Alaskan Malamutes are large dogs. They are often mistaken for Siberian Huskies, but they are much larger. A male Alaskan Malamute can weigh up to 95 pounds, while females can get as big as 84 pounds.
Due to their larger size, these dogs tend to cost more overall. Puppies can range from $500 to $2,500, depending on where you’re purchasing them from. The upper end of this range is a bit high even for a purebred dog, but it is largely because of their size. The Alaskan Malamute is more expensive to breed, so they tend to cost more to adopt.
They also require more upfront costs. Purchasing a bed for a large dog is more expensive than purchasing one for a small dog, for instance. These dogs also eat more and rack up higher vet bills, so you’ll need to keep their monthly costs in mind as well.
That said, there is hardly anything more enjoyable than cuddling with these giant, fluffy dogs. They can make great pets, but it is essential that you properly budget for their care.
Bringing Home a New Alaskan Malamute: One-Time Costs
Adopting a new puppy always comes with high costs. Not only do you need to actually pay for the puppy, but you’ll also need to consider the supplies that the puppy needs as well. In some cases, you may be able to pay less in one-time costs if you have another dog already. The savings likely won’t be significant, though, as a puppy will require plenty of new supplies.
We recommend budgeting for all these costs together. You should have enough saved up for the price of the puppy and all the supplies that they need before bringing your pet home. Your puppy won’t thrive without toys and a dog bed, for example.
Free Alaskan Malamutes may be available in certain locations. People who mean to breed their dogs usually don’t give the puppies away for free, so most free puppies are the result of an accidental litter.
This means their parents probably didn’t undergo the proper health testing, and the puppies themselves will not get plentiful vet care. If they did receive proper vaccinations and exams, they likely wouldn’t be free.
While it may be tempting to adopt free puppies, we don’t recommend it. They’ll likely cost you more up front because they may rack up serious vet bills quickly. They may also develop more health problems later in life.
Adoption agencies typically charge little for their dogs. Their adoption fees go toward the animal’s care and may change depending on what the particular dog needed. Puppies are often more expensive because they require more vaccinations and other preventative care.
The history of puppies at shelters is often unknown. However, they do receive the proper care from the shelter after they arrive, and you should be informed of any health conditions that they have. You’ll be decent information on the dog that you’re bringing home. This is much better than getting a free puppy.
In most cases, you’ll be purchasing a puppy from a breeder — you may be unable to find an Alaskan Malamute through any other means. Even if you can find a free puppy, we recommend going with a breeder instead.
Many breeders perform extensive health testing on the parent dogs before breeding them, which prevents genetic conditions from being passed onto the puppies. After they are born, most puppies receive their beginning vaccinations and are checked out by a vet.
Generally, you’ll get a higher-quality puppy by investing in one from a breeder.
Initial Setup and Supplies
On top of purchasing the puppy, you’ll need to invest in a few supplies. While dogs don’t need tons of items, there are a few things that they absolutely need. You can’t take care of a puppy without food bowls, a collar, and a leash, for instance.
Even if you already have a dog, they can’t share many of these items. They will each need their own collar and dog bed, for example.
Because you need many of these supplies upon bringing your dog home, you’ll need to budget for them alongside your puppy’s price tag. If you’re waiting for your puppy to be old enough for adoption, you can slowly buy supplies in the months before they arrive.
List of Alaskan Malamute Care Supplies and Costs
|Food and Water Bowls||$20|
|Urine Odor Removal Spray||$10|
How Much Does an Alaskan Malamute Cost Per Month?
- $134-$766 per month
After bringing your new puppy home, you’ll need to start paying their regular monthly costs. These will include everything from vet bills to food and new toys. Because these dogs are large, everything tends to cost just a bit more.
Your costs can vary considerably depending on what services you make use of and your geographical location. In some areas, vet bills are extremely expensive. This can drive up your overall costs. If you need to invest in the services of a dog walker, you’ll likely find yourself paying a few extra hundred dollars a month.
- $84-$276 per month
This will be your biggest spending category when it comes to your dog’s monthly care. Usually, you can expect to spend quite a bit on an Alaskan Malamute‘s vet and grooming needs. They also tend to eat quite a bit. However, dog food usually won’t make up much of your budget unless you need to feed your canine a specialty food.
In most cases, these costs are largely out of your control. You have to feed your dog or take them to the vet, after all. Therefore, budgeting for health care is extremely important.
- $33-$45 per month
When you have a nearly 100-pound dog, you can expect them to eat quite a bit. Their appetite will drive up your food costs. Still, food likely won’t be the biggest expense.
Puppies will often cost less than adults to feed due to their smaller size. As they get larger, they will start to eat more. Eventually, this will increase your costs to around $45 a month.
We’re assuming that you’re purchasing a higher quality food in these calculations. While you can save money on cheaper dog food, this is not recommended. Cheaper dog foods are cheap for a reason.
- $0-$45 per month
Alaskan Malamutes have a great deal of hair, which often leads to many people assuming that they require extensive grooming. However, this isn’t necessarily true. Their double coat does a good job of keeping them clean, and they don’t tend to get matted that much.
You can often take care of all their grooming needs at home. However, many owners will take their dog to a professional groomer at least occasionally. These visits can cost anywhere from $50 to $90. How often you send your canine will have a huge impact on how much you end up spending.
Medications and Vet Visits
- $35-$77 per month
Like all dogs, Alaskan Malamutes will need a decent amount of preventative vet care. Puppies often need the most vet visits because they require an extensive number of vaccinations and exams during their first year.
However, your vet costs will still likely go up as your dog gets older. Due to their higher body weight, all vet procedures will usually cost more. They’ll need higher doses of medication, for instance.
We highly recommend not skipping preventative vet care, as it can save you from illnesses and disease. Treating a sudden illness can cost thousands, so you won’t end up saving much money by skipping preventative vet care.
- $16-$109 per month
Pet insurance is a must-have for these larger dogs. They are prone to a few health problems, and these issues can often cost thousands to treat. Most people can’t pay for a sudden $4,000 surgery. If you have pet insurance, though, you likely won’t have to.
The cost of pet insurance depends largely on the plan that you choose. Plans with lower deductibles that offer more coverage are usually more expensive, though they may end up helping you save more in the long run. Accident-only plans are the cheapest. But as the name suggests, these plans only cover accidents.
- $0-$400 per month
These larger dogs are quite active. They require regular exercise, including at least two walks a day. Puppies will need more because they tend to be more active. As they age, most dogs calm down a bit and can deal with less exercise.
Most people can handle their exercise needs by themselves. However, others may be unable to give the dog the walks that they need. In these cases, you’ll have to hire a dog walker to help you. Not providing an Alaskan Malamute with enough exercise will lead to destructive behaviors and obesity, so simply not exercising them is not a possibility.
- $50-$90 per month
After your initial purchase of dog toys, you’ll need to regularly replace and upgrade the toy stash. Your puppy will get older and need larger toys. Many will likely become broken or damaged. All dogs break toys, but you can expect an Alaskan Malamute to break more toys than you might expect due to their active nature and large jaws.
We recommend investing in high-quality toys. These will probably cost you more unless you can catch them on sale. However, they will save you more money in the long run. These toys will stand up to your dog’s teeth for longer and withstand regular playtime.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning an Alaskan Malamute
- $50-$766 per month
These dogs can be quite expensive if you aren’t careful with your costs. If you hire a dog walker every workday and take them to the groomer regularly, your costs can reach over $600 a month.
However, if you walk your dog yourself and groom them regularly at home, your costs likely won’t breach $300.
These are costs that you can control, so we recommend doing so if you’re looking to spend less on your canine.
Of course, there are costs that you can’t control at all. In some areas, vet bills can be quite expensive. Your zip cost can be significant when it comes to the overall price for your dog.
Additional Costs to Factor In
There were a few common costs that we didn’t include in our calculations. These can appear suddenly and are difficult to budget for.
For example, emergency vet treatments can be expensive even if you have pet insurance. Your plan will dictate how much you’ll need to spend out of pocket, but no matter what, you will likely need to spend something.
You’ll also need to consider costs like potential furniture repairs, especially if you have a puppy. Some dogs may need behavioral training if you adopt them when they are older. Puppies typically don’t have this problem, as cheaper training usually works just fine for them. Older dogs may have built-in problems that are best addressed by professional training, which can cost thousands of dollars.
We recommend having an emergency fund saved up to help pay for these potential issues.
Owning an Alaskan Malamute on a Budget
These canines often aren’t considered “budget” dogs. They are quite large, which means you’ll likely spend more on them than you would a smaller dog. However, if you budget correctly, you can make them much cheaper to keep than they would be otherwise.
How much you utilize certain services will greatly affect how much you pay every month. You should not plan on utilizing dog walkers if you’re on a budget, as this can get expensive quickly. You should also aim to take care of your dog’s grooming needs at home. While a trip once or twice a year likely won’t break the bank, you don’t want to take your dog there every few months.
Even if you do your best to limit spending, you should still expect to spend at least $200 a month on these dogs. Much of this will cover expenses that you can’t avoid, like food and vet bills.
Saving Money on Alaskan Malamute Care
If you’re looking to save money, your best bet is to locate sales. If you know that you’re bringing a puppy home in a few months, you should stay on the lookout for sales on one-time purchases. If you’re bringing your puppy home within a few days, you often don’t have time for this, as you need the supplies now. If you have a few months’ warning, take advantage of it.
You should also check for toy sales throughout the year, when the store needs to make room for new products.
Overall, Alaskan Malamutes have an average cost. Puppies are between $500 to $2,500 if you purchase from a qualified breeder. The lower end of this range is quite cheap for a purebred dog, while the upper end is about average for a breed of this size.
Every month, your expenses will depend largely on how you budget. Those who spend money on dog walkers and regular trips to the vet will often pay over $600 a month. Those who take care of their dog’s exercise and grooming needs themselves will often spend closer to $300 a month.
Featured Image Credit: Tatyana Kuznetsova, Shutterstock
- Bringing Home a New Alaskan Malamute: One-Time Costs
- List of Alaskan Malamute Care Supplies and Costs
- How Much Does an Alaskan Malamute Cost Per Month?
- Total Monthly Cost of Owning an Alaskan Malamute
- Additional Costs to Factor In
- Owning an Alaskan Malamute on a Budget