If you're the owner/parent (whatever you like to call it) of a Maltese, then consider yourself lucky to have such an adorable, tiny creature by your side to call your best friend! I officially envy you! 🙂
And, with such a tiny dog comes the responsibility of properly taking care of your little queen/king to the best of your abilities - all of which starts when researching for the best dog food for your Maltese.
Our List Of The Top 5 Dog Food For Maltese (Updated For 2023)
Top Pick: Fromm Gold Small Breed Adult Dog Food
Pick #2: Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Natural Dry Dog Food
Pick #3: Wells Earthborn Holistic Small Breed Natural Dog Food
Pick #4: Blue Buffalo Small Breed Chicken & Rice Dog Food
Pick #5: Wellness CORE Natural Dry Grain Free Small Breed Dog Food
*Note: The links in the table above, as well as several links in the remainder of the article below, will take you to over to Amazon.com or Chewy.com where you can find out more information about the products, such as current prices and customer reviews.
A Quick Note About The Best Dog Food For Maltese
When it comes to a dog or puppy as small as the Maltese, the calories it needs in its day to day diet vary greatly to other dog breeds that are larger in size.
Small breeds like the Maltese also require smaller sized-kibble because they aren't able to take a go at the larger sized kibble that's produced for larger sized breeds.
While this may not seem like that much of an important issue for someone to stop at for a second, it really is, because you're going to be feeding your Maltese this dog food multiple times a day, day in day out, so if it's giving them a hard time to chew on today, they might hurt themselves in no time.
We've taken these factors (and much more) into consideration and have come back with these foods as our choices for the top 5 best dog food for Maltese list.
Pick #1 - Fromm Gold Small Breed Adult Dog Food
Our #1 pick for this list of best dog food for Maltese is the Fromm Gold Small Breed Adult dry dog food.
This grain-free dog food is SO packed with protein (being made up of around a very impressive 29% protein!), with its first 3 ingredients being duck, chicken meal and chicken.
We also like the presence of whole eggs in the mixture of protein-sources in the ingredients list.
You'll also find a mixture of complex-carbohydrates (which is the kind of carbohydrates you want to see) such as brown rice, oatmeal, carrots, celery and lettuce.
The fat levels in this dog food also stand at a very impressive level of around 18%, meaning your Maltese puppy or dog will be getting all the fat they need from their diet to properly grow and maintain that beautiful, snow-white coat of theirs.
One of the best dry dog foods you could ever go with when it comes to small dog breeds (which is the case if you have a Maltese in your life) is the Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Natural dry dog food.
For starters, this dog food is specifically produced with a formula for small breed dogs, so that's a bonus right from the start.
As far as protein content is involved (coming in at an impressive 28%), your dog will be getting 3 of the best protein sources you could ever find in dog foods in the first 3 ingredients on the ingredient list: Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal and Salmon Meal.
Similar to our #1 pick mentioned above, this dog food is filler-free and contains no harmful ingredients such as artificial colorings, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, preservatives or meat by-products.
The producers of this dog food also take into consideration the small size of the Maltese (by making the kibble small in size as well), energy needs and potential health problems for a dog as small as they are.
Overall, this dog food is one of the best rich-in-whole-foods options you could go with when shopping for dry dog food for your Maltese.
Our #3 pick for the list of best dog food for Maltese dogs and puppies is the Earthborn Holistic Small Breed Natural dry dog food.
Earthborn are renowned for the way they produce their dog food, and customers all over the world have grown to trust this brand over the years due to their 100% natural approach to this business, meaning that if you go with this choice you won't be giving your dog any artificial garbage and preservatives that other dog food options are filled with.
Also, the size of the kibble in this choice is similar to our #1 and #2 picks above, meaning that it's small enough for your tiny Maltese to be able to properly handle and chew on without damaging their teeth or getting themselves into any unwanted trouble.
All in all, another very good option to give your Maltese, since it contains all the lean protein, complex carbohydrates, nutrients and minerals it needs to properly grow and maintain a healthy weight.
Many dog foods out there can easily make your Maltese overweight/obese (which is a terrible thing to happen), but not this one.
Also, we love the fact that cranberry made its way into the ingredients list with this dog food!
Another high-quality dry dog food you can try with your Maltese is the Blue Buffalo Small Breed dry dog food.
Similar to the other top picks we've mentioned in this article, the nutritional profile of this dog food is really good, be it proteins, complex carbohydrates, fat levels, etc ..
We've even had people tell us that their pups went absolutely CRAZY over how good this choice tasted, especially the Chicken & Brown Rice and Lamb & Brown Rice formulas.
Nutritional Tips For Maltese Dogs And Puppies
People can argue all they want about whether or not it's best to feed a Maltese dog or puppy dry dog food or wet dog food because of the possibility of tooth decay and dental problems occurring, but as long as they don't have these conditions in check and criteria met, then none of that will even matter the slightest bit.
Let's cover some of the basics first before thinking way too far ahead and arguing about whether it's best to feed our Maltese dry dog food or canned dog food!
As far as a Maltese's size is concerned, an average Maltese will weigh anywhere around 4-7 lbs and will stand anywhere around 7-12 inches tall.
For a small dog this size (for those of you who don't have a Maltese at home, this size and weight is REALLY small), it will need around 200-350 calories a day. In general, the bigger your Maltese is and the more it weighs, the more calories it will need, and the less it is in size and weight, the fewer calories it will need.
Let's also not forget about age, metabolism levels, activity levels and whether your dog/puppy has been spayed and neutered - as all of these factors have their say in how much calories your Maltese will need in their day to day diet.
So, to put that into example, let's say we've got a young, growing Maltese puppy that gets a ton of physical activity day in day out on one hand, and on the other hand we've got an older Maltese which gets way less physical activity during the day.
The growing, puppy Maltese will probably need something just a little above 350 calories each and every day, while the older, less active Maltese could probably need only 250-300 calories every day for maintenance purposes.
Or, how about we take into consideration a pregnant Maltese? Pregnant Maltese (just like any other pregnant dog breed) needs to take in MUCH more calories to supply itself and the baby with the sufficient nutrients that they both need.
These caloric estimations are actually positive for you and I, because this means that if you choose to buy one of those higher-priced, premium dog foods that you've always wanted to give a shot and have heard oh-so many good reviews about, you could easily do that.
Why? Because even at a relatively higher calorie count of 400 calories a day, any dog food you get for your Maltese will be lasting you a whole lot of time, as this number is barely anything to consider when it comes to dog food.
Compare that to owners of Golden Retrievers for example, who sometimes have to feed their dogs up to 2000 calories a day. That's more than some humans eat per day! That's when you have to worry about spending so much money on one dog food only for it to be gone in an instant.
Do keep in mind though that these numbers are by no means the be-all-end-all when it comes to how much calories YOUR Maltese should be consuming every day. As we always recommend when talking about the best dog food for specific breeds, the best way to determine how many calories YOUR Maltese needs during a day and what diet best suits YOUR Maltese is to contact your veterinarian so they can determine what will work best for YOUR dog or puppy.
A one-on-one consultation always beats a one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to this stuff.
Just like all other dog breeds, probably the most important part of their diet is how much protein they get on a daily basis. Get this part wrong, and you'll open up a whole host of physical problems on your Maltese, starting from growth issues, and all the way to rapid loss of lean muscle mass and bone deterioration.
When talking about Maltese puppies, you should aim to have at least 22% of their diet be made up of proteins, while that level should be at least 18% for Maltese adult dogs.
However, not all protein is created equally. You'll want to make sure you're only giving your Maltese the highest-quality protein out there, so that their bodies are able to properly synthesize, process and benefit from this protein in things like proper bone and muscle growth.
Some dog food producers will trick you into believing that their products are very high in protein levels, whereas these protein levels mainly come from meat by products and vegetables, both of which are of little use to your Maltese as far as protein is concerned.
Check out the list of ingredients and look for a few meat proteins (such as chicken, de-boned chicken, salmon, beef, lamb, bison, etc ..) among the first few top spots. All high-quality dog foods will have meat proteins among the first 1-3 (some even up to the first 5) spots on the ingredient list. The more, the merrier!
If the first ingredient (or first few ingredients) on the list is anything that's mainly a source of carbohydrates and not protein, then don't choose that dog food because your Maltese won't nearly benefit from it as they could from other options.
The dog food we've picked for you in the list above only mentions some of the best-protein sources out there, so you're safe from that standpoint.
Fat is a very vital element in each and every dog's diet (except when they suffer from things like pancreatitis, in which case that's a whole other story for another day), and that's no different for Maltese dogs and puppies alike.
Maltese dogs are known to grow fairly long and beautiful coats that many absolutely adore, and it's absolutely critical that you supply them with the required amounts of dietary fat they need each and every day so their bodies are able to maintain the conditions of these long coats and keep them in tip-top shape.
Or else, you're going to have a heavy shedding Maltese that's just going to cause a mess everywhere it goes and give you a very hard time that you really don't have to go through.
Not to mention that adequate amounts of fat in your Maltese's diet does a whole world of good for their cardiovascular system and keeping cardiovascular diseases away, as well as improving vital brain functions.
If you can find a dog food that meets the criteria we talk about in this article and contains significant amounts of flaxseed oil, then that's even more perfect for your Maltese.
Similar to our recommendations when it comes to many other dog breeds, stay as far away from the usual culprits when it comes to carbohydrates, such as sugars, soy, grains, wheat, corn, syrup, etc ..
The last thing you'll want happening is you buying one of these dog foods for your Maltese and later finding out that something like corn is the #1 ingredient on the list and none of the top spots on the ingredient list are for meat products. That's just terrible in terms of dog food quality.
The type of carbohydrates you'll want to find among the list of ingredients of the dog food you'll be buying for your Maltese (ideally after the protein-source ingredients on the list and not preceding them), are complex carbohydrates from certain fruits and vegetables such as apples, peas and sweet potatoes.
Maltese Health Issues
Maltese are one of the most lovable, playful and adorable creatures out there, especially given their tiny size that just makes them to die for.
But, and as is the case with similar small-sized dog breeds, Maltese are known to be prone to suffering from some health problems. However, and with a proper diet in check for your Maltese to live by, these health problems and risks can be greatly minimized.
Some of the most common health issues that Maltese are prone to suffer from are:
- Hypoglycemia (especially seen in young puppies). Hypoglycemia is a very common health issue among tiny dog breeds the size of the Maltese breed. This problem can be somewhat controlled by maintaining a regular feeding schedule of multiple small meals equally divided throughout the day. As a rule of thumb, around 3-4 equally divided small meals is a good place to start. When your Maltese puppy grows with time, the problem of Hypoglycemia should gradually become less of an issue.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Dog breeds that suffer from IBD should be fed a special kind of diet, which you should consult about with your veterinarian first and foremost. However, in the list of best dog food for Maltese we discussed above, we did take into consideration the fact that dogs that suffer from IBD require food that's relatively low in fat and is grain-free.
- Microvascular Dysplasia
- Dental problems
- Luxating patellas: This is where you can come in and help by supplying your Maltese with food that's produced specifically for dogs that suffer from joint problems.
- Eye problems: The older your Maltese gets, the more prone it becomes to suffering from eye problems. Fortunately, you can help your best buddy out when it comes to this issue by means of proper diet. One way you can help out is by supplying your Maltese with sufficient amounts of beta carotene (this is the natural pigment that gives carrots their orange color).