Your Maltese will constantly want to be your right-hand man companion. He will be happy to sit by your side, hour after hour, while you read a book or watch television. But he will also love to accompany you wherever you go. They enjoy a good old fashioned walk with their owners and a trip in the car is always awesome. Maltese make decent watchdogs and will sound alarms when a stranger comes to the door. Once welcomed into the home, though, everyone is his or her friend. Phrases known to many are that “they will kill you with their kisses” or “they would go home with strangers”. Maltese, despite their diminutive size, are a very hardy dog. Compared to many breeds they are quite free of genetic or congenital medical problems. Your Maltese will live well into his teens and you can expect him to be his same playful and mischievous self for most of those years.
Pick your Maltese wisely. If you know someone with a Maltese that would be great. To be safe, you may want to go with a purebred Maltese. There are thousands of Maltese breeders out there, but there are plenty of purebreds in Animal Shelters. Make sure that before you bring your Maltese home, that he gets along with other pets or children you may have.
Brush your Maltese daily. Maltese dogs have long fur. A Maltese has to be groomed professionally frequently, maybe once a month, but must be brushed daily. Use a nice, soft brush to stroke your Maltese dog's fur every day. Remove excess fur. Bathe your Maltese with a mild shampoo and conditioner. Wash his fur like it's your own hair, only be gentle! Wash his face with a washcloth.
Brush their teeth. Many people don't do this, but it is very, very important, especially for older dogs. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste (for dogs, not the human kind. It can be purchased at any pet store). If this is your first time, rub the gums and teeth with your finger. Adding some soft dog food can make this more pleasant. Brush your dog's teeth before bed.
Trim their nails. Maltese nails should be clipped daily so they do not overgrow and get infected. Using a regular nail clipper, slowly begin to clip the end of your dog's nails. The dog will be scared and will struggle, but he should become immune to it. Many Maltese owners do this when the dog is asleep, but it could really startle the dog if you aren't careful.
Check their ears. Check the dog's ears on a daily basis. This can be done professionally, but can also be done at home. Go into their ears with a Q-tip, but do not stick it into their ears. Just go along the side of it to clean it. If there is any wax of any sort, be sure to clean it out.
Make sure to feed your Maltese in their own feeding area. There are millions of brands of dog food, but there are some just made for the Maltese. Test a few, and whichever he seems more comfortable with, use it. Make sure he's okay in his bowel area (bring this up with the vet every few months).
Walk your dog. Maltese dog's will need plenty of walks. Walk your Maltese for at least fifteen minutes every day. They need lots of exercise, so if you live in an apartment, be sure to go to a park frequently. They are noisy dogs!
Love your Maltese. Maltese dog's are beautiful animals and they deserve to be treated with care, and plenty of it. Snuggle with them often, or teach them tricks, as they love learning new things.