and error. It is always a good idea to use the suggested serving size on the bag as a starting point. This amount can then be adjusted over time until the correct portion size is found. The dog’s weight and appetite will serve as helpful guidelines.
Since the Alaskan Malamute can be prone to bloat, it is important to ensure that this pooch does not eat too much or too rapidly. Experts recommend measuring all food and monitoring intake. This ensures that the Alaskan Malamute does not eat more than is healthful for the dog, potentially leading to weight gain or bloat. Though it is not yet known what factors must combine for a dog to succumb to bloat, it is generally believed that eating too much and too quickly may contribute to the problem.
The Alaskan Malamute is a highly active breed, and thus, is unlikely to gain weight easily. However, free feeding is still strongly discouraged. A more commonly seen problem in the Alaskan Malamute is weight loss due to the breed’s busy lifestyle. Owners should be prepared to increase meal sizes to help the Alaskan Malamute maintain a healthy body weight on an as needed basis.
The Alaskan Malamute requires a diet that contains a minimum of 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat to meet its daily nutritional needs. Slightly higher amounts are also acceptable.
Dietary Requirements for Alaskan Malamute Dog Foods
Since the Alaskan Malamute enjoys a very active lifestyle, it is even more important that this working breed be fed a high quality diet that is comprised of the only the finest ingredients. The basis of the best dog foods for Alaskan Malamutes should be a lean protein. Whole meats are the best choice, but meat meals are also an excellent option.
By-products and plant-based proteins such as corn, wheat, and soy are difficult for dogs to digest well and can also be common allergens for many dogs. Foods containing these ingredients should be avoided. Other items typically found in lower quality foods that are of no benefit to the Alaskan Malamute include artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
Healthy fats play a vital part in ensuring the Alaskan Malamute has the energy reserves it needs to remain active. In addition to providing dogs with energy, good fats encourage excellent coat and skin quality. These are best derived from animal origins and include such foods as animal fat and oily fish. Some plant-based oils, such as safflower and canola, also contribute ample servings of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to a diet.
No well-rounded diet is complete without; the addition of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates can be in the form of whole grains, fruits, or vegetables. The main priority in any carbohydrates included in a diet for the Alaskan Malamute is its ease of digestibility and rich antioxidant content.
All diets can benefit from the inclusion of helpful supplements to boost overall health. Among the most beneficial supplements to look for in a food for the Alaskan Malamute include glucosamine, chondroitin, prebiotics, and probiotics.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Alaskan Malamutes
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in a food for an Alaskan Malamute:
- Whole proteins heading up the ingredients list
- Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavorings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
- Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
- Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food