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Keep face clean?

by melanie and ziggy

Hi! I gave Ziggy his first bath last Saturday; he's still relatively clean except that his face is dirty, esp since he puts his nose into everything. Do you have suggestions on how to clean his face. I try to wipe it with a towel but that only seems to spread the dirt. I also groom his face as much as he'll let me, but that doesn't seem to help. I know it's not tear staining because the marks are not red. It's just dirty. Should I try shampooing only his face (?). I will admit that during the bath, I didn't lather his whiskers because he was so scared already---it was his first one. Anyway, any advice you give would be helpful. Oh, when I say face, I mean the head and whisker fur plus ears. Thanks!


Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that many of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinarian medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.

Dear Melanie,When I bath my maltese I use a soft tooth brush to wash the face area. Using a tearless shampoo such a as Coat Handler, I apply the diluted shampoo carefully to the moustache, around the beard and head with the soft toothbrush before wetting the dog down for the bath. This makes it a lot easier especially if the dog likes to struggle or is afraid during the bathing process. You may also use waterless blue shampoo for the face applied the same way between baths, taking careful care not to get it in the eyes. Hope this helps.Linda Coleman
-Linda Coleman, Lin Lee Maltese

When I got MOLLY about six years ago I thought that I would never learn to keep her "cute" face clean and then I was introduced to eye and face wipes! You can find these wipes in magazines and pet supply stores. They are wonderful to use between baths! Most are hypoallergenic and will not iritate your dog's skin. I have also tried baby-wipes, they work good too!

I find the easiest way to put the shampoo on the head area is with a bottle that you can buy at any beauty supply, that is meant to use to apply hair coloring to peoples hair. You can put it exactly where you want it with these. I use, like Linda, a soft toothbrush to stroke through the hair, but after the shampoo is applied. I also like a "flea" comb to use on the mustache area after the shampoo has been applied. It will slip right the hair and removes tiney bits of debris. I also like the "new" waterless shampoo, that comes in a spray bottle. It leaves a conditioner in the hair and helps to repel dirt etc, unlike the old one did.
-Carole - Fantasyland Maltese

I use a plain old wash cloth. You can wet it, soap it, and use it any time you need to clean the face. If you use soap make sure you rinse the rag a keep wiping the face till you feel all the soap is out. In fact my dog has learned to like this proceedure. She thinks she's just gettin some extra specially attention. I also like using the washcloth in her bath. This way you can keep from ever dumping watter on her face or getting soap in her eyes. I use a flea comp in her bath to make sure any debre is removed and no tangles remain in her wiskers. Be gentle and your pup can learn to really love this experience.

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