Maltipoos are a combination of two purebreds, a Maltese and a Poodle. Both breeds are known for being friendly, playful, affectionate, intelligent, and low shedding. The idea of a Maltipoo was born out of a desire to produce a small, hypoallergenic dog with a gentle, fun-loving personality.
If you are considering bringing a Maltipoo home, you’re probably wondering exactly how much work will be involved to keep your pup looking great from head to tail. Does the fact that they shed very little mean that no grooming is required? Well, not exactly.
How often do Maltipoos need grooming? Grooming actually consists of several jobs. Brushing the coat, cleaning the teeth, and removing tear stains should be performed at least two or three times per week. Baths, nail clipping, ear cleaning, and haircuts are usually done once per month.
The term grooming encompasses a variety of routine tasks that are necessary not only to keep your Maltipoo looking his best but also for his overall health and well being.
While brushing may be what first comes to people’s minds when they think about grooming and is indeed an important aspect of coat care, other parts of a Maltipoo’s body will need regular maintenance as well.
How Often Should a Maltipoo Be Brushed?
Maltipoos may have silky, mostly straight hair like a Maltese; thick, curly hair like a Poodle; or a combination of the two resulting in waves with a slightly wiry texture.
Regardless of which type of coat your Maltipoo sports, a thorough brushing at least several times per week is needed to keep tangles at bay (a daily brushing is even better).
What Type of Brush Should I Use?
For Maltipoos with straight, silky hair, a double-sided pin and bristle brush will work well to gently brush out tangles and bits of debris from the coat. Just make sure that your brush has pins with rounded tips or try a pin and bristle brush with plastic pins for your Maltipoo’s comfort.
For Maltipoos with thicker, curly hair, a standard slicker brush is a good choice, though for dogs with less dense coats a regular pin and bristle brush will suffice.
A stainless steel comb with rounded tips is good to have on hand for carefully working through tangles and mats and is ideal for using around your Maltipoo’s facial area. For badly tangled areas, a quality detangling spray sprayed on the brush or comb (to avoid saturating the coat) can be quite useful.
When brushing, be sure that the brush or comb is reaching all the way down to the skin (gently, of course) for maximum effectiveness.
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The Many Benefits of Brushing
Sure, brushing gets rid of shed hair clinging to the coat and removes tangles before they become painful mats tugging at the skin, but did you know that brushing also:
- Evenly distributes naturally occurring oils throughout the coat leaving it supple and glossy?
- Increases blood flow to the surface of the skin and hair follicles?
- Is an ideal opportunity to inspect your little guy for parasites, cuts, hot spots, or other causes for concern?
- Helps to remove dander which has been trapped in the coat?
- Can deepen the bond shared between you and your dog as you interact with and reassure him?
Do Maltipoos Need Haircuts?
Clipping the entire coat isn’t really necessary, but many Maltipoo owners choose to go this route to make daily maintenance easier or when the weather turns warm. Unless you’ve had some prior experience, your best bet is to let a professional groomer handle your pup’s haircut.
The style of the cut will largely depend on your Maltipoo’s type of coat. To maintain a particular look, plan on scheduling an appointment every 4 – 6 weeks.
Maltipoos with a coat similar to a Maltese will look adorable in any standard Maltese-style cut such as a teddy bear or short cut.
Maltipoos with Poodle-like hair can enjoy typical Poodle styles including pompons and classic puppy cuts.
Most Maltipoos will need the longer hair around their eyes, nose, and mouth trimmed once a month or so to allow them to see clearly, minimize tear stains, and prevent food from sticking to the fur.
How Often Should a Maltipoo Be Bathed?
Bathing any dog too frequently will result in dry, itchy, flaky skin. Under normal circumstances, a maximum of one bath per month is enough.
Most Maltipoos keep themselves away from mud puddles and other grime, but should yours be the exception, a shampoo may be called for even if it’s not time for the scheduled bath.
What Shampoo Is Best For Maltipoos?
While most pH balanced shampoos formulated for dogs will get the job done, you’ll really notice a difference if you choose one of the more deluxe versions with all-natural, nourishing ingredients.
A high-quality conditioner is recommended for Maltipoos to keep the coat soft and manageable and to help eliminate tangles though some owners prefer to use a 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner for convenience.
How Often Should a Maltipoo’s Ears Be Cleaned?
Clean your Maltipoo’s ears when they are visibly dirty, don’t smell fresh, and after each bath or swim. For most dogs, ear cleaning is necessary about once a month or so to remove any waxy buildup and dirt that can lead to nasty ear infections.
To clean the ears, add a few drops of an ear cleaning solution for dogs into each ear and gently massage the base of the ears. Your dog will most likely shake his head at this point.
This can get messy but will help to fling away debris from deep within the ear. Finish by carefully wiping the outer ear canals with a cotton ball, gauze, or round cotton pads.
Tip: Pre-soaked cleansing ear wipes can make this job much less messy.
How Often Do Maltipoos Need Their Nails Trimmed?
Nail clipping is another grooming task that is usually needed about once a month. Signs that it’s time to cut them back include:
- Chipping, cracking, or breaking of the tips.
- You can hear them clicking on the floor as your dog walks by.
- There is an obvious long, downward curve to the nails.
If you aren’t comfortable doing this job by yourself, your veterinarian or groomer can take care of it for you in just a few minutes for a small fee. Alternatively, you can try using a nail grinder for your pup’s nails.
Do Maltipoos Need Their Teeth Cleaned?
Small breeds tend to be prone to dental issues like overcrowding, plaque, and tartar accumulation, so oral hygiene is especially important for Maltipoos. At a minimum, brush your dog’s teeth two or three times a week with a toothpaste for dogs and never feed any sweets, no matter how much he begs.
Although professional cleaning is recommended about once per year for most dogs, Maltipoos may need a deep cleaning (or at least a dental checkup) every six months, depending on the condition of their teeth.
What About Tear Stains?
Tear staining is fairly common in Maltese, and unfortunately, can be a problem with Maltipoos too. Wiping the area underneath the eyes with a clean, dry cloth several times a day can help prevent unsightly stains.
If tear stains are already present, try:
- Brushing baking soda through the stain with a toothbrush.
- Using contact lens cleaning solution.
- Wiping the area daily with Trueblue Safe and Sure Eye Wipes.
For tips on preventing and removing tear stains, be sure to check out our complete guide for tear stains.
Do Maltipoos Need Their Anal Glands Expressed?
Ordinarily, every time a Maltipoo has a bowel movement, the anal glands are expressed naturally, leaving behind a unique scent thought to be a form of canine communication.
If the ducts of the glands become blocked, the glands will become overly full and cause your dog discomfort. Dogs with anal gland woes will often lick the region excessively and scoot their bottom across your floors and carpet.
A veterinarian or groomer can express the glands for you and relieve your Maltipoo’s discomfort. If you’re brave enough to try to release the foul-smelling liquid yourself, watch the video below before giving it a go.