Maltese dogs that haven’t been spayed will go into heat most probably twice a year. The heat cycle usually lasts for 3 weeks during which your Maltese would need special care.
During heat cycle provide additional time and attention to your Maltese (they become needy). Take your dog for a walk but adjust Maltese physical activity due to potential lack of energy. Keep your dog away from male dogs especially during walks. Offer her tastier cuts of meat or her favorite food since she may suffer from appetite loss.
If you want to get more details and tips about taking care of your Maltese during heat cycle keep reading this article.
How Do I Comfort (Care) My Maltese While in Heat?
The heat period is quite a special one and your Maltese will feel much different than usual due to hormonal level changes.
During her heat cycle, your Maltese may become clingy, needy, quite snuggly but also nervous sometimes. Take a little more time than usual to cuddle her. She really needs that.
Distract her by providing some new toys
During her second phase called Estrus, she will have only one thought on her mind- to mate! In order to distract her and make focus on something else, a new, interesting toy or some safe chew toys would be perfect.
Maltese in heat may feel more tired and sleepy. Provide a safe and calm zone, where she can rest as much as she wants.
During the first stage of the heat cycle, called Proestrus, your Maltese girl will have vaginal bloody discharge.
Dogs usually lick themselves intensively during these days so most probably you won’t find any mess on your floor but still, you do, don’t yell at her, don’t scold her, just comfort her gently while you clean the mess.
How To Walk My Maltese While In Heat?
Some people mistakenly think that they shouldn’t walk the dogs in heat. On contrary, dogs in heat do require some physical activity. Maybe they have lack of energy but still they need to go out.
When you walk your Maltese while in heat, you need to take precautions to avoid any unpleasant situations like unwanted litter.
First, make sure that the ID tag and microchip information are up to date. Dogs in heat usually have a strong urge to escape so they can find a mate so this way you will find your Maltese easier if she runs away.
Another thing, you can invest in a GPS tracker for even better results.
Another thing- never leave your Maltese unsupervised while outside. No matter you have a big yard with a tall/strong fence. You won’t believe what males are capable of when they smell the female in heat.
It’s recommended to walk your Maltese in less sociable hours – very early in the morning and late in the evening to reduce the possibility of meeting other dogs.
Avoid any dog parks, dog shows, or any public events where you think other dogs will show up. Pick some isolated place/park/path for a walk where you won’t be meeting other dogs.
It’s a good idea to mask the scent of your female in heat. Some dog owners apply a tiny amount of Vicks VapoRub cream on the tip of her tail that should keep the males away from her but be causes.
Dogs hate menthol scent but you should be careful and do not let her lick the area you applied the cream as this product contains menthol and camphor among others and these are toxic to dogs.
Giving your dog Chlorophyll tablets may also reduce the odor but you should consult the vet about the exact dosage. Never give any medicine to your dog before consulting the vet.
You should also prevent male dogs to track her scent all the way from the park or some other spot to your home.
Males can detect the scent of a female in heat up to 3 miles. So they know that there is some female in heat even if they don’t see her.
They can track her smell all the way to your home and then hang around trying to get to her. This is a possibly dangerous situation that should be prevented.
If you take a car ride from your home to the place where you will walk with your Maltese and then ride back home, males will have no chance to track your girl.
Don’t forget though that your Maltese in heat should be always on a leash while outside. No matter how trained she is, how obedient she is, her natural instincts would win in this situation, so keep her tight and never let any intact male come near her.
How To Keep Clean My Maltese While In Heat?
As you know, the dog should have several baths during one year. Frequent baths are not good for their skin and fur. The general rule of thumb is one bath per month unless your dog gets really dirty so you are forced to bathe him.
Like we said in the beginning, the heat period is a bit different than anything else so different rules apply when it comes to hygiene as well.
Even though Maltese dogs like other breeds keep really good care about their intimate area, lick themselves more than usual, they might need your help in order to keep a good level of cleanliness.
During the first phase ( around 7 days ) of the heat cycle, you might be able to see the bloody discharge. The amount of discharge varies from dog to dog but still, it can make a mess.
So some extra baths will make no trouble to your Maltese skin and fur. If you don’t feel the need to bathe your dog you can only wipe her intimate area on daily basis. This will keep her clean and will reduce the scent.
Many Maltese owners use either disposable or washable diapers for dogs in heat. This can prevent a mess but never consider these items as contraception for dogs ( as some owners do) as males will easily find the way even if a female wears diapers or heat pants.
You can also place disposable absorbent pads on the place where your pet sleeps. You can also use washable pee pads.
What To Do If My Maltese In Heat Won’t Eat?
This a completely normal thing. Especially for the second phase ( Estrus). Your Maltese has only one job to do and that is to find the mate and breed. Nothing else matters, not even the food.
Luckily the appetite loss during heat doesn’t last long enough to harm your dog but still, you have to do your best so your Maltese gets all nutrients she needs.
No matter how well she usually eats, during those days she may become a picky eater. That means that she likes one food today but totally dislikes it tomorrow. As a good dog parent, you have to cope with it.
- Offer her favorite food more often than you usually do.
- Bribe her with some tasty treats.
- Give her tastier cuts of meat.
- Put some delicious topping over her regular food. That can be a healthy and tasty fish or coconut oil or even peanut butter. You can always purchase ready- to use toppers or cook a delicious unsalted chicken broth and soak her kibbles in it. It will give her a different texture and improve its dry food taste.
- Treat her with some tasty fruits like blueberries, strawberries, or bananas.
Always make sure your Maltese drinks enough water to keep her hydrated.
If she refuses to eat, try hand-feeding, in some cases, it helps since she needs more of your attention and affection.
Your Maltese won’t be so interested in food during the first and second phase of her heat cycle ( around 2 weeks ) If her appetite doesn’t recover and get back on track after the heat cycle symptoms are over, you should consult the vet.
Your Maltese will go into heat every 6 months or so, will stay in heat for approximately 3 weeks, and during that period she will require special care and attention.
The most important thing you need to do is to give her more cuddles and more of your time if she asks for them.
Another equally important thing is to keep her away from an intact male. This means that you should seal up your house, don’t let any intact male come in, always supervise your girl while outside, walk her on a leash and never let her go near males.
I really do hope that you find this article helpful and that you will find some tips on how to handle and take care properly of your Maltese female in heat.