The show-stopping, floor-length hairdo of a full-coated Maltese needs lots of brushing and combing.
Even though the Maltese is a very small dog, they tend to be brave and without fear. They are one of the most gentle mannered of all little dogs, but are also full of energy and very playful, making them great family dogs. Maltese should be brushed daily, and groomed often to prevent mats from forming in their long, white coat.
Depending on the size of your dog as an adult you are going to want to feed them a formula that will cater to their unique digestive needs through the various phases of their life. Many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and giant breeds.
The Maltese is a extra-small breed and has a lifespan of 13 to 15 years. What you feed your dog is an individual choice, but working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
Beyond regular weekly grooming the occasional bath will keep them clean and looking their best. Grooming can be a wonderful bonding experience for you and your pet. Their strong fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking. Their ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.
They are one of the most gentle mannered of all little dogs, but are also full of energy and very playful, making them great family dogs. Maltese are highly intelligent and know very well how to use their charm to get their way. If given the chance, they become easily spoiled. This isn’t a problem for dog savvy owners, but many pet owners will give in, often resulting in a pet with poor manners. It is not recommended that Maltese go to homes with young children, where as tiny puppies, there is the possibility of being stepped on or dropped by a child.
Like all breeds there may be some health issues. Some dogs may be faced with these health challenges in their lives, but the majority of Maltese are healthy dogs.
Working with a responsible breeder, those wishing to own a Maltese can gain the education they need to know about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders utilize genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.