Alaskan malamutes are a strong and hard-working breed of canine; they are used to moving around a lot, running really fast, and lifting, pulling, and burying items.
So can Alaskan Malamutes live in apartments? It’s recommended that they do not. Apartments are not the best living space for Malamutes simply because of their small size.
Malamutes are not made for indoor living, especially within the confinement of a small apartment. They need space to move about, plus, their size would make it hard for them to live comfortably within the compact space of an apartment.
Alaskan Malamutes in Apartments: How to Make it Work
Living with an Alaskan Malamute in your apartment may seem like a fun and adventurous idea; but in reality, it can be a major hassle for them, thus, creating a major problem for you.
Although it is not recommended to keep you Alaskan Malamute in your apartment, there are people who just can’t resist their large smiles, and bring them in to live in their apartment anyway.
With that being said, it’s important to know how to make it work in the most efficient way for both you and the dog. While in the apartment, always be sure to check the temperature. Alaskan Malamutes are made for cooler temperatures, and can become quite hot if it isn’t cold enough.
Which leads me to the next tip: even when it’s hot, find a way to keep the dog cool internally; having cool water lying around does a great job at keeping the Malamutes body temperature regulated.
Fans and keeping your air conditioner at a lower-than-average temperature also does the trick.
The Basics of Living With An Alaskan Malamute
Alaskan Malamutes are a bold and fearless type of dog, so living with one will make you more dominant than you’re used to.
Whether it’s a puppy or matured, this breed of dog has the capacity to fend for itself, so you won’t have to worry about having a dog that wants constant attention. Once they are in your apartment, show them around so that they can get used to where things are, and how much room they have to roam around.
Luckily, Malamutes are not loud animals, and tend to be quiet for the most part to the point that you’ll forget they’re there; unless someone knocks at the door, then you may hear a couple of barks.
Shedding usually occurs seasonally, and can net a high yield of fur, so combing their coat 2 to 3 times per week is necessary if you don’t want their hair everywhere.
And one of the most important factors to keep in mind is that Alaskan Malamutes are worker dogs, and do best when they have something functional to do.
So keeping a stock of big dog toys, or taking them for frequent walks will keep them active, and will reduce their amount of boredom and potential destruction.
How Much Exercise Do Alaskan Malamutes Need Everyday?
As I previously stated, Alaskan Malamutes are working dogs; they are built and designed for heavy lifting and fast running. Now imagine this type of dog in your one or two-bedroom apartment! With these characteristics, it can be a challenge to get them moving adequately.
So to keep their momentum going, it is important that your Alaskan Malamute receives on average about 2 hours of major exercise.
By “major” I mean pushing or pulling big items like tires or sacs, running around in a large yard or field, or heck, a few several races between you and your Malamute will do it extremely well.
It may seem challenging, but a good game of tug-of-war will get their adrenaline pumping as well. These are just some examples, but the point is to show you the type of exercise that is required to keep your Malamute in tip-top shape, and yes, it’s necessary everyday of the week.
Best Home Environment for Alaskan Malamutes
When it comes to the large breed of Mals living in a cozy apartment, you’ll want to make sure that the home environment is set not just for your standards, but also for your Malamute.
If you really want a Malamute to live in your apartment with you, expect to keep your place very chilli. Alaskan Malamutes are known to thrive in extremely cold temperatures, like that of their indigenous location, Alaska; and if they can live there with little issue, your place has to match it.
A home temperature of anything below 66 degrees fahrenheit would do this brand of dog a great service. This will keep their internal body temperature equal to that of the external temperature, while also granting them some warmth simultaneously; so I hope you enjoy cold weather!
Another reason for creating a great home environment for your Mal is to decrease the chances of dehydration or any other ailment that comes with an overheated body of a Malamute.
Training Alaskan Malamutes to Live in Apartments
Regardless of their size Alaskan Malamutes are big soft teddy bears. They enjoy affection, and make great companions once a solidified bond is formed.
Fun fact! Mals are known to be “puppy-like” for about the first 2 ½ year of their life; which makes it imperative to get your dog acclimated into apartment living as soon as possible by training them. Commands and socialization is a primary goal for training them.
If you ever have guests over, it is up to you to teach your Mal how to act when company is around so that there is a reduced risk of major surprises. Another training pillar is chewing.
Malamutes are active dogs throughout their life, and they require training to gnaw on appropriate items like chew toys and ropes, versus biting on your shoes and digging into the cushions.
It’s also a good idea to get your Mal adjusted to the temperature in your house by letting it walk around, while also providing a cool area for it to lay and rest when it feels like it’s getting too hot; like a spacious area of cool tile flooring, or perhaps a cooling mat if your apartment is carpeted.
Pay More Attention to Health
Since Alaskan Malamutes are not meant for apartment living, yet people will still want one regardless of their residence, it’s imperative to know the health concerns of Malamutes if you decide to keep one in your apartment.
The most forefront health concern that could happen to your Malamute in any warm apartment is dehydration. Their double-coat does a great job at keeping them warm because it traps in heat; and if there is heat already on the outside, they are in big trouble.
So always keep chilled water around, and a cool area for them to lay to rid yourself of this very potential issue.
In addition, know that Alaskan Malamutes are purebreds and are prone to several dominant ailments such as hip/joint dysplasia, hypothyroidism, cataracts, nerve disorders, and day blindness.
Day blindness is a significant ailment due to the fact that it weakens their eyes and causes blurry vision; and if your Mal is kept inside a low-lit apartment for most of the day, the circumstances will catalyze the potential of this disease becoming real.
To avoid this nightmare from becoming reality, make sure that your Mal gets plenty of sunlight during the day from the outside, because light through a window just won’t cut it.
Is It OK for Me to Leave My Alaskan Malamute Alone?
For the most part, no, you do not want to leave your Alaskan Malamute alone in your apartment; this would turn out worse for you than it will for the dog!
Malamutes are very curious and intelligent animals, and if you leave it in your apartment unattended, with nothing to keep it occupied, it will find something to do, and that process can be a destructive one.
By leaving your Malamute in your apartment alone, you are putting it at risk for potential dehydration if your apartment isn’t cold enough.
Additionally, you would basically be asking it to rummage through your personal belongings until it found something interesting enough to keep its attention long enough for you to get home.
However, if you do decide to keep your Malamute home alone, keep it in an open area for it to run around and burn off some steam.
Most apartment complexes may have a gated backyard area, which could be suitable for your dog to utilize; or provide it with multiple toys to keep its mind busy while you are out and about to avoid nuisance behavior.
What are the Cons of Having an Alaskan Malamute in My Apartment?
Cons involved with having an Alaskan Malamute in your apartment come down to their grooming and temperament.
Know that Malamutes shed heavily twice per year, and can literally produce enough loose hair for a full-fledge fur coat.
Because of this factor, you’ll have to get used to finding hair around your apartment, and you’ll be brushing their coat just about everyday to avoid free hair in the air.
When it comes to their temperament, Mals are known to get bored very easily. Once this occurs, it will be up to you to provide it with significant and impactful entertainment for them to move around and release all of that pent up energy.
All in all, if you decide to keep an Alaskan Malamute in your apartment, you are deciding to become it’s energetic companion and caretaker as well.