The Maltipoo has become a popular choice for dog lovers looking for a little toy dog. The idea here is that you get all the attractive traits of the Maltese companion breed and the smart Poodle’s additional traits. There are queries over the status of the dog’s coat, however. So, are Maltipoos hypoallergenic and, if not, how high is the risk to owners with allergies?
Are Maltipoos hypoallergenic? The excellent news for those keen on getting one of these cute hybrid dogs is that there is a substantial chance of them being hypoallergenic with minimal risk of allergic reactions. The reason for this is that both parent dogs have hair types classed as hypoallergenic.
The Coat of The Maltese Dog
The Maltese coat is typically classed as hypoallergenic because these dogs have a single coat of long straight hair. There isn’t the same density as with fur, where allergens and dirt can become trapped. Dogs with hair tend to be a lot better for people with allergies, and the Maltese are, therefore, one of the best companion breeds for those struggling with this issue. While many owners keep this hair long and need regular brushing for shows, you can also clip it much shorter.
The Coat of The Poodle Dog
The Poodle’s coat is one of the best for those dealing with allergies because the dense curls of hair are even better for repelling dirt and allergens. Again, there is a simple single coat here, and while there is a little natural shedding and skin loss, it isn’t too excessive. Poodle coats are relatively easy to maintain with the right clipping and grooming. Those with severe allergy problems can take their pet to the groomer for the best results and minimal risks.
When you breed a Maltese with a Poodle, you are sure to get hair of some kind.
This all means that you are sure to get a dog with hair of some kind rather than running the risk of denser fur or dander. Poodle crosses are always popular with families because of the reduced risk of shedding and allergens. However, some cross-breeds are over-sold on their potential. For example, if you breed a Labrador with a Poodle for the infamous Labradoodle, there is the risk that the Labrador coat could come through in some pups. Here, it doesn’t matter if you get the Poodle’s coat or the Maltese as the dominant gene in these pups.
There are lots of curly-coated little Maltipoos out there that are adorable little teddy bear-like dogs. Many breeders will promote these as they have a look that prospective owners expect. Others may be slightly larger with the Miniature Poodle size and the straighter, silkier coat of the Maltese. Even then, the hair is usually more wavy than straight.
The Genetic Heritage of A Maltipoo Will Make A Big Difference to Their Hair Type
If you want to find a Maltipoo with a curly coat for the lowest possible allergen risk, look for dogs with a higher percentage of Poodle genetics. This means looking for animals that aren’t first-generation dogs. If you have a Maltese crossed with a Miniature Poodle, they are 50% Maltese and 50% Poodle. If you have a Poodle crossed with a Maltipoo, that switches to 75% Poodle genes and 25% Maltese. The chance of that beneficial curlier coat increases significantly. However, if you cross a Maltipoo with a Maltese, it goes the other way at 25% Poodle and 75% Maltese.
This is one of the many reasons why it is essential to meet with breeders and see pups and parents before buying. If you see the puppies’ parentage, you will have a better idea of how their coat will turn out. If the breeder doesn’t let you come near the parents and is guarded about the linage, look elsewhere.
Can A Maltipoo Be Genuinely Hypoallergenic?
It is important to remember that there is no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog. The term was coined to refer to animals with shallow risk because they have hair instead of fur. There is such a low risk that those with allergies related to fur and dander may not have the same reactions. Therefore, the dog may be hypoallergenic and completely risk-free.
However, this doesn’t mean that Maltipoos don’t shed their hair at all. All dogs have to shed so that healthy new strands replace the old coat. You might not see so much of it around your home, but it is probably there in their bedding. Also, be prepared to deal with some dander. Dander is the flakes of shed skin, and while these are less likely to sit within a silkier coat of hair, they will form.
What Can You Do To Minimize The Risk of An Allergic Reaction?
1) Spend some time with a Maltipoo puppy before committing to owning one.
This is important for anyone looking to buy a puppy, whether a Maltipoo or another breed. If you spend time with them and get close to their fur and skin, you should soon find out if there is an allergic reaction. It is better to be safe than sorry.
2) Stop your new puppy from sleeping in your bed or getting onto the furniture.
It is always a good idea to get little companion dogs used to sleeping in their own bed as early as possible. This gives them a sense of routine and curtails any issues of separation, anxiety, and attention-seeking. But, it also means that it stops the hair from getting on or in your bed.
3) Wash their bedding regularly.
Your Maltipoo may not shed that often compared to a lot of dogs. But, there is still hair and dander to deal with. A lot of that will accumulate in their dog bed as they nap and sleep. Wash it regularly before it becomes a problem.
4) Brush them regularly – ideally outside.
Regular brushing is vital if you want to ensure that your Maltipoo’s coat is in the very best possible condition. Also, the more often you brush and deal with shed hair, the less likely it is to get all over the house. Consider doing this outside if your dog is willing for an even better result.
5) Take them to a groomer when they need a hair cut.
Trimming and clipping your Maltipoo’s coat into shape is essential to keep it manageable. But, it is understandable if you don’t want to do this yourself. Not only is there the potential allergy risk, but you might also worry about some of the more detailed work. Take your dog to the groomer and let them handle everything.
6) Bathe them adequately to stop the skin from drying out.
Bathing your dog in a beneficially routine is essential for keeping their hair clean and maintaining their skin and hair quality. Bathing with the right products will allow for better circulation and oil production to minimize dry, flaky skin. Always go for natural ingredients to limit the risk of an allergic reaction.
Are Maltipoos High Maintenance When it Comes To Grooming?
While the curlier coat is more desirable in households dealing with allergies, it is also harder to maintain. It is crucial to keep it clean, free from mats and tangles, and in the dog’s best length and shape. In addition to this, you also need to make sure that you stay on top of other grooming needs, such as nail clipping, tooth cleaning, and ear cleaning. There is a risk of ear infections, so keep on top of this task.
Don’t Forget That Maltipoos May Develop Allergies of Their Own
Both the Poodle and the Maltese are at risk of developing allergies. Some will develop environmental allergies from dust mites and pollen, with issues of hayfever becoming common. There are also risks of food allergies to triggers such as grains and some meat proteins. The bad news here is that in addition to irritating your dog, their allergies could also trigger your own. Allergic reactions that lead to dry and flaky skin can increase the likelihood of dander production. Make sure to look after your pet’s diet and talk to your vet about any treatments for seasonal issues.
In short, while there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog, the Maltipoo is about as close as you can get in a cross-bred dog. The hair types of the parent dogs allow for a genetic make-up that produces hair instead of fur. They still have a little dander and shed a little, but not in the same way as other dogs. As long as you are careful with grooming and dealing with that dander, there shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
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