Alaskan Malamutes are one of the oldest dog breeds, dating back possibly 4,000 years ago during the Palaeolithic era. They are often mistaken for wolves and it’s no wonder why film industries make use of their appearance. Remember Chewbacca from Star Wars?
Mals may look like a wolf ready to devour anyone but actually, their hospitality level can reach down to burglars. That makes them not suitable as guard dogs. Their size of 22-26 inches though can be intimidating enough. These gentle giants do love to cuddle and sit on your lap.
The Cost of Buying and Adopting Alaskan Malamutes
According to ASPCA, there are about 6.5 million companion animals, 3.3 million of which are dogs ending up in shelters every year. This statistics is a call loud enough for anyone who is planning to buy a furry friend to get it from a rescue home instead.
Alaskan Malamutes, for one, are a consistent breed in shelters. As a result, plenty of rescue groups were organized dedicated to their welfare. Illinois Alaskan Malamute Rescue Association offers Alaskan Malamutes for adoption. Each puppy that’s 12 months and under costs $300, $250 for the adults, and $150 for senior Malamutes (8 years and up).
CHAAMP.org is also looking for adopters and foster homes for rescued Malamutes with an adoption fee that usually costs $250. Puppies between 6 months and 1 year cost $300 while puppies under 6 months of age cost $350. If it’s 8 years old and over or has a health complication, the adoption fee is axiomatically reduced.
However, if you really want to buy your own Malamute, Next Day Pets sells quite a variety of age at various prices all around the States. Prices vary from a $300 for a 42-week old to a $2,500 for a one-year and twenty-week old Malamutes. Each item may also come with a shipping fee ranging from $350 to $500; although it’s not advisable to have your dog shipped.
Also, there are private breeders selling pups and dogs directly to customers like the Kingfisher’s Alaskan Malamutes. Black & white and wolf-gray female puppies cost $2,000; while black & white and gray & white male puppies cost $2,200.
Additionally, puppies with red and white colors can cost about $2,500 while the pure white puppies can cost from $2,500 to $3,000. Private breeders take pride in the amount of care they put into their Malamutes that buyers are confident enough with the quality of the puppy.
American Kennel Club (AKC) links buyers to private Alaskan Malamute breeders. However, prices are notably higher since these Mals have a champion bloodline. In fact, they are carefully bred to produce the best litters with show and breeding potentials.
A champion Malamute with complete AKC registration usually has an additional cost of $1,000 aside from the selling price. Other costs may include waiting list fee worth $150 and another $350 to keep the reservation when the pups are born. They can be shipped for a fee of $450.
So, now that you already have an idea how much an Alaskan Malamute dog is and if you have decided where to get it, consider the following other one-time costs associated with owning this breed.
- Transporting Cost
Coming home with your newfound dog can be both exciting and stressful. It’s the first experience you both get to share and it’s important that you are prepared especially if you want this ride to be as pleasurable as possible for the both of you.
Prepare a crate wherein you can put the Mal inside for the whole trip. Choose one that can still be used until the dog reached its adult size of 22-26 inches. This may cost $56.99. Also, bring a towel to wipe off dirt just in case your dog will have an accident (poop or urinate) which may cost $5.
You may also want to bring snacks and treats for the Mal to relax and be comfortable with you. A pack of treats may cost $4.12 to $14.19 depending on your choice of flavor. If it’s a long ride, make sure to have stopovers in between for a bathroom break or a quick walk.
- Shelter Cost
Before buying the doghouse, you should consider the exact dimension of your Mal so that you’d be buying the appropriate size. It should be at least 25% higher than your dog’s standing height, the door should be 75% of its shoulder height, and the length should be at least twice its size.
A doghouse that caters to your Mal’s size can range from $72.19 to $479.99. To protect its joints and bones, give your dog a warm and comfortable bed which may cost $9.99 to $154.79. Lastly, it should have a food and water bowls which a set of two can cost around $10.59.
What are Included?
If your Mal comes from a rescue home or a shelter, it is usually fully-vetted, already- spayed, neutered, vaccinated, and any medical needs are taken care of prior to adoption. Now, that’s a great deal of saving you from monthly to a yearly medical fee.
If it’s from a reputable breeder, especially in the case of Mal with a champion line, a puppy is usually done with its first shots of vaccine and it comes with a one-year health guarantee which gives you the option of having your dog replaced or have your money refunded by the breeder.
Recurring Cost of Owning Alaskan Malamute
- Food Cost
Asking your veterinarian what type of food and which brand is best for your Mal is a good start, especially if it has special dietary needs. Generally, though, dogs can be fed with dry, wet, and raw food.
According to experts, whether it’s a dry or wet food, it should be of high quality that’s why premium brands are better than grocery store brands, although they’re a bit expensive. A pack of 22-24 pounds may cost from $16.05 to $51.99 depending on the brand and flavor and can last up to a month.
Wet food can be more expensive than dry food, although it contains a higher amount of nutrients. In cases that your Mal needs to be fed with it, prepare to purchase a can or a pack for $10.43 to $45.67. A can may only last 1-2 servings and should be stored in a refrigerator once opened.
Alaskan Malamutes are known to be prone to hip dysplasia. To prevent this, you may consult your vet about giving a hip and joint supplement which can cause $12.30 to $42.89.
- Hygiene Cost
To keep the doghouse clean is to keep your Mal safe. In fact, periodic clean-up of at least a month must be observed aside from the regular maintenance. Always keep in mind not to use harsh and harmful substances in doing this as it can be downright dangerous to your dog.
To soak the materials and accessories, you only need baking soda worth $2.05 per pound and a non-toxic detergent that costs $12.89 and mix these with a hot water. You may use the same solution in disinfecting the whole doghouse. Just make sure to rinse it with a hot water afterward.
In areas that need scrubbing, you can use a stiff-bristled brush that costs $21.84. If there’s a need, there are odor eliminator products available at prices $6.49 to $49.50.
To wash and bathe your Mal, always opt for organic shampoos that may cost $12.95 to $16.97. Also, a hairbrush may also cost $5.98 to $12.97. Don’t forget to use it more often. Lastly, full body grooming services cost at least $85 for an Alaskan Malamute.
- Medical Cost
As advised, you should take your dog to the vet as necessary, according to its age and health condition. A regular office visit can cost at least $22 to $30 while an annual wellness exam may cost $53.
For puppies 2-6 months old, an estimated price for an annual package including physical exam, DHPP or DHLPP vaccine (Distemper/Parvo/Lepto), fecal test, deworming, and bordetella can cost $65.
For adult dog packages including physical exam, rabies vaccine, DHLPP vaccine (Distemper/ Parvo/Lepto), heartworm test, fecal test, and Bordetella vaccine, you can expect to pay $53 to 100 annually.
Alaskan Malamutes are aggressive chewers so you might want to factor this in buying toys for them. Make sure they are durable, safe, and fun. These may cost $4.38 to $6.41. Avoid materials that can be a choking-hazard.
Alaskan Malamute Price Factors
Generally, adoption fees have an average cost of $250 no matter which shelter you get the Mal from. Price disparity, on the other hand, happens when it’s purchased.
Although prices differ from breeder to breeder, one distinct difference can be seen between the “pet” quality and “show and breeding” quality. The latter is absolutely more expensive.
Also, another notable factor in the play of price is a Mal’s color. With this, pure white puppies are the most expensive among the typical black, white, and gray, as well as the excellently-marked ones such as a combination of red and white.
Tips on Acquiring Alaskan Malamutes
- Research the breed. It’s critical that you have an extensive understanding of the Alaskan Malamute’s history, temperament, proper care, health conditions, etc. Unfortunately, a lot of Mals ended up in rescue homes due to people buying without breed understanding.
- Make a shelter your first choice of source, especially if you are an experienced dog owner. You would rather adopt a rescued Mal than have yours adopted, right?
- Don’t buy or adopt if you can’t keep up with the agility level of an Alaskan Malamute. This breed is down for heavy lifting and tons of workloads. Thus, it requires a lot of exercises daily to avoid developing undesirable behaviors.
- Buy only from a reputable breeder who can show you health papers of both the parents and the Mal puppy itself.
- Prepare an area in your backyard solely for its digging and have it fenced.
- Lastly, if it’s going to be your first time owning a dog, you might want to consider other breeds. Alaskan Malamutes are not ideal for first-time pet parents.