Buying a puppy is a very serious commitment that could last anywhere from 10 to 16 years or more. Think about the size of the dog first before you look at the breed. Small to toy breeds win in the convenience department as they are easier to manage and carry around with you.
The Maltese are a leading small dog breed seen in a lot of family homes. Their adorable stature and snow-white coat are very appealing to most. You can find teacup sizes on the market, but some of these dogs have gone through vigorous breeding and might not be very healthy.
Whether you want a small Maltese or a teacup size, there are a few basic things to take note of, and a few breed-specific features to look for.
What to Look for When Buying Maltese Puppies
The number one thing to look for when buying any puppy of any breed is, of course, its health. Certain signs indicate a little dog is healthy. Start off by looking at his or her eyes. Bright and clear eyes with an alert expression are your safest choice.
Get a look at the parents if you can. Puppies usually take after the mother, so having a healthy mom is important. The ears of the Maltese puppy should be clean, odorless and free of any discharge. Their noses must be moist, and their gums must be pink. Aside from when they’re sleeping, a dog’s nose is always moist, a dry nose and white gums are dangerous signs of an ailing pup.
Maltese pups, much like the Yorkies (Yorkshire Terrier), Bichon Frise (Teddy Bear Dog) and the Pom, need more grooming. They should be able to grow a pure white and glossy coat. If your pup has a dirty coat or missing patches, this is a sign of skin issues.
The Maltese puppy must be of a healthy weight and have regular activity levels. A healthy puppy will not be overweight, or malnourished. Their breath should always smell fresh and they shouldn’t show any signs of fear.
The breeder should provide you with the medical history of the pup, a pedigree certificate (if needed), registration certificate and perhaps identification.
Maltese Life Stages
These adorable small breed dogs can be toy or teacup sized as well. The smaller they are, the faster they reach maturity. Male or female Maltese pups weigh just a measly 4 pounds! You need to be careful with these small fur babies. Smaller dogs usually live longer, and the Maltese has a lifespan of 12 to 14 years old.
Maltese Health Concerns
Maltese puppies suffer from a wide variety of eye diseases such as glaucoma and retinal atrophy, much like other small breeds. Not only that, but smaller pups are more prone to injuries, so as a pet parent you need to keep a close eye on these adorable balls of fur.
White dogs also suffer from tear duct disorders, which is what gives them a pinkish tearstain around the eyes.
Your beloved Maltese is also more vulnerable to dental issues and patella luxation, which also plagues other small breeds.
If you managed to obtain the medical history of your dog, its parents, and grandparents, you can have a better understanding of which diseases he or she might suffer from.
Recommended health tests:
• Patella Evaluation
• Ophthalmologist Evaluation
• X-rays for windpipe
Maltese Breeder Information
Location is important when you are looking for a breeder. Look for one not too far from you, as it could be an extra expense to have to take the plane to see them or cross the border. Puppy shipping isn’t viewed in a very positive light, and responsible and professional breeders won’t allow it.
Dog breeders recognized by the AKC (American Kennel Club) or other equivalent organizations should be at the top of your list. Usually, reputable breeders have their own website, a fan page on Facebook or Instagram.
They won’t just list random litters on Craigslist or Kijiji. Pay attention to how many litters they have each year, and if they use the same parents. If so, and they have more than once every one to two years, it could be a puppy mill.
Good breeders always welcome a home visit. They do their best to show you the lineage of the dog to prove their credibility.
Never take a puppy home if it isn’t at least 8 weeks old. A good breeder will also make sure your pup is raised with affection and well-socialized before letting you take it home.
Maltese Puppy Diet
Small dogs need more nutrition during the first 10 months to keep up with their rapid growth rate. You shouldn’t feed them too much or too often. If your Maltese is anywhere from 2-4 pounds, we suggest a quarter to half a cup of Maltese food per day. Any puppy larger than that will need half to three-quarters of a cup.
Is A Maltese Right For You?
Maltese puppies are the perfect lapdog. They are bred to be loyal and trusting companions that are full of love and affection. They are quite easily trained and don’t require much exercise. 20 minutes a day will do, making them great dogs for city living and family life.