How to Wash a Maltese Poodle

by Lori Lapierre, Demand Media
    Maltese poodles typically have thick, wavy hair that easily tangles and mats.

    Maltese poodles typically have thick, wavy hair that easily tangles and mats.

    Your tiny Maltese poodle -- or Maltipoo -- is a designer dog bred for his cuteness and small stature. At 2 to 12 pounds, he's easy to handle in a bath. While hair texture and length can vary, most have medium-long, wavy, thick hair -- requiring some special bathing considerations.

    Items you will need

    • Wire brush or dog comb
    • Cotton balls
    • Plastic cup or sprayer
    • Hypoallergenic shampoo
    • Towel
    • Hypoallergenic conditioner (optional)
    • Washcloth
    • Blow-dryer

    Step 1

    Comb out your Maltese poodle's coat before starting his bath. Start at the head and brush down his back and sides with a wire brush or dog comb; when you run across a tangle, remove it by combing slowly from the tip of the hair toward the skin. Brush his tail, underbelly and legs to make sure he is tangle-free.

    Step 2

    Remove any mats prior to bathing. Sprinkle cornstarch on the matted hair to loosen the fibers; use a slicker brush to separate the mat into smaller portions and then comb each out. Hold the matted hair firmly to avoid pulling on your dog's skin. If the mat is too thick, it may need to be shaved off by a groomer.

    Step 3

    Place cotton balls in your Maltese poodle's ears to keep water out during the rinsing steps. Water left inside his ears can cause infections.

    Step 4

    Put your Maltese poodle in the tub or lift him into the sink, depending on his size. Wet down his fur with cups of water or a sprayer set on low; the water should be lukewarm.

    Step 5

    Pour a small amount of hypoallergenic shampoo on the back of your Maltipoo's damp head and began to rub it into his hair. Lather up his back, down his sides, and on his chest and underbelly. Rub shampoo down all four legs and finish with his tail. Leave the shampoo on for at least five minutes, which also assists in killing any fleas that may be hiding in his coat.

    Step 6

    Rinse out the shampoo thoroughly, starting with the back of his head and moving down his body with the sprayer or cups of warm water. It is important to remove all shampoo residue to avoid drying out your Maltese poodle's skin, which can cause itching. Once all soap is removed, run your hands down his body to press out excess water.

    Step 7

    Towel dry as much of the water as you can out of your dog's coat rubbing lightly. Too much friction with the towel can cause additional tangling of his fur. A hypoallergenic dog conditioner can be rubbed into the hair at this time, if desired.

    Step 8

    Dampen a clean washcloth and use it to wash your Maltese poodle's face. Clean around his eyes, nose and muzzle. Soap is not necessary unless his coat is muddy; if it is used, it must be wiped off. Clean around his ears, but avoid placing a wet cloth inside of them. Remove the cotton balls from his ears, as well.

    Step 9

    Blow dry your Maltese poodle, rather than let him air dry. Use a comb to lift and separate the wavy strands, detangling as you dry. Use the dryer on a low to medium setting to get the majority of dampness out of his hair.

    Tip

    • If your Maltese poodle is not used to baths or is young, keep one hand on him at all times.

    Warning

    • Maltipoos should be brushed every day or every other day to avoid painful matting of their hair.

    About the Author

    Lori Lapierre holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science in public relations/communications. For 17 years, she worked for a Fortune 500 company before purchasing a business and starting a family. She is a regular freelancer for "Living Light News," an award-winning national publication. Her past writing experience includes school news reporting, church drama, in-house business articles and a self-published mystery, "Duty Free Murder."

    Photo Credits

    • Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images