If you are looking for a small pet with a pleasant personality and playful nature, the Maltese will make a brilliant companion.
Maltese are beautiful, small yet attentive dogs usually covered in thick, white fur. They weigh around 6 pounds, and their coats are silky, smooth, and flat over the sides, touching the ground gracefully.
With their beautiful faces and snow white fur, the Maltese are adorable pets to own.
Nonetheless, they are high-maintenance and demand regular upkeep. Therefore, it’s recommended to make a daily grooming routine and stick to it to keep your Maltese happy and healthy.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step grooming process of Maltese dogs.
Grooming Maltese Step by Step
To clean the dog’s face, wash it carefully using a clean cloth.
- Make sure the cloth you use is clean and skin-friendly
- Soak the washcloth in lukewarm water mixed with coat handler conditioner to add a hint of fragrance and de-tangling the hair
- Wipe your Maltese’s face gently
- Avoid rubbing it all over the face
- Rinse to ensure all traces of soap are gone since Maltese’s skin is easily irritated
Note: It is recommended to wipe the muzzle daily after eating
The Maltese’s ears hang close to their face. Therefore, it’s imperative to keep their ears cleaned daily.
- Lift the ear flap and squirt a small amount of gentle ear cleanser as recommended by your vet
- Massage the ear base gently for about 2-3 minutes. Don’t worry; the swishing noises are normal and a sign that the solution is moving around, picking excess wax and debris
- Take a cotton ball and wipe the outer ear canal. Avoid going deeper into the ear.
- Wipe the ears until the last swipe comes completely clean
- Repeat the process every week
Keeping Maltese Eyes Clean
With canines and other pets, tear stains and gunk accumulates around the eyes, obstructing their vision.
Therefore, it is crucial to trim Maltese’s hair and gunk around the eyes to keep your pooch neat, clean, and healthy.
However, we admit this step can be a bit baffling because it needs your proper attention and your Maltese’s attentiveness. Hence, we recommend grooming your dog’s eyes when it’s calm and happy.
- Lie your Maltese on the floor and keep its head as steady as possible to avoid potential injuries
- Clean the gunk around your Maltese’s eyes using any oral eye supplement
- If the gunk has accumulated over time and the lump is large enough to clean, simply cut it using a sharp pair of grooming scissors
- Once the gunk is all cleaned, use a small and safe pair of scissors to cut overgrown hair around the Maltese’s eyes
- Examine the hair. If the trim is not straight, work it again until it is short and straight
The Maltese are sensitive pets. Therefore, improper or lack of teeth brushing may cause the deposition of plaque and tartar.
The deposited plaque results in tooth decay, which is painful and might require the removal of your Maltese teeth.
To cater to this, daily brushing is needed with a dog toothbrush and a dog-safe toothpaste.
Also, dental treats help a lot in looking after your pet’s dental health. All in all, we recommend a professional cleaning and scaling for your Maltese teeth every 6-8 weeks.
The nails of Maltese should be even with the paw pad. Therefore, if you hear them screeching or clicking on the floor, know that it’s nail clipping time!
Nail clipping requires your understanding of nail anatomy. Be careful, as you should never cut into the quick.
With Maltese, it’s easy to identify the quick as the nails are pure white with pink hues of nail quick.
Here’s how you clip or trim your Maltese nails.
- With the help of nail trimming scissors, cut the nail at a 45-degree angle below the quick
- Finish off with a human nail file to smoothen the nails
But before you begin cutting your Maltese nails, make sure there are no ingrown nails or soreness. If you detect the problem, consult with your vet as it’s a sign of infected nails.
Also, if you cut the nail too short into the quick, apply some styptic powder or flour to stop the bleeding.
Note: Vets never recommend using human scissors or clippers as they might tear the nail and cause painful and torn edges.
Grooming Maltese Legs
Most owners overlook the importance of grooming Maltese legs that make your dog look messy and unappealing.
Keeping your Maltese coat white as snow is a challenge in itself. Therefore, vets recommend using a good conditioner that doesn’t irritate your Maltese skin.
Maltese legs are covered in silky, white hair that needs daily cleaning and detangling rituals.
- Before brushing Maltese legs, dilute the coat conditioner and spray it all over your pooch’s legs
- Start brushing your Maltese legs gently with its shoulder and work down to the legs
- In the case of mats, dilute the conditioner well to ensure minimal pulling on your dog. Detangle the mat with your fingers from the lower region and work upwards
- While bathing your Maltese, apply the shampoo to the back of your legs and lather in a back-and-forth motion
- Don’t forget the paw pads
- Rinse your pooch’s legs until the water runs clear
- If required, apply the conditioner and rinse well within the allotted time
- Squeeze dry the extra water using a soft towel
- On a low heating setting, blow-dry your dog’s hair and brush thoroughly
Grooming Maltese Tail with Scissors
Maltese tails develop tangles and knots in their fur. Therefore, it is essential to groom your pet’s tail while bathing, brushing, or trimming.
Note: Be gentle while grooming your Maltese tails as it’s a sensitive area and might be uncomfortable for your dog to address the touch.
However, grooming your dog’s tail is the easiest with the scissors method.
Here’s what you need to do.
- Position your dog to your waist or chest level
- Once the dog is comfortable, lift its tail and hold it straight
- While holding the scissors parallel against the skin, trim the potty area. Keep the fur around the potty area short. The shorter, the cleaner!
- Brush your Maltese tail to remove any knots or tangles
- After you’ve detangled the tail, it’s time to trim the tail
- Using the scissors, trim out the excess fur to give your dog a nice and neat trim
- You can also shape your Maltese tail as per your liking
Giving your Maltese a Bath
Regardless of the age, weather or season, Maltese should be bathed once every three weeks.
Giving your dog daily baths might mess up with the natural oils and overall skin condition of your dog.
Therefore, no matter what, bathing a Maltese should be once every three weeks.
Here are some of the tips to make the bathing session more wholesome and fun.
- Maltese are tiny dogs. Experts recommend using a kitchen sink as opposed to bathtubs
- Clean and disinfect the sink before use
- Brush your dog’s hair and check for any mats. If any, detangle using a conditioner, and continue
- In both ears, place loose pieces of cotton or cotton balls
- Apply the shampoo. First, damp the coat with lukewarm water and apply the shampoo of your choice
- Massage the shampoo gently in all areas except the face
- Rinse the coat after shampooing thoroughly until the water runs clean
- Apply the conditioner for at least 3 minutes and apply a good amount to encase every hair from root to tip
- Rinse the conditioner until it is steered clear of the conditioner. It is an important step, as any residue of shampoo or conditioner would block skin pores and cause the fur to lie flat
- Dry your pup. Take a clean and soft towel and place your dog onto the towel carefully. Don’t rub your dog’s coat as it might irritate its skin. Instead, we recommend blotting and dabbing gently to avoid tangles
- Check for fleas and sticks: Comb your dog’s damp hair using a fine-tooth flea comb to trap fleas and flea poop.
Maltese Grooming Styles
Long hair pooches give us the leverage to play and experiment with their hair so much. And we adore them for that!
You can experiment with different hairstyles on your Maltese, including short trim, scissor cut, show-dog cut, and fluffy legs and feet cut.
However, the most iconic Maltese hairstyles are:
Korean Maltese Grooming Style
Korean cut or The Maltese Korean cut has gained quite a popularity in the Canine Hall of Fame. Nonetheless, it’s a bit more complicated than other grooming hairstyles.
Still, you can achieve the Korean Maltese Grooming style at home using good clippers.
- To achieve this style, you need to shave at the middle of the back
- Shave the hair gently till you get to the waist area
- Use thinning shears to style the facial hair under the muzzle
The Korean grooming style looks adorable on Maltese. However, it’s a challenging task if you’re a novice dog keeper.
Teddy Bear Maltese Grooming Style
In teddy bear style, the emphasis is usually around the face to give your pooch a look that resembles a child’s teddy bear.
The Teddy bears Maltese haircut is much shorter and easier to maintain than the Korean, where every area is left as is, except for the side and back hair.
Maltese Grooming Tool List — Essentials
No matter how big of a responsible dog owner you are, nothing is possible without a set of grooming tools.
Since Maltese are long-haired dogs, their coat requires special treatment, and so the essential grooming tools might differ from your short-haired pooches.
Here’s a Maltese grooming starter tool list to help you with your first grooming session.
It all starts with a good hairbrush.
Hertzko is the brush extraordinaire that is self-cleaning, easy to clean, and easy on your pooch’s coat.
The bristles of the Hertzko hairbrush retracts, leaving behind the hair and mats for easy clean-up. The best thing about this grooming brush is it allows hands-free cleaning with a push of a button.
If you own a long-haired, beautiful Maltese, you’re going to love Hertzko brush with incredible durability and superior convenience.
Shears & Scissors
Giving your pooch a nice and clean trim is only possible with a fine pair of scissors.
Pet owners love Pets First grooming scissors set that feature two round tip shears for body and face fur, both. These scissors are suitable not only for Maltese but for all types of coats that demand regular upkeep.
Loved by thousands and owned by many, Pets First scissors are the grooming champ for your Maltese.
To shave your dogs by yourselves instead of strangers, you need to get your hands on professional hair clippers to do the job!
If you’re looking for something that would last you for years, we recommend Wahl Professional clippers that come with a kit with color-coded guide combs to make your job easier.
These hair clippers are heavy-duty, easy to use, and work great on every breed of dog, especially Maltese, golden retriever, and Tibetan terriers.
A lucky dog has clean and healthy nails. Nail clippers are an essential part of your dog’s daily grooming regimen. Hence, they should be sturdy, well-made, and easy to use
The Groomist dog nail clippers are designed for your pooch’s nails that give nice, precise, and accident-free cuts.
It features soft and ergonomic handles that reduce wrist strain while grooming, keeping the pooches and owners happy and relaxed.
A healthy Maltese’s coat should be snowy white with zero mats and filth. Therefore, a high-quality shampoo that conditions, smoothens, and detangles your pooch’s coat is a must.
The WAHL 4-in-1 shampoo is a go-to product for pet owners as it conditions, cleans, detangles, and moisturizes your pet coat with soothing lavender and chamomile fragrance.
The shampoo uses a pet-friendly formula, which is pH balanced, alcohol- and paraben-free.
Give your pets a sense of comfort with the goodness of lavender-chamomile with WAHL 4-in-1 calming dog shampoo.
How old should a Shih Tzu puppy be before grooming?
The optimal time to groom your Shih Tzu pup is when it’s roughly around 10 – 12 weeks.
How often do you have to groom the Maltese?
Maltese are high-maintenance when it comes to grooming. Therefore, their coats require regular combing and detangling.
Never brush your dog on a dry coat. Dog experts recommend misting the coat before brushing.
All in all, you should bathe your Maltese every 2 to 3 weeks to keep your dog active and clean.
Should you bathe your Maltese before grooming?
Yes, a nice, warm bath is recommended before grooming your Maltese.
Since Maltese are graced with thick, long coats that need supple moisturization and dampness before handling.
Why does my Maltese scream right after grooming?
Grooming provides a drastic change for long-furred babies. After their coat is cut short, they might feel a little lighter and weirder, and that’s a reason they act strangely after grooming sessions.
Also, the screaming might result from skin irritation because of hair detangling or minor razor burns.
However, if your dog shakes or has tremors after grooming, you should consult a vet and monitor the progress.
Can you use a metal blade instead of combs while grooming a Maltese?
Yes, you can. Metal comb attachments are so useful and a groomer’s best friend.
However, it’s not recommended for novice dog groomers.
The Maltese breed is pure cuteness and royalty in a single stature. However, with a dog like Maltese comes the responsibility of daily grooming.
This article highlights all the basic information about Maltese grooming and how to do your job perfectly.
Always remember three vital points:
- Never groom a restless Maltese
- Use a kitchen sink to bathe your dog
- Don’t brush a dry coat