Can Malteses Live Outside?

Can Maltese Live Outside?

Many dog breeders believe it is cruel to leave any dog outside, especially a toy breed like Maltese. However, some experts suggest certain dog breeds are best suited to living outside — large dog breeds with lots of fat and fur to withstand terrible weather conditions.

So, can Maltese live outside alone?

No, Malteses can’t leave outside. Malteses don’t fall into the category of dogs that should be left outside. They have neither extra layers of fat nor thick furs to protect them from cold. Weather aside, Maltese dogs are the ultimate pet dogs that require constant human care and attention. Leaving your Maltese outside puts it beyond human touch for most of the day. 

The incredibly cute Maltese is a member of the toy breed of dogs that thrive on receiving and giving affection. Their miniature size makes them better suited to snuggle beside you on the couch or bed or lay on your lap while you gently stroke their long soft hair.

Let us take a look at the significant reasons you should not keep Maltese outside.

Why Maltese Shouldn’t Live Outside? 

The Nature of Maltese

Maltese dogs evolved to do better in temperatures more comfortable for humans due to their long history of attachment to humans, and their soft fur and skinny nature.

They require much more care and attention as they are less likely to be able to fend for themselves like larger breeds. If they don’t get the attention they desire, they can develop some behavioral issues. 

Maltese are a very social breed that can become unhappy in isolation. It is not uncommon for dogs to become depressed if separated from their owners for long periods, and this can be the case of your Maltese dog.

This unhappiness could manifest in the form of crankiness and hostility towards children or visitors. 

If your Maltese is unhappy for long periods, it can become depressed and more susceptible to various health challenges. Also, Maltese is a breed prone to allergies, and this is one of the reasons why they require special care.

Some of the things your Maltese dog is allergic to may not be known to you from the outset, so it’s necessary to keep a watchful eye on it. 

Malteses Aren’t Built for the Outdoors

Maltese is a breed that requires regular supervision because they can easily get lost. Standing at 9 inches at the shoulder as adults, and much smaller as puppies, Maltese can fit into tight spaces and usually do.

It is easy for a Maltese to get stuck in pipes or holes that can lead to severe injury or death if assistance is not available on time. 

It is also possible for your Maltese to escape your yard through a tiny opening you missed while setting up the yard or a new hole created by rodents. Because Maltese are very energetic and adventurous, they can chase rodents through those small openings and miss their way back. 

Also, due to their miniature size, Maltese can get picked up and taken away with ease. And because they’re adorable, the temptation to steal them away is pretty high.

Returning home to find your Maltese stolen must be difficult for you, and then imagine how traumatic it could be for the Maltese – which is reputed to be a very loyal breed. 


The biggest concern for yard dogs is the weather. Maltese can get sick when exposed to extremely cold or hot environments. They can develop hypothermia, a dangerously low body temperature that can lead to death if they live outside in severe weather conditions.

It is also likely that your Maltese can suffer from heatstroke (just like humans) in hot weather conditions.

High temperatures aren’t very kind to short-nosed dogs like Maltese as they are not able to get rid of excess heat by panting alone. Your Maltese can overheat when the temperature gets very high.

Keeping your Maltese in the yard makes it difficult for you to notice the symptoms of overheating like change in breathing, vomiting, or slower walking, therefore limiting your ability to care for your Maltese.

Predators and Poisonous Plants

Another concern you will have if you consider keeping your Maltese in the yard are predators. They can be whisked away by big birds like eagles and hawks, or they can be easy prey for hungry coyotes.

They’re also in danger from poisonous or giant snakes that could creep into the yard unnoticed. 

Insects like yellow jackets can also have a go at your Maltese, and considering that Maltese can have specific allergies, a sting from a yellow jacket can be fatal. Some plants could grow in your yard and be poisonous for your Maltese.

If You Must Leave Your Maltese Outside…

Few dog owners argue that some toy breed dogs, including Maltese, can and love to live outside.

This is possible because there’s an exception to every rule and also because of the individual differences that exist within any breed. However, you must take great care if you wish to have your Maltese living outside. 

Here are the things you need to do if you must leave your Maltese outside:

  • Fence your yard: You must provide appropriate fencing for the safety of your Maltese. The fence has the dual function of keeping your Maltese from straying away from the safety of the yard and preventing predators and pet thieves from getting into the yard.
  • Inspect your yard regularly: Considering the high risk of leaving your Maltese in the yard, you must regularly inspect your surroundings. Things to check out include poisonous weeds, holes in the fence, sharp gardening tools, and plants your Maltese might be allergic to.
  • Provide adequate kennel: If you decide to leave your Maltese outside, you must provide a suitable shelter that can be used in extreme weather conditions like a storm or scorching heat. Dogs need a place to retire to when they need to get out of the rain, from under the sun, or maybe they want to relax.
  • Consult your vet: You should consult your Veterinary doctor before you decide if your Maltese should live outside. A professional opinion is your best chance at avoiding catastrophe.
  • Use security cameras: Extra eyes are always welcome when taking care of adventurous little beings like children and dogs. Security cameras will help you monitor the behavior of your Maltese when you are away. Close supervision with the aid of security cameras can also help you to observe the kind of predators that try to break into your yard as well as other dangers you might have missed.

Dog Breeds That Can Live Outside

The concept of keeping dogs in the yard is becoming extinct, as most experts believe it is dangerous for any dog. However, certain dog species can fare better than others if left outside.

Larger and furrier breeds can handle cold weather conditions better than shorthaired kinds, while short-nosed breeds fare poorly in warmer climates. 

Livestock guard dog breeds that are in active use are best kept outside all the time. Also, sled dogs like the Alaskan malamute, Alaskan and Siberian Huskies do well when kept in the yard because of their thick furs and layers of fat that keep them warm enough in freezing weather.

Other breeds such as the German shepherd, Tibetan mastiffs, and Bernese Mountain Dogs are equipped sufficiently for cold weather. 

Warm climates where the sun is scorching presents a different kind of challenge for dogs. It’s very uncomfortable for large furry dogs but much worse for short-nosed dogs like Pugs and French Bulldogs.

But dogs like Labs, Great Danes, and German Shorthaired Pointers are great in summer temperatures as long as there’s a shelter to withdraw to if it gets too hot. 

It is important to note that except when sick, if you decide to keep these dogs outside, you should do so all the time. Bringing them inside and sending them out at intervals can be hard on their health.

Also, if any of these dog breeds have been bred to live indoors, suddenly taking them outside will be hard on them too. 

Final Thoughts

Taking into view the dangers for Maltese living outside, you should use them for what they are best at – companionship. Maltese dogs are a bundle of joy for your family.

They are traditional lap dogs that are very energetic and intelligent enough to try to lift your mood on days when you don’t feel like it.

Why take all that joy and place it outdoors? Remember, dogs bred in isolation are usually less social and more defensive around humans. 

If your region experiences extreme temperatures, it’s just not acceptable. It would not be very kind to consider keeping a Maltese outside in an area that experiences extreme temperatures.

If you live in such a region and don’t like to have a dog in the house, then a Maltese isn’t the best pet for you, and neither are most other toy breeds.

John Carter

My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially dogs. I've got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.

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