Considered one of the most ideal companion dogs,the little Maltese will amaze you with its fun personality and incredible loyalty. By Michelle Segal.
Personality: A fun-loving, loyal and very sweet breed that adores its family and will happily take all the affection it can get.
Favourite activities: Spending time with the family is top of the list for this pooch. It loves a play with its owner, catching a ball and playing with toys. The Maltese will also enjoy a daily outing, be it in the car or going for a walk.
Backyard requirements: Its small size makes the Maltese perfect for confined areas. It will enjoy a garden or courtyard to play in but will do just as well in an apartment as long as it is stimulated.
Watchdog qualities: Small this pooch may be, but the Maltese will bravely alert you instantly to anyone who approaches your property.
Hereditary diseases: The Maltese is a hardy breed with few hereditary diseases. Things to watch out for are luxating patellas (joint problems), hypoglycaemia and epilepsy. Dealing with a reputable breeder will reduce the chances of buying a pup with health problems.
Care of the breed
Daily: A Maltese kept in coat will require a daily grooming regime to keep the coat tangle-free and healthy. Clip the coat if you do not have the time to look after a long coat. Make sure there is always fresh water available and dry the face to keep staining to a minimum.
Weekly: The Maltese is a drop-eared dog and can su$er from ear infections. Check ears regularly and see your vet if you suspect an ear irritation. Similarly, keep eyes clean of debris.
Monthly: Bathe your Maltese when necessary. Clip nails.
Other: Gastrointestinal worming every three months for adults, more frequently for puppies, heartworming and vaccinations. If you live in a high-tick area, check your dog’s body during tick season and apply anti-tick treatments if necessary. If you suspect your Maltese has tick poisoning, get to a vet immediately.