Maltese Grooming Tips

Maltese grooming can be a difficult process, as their beautiful hair is often grown long and is very fine. One of the best tips for the new Maltese owner is to give your dog a "puppy cut" until you can get her used to regular grooming. Otherwise, an already lengthy task can be even more time consuming. But, once you are ready, your dog's hair can be cut in any number of styles and groomed with these tips.

Get Your Maltese Used to Grooming Early

Make sure that you establish grooming habits as early as you can. Handle the pup exactly as you will need to when he is an adult, including clipping his nails, brushing his teeth and so forth. Be gentle, but firm, and praise him warmly when you are done with each area so he comes to think of grooming as a fun activity.

Pay Attention to Your Dog's Ears

Maltese dogs have droopy ears which may also contain hair. This makes them the perfect environment for infections and parasites, so be sure to check your dog's ears every time you groom him for redness, swelling or discharge. Dust the area with ear powder as a further preventative. If any hair is growing directly in the ear canal, you should be able to pluck it out without harming him.

Clip Your Dog's Nails

Maltese dogs may quickly grow their claws out and this can affect their walk, as well as hurt you inadvertently. Only ever use clippers specifically for dogs if clipping yourself, or take your dog to the vet, particularly if he tends to struggle when you clip his nails. Hold him firmly and only cut the end of the nail, well away from the dark blood vessels of the quick. You should also take this time to trim the hair that grows between the pads of his feet, as these can also make running difficult.

Use a Leave-In Conditioner

Maltese dogs have very silky coats, which can easily become tangled. A specially formulated leave-in conditioner will help to reduce static build up and detangle your dog's coat. This will make your next grooming session easier, and improve your dog's appearance in the meantime.

Reduce Tear Staining

Maltese often end up with stains under their eyes from their tear ducts. Some dogs are more prone to this than others. To remove them, use a close toothed comb to gently brush the affected area, being very careful of the eyes. You can also use a damp cloth to wipe away the stains. This will need to be repeated every few days. Keep hair out of his eyes as this can exacerbate the problem.

Ribbons and Bows

If you want to dress your dog up, try to find ties and ribbons that have been made specifically for dogs and, if possible, specifically for Maltese dogs. Otherwise the ties may lead to hair breakage, tangling, or will simply slide out or break.

Maltese grooming can be time consuming, but most proud owners would say it is worth every minute. Take the time to get your puppy used to the process and it will make future grooming sessions the bonding experience that they should be.