The Maltesedogis one of the various small, white soft-coated dog breeds that fall into the toy dog grouping, and is one of the most popular companion breeds in the UK. The coat of dogs of the breed can range from pure snow white to lemon or orange-tinted, and is long, silky and very stroke-able! Their extremely long hair is single layered and fine, and requires a significant amount of grooming and care in order to keep it in good condition, without which it is apt to become knotted and tangled, and begin to harbour dirt and debris.
It is important to develop a good understanding of the coat of the breed and the type of care that it needs to keep it in good condition before you consider buying or adopting a Maltese dog, and so in this article, we will run through the type and amount of care that dogs of the breed need in order to keep their coats in good condition. Read on to learn more about grooming and coat care for the Maltese.
The long, fine coat of the Maltese can fairly be considered as a high maintenance one, and so dogs of the breed should be combed and brushed daily in order to keep the coat in good condition.
It is important to begin grooming the Maltese from the time when they are a puppy, in order to get them used to the whole process, which they will need to undergo daily for the rest of their lives!
The best time to groom the dog is after you have come back from a walk and your dog has settled down, and assuming that you keep on top of this and groom the dog daily, it should only take a few minutes at a time.
A slicker brush, comb and blunt pin brush are the best tools for the job, and it is important to work systematically across the whole of the dog’s body, and not neglect harder to reach areas such as the stomach and the inside of the legs!
Begin by combing the dog through from the ends of the coat to the roots, unpicking any knots or tangles as you go. Then, brush the fur out in the same manner, and follow up by smoothing the untangled coat out with your slicker brush. Finish off by grooming the hair of the face, and if necessary, trimming the fringe or using a hair band to keep it out of the dog’s eyes!
Because the Maltese dog has a lot of fine, tufted hair inside of their ears, this requires some care and attention too, as otherwise dirt, debris and bacteria are apt to collect within the ear, leading to the potential of more serious problems down the line. It is wise to clip the hair inside of the ear down to help to keep it under control, and when you are grooming your dog, check each time that the ears are clean and free of debris.
The Maltese is one of the many breeds that are apt to develop tear stains on their faces, which can lead to a sore or dirty appearance to the eyes and face. Wipe tear stains daily with a special tear stain wipe or cotton wool and a mild soap solution, taking special care to ensure that you remove any soap residue from the skin and thoroughly dry the face afterwards.
Ensure that the long fringe of the dog does not occlude their vision or irritate them by either trimming it so that the dog can see out, or tying it away from the face with a hair band. Take care not to pull the hair too tightly though, as this will be uncomfortable for the dog, and may lead to traction alopecia over time.
The Maltese dog should not be bathed just for the sake of it, as this can lead to dry skin and the stripping of the skin’s natural oils. However, like many dogs, they do benefit from a full bath and potentially a trim every few weeks, which you can either take care of at home, or take the dog along to a grooming parlour to do it for you.
This also provides a good opportunity to get right down to the dog’s skin and check that it is healthy and in good condition, and allows you to remove any built up dirt and muck that may be collecting on the skin itself.
When you bathe your dog, it is also a good idea to check over their feet and paws, and trim their toenails if necessary, as the Maltese breed is one that often grows their claws faster than their walks will wear them down!
Whilst grooming and caring for the skin and coat of the Maltese can be time consuming, and they require more grooming and maintenance than most other breeds, this does also provide you with an opportunity to make grooming fun and enjoyable for your dog, and help to strengthen the bond between you.