Do Maltese shed? Yes, but they won't leave your home covered in hair, far from it in fact. Read more here about the Maltese, and how to manage its shedding habits
Maltese dogs are cute, energetic, and loving and make for great lap dogs. If a lively lapdog is what you’re after, a Maltese dog is a great option. This is all well and good, but what about their shedding behavior, do Maltese shed a lot? With the exception of hairless breeds, all doggies shed at least a little, and in the case of a Maltese, a little hair is all that you can expect.
Maltese dogs shed very little and are very easy to clean up after. Owners may find the odd bit of loose hair around the home, but nothing that would be considered a major issue. Beyond their companionship, owners choose a Maltese because it is a low-shedding dog.
In fact, the only potential problem that Maltese can cause owners is down to their high levels of separation anxiety. They suffer from this because they just want to be around their owners, which is no bad thing for those looking for companionship.
As the name suggests, this breed was originally bred in the warm climate of Malta. Unlike other breeds of its size, these little pooches were bred to be companions, a task they are very proficient at doing.
If you have a Maltese dog, you’re more likely to find human hair when you clean up, such is the minimal amount of hair this small dog sheds.
When Do Maltese Shed?
Assuming that your dog is healthy, you won’t see Maltese shed any more or less throughout the year. Whereas other dogs have a double coat, that they blow twice a year, the Maltese coat is a single layer of hair.
Beyond the clear benefit of less dog hair around your home and on your clothes, you will also be able to spot any health problems through shedding behavior. If your Maltese sheds more than usual, it is a clear sign that there is something wrong.
Why Do Maltese Shed?
An adult Maltese will not shed a great deal, but a Maltese puppy can be expected to shed its soft, puppy fur, to make way for its adult coat. This is perfectly natural and will usually happen around the time that they are 1- year old.
One health problem that many Maltese suffer from more than other dog breeds, is hyperthyroidism. This is when the body doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone, resulting in shedding amongst other symptoms.
If your Maltese dog is shedding more than usual, your vet can test for hyperthyroidism. If diagnosed, your vet can put together an effective treatment plan to reduce symptoms, and shedding.
Certain health issues can affect Maltese dogs and how they shed, giving owners an early warning when they are suffering.
Reducing Maltese Shedding Tips
If your Maltese’s hair is shedding more frequently, some steps can be taken to reduce the shedding. Maltese dogs shed more if they do not have a healthy lifestyle. This is a very sensitive dog breed, that reacts physically to emotional and physical stress. Owners must understand this and focus on ensuring that the dog is properly cared for.
Diet & Nutrition
Many dog owners are now switching to a raw food diet for their dogs, and understandably so. Maltese dogs, on the other hand, are better off with a straight-up kibble diet.
Unlike many other breeds, Maltese don’t do well if they have too much sodium. Raw foods can be sodium-heavy, making kibble the best option. A little wet food can be added from time to time, as long as it is nutrient-dense and balanced.
Quality protein and healthy fats are what owners should be looking for when buying wet food. This dog breed reacts quickly to a poor diet and Maltese owners will see reduced energy levels and more dog hair around if they aren’t fed well.
Much like other small dogs, a Maltese only needs around 30 minutes of exercise a day to stay healthy. They will, of course, enjoy more than that if you have the time.
When getting plenty of opportunities to run around, your Maltese will have good blood flow that helps in cell growth and repair. A Maltese’s coat will look visibly different when it is getting the right amount of daily exercise.
If you have a Maltese puppy then it will only need 10 to 15 minutes of exercise per day. Unlike an adult, a puppy will let you know pretty quickly when they are tired. If your puppy doesn’t want to run around or walk anymore, it is best for their health that you don’t force them to.
Many owners like to bathe their dog once a week to keep that soft hair looking bright, and to make sure that their Maltese smells good too. In reality, bathing once every two weeks is enough to keep that shine, and help to minimize shedding and matting. We’ll cover how to bathe your dog and what products to use in our grooming section.
Managing Maltese Shedding
Dog breeds like a Maltese, or even a Bichon Frise, may not leave piles of hair around the home. With this being said, they do have long hair, making any hair that does fall off, easily visible.
As we’ve already covered, it’s important to keep their coat healthy, to minimize your dog’s shedding. Other than hairless dogs, all pooches shed, and over time it can become noticeable on your clothes, furniture, and flooring – just like human hair does.
To reduce the amount of dog hair that you find around the place, try out some of the following tips.
As dogs lose hair, they naturally deposit it in the areas that they use most. If however, you do not clean it up frequently, that loose coat hair will find its way around the house. Given the small amount of hair that your Maltese sheds, it is unlikely you’ll want to fully clean daily, as you may with other dog breeds.
This is exactly why you need a pet hair lint roller, the perfect tool for this kind of pooch. When you purchase a roller, aim to get one or two, for different areas of the home. This is will ensure that you pick up more hair before it becomes a problem.
As with other low-shedding dog breeds, you can allow your Maltese to roam through the home, confident that it won’t shed much. If they are shedding excessively for any reason, isolate them in one or two rooms. This will make it easier to keep the home tidy.
Maltese Grooming Tips
These hypoallergenic dogs may not shed much but it is still important that you groom the Maltese coat regularly if only to maintain that lovely white coat. Most dogs do need grooming to reduce shedding, but this isn’t the case with your Maltese.
Maltese also need to be groomed regularly, bathed, and have a daily brushing session, despite not shedding a lot. This helps them to avoid late-life hair loss, and health issues such as ear infections, as well as tear stains.
Because of the beautiful white coat Maltese doggies have, saliva and tears can stain the fur. This is down to the chemical porphyrin, which stains red on the fur of many dogs with white coats.
As mentioned, you should look to bathe your pooch once every couple of weeks, as part of their daily grooming session. When washing the dog’s coat, make sure that you use dog-specific products. The Maltese single coat will dry pretty quickly, at which point you should use coat conditioning oil to give them a bright, white shine.
Excessive shedding and low shedding can be equally reduced with a daily brush. Take a slicker brush from your Maltese’s ears right down to the bottom of their hind legs. Whilst Maltese technically shed very little, you will still see some hair coming off when you brush, so be ready with cleaning equipment.
Most importantly, it will reduce matting in your dog’s coat, as well as ensure that they aren’t overly stressed. This can be an anxious dog breed, so anything that relaxes them is good practice. If you gently brush its coat each day, you’ll end up with a cotton ball effect that so many owners love.
Given the length of the hair on the Maltese coat, you can have some fun with various cuts and styles. Additionally, this dog has just a single coat, so trimming it right down is not a risky option for them.
From the teddy bear cut to the pom-pom trim, there are all sorts of options here. This can be done once a month, to keep your pooch looking great. Make sure that you or your groomer checks and cuts the dog’s nails too.
If these are too long they can cause walking issues. Additionally, nails can give an insight into any nutritional deficiencies your dog may have.
Maltese dogs are beautiful lap dogs that make the perfect option for individuals and families. This dog breed offers faithful companionship and will bring plenty of character into the home.
With exercise, grooming, and proper nutrition, Maltese are low shedding, but you should always be on the lookout if they are losing hair frequently. This could be a sign of damage to hair follicles, a lack of essential nutrients, or even an underlying medical condition.
Do Maltese dogs bark a lot?
Maltese are great dogs to have because they don’t shed much, but also because they don’t bark a lot. Like most dogs, they may bark at the door when someone arrives, but this will be as much as you can expect.
Are Maltese good house dogs?
Maltese are some of the best dogs out there for those looking for house dogs. Not only will they stay quiet, and offer great companionship, but the lack of hair loss is a great benefit for Maltese owners.
Is Maltese hypoallergenic?
A hypoallergenic dog breed is not so much one that doesn’t shed, but one that doesn’t shed much, or at least enough to cause problems for those with pet allergies. Given the minimal amount of hair that falls from the Maltese’s coat, they are considered hypoallergenic dogs.