Maltese have become very popular in the past few decades as their size allows them to be apartment pets. Like other dogs, they need high-quality, nutritious food that supports their health. Protein sources such as fish, lamb and novel options like elk, kangaroo, and camel (for pets with allergies) make excellent choices for them.
Today’s article looks at some of the top choices in terms of foods for Maltese dogs. We’ll address a few options based on your pet’s age, health, and the type of nutrition you, as a pet owner, find most convenient — wet or dry. Since this dog breed is notorious for being a picky eater and having a sensitive stomach, we’ve chosen products that consider these two aspects.
Best Dog Foods for Maltese Dogs
While the best dog food varies largely from one pet to the next, we have collected some of the healthiest options you now have at your disposal. All of these meet AAFCO standards and are appropriate in size, too, since that should be a focus for Maltese dogs.
Ollie Human Grade Dog Food
If you want your Maltese dog to be as healthy as possible, the best food to give them should be a fresh alternative. Whether you opt for one that’s packaged and sent out to you on a regular basis or a freeze-dried or air-dried variant, it will often be much healthier compared to commercial varieties riddled with artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors.
Our detailed Ollie Dog Food Review can provide you with additional information on the pros and cons of choosing this diet for your dog. It is one of the best options out there since it’s 100% natural and contains fresh ingredients, and it was designed with the assistance of veterinarians.
Ollie dog food is highly recommended for sensitive stomachs, so if your Maltese has a history of suffering from an upset stomach, this is the diet you should look into. Also, if you become a member, you are able to benefit from free shipping.
Best for Allergies
Yumwoof Dog Food
Yumwoof is another fresh dog food choice that can benefit your Maltese. It’s developed for dogs with sensitivities and allergies, so it addresses the needs of pets with either food allergies, digestive distress, or associated skin health complications.
Although some of Yumwoof’s options can be less affordable, so they might not make the best choice for pet guardians with budget constraints, you do have the freedom of getting a cheaper version. The brand sells a so-called perfect dog food mix that is much more budget-friendly than their proprietary blend. The trick is that you need to add the protein yourself, so you must add ground beef or ground turkey and then bake the mix in your oven.
If your Maltese has a sensitivity or allergy to beef or poultry, there’s always the option of going to a Middle Eastern shop and getting ground lamb instead. This Maltese dog food is free of artificial flavors and preservatives, and you don’t need to refrigerate it when it’s delivered to you.
Best Wet Foods for Maltese
Hill’s Science Diet Small & Toy Breed Savory Beef & Vegetable Stew
Although somewhat more commercial than other brands mentioned in today’s article, Hill’s Science Diet still makes a good choice for busy pet owners wanting to give their Maltese dogs the best nutrition. This US-made recipe contains real beef, pork liver, as well as brown rice, and carrots.
The only thing that could have been slightly better is the lack of grains because this option does contain wheat flour and modified rice starch, both of which act as binders. Still, the stew makes for a great choice if you have no time to cook your dog food using the freeze-dried options we’ve already mentioned yet you still want to give them a tasty meal.
Best Dry Foods for Maltese
Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient
Since it is specially designed for small breeds, your Maltese will find it easy to chew this dog food. Some of its best features range from the fact that it is manufactured in the United States with excellent ingredients, such as chicken and lamb.
Thanks to this kibble, your Maltese’s coat will remain in top health. There are other variations available, in case your dog has an allergy or sensitivity, such as the Sweet Potato & Venison alternative. You’ll find that this kibble contains healthy add-ons such as yeast and flaxseed.
Best Grain-Free Foods for Maltese
Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free
Thanks to its macro and micronutrients and kibble size, the grain-free dog food from Taste of the Wild is a great choice for Maltese puppies and adults whose digestion doesn’t do well when they eat grains. The food is also free of artificial colors and flavors, so you’re not going to put chemicals on your pup’s plate inadvertently.
The high protein in this alternative ensures optimal muscle and bone development. The Taste of the Wild option is also low in carbs, and you’ll be happy to know that it’s quite affordable, too, so you’re not going to have to break the bank to keep your Maltese happy and healthy with this one.
Best Foods for Puppy Maltese
Merrick Lil’ Plates Small Breed Puppy
With its 28% protein and 15% fat, this recipe is perfect for growing puppies. Deboned chicken is the main ingredient in the recipe, and it also doesn’t contain any grains, therefore preventing your pup from experiencing bloating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Merrick is a US-based brand, so you can rest assured that the company uses the highest quality ingredients.
Additionally, the kibble contains salmon oil and flaxseed, both of which are excellent sources of omega fatty acids for great eye, brain, joint, and cardiac health. Carbs are supplied by apples and blueberries, which are rich in antioxidants, so they ensure that your puppy has a long and healthy life ahead of them.
Best Foods for Senior Maltese
Nutro Senior Small Breed
Nutro dog food is another choice you should consider since it doesn’t contain any meat by-products or fillers, and it’s also free of wheat or soy. The natural fiber in every recipe ensures that your senior Maltese is able to pass stools normally, while the 320 calories for every cup make it easier for you to manage their weight.
This particular variety has nice add-ons such as omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin, which aid in keeping your dog’s joint health in check. It’s also worth noting that the kibble contains a wide range of superfoods, from spinach to blueberries. However, we do not recommend this food for dogs with kidney issues, as it contains kale.
What to Look for in Maltese Food
When choosing dog food, in general, it is a good idea to avoid chemicals as much as possible. Opt for the best natural kibble or wet food variety you can afford.
If your budget does not allow you to pick a more expensive option, ask your veterinarian to refer you to a pet nutritionist so that you can make your own dog food at home and then freeze it in Tupperware containers or Zip-Loc bags for later use.
Dogs with sensitive stomachs shouldn’t eat a lot of grains, so this is another ingredient to avoid in commercially available pet food. However, some pets don’t do well with a complete lack of grains and can’t process legumes very well, so try to avoid varieties with peas, lentils, Garbanzo beans, or other such ingredients. Instead, opt for recipes with sweet potatoes or pumpkin, which provide your Maltese with plenty of fiber and are very easy to digest.
If your dog is a picky eater, make sure to choose at least three varieties and switch between them regularly. For sensitive stomachs, though, or if your vet recommends an elimination diet, it might be better to gradually change your Maltese’s diet by replacing 10% of the old one with the new one every day.
What Health Considerations to Make Before Choosing Food for Maltese Dogs
Something that pet guardians might need to be made aware of before adopting or purchasing a Maltese puppy is the fact that they are prone to putting on weight quickly. Compared to other breeds, if they do not get enough exercise, they are likely to become overweight or obese, which can impact their joint and metabolic health, predisposing them to diabetes.
Dental problems are another reality that pet owners must address not just with periodic brushing but also by choosing dog food that keeps plaque and tartar under control. Furthermore, given their appearance, Maltese’s coat health is paramount, so you need to make sure that their diet is rich in biotin and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as other nutrients that protect the skin and coat.
How Much Should They Eat?
The amount of food you give your Maltese dog depends on several factors, such as their age and health and the type of food you give them. Kibble options have feeding guidelines on the label, so you can work with that. In general, most Maltese with weights ranging from 2 to 4 pounds should receive between one-fourth of a cup and half a cup of dry food.
Puppies should eat three quarters of a cup as they have a more intense metabolism and they’re constantly growing. Seniors have lower energy necessities, so about half a cup or less is appropriate for them.
While there are manufacturing brands that market their products specifically for this brand, you should know that complete nutrition for a Maltese dog is the result of a close collaboration with your vet or pet nutritionist — especially if you’re focused on avoiding artificial substances in your pup’s diet.
Choose the right diet for your dog’s health and convenience. Dog food should be fed twice daily to prevent bloat and other digestive distress. If you have the time, you can split your dog’s meals into three per day, which would be even healthier.