In order not to put more stress on your new puppy, we suggest that it not be bathed for a least one (1) week after the puppy has been brought to a new home. Try to make bath time a pleasant experience for the puppy – it will be easier for both of you from now and into the future. It can be a happy, pleasant and loving time.
Young puppies should not be bathed too often, as it can dry out their skin and beautiful silky coat that the breed has been blessed with. Once every 7-10 days should be sufficient, unless the puppy gets into something.
A good brush to use is the #1 All-System pin brush with metal pins (no ball on the end) set-in flexible rubber and a Greyhound medium-toothed comb. You MUST brush your dog at least three times a week to keep him, clean, free of mats, beautiful and comfortable. Brushing daily is best. If you wish to avoid the bother of a long coat, it is perfectly permissible to cut his coat. Your local groomer will show you the various styles a Maltese can wear well. If you choose to keep him “in coat”, so unique to the breed, you must keep him clean and mat free. Start brushing and combing your puppy as soon as possible and he will soon learn to love the grooming routine and the time he spends with your full attention.
Make sure the area is free from drafts – turn down your air conditioner or turn it off so as to take the chill from your home. Make certain the puppy does not get chilled during the bath. You may want to place a small piece of cotton into each ear to help keep water out.
The Maltese is small enough to be bathed in the kitchen sink. Place a rubber mat or a towel on the bottom of the sink to give the puppy a more secure footing. Then place the puppy in the sink and wet him down with warm water, being very careful not to get any water in the nose or mouth. (You can drown your puppy if not careful.) To wash the face, apply a tearless shampoo from the applicator bottle. You have more control this way in order to keep shampoo out of the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. Dip a toothbrush in the soap to clean the facial hair and rinse with clean water. If you use a human shampoo, use one formulated for blond hair. This type of shampoo has whiteners and brighteners in it and will remove most yellowish stains. The puppy may be rinsed with a cup full of warm, clean water, the faucet or sprayer attachment. It is very important to rinse all the soap off the puppy as any residue can cause dry skin and itching.
While bathing your dog be sure to empty the anal sack. Ask your veterinarian or local groomer to show you how this is done.
After the puppy has been thoroughly rinsed, use a cream rinse or hair conditioner to help de-tangle and condition the hair. Wrap him in a thick towel and gently squeeze the hair to absorb most of the water (do not rub back and forth to dry as this will mat the hair). Remove the cotton from the ears.
Cut the puppy’s toe nails. Be careful not to cut into the pink quick as this is very painful for the dog. (Snip off the white, clear end only- you can see where the pink vein ends).
Put a bit of ear powder in each ear. This helps to deaden the feeling as well as being antiseptic. Grasp the hair growing inside the ears between your thumb and forefinger and gently pull out the excess hair, making certain to only pull the hair inside the ears.
With a hair dryer set on the warm setting, blow dry the puppy, brushing the hair constantly with the #1 All-Systems pin brush until the section you are working on feels dry. Be sure to brush only in the direction of the hair growth. For best results, dry the head, ears, and top coat first, then turn him on his back or stand him up to dry the legs and stomach area. When your Maltese is dry, turn the dryer to cool or air setting and blow through the coat to cool it. Now feel for any damp spots. If he’s left with any damp spots in the coat, this area will turn into a mat and be almost impossible to comb out. Never let them dry naturally as they can become chilled. Make sure the dryer is not too hot as you can burn the puppy’s skin. Hair dryers manufactured specifically for animals are the safest to use because of the temperature control.
Make a part down the center of the back from the top of his head to the base of the tail. Tie his head up into one or two topknots, comb through his coat with a metal comb and praise him for being so tolerant.
If your dog gets fleas, use a flea shampoo, but keep it out of their eyes. Since fleas run to the face, look for them and pick them off. Advantage works great and can be purchased from your veterinarian.
This information is intended as a reference only, not as a medical, training, or grooming manual. The information given here is designed to help you. It is not intended as a substitute for any care or treatment that may have been prescribed by your veterinarian or other animal professional. If you suspect that your pet has a medical, training or grooming problem, we urge you to seek competent, professional help.