General Tips about Maltese
Grooming your Maltese
Sooner Or later, you are going to be faced with the task of taking care of the
glorious coat of your Maltese. The coat of the adult Maltese requires daily care if
it is to remain mat-free and glossy. Your puppy can be taught from a very early age
to lie on their sides and allow you to brush and comb it's hair. The sooner you
begin training for the grooming the easier it will be to maintain you dogs
beautiful coat. Grooming time can become an enjoyable time of the day for your
dog and you. The following are a few tips in grooming your dog
Brushing The Coat:
Your dog will enjoy and even look forward to brushing time because that is a time that he can interact with the person he loves. Be sure to make it a pleasant time. This is a procedure you should do daily or every other day with your Maltese and he puppy should always be brushed out before bathing. Because of the nature of the Maltese coat, a conditioning spray comes in handy I personally prefer one called Crazy dog grooming spray (a photo is at the bottom of this section). If you spray a fine mist on the coat before brushing each layer it make the task much easier and conditions the coat at the same time. Praise is a great training aid. After brushing with a pin brush, continue the procedure with the comb. For best results, layer the coat. That is, part
the hair at the skin, and brush only that section that is exposed. Then comb it. Part the hair again and repeat the procedure until you have brushed and combed the entire coat. One you have done the entire dog section by section make a part from the base of the neck all the way to the base of the tail and go down the sides once more with the com to make sure you got everything. Now have your dog stand facing you and brush the top of it's head. Part the hair in the middle of the skull to the tip of it's nose. No firmly gather the hair and make a loop, folding the hair backwards, away from the eyes. Then, using a small latex rubber band or a bow, secure the fold to make a topknot (basically a ponytail in the middle of the dog’s head). You can either do one topknot or can drive it into two and do two separate bows. Brush and comb the chest hair, then down the legs and between the legs. Brush and comb the tail. Now your dog is ready for his bath.
Many people decide to keep their maltese in shorter clips in order for there to be less maintance involved or becase it just fits that particular dog better. You can have a groomer do this and as long as the dog is kept mat free your options are limitless. You can do anything from shaving them down to a 1/2 inch left (not showing skin of course) to leaving an inch, 2 inches and so on. Or even keep them pretty much in full coat and shave out the underbelly (very good idea on males to keep them from peeing on their hair) and just thin out the coat good and bodyline the legs, chest, butt and skirt shorter. The shorter a dog is kept the less often he has to be groomed by a groomer and the less combing you have to do at home. If kept under an inch of length your dog will only need to be groomed about ever 6-8 weeks, if kept longer then once a month is needed and if kept in full coat and you don't comb him at home then you may have to have him done by a groomer as often as every 2 weeks to keep the dog mat free.
Note: I do work as a professional dog groomer and I specialize in Maltese so I can be your groomer. I do groom by appointment only, my work number is 304-342-0968 and the address is Almost Heaven Grooming Salon 837 Indiana Ave, Charleston, WV 25302. I can do any trim that is wanted on a Maltese from just a bath, brush out and neaten up, to full trim ups, to even shave downs. We also do all breeds at our shop as well. Maltese start at $42.80 including tax however if the dog is bigger than average, is matted, shedding excessively or any extras are wanted (anal glands, special shampoo, flea dip or teeth) it will be more and will just depend on what is wanted and what I am given to work with. The bath, brush out, feet, privates, nails, ear cleaning and blowing out the dead hair to prevent excess shedding is automatically included in our pricing and is not extra. We groom all breeds and all sizes of dogs and cats.
Items need for grooming a Maltese:
You will need a regular metal comb (fine/coarse greyhound comb), a pin brush, a slicker brush, a pair of nice scissors, conditioning spray (I like the crazy dog kind), nail clippers, blood stop powder just in case of mistakes on the nails. It is really nice to have a pair of clippers to keep the privates, face and feet shaved but you do have to be very careful in these areas because you can cut or burn them. If you do get clippers I recommend Andis ones and you will need a 10 blade and some clipper coolant to keep the blade cold. Ear powder (for pulling the hair out of the ears) and ear cleaner will also be needed as well.
Note: Everything recommend above can be ordered off http://www.petedge.com Steps stay the same rather before or after a bath and make sure to pay close attention to behind the ears, armpits, underbelly and the rear end of the dog.
Maltese Bow information (Click on the Link)
Where to Purchase Bows For your Maltese (click on the link)
Bathing Your Pet:
A jet of water coming out of a faucet or spray nozzle can be frightening to a young puppy. Use no-tears pet shampoos to protect his eyes. Use tepid (lukewarm) water. Wet the dog and then apply a ring of shampoo around the dog's neck and ears area, then lather. Work in the shampoo, moving towards the rear and applying more shampoo as needed. As you lather, pay particular
attention to the tummy, private parts, and the feet. Be sure to work the lather between the pads of the foot. I usually do the dog’s head first and then the main body make sure all is thoroughly lathered. The most important part of the bath is the rinsing. To avoid serious skin or coat problems, never leave shampoo or shampoo residue on the dog. Rinse the dog two or three times basically until shampoo stops coming out. Watch the rinse water carefully, and if it still runs a little cloudy, rinse again.
Now it is time to apply a cream rinse. Apply the rinse generously and work it into the coat, allow it a few minutes to set up, and then rinse it out. As far as shampoos go my favorites are made by a company called Espree; they can be ordered only at http://www.espree.com
Tropiclean spa also has some outstanding and great smelling shampoos, perfumes and conditioners out and they also have an excellent face scrub. These products can also be orders from the petedge link given above.
Just pick up what fits your dog the best and for the face just use a regular human baby shampoo.
General Tips about Maltese
It would be really difficult to find a more charming breed than the Maltese. Their intelligence and out-going personality make them a joy to own and their beauty attracts many admirers. Although the Maltese is a toy dog, this small breed is full of delightful personality with a zest for life. Their small size makes them easy to manage and they fit in with nearly anyone's lifestyle - from simple apartment living to being a world-wide traveler with a glamorous owner such as Elizabeth Taylor! The Maltese is happy to be your companion - ready to play and take walks or curl up in your lap.
Maltese and Children
Maltese love children, but do not always make the best pet for a child too young to understand that these dogs can be seriously hurt by rough handling. If you have a very young child and plan to add a Maltese to your household, be careful to supervise their time together and teach the child that the fragile build of the Maltese calls for gentle care.
remember that a young puppy does not have complete control over its elimination - the smaller the breed, the more often they must go. Frequent trips to the yard (or papers if you want a paper-trained dog) are very necessary in the first weeks. Do not play or talk to the puppy on these outings; he is learning that this is the elimination time; not play time. Always take him to the same area for this purpose. When he goes, lavish praise to reinforce his behavior - and then allow him in to play. If, within a reasonable amount of time, he doesn't go, it's a good idea to put him back in his crate for a short time and then try again later.
Use frequent periods of crate time to advantage (young puppies need a lot of rest anyway) to avoid mistakes in the house. The trick is to prevent mistakes from happening in the first place so don't hesitate to confine him especially when you are too busy to watch him. Your love and approval are necessary to your puppy and he will do anything to earn them.
Health and Feeding Requirements
I feed my dogs Purina Puppy Chow or Purina Little bits and I give them one and a half cups a day. Maltese like both of these and which one I feed that week just depends on what I can find in the bigger bags. My dogs are kept on this food no matter how old they are; I have tried everything under the sun including Science diet, pedigree, Purina dog chow and a number of others and have not been happy with anything but Purina Puppy chow. My dogs either won’t eat it or I am not happy with the quality of the skin and coat of the other products and always end up using Purina Puppy Chow again. You can break this up into a morning and evening feeding if you want to; I usually however feed mine at night in their crates. If your dog doesn’t want to eat it hard then you can soak it in hot water (not too much) and let it soften up and cool for picky eaters this does the trick.
I give my puppies (under a year) a Pet-Cal tab each day which helps promote healthy teeth and bone grown (just follow the dosage instructions on the back). If your dog’s skin and coat starts looking dry or they are shedding more than usual I suggest adding the recommended dosage of Wheat Germ Oil to their feed. Make sure to monitor the weight of the dog since this oil contains a lot of omega-fats in it. There have been many times that Wheat Germ has done wonders for the condition of a dog. Another good supplement to add is Brewer’s Yeast with Garlic, not only does this help the skin and coat but it also helps to aid in the control of fleas.
A young puppy is subject to stress from conditions such as over handling and not getting enough rest or refusing to eat due to changes in home and/or food. This stress can result in "hypoglycemia" - a condition in which the blood-sugar level drops causing seizures and possible coma and an emergency visit to the veterinarian. The smaller the puppy is the better chance that this can happen to help prevent it add Karo syrup to the puppy’s water: add one tablespoon per cup of water. Also, make sure to not get so caught up in the excitement of having a puppy that you forget to make sure he eats.
The Maltese is basically a healthy dog and can live 12 or more years. To contribute to his longevity and health, your Maltese should have regular veterinary check-ups and vaccinations, adequate exercise and a diet of premium dog food - no "generic" foods, please. Ask your breeder or veterinarian to recommend a good brand of food. Table scraps, especially bones, should not be fed and do not allow your Maltese to get overweight
EARS - In drop-eared breeds such as Maltese, the ears should be kept clean and free of excess hair and debris. Your Maltese will alert you to problems by scratching or shaking his head and the ears will have a dark, smelly secretion. At this point, veterinarian care is advised.
TEAR STAIN - Some Maltese tear and stain more than others and are more likely to stain as puppies when they are teething. Try to keep the hair under the eyes dry. Use a metal flea comb and a soft toothbrush dipped in warm water to remove the matter at the corner of the eye. It is important to keep this area clean and as dry as possible. In extreme cases consult your breeder or veterinarian. I have not known a maltese yet that has had no tear staining period. In fact most breeds have it, even yorkies, poodles and so on it is just easier to notice with the maltese because they are solid white. The ointments like crystal eye and such and having them on bottled water do help a little but they don't fix the under laying cause. In order to fix the cause you need to get a product called angel eyes (it is a powder- food supplement) that you give them orally once a day. Only a pinch in the mouth a day is needed. This can also be ordered from PetEdge as well.
This fixes the underlaying problem so the dog no longer has red tearing on it's face or red places on it's body and paws caused by licking or chewing. You see the reason it turns red is directly from the tearing and saliva caused by the dog and this product changes the chemical makeup or the saliva and tearing produced so it doesn't do that anymore. What it is that caused everything to turn red to begin with is a red yeast that is caused when the tearing, saliva hit the skin and keep it moist.
Retained Puppy Teeth
Maltese will typically loose their puppy teeth and get in their adult teeth between 5-8 months of age. It is important to regularly check the mouth during this age period to make sure everything is going as it should. Many Maltese have puppy teeth with extremely long roots-especially the canines. Causing these teeth to not fall out naturally and cause a double row of teeth. If this is the case it is important that your vet put these teeth to prevent a malocclusion and other major bite problems. Many times pulling these retained puppy teeth can be combined with spaying/neutering the puppy which saves money for you overall.