Maltese is one of the most charming and playful lapdogs you will find out there. If you are planning to bring a dog to your home, then you might think about many aspects before making a decision.
Shedding is one of the most common concerns that come into consideration. So do Malteses shed? And if they do, then how much do they shed? Let’s try to find out about Maltese shedding in this article.
Malteses are extremely low shedding dogs, and they shed a negligible amount of hair. But it does not mean that they do not need any kind of grooming. Grooming can take care of most of the Maltese shedding, and without it, you may find hairs on your clothes, couch, and on the floor, but in a very small amount.
Maltese dogs have hairs as opposed to fur. It is a common saying that among all dog breeds, Maltese’s hair is the most similar to the human hair.
If you believed that Maltese are non-shedding dogs, then we are sorry to break it to you. In fact, all the animals with hair will leave some hair behind. It is a natural process, and all of the animals will go through this, including humans.
Almost all of the dog breeds shed to some extent. The shedding can vary between dogs, and sometimes it can vary within the same dog breed. Unless you have a hairless dog, which is highly unlikely, you will have to deal with the shedding. This goes for the Maltese as well.
Just like other dog breeds, Maltese sheds because of one of the most common reasons, to regulate its body temperature. Maltese sheds and regrows its hairs to keep his body warm in winters and cool in summers.
Hair or fur are a vital part of any dog’s body. It helps and protects them from the harsh sun, cold climate, or rough terrain.
If the hair of your Maltese stops growing or gets damaged, then it will break off. This is followed by the growth of new hair in your Maltese.
When Malteses Shed?
Like any other dog, Maltese will shed all year long. You might see an increase in shedding around fall and spring. It is because of the change in temperature.
Basically, a dog will keep almost all of his hair in the winter season to get protection from cold weather. When the temperature starts to drop around spring, a dog will begin to shed more to get ready for summer.
Although seasonal shedding is more noticeable in dogs that have a double coat, you can still feel the difference in single-coated dogs as well. Maltese has a single coat, and hence it shed less than a dog that has a double coat.
Remember that this can vary between dogs. For example, one Maltese can shed heavily during spring while, on the other hand, another Maltese shedding can be the same all year long. So it all depends on the individual Maltese.
Understand the Four Phases of Shedding in Malteses
Nearly all of the dog breeds go through the same phases when it comes to shedding. The shedding of Maltese works in a cycle and has different stages.
However, the time Malteses spend in each phase is different from other dog breeds that shed more, for example, Labrador Retriever and Siberian Husky.
Growing Phase (Anagen Phase)
This the first phase where your dog’s hair will start to grow. In this stage, new hairs will begin to come on your dog’s coat. Depending on the hair and dog’s health, hair can grow to its full potential.
Although there can be a difference in a dog’s hair within the same breed. Some can grow to full length while others might not reach the same length.
Transition Phase (Catagen Phase)
When the anagen phase stops, the Transition or Catagen phase starts. There will be a time when hair follicles will stop growing on your dog. In this phase, your dog’s hair will begin to be loose, and some might break off. This phase is known as Shedding as well because of the same reason.
Resting Phase (Telogen Phase)
This is basically a static phase where nothing happens. New hairs have stopped growing, and the hair that has grown remain in their places. No hair will break in this stage; hence there will not be any shedding.
New Hair Phase (Exogen Phase)
Finally, the shedding phase is here. All there old and loose hairs will break off at this stage, and the new hairs which were growing simultaneously will take over.
The duration any dog spends in any phase can be different. Maltese is most likely to spend more of his time in Anagen Phase or Growing Phase. Nearly all of the low shedding or hypoallergenic dogs will spend most of the time in Anagen Phase.
How Much Do Malteses Shed?
Shedding of Maltese depends on the individual dog. So far, you have found out that they do shed contrary to some theories about them that they do not shed.
An online survey was conducted with Maltese owners to find out how much do they really shed? Here are some of the findings of that survey for you to read.
One owner said that Maltese shedding is minimum. It is the same as humans when you take a shower or brush your hair. You might find a few hairs lying around here and there.
Another owner shared his opinion about Maltese and said that hairs come out only when he brushes his Maltese. He said that he brush his Maltese twice a day, and after he is done, the brush is full of hairs, other than that he does not find any hairs in the house.
One more owner of Maltese shared his experience. He said he spends around one hour a day on brushing Maltese. After an hour of brushing, he gets enough hair to roll them and make a golf ball.
From all these experiences, it is safe to say that Maltese does not shed a lot. Their shedding can be compared to humans. You might now know, but humans shed as well, even if you do not notice it. Maltese is a low shedding dog, but that does not mean at all the grooming is not necessary for them.
Grooming of a Maltese
A Maltese is not like all dogs that shed often. However, grooming is an integral part of your dog’s life and should not be ignored just because Maltese is a low shedding dog breed.
Maltese needs grooming regularly, but the good news is that their grooming is effortless. If you maintain the grooming of your Maltese, then it is a win-win situation for the dog and you.
Brushing Your Maltese
Brushing is an essential part of any dog’s life. It might help you to remove any dead hairs stuck in the coat, and it is necessary to remove any dirt or debris that might present there.
If your Maltese loves to play in the yard, then it is likely that he has dirt stuck in his hair. You should brush your Maltese at least once a day, if not twice. The more often you clean, the better it is.
Another reason for brushing is to get rid of the tangles and knots that might develop in your dog’s hair. Leaving your dog without brushing will increase the chances of knots in his hair. This is a painful situation for your dog, and you surely would not want to see your dog in this situation.
A Pin Brush is what most of the owners recommend for brushing your Maltese. These brushes have stainless steel tips that are polished, and it is a perfect tool for long hair single-coated dogs just like Maltese.
Bathing Your Maltese
Bathing your Maltese is vital for the same reasons as mentioned above. It removes the dead or loose hair and keeps your dog clean. Balancing is very important when it comes to bathing.
You surely want to get rid of dead hair and keep your dog in proper hygiene, but you do not want to bathe them too often.
Bathing your Maltese too often can give them dry skin. If you see your dog scratching after a bath, then it is a sign of dry skin. Too many baths will remove the natural body oil that is present in your dog’s skin. These natural body oils are there to protect your dog’s skin.
For all these reasons giving your Maltese one or two times a bath per month should be enough. If your Maltese loves to play in the dirt and you find him in unwanted condition, then you can give him a bath up to three times per month. Anything more than that will increase the chances of dry skin in your Maltese.
Always use all-natural shampoo and conditioner on your Maltese. Products with chemicals will not harm your dog. Some cheap shampoo might save some money for you, but in the long run, it is going to be harmful to your pocket and your dog’s health.
If you are unsure which products to use, then get advice from the vet. He might recommend some high-quality products which are more suited to your Maltese.
Cutting Your Maltese’s Hair
Maltese has one of the most beautiful and long hairs. Some owners still decide to cut these hairs according to their preferences. In fact, there are many stylish hairstyles available in the market for Maltese. From bob cut to teddy bear cut, there are hairstyles available to suit anybody’s demand.
Always consider the weather and climate before you decide to cut your Maltese hairs. It might be a good idea to give Maltese a cut when you are living in a mild or hot climate. Giving them a hair cut in summer is best as this will keep them fresh in humid conditions.
Try not to give them cut when you are living in cold conditions. Dog’s hairs are there to protect him from harsh winters. The comfort of your dog is solely dependent on you, so try to make a decision that is best for your Maltese.
Abnormal Shedding Problem in Maltese
If you research about Maltese shedding, then you might find people complaining that their Maltese is shedding way too much. If you own a Maltese, then it is a possibility that you might have noticed this problem by yourself.
Some people think that this is because there Maltese is not purebred. This concept is totally wrong, and it has nothing to do with it. There are some other reasons why your Maltese might be shedding more than usual.
Let’s try to have a look at all the possible reasons you can have for abnormal shedding of your Maltese:
- Your dog is stressed out: There are many explanations for a dog to get stress. Introducing a new pet or baby to the family or moving into the new house or place. Also, separation from a loved one can bring stress and anxiety.
- Deficiencies of nutrients: In simple words, Poor diet. Like any other dog breed out there, Maltese need high-quality food free from chemicals or artificial elements. Your Maltese food must be corn-free and grain-free. Sometimes you can get the best stuff to your dog, and he still might develop deficiencies of vitamins. In these situations, it is best to consult with the vet.
- Health condition: There could be another reason for the abnormal shedding in your Maltese, and that is a medical condition. And you should consult with the vet on an immediate basis if you noticed any symptoms. Health problems such as bacterial infections, fungal infections, thyroid disease, Cushing’s disease, skin allergies, and genetically related skin diseases can cause excessive shedding of Malteses.
Hair Loss in Maltese
Maltese are famous for their beautiful white long hairs. It will be devastating if you start to find out that your Maltese is suffering from hair loss. There are some medical conditions that can push your Maltese towards hair loss.
The following are some of the most common causes of hair loss in Maltese:
Your Maltese can have skin issues, slow heart rate, and loss of hair because of this medical condition. Fortunately, most of the dogs recover from this with the help of supplementation.
You might not know this, but Maltese are prone to excessive licking. Licking can lead to hair loss in Maltese. If the Maltese got bitten by insect/bug or have irritation on the skin, he will lick the wound to speed up the healing process.
This is all good until licking becomes a habit. Maltese will develop a habit of licking, which will lead to hair loss and pigment changes. Sprays that taste awful and ointment can keep Maltese away from licking. These products are readily available from the vet.
Allergies are the most common reason for hair loss. This medical condition can affect any dog breed, including Maltese.
When a dog comes in contact with allergies such as grass, trees, or pollen, its body will release antihistamine to fight the substance. This can lead to overreacting of the body and might create hair loss in Maltese.
Injections are available in the market to prevent this condition from developing in your dog.
Are Malteses Hypoallergenic?
Most people have a common question when they talk about Maltese. Does getting a Maltese guarantee that you will not have allergy problems? Sorry to say, but the answer to this question is No.
Causes of dog allergies are not dog hair but his saliva, urine, and dandruff. This is where the allergen-causing proteins are present.
The dog hairs are simply transportation for the allergen. In simple words, dogs that are low shedders are not hypoallergenic. They can still cause dog allergies. However, these allergens will not fly over all around the house because there will be less hair from your dog to carry them around.
My Final Thoughts: Is Maltese Right For You?
Choosing a dog breed is a huge decision as you will be spending your next ten or more years with them continuously. There is no doubt that Maltese is an excellent choice for people who suffer from allergies.
Every time a dog sheds, dander will go in the air. This dander floating in the air is the fundamental reason for people sneezing. A dog like Maltese that rarely sheds will block this dander releasing into the air.
Whether you have an allergy or not, having your clothes, couch, floor, and furniture covered in dog’s hair is not a pleasant view to look at. Dogs that shed heavily will force you to vacuum your home on a daily basis, and even then, you might not get rid of all the hair. Low shedding dog breeds like Maltese bring no such problems.
The famous dog smell is another reason why people do not like dogs that have a strong odor. The Maltese, on the other hand, has almost no odor, just like other dog breeds that do not shed often.
No matter how you look at Maltese; minimum shedding is just another plus for this dog.