5 Easy Steps To Maltese Grooming
Published Friday, November 18, 2022 by Madeline I
Maltese are dogs of great beauty, whether they sport their cute puppy haircuts or silky white, luxurious coat that reaches the floor. Their elegance is rarely matched by other dogs. But, as most owners can attest, keeping their luxurious white coats intact takes some work.
From brushing their coats to bathing them and keeping up their pure white silky hair, here are 5 easy steps to Maltese grooming.
Table of Contents
Step 1: Brushing Routine
Brushing routines are essential, especially for the Maltese dog. Brushing not only keeps the hair tangle-free but also helps spread natural oils throughout the coat while stimulating the skin. When brushing is not done regularly, especially in dogs with long hair, the coats can easily become tangled, or even worse, matted.
The brushing routine you create for your Maltese doesn’t have to be time-consuming. A few minutes of thorough brushing will often do the trick. Here’s how often you need to brush your Maltese dog depending on their hair length:
For Maltese with Long Hair
Long hair is a bit more difficult to manage, but it doesn’t require long hours of brushing each day, as most people think. The difference between long and short hair is that with longer hair, you need to brush it more often. If you brush your Maltese every day, a minute or two of thorough brushing will do the trick.
It is recommended that you only start brushing your Maltese after you apply a mist of hydrating or detangling spray on his/her coat. Brushing a dry coat can cause breakage and is not recommended. Once you apply the mist of spray, gently brush from the tips down, gradually moving closer to the roots as you go. The motion should be smooth and light, so as not to pull on your dog’s hair and cause pain or damage.
Grooming tools you need for brushing your long-hair Maltese:
- A pin brush that has moderately spaced pins with cushioned tips
- A comb
- Detangling spray if necessary
- Hydrating spray
- Coconut oil to hydrate and freshen up your dog’s coat
How To Maintain the Maltese Puppy Cut
Maltese puppy cuts and Maltese teddy bear cuts are the easiest styles to maintain. They are short haircuts that don’t require as much effort put into brushing, especially compared to longer hairstyles. Weekly brushing is still essential, even if your dog has a short haircut. You can brush it as little as once every week and it will make a difference.
To brush your Maltese dog’s coat, apply a mist of spray and gently use the bristle brush or grooming glove to smooth out the coat and loosen any dead hairs. Do this at least once a week to keep your Maltese looking fresh and clean.
Grooming tools you need for brushing your short-hair Maltese:
- Soft bristle brush
- Grooming glove if preferred
- Rubber curry brush
- Hydrating spray
- Detangling spray if necessary
RELATED: Grooming Your Dog At Home Guide
Step 2: Regular Baths
This grooming step is just as essential as brushing routines. Because they are white dogs, Maltese need to be bathed more frequently than other breeds that have darker coats. Stains and dirt are more visible on a white coat, and because of this, your Maltese might need a bath more often than you think. Some owners choose to bathe their Maltese once every two weeks, while others can go as much as one month between baths.
This grooming step very much depends on the lifestyle your dog has. If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors playing, running, and rolling over in grass or puddles, you might need to wash them a few times per month. If you keep your dog indoors and only go for a few short walks each day, you can go for as long as one month before needing to bathe your Maltese.
Keep in mind that bathing your dog too often is not recommended, as both water and the products you use can strip your dog’s coat of good natural oils. This leaves the skin dry and prone to irritation.
To give your Maltese a bath, make sure you only use lukewarm water. Cold or very hot water can be both uncomfortable and damaging to your dog’s skin.
You can prepare the bathtub (or sink) by filling it with a few inches of lukewarm water. Put your dog in the tub and use your hands to collect the water and spread it on your dog’s coat gently. Add shampoo and massage your dog’s coat, making sure each strand of hair is shampooed.
To rinse off the shampoo, it’s best to use your hand as a protective barrier between your dog and the shower head. Once you thoroughly rinse the shampoo, you can move on to adding the conditioner. Massage your dog’s skin and coat with the conditioner, the same way you did with the shampoo. This step helps spread the conditioner evenly.
Once you rinse out the conditioner, gently squeeze your dog’s coat to get rid of any excess water. Wrap your Maltese in a warm, soft towel until he/she is ready to be blow-dried.
When blow-drying your dog, it is recommended to use a lower setting so as not to frighten your pet. Blow dry thoroughly while also brushing your dog’s hair gently.
Products you need for bathing your Maltese:
- Dog-friendly shampoo – mild shampoo works best for the Maltese breed
- Dog-friendly conditioner
- Leave-in conditioner formulated for dogs – optional
- Lukewarm water
- Hair dryer specifically designed for dogs
- A warm, soft towel
Step 3: Cleaning your Dog’s Face
As we mentioned before, white dogs are more likely to get stains on their coats. Tear stains, in particular, are common for Maltese dogs, especially when they are not groomed regularly.
Facial wipes that are specifically formulated for dogs can work wonders in maintaining a clean white coat. There are also tear-stain removers that can be used to remove already-formed stains under the eyes.
This grooming step is easy, and it only takes a quick minute to achieve. You can wipe your dog’s face as often as you like with a damp cloth or dog facial wipes. You can do this daily for the best results, or as little as once every week.
Products you need for cleaning your dog’s face:
- A damp cloth
- Facial wipes or wet wipes designed for dogs
- Tear-stain remover
Step 4: Cleaning Ears and Clipping Nails
Dogs with floppy ears, like the adorable Maltese, can be prone to ear infections. Having drop ears means that dirt and debris, as well as too much moisture, can build up in the ear, causing a number of problems.
To ensure that your Maltese does have any ear problems, it's best to clean their ears as often as you can. You can use a damp cloth to clean the outer part of the ear, and cotton buds to clean the surface of the ear canal. Make sure your dog is calm during this process, especially when using cotton buds. You can do this grooming step every week or two, but it is recommended that you don’t exceed 3 weeks between ear cleanings.
Grooming tools you need for cleaning ears:
- Earbuds specifically designed for dogs
- A damp cloth
- Wet wipes for dogs
Nail clipping is also essential, and it can be done in the same time frame as ear cleaning. Long nails can cause several problems to your dog’s paws, like nail bed damage, breakage, ingrown nail problems, and more. Long nails can also get stuck on various things, which can be dangerous for your Maltese.
The nails should always be kept short, which means that you will have to clip them every few weeks as they grow. Clipping or trimming your dog’s nails after a bath will be best since that is when their nails are softened from the water. You can use a nail clipper or a file to do this step. Your dog should stay still and not pull their paws away as you clip their nails.
Grooming tools you need for clipping nails:
- Nail clipper
- Nail file
Step 5: Teeth Brushing and Dental Care
This last step is one of the most important grooming tasks your Maltese will benefit from. Like humans, dogs can also be prone to various dental problems. They can have tartar build-up, gum issues, bad breath, and tooth decay when their dental hygiene is left unchecked.
This is an essential part of grooming, one that you need to do daily to ensure your dog has excellent dental hygiene.
The best way to approach brushing your dog’s teeth is to start early and give him/her time to get used to the process. Starting with an already older dog can be quite difficult. Puppyhood is the best time to start brushing your Maltese’s teeth.
You can opt for a toothbrush or finger brush designed for dogs to help you with this task, or you can simply use your finger with a little bit of toothpaste on it. Make sure your dog is relaxed and ok with this activity. Hold up their upper lip and brush their front teeth first, gradually moving toward the side teeth. Repeat this for the bottom lip as well, making sure you brush the side teeth as you go.
Products you need for brushing your dog’s teeth:
- Dog toothpaste
- Dog toothbrush
- Finger brush – if preferred
- Dental sticks
- Chew toys
RELATED: Brushing Your Dog's Teeth
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Frequently Asked Questions
Are Maltese dogs easy to groom? Depending on their coat length, these dogs can have low to moderate grooming needs. Long-haired Maltese dogs can be higher maintenance, while short-haired Maltese can be easy to groom.
How often do i have to brush my Maltese? How often you have to brush your Maltese also depends on the length of your dog's coat. A longer coat should be brushed at least twice every week, while a shorter coat can be brushed only once every week.
How often do I have to give my Maltese a bath? You should bathe your Maltese dog at least once every month and not sooner than every 2 weeks.
What are Maltese haircuts? The Maltese breed has many haircuts. The most popular are the Puppy Clip, Teddy Bear Cut, Bob Cut, and the Show Cut.
Will Maltese hair grow back? Yes. The Maltese hair grows constantly and grows back fast after a haircut.
Are Maltese hypoallergenic? Although no dog breed is 100% hypoallergenic, the Maltese are counted among the few breeds that allergy owners can safely own. They are considered by some hypoallergenic.
Do Maltese shed? Shedding is minimal for Maltese dogs, most shedding very little, if at all.