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8 Best Dog Foods for Alaskan Malamutes in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

malamute eatingAlaskan Malamutes are a rugged dog breed with a strong work ethic, loads of natural energy and stamina, and an athletic build. Everybody loves and admires them, and they receive compliments everywhere they go. It helps that they so closely resemble their ancestor, the wolf.

Such an athletic creature needs high-quality food that gives them the nutrients for strong muscle growth and bone structure. Malamutes’ joints tend to be weak, so food with plenty of nutrients for joint support is ideal.

These dogs do not adapt well to bouts of hot weather. Their diets need to mimic the probable lack of activity that they experience during these times.

Alaskan Malamutes are also notoriously picky. It is suggested to form a rotation of several foods they like throughout the year. Here are our reviews on the top eight best dog foods for Alaskan Malamutes.

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Comparison Table (updated in 2021)

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Feature iconHigh level of crude protein and fat
  • Feature iconProprietary K9 strain of probiotics
  • Feature iconGrain-free
  • Best Value
    Second place
    True Acre Foods Grain-Free Dry Dog Food True Acre Foods Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Feature iconSourced from reliable and trusted locations
  • Feature iconChewable for almost all dogs
  • Feature iconKibble-size
  • Best for Puppies
    Third place
    Merrick Grain-Free Wet Puppy Food Merrick Grain-Free Wet Puppy Food
  • Feature iconGrain-free
  • Feature iconContains DHA
  • Feature iconDoes not contain meat by-products
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Feature iconFor dogs with food sensitivities
  • Feature iconIncludes LifeSource Bits
  • Feature iconGrain-free
  • Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Feature iconFreeze-dried
  • Feature iconHigh minimum level of crude protein
  • Feature iconDoes not include any grains
  • The 8 Best Dog Foods for Alaskan Malamutes

    1. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food — Best Overall

    1Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    Supply your pup with a high-quality diet made with premium ingredients. Taste of the Wild is a perfect food for dogs that look like their wolf ancestors. The company bases all of its formulas on diets that wolves eat in the wild.

    The High Prairie recipe is formulated with unique protein sources. These include buffalo and bison. It adds up to a 32% crude protein level and an 18% crude fat level. It is also grain-free, meaning its carbohydrate sources do not include wheat or corn. Instead, peas and sweet potatoes carry most of the digestible energy for your pup.

    The company wants its food to be easy for your dog to consume and digest. This is why it includes a K9 strain of probiotics. This recipe is one of the favored formulas among the Taste of the Wild selection, making it more pricey than some of its other options.

    • Contains a high level of crude protein and fat
    • Includes proprietary K9 strain of probiotics
    • Grain-free sources of carbohydrates
    • This recipe is more expensive than some of Taste of the Wild’s other options
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    2. True Acre Foods Grain-Free Dry Dog Food — Best Value

    2True Acre Foods Beef & Vegetable Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    True Acre is all about being up front with where its ingredients come from and what is included in its recipes. It primarily uses ingredients that have been sourced from trusted farmers around the U.S.A. and Canada. All of its food is manufactured in the U.S.A. This is part of what makes it the best dog food for Alaskan Malamutes for the money.

    The primary meat in this food is beef, and it is also the first ingredient. The following ones include peas, pea starch, and poultry by-product meal. Overall, the crude protein level is a bit lower at 24%, and crude fat is at 13%.

    The rest of the formula is made with farm-grown vegetables and fruits. The kibble is the size of a dime, so it is chewable for almost any dog size but is especially easy for an Alaskan Malamute. There are not any pro- or pre-biotics included in this recipe.

    • Source food from reliable and trusted locations
    • Best value for the money
    • Kibble-size is chewable for almost all dogs
    • No probiotics or prebiotics included
    • Includes controversial poultry by-product meal
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    3. Merrick Grain-Free Wet Puppy Food — Best for Puppies

    3Merrick Grain Free Wet Puppy Food Puppy Plate Chicken Recipe

    Dry food isn’t the only option when you want to feed your pup a high-quality diet. Merrick formulates a wet food for puppies, making it full of the essential nutrients that a dog needs during these incredibly formative early age.

    The wet food is made without grains to keep it easier for a puppy to digest. It features the first ingredients include deboned chicken, chicken broth, and deboned turkey. These combine to give your pup plenty of quality protein. The protein might need to be supplemented for large dogs like Alaskan Malamutes, since the level of crude protein is at a 9% minimum.

    This recipe contains DHA, which is essential for a puppy’s visual and brain development. It is produced in Texas and does not include any meat by-products or artificial ingredients.

    • Grain-free formula for increased digestibility
    • Contains DHA for proper puppy development
    • Does not contain meat by-products
    • Low levels of crude protein
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    4. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    4Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Formula Salmon & Potato Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food

    Blue Buffalo has developed a reputation for being an incredibly high-quality food for dogs. It has changed its formulas a couple of times but remains a reliable source of healthy food. Reputation does impact the price of the brand, so it is more expensive than others.

    The company offers this limited-ingredient diet to help care for the needs of dogs with food sensitivities. Fewer ingredients mean a greater likelihood that allergens are avoided, and it also limits the number of additives in the food.

    The first ingredient in this food is deboned salmon, giving it a fishy smell but one that your dogs will love. The crude protein level is set at a 20% minimum, and the crude fat at a 12% minimum. There are no grains included in this dog food. The LifeSource Bits typical in Blue Buffalo’s formulas help beef up the vitamins and antioxidants.

    • Crafted for dogs with food sensitivities
    • Includes LifeSource Bits loaded with vitamins and antioxidants
    • Grain-free along with chicken, beef, and dairy
    • More expensive than similar brands
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    5. Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    5Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Great Plains Red Recipe with Beef, Lamb & Rabbit Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    Merrick caters to a wide variety of ages and breeds with the number of formulas developed. The Backcountry Raw Infused dry dog food features a freeze-dried formula with deboned beef coated onto the kibble pieces.

    This product’s significant allure is the minimum level of crude protein that it contains, at least 38%. All of this comes from the beef, along with lamb, salmon, and rabbit. Essentially, the formula includes anything that one could find roaming the high plains.

    The minimum level of crude fat is 17%. Glucosamine and chondroitin are also included in the formula to aid dog breeds that struggle with hip and joint functions. All of this adds up to a superb formula for highly active dogs. It also adds up to a larger price tag.

    • Freeze-dried methods give your pup the advantage of a raw diet
    • High minimum level of crude protein
    • Does not include any grains
    • More expensive than most other products
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    6. Ziwi Peak Beef Air-Dried Dog Food

    6Ziwi Peak Beef Air-Dried Dog Food

    Ziwi is not as well-known as a brand, but that does not take away from its viability. It is unique in its processing method since it uses a twin-stage air-dry process that allows it to preserve the ingredients in its recipes much better. It makes all the included vitamins and nutrients more digestible and natural for your dog to consume.

    Ziwi gives your pup a taste of a pure New Zealand diet. The recipe includes fresh meat of beef and mussel, as well as organs and bones. There are a limited number of ingredients, making it easier for dogs with allergies. The crude protein level is high at 38%, as is the crude fat content at 30%.

    This is about the purest food you could find beyond making it yourself. However, you pay well for the mixture.

    It is currently only sold in small bags, making it challenging to feed large, hungry dogs like Alaskan Malamutes. Theoretically, though, less is more when it comes to premium food.

    • Extremely pure formula with limited ingredients
    • Air drying methods of processing preserve ingredients
    • A taste of New Zealand’s fresh food sources
    • Expensive
    • Small bag sizes need replenishing quickly
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    7. American Journey Active Life Formula Dry Dog Food

    7American Journey Active Life Formula Healthy Weight Chicken, Brown Rice & Vegetables Recipe Dry Dog Food

    American Journey formulates its Active Life dog food for pups that are always ready for the next adventure. It is also a quality food for dogs who are working consistently. The crude protein level sits at a 25% minimum and the crude fat at a 9% minimum.

    The first ingredient in the new recipe is deboned chicken, followed by chicken and turkey meal. These provide healthy sources of glucosamine and chondroitin to support the growth of healthy joints and hips.

    A reevaluated formula reduced the number of calories in the kibble and kept it more natural than previously. There is no wheat, soy, corn, or by-product meals included in the recipe.

    • Does not include grains or artificial ingredients
    • High minimum level of protein
    • Includes glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support
    • First ingredient of chicken is a common allergen for dogs
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    8. Solid Gold Leaping Waters Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    8Solid Gold Leaping Waters Sensitive Stomach Cold Water Salmon & Vegetable Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    Solid Gold Leaping Waters generates a grain-free dry dog food perfect for pups who have sensitive stomachs. They reduce the ingredients to make the overall recipe more holistic, and take out common allergens like chicken.

    The 26% minimum of crude protein comes primarily from salmon and ocean fish meal. There are no grains in the recipe, with carbohydrates coming from lentils, chickpeas, and peas. The level of crude fat is 15%.

    An additional pro for this premium quality food is that it includes probiotics to support gut health. It also features a blend of 20 superfoods from fresh vegetables and fruits.

    • Includes 20 superfoods
    • Recipe does not include common allergens
    • Has probiotics that foster a healthy gut
    • More expensive than similar products
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    Buyer’s Guide – Choosing The Best Dog Foods for Alaskan Malamutes

    Like all dog breeds, Alaskan Malamutes have specific dietary requirements. They are a large breed dog that prefers to be highly active. They need their diet to support that. Here are a few aspects to consider when looking to find the best food for your pup.

    Alaskan Malamute Dietary Requirements

    An Alaskan Malamute is one of the dogs that are more closely related to their wolf ancestors than many other breeds. It is for this reason that most of the dog foods listed above feature grain-free recipes. It is common for Alaskans to be more sensitive to grains in their diet and unable to digest them.

    If these dogs get plenty of exercise each day, they can consume up to 2,000 calories a day and still be in a healthy weight bracket. However, pups that do not have an active life should avoid food high in calories or they will struggle excessively with unhealthy weight gains.

    The kind of food they eat also depends on their age. Puppies under a year of age need more protein and fat than adult and senior dogs. They also have to have DHA in their diets to allow for proper brain and vision development.

    As these dogs reach adulthood, their diet changes depending on their activity level. Malamutes are typically highly active and need plenty of healthy carbs and protein sources to support that. Seniors need less fat and protein because they begin to slow down, generally around the age of 8 or 9 for a Malamute.

    Common Impactful Health Issues

    Each breed has health issues that they are more prone to suffering, although it isn’t guaranteed. It is best to be proactive, though. One of the best ways to do so is to fortify their diet with food that prevents these diseases.

    Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

    Hip and elbow dysplasia are relatively common in almost any dog breed. However, in larger dogs like the Malamute, it is even more prevalent. Glucosamine and chondroitin included in their daily diet help support their hips and joints. Then, as they get older, they have a healthier base.


    Not all Alaskan Malamutes suffer from allergies, but it is more prevalent in this breed than others. It is because of their genetics and association with wolves. Their bodies are still more accustomed to eating fresh and raw food sources.

    Feeding them food with limited ingredients can help offset digestive issues. If allergies persist, try to pinpoint the exact cause and eliminate it from their diet.

    alaskan malamute
    Image credit: Carina Wicke Photographer, Wikimedia Commons

    Diabetes Mellitus

    Diabetes mellitus is another condition that can be common for Alaskan Malamutes. It means that their pancreas stops regulating their blood sugar as it should. Symptoms include frequent urination, increased thirst, fluctuating appetites, and weight loss. Your dog’s diet will need to adjust according to what is best for them, typically what’s recommended by your vet.

    Feeding Method

    These dogs have systems that best regulate their weight when they are highly active. In most domesticated situations, they do not get enough exercise to match what they used to in the wild. This is fine, but it means that when their brain tells them to eat, it wants enough to support a much more active lifestyle.

    What this means for the dog’s owner is that they need to take more care to regulate their dog’s diet. Spread out their daily servings over two or three meals each day. Do not free-feed them. It often leads to increased struggles with obesity, which then leads to other health issues.


    Many of us want to give our dogs the very best. However, that can come at a steep price. Many options are made with incredibly high-quality ingredients. However, they come in higher priced and smaller bags.

    The Alaskan Malamute stands around 23 to 25 inches tall from the shoulders and weighs around 95 pounds. If they lead active lives, they can have a voracious appetite. Small bags are not going to cut it.

    Consider a balance of cost and quality, make sure you are giving your dog premium ingredients, and feed them enough each day.

    Divider 2Conclusion

    Finding quality food for an Alaskan Malamute can feel like a challenge. However, it is doable when you know what to look for and have plenty of healthy options to try out.

    If you want to respect their ancestry and general nature, then going with a food like Taste of the Wild High Prairie can be the best option for you. The company uses a formula based on what wolves eat, keeping it healthy and simple.

    Feeding them a premium food doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. True Acre Foods gives your pup a high-value food without costing an arm and a leg.

    Most of the recipes featured on this list are grain-free options. These nurture your pup’s active lifestyle and keep them healthy and strong. No matter what stage of life your Alaskan Malamute is in, finding the right food is essential.

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    Featured Image Credit: Daniel Piil, Wikimedia Commons