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About the Small puppy Breeds.

Preparing for your puppy

You will want to set up a proper space, or den, for your puppy. This could be a small bathroom with a baby gate, a puppy playpen or puppy play yard. The main purpose of this space is to keep your puppy safe. When you cannot watch your puppy, they must be inside their safe space. 

​Inside of your puppy's den should be their bed, food and water at one end (the clean side) and a pee pad or paper on the other end. Try to keep the two sides separate. Keeping your puppy in a clean den will help support teaching them their own housebreaking skills. 

You can also set up a small crate either inside the puppy playpen or by leaving the door open and attaching the crate. A clean crate should always be the soft, cozy safe spot your puppy can go for a nap or have quiet time. Leave the door open so the puppy can go in and out and it feels safe inside the crate. I would not recommend crate training until your puppy is at least 16 weeks of age. 

Remember: Your puppy should have access to food and fresh water 24 hours a day!


Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar is sometimes referred to as “Sugar Shock” or “Crashing”. It occurs frequently in Toy Breed, petite, or teacup puppies. Hypoglycemia is a condition that occurs when the blood sugar drops due to too much activity, lack of food & water and/or stress. If your Maltese puppy is allowed to play too much, it burns up its calories & energy stores. A young puppy is too immature to stop playing, rest and replenish ( & eat some puppy food!). Young Maltese puppies need to eat regularly throughout the day to maintain their normal blood sugar levels.

Hypoglycemia is preventable and your puppy should be monitored for the first week or more after arriving home. If you have purchased a tiny or “teacup” puppy, you may need to monitor your puppy for several weeks, months or even years. Hypoglycemia Kills. Remember this. Learn what to look for and how to prevent it.

The first and most important thing to know about hypoglycemia is what to look for and how to recognize it. These are some signs & symptoms of hypoglycemia with your Maltese puppy.

  • Lack of appetite, which is due to a general weakness and the lack of energy

  • Lethargy and sleepiness

  • Shaking, which may be due to hypothermia; a dog that has a low glucose level will also have difficulty adjusting his body temperature and will be cold

  • Twitching muscles

  • Dilated pupils

  • Behavioral changes; an active dog will suddenly become lethargic and uninterested

  • Slow movements; the dog may have difficulty moving and a lack of coordination

If your Maltese puppy displays any abnormal behavior associated with hypoglycemia, you must act immediately! Some things to keep on hand if you have just adopted a  little puppy is:

  1. Karo Syrup

  2. Nutri Cal Puppy Paste

  3. Oral Syringe, for syringe feeding.

  4. Chicken,Beef of Turkey Gerber jar baby food 

  5. Puppy formula

  6. Gerber Rice cereal

Wipe Karo Syrup or Nutri-cal paste on your finger and force it into your puppies mouth. You can also force feed approximately 1/2 teaspoon of smooth puppy gruel or canned puppy food in their mouth by wiping it onto their tongue or roof of their mouth. You may have to pry open its mouth if the puppy is clenching.  Next, give a small amount of water in the puppy’s mouth with an oral syringe. Approximately 1 teaspoon. If the puppy does not perk up after a few minutes, I give a pea size drop of Nutri Cal Puppy Paste, followed by a few drops of water. If the puppy still does not respond but is awake, then I make a runny paste of meat baby food  with rice cereal & water or puppy formula. Using the oral syringe feed the puppy SLOWLY, giving a few drops at a time while allowing the puppy to swallow it. You will want to continue this slow feeding until the puppy returns to normal. You will probably feed it 2 tablespoons or more. Dont overfeed, but you will have to force the food onto its tongue. Allow your puppy to rest after feeding.

Prevention is key.

Always have food and water out for your Maltese puppy 24 hours per day. If you if you have a tiny or teacup puppy, make sure you force feed soft food 2-3 times a day!

Allow your puppy to rest frequently. Babies sleep a lot!

Give NutriCal Puppy Paste in the morning, afternoon and before bed for the first few days after bringing your Maltese puppy home. You can continue giving a pea sized drop at bedtime for several weeks to help prevent any sugar drop through the night.

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MALTESE MUST BE ALLOWED TO FREE FEED!! DO NOT FEED YOUR MALTESE 2 MEALS PER DAY! Feeding scheduled meals allows the blood sugar to fluctuate throughout the day. The animal then gorges at meal times causing dogs to become over weight and have health and stability issues. Always remember to free feed your Maltese a low protein hard kibble diet that is high in carbohydrates. I suggest keeping a low protein kibble down for the dog all day. If you have a TINY Maltese, you can always supplement your dogs diet every morning with a bit of cooked rice and carrot mixture. (Just cook 1 c. rice with 1 chopped carrot or other veggies and 2 c. water until rice is cooked tender. Feed about 1 tablespoon each morning.) This is perfect for the extra Small puppies, but not always necessary throughout their lives.

Maltese naturally have small livers. The liver is what processes proteins (as well as medications and vaccines!!), so feeding high protein diets will overtax the liver causing poor function. Do not feel the need to “spoil” your dog with leftovers from your steak dinner! Dogs are omnivores and the Maltese diet must be varied and breed specific! They do well with small amounts of proteins and high amounts of carbs! The naturally love grains, fruits and vegetables and will do well with them in their diets! (Please stay away from ingredients that can harm a dog, such as raisins, grapes, onions, or garlic.)

Animals cannot digest corn well. Corn is typically is genetically engineered and often laden with pesticides. Because of these facts, I prefer to feed my Maltese a corn free dog food. Even the expensive dog foods or ones you see at most Vet’s offices may contain corn. The best thing you can do to provide a high quality diet for your Maltese puppy is to do your research on the different dog foods that are available in your area.

I recommend only feeding your Maltese puppy/dog dry kibble to maintain good dental health. Occasionally, you may need to supplement or entice you dog with some wet food. But your Maltese puppy’s everyday diet should be a high quality kibble. Toy breed dogs are notorious for getting tartar on their teeth and needing regular dental cleanings, so any way you can help maintain their dental health, the better! Hard kibble helps to scrape the teeth while chewing. Yes, even toothless dogs can eat hard kibble!

Please have puppy kibble and clean water available for your Maltese puppy 24 hours a day until they are a fully matured adult dog. Clean water must be available for all of your pets at all times.

Nutri-CalPuppy Paste is an important supplement to have on hand when you bring your Maltese puppy home. Puppies, and sometimes adult dogs will go through a transition phase when they transfer from one home to another. When an animal leaves their current home, their litter mates, familiar sounds & smells of their previous home, this can cause stress on an animal. When an animal is stressed or scared, sometimes it will not eat or drink. Be gentle, give your new baby some extra TLC and let them lick some Nutri-Cal off of your fingers as you reassure them. (Force a bit on their tongue if they don't take it willingly! You must give a pea sized drop morning, afternoon and before bed when you first bring your puppy home!)

Your Maltese puppy should always have access to a good quality dry puppy food and clean water. I ‘free-feed’ my puppies. This means I leave food and water down for them 24/7. As your Maltese puppy matures and becomes an adult, sometimes it is necessary to adjust this method of feeding as to avoid letting the animal become overweight.

When your new Maltese puppy first arrives home, you want to monitor its intake and outtake. In other words, what goes in must come out. Your Maltese puppy should be urinating and defecating several times per day. If your new puppy is not producing waste, then it probably isn't eating or drinking either. You will need to encourage your Maltese puppy to eat and drink. Hand feeding is best! Try adding water to the puppy’s kibble to soften it up. Canned or wet food has a strong odor that is enticing to a Maltese puppy. Let the puppy lick some wet food from your fingers as you stroke it and tell your pup what a good dog they are. You can also try offering low sodium chicken broth, boiled chicken breast, Baby rice cereal or Baby food from a jar. If at any time your Maltese puppy acts lethargic, off balance or is salivating, this could mean the puppy has not eaten a sufficient amount and is experiencing hypoglycemia. Encourage eating & water intake and call your vet immediately. Your breeder should discuss hypoglycemia with you before taking your new puppy home.

Hypoglycemia is preventable. It is up to the new puppy owners to know how to handle it. If a new owner neglects symptoms their Maltese puppy’s symptoms of hypoglycemia, it could very well result in death. 

Puppy Grooming and Bathing at home

Your new puppy will be going home freshly bathed. It is best to wait at least 2 weeks before the puppy is bathed again. After this, your puppy will need to be bathed 2-4 times per month and have professional grooming every 6-8 weeks. 

It is also important to brush your puppy's entire body at least 2 times a week in order to keep tangles and mats at bay. Be sure to brush the joints and under the armpit area thoroughly as well. 

When bathing your puppy, always make sure to use warm water by testing on the inside of your forearm for the right temperature. It is very important that you do not leave any type of shampoo residue on your puppy as this could irritate their skin.  If you need to freshen up your new puppy, use a baby wipe or the Monat freshen spray, which smells amazing. 

I prefer to bathe my dogs either in my Bathtub or in the kitchen sink, any sink that has a separate sprayer is helpful. Make sure your puppy's ears are always down in order to protect from water going inside the ear canal. 

It is best to use Johnson's baby shampoo on your new puppy for the first couple of months. This is a tear-free soap that is gentle on their sensitive skin. I have also found

you can safely and effectively use Dawn dish soap for eliminating fleas on your pet as well as its environment.

Avoid using it too often though, as this will dry out your pets skin.

Towel dry your puppy and then follow up with a light blow dry with warm air.

Ear Care

Lop-eared dogs have adorable little ears that need to be cared for. Your puppy's ears must be kept free from moisture for optimal ear health and to avoid yeast infection. 

Your puppy will be known for their beautiful, silky coat but the inside of the puppy's ear will also grow some longer hair as well. These hairs need to be removed by gently plucking or pulling them out. It may sound painful, but if you pull out a few hairs at a time it will not bother the dog. Ear powder is really helpful for gripping the fine hair.

You must make sure your puppy's ears are always dry. Any residual moisture from a bath or playing outside is breeding grounds for canine ear problems, ear infections and yeast infections. It is important to inspect your puppy's ears once a week making sure it is healthy pink and free from any debris or dark brown residue. 

If you notice your dog shaking it's head or scratching the ears, they probably have a yeast overgrowth. This will also produce a brown, waxy or sticky discharge. Yeast infections are common and can be avoided if you use the following protocol:

Natural Ear Wash:

1/4 cup warm water

1/8 cup white vinegar

1/2 tsp. boric acid powder

2 drops of tea tree oil

2 drops of DAWN liquid dish soap

Shake the ingredients in a container. To apply, saturate a cotton ball or cotton square that has been folded. Place the saturated cotton in the ear, fold the ear flap down and gently rub it in a circular motion for about 30 seconds. 

Use once a day for one week and then once a week from this point in order to prevent it. Take a clean cotton square and wipe out any remaining moisture or ear residue. ​

Another wonderful ear product for the floppy ear dogs is Zymox. The Zymox Otic HC is a great product for problematic puppy ears.

Tear Stain's

All Maltese have tear staining. Truthfully, most small breeds have tear staining, Here are some things that may help.
The ears, mouth and eyes all need to be in good condition in order to have clear eyes and avoid tear staining. When a puppy is cutting it's teeth, it will stain much more. Overcrowded teeth can cause dental issues that will cause staining. It is important to have your dog's teeth cleaned by a veterinarian ever so often. 
Sometimes a puppy who is going through hormonal changes or heat cycles will have excessive tear stains. The dog's ears must be healthy, clean, pink in color and not red or hot. They must be free of any brown or dark debris, which is yeast overgrowth. If your dog has dark debris in it's ears, it will also have tear stains. Small dogs with floppy ears can easily get ear yeast infections due to excessive moisture. 
A product called "Zymox Otic" with hydrocortisone is a great product to use on dog's ears. I highly recommend it! If it does not work you will have to get a prescription ear drop from your vet. 
There is also a product called "Angel Eyes" that you can give your dog but should not be used as a long term solution.

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