Tips for grooming a Maltese include using a mat rake to eliminate tangles and regularly trimming the hair on the paws to keep them looking neat. The Maltese is a very popular breed of dog and makes a great family pet. Their coats are silky and long and are absent of an undercoat. In addition, although they do not have an undercoat like poodles or Newfoundlands, their coat is very dense, making grooming a challenge.
Grooming supplies needed when grooming a Maltese include metal combs, pin brushes, and slicker brushes. In addition, to remove mats, a mat rake or splitter can be used to avoid painful pulling and tugging. Brushing the Maltese every day can help prevent mats and keep the coat looking shiny and sleek. In addition, when tangles or mats are present, applying a small amount of fur conditioner to the coat can help ease out the tangles. If the coat is excessively matted, grooming a Maltese should be done by a professional groomer, instead of trying to groom the animal at home.
Frequent bathing is also an important component when grooming a Maltese. They should be bathed approximately every two weeks and dried with a soft towel or by gently running the fingers through the coat to air it dry. Special focus should be placed on the eyes when grooming a Maltese. They are subject to tear stains, which should be removed with a soft cloth and warm water. For especially resistant tear stains, a commercial tear stain product can be purchased at most pet stores.
Many people enjoy placing barrettes and bows in the hair of their Maltese dogs. Although these accessories are effective in keeping the dog's hair out of its eyes, they can sometimes be irritating, if fastened too tight. If the Maltese begins to paw at the hair accessories, they should be immediately removed, because it can indicate painful pulling. Rubber bands should also be avoided because they can pull the dog's delicate hair and cause breakage.
Keeping the nails trimmed is also important when grooming a Maltese. Letting the nails grow too long can cause pain and difficulty with walking. Trimming the nails should be left to the groomer, however, if the pet owner is experienced, he can trim the nails at home, using a vet-approved nail clipper. It is important to note that the nails should be trimmed in small increments at a time because the nail quick or pads can be nicked, causing pain and bleeding.