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Care (Main Page)

Maltipoo Care Tips

(that owners don't always follow)

Overview

Everyone's goal is to take exceptional care of their pets; but still... it's not always easy to juggle everything that needs to be done. Doing a quick review of vital care tips that owners tend to either stop doing after a while or never got into the habit of doing in the first place can ensure that you're giving your Maltipoo the best care possible. 

Your canine family member’s quality of life depends on what you do, the decisions that you make and where you decide to focus your attention. If you find that you are guilty of ignoring these care tips, we'll tell you why you may not be following these and exactly how to turn things around. 

So let’s go over the top 5 Maltipoo care tips that owners do not follow, but should. These will help bring balance, safety, emotional happiness, health and a fulfilling life to your amazing puppy or dog.
pure white Maltipoo
Loki, at 1 year and 4 months
Photo courtesy of Yvelyse Santiago
Maltipoo Care Tip #1

Puppy-proof the house once a month, no matter your Maltipoo's age.  

Why owners don’t do this: Just about everyone does this right before bringing a new puppy home. Then, this super important care tip is forgotten. A Maltipoo is settled in, and while he may mouth something now and again, he’s never swallowed anything dangerous, so owners don’t feel this is necessary. In addition, life is busy, so who has time to survey the entire house, when they don’t think it’s needed?

Why it’s important to follow this care tip: In just about every case of something bad happening, one thing is said afterward. It is a version of: “I didn’t think it could happen to me/us/him/her”. Dogs of ANY age can – within the blink of an eye, mouth and swallow something that leads to choking, damage to the esophagus, poisoning and/or partial or full stomach or intestinal blockage. This then results in injury, the need for emergency care (sometimes an operation costing thousands) and even death.

We must remember that dogs of all ages cannot fathom the purpose of countless items, so every object is a potential curiosity. If it is within reach, at any moment, a Maltipoo can decide to mouth it. This is canine instinct. In most cases, the ingesting part happens by mistake. While the items that dogs have swallowed is shocking, it is even more surprising that it doesn’t happen more often. Things that dogs have swallowed, that have been confirmed via x-ray, and subsequently have been removed via costly surgery include:
Knives (of all kinds, but mostly small pocket knives), children’s toys (everything from matchbox cars to miniature figures), jewelry, rubber ducks, socks (in many cases, because these contain a heavy odor of the owner and dogs find that tempting), tape, sewing needles (a Chihuahua swallowed 9), mini headphones, candy wrappers, coins and fishing hooks (this happens a LOT, in some cases, the hooks held the scent of previously caught fish).

How to implement this care tip:  

• At least once a month, do a sweep of the entire house; try to look at it from your Maltipoo’s viewpoint. What is within reach? What has fallen to the floor? What is behind furniture? What has rolled to the corners of the kitchen? Just one grape that got away can be deadly, as these are highly toxic to canines. Are there any small toys/socks/small items laying around when they could be placed up high? Go room by room, picking up what is needed.  

• Even if your Maltipoo never showed interest before, protect all electrical cords with a cord concealer meant to keep pets from chewing on these and suffering death by electrocution. 

• If your Maltipoo has matured since the last ‘puppy-proofing’ session, see what he may be able to achieve now that he is older. If it is even remotely possible that he could nose or paw open lower cabinets in the kitchen or bathroom, place child-proof locks on them.

• Finally, survey the yard. It’s not uncommon for dogs to swallow pebbles (one dog ate 2 cups of gravel from a turtle tank), but weeds, open bags of fertilizer and any sharp objects are concerns as well. And with many types of bees, wasps and hornets making their homes at ground level or under the ground with ground-level entrances, check for newly built nests as well since stinging insects are always a danger for small dogs.
Maltipoo Care Tip #2

Schedule and keep yearly health checks with the vet.

Why owners don’t do this: Most puppies come with health guarantees and pups see the veterinarian a lot when young for vaccinations. But, then as a Maltipoo matures, owners don’t see the need for vet visits if everything is fine with the dog. Additionally, with plenty of bills already, owners don’t want to spend money if they feel it is not needed. Another problem is that particually with senior dogs, owners are in denial; they know something is wrong, but they are afraid to find out.

Why it’s important to follow this care tip: A Maltipoo of any age, at any time and without any warning can develop a health condition. Without wellness checks, treatment will only begin once the dog becomes so sick that the owner finally brings him to the vet. 
maltipoo littermate sisters at beach
Maddie & Sophie, both at 17 months old 
(littermate sisters)
Photo courtesy of Melanie Smith
And this causes so much needless suffering. A huge majority of issues can be treated much easier if caught early; but not so if caught in the later stages. Also, kidney disease, diabetes, cancer, tooth infection… these are conditions that affect dogs of all ages and can be quite serious, even leading to early death if not treated promptly and properly.

How to implement this care tip:  
  • Make the call and schedule a day/time that is convenient for you (so you are less likely to cancel) and make a commit to follow through. 
  • Is money an issue? It is for many pet owners; but what you spend on the wellness check will be far less than what you may need to spend if you wait until your Maltipoo shows clear symptoms of an issue. And if you make a plan to put away $20 per month (less than $1 a day), you can easily cover the cost of this yearly care necessity. 
  • If you know that something is wrong with your Maltipoo, freezing in place and postponing a checkup will never be the better option. And in the meantime, your dog will be suffering, with the stress of illness making things even worse. It's always better to face issues head on, get your dog treatment as soon as possible and with seniors, to be informed about your dog's medical conditions. Lots of conditions, no matter the dog's age, can be controlled with proper medication and other care.
Maltipoo jumping
Does this look like a mirror? It's not!
Bonnie & Aengus, littermate siblings, both at 6 months old
Photo courtesy of Anna Flynn
Maltipoo Care Tip #3

Brush your Maltipoo’s teeth

Why owners don’t do this: An owner may see that others (family members, friends, neighbors) don’t do this for their pets, so they wonder if it’s really that important. It should be noted that those who do not care for their dog in this way may be deeply regretting that choice later down the line. An owner may also believe that chews (even daily dental chews) are effective enough in cleaning the teeth, so brushing them would be overkill. And finally, this important care element may be being ignored because it may appear to be too time consuming in an already busy day.

Why it’s important to follow this care tip: The possibility of tooth decay is happening to your Maltipoo’s teeth at this very moment. Plaque naturally develops around the clock, 24/7, every second of your Maltipoo’s life. Dental chews play a role in caring for the teeth, but on their own are not even close to being effective enough to prevent issues. Without regular care, plague WILL grow, it will spread under the gum line and it will turn into tartar. Decay will then occur if you do not follow through with this care tip. 

You may not see this consequence for years down the line, but when it occurs (and it will for all but the luckiest of dogs), it will lead to rot, infection (which can be terribly painful), loose teeth and missing teeth. For some dogs, infection will spread up into the sinuses and for others, it will cause sepsis (an allover body infection that can be lethal). 

How to implement this care tip:
  • Start fresh. If it has been over a year since your Maltipoo had a vet checkup and an examination of his teeth, make the appointment. Find out exactly where your Maltipoo stands in regard to his dental needs and go from there. If the vet needs to do a professional ‘full dental’, the teeth will be cleaned & scraped and x-rays will identity any issues that need to be cared for. Then, you can follow a daily routine that will keep your Maltipoo's teeth healthy and even in some cases, extend his life span
  • Obtain the right items. Once you have a high quality canine toothbrush and an effective canine toothpaste, you’ll feel better about having the right tools to follow through with this vital care tip. Three-sided brushes, sized for toy breeds work best. The toothpaste you use is an important element as well; it must be gentle on enamel but have the right abrasive quality to effectively do its job. In addition, since dogs have no choice but to swallow most of the paste, you want a made in the USA brand that contains all natural ingredients. 
  • Know that it only takes 5 minutes a day to do this task properly, so it will not make much of a dent in your busy schedule. It’s best to plan in advance exactly when you will carry out this care tip. Right after dinner? In the evening when the family is sitting around the TV? Keep your Maltipoo’s brush and paste in a Ziploc bag or container and leave it right near the spot where you will be doing this. And even setting a daily alarm on your phone to remind you can be a good idea.
  • With your commitment to start brushing your Maltipoo's teeth daily, do still keep giving your puppy or dog a daily dental treat, as this does have a place in a plan of good oral hygiene. Look for made in the USA, all natural treats, proven to help remove plaque. Using a quality water additive, such as Tropiclean's Fresh Breath Plaque Remover is another additional method to prevent decay and can be very good for resolving issues with bad breath.
Maltipoo Care Tip #4

Exercise your Maltipoo every single day

Why owners don’t do this: Many owners take their Maltipoo out into the yard to go to the bathroom, scan up at the sky or out into the neighborhood… consider possibly taking their dog for a walk… and then enter back into the house. There are several reasons why this important care element is not carried out. If a Maltipoo is very active indoors, always running to and fro, it may seem unnecessary to head out for a walk.

The weather plays a role, if it’s rainy or cold, getting outside may be pushed aside. Puppies and dogs that are not regularly exercised may behave badly when walked (barking, pulling ahead, etc.), so owners may try to avoid what seems to be an arduous task. And finally, time restraints may cause this to be skipped far too often. 

Why it’s important to follow this care tip: This care tip makes the top 5 list for very good reasons. Regular exercise has the following benefits:
  • Stronger bones
  • Maintains muscles
  • Is good for building up stronger ligaments and supporting tissues to reinforce strength around the knees
  • Good for the heart
  • Helps the digestive system
  • Plays a role in preventing a host of diseases
  • Is a HUGE part of a dog’s mental and emotional happiness. Daily, purposeful exercise leads to a more well-behaved dog. It is a way for a Maltipoo to release excess energy that would otherwise be directed elsewhere (barking, chewing, restlessness), gives him a purpose, allows him to use his canine senses, improves mood and alleviates boredom. 
  • Allows a dog to become socialized to outside elements, eventually leading to him not reacting (barking, jumping), when encountering them. 
How to implement this care tip:  
  • Choose 2 times during your typical day when you have 20 minutes to spare. Most people find before work and then when they arrive home to be best, but go with what best fits into your schedule. Designate these times as ones that you will take your Maltipoo out for a walk. This may mean walking up a few minutes earlier, assigning a family member to take on a chore that you normally do, etc. however there is very little that can come in the way of actually finding those two windows of time.
  • Be prepared. Have your Maltipoo’s harness (a collar and leash combination can lead to serious neck injury, including a wearing down of the tracheal rings and a harness allows for much better control) and leash by the door, along with your most comfortable walking shoes. Be ready for any weather issues; keep a large umbrella by the door and coats for all seasons; don’t forget a vest or sweater for your Maltipoo, if it is cold out (and paw wax for the paws both in the summer and in the winter).
shaved Maltipoos with scarves
Otis (left) and his sister Zoe (right),
both 2 and 1/2 years old
Photo courtesy of Olivia
  • Use this time to do two things: Practice having your Maltipoo heel (this will eventually lead to very enjoyable walks) and plan to ignore any negative behavior such as barking. If you use a harness, you can safely keep your Maltipoo in place for proper heeling (your Maltipoo stays to your left, at your side) and barking reactions (it will be completely ignored, and you will continue to walk with your Maltipoo in position). Whether the issue is children, birds or cars, the more a dog is exposed to a trigger, the less enticing it becomes. 
Maltipoo Care Tip #5

Use a canine car seat for your Maltipoo

Why owners don’t do this: There is a multitude of reasons why this essential care tip is ignored. Some owners assume that using a car seat for their dog will be a hassle. Others don’t see the need, after all, accidents ‘happen to other people’ and ‘don’t happen to good drivers’. There are Maltipoos that seem so darn happy to be standing up at the window with the rushing wind it provides, it would be ‘mean’ to confine them. Some owners don’t see the real danger in allowing their puppy or dog to be on their lap or snuggle next to them. Finally, owners may not feel the price of a seat is within their budget.  
male maltipoo
Valentino, at 1 year and 4 months old, Photo courtesy of Annie Cofrancesco
Why it’s important to follow this care tip: Trauma is the leading cause of death for puppies. While there are no stats on the Maltipoo (being a hybrid breed), it is the 2nd leading cause of death for toy Poodles and a top concern for all toy sized breeds, including the Maltese. While this includes all trauma including being hit by a car, being dropped and being stepped on, it also covers fatal injury occurring as a passenger in a car. 

You can control your own driving habits, but not that of others; no one plans on being hit, but it happens a LOT. In the US, every 5 to 30 seconds, a car accident occurs, this includes everything from a fender-bender to those causing fatalities. Think things wouldn’t be so bad with just a fender-bender? In an accident, an unrestrained dog will be thrown with up to 20 times his own body weight. Even if we cut this by 1/4, a 10 pound Maltipoo would be thrown as if he were a 50-pound object. 

It simply is not worth the risk to not care for your Maltipoo in this way. And it is not just for safety, it is also to prevent motion sickness; the most comfortable position for your Maltipoo is up high in a canine car booster seat where he can look out of the window and receive fresh air. 

In regard to cost ($30 - $70), we encourage you to consider this a vital investment in the care and safety of your Maltipoo. What can happen in the blink of an eye can be devastating. Preventing body trauma, broken bones and even death is priceless. 

How to implement this care tip:  
  • While obtaining a used car seat for your Maltipoo may seem tempting, you may want to reconsider this. A secondhand model is most likely missing correct installation instructions, may be missing important parts, could have already been involved in a collision (making it unsafe and affect its functioning), can fall short of current safety standards and the plastic components may have become brittle over time, making it unsafe.
  • Select a seat wisely to be happy with your choice. You’ll want a raised booster seat that is sized for toy breeds. Look for durability and quality materials. For dogs that tend to sleep in the car, a thick lambskin-type interior will make it feel like a super comfortable bed. For Maltipoo that are active and like to look around and for a nice airy feeling, a mesh see-through is a good choice. Take care to always connect the interior buckle to your Maltipoo’s harness (and NOT a collar), to prevent neck injury. 
  • Know that once you have it set up in your car, it’s very easy to use one. It takes perhaps 10 extra seconds to place your Maltipoo down and connect the buckle. And you’ll actually save time because you won’t be distracted at all while driving and your time in dealing with motion sickness issues will dramatically decrease as well. 
*** If you'd like to see our top recommendations for car seats, look to 'Car Seats' in the Maltipoo Specialty Shoppe.

A Final Word on Maltipoo Care Tips

With even the most loving, conscientious owner, there is always room for improvement in regard to care. And of course, no one is perfect. However, taking the time to reassess these care elements can go a long way in protecting your precious Maltipoo with the goal being a long and happy life. 
Things to do now:

Become a free Member (if you are not already a Member) so that you'll receive a friendly reminder when we add a new Topic of the Month to this Maltipoo blog & when we add new pages and sections to the site!
Browse through the Maltipoo Specialty Shoppe - Every top recommended product specifically for the Maltipoo. 
Request your copy of the PetMaltipoo eBook - The most comprehensive Maltipoo care book that exists. This is a 'must have' book for all Maltipoo owners.
You May Also Like:

Maltipoo Coat Color Changes - A great look at the way the Maltipoo can change color as he matures. 
Maltipoo Skin Tags - Why these can develop, and what you can do to prevent them. 
My Maltipoo Puppy is Afraid of the Leash - In our Q&A blog, we help an owner whose Maltipoo is scared of the leash. 
When a Maltipoo Won't Eat - Why a dog may start to refuse food and what you can do to resolve this. 
Top 10 Maltipoo QuestionsAnswers to the most commonly asked questions about this incredible hybrid dog. Includes queries about being hyper, being yappy, tear stains, licking, shedding, growling, shivering and sleep.
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