Each Month, we bring you a new topic here, so that you always have new Maltese info
This Month's New Topic:
New Year's Resolutions for You and Your Maltese
2015? How did that happen? Happy New Year to you and your Maltese. The idea of making promises at the beginning of the year - usually to ourselves as some type of improvement - has been around for hundreds of years.
The ancient Babylonians (1894–1595 BC) made promises to their gods that they would returned borrowed goods and pay debts.
Other cultures around the globe continued this tradition… knights during the Medieval era took what was dubbed the Peacock Vow to reaffirm their pledge of chivalry…
Norwegians burn bon fires to cast out the old year and bring in the new. And here we find ourselves today, many of us still wanting to make an improvement as a new cycle of 365 days comes our way!
A recent polling shows that just under half of us (48%) make a resolution. So, why not start off the New Year with one that will improve the health and happiness of your Maltese puppy or dog? Doing so can even extend your dog's lifespan!
We are going to list 5 care elements that are vital to keeping your Maltese healthy and well taken care of. If you find that you do indeed follow all of these guidelines, you may want to read the details to see if there are areas that could use some adjustment.
If you find that there are several care elements in which making changes is needed, it might be best to choose one, allow yourself to fall into a routine with your Maltese and then choose another.
5 New Year's Resolutions to Better Care for Your Maltese - Which One Will You Choose?
1) I will actively work to keep tear stains away. One of the tricky things about tear stains is that many owners of Maltese puppies and dogs don't know that they are there! Staining around a Maltese's eyes is so common that many people believe red or brown fur around the eye area is normal for this breed.
A puppy may have had a bit of staining (that appeared to be small darker colored hairs) and as the pup matured, those stains further developed…however an owner mistook this for the 'hair' growing out.
The truth of the matter is that any red, rust or brown hairs around the eye area is due to staining and this can be cleared up to eventually reveal the white coat that should be there.
What causes this? It is often a combination of many factors, including high mineral content in tap water, dyes from foods and treats and sometimes red yeast infection . There are products you can use to fix Maltese tear stains.
Along with that, you will want to make a habit of wiping the eye area at least twice per day (3 times is best). This should be done first with a damp cloth (non-scented baby wipes work well) and then again with an absorbent dry cloth so that the hairs do not remain moist.
Another factor will be to filter the minerals (and other nasty chemicals) from the water that you give your Maltese, and that brings us to New Year's Resolution #2:
2) I will not allow my Maltese to drink straight tap water. Many of us live in denial regarding the water that comes from our kitchen taps. It's the 21st century! Certainly our city officials would not allow anything dangerous to be in our water! Well, that is not entirely accurate. In fact, if you haven't read the reports, the truth can be downright startling.
It is super important for the health of your Maltese, to not allow him/her to drink unfiltered tap water. While one bowlful would rarely do any harm, it is the continual ingestion, for months and years that can cause serious medical issues.
What's in the water your give your Maltese?
If you are in the US or Canada (we don't have the stats for the UK and other countries, however we are assuming there may be similar issues) and you do not have your own well of spring water, there many contaminants that are there legally. Here are just a few of the 80+ chemicals present in most tap water:
Xylenes - This is used in gasoline and to manufacture polyester fiber. It is found in water as a runoff from petroleum and chemical factories. Continual ingestion is linked to damage of the nervous system.
Trichloroethane - This is a discharge from industrial chemical factories and metal degreasing sites. It has been linked to increased risk of cancer, circulatory problems and liver problems.
Styrene - This chemical is a runoff from plastic and rubber factories and comes from the leaching of landfills. It can cause liver, kidney, or circulatory system problems.
Fluoride - Once used to kill rats and insects, this has been added to many water systems as an aide to strength teeth. The problem is that studies show that high levels can actually make teeth stained and weak. And worst of all, this is toxic to dogs.
Minerals- When you hear about water that has a 'high mineral content' this refers to several minerals including calcite, gypsum and dolomite. Levels can range from 'moderately' to 'very hard'. It is thought that this can cause tear staining in dogs, among other issues.
Put as much focus on what you give your Maltese to drink as you do regarding his/her food. Think about the long-term consequences to your dog's health and well-being. There are essentially 3 options:
1- Obtain a canine water/drinking system. These are great devices in which the water bowl is its own self-filtering device. It creates a flow of water -similar to a miniature waterfall - and as it is recycled charcoal filters clean out the microscopic chemicals.
2- Use a filtering system that connects to your kitchen tap.
3- Use gallons of bottled water - While these can be as inexpensive as 50 cents per gallon, the cost can add up. It is more cost effective to have a pet watering system or a filter on your tap. Gallons of spring water can be used during the interim of obtaining a more permanent solution.
***** If you choose this as your New Year's Resolution for your Maltese and want to learn more about pet watering systems, you may wish to look to 'Bowls' in the Maltese Specialty Shoppe.
"Woof, rufff, rrrr...arf, umphf!" Translation: "Hi! Before you finish reading this, if you like what you've read so far and think it's interesting...And if you like this website, please share it before you read on!"
3) I will teach my Maltese at least one basic command that he/she does not yet know. When a dog has a solid understanding of all basic commands, this gives owners a more confident and better behaved canine family member.
Things are much easier when our Maltese sit, come, lie down, stay and heel on command. During the training process, a dog can gain a great feeling of confident that carries over into other aspects of his life. A well-trained dog is a confident dog and that feeling of self-pride is often the basis of good behavior.
What you should know:
1- There is never a 'wrong' age to train a Maltese. Puppies as young as 8 weeks old can learn commands within 3 to 4 weeks and even older, senior dogs can easily learn to heel, come, sit, stay, etc. In fact, older dogs are able to focus more and for those that tend to become bored easily, training sessions often become the focal part of the day that the dog really looks forward to.
2- If you have tried before and things did not go so well, don’t give up. There are many different techniques to teaching and it was probably a matter of not having the correct instructions.
Choose which command to focus on teaching your Maltese - and if he knows all of them, reevaluate his ability to obey; this may be a good time to brush up on skills.
***** If you choose this as your New Year's Resolution for your Maltese , it is important to note that learning all of the pre-training steps is just as important as teaching the actual command. For true success, there are guidelines to follow that go beyond the basic 1,2, 3's of 'Sit' or 'Stay'. We love a book that is clear, concise and easy to follow yet offers fast & fun success.
4) I will always place my Maltese in a car seat when driving him or her. If every dog owner followed this resolution, every year hundreds of dogs would be saved from broken bones and serious internal injuries. It also would save lives. Pets that are not properly restrained while being driven are 10 times more likely to suffer fatal injuries in a car crash.
A 5 pound Maltese dog - in an accident, in which the car is traveling at 45 mph, will be thrown with the force of a 250 pound object if he is not in a canine car seat.
Despite these statistics, 8% of pet owners keep their dogs in their laps while on the road. This may be due to the dog whining or otherwise showing intolerance for a car seat and/or a mindset of 'that only happens to other people'. But the fact is, no one plans for an accident to happen.
***** If you choose this as your New Year's Resolution for your Maltese, you will want to use a boosted car seat specifically for toy breed dogs. Being raised allows a Maltese to have a view of the road and better access to fresh air which can greatly cut down on motion sickness and alleviate nervous wiggling.
The safely strap is to be connected to a dog's collar or harness. You NEVER want to attach it to the collar, since this can cause severe neck injury if there is an accident. Slip a cute harness on your Maltese and attach the safety buckle to that. '
The safest spot in the car is the backseat; though many dogs do whine a lot if alone there. If you do place your Maltese in the front passenger seat, be sure to push the seat as far back as it can go and shut off the front passenger air bag if possible.
If you would like to see recommendations for the best car seats for the Maltese breed, you may wish to look to 'Car Seats' in the Maltese Specialty Shoppe.
5) I will take my Maltese for a walk each and every day. A daily walk has amazing benefits:
Regular, consistent exercise has been proven to increase a dog's life span
It keeps the heart and lungs healthy
It allows for proper blood circulation
It helps a dog mainline healthy muscle mass.
It helps a dog regulate proper metabolism
It works excellent as a method of releasing pent up energy that would otherwise be directed in negative ways such as barking and chewing
It helps to keep an owner healthy as well!
Here are some tips to help you stick with this:
1- Look at your schedule and carve out at least one 20 minute walk per day. Every day. If you can fit in 2 walks, this is all the better. When you have a task written into your schedule you are much more apt to follow through.
2- Don't let the weather stop you. There are 2 different elements here: the comfort of the dog and the comfort of the owner. Some owners take a big misstep when they bundle their dog up in cold weather but just throw on a jacket themselves because 'I won't be out long'. The owner gets cold and wants to head in before the Maltese has had a chance to walk enough. If you are not comfortable outside, you won't be too happy about venturing out again the next day.
So, while you dress your Maltese for the weather (shoes for hot pavement, a sweater or even parka on cold or wintery days) do be sure that you are prepared as well. You know what they say, there is no such thing as bad weather; it’s a matter of being appropriately dressed.
3- During sub-freezing temperatures or severe storm conditions, this of course will be exceptions to the rule and you'll want your Maltese to stay indoors. You can play a fun game of hide n' seek or every fetch (using a long, cleared out hallway) to have a fun session of activity.
A Final Thought
We hope that this list has inspired you to make some changes that will improve the well-being of your Maltese and keep him or her healthy. It's a shame that our canine family members do not live as long as we do; however we can take steps to improve quality of life and keep our pets with us as long as possible. Will you choose a goal for your Maltese this year and stick with it? We hope so & we are here at email@example.com if you have any questions.
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