Maltese dogs are a breed which are known for minimal or no shedding of their hair. But on occasions, a Maltese puppy is known to lose hair and appear to be shedding their fur. If you believe that your Maltese dog is shedding their hair there are a number of things to look out for as there are a few common causes. Keep in mind that shedding hair from a Maltese dog should be taken seriously as it is not something which the breed is known for. To determine why your Maltese puppy is shedding we need to examine the common causes of shedding and then look at what options are available to help.
The most common reasons for a Maltese puppy to shed their hair include:
- Freshly Groomed
- Bathing too much
- Health problems
Each of these reasons is examined below with helpful hints on how to stop the fur from shedding. If you are still concerned, or these tips do not work then you should talk to your Vet to get a thorough examination so that they can determine the underlying cause as it is likely health related.
Maltese Shedding Reason 1: Freshly Groomed
If you notice that your Maltese is shedding while grooming this is particularly normal. Some hair will fall out during the grooming process as the brush pulls out dead and loose hair. You may notice a few hairs but you shouldn’t be noticing a lot of hairs. if you are noticing a lot of hairs this can be a sign that your dog is suffering from stress, anxiety, allergies or a health problem. All of these are covered below. If you only notice your dog shedding after a grooming session it could be that they are allergic to a product which is being used. Try a different product and different brushes to see what works best for your Maltese puppy. Also it may be that you are grooming your Maltese dog too often, so try extending the period to see if that helps the situation as it leaves their coat a longer period to recover from any damage which has occurred during the grooming process.
Maltese Shedding Reason 2: Bathing too much
Bathing a dog needs to be done about once a month. If you are bathing your Maltese every week the products can break down the hair and cause shedding. If you are noticing the shedding occurs in the days following a bath then it is likely a similar problem to those described in the freshly groomed section of this article. This includes that your Maltese puppy may be allergic to the products being used, or that the stress and anxiety of a bath is causing their hair to shed. Try lengthening the period between baths by a week and try new products which are higher quality and recommended by other Maltese users.
If you think it is stress related shedding then check the below section on stress triggers and try to soothe your Maltese and make the experience more enjoyable. Stress can affect Maltese dogs in different ways and shedding hair is a common symptom of stress. Bathing can induce a lot of stress in some Maltese dogs as they hate water. In these situations it may be an idea to try and wash your dog in a different environment, such as using a bucket or a small wading pool so that they get excited rather than stressed about the bathing environment.
Maltese Shedding Reason 3: Stress
Stress is a common reason for dogs shedding hair. Maltese dogs can start to lose their hair if they are under stress. You may wonder why your dog is stressed if they have such a peaceful life, but stress can come from many things. They could have separation anxiety, they could be bored, they could be scared of other dogs or people or they could be scared of certain situations like a bath. When a Maltese dog stresses chemicals are released into the dogs body which cause it to react is different ways. There are a few options to help your Maltese puppy to stress less. These options include:
- Removing the stress trigger: Being able to remove whatever the cause of stress is may help relieve the issue. Sometimes this can be easy such as bath them in a different area or reduce the bathing cycle time. Other times this can be hard such as they stress any time there is a thunder storm. Try to identify the stressful situation and to take appropriate action. For example if they don’t like tiled floors put down a rug where they commonly walk, if they hate thunder storms try to play some music to minimize the noise for the storm, etc. Each stressful situation will require its own ingenious solution.
- Exercise: Some Maltese dogs stress because they are bored or have too much time on their hands. The best way to deal with this is to ensure that your Maltese dog is being exercised both physically and mentally throughout the day. This could be done by going for walks in new areas where there are new smells, providing them mentally stimulating toys or by getting them to obey commands and follow you around while your at home. It they are mentally stimulated they will be too tired to stress and when they are alone they will just want to rest and sleep.
- Training: Dog trainers can help to identify the stress triggers and provide helpful solutions. They will also be able to provide you great tips on changing the environment to assist your dog in stressing less. Keep in mind that training in itself will help to mentally tire out your dog when they need to follow commands and this can work great to remove stress from boredom.
- Medication: If your dog is just a stressful sort of dog and is frightened a lot and nothing you have tried works then you should talk to your vet. While medication is a last resort it can help in extreme cases when it is needed. Your vet will be able to give the best advice on what medication is recommended and how it will affect your dog. As always with medication make sure you ask about the side effects and note how it affects your Maltese dog. Sometimes the side effects are worse than the condition.
Maltese Shedding Reason 4: Anxiety
Separation anxiety and anxiety in certain situations such as bathing can cause shedding to occur in Maltese dogs. If you find that your Maltese suffers from separation anxiety you should try to lessen the anxiety but using the following techniques:
- Exercise: Before leaving your Maltese dog for an extended period you should exercise them and run them around. You should try and mentally exercise them as well by making them follow commands. By tiring out your Maltese dog before you leave, it will want to sleep while you are away. This will lessen the time it will be awake while you are away which will make the time go quicker and lessen the build up of stress due to anxiety.
- Comfort toys: Some toys are made to make your Maltese puppy feel better with a simulated heart beat. The heart beat will make the dog think they are not alone and that the toy is alive and their friend. This will reduce separation anxiety.
- Build up time away from your Maltese puppy: Try and spend 1 minute out of the room and then return. Extend this to 2 minutes and then 5 minutes. Slowly keep extending the time so that your Maltese puppy gets use to the gaps in time. They will learn that you are always coming back to them and this will help them overcome their separation anxiety.
Maltese Shedding Reason 5: Food
Poor quality food an cause poor skin and hair conditions on a Maltese dog. Changing food to a higher quality food which is not using a filler such as grain or oats. Providing the best food quality for your Maltese puppy will also keep them healthy and provide a great fuel source for a longer life. If you find that your dog has hair loss or shedding issues it may be because they have allergies to the food. Try switching up the food to see if that helps for a few weeks.
Maltese Shedding Reason 6 : Allergies
Allergies can cause hair loss and shedding in a Maltese dog. Allergies can be caused by anything in the Maltese dogs environment. This can include stings from plants and insects, pollen, chemicals used for bathing, plastics in food bowls, ingredients in food and even dust in the home. There are a few things you can do to minimize the reaction to allergies once they are identified but the first thing you need to do is identify what your Maltese dog is allergic to. Try these tips:
- Clean the house: Vacuum and thoroughly clean the house to remove dust and pollen.
- Use natural cleaners instead of chemicals: Try switching your cleaning products to see if that helps. your dog is always on the floor and will come into contact with cleaning agents which have been used to mop the floor or clean the carpet. Use natural cleaners where possible to limit the exposure of chemicals to you Maltese puppy.
- Use a ceramic or stainless steel bowl: Chemicals in plastic bowls have been known to cause issues in dogs. Use a good quality stainless steel bowl for water and food.
- Limit the time in the yard: If you think it might be something in the yard causing the shedding try to keep your Maltese inside for extended periods to see if that helps.
- Talk to your Vet: Your vet can run tests for allergies and will be able to identify if the issue is an allergic reaction based on all the symptoms.
Maltese Shedding Reason 7 : Health problems
There are several health problems which can cause a Maltese to shed their hair. These health conditions include:
- Alopecia : Is when hair is falling out in patches which can look like shedding. Alopecia causes are generally identified through eliminating the causes of hair loss but sometimes the cause can be hard to find. Your vet will be able to provide tests and recommendations on treating shedding and hair loss due to Alopecia for your Maltese dog.
- Hyperthyroidism: Can also lead to hair loss which appears as shedding. This is a condition which can be treated with thyroid replacement therapy. This is usually through medication or injections and once identified and started on the treatment the hair loss and shedding of your Maltese dog will eventually stop.
- Mites and fleas can also cause skin infections: Skin infections will lead to hair loss and shedding in a Maltese dog if not treated. The best treatment for fleas and mites is through sprays, ointments and baths. Avoid places which are known for mites which include beaches and sandy areas. Ensure you spray your yard and house for fleas if your dog has been annoyed by them. Treating both the environment and your dog for fleas will eventually eliminate the problem.
How did we do answering your Questions on Maltese Dog Shedding?
While its not a common thing for a Maltese dog to shed its fur it can happen. Its not the same as other dogs who shed as they usually have a very thick undercoat but hair loss can happen to a Maltese dog. There are many reasons for the shedding of hair but its commonly due to stress or a health problem. Remember if you are unsure on anything consult your vet and get their advice on what the best course of action to take is. Have you had a Maltese puppy shed their hair? What was the cause in their case? Was it due to one of the things we already listed or was it something else? let us know so we can update and provide the more detailed and comprehensive answer for our readers.
Thanks for reading.