Can Alaskan Malamutes Stay Outside in The Cold? (Explained)

Can Alaskan Malamutes Stay Outside in The Cold

Have you had your eye on an Alaskan Malamute, but fear that the climate you live in will be too cold? Well, fear no more- as this article covers everything to do with Alaskan Malamutes and their freeze-proof abilities.

An Alaskan Malamute can stay outside in the cold- both during the day and throughout the night without concern. As a matter of fact, the Alaskan Malamute can withstand temperatures as low as -20°F!

Depending on your Alaskan Malamutes age, health, and coat density- will determine how long they can remain outside in the cold. As an overall generalization, the Alaskan Malamute is well equipped to withstand both moderately warm and extremely cold temperatures. Continue reading to learn more.

Alaskan Malamutes in The Cold

Alaskan Malamutes do exceptionally well in the cold, especially compared to other breeds of dogs.

The intelligence behind why an Alaskan Malamute thrives strongly in the cold (as opposed to other dogs), is due to their heritage originally bred to partake in sled pulling or similar endurance focused activities based outdoors.

This particular breed exhibits thick in density coats, which serve as an advantage for cold environments.

Depending on the Alaskan Malamutes age, coat density, and overall health- it will determine how long they’ll likely be able to endure the freezing temperature.

Overall, an Alaskan Malamute can cope with exceedingly cold temperatures, however, it should be monitored every so often in case they become too cold and require brief warmth.

How Long Can Alaskan Malamutes Stay in The Cold?

An Alaskan Malamute can stay in the cold for as long as 8 – 24 hours without necessary assistance.

Depending on the age of your Alaskan Malamute- as well as health levels, upbringing, coat levels, and your Alaskan Malamute may be able to endure more or less of the blistering weather.

For Alaskan Malamute puppies younger than 20 weeks, refrain from leaving them in temperatures below 20°F.

As for adolescent or adult Alaskan Malamutes- refrain from leaving them in temperatures below -20°F to -40°F for more than 5 hours.

At the end of the day, only you (the owner) knows your Alaskan Malamute more than anyone else. Thus, get to know your canine’s personality and make an intuitive decision from there onwards.

How Cold is Too Cold for an Alaskan Malamute?

Alaskan Malamutes are naturally bred sled dogs, proving an ability to withstand freezing temperatures as low as -20°F.

Thankfully, for an Alaskan Malamute- their thick coat and genetic inheritance play a part to thank in such wonderful adaptabilities.

Although they can withstand incredibly low temperatures, there is a limit until cold temperatures become too cold.

When temperatures drop below -10°F, you may want to consider observing your pooch whilst in warmer temperatures.

That way you can monitor their levels and risks associated with possible hypothermia.

How Do You Know When it’s Too Cold for Your Alaskan Malamute?

Much like humans, if your Alaskan Malamute is too cold they’ll show cold warning signs, as mentioned below.

Keep an eye out for these cold warning signs, as it’ll be an indication that you either need to bring them inside- or provide a warmer shelter whilst they remain outside.

Cold Warning Signs

Watch out for these cold warning signs that’ll let you know if your Alaskan Malamute needs to come inside:


If your Alaskan Malamute begins to shiver or shake- bring your dog inside immediately.

Becoming Anxious

Signs of anxiety or stress is another foolproof way to identify if your dog is becoming too cold.


Unusual whining or calling of your attention can indicate a problem coming from your Alaskan Malamute.

Curled-up Position

When your Alaskan Malamute remains stagnant in a curled-up position, they’re usually too cold to move and are trying to keep warm. In this instance, it’ll be time to bring them inside.

Acting Distant or Refusing to Leave Dog House

If your dog shows signs of distance or refusal to come out of their dog house- this is generally a sign they’re too cold.

Paws Rising

Whenever it’s cold out and your Alaskan Malamute raises his paws, he’s attempting to grab your attention and explain in “doggy-language” that he’s cold.

Don’t forget, dogs do get cold in extreme freezing temperatures- despite other people’s claims.

Whenever your Alaskan Malamute appears to be showing cold warning signs, be sure to act accordingly and provide them temporary warmth until their behavior regulates.

What Diet Should Alaskan Malamute Eat if They Are Outside for Long Periods in The Cold?

The best diet for an Alaskan Malamute spending long periods outside in the cold is a high-fat diet. Foods that contain greater than 20% of fat are considered high-fat.

A high-fat diet is commonly used for working dogs- which assists in increasing endurance. The same diet will suit an Alaskan Malamute that spends the majority of their time outside in the cold.

The more natural fats your Alaskan Malamute has, the better off they’ll be compared to a skinner dog.

It is important to remember that typical household dogs do not require being on a high-fat diet, in fact- for some dogs, they risk potential health issues.

High saturated fats are no good, for both humans and dogs. High saturated fats include:

  • French Fries
  • Burgers
  • Some Cheese
  • Pizza

To feed your Alaskan Malamute an adequate high-fat diet, you’ll need to provide the correct sort of foods.

Find below examples of high-fat foods you can provide for your Alaskan Malamute:

  • Boiled Eggs
  • Fatty Fish (Salmon, Tuna, Trout, etc)
  • Nuts
  • Full-Fat Yoghurt
  • Beef and Pork
  • Raw Chicken

Remember: Everything should be in moderation- remaining caution around dog-obesity.

Is My Alaskan Malamute Weatherproof?

Your Alaskan Malamute may be considered weatherproof due to its ability to withstand extremely cold temperatures.

Although your pooch can withstand harsh climates, there is a time for concern- such as when temperatures become too cold for your pooch to be able to move.

When considering purchasing an Alaskan Malamute, it’s best to consider your climate and identify if their future environment will be sufficient.

Caring for Alaskan Malamutes in The Cold

Surprisingly, caring for an Alaskan Malamute in the cold is considerably easier than caring for an Alaskan Malamute in the hot weather.

The Alaskan Malamute is a caring, loyal, and friendly breed that enjoys assisting humans through the use of their endurance and strength. And for an Alaskan Malamute, the cold weather comes as no battle.

If you have plans to keep your Alaskan Malamute outside in the cold, be sure to consider a few of these tips first:

  1. Provide a weatherproof dog-house
  2. Do not shave their coat (Let it shed naturally)
  3. Keep him hydrated, providing plenty of water
  4. Feed them a high-fat diet
  5. Maintain frequent VET visits
  6. Watch the temperature
  7. Keep an eye out for cold warning signs

The Dangers of Outdoor Temperatures for Your Alaskan Malamute

Your Alaskan Malamute naturally grows a thick coat, originally used to protect himself from the harsh weather surrounding his work environments.

Although your Alaskan Malamute can handle cold temperatures sufficiently, it’s important to keep in mind that warm temperatures aren’t his best friend.

For warm to hot climates, your Alaskan Malamute may find himself in risky situations such as heat stroke, dehydration, or anxiety or stressful ridden experiences.

Hot weather is NOT an Alaskan Malamutes friend and should be considered before purchasing this breed.

Overall, much like monitoring extremely cold weather is beneficial- the monitorization of extremely hot weather also serves as a benefit.

Exercise During the Winter

Exercise for your Alaskan Malamute remains to still be of importance, including during the winter season.

When maintaining your Alaskan Malamutes exercise regime throughout the winter season, be sure to bundle up on accessories, such as:

  • Dog-coats
  • Paw Shoes
  • Warm dog-clothes

Remember to keep your dog snuggled up in warmth when walking through snow or ice, whilst limiting the layers if hoping to have him run around in the cold.

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