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Choosing the Best Shampoo For a Maltipoo

Bath Products: Shampoo, Conditioner and Leave-in Spritz

Overview - The products that you use on your Maltipoo's coat are going to have a huge affect on how the coat looks; it plays a major role in regard to the health and integrity of hairs, the shine and the texture of the coat. With varying degrees of curl and with the Maltipoo being found in just about every color imaginable (not to mention the vast range of possible products), finding the right shampoos and bathing products may seem overwhelming. 

In this section, we are going to cover why finding the best shampoo for your Maltipoo is so important, what other grooming products can do for your dog and recommendations for a super healthy coat. 
Important Elements of a Great Shampoo

1) Will clean effectively yet gently - One of the biggest issues with inferior shampoos are the harsh ingredients that essentially over-clean a dog's coat. And this is particularly relevant with breeds like the Maltipoo that have hair as opposed to fur. Cheap shampoos often have parabens, phlalates and/or polyethylene glycol which strip the hairs as they wash. Each hair strand is surrounded by a protective coating and if with the wrong shampoo, the coat can actually look worse and worse each time you give your Maltipoo a bath. 

2) Is properly pH balanced  - It's easy for inferior shampoos to inexpensively create dog shampoo because basic soap and cleansing agents (often used for generic human products) are cheap to come by yet they are not correctly pH balanced for canine skin. Humans have a pH level of between 4.5 and 5.5. Canines are close to 7 and need a slightly alkaline product. The best shampoos for Maltipoos have a neutrial pH, leaning toward alkaline. 
Maltipoo Clean Coat
Photo courtesy of Veronica
3) No-chemical, all natural- You have to be really careful in regard to many canine products. Cheap foods contain fillers, cheap toys are made with dangerous dyes and shampoo can be filled with unnecessary filler agents that cause everything from a drying effect to allergic reaction to outright hair damage. If you've noticed that your Maltipoo's coat is becoming drier and is losing its silky texture, using the wrong shampoo may be to blame. High-end shampoos will contain only all-natural ingredients and will not contain anything that is not beneficial to coat health. 
4) Washes out well, not too oily -  Have you ever recently shampooed your Maltipoo only to notice that the coat seemed weighed down afterwards? Or maybe despite being perfectly clean, your dog smelled a bit odd right after a bath? In many cases this is due to an overabundance of thick, oil-type ingredients found in shampoo that do not rinse out well, with residue remaining not only on the hairs but also on the skin, blocking pores.

While you want the shampoo to properly clean, it is essential that it also can be effectively washed out once its job is done, to offer the ideal foundation to add conditioner. 
black Maltipoo with nice coat
Vito, at 6 months old, 
Photo courtesy of Peter Szaraz
The Importance of a Quality Conditioner

If you are using a really good shampoo, that's great, but it is only half of the equation. Massaging in a really great conditioner is just as important. The conditioner and a leave-in is needed to protect the coat from all sorts of elements: 

1) Contact friction - Every time your Maltipoo's coat comes into contact with something; the floor, carpeting, bedding, grass, etc.

2) Spit ends - Broken hair shafts begin at the ends and make their way up, causing a frizzed, unhealthy appearance and make for a coat that does not properly grow.

3) Sun damage - While some color changes are natural, sun exposure can alter a Maltipoo's coat. Sometimes referred to as sunburning or sunburnt, blacks, browns and grays can take on a reddish hue. And while Malitpoos carry the Poodle's fading gene, other colors may unnaturally fade or become dull due to outside exposure. 
4) Arid air and static issues - If you notice that your Maltipoo's hair shows signs of being static or becomes dry in the winter, this is often due to arid air not allowing the skin and coat to retain enough moisture. A good conditioner can restore moisture to dry locks and protect against these issues.

The conditioner that you massage in after the shampoo offers a thick, dense application for optimal hair cuticle covering and restoration. Then, using a leave-in coat spritz from then until the next bath, will continue keeping the coat healthy until the next scrubbing. 
5) Helps prevent mats and tangles -  Tangles are quite common with the Maltipoo due to the curl of the Poodle on the fine coat of the Maltese; using a good conditioner will stop hairs from tangling up. It's best to try and prevent this since once one develops, the only options are to take the time to work it out or snip it off. 
Specialty Shampoos - There are some circumstances in which you may wish to use a specialty shampoo for a while or alternate with your basic shampoo:

Color enhancing - If you have a very light colored Maltipoo (light tan, white, cream) and the coat is taking on a yellow tinge, you'll find that using a quality, safe, non-chemical color enhancing shampoo can do wonders. It can remove stains from the hairs and allow the dog's natural coloring to shine through. Alternatively, if you have a mid color or dark Maltipoo (moderate tans or black, dark brown), if the coat is looking dull and has lost its shine, using a color enhancing product for black coats or tan coats can give it a nice sheen and add highlights which gives dimension. 
Shampoo for Maltipoos with allergies - Allergies can really do a number on a dog, it not only can cause runny eyes, watering nose and wheezing, but can also cause very itchy skin which can lead to a dulled, dry coat. While we do strongly recommend working with your veterinarian to not only pinpoint the triggers but also to treat them, using a quality shampoo to sooth itchy, irritated skin is an important part of an overall plan to help a dog feel better. 

Yeast, fungi, bacterial infections - For Maltipoo that have yeast infections (though fungi and bacterial are seen once in a while too), the right antimicrobial shampoo can often resolve the issue without having to rely on expensive prescription products. Signs of skin yeast include an odd musty smell, oily skin, an oily sheen to the coat and/or itching. 
Shampooing, Conditioning & Spritzing Tips  - Once you are satisfied that you have the best products for your Maltipoo, you'll want to be sure that you gain optimal benefits from them. Here are some helpful tips:
  • Shampoo often enough- Even if your Maltipoo appears to be completely clean, shampoo him once every 3 weeks. If not, there will be an accumulation of body oils that can lead to smelly quite badly. By the 3 week mark, there is enough oils, dirt and debris that the whole body needs to be cleaned for hygiene purposes.
  • But not too much - If your Maltipoo has an issue such as allergies, yeast infection, mites, etc. shampooing will need to be done much more often (every day to every 7 days, depending on the issue); but if he is not having any problems, do not shampoo more often than every 3 weeks because this can dry out the skin, even with one of the best shampoos; it is just too hard for the body to keep up with natural oil production if it is being washed off rapidly. 
  • Be sure to scrub well- W hen you shampoo, this is not to just clean the coat, it is to also clean the skin. You'll want to use a good amount of shampoo and take 4 to 5 minutes to really scrub down deep. If your Maltipoo has a tight coat with curls, you may find it best to use a small bath scrub brush.
  • Rinse one extra time - Your chosen shampoo's job is to offer its benefits and then be rinsed out. If any residue remains, the conditioner and then leave-in spray will not be able to do their jobs and clumps of shampoo residue can block skin pores. So, a good rule to go by, is that when you think that you've rinsed enough, rinse one more time.
  • When you massage in the conditioner, 4 to 5 minutes is all that is needed. What can be accomplished in that time will be; adding on 10 minutes or more will not make a difference. 
  • Use your chosen leave-in spritz once time every 2 to 3 days. Go easy with this; the goal is to lightly mist the coat, not soak it. Hold this about 5 inches from the coat, spray near the roots and then use a brush to distribute the product down to the tips. If your Maltipoo's coat really needs some help, spray some of the product onto your hands and scrunch the hair tips. This is particularly important to use in the summer and in the wintertime.
Black and white Maltipoo with eyebrows
Oreo, at 1 and 1/2 years old
Photo courtesy of Cynthia Rilling
The Best Shampoos, Conditioners & Leave-ins for Maltipoos - Now that we've covered the importance of choosing the right products that not only benefit the skin and coat but also to protect both in between baths, here are our top recommended products.

Item #1 and #2: Our top choice for basic, essential shampoo and conditioner is Earthbath. These all-natural products are superior. Choose eucalyptus & peppermint for an amazing scent that carries for days or oatmeal & aloe for minor itchiness or irritation or for Maltipoos with very sensitive skin. Follow with the accompanying conditioner for beautiful results.

Item #3: For skin problems including super dry skin, peeling, scaling and/or irritation, Furrever Medicated Shampoo is fantastic. It is both soothing and healing with chamomile and Aloe Vera.

Item #4: The best shampoo for Maltipoo dogs with allergies, is Pet King's Zymox. This is great for aiding with exceedingly itchy, red skin and/or rashes due to allergens.
Item #5 For a yeast infection shampoo, Nootie's anti-fungal can't be beat. With gentle yet effective medication to slough yeast off of skin, while soothing with regenerative compounds, this is a great product. 

Item #6: For a shampoo that helps with hair loss, DerMagic is quite incredible. You'll want to use the entire line of shampoo, conditioner and rescue lotion. Shampoo and condition as normal and use the rescue cream 2 times a day for 3 weeks, then 1 time a day until the coat has grown back. 

Item #7: One of the best leave-in spritzes for this breed:The name is apt, because The Stuff is the only stuff you need to provide all the benefits of a leave-in. Protection from outdoor elements, contact friction, split ends, dry air and tangles.

Item #8: Another fantastic leave-in; Nootie has to be mentioned as well, because it does all you expect it to do and comes in 6 amazing scents. 
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