Best Things to Do to Keep the White Coat of a Maltese
1. Regular Grooming
One of the most important aspects of maintaining a white coat of Maltese is regular grooming. This includes brushing, bathing, and trimming the hair around the eyes.
a. Brushing: Brush your Maltese’s coat daily to remove dirt, debris, and tangles. This will help prevent matting and staining. Use a slicker brush or a comb designed for long-haired dogs to gently work through the coat.
b. Bathing: Bathe your Maltese every 3-4 weeks using a whitening shampoo specifically designed for dogs. Some popular options include Hydra Whitening Shampoo and Quadruped Pet Care Whitener Brightener Color Enhancing Concentrated Shampoo. These shampoos contain optical brighteners that help remove yellowing and enhance the coat’s natural whiteness. Follow the instructions on the packaging and let the shampoo sit on the fur for about five minutes before rinsing.
c. Trimming Hair Around the Eyes: Keeping the hair around your Maltese’s eyes trimmed can help prevent tear stains. Use a pair of blunt-tipped scissors or visit a professional groomer to trim the hair safely.
2. DIY Stain Removal Remedies
For stubborn stains, you can try some DIY remedies using household items.
a. Baking Soda: Make a paste using baking soda and water, then gently brush it onto the stained areas. Allow it to dry before wiping it off with a damp cloth. Repeat the process if necessary and follow up with a shampoo.
b. Peroxide and Milk of Magnesia: Mix equal parts of 1% medicinal peroxide and milk of magnesia, then add cornstarch one teaspoon at a time until you have a paste. Apply the mixture to the stained areas, let it sit for a few hours, and gently comb it out after it’s dry. Use a conditioner to soften the coat afterward.
3. Diet and Water
Diet and water quality can impact the whiteness of your Maltese’s coat.
a. Food: Some food allergies can cause tear staining. Try switching your dog’s food to a high-quality, grain-free option and observe any changes in the coat’s appearance.
b. Water: Minerals in tap water can contribute to staining. Provide your Maltese with purified or filtered water to help maintain a white coat.
4. Preventative Measures
Taking preventative measures can help protect your Maltese’s coat from staining and discoloration.
a. Urine Stains: Address urine stains immediately to prevent them from setting in. Use a damp cloth to clean fresh stains, or shampoo the area if the stain is older.
b. Tear Stains: Check with your vet to ensure your dog is healthy and address any underlying issues that may cause excessive tearing. Use doggie eye-wash and eye-wash wipes to clean the area around the eyes daily, preventing the buildup of tear stains.
Maltese Hair Growth Stages
Maltese hair growth stages can be divided into four main phases: puppy coat, transition coat, adult coat, and full coat. Here’s a brief overview of each stage:
1. Puppy Coat (up to 6 months)
Maltese puppies are born with a soft, fluffy coat that is relatively easy to maintain. During this stage, the coat is shorter and less prone to matting. Regular brushing and grooming are still essential to keep the coat clean and tangle-free.
2. Transition Coat (6 to 12 months)
As your Maltese grows, their coat will begin to transition from the puppy coat to the adult coat. The hair will become longer, silkier, and more prone to matting. This stage can be challenging, as the coat may require more frequent brushing and grooming to prevent tangles and mats. It’s essential to establish a consistent grooming routine during this stage to maintain the coat’s health.
3. Adult Coat (1 to 2 years)
By the time your Maltese reaches one year of age, their adult coat should be fully developed. The coat will be longer, silkier, and more prone to matting than the puppy coat. Regular grooming, including daily brushing and monthly baths, is crucial to maintain the coat’s health and appearance. You may also choose to trim the hair around the eyes, ears, and paws for easier maintenance.
4. Full Coat (2 years and older)
A Maltese’s coat will continue to grow throughout their life, reaching its full length at around two years of age. At this stage, the coat will be long, flowing, and require consistent grooming to prevent matting and maintain its appearance. Some Maltese owners choose to keep their dog’s hair in a shorter “puppy cut” for easier maintenance, while others prefer the traditional long coat.
Keep in mind that individual Maltese dogs may experience these stages at slightly different ages, and the rate of hair growth can vary from dog to dog. Regular grooming and a balanced diet will help ensure a healthy, beautiful coat throughout your Maltese’s life.
How to Grow out Maltese Hair
To grow out your Maltese’s hair, follow these steps:
- Regular grooming: Brush and groom your Maltese often, at least every other day. Use a pin brush to brush their coat head to toe. This promotes hair growth by removing dead skin and dirt while stimulating the hair follicle.
- Balanced diet: Feed your Maltese a well-balanced diet formulated for their breed. Look for food rich in omega fats, as a healthy Maltese will have a healthier coat.
- Omega-3 and omega-6 supplements: Consult your veterinarian about adding omega-3 and omega-6 supplements to your dog’s diet. These supplements can help reduce inflammation that may slow down hair growth.
- Regular baths: Bathe your Maltese every 1 to 2 weeks, using a gentle shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for their coat type. This helps keep their skin and coat healthy, promoting hair growth.
- Avoid hair damage: Be gentle when brushing and grooming your Maltese to prevent hair breakage. Use proper techniques and high-quality grooming tools, such as a Madan Pin Brush.
- Patience: Maltese hair grows at a rate similar to human hair, about 1/2 inch per month. It may take several months to a year for your Maltese’s hair to grow out fully, depending on the desired length.
Remember that each dog’s hair growth rate may vary, so be patient and consistent with your grooming routine to help your Maltese achieve a beautiful, long coat.
Keeping your Maltese’s coat white requires regular grooming, attention to diet and water quality, and preventative measures to avoid staining. By following these tips and techniques, you can help maintain your Maltese’s beautiful, snowy white coat and keep your furry friend looking their best.