Why do Maltese turn brown?

  • Date: April 12, 2021
  • Time to read: 4 min.

The Maltese is a small, white dog breed that is known for its luxurious white coat. However, many Maltese owners have noticed that their white coats have begun to turn brown. This change in color can be concerning for owners, especially since it can seem like an overnight occurrence. In this article, we’ll discuss why Maltese turn brown and how to prevent it from happening. We’ll also provide tips on how to maintain your Maltese’s white coat. By understanding the causes of the color change, you can keep your Maltese looking their best.


The question of why Maltese turn brown has puzzled dog owners and veterinarians alike. This is a common phenomenon that can occur in any breed of dog, but it’s particularly noticeable in Maltese dogs. It is important to understand why this happens so that owners can take the necessary steps to prevent it from occurring. In this article, we’ll look at the possible causes of why Maltese turn brown and what owners can do to prevent it.

What Causes Maltese to Turn Brown?

There are several potential causes of why Maltese turn brown. One of the most common is genetics. Some Maltese are born with a gene that makes their coats more prone to discoloration. This gene can be passed down from generation to generation, so if a Maltese puppy’s parents have discolored coats, they are likely to have the same problem.

Another cause of why Maltese turn brown is sun exposure. The sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause discoloration in the coat of any breed of dog, but the effects are much more noticeable in the light-colored coats of Maltese. If a Maltese spends a lot of time outdoors, the sun will gradually darken their fur.

A third reason why Maltese turn brown is age. As a dog gets older, their coat will naturally begin to fade and become discolored. This is a normal part of the aging process and is not necessarily a cause for concern.

What Can Be Done to Prevent Maltese from Turning Brown?

Fortunately, there are several steps that owners can take to prevent their Maltese from turning brown. The first is to limit their dog’s exposure to the sun. Even if a Maltese spends only a few minutes outdoors, their coat can be discolored by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. To protect their coat, owners should either limit their dog’s outdoor time or make sure they are wearing a protective coat or sunscreen.

Another way to prevent Maltese from turning brown is to provide them with a healthy diet. A balanced diet will help keep their coat healthy and will also help reduce the amount of discoloration that occurs due to age. Owners should also make sure to provide their dog with plenty of water to keep their coat hydrated and reduce the risk of discoloration.

Finally, owners should consider using a coat conditioner or coat brightener on their Maltese. These products can help to restore the color of their coat and prevent further discoloration.


Understanding why Maltese turn brown is the first step in preventing it from happening. By limiting their exposure to the sun, providing them with a healthy diet, and using coat conditioners or brighteners, owners can help ensure that their Maltese retains its beautiful coat color.

### Common Myths about Why Maltese Turn Brown
Maltese dogs are a small, white breed of dog. However, some Maltese may develop a brownish coat over time. This change in color can be a surprise to some owners. There are many myths about why Maltese turn brown that have been passed around for years. Here, we will dispel some of those myths.

Myth 1: Maltese Turn Brown Because of Stress
Many people believe that the stress of life can cause a Maltese to turn brown. This is false. Stress can cause a variety of health problems in dogs, but coat color is not one of them.

Myth 2: Maltese Turn Brown From Sun Exposure
Another myth is that Maltese will turn brown if they are exposed to too much sunlight. This is also false. While it is important to keep your Maltese out of the sun for extended periods of time, it will not change the color of their coat.

Myth 3: Maltese Turn Brown From Poor Nutrition
A third myth is that poor nutrition can cause a Maltese to turn brown. This is also false. While good nutrition is important for all dogs, it will not affect the color of their coat.

Myth 4: Maltese Turn Brown From Age
The last myth is that a Maltese will turn brown as it ages. While it is true that a Maltese’s coat may become a bit darker as it ages, it will not turn brown. This is because the coat of a Maltese is determined by its genes, not its age.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do Maltese turn brown?

Answer: Maltese turn brown due to a process called oxidation, which is the same process that causes iron to rust. The Maltese’s natural oils interact with the air and cause the color to change.

Can I prevent my Maltese from turning brown?

Answer: Yes. Regular grooming sessions to remove the oils that cause oxidation can help prevent your Maltese from turning brown. Additionally, using a coat of sealant or protective wax can help protect the Maltese’s color from oxidation.


Maltese dogs can turn brown for a variety of reasons, such as genetics, sun exposure, and age. To prevent discoloration, it is important for owners to limit the dog’s exposure to the sun, provide a healthy diet, and use coat conditioners or brighteners. Additionally, owners should make sure the dog has plenty of water to keep the coat hydrated. Taking these steps will help ensure that the Maltese maintains its beautiful coat color.

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