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Does a Maltese Shed a Lot? Care and Grooming Tips

Written by: Kathryn Copeland

Last Updated on June 26, 2024 by Dogster Team

maltese korean cut

Does a Maltese Shed a Lot? Care and Grooming Tips

It’s easy to fall in love with the Maltese, with those bright eyes and gorgeous white hair, but there are other factors to consider before making this dog a part of your household.

This is especially true if someone in your family has allergies or you just don’t want to clean up tons of dog hair. You might then wonder if the Maltese is known to shed a lot. Maltese dogs are considered non-shedders, which also technically makes them hypoallergenic.

We do a deep dive into everything Maltese, shedding, and allergies here, so if you’re interested in learning more, please keep reading!

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The Maltese Coat

The Maltese is a beautiful little dog that is known for their black eyes and nose amidst a glorious long coat of white hair. First of all, there is actually no such thing as a true hypoallergenic or a completely non-shedding dog. But some breeds don’t shed nearly as much as others, and the Maltese is one of those.

The first advantage that the Maltese have is their size: A small dog will typically shed less hair than a large dog. Their second advantage is that they have hair rather than fur. Fur is thicker, sometimes coarser, doesn’t grow, and is often double coated. Hair is silkier, usually single-coated, and continuously grows.

Maltese have a single coat of hair, and these two combinations mean they have a lot less hair to shed. Dogs like Huskies have double coats of short fur that create blizzards of fur inside the home when brushed.

The Maltese shed, no question, but it’s minimal, especially when held in comparison to dogs like the Husky. Their coat is also quite soft and silky. It is traditionally kept long, which will undoubtedly shed more than if you keep it clipped shorter.

maltese dog in meadow
Image Credit: TaniaVdB, Pixabay

Pet Allergies

If the reason you’re considering the Maltese is that you’re looking for a hypoallergenic dog due to allergies, we get into all that here. Clearly, having a dog that doesn’t shed much might make them  easier to live with if you have allergies to canines.

But bear in mind that dog allergies are actually triggered by a protein found in the animal’s dander, saliva, sweat, and urine and not the hair. These triggers simply hitch a ride on the hair, which covers the surfaces of your home, and this is why so many people mistakenly believe that dog hair is the problem.

When the protein in the dander attached to the hair eventually finds its way into your lungs, your immune system is affected, and your allergies are triggered. This is why owning a dog that doesn’t shed much is more desirable for allergy sufferers—the less shedding, the less the dander. But there will always be shedding to some degree.

Allergies to Male or Female Dogs

So, we have good news! It seems that not everyone who believes that they have dog allergies is actually allergic to all dogs. Experts have found that approximately 40% of allergy sufferers are actually allergic to the prostate protein,1 which is only found in male dogs.

If this is the case with you, you might be able to live with a female dog without any bothersome allergies! The only way to determine if you fall into the 40%, though, is to have a special blood test that pinpoints the protein that you’re allergic to. Speak to your doctor if you’re interested in learning more.

maltese dog walking with owner at the park
Image Credit: artellliii72, Pixabay

What Triggers Shedding?

As you’ve learned, the Maltese does not shed too much, but if they suddenly start shedding more than usual, it’s critical to take note of it and speak to your vet.


Stress is one of the main reasons that a dog might suddenly start losing more hair than usual. These things may cause stress and subsequently, more shedding in your Maltese:

  • Moving to a new house
  • New roommate or member of the family (new baby)
  • Recently been on vacation without your dog
  • Redecorating the home
  • New pet in the home

You get the idea. The Maltese are quite sensitive and can pick up on your own stress or react to the changes around them.

maltese dog wrapped on a red blanket
Image Credit: guruXOX, Shutterstock


If you have a male Maltese or a spayed female, this clearly isn’t the problem. But if there is a chance your Maltese is pregnant, one sign of pregnancy is hair loss. The hormones cause hair loss, but she should get back her usual coat after giving birth.

Medical Condition

Certain medical problems can cause hair loss, or alopecia, such as cancer and hypothyroidism. There is also the possibility of skin allergies, but most of these conditions will have other signs in addition to the hair loss. If you suspect your dog is experiencing stress or medical issues, bring them to your vet.

sad Maltese puppy lying under white warm blanket on a bed at home
Image Credit: Ermolaev Alexander, Shutterstock

Managing the Shedding

Your Maltese will shed, so if you’re hoping for as little as possible, there are a few steps you can take to manage the shedding, including just regular grooming.


Brushing is necessary for all dogs but especially for the Maltese, particularly if you keep their coats long.

If their coat is long, they will need brushing every day, but with a short coat, they will need brushing a few times a week. If the coat becomes tangled, it will likely become matted when the loose hair isn’t consistently removed through regular brushing.

Aim for a pin brush for regular brushing sessions, and look for one with bubble tips. Having a single coat makes it easier to accidentally scratch their skin. You can start brushing with the pin brush and finish with a slicker brush to smooth their fur.

woman brushes a maltese dog with a brush
Image Credit: Ihar Halavachm, Shutterstock


The Maltese need a bath roughly every 2 to 3 weeks with high-quality dog shampoo. Their skin and hair must be kept moisturized, which will help control a lot of shedding. Brush their coat before the bath.

Be aware that overbathing will strip their skin of its natural oils and consequently cause more shedding. So, keep to the bath schedule every 2 to 3 weeks unless otherwise necessary.

Use a dog shampoo made with natural ingredients, like oatmeal, to help with sensitive skin and moisturize the coat.

Our Favorite Products

Selecting the right shampoo and conditioner makes the world of a difference when grooming your pup. Our favorite products are the duo by Hepper. The Oatmeal Pet Shampoo is formulated with aloe and oatmeal to soothe skin and hydrate the coat. The Pet Conditioner works at eliminating tangles and taming frizz and static. Both products are pH-balanced and formulated with pet-friendly ingredients, free of harsh soaps, chemicals, and dyes. Give this duo a try to heal and nourish your dog's coat, and leave them with an irresistible just-left-the-spa cucumber and aloe scent. 

Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
pH balanced
Gently cleanses
Cucumber & aloe scent
Free of harmful additives
Combats tangles & static
Soothes & hydrates
Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
pH balanced
Gently cleanses
Cucumber & aloe scent
Free of harmful additives
Combats tangles & static
Soothes & hydrates
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
pH balanced
Gently cleanses
Cucumber & aloe scent
Free of harmful additives
Combats tangles & static
Soothes & hydrates

At Dogster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool pet company!


Having a High-Quality Diet

The food your Maltese eats will have a direct effect on the condition of their coat. A high-quality dog food formulated for small dogs will provide them with the right balance of nutrients, which will keep the coat in great shape.

Look for food that includes omega fatty acids, vitamin E, and folic acid and has no artificial ingredients. Picking up cheap dog food will influence their coat, so aim for good dog food, and ensure that they have plenty of fresh, clean water.

maltese dog eating dog food
Image By: iMarzi, Shutterstock

Taking Supplements

In addition to a healthy diet, you might want to add supplements to your dog’s diet. This is particularly important if you can’t afford the more expensive food. Aim for fish oil supplements in either pill or liquid form.

Fish oil is fantastic for coats and is additionally great for the dog’s joints, nutrient absorption, organ function, and overall health.

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Final Thoughts

The Maltese definitely do not shed much unless there’s an issue with their health or they are stressed. Taking care of your dog’s coat includes regular brushing, occasional bathing, and ensuring that they have a healthy diet.

Take care of the outside and inside of your dog, and keep them as happy as possible, and you will see very little shedding and a super happy companion!

Featured Image Credit: Jolanta Beinarovica, Shutterstock

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