Maltese dogs are renowned for their beauty and showmanship, but they are living, breathing animals that require care. Before inviting a Maltese into your home, it's important to be aware of the various health conditions are can affect them, as well as the amount of exercise and care they require on a daily basis. Read on to learn more about the health conditions of Maltese dogs, and how to treat and prevent them.
Excessive Licking and Overgrooming
While hardly a life-threatening problem, Maltese dogs do have a tendency to primp and pamper a little to much, which can compromise the cover of their lovely light coats. Excessive licking also occurs with darker dogs, but fortunately for them, it doesn't show on their coats. Luckily for your dog, there are a variety of products you can purchase to address this problem and help deter your Maltese from overgrooming. Check out your local pet store or consult with your vet to find out which products will work best for your dog.
Small dogs, including the Maltese, often suffer from joint problems, specifically in the knees. Having your dog checked by a vet on a regular basis can help you determine if your dog is having problems at an early stage before the problem progresses. Also, a healthy diet is an absolute must to delay and prevent the onset of joint problems in your dog. Obesity is terrible for dogs for so many different reasons, and it will worsen joint problems and increase the suffering of your dog.
Maltese dogs have a tendency to lose their teeth much earlier than larger dogs, so dental hygiene is of vital importance to them. They should have their teeth brushed on a daily basis with a soft-bristled brush and toothpaste that is specially formulated for dogs. Although brushing your dog's teeth may sound a little intimidating, it really isn't that difficult. The key is getting your dog to feel comfortable with your hands in his mouth. You can do this by lightly rubbing his gums and teeth with your finger, and when he feels more comfortable, you can progress to using a brush with a little bit of food on it. Eventually he will reach the point where he feels comfortable with the sensation of the brush and the toothpaste. In addition to frequent brushing, you should give him mainly dry food to eat, because wet food doesn't promote oral hygiene as much. Using nylon bones is also beneficial in promoting your dog's dental health on a daily basis.
Maltese dogs often have problems with their eyes, and their long hair may be a factor in their susceptibility to various eye conditions. One condition in particular that frequently affects the Maltese is conjunctivitis. This eye problem can be prevented by grooming the dog on a regular basis and making routine visits to the vet's office. Eye ulcers also commonly afflict the Maltese, but they can be quickly treated with prescription eye drops, and if quickly cured, they won't create any long-term damage.