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Puppy Care

Maltipoo Puppy Care

When is a Maltipoo a Puppy?

Maltipoo puppies are just that until the age of 1 year old. The age definition is as follows:
  • Birth to 7 weeks old = a newborn
  • 8 weeks to 1 year = a puppy
  • 1 year to 8 years = an adult
  • 8 years on = a senior dog

Maltipoo puppies are quite round, they have some "puppy fat" and it helps to create that cuddly look. They begin with their puppy coat, which is usually soft and fluffy. As they grow, they will thin out a bit and the puppy coat will be replaced with their adult coat. If genes lean toward the Poodle, the coat will have some curl. If gene lean toward the Maltese, the Maltipoo puppy will mature into a coat that is silky with a soft wave.

Puppies grow quickly; here are some milestones to expect:

Birth to 3 weeks: Eyes are closed and the pup cannot hear. He is born without any teeth.  All time now is spent nursing and sleeping.
little Maltipoo puppy
Riley, 7 weeks old
Photo courtesy of Lisa Nelson
3 weeks old - The pup can now hear well and eyes are open. This is the age that a puppy first tries to walk. It is very normal for Maltipoo puppies to stumble and wobble. They need to get used to stretching out their muscles and finding their balance. Much sleep in needed at this young age, and some may sleep 18-20 hours a day...But it will not be long before you wish that he or she took more naps!

4 to 5 weeks old - By this time, they are hearing fully, seeing fully and walking very well. Weaning from liquids to solids has begun. At this age, they are learning behavior from the dam and their littermates....particularly the act of biting. 

As littermates tumble around with each other, they wrestle and bite. when they nip too hard, the other pup will yelp very loudly and usually ignore the offender for a bit....This teaches the youngster to not do it so hard. They are still dependent on the dam at this point, but they are almost ready to be more independent. 

6 weeks - Milk teeth are now fully emerged for most...enjoy this time, it won't be long before they begin to fall out and teething begins. The 6 week old puppy is on solid food and spending much more time away from the dam. He's rambunctious and having fun exploring his world. 

8 weeks old: The 8 week old Maltipoo puppy is de-wormed and has had the 1st round of puppy shots. He is is active, hyper, curious. He is independent from the dam and ready to go to a new, loving home. 
tiny Maltipoo puppy 9 weeks old
TeddyGram, 9 weeks old
Photo courtesy of Roselyn Reese
Puppy Supplies to Have

It's best if you have all needed supplies before you bring your puppy home, so that you can concentrate on caring for him without having to rush out of the home. This also gives you a chance to organize things since you may need to rearrange the house a bit. 

Here is a list of items you will want to have:

Gates or a portable indoor canine playpen. Please do not place your puppy in a tiny crate. These really serve no purpose other than to make a tiny pup feel stressed and isolated. 

You'll want to create a really nice area for your Maltipoo, and it's best to do this with the right sized playpen. 

This is where the pup can be when you can't keep an eye on him, when he is home alone, and for him to sleep. Keeping the entrance open allows him to learn it is his special area. You'll close off the doorway for when you must leave the house.

A quality canine bed.  Puppies will sleep better and feel safe with a properly sized bed with good support. 

Dishes and bowls. Avoid plastic dishes. These can leak chemicals, tend to slip around and easily scratch which can lead to bacteria build up in tiny crevices. 
Also, some dogs are allergic to cheap plastics that are used for many bowls. You'll want stainless steel or ceramic bowls for both food and water. 
Puppies that will be home alone do well with water fountains or dispensers, as these cannot tip over. Due to his small size, the Maltipoo puppy does best with shallow dishes that allow him to reach his food without banging his head on the rim. 

Honey - It is not uncommon for small puppies to have times of low blood sugar levels. If this is not treated, it can quickly spiral into hypoglycemia. Signs are weakness, sleepiness and confusion. 

Since puppies can get very sleepy and need quite a few naps, a good way to check for this is to stand the pup up and see if he can walk normally. If low blood sugar is suspected, you would dab a bit of honey onto his gums. If signs continue or worsen, he must be taken to the vet. Moderate to severe cases are treated with an IV solution to even out sugar levels. 

Toys - One of the worst things you can do is rush out to a 'dollar store' and stock up on an armful of toys. 
These will not offer much in the way of proper chewing textures and will wear out quickly. It is better to invest in a smaller number of quality toys that will be beneficial to the puppy's needs and will be sturdy enough to stand up to those sharp little teeth. You will want teething, treat release and companion toys. 
Grooming Supplies - One of the most important element of puppy care is to properly groom your Maltipoo. You'll want to have quality bath products (shampoo, conditioner) and other items to properly care for the skin, coat and sensitive areas  including leave-in spray, nose balm, paw wax, eye wipes, ear cleaning solution, gauze pads, brushes and combs, nail clipper or grinder, toothbrush and canine toothpaste.

Food - Puppies can struggle with fast changes in food. The best method of changing a puppy onto a new, chosen food is to have both the 'old' food he is used to eating and the 'new' food.  Over the course of 3 to 4 weeks, make a gradual changeover. 

Accessories - This includes a leash (a retractable leash works best), a collar (for ID purposes. a 'break-away collar is best) and a harness (to use when on leash). While you will see owners walking puppies on leash and collar, this is not recommended. Doing this puts all pressure and tension on the puppy's neck. This can lead to collapsed trachea. 

A harness, on the other hand, distributes force over the chest, back and shoulder blades. This is much safer for the puppy and it actually works very well to give you better control when taking him for a walk. There are many types of harnesses to choose from including slip-on mesh and zippered vests.
Extras - It's a good idea to have a supply of 'poo bags' for cleaning up after bowel movements.  Also, since tiny puppies tend to easily get the chills, having some baby-sized blankets for cuddling and some soft shirts to slip on him can keep the Maltipoo feeling warm and secure. 
holding Maltipoo puppy in arms
Teddy, 11 months old
Photo courtesy of Alauna
Maltipoo Puppy Care Tips

1) Locate a good veterinarian and keep all appointments. It's important that your puppy is properly vaccinated, de-wormed and has health checks during this time of rapid growth.

2) Do not bring your puppy into public areas where there are dogs, or could have been dogs, until all puppy shots are complete. Pups are somewhat protected by antibodies passed to them from the dam when they are nursing. Then, when nursing ends, protection starts to build up via the inoculations. Until those are complete, a pup is vulnerable to many diseases that can be caught by being around other dogs.

3) Once he has had all shots, start a routine of two walks per day. If a puppy is not taken for regular exercise, he will have too much pent-up energy. This will manifest as excessive barking and destructive chewing habits. Each walk should be for about 20 minutes, at a pace that is brisk yet comfortable for your pup.

4) Provide lots of stimulation to teach a puppy all about his environment. His world will be the size that you choose for it to be. So, to be well socialized, you will want that world to be as big as possible. Gradually introduce him to all sorts of people, places and experiences. 
5) Take note of your puppy's teeth, anal glands, ears and all parts of the body, so that is a health issue begins to develop you will be able to notice in the early stages. 

6) Establish yourself as leader. Teach your puppy the 'sit' command and expect him to obey it before any food or treats are given. Be the first to enter and exit the house. All human family members should follow these rules; if not a puppy may struggle with understanding the hierarchy in the household. 

7) Enjoy this brief phase. Have lots of patience and and a good sense of humor. A Maltipoo is only a puppy for the first year and these 12 months will be packed with learning housebreaking, commands and gaining a grasp on expected behavior. This is a lot for a puppy to take on. 

However, with loving yet firm care and guidance, your puppy will learn from you and will mature into a well-adjusted happy dog.
See also: Top Maltipoo Care Tips, that are most often overlooked by owners.
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