If you’re debating on which dog breed to bring home, a common concern is how bad the shedding is. Additionally, the Maltese is extremely playful and one of the most charming lap dogs you can find. But, does the Maltese shed? And how much do Maltese dogs shed?
Though the Maltese is classed as a hypoallergenic dog breed, they still do technically shed some hair. However, just because they’re extremely low-shedding dogs doesn’t mean they don’t need grooming. You still may find hair on your clothes and around the house without basic grooming.
If you thought that the Maltese was a non-shedding dog, we’re sorry to inform you. Still, their lack of shedding offer a ton of benefits that may be in line with what you’re looking for.
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Why Do Maltese Dogs Shed?
Nearly all dogs shed to a certain degree – some more than others even within the same breed. Unless you have a special or hairless dog, it’s nearly impossible to avoid. The same can be said for the Maltese.
The Maltese, along with other dog breeds, shed and grow fur because it’s what helps regulate their body temperature through different seasons.
The fur is essential to all dogs. It protects the canine from environmental elements such as the harsh sun, cold climate or unpredictable terrain.
However, when the hair strands of the Maltese stops growing or gets damaged, it’ll shed and new hair will grow in its place.
When Do Malteses Shed?
Typically, a Maltese will shed year round. However, they may experience slightly heavier shedding around the spring time when temperatures start to rise.
In theory, a dog will retain a lot of hair during the winter time. They need the fur to keep warm during colder temperatures. However, once spring time comes around, dogs tend to shed heavily in preparation for warmer summer temperatures.
This is typically more obvious for dogs that have a double coat, but an increase in shedding during spring time is still sometimes evident in single coated dogs. With that said, the Maltese has a single coat.
Keep in mind that this may be different for individual dogs. I’ve heard some Maltese dogs that shed “quite a bit” during this time with others see no change.
The Phases of Maltese Shedding
Like with most dogs, the shedding of a Maltese is cyclical with many distinctive phases. Though all the phases are the same, the time a Maltese spends in each phase differs from a dog breed that excessively sheds.
1. Growing Phase (Anagen Phase)
The very first phase of the hair growth cycle stars with the Anagen Phase, when new hair is growing out.
2. Transition Phase (Catagen Phase)
There will be a point in time when hair follicles stop growing on a dog. They follow this up by shrinking and detaching from the “dermal papaillae,” which is part of the skin.
3. Resting Phase (Telogen Phase)
This is sort of a limbo phase for the dog. In the Telogen phase, the hairs have stopped growing and there is no shedding. Simultaneously, new hairs start to grow in the first Anagen phase.
4. New Hair Phase (Exogen Phase)
Finally, the hair on the Maltese sheds during this phase. In addition, the new hair that was simultaneously growing is ready and takes over.
The duration that a dog breed spends in each phase will vary. According to this growth cycle, a Maltese will spend a much longer time in the growing phase (anagen phase).
Typically, all low-shedding dogs (hypoallergenic dogs) will spend more time in the first phase.
How Much Do Maltese Shed?
Maltese dogs do technically shed. However, how much does a Maltese shed? It can vary a lot depending on the dog, but we decided to ask real Maltese owners. We surveyed popular Maltese forums around the web to see if their Malteses were low, moderate or excessive shedders.
One owner says that they don’t really “shed” but still do: “while they don’t shed, there are hairs that fall out or break off. It’s like human hair when you brush your hair or take a shower.”
Another Maltese owner said that the fur only really comes out when they brush them. He explains, “I brush Elon in the morning and at night. There’s allot of hair in his brush but after that he’s good. I’m not a fan of dog hair…hmm so I have a long haired dog.”
Another owner says the same thing. “Lately we find Bella’s hair on our clothes. I was told that Maltese don’t shed? She is now 6 months and sometimes we let her in the couch and no noticeable hairs on the couch but then when I check my couch blanket it has little white hairs.”
Other Maltese owners experience moderate shedding: “I brush Fuzz daily for about one hour and I feel like I get a lot of hair from him. I don’t really know how to measure hair but I could probably roll all of his loose hair up into a golf ball.”
The consensus seems to be that a Maltese will lose hair just like how humans will lose hair. Some Maltese dogs will differ, but for the most part, they are all the same. But just because they’re low-shedding dogs doesn’t mean they don’t need to be groomed regularly.
How to Groom a Maltese’s Coat
By now you should know that a Maltese is not your typical dog breed that frequently sheds. And as mentioned, this doesn’t mean they don’t need grooming at all.
In fact, a Maltese will still need regularly grooming. It’s just that the grooming won’t be too difficult for owners. A huge win for Maltese lovers and owners!
Here’s exactly what you need to know and do to properly groom your Maltese.
1. Brushing Your Maltese
Brushing is essential for all dogs that actually have fur. Not only does it remove hair from the coat, but can also remove any debris stuck on fur.
Yes, debris. It happens with dogs more frequently than you expect, especially if you have a Maltese that frequently plays outdoor. You should brush your Maltese 2 to 3 times a week.
Another reason to brush a Maltese’s coat is to prevent any matting (densely tangled clumps) of the coat. Malteses have relatively long hair. So without brushing, they may experience matting, which can be painful for your dog.
Most owners recommend using a pin brush when brushing your Maltese dog. These brushes have polished stainless steel tips that are perfect for long haired single coat dogs, such as a Maltese.
I highly recommend getting the Chris Christensen Oval Pin Brush. It’s perfect for untangling small knots in the fur of the dog’s coat. Torres (Maltese owner) says he loves the long pins because it goes deeply into the coat to make brushing much quicker.
If you’re interested, I highly recommend you checking it out here.
2. Bathing a Maltese
Bathing is important for your Maltese (and all dogs with fur) for two reasons: it keeps them clean and removes the loose hair stuck on the coat of your dog.
When it comes to bathing, there’s somewhat a balancing act. You want them to stay clean and remove loose fur, but you don’t want to bathe them too often.
Giving a Maltese baths too frequently can result in dry skin. You’ll know if your dog is still constantly scratching after baths. In addition, too many baths remove the essential oils on the coat that helps protect your dog.
With that said, you’ll want to give your Maltese a bath twice a month. Depending on your dog, how often they play outside and how dirty they are, anywhere between 1 to 3 baths a month is fine.
As for shampoo, I highly recommend using something gentle, such as all-natural oatmeal dog shampoo. By far my favorite and the one I’m currently using for my dogs is the Bodhi Dog Oatmeal Shampoo.
It’s 100% all natural and made with high quality oat protein and baking soda. It soothes and moisturizes itchy and dry skin for a hypoallergenic soothing relief.
Their plant botanical based solution contains aloe vera, coconut, vitamins A, D & E and fruit extracts to provide instant cooling and calming relief to inflamed or damaged skin. I’d highly recommend checking it out here.
3. Cutting the Hair
Although Maltese have long stunning hair, some owners opt to cut the coat short. Unlike some other dog breeds, I have absolutely no problem with cutting a Maltese’s coat.
In fact, there are many stylish and awesome cuts that these dogs get. There’s a cut for every owner’s taste. Everything from the show cut, puppy clip to the teddy bear cut – they’re all beautiful trims.
You should also consider cutting your Maltese’s coat if you live in a warmer climate. Another consideration may be the season of the year. Obviously, summer time means hotter weather – so it’s a good idea to keep your Maltese cool.
On the contrary, if you live in a colder climate, giving them a haircut may not be the best idea. However, the comfort of your dog is up to you, so make an educated guess.
Is the Low-Shedding Maltese For You?
Picking a dog breed is a huge decision, considering you’ll be taking care of them for the next 10 plus years. So, is the Maltese right for you?
Personally, I think the Maltese is perfect for everybody. They’re the ultimate lap dog with a cheerful and positive attitude. They get along with people, cats and other dogs. What’s not to like about a Maltese?
However, the Maltese is better for people that are allergic to dogs. Sensitive dog owners that are allergic to dogs are actually allergic to “dog dander,” which is the equivalent of human dandruff.
Every time a dog sheds, dander will release into the air. The dander floating around in the air is what causes people to start sneezing. So a dog like the Maltese, who rarely sheds, will be a more pleasant experience for allergic owners.
But no matter how you look at it, these dogs are simply awesome. Give these dogs a chance and you won’t regret it!
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