Archived Message

Fresh Air?

by Carina

I've seen some post recently on this board that referred to dogs that rarely or never go outside. I've always heard that exposure to the sun is an important part of keeping a healthy Maltese. There are cosmetic benefits in that the pigment on the nose and around the eyes stays dark. And of course a regular walk keeps them in shape. But can a Maltese stay healthy without time outdoors?


I'm glad you mentioned this. It gives me a chance to unload a bit. As most of you know, I bought my Pixie from a petstore. I frequently go in there to buy stuff for Pix. There is a male Maltese that is still in there since I bought Pixie in April. He looks so sad. My daughter and I play with him when we can. I noticed he does not have any pigment what so ever. I mentioned to one of the girls that works there that these animals need some sunlight to be healthy, etc. She shrugged it off. I of course had a few things to say about it since I've taken the time to educate myself on dogs in general. There was a couple there interested in getting a dog. You should have seen me. I was trying my best to sell them on the benefits of owning a Maltese. But I had to finally say when the petstore sales person wasn't around, that I wouldn't get a dog again from a petstore and I explained why as I'm telling them what to look for in a reputable breeder. I told them it makes me sad every time I come in here, but I can't save them all. If I feel that bad about the dogs, imagine thinking about all the foster human children out there that need a home! Anyway, getting back to your question, every source I've read mentions how important it is for dogs to get adequate sunlight for a healthy coat, exercise, etc. I could only imagine then that the dogs that don't get outside enough are lacking some essentials for better health.

Neither of my Maltese ever go outside unless I am holding them. They get plenty of exercize by running around the house and up and down the stairs. These are tiny 4 pound dogs. They get some sun that comes through the windows. They are extremely healthy and robust. The dangers of letting them outside are very real for us. A month ago a little Maltese about a 20 minute drive from here got killed by some loose rottweiler/shepherd mix dogs while she was waiting to be left inside after going outside to do her business. We don't have the fleas and ticks and disease that comes from being let outside, not to mention the pickers and dirt. We also have a swimming pool and you've heard about the dangers possible there. As far as going outside now, it's in the 90's and very humid. The dogs can die from heatstroke in no time. I have a fox and her pups living on my property, raccoons, armadillos, possums, rattle snakes, water moccasins, fire ants, wasps, scorpions, hawks etc. etc... I'll let mine bathe in the sunlight from indoors thank you.
-Donna Skaggs

In the winter, my dogs rarely go outside. In the summer, the are allowed to go out into the run on pretty days, when I am home. During the winter, their markings remain black, their hair white, and they are extremely healthy. They run indoors much more than they do outside. Outside is just to Bark as far as they are concerned, and much too warm to run.
-Marsha A.

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