So, you’ve decided you want a Maltese puppy! Maltese puppies are adorable, and very popular.
However, as with any puppy, it’s important to do your research when it comes to a Maltese dog. They have particular grooming needs, as well as a whole host of other typical puppy needs.
Read on to find out about what you need to know when picking up your Maltese puppy.
Where To Get A Maltese Puppy
Maltese puppies are rarely found in shelters due to their popularity. The only real way to get a purebred Maltese dog is from a reputable breeder. This can be a bit of a minefield — backyard breeders and puppy mills will try to disguise themselves as reputable. There are a few things you should look out for:
- AKC registration for the parents
- Health checks
- A spay/neuter contract
- A reasonable price that isn’t too cheap for the puppy
- A breeder who’s open to questions and responsive
If your breeder doesn’t want you to see where the puppies live, doesn’t have registered puppies, or doesn’t have proven health checks, there’s a high chance they’re a backyard breeder. This could mean the Maltese puppies aren’t purebred, or it could mean that they haven’t had their health checked and may actually be sick.
While it could be tempting to purchase them anyway to save a few dollars, you’ll likely end up paying far more in veterinary bills if you grab a puppy mill dog from Craigslist. It’s important not to support these practices.
Maltese puppies can cost anywhere from $500 (from a backyard breeder, most likely) to $3000 and up. It mostly depends on their appearance and lineage, and sometimes female dogs can be more expensive.
Although this is quite expensive, never go with the cheapest. Chances are, this breeder has skipped a lot of things when it comes to their care. The cost of those health checks alone is quite high, so this is part of the reason puppies cost so much.
Maltese dogs are a toy breed, so they weigh under 7 lb at a healthy weight, according to breed standard. They’re mostly white with some black pigmentation around the nose and eyes. Their coat tends to be very long, though it does vary.
They have floppy ears and do not have an undercoat, so they rarely shed!
Typically, a Maltese dog is lively and loving. They can be prone to separation anxiety because they love humans so much, so it’s important to train your dog from the start. Separation anxiety is the last thing you want. Crate training is especially handy for this, as you can start by leaving them alone for ten seconds, then build from there. Eventually, you’ll be able to leave them for a few hours.
They are a small breed though, so their exercise needs aren’t high. At least not in comparison to a large dog or herding breed.
You should still walk them frequently, however. You need to meet all of their physical and mental stimulation needs.
Image Via Atysh.
Many people choose to feed their dog a raw diet, but this should only be attempted if someone experienced in raw food is preparing the meals for you. Subscription services offer this. Some inexperienced people try to prepare raw meals for their dog themselves, but it’s a mistake. Your dog could end up deficient in certain nutrients or just overfed.
There are many high-quality kibbles that can be given to your dog, but you should pick one specifically formulated for small breeds. Don’t pick up the cheapest kibble at the pet store. Instead, do your research, and make sure it’s good food. Avoid grain-free food, which has been linked to heart problems.
You should give puppies three small meals a day until six months, and you can then reduce it to two.
Maltese Puppy – Veterinary Needs
Like all dogs, Maltese dogs will need booster vaccines for parvovirus, distemper, and other diseases. A vet will do this until they’re around sixteen weeks at three-week intervals. Until this is done, you should avoid bringing them to public places where other dogs have been, as parvovirus can live on the ground for a long time.
Your vet will also be able to provide tick and flea prevention medication, as well as checking your dog for parasites.
After they’re grown up, they should only need a vet visit once a year to get their booster vaccines and ensure there are no health issues.
Maltese dogs have very strict grooming needs due to their long coat, so it’s important to stay on top of that. Show coats require brushing every day, though Maltese dogs with slightly shorter coats might only need it done every few days. They can get matted and tangled if this isn’t done.
You will also need to frequently wipe your dog’s face after eating, as food can get stuck in the fur.
Things getting stuck in their fur means they might also need baths more than other breeds, so keep an eye on their coat condition.
As with any dog, they will also need regular nail trims (around every 6 weeks). You can do this yourself using a clipper or Dremel. A groomer will also be able to do this if you can’t.
If you’ve decided this is the breed for you, congratulations! Maltese puppies are adorable and as long as you’ve done your research and are aware of their intense grooming needs, you’re in for a long, happy life with your pup. Get them good quality food, train them, and keep up with their vet visits, and you’ll meet all of your pup’s needs.
Maltese Puppy Photos
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