Did you know that shaving a Maltese can actually do more harm than good? While it may seem like a good idea to keep their fur trimmed, this breed’s gorgeous, long white coat serves a purpose beyond aesthetics.

Maltese dogs have a unique coat that protects their sensitive skin from the sun, bugs, and other irritants. The long hair acts as a natural barrier, providing insulation in both hot and cold weather. Shaving a Maltese can expose their delicate skin to harmful UV rays, leading to sunburn and potential skin damage. Instead of shaving, regular brushing and grooming can help keep their coat healthy and tangle-free.

Despite the temptation to shave, it’s important to prioritize the well-being of your Maltese. Their coat serves a purpose beyond appearance and plays a crucial role in protecting their skin. Regular grooming and brushing will keep their hair healthy and manageable, avoiding the need for shaving. By understanding the significance of their coat, you can ensure that your Maltese stays comfortable and protected all year round.

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Can You Shave a Maltese Dog?

Maltese dogs are known for their long, silky hair, which requires regular grooming to keep it looking its best. However, some pet owners may wonder if it is possible to shave a Maltese dog, either for practical reasons or to provide relief from the summer heat. In this article, we will explore the topic of shaving a Maltese dog in detail, discussing the pros and cons, potential risks, and the best grooming practices to keep your Maltese looking and feeling great.

Is Shaving a Maltese Dog Recommended?

While the decision to shave a Maltese dog ultimately lies with the owner, it is generally not recommended by professional groomers and veterinarians. Maltese dogs have a specialized coat that serves as protection against the elements, keeping them warm in cold weather and shielding them from the sun’s harmful rays in hot weather. Shaving the coat can interfere with the natural regulation of their body temperature, exposing them to potential heatstroke or cold-related issues.

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Additionally, a Maltese’s coat serves as a barrier against pests like fleas and ticks. Shaving can make the dog more susceptible to infestations and skin irritations. Furthermore, the shaved hair may grow back with a different texture and color, potentially affecting the dog’s breed-standard appearance. However, there may be exceptions where shaving is necessary for medical or practical reasons, such as severe matting or surgery recovery. In these cases, it is important to consult with a professional groomer or veterinarian for guidance.

The Pros and Cons of Shaving a Maltese Dog

The Pros

Shaving a Maltese dog can have some potential benefits, depending on the circumstances. Here are a few pros to consider:

  1. Reduced grooming time: Shaving the coat eliminates the need for regular brushing and detangling, saving time and effort in grooming.
  2. Managing severe matting: If a Maltese’s coat has become severely matted or tangled, shaving may be the only option to relieve discomfort and prevent skin issues.
  3. Surgical recovery: In the case of surgery, a shaved coat can provide easier access to the affected area and promote better wound care.

The Cons

While there are potential pros, it is important to consider the cons of shaving a Maltese dog:

  1. Temperature regulation: Shaving interferes with the natural insulation of a Maltese’s coat, making them more susceptible to heatstroke in warmer climates and cold-related issues in colder climates.
  2. Skin sensitivity: Shaving can expose a Maltese’s sensitive skin to irritants, potentially leading to allergies, dryness, or sunburn.
  3. Altered appearance: Shaving a Maltese’s coat may result in the hair growing back with a different texture or color, altering their breed-standard appearance.
  4. Pest protection: The shaved coat makes a Maltese more vulnerable to pests like fleas and ticks, increasing the risk of infestations and potential health issues.
  5. Regrowth challenges: The shaved hair may take a long time to grow back, disrupting the dog’s natural coat cycle and prolonging the period of potential discomfort.

Best Grooming Practices for a Maltese Dog

While shaving a Maltese dog is generally not recommended, proper grooming practices are essential for maintaining their coat health. Here are some tips for grooming a Maltese:

  • Regular brushing: Brush your Maltese at least once a day to prevent matting and keep the coat tangle-free.
  • Bathing: Bathe your Maltese regularly using a mild dog shampoo. Be sure to dry the coat thoroughly to prevent moisture-related skin issues.
  • Trimming: Regularly trim the hair around the eyes, ears, and paws to enhance their comfort and prevent irritation.
  • Professional grooming: Schedule regular visits to a professional groomer who specializes in Maltese dogs. They can provide expert care and grooming techniques to keep your Maltese looking their best.
  • Proper diet and hydration: A balanced diet and access to fresh water are essential for maintaining a healthy coat from within.
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Important Considerations for Shaving a Maltese Dog

If you decide to shave your Maltese dog due to specific circumstances, it is crucial to keep the following considerations in mind:

1. Consult with a Professional

Before proceeding with shaving, consult with a professional groomer or veterinarian who has experience with Maltese dogs. They can assess the condition of your dog’s coat, provide advice, and ensure that the shave is performed safely and effectively.

2. Gradual Shaving

If shaving is deemed necessary, consider a gradual approach by gradually reducing the length of the coat rather than completely shaving it off. This can help minimize the shock to the dog’s system and allow a smoother transition in appearance.

3. Sun Protection

If you shave your Maltese dog, it is essential to protect their exposed skin from the sun. Apply dog-safe sunscreen or provide shade when spending time outdoors to prevent sunburn and other related issues.

4. Monitor the Dog’s Well-being

After shaving, closely monitor your Maltese for any changes in behavior, discomfort, or skin issues. If you notice any concerns, consult with a professional immediately.


While the decision to shave a Maltese dog ultimately rests with the owner, it is generally not recommended due to the potential risks and impact on the dog’s well-being. However, there may be exceptional circumstances where shaving becomes necessary. It is crucial to seek professional advice and ensure the proper care and monitoring of a shaved Maltese to minimize potential risks and ensure their overall health and comfort.

Can You Shave a Maltese? – Key Takeaways

  • Shaving a Maltese is not recommended as their coat serves as protection from the sun and heat.
  • If your Maltese has extremely matted hair, it may be necessary to shave them, but consult a professional groomer first.
  • Regular grooming and brushing can help prevent matting and the need for shaving.
  • Allowing a professional groomer to trim your Maltese’s hair can keep them looking neat and tidy.
  • Shaving a Maltese’s hair too short can expose their skin to sunburn and other skin problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you considering shaving your Maltese? Here are some common questions and answers to help you make an informed decision.

Q: Will shaving my Maltese improve their coat?

A: Shaving a Maltese can actually have negative effects on their coat. The Maltese breed has a double-layered coat that serves as insulation, protecting them from both heat and cold. Shaving can disrupt the natural growth cycles of the hair, leading to uneven regrowth and potential skin issues. Rather than improving their coat, regular grooming and brushing will keep it healthy and beautiful.

When grooming, it’s important to remove any mats or tangles, as they can cause discomfort and even lead to skin problems. A professional groomer can help with trimming the hair around the paws, ears, and private areas, ensuring your Maltese stays clean and well-groomed without compromising their coat’s natural functionality.

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Q: Will shaving my Maltese keep them cooler in hot weather?

A: Contrary to popular belief, shaving a Maltese doesn’t necessarily keep them cooler in hot weather. Their double-layered coat acts as insulation, regulating their body temperature. The topcoat helps to reflect sunlight, while the undercoat provides ventilation and protection from the sun’s harmful rays. Shaving can actually make your Maltese more susceptible to sunburn and heatstroke.

Instead of shaving, it’s important to provide your Maltese with proper shade, fresh water, and regular breaks indoors during hot weather. Keeping them well-hydrated and avoiding excessive exercise or exposure during peak temperatures is crucial. If you feel your Maltese needs some relief from the heat, you can consider trimming their hair to a reasonable length but avoid completely shaving them.

Q: Can shaving trigger skin problems in my Maltese?

A: Shaving a Maltese can potentially trigger skin problems. When the hair is shaved, the natural protection offered by the coat is diminished, leaving the skin exposed to irritants and allergens. This can lead to dryness, itching, and even allergies. Additionally, shaving can disrupt the balance of the skin’s natural oils, causing further skin issues.

To keep your Maltese’s skin healthy, it is best to avoid shaving and instead focus on regular brushing and grooming to prevent mats and tangles. If you notice any skin problems, consult with a veterinarian who can provide appropriate guidance and care.

Q: Is there a specific time when shaving a Maltese is necessary?

A: Shaving a Maltese is generally not necessary unless there are specific medical reasons. If your Maltese has severe matting or skin issues that require close monitoring or specialized treatments, shaving may be recommended by a veterinarian. However, this should be done under professional supervision to minimize any potential negative impacts on the coat and skin.

It is important to remember that regular grooming, including brushing and trimming, is usually sufficient to keep a Maltese’s coat healthy and aesthetically pleasing. Consulting with a professional groomer or your veterinarian is always advisable before making any decisions regarding shaving your Maltese.

Q: How can I keep my Maltese’s coat healthy without shaving?

A: To keep your Maltese’s coat healthy without shaving, regular grooming is essential. Brushing your Maltese daily or at least a few times a week helps to remove tangles, prevent matting, and distribute natural oils throughout the coat, keeping it shiny and healthy. Additionally, using a gentle dog shampoo and conditioner during bathing will help to maintain the quality of their coat.

Professional grooming sessions every 4-6 weeks can also help ensure your Maltese’s coat stays in excellent condition. During these sessions, the groomer can trim the hair around sensitive areas and provide any necessary touch-ups without compromising the overall health and functionality of their coat. Remember, a beautiful and healthy coat can be maintained without the need for shaving.

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Shaving a Maltese dog is not recommended because their coat serves important purposes. The long hair keeps them warm in cold weather and protects their skin from sunburn. It also helps to regulate their body temperature. Instead of shaving, regular grooming and brushing will keep their coat healthy and tangle-free.

If your Maltese has a lot of mats or gets too hot in the summer, you can trim their hair short but avoid shaving them completely. It’s important to consult a professional groomer who is experienced in dealing with the specific needs of Maltese dogs. Remember, their fluffy coat is part of their charm, so let’s keep them nice and stylish without compromising their well-being.

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