Do Maltese Dogs Get Cold? (Cold Weather Tips)

Maltese dogs can get cold easily due to their small size. Shorter-haired Maltese will feel the cold more than those with a long, full coat. How much the cold weather impacts your dog will also depend on their age and health.

In this article, we’ll look at how to help your Maltese dog stay warm and safe this winter.

How Does A Maltese Dog’s Breeding Affect Its Cold Tolerance?

Since Maltese dogs are small in size, they do not handle the cold as well as larger dogs may be able to.

Their small size also means they are closer to the ground, which results in more of their bodies coming in contact with the snow, which will make them chillier.

Dog breeds with long coats have better protection against the cold. Maltese dogs may have a long coat, but this is sometimes trimmed for easier grooming.

If your Maltese has a short coat, they will have a lower tolerance for the cold.

Maltese dogs have a single coat, which means they do not have the undercoat that many other breeds do. This makes the Maltese more susceptible to the cold weather!

How Cold Is Too Cold For A Maltese?

Generally speaking, when the temperature is below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit / 0 degrees Celsius), you should limit the amount of time your Maltese spends outside.

Similarly, if there is an ice storm or snow squalls, your Maltese should stay inside as much as possible.

When it’s below freezing, it is okay to take them out for a short walk to relieve themselves a few times a day, but that will likely be enough for them.

When the weather is above freezing, you can take your Maltese out for regular walks.

Regulating body temperature is harder for puppies and senior dogs. Maltese dogs that have diabetes or other diseases can also struggle to maintain an appropriate body temperature. These dogs should be watched carefully when outdoors in cold weather.

If your dog is too cold, it will show signs like shivering and whining. They may also stop walking or slow down.

Tucking its tail between its legs and lifting its paws off the ground are other signs that your Maltie is too cold. 

If you notice your Maltese doing any of these things, get them inside right away to warm up!

Provide them with their dog bed, blankets, and water to drink. If you suspect your dog may have hypothermia, take them to a veterinarian.

Can Maltese Be Left Outside In Cold Weather?

It is never recommended to leave your Maltese dog alone outside in cold weather.

Dogs that are left outdoors in the cold are at risk of developing hypothermia and frostbite.

Sadly, it is even possible that your dog could freeze to death in the cold!

It is fine to take your dog out in the cold for walks or to play, but they should not be left unattended.

Be cautious about letting your Maltese off-leash during cold or snowy weather. If your dog gets lost it can become dangerously cold in a short amount of time.

Maltese Left In Cold Vehicles

During the winter, do not leave your Maltese dog inside a cold vehicle.

Just as cars get very hot inside during the summer, they get extremely cold inside during the winter. Leaving your dog in a cold vehicle can lead to hypothermia or death. 

Do Maltese Dogs Need To Wear Coats In Winter?

A coat can help to keep your beloved Maltese warm and dry during the cold winter weather.

In particular, puppies, older dogs, or dogs that are sick should wear a coat in the winter to help them stay warm.

Dog coats come in all sorts of varieties. There are lightweight sweater jackets and heavy, insulated winter coats.

Some just cover the dog’s body while others include a hood for their head.

Many dog coats are water-resistant which is a great choice if you live in an area with frequent snow or freezing rain.

Whatever coat you choose, ensure that the coat is completely dry when heading outside. Coats that are wet will actually make your dog colder. 

With some dogs, it will take time for them to get used to wearing a winter coat.

Choosing a coat that is easy to get on and off your dog will make the process simpler. Also, be sure to pick a coat that fits your dog properly to ensure adequate warmth and comfort.

4 Clever Maltese Dog Safety Tips For Winter 

Keeping your dog safe, healthy, and happy during the winter doesn’t need to be difficult. Here are a few tips to make sure your dog is protected and well cared for during cold weather.

1) Bathing Your Maltese

Bathing your Maltese too frequently in the winter can cause your dog to have dry, itchy skin.

Consider giving your dog a bath a little less often during the colder months.

If you have recently bathed your Maltese dog, ensure that their coat is completely dry before taking them outside in cold weather. If your dog is wet when they go outside in the winter, they will have a much harder time staying warm.

2) Booties For Your Maltie

When taking your Maltese dog for a walk in the cold weather, consider using a pair of booties for their paws.

These will keep your dog’s paws warm and also protect them from salt and chemicals on the ground that are used to melt snow and ice.

The salt and chemicals can burn your dog’s paws and can also make your dog sick if they lick it off.

If your dog does not wear booties outside, be sure to wash off their paws when they come inside.

You can also apply petroleum jelly or a product on Amazon called paw wax before going outside. These can make your dog’s paws slippery indoors, so it is not recommended if you have hardwood floors.

3) Avoiding Falls And Accidents

Older Maltese dogs or dogs that have arthritis may have a hard time walking on slippery or icy surfaces.

Try to find an area to walk your dog that is free of icy patches to prevent falls and injuries.

Do not let your dog go onto a frozen pond or river, especially if they are off-leash.

It is difficult to tell how thick the ice is and despite its small size, your Maltese may break through, falling into the icy water. 

4) Keeping Your Maltese Warm Indoors

Your Maltese needs to be able to stay warm inside during the winter as well.

Many homeowners turn down the thermostat when they leave the house, but you need to maintain a minimum of 60 degrees Fahrenheit for your dog.

Provide a space for your dog to sleep indoors that is away from drafts and up off the floor.

Most Maltese dogs will like to sleep in a dog bed. You can provide blankets for extra warmth and comfort.

Do not put a sweater on your dog to sleep–if they get too warm they cannot remove it.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to keeping your Maltese dog warm this winter, be mindful of the temperature outside and provide clothing that will protect your pet against the elements.

Know the signs of hypothermia and be able to recognize when your dog needs to go indoors.

With the right protection, you and your Maltese can enjoy all that winter has to offer!


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