The 5 Best Dog Shampoos and Conditioners for the Maltese in 2019

The long, silky white coat of the Maltese gives this little dog a regal look fit for a king. If you’re looking for the best shampoos for Maltese dogs in 2019, you’ve come to the right place.  Although the Maltese may look like a proud noble, the Maltese is an agile, athletic and friendly dog. They shed very little, and are affectionate family pets. When choosing a dog shampoo for your four-legged friend, you need a formula that’s going to do justice to the sophisticated and beautiful coat of the Maltese.

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There are so many different types of dog shampoos on the market, and how can you be sure that you’re choosing one that’s right for your pet? We’ve broken down the different types of shampoos for the Maltese, along with a selection of superior shampoo and conditioner formulas you can try the next time your Maltese is due for a bath. We’ll also offer a few tips for how to bathe your Maltese and how to keep his coat looking shiny and healthy.

What are the different types of Maltese shampoos?

If you don’t know what formula to choose for your dog’s grooming and bathing needs, going shopping for a Maltese dog shampoo can be a daunting task. After all, dog grooming is a booming industry. There are tons of different types of shampoos, conditioners, spritzes and wipes you can purchase for your dog. For Maltese owners, they know how high-maintenance the Maltese coat can be. So, what are the different types of shampoos for Maltese dogs? As it turns out, and there are quite a few.

Sensitive Skin

Dogs have more sensitive skin than humans. Have you ever tried a cheap, hotel soap or shampoo and got nothing to show for it except for itchy skin and lifeless hair? Your Maltese is at risk of having the same thing happen if you use an inferior shampoo product on him. Maltese owners need to be aware that the Maltese breed is prone to skin issues, and they need to have a shampoo that’s gentle and formulated for sensitive skin. Look for shampoos with oatmeal or coconut oil bases so your dog can look and smell clean after bath time, without risking an allergic reaction from the soap.

Antifungal and Antibacterial Dog Shampoo

Your Maltese has beneficial yeast growing on his skin. That’s natural, and a reasonable amount of yeast on the dog is normal and good for the health of his skin and coat. Unfortunately, though, yeast can grow out of control if the conditions are right. If you live in a hot and humid climate, your dog is at risk of getting a yeast infection. Also, being sick or having surgery can lower the dog’s immune system and give the yeast a chance to grow. Feeding a dog sugary foods or inferior kibble can also trigger yeast overgrowth. Excessive scratching, rubbing, and licking are all signs of a yeast infection. Fortunately, there are antifungal and antibacterial dog shampoos you can use on your Maltese if he has a skin infection. But check with your vet first if he is exhibiting signs of a yeast infection so you can rule out a more serious problem.

Shedding Control

The Maltese sheds very little and is a great breed to bring home if you are prone to allergies (or love to wear black). The Maltese does not have an undercoat, and their coat is often referred to as “hair” instead of fur. Dogs with a hair coat grow similar to human hair, in that they will need cut frequently. You can groom your Maltese, so he has the signature, long silky hair down to the ground. However elegant it looks, it’s a high-maintenance coat. You can also give your Maltese a “puppy cut” which will make him look fluffy and cute. The shorter hair is also much easier to maintain and keep clean.

There are effective shedding shampoos you can purchase for dogs that shed, like Pitbulls and Golden Retrievers. But if your Maltese starts shedding more than what’s typical for the breed, it’s time to call a vet. Hormonal imbalances and parasites can cause excess shedding in the Maltese.

Dandruff Control

Dandruff is a skin condition where dead skin cells show up as white flakes on the dog’s coat. Since the Maltese has white hair, it can be hard to tell if he’s got dandruff. Dry skin, yeast, diet changes, poor diet, and parasites can cause dandruff. If you notice dandruff on your Maltese, take him to the vet to rule out anything serious like parasites. As always, make sure you’re feeding your Maltese a high-quality diet. If your dog has dandruff and it’s not caused by something serious, there are dandruff control dog shampoos you can use when bathing a Maltese puppy or adult dog.

Deodorizing Dog Shampoo

A dog naturally secretes skin oils from his pores to keep his skin soft, parasite-free, and his coat and fur shiny. Sometimes though, those skin oils can emit an unpleasant odor. Failing to groom your Maltese as much as he needs can also cause a smelly buildup of doggy odors. And if he rolls in something icky, he will smell in between professional grooming sessions. Fortunately, you can use deodorizing shampoos on the dog that are strong enough to eliminate offensive smells, but gentle enough for a dog’s sensitive skin.

Top 5 Ways to Keep Your Maltese Puppy’s Coat Clean and Healthy

The Maltese is a show-stopper when his coat is healthy and clean. As a Maltese owner, you’ll need the right tools and regimen for grooming your dog, no matter if you keep your pet’s coat short or let it grow to the floor.

  1. Use the right grooming tools.

The Maltese coat is delicate and fine. You’ll need a wire-pin brush for adult Maltese’s with long or medium-length coats. Puppies and dogs with a short coat will need a soft, boar bristle brush. Use a comb for the fur on the dog’s face. Never use a slicker brush on the Maltese, because these tools are too harsh for his fine, delicate coat.

  1. Care for the dog’s coat every day.

You can’t skimp on grooming when you have a Maltese. Every day, your dog will need his face and eyes wiped, his teeth cleaned, and his coat brushed. If you keep his coat long, he’ll need daily combing and spritzing too.

  1. Get rid of mats asap.

If you find a mat in your Maltese’s coat, you’ll need to get rid of it asap. Mats can ruin the integrity of the coat, and lead to an infection or cause the dog pain. If you find one, it’s best to work it out by hand with a little bit of dog conditioner. If you can’t untangle the strands, you will want to snip the mat with dog grooming scissors.

  1. Feed your Maltese high-quality food.

If you binge eat a lot of junk food over a  weekend, you probably don’t feel or look so good come Monday morning. The same concept applies to the health and appearance of your dog’s coat. High-quality food that is packed with real meats and proteins, and is free of sugars, artificial colors and preservatives will do wonders for your dog’s coat. Supplementing your dog’s diet with salmon or fish oil supplements that are safe for canines will give him shiny, soft fur.

  1. Bathe your Maltese with high-quality shampoos and conditioners.

A Maltese needs bathed about every three weeks, and it’s best not to wash him more often than that. For maintenance between baths, you can use specially formulated dog grooming wipes to keep his coat clean. Also, there are conditioning spritzes you can use on the Maltese to keep him clean and his coat conditioned. Spritz can be used about every three days, and grooming wipes can be used daily. Always make sure to use high-quality shampoos and conditioners on your dog that are free of harsh soaps and synthetic perfumes, as these can cause an allergic reaction and dry out his skin.

What is the best Maltese shampoo?

The highest-quality, best-smelling shampoo for the Maltese is…

Buddy Wash Original Lavender and Mint Dog Shampoo and Conditioner

Key Benefits:

  • The shampoo is free of harsh, synthetic soaps.
  • This product will create a rich, cleansing lather that easily rinses from the Maltese’s long, fine coat.
  • The formula has a coconut-oil base, which is ideal for dogs with sensitive, dry skin.
  • The shampoo smells good and will create a relaxing experience for you and your dog.

For the sensitive Maltese, Buddy Wash Original Lavender and Mint Dog Shampoo and Conditioner is a convenient, two-in-one formula that will leave your Maltese looking and smelling her best. The shampoo is tested on humans but is safe for dogs, and it won’t leave your skin dry and irritated when you bathe your pet. The Buddy Wash brand also makes matching spritzes that are a must for grooming the Maltese.

What are the pros and cons of using this dog shampoo for the Maltese?

Pros: Will leave your dog’s hair shiny and soft thanks to the natural coconut-oil base. This shampoo also comes with whey protein, which is a natural deodorizer.

Cons: This is not a tear-free formula, and it isn’t safe for puppies less than 12 weeks old.

The Runner-Up:

Our second place choice for best dog shampoo for Maltese’s is…

4-legger Organic, Hypo-allergenic, Lemongrass, and Aloe Shampoo

Key Benefits:

  • The essential oil blend won’t strip the dog’s skin of beneficial moisture.
  • This shampoo is free of harsh chemicals, soaps, and parabens that can make the white coat of the Maltese look dull.
  • Lemongrass has antibacterial and antifungal properties which can keep yeast at-bay.

What are the pros and cons of the runner-up shampoo?

Pros: 4-leggers lemongrass and aloe shampoo is exceptionally gentle for dry, sensitive skin. The brand will also help your Maltese maintain his glossy, pure-white coat. If you have another dog or a cat, this shampoo is safe for them, too.

Cons: This shampoo is not a tear-free formula.

5 Tips for Bathing Your Maltese

  1. You’ll need to brush the dog’s coat before you get him wet. Also, make sure you’ve removed all mats.
  2. Always use lukewarm water to wash the dog. Hot water isn’t safe for pets, especially the small, delicate Maltese.
  3. Place a non-slip mat or an old towel at the bottom of the tub to keep your dog from slipping.
  4. If you want to keep his coat brilliant white, use a shampoo specially formulated for white dogs, which we will list below. Then, condition the coat, and thoroughly rinse the product by using a shower house, going in the direction of the head to the tail.
  5. Once you are finished bathing your Maltese, do not rub his coat dry with a towel. Always pat or blot dry to prevent the hair from tangling. Also, it’s best to let him air dry, so his coat stays shiny, soft and free of tangles.

What are some other top-rated shampoos and conditioners for the Maltese?

We’ve found several other high-quality bathe time and grooming products for the crisp-white Maltese:

FAQ for Bathing a Maltese

  • Is it okay to use human shampoo on a Maltese?

It’s not a good idea to use human soaps on any dog, let alone a Maltese. Human soaps are full of harsh chemicals and are formulated for a human being’s skin pH levels. Also, using human shampoo on the white fur of the Maltese can dull the color of his coat.

  • What can I do to keep my Maltese’s face clean?

Dog’s with white fur are prone to staining, especially around their mouths and eyes. To keep your Maltese looking her best, you’ll need to use quality canine face wipes to prevent staining. You’ll also need to wipe the dog’s face after she eats.

  • How often does my Maltese need to be professionally groomed?

It depends on several factors. Some dog’s hair grows more quickly than others. And if you’re going to keep his coat short, you’ll need to have your Maltese professionally groomed more frequently. In general, though, most Maltese’s need professionally groomed about every six weeks.

  • Does my dog’s white fur make him susceptible to sunburn?
The Maltese’s white coat does make him susceptible to getting a sunburn. You’ll want to keep your dog out of direct sunlight for long periods, and this is true of any dog with a white or otherwise light-colored coat.

The Maltese is an affectionate little dog and is well-suited to apartment living and city life. If you’re the proud owner of a Maltese, know that he will require quite of bit of grooming and regular maintenance. But with the right products, you can keep your Maltese looking and smelling his best. Always be sure to use a shampoo and conditioner that is specially designed for dogs with white coats, and keep his coat conditioned in between baths with a high-quality spritzing product.

Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine Dog News. She's also the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, the Dog Writers Association of America Adoptashelter.com Award winner for 2013. In addition, she's written Canine Cuisine: 101 Natural Dog Food & Treat Recipes to Make Your Dog Healthy and Happy.

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