There are several steps to take in regard to both care and hygiene.
1) Contain and clean discharge.
While the amount of discharge may not seem like a lot, over the course of days and weeks this will accumulate. It will stick to the fine hairs on the coat, and it will soak into fabric such as bedding, furniture, and other places where the Maltese sits and lies down.
Because of this, you will want to:
2- Keep her clean.
Baths are typically given every 3 weeks and not more frequently to help prevent skin and coat issues such as drying. However, one or two extra baths 2 or 3 times per year during the heat cycle will be just fine as long as you are using
high-quality shampoos and coat products. Therefore, during heat, you may bath every week or so.
You can also use quality canine body wipes or tushie wipes to wipe the area one to two time per day. Since the vulva is a sensitive area, be sure to use gentle wipes that have moisturizing elements like Petkin's Tushie Wipes
2) Respond to any discomfort.
While more studies should be done, it is assumed that many female dogs feel some level of discomfort during the heat cycle due to the abdominal muscles contracting. Either due to discomfort, hormonal changes, or both, some Maltese will want to retreat away and rest more often.
Do not discourage her from retreating. If your Maltese appears to be uncomfortable, a heating pad set on warm (not high), with the cord wrapped in cord concealer (to prevent any chewing), and placed near her tummy may help her feel more comfortable.
3) Take care when bringing her outside.
While a Maltese is in heat, it is suggested to refrain from bringing her to any outdoor public places. This is because every un-fixed male dog within sight or scent will see her as a mating target. This can be overwhelming for you and dangerous for her.
When you bring her outside for her potty training
or bathroom needs, even if you have a fenced-in yard you will want to thoroughly check the area first for any stray dogs. Keep her on leash, and very close to you (no more than 6 feet away).
If you have her wearing a harness and not a collar, an important care tip
for this breed, if need be you can quickly reel her in to you should there be any surprises.
Maltese Heat - Reader Q&A