Maltese puppies shouldn’t be left at home for extended periods without you but older dogs can be left for a much longer extended period without supervision.
A Maltese puppy can be left at home alone for around two hours up till the age of six months. Adult Maltese dogs shouldn’t be left alone for more than eight hours. No matter how long you leave them alone for at home you should always ensure they have adequate water and shade if they are left outside and have to deal with the weather.
Maltese puppies younger than six months require constant care and they are not mature enough to be left to fend for themselves. At this young age they are too vulnerable and are definitely not trained to be left alone for any extended period of time. A Maltese puppy is especially small due to their breed size and they can crawl into nooks and crannies (very tight holes) and become stuck or get lost. Puppies are also full of energy and not likely to sit and wait patiently or you to return.
How to Leave Your Maltese Puppy Home Alone And Ensure They Are Safe
If you need to leave your Maltese puppy at home alone there are certain precautions you should take to ensure their safety ( and the safety of your house from the puppy). These precautions include:
- They should have a small amount of water left available to them in a bowl which they can drink from without falling into it or spilling it. Puppies are notorious for knocking over water bowls and making a huge wet mess. You will want to ensure the bowl has a rubber bottom so that it will not be able to be pushed around and toppled over. An automatic drip feeder or water dispenser is a great solution for puppies who tend to knock over their bowls. It will continue to dispense water all day for your little Maltese to sip on. These water dispensers are available online at Amazon.
- They should be caged in an area or put into a dog crate. If you put them into a dog crate then you are going to minimize the time you can leave them alone. A crate requires that you come and take them out at least every 1.5 Hours to 2 hours. If you have a puppy play area for your Maltese to roam around and play in that is fenced off then you can extend your possible time away till about 3 hours. Ensure the area is secure and safe and that they can not knock over the play pen walls. Check out Amazon for the latest prices for play pens.
- They will need an area to go to the toilet. The truth is your Maltese will probably see the floor as the area to go to the toilet. For this reason it is wise that you put down newspaper to soak it up before it happens. There are specialty items that you can purchase such as “doggie diapers” and also grassed areas that you can put down. “Doggie diapers” can cause skin irritations and create a huge mess on the Maltese fur so I would suggest steering away from those in the puppy stages. The grassed area generally requires a smart dog and a bit of training. You can purchase a smell to spray on the grass area which will make them go on that grass area but in my opinion it only works some of the time. Your Maltese puppy is probably going to mess up the floor regardless if you are there or not so always ensure newspaper is laid down as an emergency. A little off topic but also keep in mind that Maltese puppy pee smells. You are going to need some sort of air freshener and anti bacterial spray to clean up the area after each mess. It is a small price to pay for the many years of love that you are going to get from your Maltese.
- Leave a small amount of soft food. You do not want to leave hard food for a puppy as they are still young and silly. They can choke on hard puppy food as they attempt to scoff it down. The Maltese breed is not known for guzzling their food like other dogs such as a Labrador but its better to be safe rather than sorry. The small amount of soft food will just help them get through the few hours you are away. You could also feed them just before you leave the house as this will fill them up and create a trigger for sleep.
- Leave a few safe dog toys for them to chew on. Maltese puppies will get their teeth into anything which is available for them to chew on. Your best solution to this problem is to ensure that they have some safe dog toys which they can chew. Toys will also help with the boredom and will hopefully keep them from getting into trouble. A tip is to switch up and rotate toys for them to play with. They will get bored of the same toys but if you only have some of them available to them at one time there will always be novelty in the toys which are returning into the rotation.
- Use a security camera to check in on them. If you have the money, you can invest into a wireless security camera to keep an eye on your puppies while you are not there. This modern invention will give you piece of mind in that you can quickly check they are sleeping or behaving. If you use a wireless security camera it will allow you to extend your time away as you can easily check in on them.
- Organize someone else to do a check in on them. If you can get someone else to stop in and check on your Maltese puppies they will be able to have a quick play, go to the toilet outside and the water can be checked and filled up if necessary. Having a reliable extra person who is able to check on them is something you should have in the back of your mind just in case you get delayed or can not get home because you have been in an accident. Backup plans for caring for your Maltese puppies is an important practice to put into place.
Extra Tips for Leaving an Older Maltese at Home
People tend to live very busy lives and when possible they crave getting a bit of time alone especially if they can be sitting at home, but your Maltese dog is exactly the opposite. Evolution has turned the Maltese into a pack animal and they feel safest and calmest when they are within their own pack. To their little mind anyone who lives in the same house as them is in their dog pack. Using this information we can add a few extra tips to make the time alone at home easier for your Maltese puppy:
- Exercise your dog before you are going to leave them alone. If you run and exercise your dog around the yard for at least 20 minutes before you leave the house it will allow them to be exhausted and they will treasure the time they have alone while you are gone to rest. They may even be tired enough to sleep and this will make the time for your Maltese puppy go a lot quicker.
- If you can’t exercise your Maltese then hire a dog walker. Sometimes our lives get so busy we do not have time to walk our Maltese or play fetch with them in the yard. If this is the case you find yourself in then the best thing you can do is to hire a dog walker so that they can exercise your dog. The more exercise your dog gets the more tired they will be in their down time and they will rest well. It will also keep them fit and healthy.
- Get more dogs. This is a very controversial topic and needs to be a very carefully considered decision. A second or even third dog will ensure your Maltese does not get separation anxiety as they will have other dogs to keep them company and they will play with each other. Keep in mind some dogs do not like other dogs to be brought into their life and this needs to be carefully planned. Also while it will in most cases help with separation anxiety, it may also just focus that anxiety into jealousy. Young and old dogs are not a good mix in most situations as the older Maltese is set in its ways and will not have the energy to play with a crazy hyped up puppy. Your best option is to bring two dogs into your home at the same time. Keep in mind that an extra dog means more cost, more cleaning up and more exercise which will need to be done.
- Give your Maltese a raw hide or something tough to chew through. Some foods such as raw hide will take your Maltese all day to get through with the added benefit that it will clean their teeth. The raw hides and similar products can take hours to get through and it will keep the focus of a Maltese while they are hungry. If your dog was a Labrador this would definitely keep them going till it is completely gone but the Maltese breed are a little bit trickier. They tend to move on once they have had enough of the raw hide and can be a little picky with what they will eat and chew on. If you do leave them anything such as a raw hide to eat make sure that they have lots of water as these things are very high in salt. This is not recommended for very young puppies but can be introduced as they grow into adulthood
Does a Maltese Suit your Lifestyle
If you are asking yourself how long a Maltese can stay at home without supervision then you probably need to be out of the house frequently. This is OK in most situations but its important to consider the implications of bringing a Maltese into your life.
Before purchasing a Maltese you really should consider how your new bundle of jumping joy will fit into your busy life. Its extremely important to consider the implications of exercise, feeding, and the financial responsibility you are taking upon yourself. A few of the changes to your life will include having to head home after work for exercising and feeding your puppies. What will you do with your Maltese when you go on a vacation ? Do you have someone else who can care for your Maltese in case you get sick or are away ?
As far as breeds of dogs go, the Maltese breed is fairly easy going and fairly simple to look after. They are a small breed so they will not need a large yard. Also they do not shed their hair so they are perfect to be dogs which you can have inside with you. Because of their size they are good for kids and they are extremely loyal to their family.
Keep in mind though that the Maltese is known for its small dog syndrome and can be aggressive to strangers. Generally their bark is bigger than their bite but they will be sneaky and try to go at people when they are not watching. Its just something to keep in mind if you frequently have visitors.
Just make sure that you understand that purchasing a Maltese is a lifestyle choice and it will change the way you live. You will be taking on the responsibility for another life but be rest assured that the Maltese breed will pay out on that decision with lots of love, kisses and loyalty.