One of the most important questions before getting a dog is whether this dog breed is hypoallergenic. Allergies are unfortunately very common nowadays, and a dog can quickly become a trigger. So what about Maltese dogs, are they hypoallergenic?
Maltese are one of the most hypoallergenic dog breeds around. Even dog allergy sufferers report that they have no allergy problems with Maltese. The reason for this is that Maltese do not have a typical coat, but rather hairs that resemble that of humans. They also do not have an undercoat, which reduces the risk of allergies.
Maltese are the ideal dogs for dog allergy sufferers. But why is that? We will clarify this question in the further course. We also reveal if Maltese shed a lot and how to groom your Maltese to minimize allergic reactions.
But we also look at the other side and discuss whether Maltese have frequent allergies and what signs you should look out for in your Maltese.
Are Maltese Hypoallergenic?
Maltese is one of the dog breeds that allergy sufferers do very well with. This is mainly due to their special coat.
The coat of the Maltese is actually not a typical coat. It is more similar to human hair. This means that Maltese don’t actually have a shedding cycle, so their hair almost never falls out.
Instead, their hair just keeps growing, about 0.5-1 inch per month. While this makes Maltese hair particularly suitable for allergy sufferers, it also means that it requires a lot of maintenance.
We’ll get to Maltese grooming later.
Maltese also do not have an undercoat, which also has a positive effect on their hypoallergenic properties. The undercoat in many dog breeds is a kind of second coat that protects them from the elements. Above all, it protects them from the cold.
These properties ensure that dog allergy sufferers get along very well with Maltese. There are no completely hypoallergenic dogs, but Maltese at least get very close.
Is a Maltese Good for Allergy Sufferers?
Due to the special properties of their coat, Maltese are also quite suitable for dog allergy sufferers. Nevertheless, of course, allergic reactions can occur.
If you are known to have a dog allergy, you should basically consider whether you want to take the risk of keeping a dog.
Maybe it would be a good idea to test it first. Spend a few hours with friends who have a dog and pay attention to your reactions. It is best if you know someone who already has a Maltese.
As a second step, you could ask your friends if you can keep their dog in your home for a few hours or even a few days. Of course, this only works if the dog already knows you well and has a connection to you.
If you do not yet know whether you are allergic to dogs, an allergy test by a dermatologist or allergist is recommended. These tests are done quickly and do not cost much.
A simple skin test only costs about $60 to $300, and when you consider that you will be keeping your Maltese for up to 15 years, that is money well spent.
Your dermatologist or allergist can also answer the question of whether it is a good idea to get a Maltese in your case. Whereby doctors are rather cautious in this question.
You will get a more accurate answer if you have a Maltese with you for a while, as mentioned above.
Do Maltese Shed a Lot?
Maltese belong to the breeds of dogs that do not shed much. This is another advantage of their special coat.
Of course, the coat of your Maltese needs a little more care than that of other dog breeds. But the advantage of not having hair lying around everywhere outweighs that in my opinion.
Dogs are absolutely not pets that you just put in the corner and deal with them only when you have a free moment. You have to deal with them a lot anyway.
Part of this occupation should be the daily grooming ritual. This is the only way to keep your Maltese healthy and happy. It is also important for your Maltese’s teeth.
How to Properly Groom Your Maltese
We have already mentioned that the coat of Maltese requires more care than other dog breeds. Maltese coat care actually includes three things:
- Daily care
Let’s look at these three points in detail.
Maltese Daily Care
One of the daily duties or rituals is to remove all leaves, sticks, etc. from the long-haired Maltese coat after every walk, which may have gotten caught there. This is not necessary for Maltese with short hair.
We usually do this at the front door. After all, you do not want to have this dirt in the apartment. At the same time, this prevents the formation of nasty nodules, which you can later remove only with difficulty.
After that, it’s on to brushing and combing. You should also check your Maltese for ticks, especially during the warm season. But these two things can be combined in the best way.
To do this, our Maltese lie or stand on our lap or sometimes on our trimming table. It is best to start at the back and slowly work your way up to the back and the head of the Maltese.
First, we comb out the knots with a stainless steel comb*. If you don’t know such a thing, you should definitely get one. There is no better!
Always start at the tip of the hair and work slowly towards the skin so you don’t rip out whole tufts with the knot. Maltese are quite insensitive to this, but the surrounding hairs can break. And that looks really unsightly over time.
Finally, simply comb through the coat with a fine comb*. You will find a lot of different models available in pet shops or online, often made of plastic. However, we have not had good experiences with this, as the hair becomes statically charged and then sticks out wildly.
If your Maltese wears classic braids, you should renew them daily. Afterward, use a cream to remove the dark remnants of tear fluid around the eyes. And you are done!
The Maltese dog has hair similar to that of humans and needs a wash every now and then to keep its coat well-groomed and beautiful.
It is important that any felt pads are removed before the bath. Because otherwise the dirt can not be washed out to the depths of the coat. And the bath promotes the further felting of such places in the fur otherwise additionally.
First, you should find the appropriate place to thoroughly clean your dog. The easiest way is to bathe a dog in a spacious bathtub.
However, for very small dogs, it may be more comfortable for both of you to choose a bowl or the sink. But be careful – with long-haired Maltese, the hair can clog the drain.
Prepare the bathroom in the best possible way. Collect all the things that you will need when bathing: Dog shampoo, 2-3 towels, a non-slip mat if necessary, and a brush.
Before you start, you should brush or comb your Maltese thoroughly, as mentioned before. This will help you remove loose hair and tangles, which is infinitely more time-consuming when the coat is wet.
Fortunately, many Maltese dogs love to be brushed. They even find grooming a relaxing reward.
The insides of the ears should remain as dry as possible. The eyes and nose should be handled with care, as they are very sensitive.
When the entire Maltese is well soaked, which takes different amounts of time depending on the length of the coat, spread the dog shampoo throughout the coat. Soap the entire Maltese thoroughly, but leave out the nose, eyes, and ears.
It is important to make sure that the nose, eyes, and ears actually do not come into contact with the shampoo. If in doubt, you can leave the face out a little more extensively and just treat it with water.
However, you must not use care products intended for human use. The pH of the dog’s skin is completely different and therefore it needs a special shampoo. It is best to use one specifically for white coats*.
Wash out the shampoo thoroughly afterward. Because shampoo residues in the fine fur can cause irritation and make the Maltese itch later. Run your hand over the Maltese coat behind the water jet. If it still foams here, there is still dog shampoo in the coat.
When everything is rinsed out, first press as much water as possible out of the coat with your hands. Then start gently rubbing the Maltese with the towels. With long-haired Maltese, you will soak up unimagined amounts of water in the beginning by simply laying the towels on top.
With some care and not too high a temperature, blow-dry your Maltese dog afterward.
After each bath, you should give your Maltese a treat as a reward for his good behavior.
A final cuddle is also relaxing and reinforces his sense of well-being. This way you can be sure that he will associate bathing with something positive and that his fear of water will gradually decrease.
Since Maltese really have no hair change and their coat always continues to grow and almost does not fall out, it must be trimmed regularly.
With the Maltese, the coat quality does not suffer by the shearing like with other races, which have undercoats! Every dog groomer will confirm it for you!
Your groomer can also explain in detail if needed, what the difference is between dogs with or without an undercoat.
Only a few breeds Maltese, or Poodle can be clipped. These are exclusively dog breeds without an undercoat.
Maltese have similar hair to humans. Maltese hair grows about 0.5-1 inch per month. It is soft to the touch, very silky, and does not change with the seasons.
It grows continuously, so it needs regular shearing or trimming. Even if you want your Maltese hair to be long, you should at least trim the tips.
If you see a professionally and expertly shorn Maltese with a well-done short haircut, you will be amazed. It is a feast for the eyes, even for non-Maltese friends. The money is also well spent on such works of art.
You can get detailed information and advice from your trusted dog groomer.
Can Maltese Have Allergies?
Not only we humans can be allergic. Dogs can have allergies, too. And this is also true for Maltese, which is generally quite a healthy dog breed.
Allergies are in principle simply misdirected physical reactions to foreign substances. These foreign substances trigger an allergic reaction, which actually would not be necessary.
In dogs, there are three types of allergies that can occur:
- Skin allergies
- Food allergies
- Environmental allergies
Skin allergies are the most common in dogs. Food allergies and environmental allergies are not as common.
Most often, skin allergies are allergies to flea bites. The dogs do not react to the bite itself, but to the saliva that the fleas secrete during the bite.
With food allergies, it is the case that the dog does not tolerate a certain food. Usually, such an allergy also manifests itself through skin irritations such as itching, rashes, or swellings.
Such food allergies can be to dairy products, different types of meat, different types of cereals, but also to fruits or vegetables.
Environmental allergies usually occur only seasonally. If your dog is allergic to certain pollens, he will only show allergic reactions when these pollens are currently in the air.
The best treatment for all allergies is to avoid the allergy trigger. Of course, this is sometimes easier said than done. However, try to avoid known allergy triggers as much as possible.
Also, talk to your vet about possible allergies in your Maltese. he can give you further advice on how best to avoid allergic reactions and may also recommend treatment.
What Are Typical Symptoms for Maltese?
The symptoms your Maltese exhibits during an allergy or allergic attack can vary. However, there are some typical signs that your Maltese has an allergy.
Look for the following symptoms in your Maltese.
- Weeping skin
- Itchy ears
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Swelling of the face, lips, ears, or eyelids
- Red or inflamed skin
- Chronic ear infections
- Persistent licking of certain areas of the skin
If these symptoms occur frequently or at certain times of the year, you should see your veterinarian. It is very possible that your dog has then developed an allergy.
Maltese is a breed of dog that is very suitable for allergy sufferers.
Due to their special coat without undercoat, which is more like human hair, they do not shed very much. This eliminates an important trigger for dog allergies with them.
The disadvantage is that their fur therefore also needs a lot of care. You should really take care of your Maltese coat regularly.
Maltese can also have allergies themselves. Most of the time these are skin allergies. The best way to avoid them is to avoid the trigger of the allergy.
So if you are affected by a dog allergy, Maltese might be a good choice for you.