With their silky white hair and dainty appearance, Maltese dogs are often considered hypoallergenic and low-shedding. But is that really the case?
While Maltese shed less than other breeds (in fact, they’re one of the lowest-shedding breeds), they still need regular grooming, a nutritious diet, and sometimes supplements to keep their shedding to a minimum.
Here are more facts about Maltese shedding and how to manage it.
How often do Maltese shed?
The low-shedding nature of Maltese dogs is due to their single-layered coat composed of long, silky hairs instead of fur. Just like humans, they have hair follicles that go through a normal cycle where they eventually fall out and are replaced by new hairs.
So technically, this isn’t even a true shedding process.
Also, the fact that Maltese don’t have an undercoat means they shed less compared to other dogs. Huskies or German Shepherds, for example, have an undercoat that sheds heavily during certain seasons.
Maltese will shed some hair throughout the year, but it may not be as noticeable as with other breeds.
Lastly, Maltese are small dogs that weigh between 4-8 pounds on average, so this makes it easier to manage any hair that does fall out.
Factors that can affect shedding
Although the amount of shedding can vary from one Maltese to another, some factors play a significant role in determining the frequency and quantity of shedding.
We all know that what we put into our bodies affects our overall health, and the same goes for dogs.
A poor diet lacking essential nutrients can be detrimental to a Maltese’s coat health. A balanced and nutritious diet, on the other hand, can promote a healthy coat and minimize shedding.
Some of the ingredients to look for in dog food that may support a healthy skin and coat include salmon, flaxseed, and fish oil.
Regular bathing, brushing, and trimming your Maltese may help keep shedding under control. If you don’t maintain a proper grooming routine, your Maltese’s coat may become tangled and matted, which is more difficult to manage.
That said, it’s important to note that frequent bathing or using harsh products can dry out the skin and coat and cause other problems.
Therefore, it’s usually recommended to bathe your Maltese once every 3-4 weeks, or as needed.
If your dog is experiencing shedding, it’s important to rule out any underlying health issues by consulting with a veterinarian.
Tips for reducing shedding in Maltese dogs
- Feed your Maltese a high-quality diet that’s rich in healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients.
- Consider adding supplements that are specifically formulated to support skin and coat health like fish oil.
- Bathe your Maltese once a month or on an as-needed basis, using only gentle dog-specific shampoos or a dry shampoo.
- Brush your Maltese’s coat daily with a slicker brush or pin brush to remove loose hairs and debris and prevent tangles and matting.
- Keep your Maltese’s hair relatively short. This may help reduce shedding as shorter hair is less likely to fall out.
- Manage your Maltese’s stress levels as much as possible. If needed, try incorporating bach flower remedies or essential oils to help reduce anxiety.
- Use a flea treatment recommended by your veterinarian to eliminate fleas and prevent further infestations.
- For allergies, consult with your vet to determine the best course of action, such as changing your Maltese’s diet or using medication.
Maltese shed very little compared to other breeds. However, some factors that can contribute to shedding include the quality of their diet, their grooming routine, and their overall health.
If you suspect that your Maltese is shedding more than usual, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian who can help determine if there are any underlying health issues causing the excessive shedding.