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Maltese Puppy Care
Maltese Puppy Care

If you are buying a Maltese puppy,  he or she will most likely be between 8 and 12 weeks old.  Different regions and areas of the world have legal age limits for when a Maltese pup can leave his or her mother.  This is for the health and safety of the puppy.

This breed is considered to be a puppy until the age of 2 years.

Therefore, we will discuss Maltese puppy care that will take you from the earliest age you may obtain a pup until you have an adolescent on your hands! This detailed information will help you prepare for knowing how to care for your Maltese puppy.

An adorable 10 week old Maltese puppy

Choosing a Healthy Maltese Puppy

Maltese puppyWhile one cannot foresee most illness that may strike in the future, there are some easy guidelines when choosing your Maltese puppy.  It is best to tell yourself that you are going to visit to see him or her that it is going to be done without a 100% plan to make the purchase until you check the dog for signs of health.  You will also want to make sure that the pup has registration papers and documents showing that the pup is up-to-date with all vaccinations. 

Signs of Health

  • A white coat of hair-  Most desirable is a pure white puppy, with no other markings on the coat. With this said, some Maltese puppies do have lemon or tan coloring on the ears.  Despist what some breeders may claim, most do NOT grow out of this...the spots will not fade and most will not lighten.  Cream is said, by some, to be a color of this breed...and while this can occur with poor breeding practices, you will want to obtain a pure snow-white pup.  Do keep in mind that most likely only a pure white Maltese will place high at dog conformance shows.  If the puppy you look at has coloring of brown, black, tan or any other on any body areas others than the ears,  there is a very good chance that you are not looking at a purebred.
  • Healthy hair & skin - The coat should be soft.  Check the skin (especially the tummy), any sores, redness, lesions or rashes is a huge health warning.
  • Clear and bright eyes - Cloudy eyes or excessive drainage coming from the eye or eyes means trouble.  The puppy should also be able to follow you with his gaze.  Pups are born with blue eyes and they will change to dark brown by the age of 8 weeks.
  • No odor - While a dog may never smell like a bouquet of flowers, a strong and unpleasant odor coming from the ears, nose or mouth points to an infectious disease.  A professional breeder should know better than to try and sell an ill puppy...however it has been done before.  You will want to have no questions that he or she is happy and healthy.
  • Alertness - The puppy should have energy and playfulness.  If he or she lies still even when you try to play with them,  this is a large warning sign that the dog has a health problem. 
  • Normal breathing - Pick up the puppy and listen carefully as he or she breaths.  There should not be any rasping or coughing.
  • A good appetite - Ask the seller if you may see a feeding.  Puppies are hungry all the time.  If a seller tries to avoid your question, this is a sign that he or she may be hiding something.  See if the puppy eats with enthusiasm. 
Maltese puppy careWhat You Should Have for Your Maltese Puppy

  • A dog crate.  Whether you plan to crate train, pee pad train or use the umbilical cord method, you should still have a dog crate for your little one.  The crate must be large enough for the puppy to stand and turn around.   Even if you do not crate train, you will use the crate for car trips, travel and there will be times when you must confine your puppy even for a little while for safety sake.
  • A dog bed.  While you may envision your Maltese puppy sleeping with you in your bed, a puppy or any dog needs a soft place to retreat to when they feel overwhelmed.
  • Steps or ramps - you should have dog steps or ramps leading up to any furniture that you wish for your Maltese puppy to have access to, such as the couch or your bed.  A puppy can get very bad injuries if they fall
  • Plenty of dog toys and chews.  Your puppy will be teething and you must have a large supply of the proper toys to help sooth their pain See Chewing and Teething
  • 2 leashes, in case you ever misplace one of them
  • Several dog harnesses in different sizes - you may be surprised at how fast your Maltese puppy grows! We strongly recommend using a harness as opposed to a collar so that this fragile breed does not suffer the injury of Collapsed Trachea.
  • Very high quality puppy food  See Feeding
  • A small dog food dish that your pup can easily reach into.  It is best to avoid colored plastic bowls...they can lead to staining of the coat.  Stainless steel or ceramic is best for this breed.
  • A sturdy water dish that cannot be tipped over, again no plastic.
  • Grooming supplies - High quality dog shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner,  a wide tooth comb and a bristle brush.  If you plan to grow out the hair, you will want supplies for topknots.

NOTE:  Wondering how to train your Maltese to cope when you are not home....and how to be trained for every issue possible?

There is so much for a Maltese  owner to know about!  Finding the perfect veterinarian and this overview of puppy care is a fraction of what is needed to care for a Maltese in the best possible way; ensuring a happy & healthy puppy and dog.  To find out how you can have hundreds of carefully written pages of information put together by the PetMaltese Experts, click here to learn more.

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