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How Often to Bathe a Maltese? Vet-Approved Tips & Advice

Elizabeth Gray

By Elizabeth Gray

white maltese dog is groomed in salon

Vet approved

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

BVSc GPCert (Ophthal) MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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The perky and adorable Maltese has a signature long coat of fine, white hair. Although this breed is low shedding, they require regular brushing to keep their hair free of tangles and mats. If you’re curious about how often to bathe a Maltese, the answer is when they need one, usually about every 1–2 months, but some may need fewer baths.

In this article, we’ll cover why your Maltese’s bathing frequency might vary and why you don’t want to wash them too often. We’ll also discuss ways to keep your Maltese clean between baths and what the rest of their grooming routine should look like.

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Factors That Impact How Often to Bathe a Maltese

As we mentioned, Maltese typically need a bath once every 1 or 2 months. However, some factors could change this frequency. Some Maltese owners choose to keep their dog’s coat trimmed short. Generally, short-haired dogs need less frequent baths than those with long coats.

If your Maltese gets dirty or smelly playing outside or rolling in something stinky, they may need a bath, no matter how long it’s been since the last one. Finally, if your dog suffers from allergies or a skin condition, your vet may prescribe regular baths with a medicated shampoo.

white maltese dog in a grooming salon
Image Credit: Ana Vorkapic Marosevic, Shutterstock

Why You Shouldn’t Bathe a Maltese Too Often

Bathing any dog too frequently, especially using harsh shampoos, can interfere with the balance of natural oils in the skin and coat. This could lead to skin problems and an unhealthy coat. If you need to bathe your Maltese more often, ask your vet to recommend a shampoo and conditioner that suits their skin and moisturizes and nourishes the skin and coat.

There are a lot of pet shampoos on the market, but not all of them will keep your pet's skin and coat happy and healthy. The Hepper Pet Shampoo products are pH balanced and made with natural, safe ingredients like soothing oatmeal and aloe vera. Our shampoos will keep your pet clean, smelling fresh, and fully moisturized! The hardest part is deciding whether to get to traditional shampoo or the rinse-free version! Here’s a quick guide to help you choose the right option for your pet’s next bath!

Hepper Oatmeal pet shampoo
Hepper Colloidal Oatmeal Pet Shampoo

Hepper Waterless No Rinse Pet Shampoo
Natural cucumber & aloe scent
Natural cucumber & aloe scent:
Natural cucumber & aloe scent:
Safe for cats & dogs
Safe for cats & dogs:
Safe for cats & dogs:
Rinsing required
Rinsing required:
Rinsing required:
Free of harsh chemicals & nasty ingredients
Free of harsh chemicals & nasty ingredients:
Free of harsh chemicals & nasty ingredients:
Lathers easily
Lathers easily:
Lathers easily:


Keeping Your Maltese Clean Between Baths

White dogs like the Maltese are often prone to tear staining on the face. To keep their face clean between baths, consider using dog-safe eye wipes. Also, check with your vet to ensure that there isn’t a medical reason for your Maltese’s tear staining.

As mentioned, the Maltese need daily brushing to keep their coats tangle-free. Brushing also helps keep the coat clean between baths. Short-haired Maltese may not need to be brushed as frequently, but it is still helpful for cleanliness.

Wipes can spot-clean your Maltese if they get dirty paws or a smelly rear end. You might also consider using a dry or waterless shampoo to help your Maltese smell fresher without a full bath.

Maltese dog with tear stain standing on the floor
Image By: Augustcindy, Shutterstock

The Rest of the Maltese Grooming Routine

We’ve discussed bathing and brushing, so what else should be a part of your dog’s regular grooming routine? Like many small breeds, the Maltese are prone to dental disease. Daily oral care is a requirement for these dogs. Brush your dog’s teeth daily if possible. You can also ask your vet for other dental care measures, such as chews or water additives.

Check your Maltese’s ears daily and clean them if needed. If your dog’s ears are red, swollen, or painful, smell bad, or have discharge, they could be infected, and your pet should visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Trim your Maltese’s nails as needed to keep them short. Monthly nail trimmings are usually enough for most dogs, but growth and wear rates vary.

As you brush or bathe your Maltese, examine their skin and coat for any signs of parasites, flakes, wounds, lumps, or hair loss. If you notice anything concerning or if your dog seems itchy and uncomfortable, have them checked by your veterinarian.

groomer trimming maltese dog paw
Image Credit: Monika Wisniewska, Shutterstock

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Maltese requires a moderate amount of grooming, especially if you keep their hair long. Bathing is probably the least frequent grooming task you’ll undertake, as it should occur only when needed unless instructed otherwise by your veterinarian. When deciding which breed is best for you, their grooming needs should be one consideration because they do require time and money.

Featured Image Credit: Oxana Kireeva, Shutterstock

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