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Maltese

The Maltese is a small breed of dog in the Toy Group. It descends from dogs originating in the Central Mediterranean Area. The breed name and origins are generally understood to derive from the Mediterranean island nation of Malta; however, the name is sometimes described with reference to the distinct Adriatic island of Mljet, or a defunct Sicilian town called Melita.

Dog Grooming for the Maltese:

The stunning Maltese coat is pure white, silky, and straight, reaching all the way to the ground. Maltese don't have the undercoat typical to many breeds and don't shed much. On the down side, Maltese coats mat easily and become dirty. In addition, Maltese are prone to unsightly tear stains on their faces.

Gently brush and comb the coat of your Maltese daily, even if he has a sporty short trim. This helps to prevent mats and keep him clean. Beautiful though they may be, Maltese become dirty easily and usually must be bathed weekly.

If your Maltese has long hair and develops mats, first try to work out the mat gently with your fingers, using a detangler spray or a coat conditioning oil. After you've pulled the mat apart as much as you can with your fingers, use the end tooth of the comb to loosen individual hairs. Never try to pull the entire mat out at once with the comb or brush, and make sure all mats are removed prior to bathing your Maltese as mats tend to get tighter when wet.

You should check your Maltese's ears at least once a week. If they seem sensitive or have a bad odor, take him to the vet for a checkup. Also, Maltese grow a lot of hair in their ears that needs to be removed. Ask your groomer or vet to do this or to show you how to pluck the hair at home.

Trim his nails once or twice a month if your dog doesn't wear them down naturally to prevent painful tears and other problems. If you can hear them clicking on the floor, they're too long. Dog toenails have blood vessels in them, and if you cut too far you can cause bleeding--and your dog may not cooperate the next time he sees the nail clippers come out. So, if you're not experienced trimming dog nails, ask your groomer for pointers.

Tear and face staining are big problems for most Maltese owners. You should expect tear staining to begin when your puppy is four to five months old (that's the age that their adult teeth are coming in). 

Many people put the hair on the top of their Maltese's head into a topknot to keep it away from the eyes. If you decide to do this, be sure to use coated bands that won't break the hair. Some people clip their dog's hair short, on its head or all over, so grooming is easier.

Brush your Maltese's teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Daily brushing is even better if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath.

More in this category: « Havanese Toy Poddle »

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