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9 Best (Healthiest) Dog Foods For Alaskan Malamute in 2020

Alaskan Malamutes are unique dogs with strong working drives and athletic sensibilities. Their coat and eyes usually cause a scene wherever they go, plus their resemblance to the dogs’ ancestor, the wolf.

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They’re powerful and brilliant. This breed isn’t usually suitable for beginning dog owners because they must be brought to heel or they’ll run all over you. Help support their curious minds and muscular bodies with a diet filled with all the proper building blocks for health and well being. Let’s find the best dog food for Alaskan Malamutes.

Why Quality Food Matters for Your Alaskan Malamute

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Malamutes are highly athletic. They’ll need support for muscle tone and bone structure as well as joint health support. They may not be great in hot weather, but their curiosity and drive make them excellent choices for athletic families in the north where there’s plenty of cold weather to make them comfortable.

Quality foods help keep them from gaining too much weight, which can put stress on the bone structure, and helps prevent skin issues that can cause irritations underneath the fur. You may not notice there’s a problem through their dense fur until it’s a full-on situation. Foods should also support brain health and prevent rapid growth during the puppy years.

3 Common Alaskan Malamute Health Issues 

Malamutes are a large breed dog and do experience health issue relate to that class. They also have some unique problems of their own that you should watch for throughout their lives. Here are three critical conditions to keep an eye out for.

  • Dysplasia – Large breed dogs are prone to issues with dysplasia, particularly of the hips. When the joint doesn’t form correctly, it can cause the hip to pop out of place, causing pain and immobility. Malamutes are prone to these effects as athletic dogs, so it’s essential that foods support joint health and carefully control weight. Puppy foods should also prevent rapid growth that can stress the skeletal system.
  • Bloat – Large, barrel-chested breeds are also prone to a dangerous condition called bloat. When the stomach distends and then twists, there isn’t much time to seek treatment before it’s fatal. Malamutes should be fed smaller meals with plenty of probiotics and fiber to help ease digestion and help possibly prevent bloat. Densely nutritious foods help the Malamute eat smaller portion sizes without sacrificing energy.
  • Eye Issues – Malamutes are prone to two eye conditions, day blindness, and juvenile cataracts, both of which become apparent in late puppyhood. While neither situation can be prevented or cured with food, quality food can help support eye health in the event these things happen to your malamute. The effects of both conditions could be mitigated, helping your Malamute lead a long healthy life with proper treatment and dietary support.

What to Look For in a Quality Dog Food for Alaskan Malamutes

Protein from whole, quality sources should be the first ingredient on the list no matter what food you choose. It supports muscle tone and healthy skin while giving them energy all day with. Combine with complex carbohydrates, and you’ve got a formula that can support their energy without adding excess calories.

Fruits and veggies offer vitamins and antioxidants that support the immune system and things like eye health. Fatty acids provide support for a healthy coat and skin as well as maintain peak brain function. Immune support with probiotics also helps aid digestion so that your Malamute doesn’t gain weight due to poorly digested foods.

If your Malamute develops allergies, a limited diet may help alleviate the skin and soft tissue inflammation. Reducing the recipe to a single protein source plus a handful of other ingredients helps reduce that inflammation and return digestion back to normal.

Ingredients to Avoid in Your Alaskan Malamute’s Dog Food

Bargain foods use a lot of cheap fillers like soy or corn. These fillers have no nutritional value and can cause allergies to flare up or inflammation. They also add empty calories which can make it very difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

Artificial flavors can cause reactions as well, but something far more common is encouraging your dog to eat more quickly, which may lead to bloat. Artificial colors are there solely for your benefit to trick you into thinking the food is healthier than it actually is. Throw away foods that include these ingredients as well.

Cheap proteins in the form of just “meat” listings or by-product meals give you no indication what kind of meat or quality is actually providing protein. Look for foods only where meat sources are specifically labeled (“whole deboned chicken).

You also may want to avoid foods with potatoes, peas, or legumes list as the first two or three ingredients. Researchers have discovered a possible link between these foods and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy, a condition that causes hypertrophy of the heart and the thinning of its walls. Talk to your vet about avoiding the foods altogether or just being careful.

Brands To Avoid

We know these brands are displayed prominently on your big box store shelves, but we recommend staying far away from them. They may offer cheap prices but have next to no value for long term health.

  • Alpo: Both the wet and dry food options use filler ingredients that can cause irritation and difficulty with digestion. Plus, Alpo has had various pet food recalls in a short period, removing all trust we might have in that brand.
  • Pedigree: Pedigree uses filler ingredients, by product meals, and artificial colors in most of their formulas. Plus, they’ve also been subject to many recalls over the years, making them one of our top picks to avoid.
  • Ol Roy: Ol Roy is explicitly made for Walmart stores, and it’s high in quantity for sure. It’s one of the cheapest foods you can get, and it shows, including almost all of our ingredients to avoid plus having a kibble that’s really tough to chew. Avoid it at all costs.

Alaskan Malamute Feeding Chart

Alaskan Malamutes can be as heavy as 75 to 100 pounds depending on genetics and sex. They do need dense nutrition to support their energetic habits, but you always want to monitor any signs of weight gain carefully.

  • Puppies: Your vet will probably change your Malamute puppy’s recommendations several times throughout maturity. The most important thing is that growth is controlled to protect the developing skeleton.
  • Adults: Adult Malamutes will receive between three and four cups of food per day typically, divided over the course of several smaller meals. Check in with your veterinarian and on the back of your food bag for individual recommendations.
  • Seniors: A senior Malamute will probably receive a lot of the same nutrition as younger ones, but if there’s noticeable weight gain or reduction in activity levels, your vet may decide to reduce portion sizes to accommodate.

Best Dog Food for Alaskan Malamutes

Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Great Plains Red Recipe with Beef, Lamb & Rabbit Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Best Overall – Merrick’s recipe uses bits of raw meat in their formula to ramp up the protein and encourage even picky Malamutes to eat. The raw bits are freeze-dried and mixed in with quality kibble that includes whole veggies for vitamins, essential fatty acids for skin support, and chondroitin to keep joints healthy.

First Five Ingredients:

  1. Deboned Beef
  2. Lamb Meal
  3. Salmon Meal
  4. Sweet Potatoes
  5. Potatoes

About The Company – Merrick is a smaller company that tests each individual recipe to ensure maximum quality. They source ingredients from reputable places and strive to produce a diet similar to what your Malamute’s wild ancestors would have consumed.

What Customers Like:

  • raw bits of meat
  • glucosamine and chondroitin
  • comes in larger bags

Common Complaints:

  • some Malamutes pick out raw bits and leave the kibble
  • raw bits need redistribution

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Adult Pasture Fed Lamb & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Best Value – The first ingredient is whole, deboned lamb, providing plenty of wholesome protein while rice supports all-day energy. It’s a clean recipe and easy to digest, containing plenty of vitamins and antioxidants as well as essential fatty acids. It uses only GMO-free ingredients from trusted partners of Nutro.

First Five Ingredients:

  1. Deboned Lamb
  2. Whole Brown Rice
  3. Rice Bran
  4. Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate)
  5. Whole Grain Oatmeal

About The Company – Now that Nutro is widely available outside specialty stores, you have the chance to provide your best friend with unparalleled nutrition. All their ingredients are premium, non-GMO foods that come from only trusted providers. You know that every bag provides your Malamute with a lifetime of nutrition.

What Customers Like:

  • non-GMO ingredients
  • joint support supplements
  • clean recipe

Common Complaints:

  • picky Malamutes may not accept it
  • bags are resealable

NomNomNow Tasty Turkey Fare

Best Super Premium – Tasty Turkey Fare is a cooked food meal using human ingredients with plenty of nutrition. It features a blend of just six ingredients to provide excellent nutrition in a form even picky Malamutes will love. It contains NomNomNow’s nutrient blend, a supplement with vitamins, minerals, and fish oil for healthier digestion, soft tissues, and skin.

First Five Ingredients:

  1. turkey
  2. brown rice
  3. carrots
  4. spinach
  5. eggs
  6. NomNomNow Nutrient Blend

About The Company – A vet started NomNomNow to provide dogs with nutrition that balanced the ease of kibble with the dense nutrition of a raw diet. Meals arrive at your door and can be served or refrigerated right away, and you can adjust delivery schedules from the website. Each recipe is crafted in NomNomNow’s kitchens from human grade ingredients.

What Customers Like:

  • satisfies picky Malamutes
  • limited ingredient formula
  • delivered to your door

Common Complaints:

  • requires space in your cold storage
  • deliveries aren’t always convenient

Best Puppy Food for Alaskan Malamutes

Puppies need robust yet controlled growth to prevent issue with the skeletal system. They also need plenty of essential fatty acids for brain development and guaranteed levels of calcium and phosphorus to help bones grow and protein for strong muscle tone.

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Puppy Chicken & Turkey Recipe Dry Dog Food

Best Dry – Wellness Core has carefully controlled calories to help growing puppies develop at the right rate. It includes whole proteins from chicken and turkey help your puppy have all the building blocks for a long healthy life.

First Five Ingredients:

  1. Deboned Chicken
  2. Chicken Meal
  3. Turkey Meal
  4. Potatoes
  5. Peas

About The Company – Wellness uses a holistic approach to your puppy’s nutrition. It controls growth, offers a balanced diet, and plenty of probiotic support for puppies just weaning. It helps your puppy develop strong, healthy muscles and bones while leaving out all those cheap fillers.

What Customers Like:

  • Controls growth
  • Whole proteins from chicken and turkey
  • Guaranteed DHA and calcium/phosphorus levels

Common Complaints:

  • Kibble may be unsavory for picky puppies
  • Bag isn’t resealable

Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Plate Recipe Canned Dog Food

Best Wet – Merrick’s wet food is great for puppies who’ve just weaned or who need encouragement to eat kibble. It’s suitable alone or as an additive to your puppy’s regular kibble meal. It uses only premium ingredients including turkey, chicken, and duck along with fresh cut vegetables and plenty of essential fatty acids for brain development.

First Five Ingredients:

  1. Deboned Chicken
  2. Chicken Broth
  3. Turkey
  4. Turkey Broth
  5. Duck

About The Company – Merrick’s wet foods help your puppy transition from milk to solids while providing the great taste of meat and veggies dipped in broth. It uses premium ingredients for whole nutrition and contains a protein-packed meal that can help developing muscles and brain grow.

What Customers Like:

  • satisfies picky puppies
  • has plenty of protein and fatty acids
  • controls growth

Common Complaints:

  • messy cans
  • strong smell

Best Senior Dog Food for Alaskan Malamutes

Seniors need similar nutrition during their adult and senior years, but you need to watch that weight gain carefully. They’re also more susceptible to joint issues and immobility.

Now Fresh Grain-Free Senior Weight Management Recipe Dry Dog Food

Best Overall – Now Fresh uses a weight control formula specifically for seniors to help support their aging process. It includes glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support, plus whole, premium protein sources to keep muscle tone strong. Essential fatty acids and vitamins support aging immune systems and eyes while good fiber sources keep digestion regular.

First Five Ingredients:

  1. De-Boned Turkey
  2. Potato Flour
  3. Apples
  4. Pea Fiber
  5. Peas

About The Company – Now Fresh uses premium ingredients to provide seniors with nutrition that mimics the canine ancestral diet as much as possible. It uses quality recipes and a holistic nutritional approach to support your senior’s aging process through gentle nutrients.

What Customers Like:

  • weight control
  • fatty acids for brain and skin health
  • senior supplement support

Common Complaints:

  • kibble may be difficult for seniors with tooth issues
  • taste may not satisfy picky seniors

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Senior Pasture Fed Lamb & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Best Value – Nutro’s Wholesome Essentials formula is great for seniors who need premium ingredients to help ease the aging process. It uses whole, deboned lamb and rice for all-day energy and complete protein support. It contains glucosamine for joint health plus essential fatty acids to keep the skin and coat in top condition.

First Five Ingredients:

  1. Deboned Lamb
  2. Chicken Meal
  3. Whole Brown Rice
  4. Brewers Rice
  5. Rice Bran

About The Company – Nutro now has foods available outside specialty stores and good thing for your senior dog. It uses fine ingredients to keep up your senior’s health so that both of you can enjoy those golden years.

What Customers Like:

  • whole protein sources
  • good balance of carbs and protein
  • joint support

Common Complaints:

  • comes in one bag size
  • may not agree with very sensitive tummies

Final Thoughts

Alaskan Malamutes are striking dogs with plenty of personality and drive. You can support that strong, independent streak with quality foods with plenty of protein and carbohydrates to keep up energy all day long. Essential fatty acids can help with soft tissue development and keep the skin in top shape.

As long as you’ve controlled your Malamute’s weight, joints shouldn’t be much of an issue, but be sure to physically check underneath the fur for inflammations in joints as well as signs of weight gain.

The Malamute body isn’t meant to carry too much weight over peak conditions, so it could be a serious issue by the time you notice through all the fur. It’s essential that Malamutes have plenty of exercise and that’s hard when they have a difficult time moving their frames. Keep them in peak physical condition, and they’ll reward you with a lifetime of stories.

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