If you are planning to get or adopt a Maltese puppy or dog, there are some things that you will need to know. One of the things that many first-time owners of this dog breed want to know more about is how to handle Maltese short hair.
When it comes to Maltese dog grooming, this guide will help you to do it properly. After all, these dogs are one of the longest living dogs on Earth and you'll want to make sure that they are happy and healthy in your care.
Products You Will Need
If you have a Maltese puppy or dog, you will need certain products and dog grooming tools to properly care for their coat and other grooming needs. The items that you will need include the following:
- Toothpaste and toothbrush
- Comb with teeth (a metal-handle comb is best)
- Detangler dog comb
- Nail clippers
If you are going to care for your dog’s grooming needs on your own, be sure you have these items on-hand. Of course, you could always choose to hire a personal groomer for your Maltese puppy or dog instead.
Dealing with Tangles and Matts
When it comes to dog hairstyles, the Maltese breed often gets tangles and matts in their coat. It is important that you brush and comb their coat before they get a bath. You will also need to regularly comb and brush this type of dog’s coat to prevent excessive tangles and matting. Doing this will help keep your pup fresh and clean. If you even leave your Maltese puppy or dog for a few days without grooming them, it could be impossible to get the tangles and matts out.
When caring for your dog, it is important to remember that getting tangles and matts out can hurt your dog. If the hair is torn out, it isn’t likely to grow back.
If your Maltese dog does get matts in their coat, you don’t necessarily have to cut them out. You can soak the area with conditioner and carefully pluck the area apart. You should use your fingers to get the matts out. Once finished, you can use a metal comb to work the layers starting from their belly and going upward. After doing that, you will comb your dog’s tail. Be sure you start from the tip of their tail. Finally, you can comb their head and beard. Be careful around the eyes, so as not to hurt your dog.
If needed, you can get your dog a Maltese teddy bear cut.
Grooming Care Tips for Your Maltese Dog
You'll be happy to know that Maltese dogs don't shed as much as other breeds. However, that doesn't mean that they don't require grooming. When your dog is a puppy, you will want to get them used to the grooming process. Maltese dogs that are used to being groomed are easier to care for when they get older.
You should start by having a surface that is designated for grooming time. Then, have your Maltese puppy or dog “stand”. If your dog is too nervous, they will likely keep sitting or lying down. They may also fidget and do what they shouldn’t be doing. If you want your Maltese to be calm when you are grooming them, you should start with shorter grooming sessions. Once your dog gets used to the process, you can increase the length of these sessions.
Maltese Ear Care
You will also need to learn how to take care of your Maltese puppy’s or dog’s ears. If they aren’t cared for properly, your dog will be more likely to have inflammation and infections in their ears.
You must pluck the hair out of their ears regularly. This can also help to prevent wax from clogging up your dog’s ears.
Some of the other tips for taking care of your Maltese puppy’s or dog’s ears include the following:
- Never use cotton swabs (this can push things further into your dog’s ears)
- There are liquid ear cleaning products that you can use (after putting into your dog’s ears, you will massage them to loosen up the dirt and ear wax)
- Wipe the outer area of your dog’s ear with cotton wool
- There is powder you can get to help prevent ear mites
As long as you are regularly caring for your dog’s ears, they should be alright. However, if your dog is shaking their head often or scratching their ears, you should schedule him or her a vet appointment.
Maltese Foot Care
You will also need to take care of your Maltese puppy’s or dog’s feet. You should look at their feet and nails regularly. If your Maltese puppy's paws are cracked and dry, you can use a good quality balm such as our Organic Paw Balm to soothe them. Since Maltese dogs are smaller, their nails don’t get worn down as easily as larger dog breeds.
You should make sure your Maltese dog’s nails outline their paw. When clipping their nails, you should do so from underneath going toward their paw pad. If your dog’s nails are light in color, you can usually tell quite easily where the quick (vein) ends. However, if your dog has darker-colored nails, this could be more difficult. If you are worried, you can always pay a professional dog groomer to cut their nails.
If you accidentally cut your dog's quick, don't panic. Check out our guide on how to stop a dog's nail from bleeding and seek medical help if the bleeding doesn't stop.
You should also pay attention to the dewclaw (fifth claw). If you don’t care for the dewclaw, it could cut into your dog’s leg.
Bath Time for Your Maltese
You will also need to make sure your Maltese puppy or dog is getting bathed regularly. Bathing is important in a dog's hygiene. However, the baths should not be too frequent or the skin and coat could become too dry.
Some of the tips for bathing your Maltese include the following:
- Be sure you have all bathing items in reach before starting the bath
- Wherever you bathe your dog, be sure they won’t slip and fall
- Wet their coat all the way using a spray hose if possible (a jug is another option)
- Massage the dog shampoo into your dog’s coat (never use human shampoo)
- Rinse your dog’s coat (avoiding their ears and eyes)
- Wrap your dog in their towel to get some moisture off from their coat
- A hairdryer (with temperature control and on a warm setting) can be used to dry your dog further
If you follow these tips, you can properly give your Maltese a bath without damaging their coat.
Tooth Care for Your Maltese
You will also need to care for your dog’s teeth. Calcium deposits can get onto their teeth can cause dental issues. However, if you brush your dog’s teeth regularly using dog toothpaste and a dog toothbrush, you can keep their teeth healthier and stronger.