Maltese dogs are known for their small size and luxurious white coat. But did you know that these adorable pups also have a distinct reproductive cycle? Just like other dog breeds, Maltese dogs come into heat, or estrus, during specific times of the year.

When it comes to the heat cycle of Maltese dogs, it’s essential to understand their reproductive history. Generally, female Maltese dogs start their first heat cycle between the ages of 6 and 12 months. This initial heat cycle marks the beginning of their reproductive maturity. From that point forward, Maltese dogs typically go into heat approximately twice a year, with each cycle lasting around three weeks. During this time, female Maltese dogs may experience hormonal changes, behavior shifts, and physical symptoms that indicate they are ready to breed. As a responsible owner, it’s essential to be aware of these signs and take appropriate measures to care for your Maltese during this period. Understanding their heat cycle can help you make informed decisions regarding breeding or taking steps to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

when do maltese come into heat?


When Do Maltese Come into Heat?

Maltese dogs are known for their small size, adorable appearance, and friendly disposition. They make wonderful companions and are commonly kept as pets. If you are a proud Maltese owner or considering getting one, it’s important to understand their reproductive cycle, including when they come into heat. This article will provide you with detailed information about the heat cycle of Maltese dogs, including the signs to look out for and how to care for your furry friend during this time.

Understanding the Heat Cycle of Maltese Dogs

The heat cycle, also known as estrus, is the reproductive cycle that female dogs go through. It is the time when they are fertile and can conceive if mated with a male dog. Maltese dogs typically come into heat for the first time when they are between six and twelve months old, although this can vary. Some Maltese dogs may have their first heat cycle as late as 18 months old. The average length of the heat cycle in Maltese dogs is around three weeks, but again, this can vary from dog to dog.

During the heat cycle, the female Maltese will experience various physical and behavioral changes. The most noticeable sign is swelling and bleeding from the vulva, which marks the beginning of the cycle. This is followed by the “standing heat” phase, where the female becomes receptive to mating. This phase may last for a few days. After the “standing heat” phase, the female dog will enter the “diestrus” phase, where she is no longer receptive to mating. This phase lasts for several weeks before the cycle starts again.

It’s important to note that male Maltese dogs can detect when a female is in heat, even from a distance. They may display increased energy and behavior changes, such as marking territory or being more alert. It is crucial to keep females in heat supervised or separate them from male dogs to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Signs That Your Maltese is in Heat

Determining when your Maltese is in heat can be essential in ensuring you take the necessary precautions. Here are some signs to look out for:

  1. Swelling and bleeding from the vulva: This is often the first noticeable sign that your Maltese is entering the heat cycle.
  2. Increased urination: Dogs in heat tend to urinate more frequently to leave scent markers for male dogs.
  3. Changes in behavior: Your Maltese may become more restless, clingy, or anxious during this time.
  4. Excessive licking: Your dog may lick her genital area more often than usual.
  5. Male dogs showing interest: If male dogs start showing increased attention or aggression towards your Maltese, it may be a sign she is in heat.

It’s important to keep a record of your Maltese’s heat cycle to anticipate when the next one will occur. This can be helpful in planning for potential breeding or spaying/neutering decisions.

Caring for Your Maltese during Heat

When your Maltese is in heat, it’s crucial to provide the necessary care and attention to keep her comfortable and prevent any accidental pregnancies. Here are some tips for caring for your Maltese during this time:

  • Keep her indoors: To prevent escape attempts or interactions with male dogs, it’s best to keep your Maltese indoors during her heat cycle.
  • Monitor her closely: Supervise your Maltese when she goes outside to prevent mating attempts or aggressive encounters with other dogs.
  • Use protective garments: There are special garments available, such as doggie diapers or heat pants, to prevent soiling and protect your Maltese’s genital area.
  • Maintain cleanliness: Keep your Maltese’s living area and bedding clean to ensure hygiene during her heat cycle.
  • Consult with a veterinarian: If you have any concerns or questions about your Maltese’s heat cycle, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian for professional advice and guidance.

When to Breed Maltese Dogs: Optimal Time for Mating

When it comes to breeding Maltese dogs, timing is crucial to maximize the chances of a successful mating and healthy pregnancy. Understanding the optimal time for mating can increase the chances of conception and reduce the risk of complications. This section will delve into the ideal time for breeding Maltese dogs and the signs to look out for.

Understanding the Reproductive Cycle of Maltese Dogs

Female Maltese dogs go through a well-defined reproductive cycle, which consists of four stages: proestrus, estrus, diestrus, and anestrus.

The proestrus stage is the beginning of the heat cycle and usually lasts between 7 to 10 days. During this stage, the female Maltese dog attracts male dogs but is not yet receptive to mating. The proestrus stage is characterized by vulvar swelling, vaginal bleeding, and heightened male attention. It is crucial to keep a close eye on your Maltese during this stage to prevent unwanted mating.

The second stage is estrus, which typically lasts for about 7 to 10 days. During estrus, the female Maltese becomes fully receptive to mating, and if successfully bred, pregnancy can occur. Signs of estrus include a change in the color and consistency of vaginal discharge from bloody to straw-colored or clear. It’s essential to closely monitor your Maltese during this stage and introduce her to a suitable male for breeding if desired.

The diestrus stage follows estrus and lasts for approximately 60 to 90 days. This is a crucial phase for a potential pregnancy as the fertilized eggs implant into the uterus. The female Maltese may show signs of pregnancy, such as weight gain, nesting behavior, and mammary gland development. However, it’s important to note that false pregnancies can also occur during this stage.

The final stage is anestrus, which is the resting period between heat cycles and can last for several months. It is a non-reproductive stage where the female Maltese’s body prepares for the next heat cycle.

Signs Indicating Optimal Time for Mating

Knowing the signs that indicate the optimal time for mating is crucial when breeding Maltese dogs. These signs can help ensure successful conception and increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy. Here are some indicators to look out for:

  1. Changes in vaginal discharge: The consistency and color of the discharge will change during different stages of the heat cycle. When the discharge becomes clear or straw-colored, it is a sign that the female Maltese is approaching the optimal time for mating.
  2. Lifted tail: During the receptive phase of estrus, the female Maltese may raise her tail to the side, indicating that she is ready for mating.
  3. Acceptance of the male: A female Maltese in heat will show signs of interest in a male dog and may initiate or eagerly engage in mating behaviors.

It’s important to note that not all females will display these signs in the same way or at the same time. Monitoring your Maltese closely and consulting with a veterinarian or experienced breeder can help determine the optimal time for mating based on your specific dog’s behavior and physical changes.

Maltese Heat Cycle: Common FAQs

Understanding the heat cycle of Maltese dogs can raise several questions for both new and experienced owners. In this section, we will address some common FAQs to provide you with further clarity:

1. Can a Maltese get pregnant during her first heat cycle?

While it is technically possible for a Maltese to get pregnant during her first heat cycle, it is generally recommended to wait until the dog is at least 18 months old or has had two to three heat cycles before considering breeding. This allows the dog’s body to fully mature and reduces the risk of complications during pregnancy and delivery.

2. How long does a Maltese stay in heat?

The average length of the heat cycle in Maltese dogs is around three weeks. However, this can vary from dog to dog. It is important to monitor your Maltese closely and keep track of her heat cycle to anticipate when it will begin and end.

3. Should I spay my Maltese if I don’t plan on breeding her?

Spaying your Maltese is a personal decision and should be made in consultation with a veterinarian. Spaying has several health benefits, such as reducing the risk of certain reproductive diseases and preventing unwanted pregnancies. It may also help reduce behavioral issues related to the heat cycle, such as restlessness and increased marking. Discuss the pros and cons of spaying with your veterinarian to make an informed decision.

4. Can I take my Maltese for walks during her heat cycle?

It is generally safe to take your Maltese for walks during her heat cycle, but extra precautions should be taken. Keep her on a leash at all times to prevent encounters with male dogs. Be aware that male dogs may be more attracted and aggressive towards females in heat, so stay vigilant during your walks and avoid heavily populated dog areas.

5. What if my male Maltese shows no interest in a female in heat?

It is possible for a male Maltese to be uninterested or show no signs of interest in a female in heat. This can be due to various reasons, such as stress, illness, or simply lack of interest. If you are attempting to breed your Maltese and your male dog shows no interest, it is recommended to consult with a veterinarian or experienced breeder for further guidance.

Maltese Heat Cycle and Breeding: Key Considerations

When it comes to breeding Maltese dogs, there are several key considerations to keep in mind to ensure the health and well-being of both the female and potential offspring. This section will outline some important factors to consider before breeding your Maltese:

1. Health checks:

Before breeding your Maltese, it is essential to ensure she is in optimal health. Schedule a visit to the veterinarian for a thorough health checkup, including reproductive evaluations. This will help identify any underlying health issues that may affect the breeding process or the health of the offspring.

2. Genetic testing:

Maltese dogs, like any other breed, can carry genetic health conditions that may be passed on to the offspring. Consider genetic testing before breeding to identify any potential risks and make informed decisions.

3. Responsible breeding practices:

Responsible breeding goes beyond the physical health of the dogs. Consider the temperament, behavior, and overall quality of the Maltese dogs involved in the breeding process. Breeding should only be done with the intention of improving the breed and producing healthy puppies.

4. Finding a suitable mate:

When selecting a mate for your Maltese, it is important to consider factors such as compatibility, genetic diversity, and the overall health of the potential mate. Consulting with experienced breeders or veterinarians can help you find a suitable mate for your Maltese.

5. Proper care during pregnancy:

If your Maltese becomes pregnant, proper care during pregnancy is crucial for the health of both the mother and the puppies. Provide a healthy diet, regular exercise, and regular veterinary checkups to monitor the progress of the pregnancy and ensure a smooth delivery.


Understanding the heat cycle of Maltese dogs is valuable knowledge for any owner or potential breeder. Knowing when your Maltese will come into heat, the signs to look out for, and how to care for her during this time are essential for her well-being and to prevent unwanted pregnancies. If you plan to breed your Maltese, understanding the optimal time for mating and considering key factors for responsible breeding is critical. Remember to consult with a veterinarian or experienced breeder for professional guidance and advice specific to your Maltese. By being well-informed and proactive, you can ensure the health and happiness of your furry friend throughout her reproductive journey.

Key Takeaways: When Do Maltese Come Into Heat?

  • Maltese dogs typically start their heat cycle between 6-12 months of age.
  • The cycle usually occurs every 6-8 months.
  • During heat, female Maltese may experience vaginal swelling and discharge.
  • Male dogs may show increased interest in female Maltese when they are in heat.
  • Spaying or neutering your Maltese can prevent unwanted heats and pregnancies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our frequently asked questions section on Maltese dogs and their heat cycles. We understand that pet owners have many questions regarding the reproductive health of their beloved pets. Here we provide answers to some commonly asked questions that will help you understand when Maltese dogs come into heat and what to expect during this time.

1. How often does a Maltese dog come into heat?

A Maltese dog typically enters their heat cycle, known as estrus, approximately every six to eight months. However, this can vary depending on individual dogs. Factors such as genetics, overall health, and environment can influence the frequency and timing of a Maltese’s heat cycles.

It’s important to note that the first heat cycle for a Maltese usually occurs between the ages of six months to one year. After that, they will continue to go through heat cycles throughout their adulthood, unless they are spayed.

2. How long does a Maltese dog stay in heat?

The heat cycle of a Maltese dog typically lasts for approximately two to three weeks. During this time, the female dog will experience various stages, including proestrus, estrus, and diestrus. The most fertile period, where the female is receptive to mating, usually occurs during the middle of the cycle.

It’s important to keep a close eye on your Maltese during this time, as they will attract male dogs and may display behaviors such as frequent urination, restlessness, and a swollen vulva. Proper supervision and care are essential to ensure your Maltese’s well-being and prevent any unwanted pregnancies.

3. How can I tell if my Maltese is in heat?

There are several signs that can indicate if your Maltese is in heat. One common sign is a swollen vulva, which may appear slightly larger and more prominent than usual. Additionally, you may notice a bloody discharge, which can range from light pink to bright red.

Behavioral changes are also common during a Maltese’s heat cycle. Your dog may become more affectionate, restless, and display increased interest in male dogs. It’s important to keep your Maltese safe and secure during this time to avoid any accidental pregnancies.

4. Can I spay my Maltese before her first heat?

Yes, it is possible to spay your Maltese before her first heat. Spaying, or ovariohysterectomy, is a surgical procedure that removes the ovaries and uterus, preventing the dog from going into heat and eliminating the risk of certain reproductive health issues.

There are multiple benefits to spaying your Maltese, including the prevention of unwanted pregnancies, a lower risk of certain diseases (such as uterine infections and certain types of cancer), and the avoidance of behavioral changes associated with heat cycles. It’s best to consult with your veterinarian to determine the most suitable timing for spaying your Maltese based on their individual health and circumstances.

5. How should I manage my Maltese during her heat cycle?

During your Maltese’s heat cycle, it’s crucial to manage her effectively to ensure her safety and prevent unintended pregnancies. Keep her indoors or in a secure, enclosed area to minimize the risk of encounters with male dogs. Avoid taking her on walks or to public areas where intact males may be present.

You may choose to use disposable doggie diapers or washable and reusable doggie britches to manage the bloody discharge. Regularly clean her genital area to maintain hygiene and prevent infections. It’s important to keep her calm and comfortable during this time, providing her with extra attention and care.

when do maltese come into heat? 2



Hey there! So, let’s quickly recap what we’ve learned about when Maltese dogs come into heat. Typically, female Maltese will have their first heat cycle between 6 to 12 months old. This is called puberty for them. When in heat, they may show some signs like swollen vulva and a bloody discharge. The heat cycle usually lasts for about 2 to 3 weeks. It’s important to keep an eye on your Maltese during this time to prevent any unwanted pregnancies.

Remember, every dog is different, so the timing may vary a bit. It’s crucial to talk to your vet and get their advice on your specific Maltese. And if you decide not to breed your pup, you can consider spaying to prevent heat cycles altogether. Well, hope you found this information helpful, and now you know all about when Maltese come into heat!

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