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Sunday, 1 April 2018

So You Think You Want A Maltese Pupper?

Yes, I am one of those crazy dog ladies, my dog is my child and yes we do share a bed and No I don't mind if she licks my face. If you are already shrieking at this point, I can tell you that you probably want to reconsider getting a Maltese or any dog for that matter. Not because you have to let them lick your face or sleep in your bed because that is totally optional, but if you are not ready to be committed to a child like responsibility for the next 10-15 years you should just put your pet desires to rest. Little Bow is now 5 and although she looks like the perfect poster pet, owning a Maltese hasn't always been plain sailing. So if you are considering buying one of these majestic walking mops have a little read of my guide to owning a fluff ball. 

Are you suited to a small dog? This is a good place to begin. If you are an outdoorsy kind of person who loves going out walking, a Maltese probably isn't the dog for you. They love walks as much as the next dog but their little legs just aren't made for long distances. If you only get time to walk them three times a week or less they're cool with that, along as you give them plenty time in the back garden to run around and bark to their hearts content. Yes, I said bark; they are not quite little dogs in fact they are pretty noisy. Bow likes to bark at birds and pretty much anyone who walks past our house. The only positive is no-one really takes much notice of her, she barks and passersby respond with a scoff and cute dog, she's not that intimidating. 

So you probably don't want to buy a Maltese as a guard dog, but if you want a lap dog and a companion that is always happy to see you, you're probably on to a winner. Maltese are so placid by nature, they love cuddles and enjoy spending quality time with their owner, however this means that they rarely like to be left alone. Leaving your pupper unattended for a number of hours can cause them to be destructive or just super sad. Maltese are prone to separation anxiety so consider if you would be around enough for this sensitive breed. They are highly intelligent dogs and are very easy to train, however have the potential to be little madams if over pampered by there owners. I can tell you first hand how over spoiling your dog makes them a nightmare, Bow basically ignores me. However her sassy little attitude is what makes me love her more. 

Are they easy to look after? In terms of effort yes, they require little exercise, they aren't troublesome dogs but Maltese are a delicate little breed and come with a lot of needs. 
  1. Maltese hate the cold, they are prone to chills so it's important that they are kept in a warm environment and that they are properly dried off when going out in damp conditions or after being bathed. On the flip side they also can get very hot in the summer, to avoid this I usually clip Bow around September. Another thing to keep in mind is that their hair doesn't offer much sun protection, especially on the nose and parting of the hair, it's best to put on sunscreen to keep them from burning.
  2. They can be pretty fussy little eaters, I had to shop around A LOT to find a food she would contently eat and that met her dietary requirements. Despite that she likes the food, she's not a particularly big eater, she rarely finishes her entire bowl and prefers to graze on her food throughout the day.
  3. They suffer from dental issues. Bow has cost me a small fortune in dental cleanings and teeth removal. Unfortunately small needle like teeth are a nightmare to keep clean AND yes they do require daily teeth brushing. I brush them, use additives to her water bowl, use plaque wipes and have dental food and she still has had 5 teeth removed. 
  4. They require an extensive amount of grooming, if you wish to have lovely long flowing locks you need to brush them daily and I mean properly. I'm not that great at keeping her coat good so I often keep it short and fluffy. Once again this can be a great expense looking at around £40 every 2 months to get them groomed. 
 Below is a few of my grooming and teeth brushing equipment that we use to keep Bow looking good, Oh and her two favourite toys.

Okay if you've made it this far and you're still not put off then I think you've earned the right to know the amazing aspects of this four legged friend. They are devoted to their owners, all they want to do is spend time with you, cuddle and feel loved. I have never had or met a more affectionate dog. They befriend everyone, they don't have a bad bone in their body, they generally like most people and dogs and approach everyone with a sweet disposition that no-one can resist. They are lively little dogs with lots of personality, that will keep you laughing at their small dog syndrome. They keep their puppy playfulness into old age, they always want to keep playing, Bow loves to steal my socks. They are extremely curious and fearless, they love being cheeky, seeing new things and meeting new people. 
Plus they are truly adorable! 

Essentially, if you want a lovable and sweet pet that is low maintenance in aspect of exercise and you don't mind spending a little extra time grooming and you're home a lot. They are the ideal pet and you won't regret letting a little ball of floooof into your life. 



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