Maltese dogs have a lot of nice attributes but owners should be prepared to face some common Maltese dog health issues. In the following paragraphs we will go over them as well as provide you with tips and advice for proper care and maintenance of canine friend.
But first, let’s get to know more about this fantastic dog breed. Maltese dogs are very loyal and, despite their small size, will always try to protect their owner if they feel a threat from other animals or people. They usually bark desperately or even try to bite a perceived intruder.
Traits and characteristics
They are fearless dogs that behave like large dogs, trapped in a small body. Bold and quick to sound the alarm about suspicious noise and strangers, they are unfortunately prone to excessive barking.
Maltese lapdogs are very lively and intelligent dogs, they can easily be taught various tricks and commands. However, some of them can be a little stubborn and tend to get spoiled very easily.
Young children can treat fragile Maltese lapdogs roughly and easily injure them, so these dogs are better suited to an older, more mature crowd who knows how to correctly interact with them.
Maltese lapdogs are very friendly towards other dogs, cats and small animals. These dogs can be picky about their food. Also, due to their strong bond with to the owner, they can suffer from anxiety if left alone for a long time.
Maltese are unusually good-natured and gentle towards the owner and his family members. They are especially affectionate with children. Maltese does not unconditionally accept strangers. Maltese are very creative and playful. Due to their small size, they can easily turn an apartment into a comfortable training ground for fun and exercise.
Maltese dog have a compact body with a rounded skull and a moderate transition from the forehead to a tapered muzzle with a scissor bite of the jaws. They have low hanging ears that fit snugly their head and round dark eyes. The fragile legs have a thin skeleton, and the high-set tail curls over the back. Like the rest of the body, it is covered with a long, straight white or ivory coat.
Basic training tips
Training of Maltese dogs require the use of delicious rewards, secretly obtained from a special bag. Training sessions with a puppy should be held two or three times a day according to a set schedule, ideally tied around meal time. Ideally, this should happen 3 hours before or after a training session.
If you notice that your dog becomes tired, take a 10 minute break and then return to the training lesson.
Maltese dog health issues
The cheerful Maltese dog maintains good spirits and playful dispositions throughout its life and has an average life expectancy in the 12-15 year range.
In general, this long-haired dog has strong genetics providing him with good resistance to various diseases provides. To preserve its natural gift of health, you need to provide proper care and a balanced diet of your pet. Then the radiant appearance and affectionate behavior of the white crumb will accompany you for many years.
The following diseases are generally observed in Maltese dogs:
- Dislocated patella
- Chronic valvular heart disease
- Pyloric stenosis
- Hepatoporthosistemic shunt
- Yeast dermatitis
- Progressive retinal atrophy
In addition, Maltese lapdogs are prone to blindness, deafness, and clogged tear ducts.
Maltese dog health issues: focus on maintenance and care
Maltese dogs are brought up to be kept in an apartment and their lively character does not create difficulties even for the elderly. From childhood, start regularly brushing the smooth coat of your dog with a comb or brush. In adulthood, this procedure will have to be performed daily. To preserve a nice appearance on the tiny feet, remove any loose strands of fur.
Once a week or every ten days, the dog must be bathed and in doing so, never use cosmetics intended for humans. Maltese dogs take a long time to groom. The key thing is to wash the dog on regular basis to avoid tangling of the fur.
Many owners prefer to keep their hair short as it makes it easier to maintain. Owners who prefer a long coat will have to spend much more time keeping their canine friend tidy.
Since this breed practically does not shed, it is imperative to get rid of dead hair, otherwise it gets tangled resulting in the skin being pulled which may create discomfort or even pain.
The classic hairstyle of the Maltese dog is the split hair in the center of the back, touching the floor. To do this, you need to take a metal comb and start separating the dog’s coat from the beginning of the neck down to the end along the spine. The wool will split in two and reach the floor.
Long hair on the head is turned into a tuft, with the help of elastic bands, bows and ribbons, freeing the dog’s eyes. The hair between the claws should be trimmed every two weeks as it is usually the easiest to tangle.
Use dog conditioner to facilitate combing and prevent the from drying out. For that matter, it is important to rinse off the shampoo and conditioner very thoroughly.
Dry the dog’s fur first with a towel, and then with a hand-held hairdryer. Never set the dryer temperature too high, as this can cause the coat to break.
Maltese lapdogs often develop dark brown lacrimal pathways. The reason for this is unknown, but some owners have noticed that using bottled water can reduce the color intensity.
Diet and exercise
Maltese dogs require minimal physical activity. Playing at home and short walks on a leash are enough to keep your canine friend in good physical shape.
Small dogs are extremely sensitive to variations in their diet and you should have a consistent and stable approach for your Maltese dog. If you prefer natural food, include in dog’s menu different types of meat, fish, dairy products, vegetables and fruits.
You should not offer your dog raw freshwater fish and pork, because parasites are often transmitted through them. Boiled chicken or rabbit meat should be offered to your dog in small portions only, based on the calorie content of the dish.
Maltese dog health issues should not be a huge concern and as long as appropriate care is given on a consistent basis, you should enjoy the company of a healthy dog for a long time!