The Lifespan of a Maltese dog
Generally, dogs of this breed have a greater life expectancy or life span when compared to dogs of other breeds, especially the big ones. Small dogs, also known as Toy Breeds, tend to live longer as their exercise and nutritional requirements are minimal compared to big dogs.
The life of Maltese dogs can be affected due to different causes, the main one being several medical conditions this breed is naturally prone to. But most of these conditions are not fatal.
The life span of the dogs of this breed is somewhere between 12 – 15 years. However, some Malteses have exceeded said average limit, but it depends on how they are loved and cared for to live a long life.
Factors Affecting Their Lifespan
As dog owners, we wish that our dogs could live much longer than expected. Even though Maltese dogs live long, some things could affect their lifespan. So if you’re planning to get a Maltese dog, it is better to know what factors will affect their lifespan and how you can control some of them so that your pet can live a long and healthy life.
If you already have a small dog as your pet, you’d know how easy they are to care for compared to a big dog. Maltese dogs were bred to live a comfortable life indoors. Remember this; as long as they are adequately fed, groomed with some exercise, you have already taken several steps to increase their longevity.
The key part here is that you should provide them a space where they feel safe and comfortable, irrespective of their size.
Every dog owner should take their dogs to the vet’s office to conduct checkups regularly and provide them treatments or medicines if needed. Like any dog, Maltese also needs said checkups and treatments.
If they are not well or show any symptoms, take them to the vet as soon as possible to avoid getting worse. Even if they are small, neglecting these health problems might become a catalyst that affects their lives. Having check ups done will help in finding symptoms of any severe disease.
A properly balanced diet is another essential factor that affects the lives of all dogs. If you don’t watch what and how much you feed your Maltese, potential problems that could arise are obesity and being underweight. Suppose your Maltese suffers from obesity; they’ll be immediately prone to heart diseases, leading to breathing issues and eventually causing death.
Keep in mind that a lack of a balanced diet will damage your dog’s health. And when it comes to feeding your dog, some say that the correct quantity of dog food is all they need. But in reality, the quality, freshness, and cleanliness of their food also play a crucial role.
Generally, the toy breed dogs, or Maltese to be precise, do not require intense exercise when compared with dogs of a larger breed. But this doesn’t mean they don’t need to exercise at all.
Many experts say that Maltese dogs need at least half an hour of exercise (An ideal option if you are not a fan of exercising). Keep them active with fun and light activities and avoid indulging them in exhausting exercises. Overexerting your dog will put them at risk of injuries.
Common Health Issues In Maltese Dogs
Maltese dogs are prone to some typical illnesses and other issues due to their Genetic Predisposition, meaning; diseases caused by their genetic composition. They are susceptible to viral and bacterial infections, which can be avoided or minimized with prior vaccinations.
The leading cause of death in Maltese breeds is Mitral Valve Disease, a type of cardiovascular disease, which they are prone to. If your dog is diagnosed with it, ensure to get them treated, and delaying treatment will cause more damage to their heart.
Some other health problems are not fatal, but those could surely decrease the quality of their life. For example, Maltese dogs could inherit or develop Glaucoma, which causes pain in their eyes and eventually leads to blindness if treatment is neglected.
As a new Maltese owner or as someone looking to adopt one, you should know all the positives and negatives of having a dog of this breed.