Do you want to find the best dog food for Maltese? Then check out this fully updated 2021 guide.
Toy breed dogs are not only adorable companions but require a tremendous amount of care. As a responsible pet owner, I think the question arises about which dog food is best for these purebred dogs.
Well, I made your job easier. I took a full day to list the best possible options for you. Of these, my favorite is the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe. However, you should check out the other products because they are also excellent options.
But that’s not all about my article. You will find detailed information on nutrition in Maltese dogs. So you should read on!
Let’s start the review!
Here are 10 great dog foods for your Maltese Pup
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Puppy
- Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Senior
- Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Real Beef & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food
- Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small Breed Turkey & Chicken Recipe
- Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Dog Food
- Wellness Toy Breed Complete Health Adult Dog Food
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Small Breed Chicken Recipe
- Nutro Natural Choice Small Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice
- Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Small Breed Recipe
10 best dog foods for Maltese dogs
Purebred dogs like Maltese are very sensitive to changes in diet. Therefore, if you can find a good formula, you should stick to it in the long run. But which is the best choice? Below you will find the 10 best dog foods that I have selected specifically based on the needs of Maltese dogs. Of course, you’ll also find adult, puppy, and senior formulas on the list.
The Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula is no coincidence at the top of my list. This dry dog
The main protein sources are Deboned Chicken and Chicken Meal. Chicken is a very well digestible and nutritious animal meat. Dogs love the taste, and I’m sure your Maltese will feel the same way.
Also, the meal form provides glucosamine and chondroitin to your dog’s joints in addition to protein. Another source of protein is Menhaden Fish Meal, which is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids. This is not a negligible fact, as these fatty acids have a good effect on dogs ’brains, eyes, skin, and coat.
The recipe contains very healthy, wholesome grains. These are Brown Rice, Oatmeal, and Barley. They contain a lot of fiber and vitamins, and minerals and they are easy to digest.
The recipe balances the ratio of omega fatty acids with very high-quality fat sources. Such as Chicken Fat and Flaxseed. Not only are they healthy, but they also taste amazing.
The company Blue Buffalo is famous for producing its formulas with the help of veterinarians and other experts. As a result, so-called LifeSource Bits are included in the Life Protection Formula. It is a blend that contains various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
But we also find added fruits and vegetables among the ingredients. This guarantees that the immune system of your Maltese pup will be properly grounded. If you are looking for the best formula, be sure to consider this product!
Best for Maltese Puppies:
Another Blue Buffalo product is on my list. This recipe, on the other hand, was developed specifically for small breed puppies. These tiny creatures need a lot of nutrients, protein, healthy fats, and calories. This will guarantee them growth. This puppy food from Blue Life Protection meets this requirement to the maximum.
There are three valuable sources of protein among the ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, and Menhaden Fish Meal. These give the product an impressive 29% protein content. This will be plenty enough for your Maltese puppy to develop properly.
Besides, these protein sources taste very good, and meat meals contain a lot of glucosamine and chondroitin. These two compounds are important for healthy joint development and mobility. Plus, fish is an excellent source of omega fatty acids, which is good news for your puppy’s skin and coat.
The carbs in the recipe are very healthy and have wholesome grains and some legumes. Specifically: Oatmeal, Barley, Peas, and Brown Rice. They contain plenty of valuable minerals, vitamins, and fibers to support the digestive system. Thanks to these, your puppy will be energized all day long.
The fat content is quite high, 17%. This is mainly given by the chicken meal, which makes the food delicious for your Maltese and is also very healthy. Additional fish oil supplements, as well as Flaxseed, can be found among the ingredients. This further balances the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids.
LifeSource Bits developed by Blue can also be found in this recipe. Thanks to this, you definitely don’t have to worry about how your dog’s immune system works. Incidentally, this is also ensured by the added fruits, vegetables, and prebiotics. This product is highly recommended for Maltese puppies!
Best for Senior Maltese:
Senior dogs need fewer calories. This avoids unnecessary weight gain and weight gain. This is because the metabolism of old canines decreases, as does their level of activity. Glucosamine and chondroitin levels in dog foods are also important for joint protection.
So if you want to feed your old Maltese, you have to deal with these criteria by all means. I found the Wellness Small Breed Senior formula to be the most suitable for this purpose.
The 25% protein content is provided by premium protein sources such as Deboned Turkey and Chicken Meal. They contain all the necessary amino acids needed to maintain muscle. Plus, Chicken Meal is a great source of glucosamine and chondroitin.
Carbohydrates are provided by Ground Brown Rice, Peas, Rice, and Oats. They are highly digestible plants, high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
The fat content of the recipe is relatively low at 12%. This point is ideal for senior Maltese dogs. The main source of fat is Chicken Fat, which is not only delicious but also extremely healthy.
We can also see Flaxseed among the ingredients, which is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids. This way, you can also take care of the health of your dog’s skin and coat.
But that’s not all. The immune system of elderly dogs should also be supported. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and added vitamins and minerals are best for this. The good news is that you can find it all in this formula. Just like prebiotics, which, in addition to digestion, essentially support overall health.
If you are looking for the right diet for your Senior Maltese, be sure to consider this product!
Merrick Lil ‘Plates Grain-Free Real Beef & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food is the perfect choice if you are looking for a good recipe for your Maltese.
It has a very high protein content (38%) given by premium meats like Deboned Beef, Lamb Meal, and Salmon Meal. Also, we find plant proteins among the ingredients but in much smaller amounts.
The carbohydrate sources of the product are Sweet Potatoes, Peas, and Potatoes. That is, this dog food is an excellent choice for grains-sensitive dogs.
Several sources of fat among the ingredients: Pork Fat, Flaxseed, Sunflower Oil, and Salmon Oil. Pork Fat makes food delicious, making it irresistible to even the pickiest dogs. The other fat sources provide the right omega 3 and 6 ratios.
They are also crucial for the proper health of the skin and coat. The added fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals support the immune system. Overall, this is a highly recommended product for all Maltese owners.
This dry dog
Carbohydrates are provided by Lentils, Peas, and Dried Ground Potatoes, which are well digestible, and maximally nutritious.
The 36% protein content is given by Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, and Chicken Meal. These are well-digested and tasty meats that properly supply your Maltese pup with energy and essential amino acids.
The main sources of fat are Chicken Fat, Flaxseed, and Salmon Oil, whose omega fatty acid content contributes to the health of your dog’s skin, coat, and brain.
Added vegetables (e.g., broccoli or spinach), fruits (Apples, Blueberries), vitamins, minerals, and prebiotics support your dog’s overall health. That is why I also recommend this high-quality formula.
All of Taste of the Wild’s pet food recipes clearly show that the manufacturer was trying to mimic the ancient diet of dogs. In my opinion, this worked, as the product contains only high-quality protein, carbohydrates, and fat sources.
The amino acids needed to build and maintain lean muscle mass are provided by Venison and Lamb Meal. These are red meats that are not only tasty but do not cause allergic reactions.
The recipe is grain-free and includes carbs like Garbanzo Beans, Peas, and Lentils. Legumes are not always good for dogs, but if your pooch is not sensitive to these, you can feel free to choose this product.
The added fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals help keep your dog’s health grounded.
I also wanted to add the formula of Wellness Toy Breed Complete Health for adults to my list. This is because this dog food brand produces excellent quality food for all dogs at all stages of their lives. Let’s see the ingredients:
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, and Turkey Meal are high-quality and easily digestible meats that provide your dog with all the necessary amino acids. Also, meat meals contain a lot of glucosamine and chondroitin, which keep the joints in good condition.
Ground Brown Rice, Rice, and Oatmeal are easily digestible carbohydrates that provide all-day energy and vitamins and minerals for Maltese dogs.
The main sources of fat are Chicken Fat and Flaxseed, which are delicious and balance the fatty acid profile of the recipe. As with the other Wellness product, it is even more positive because it contains added vegetables, fruits, vitamins, and minerals.
I really like Blue Wilderness dog foods. This is one of Blue Buffalo’s most popular product lines, and it’s no coincidence. Like Taste of the Wild, the manufacturers here tried to replicate the dogs’ ancient diet. Each recipe is high in protein and full of healthy ingredients that will underpin the overall health of your Maltese dog.
In this recipe, we find protein sources like Chicken and Chicken Meal. There is also some Pea Protein. Usually, I’m not too fond of this, but there is significantly more animal protein than this formula.
The carbohydrate sources are Peas as well as Tapioca Starch. They are well digestible, and if your dog’s stomach is sensitive to grains, they prove to be an excellent option.
Chicken Fat and Flaxseed provide an optimal ratio of omega fatty acids. This is very important as these ingredients contribute greatly to the health of dogs’ skin, coat, and brain.
And a blend called Lifesource Bits contains plenty of vitamins and minerals and fresh fruits and vegetables. You can see that this is a great product that you should consider.
The next member on my list is a Nutro product that is perfect for adult toy breed dogs. The first ingredients are excellent sources of protein, such as Chicken and Chicken Meal. The latter is an excellent source of glucosamine and chondroitin, which are also vitamins in the joints.
The product contains healthy carbohydrate sources such as Whole Grain Barley, Split Peas, Brewers Rice, and Whole Grain Brown Rice. They provide a lot of energy to your Maltese pup and contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Ingredients include excellent sources of fat (Chicken Fat, Flaxseed), vegetables (Pumpkin, Kale, Spinach), vitamins (A, C, E, etc.), and minerals (iron, zinc, copper, etc.). Thanks to these, you can be sure that your dog’s immune system is maximally supported. Be sure to consider this product!
If you love Merrick products but don’t stick to a grain-free diet, this dry dog
The protein sources in the recipe are also excellent. Chicken meat is well digested and nutritious, yet delicious. So is Chicken Meal, which is a great source of glucosamine and chondroitin.
Chicken Fat and Sunflower Oil give the recipe a balanced fatty acid profile. This is good news for the health of your dog’s skin and coat.
Like the other members on my list, this product also contains added vegetables, fruits, vitamins, and minerals. This way, this option also becomes quite balanced for Maltese dogs.
Diet-related health problems in Maltese dogs
Malteses are basically healthy dogs. However, there are some diseases to which they are prone. There are several of these, but I will detail a little below those that can be related to diet at some level. Let’s see these:
Tear stains are a common eye condition in Maltese dogs. It causes an overproduction of tears in a disease called epiphora. This will keep the hair under the eyes constantly wet, and this will cause stains. With a proper diet, this problem can usually be easily prevented.
In most cases, foods that cause upset stomach or skin or coat problems may also be responsible for tear stains. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s proper diet.
The jaws and teeth of small dogs are less sturdy and durable. Also, they are prone to various dental problems. Regular brushing is essential to prevent various gum diseases, plaque, and tartar.
Hypoglycemia, or dangerously low blood sugar, is common in puppies. Signs of this include lethargy, loss of coordination, seizures, loss of appetite, and weakness.
Increasing the frequency of meals can solve the problem. It is best to eat your puppy Maltese 4 times a day. This keeps your blood glucose levels even for a long time. Choose dog foods that contain complex, low glycemic carbohydrates.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
It is a serious gastrointestinal disease that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and bloody stools, among other things. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Dietary treatment is very effective for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Maltese should avoid high-fat foods and ingredients such as gluten, wheat, corn, but in many cases grains as well. A limited ingredient diet can be a good choice to filter out foods that are causing the problem.
Colitis is another relatively common digestive problem in Malteses. The most common symptom is diarrhea, which in many cases can even be bloody. Consultation with your veterinarian is still vital. However, a good diet can prevent this condition.
Senior Maltese dogs are prone to various heart health problems. With proper exercise, these conditions can be prevented. It would help if you always discussed treatment with your veterinarian. In many cases, it is recommended to buy low sodium dog food.
What you should consider when choosing the best dog food for Maltese dogs?
I think the products on my list are perfect for you. However, it doesn’t hurt to know what things to look out for when choosing food for your Maltese. More specifically, I will show you what the factors that can influence your choice are.
Your Maltese’s Age
As with humans, dogs also need different diets at different life stages. Let’s see what these differences are:
- Maltese puppy dietary requirements: Maltese puppies need a lot of calories, protein, carbohydrates, and fat. This is essential for the proper development and growth of the body, muscles, bones, and brain.
Frequent meals are also important. I suggest eating your puppy Maltese 3-4 times a day. This is especially important because of the hypoglycemia seen in young toy breeds.
It is important to have a sufficient amount of low glycemic carbohydrate in your dog’s diet. This ensures a secure energy supply throughout the day.
Sport and exercise are essential for young Maltese. However, you also need to support this with the right amount of calories. The AAFCO recommends that puppies’ diets contain at least 22% protein and 8% fat. My further suggestion is to plan a feeding schedule and stick to it. Your pup must always receive the same amount of dog food at the same time.
- Adult Maltese dietary requirements: Maltese dogs are generally considered puppies up to 6-7 months of age. Dietary changes may be required after the age of 8-10 months. Adult dogs need fewer calories, and the number of meals should also be reduced.
You must feed an adult Maltese 1-2 times a day. For macronutrients, AAFCO recommends 18% protein and 5% fat. Highly active dogs may also have higher levels of protein and fat. Clean and fresh water is important for meals.
Be consistent; the digestive system of dogs prefers permanence. Don’t change your pooch diet often. Monitor his weight and consult your veterinarian if you find any problems.
- Senior Maltese dietary requirements: Both metabolism and activity in elderly dogs are reduced. Because of this, they need fewer calories. It is also important that there is a high risk of developing various kidney diseases in old age.
For dogs with these conditions, a low-protein or low-phosphorus diet is warranted. Of course, always discuss this with your veterinarian. It is important to monitor the weight of your old Maltese to avoid excessive weight gain and obesity. This can have serious health consequences.
Your Maltese’s activity
Maltese love to play sports and love exercise a lot. However, there may be individual differences. Your pup’s activity determines his daily calorie intake. A lazy dog
Your Maltese’s weight
These dogs are considered toy breeds. This means that because of their size, they need little food. Your Maltese may be obese. In such cases, you may want to reduce your dog’s calories further. A weight management formula can also be a good choice. These recipes are low in fat and contain more fiber than average.
Dog food allergies
Dog food allergies can develop in any breed. However, purebred Maltese dogs are particularly prone to these conditions.
Dog food allergy symptoms can be varied, such as diarrhea, hair loss, or skin conditions. Common allergens are grains, dairy products, or various protein sources (such as chicken).
It would help if you found out as soon as possible what your Maltese dog is allergic to, as you need to eliminate that ingredient from his diet.
An excellent choice is hypoallergenic dog food, dog food for allergies, or a limited ingredient diet. The latter makes it much easier to filter out and avoid the components that are causing the problem.
What makes dog food the best?
Finding the best dog food for your Maltese shouldn’t be a problem if you know what to look for. The ingredients mostly determine the quality of a product. Always look at the packaging of a particular product to decide if it will be a good choice.
In addition to the ingredients, you may want to check the packaging for an AAFCO statement.
Below I have gathered for you some things to look out for.
Animal protein sources are the most valuable for dogs. They are perfectly utilized and contain all the vital amino acids needed to build and maintain the muscle mass of your Maltese.
In addition, they play an important role in cell regeneration and other bodily processes. By the way, animal proteins are good sources of energy and can also help with weight management.
The order of the ingredients on the package determines the quantity. That’s why you might want to choose dog food for your Maltese, with real meat or meat meal as the first ingredient. Best examples are chicken, chicken meal, turkey, turkey meal, fish, etc.
Meals are not bad sources of protein; in fact, because of their glucosamine and chondroitin content, they have an excellent effect on the health of the joints in dogs.
According to the AAFCO recommendation, adult dogs need 18% protein and puppies 22% protein. Fortunately, all the members on my list surpass these numbers.
Wholesome and complex carbs
Carbohydrates are not essential for dogs. However, they can be important parts of the diet, and since canines are omnivores, there is no problem with digestion or utilization. Complex carbohydrate sources provide a lot of energy and are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Wholesome grains are perfect choices. Examples are rice, barley, or oats. Some dogs are sensitive or allergic to grains. For them, a grain-free diet is the only option. The best grain-free carbs are potatoes, sweet potatoes, or legumes.
Fats are essential in a dog’s diet. They have many benefits. They are excellent energy sources, play a role in hormone production, proper nervous system function, and many physical processes. In addition, fats allow many vitamins to dissolve and be absorbed.
You can’t overlook the fact that fats make the food tastier and more desirable. Dog food containing fine animal fat is desirable even for picky eater dogs.
Fats also contain fatty acids, of which omega 3 and omega 6 are effective for brain, skin, and coat health. The best sources of fat are chicken fat, fish oil, or flaxseed. Your Maltese dog’s diet should include a minimum of 10% fat.
Antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
Various micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants) are essential in a dog’s diet. This is because they support the immune system, skin, coat, and digestion, essentially everything.
The best sources of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals are fresh fruits and vegetables. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to know first which fruits and vegetables are safe for dogs. But don’t worry, all the products on my list contain ingredients of the right quality.
Excellent sources of vitamins are kale, broccoli, spinach, carrots, apples, raspberries, blueberries. Both meat and internal organs (liver) add plenty of useful micronutrients to your Maltese dog’s diet.
Some manufacturers add various vitamin and mineral supplements to their recipes.
Ingredients you should avoid
Fortunately, many dog food manufacturers today invest a lot of energy in providing proper nutrition for pets. So far, you’ve also seen what to look for when you want a healthy, delicious, and nutritious diet for your Maltese.
However, many pet food companies produce poor quality products with cheap, poor, and even harmful ingredients. You should pay attention to these. That’s why I made a list of the ingredients to avoid the most.
The sole purpose of fillers is to increase the calorie content cost-effectively. On top of all this, your dog will feel fuller from them. However, you should know that these ingredients have a very low nutritional value.
Don’t worry; they’re not necessarily harmful. If the other ingredients in your dog food are premium quality and your Maltese is satisfied with the taste, then some filler is not tragic. Common fillers are soy and wheat mill runs, corn browns, cereal by-products, and oat hulls.
Artificial preservatives, colors, flavor enhancers, and other additives can be extremely harmful to dogs’ diets. Also, some canines are particularly sensitive to these ingredients. Symptoms of such sensitivity may include various digestive problems, such as loose stools, vomiting, diarrhea, or skin and coat problems.
Manufacturers add these additives to dog food to make it look irresistible. But for toy breeds like Maltese, that’s a terrible idea. These dogs have tiny sensitive stomachs that absolutely cannot tolerate artificial chemicals.
Also, avoid dog food that contains artificial preservatives. Although these compounds increase the shelf life of food, they are very unhealthy. They cause allergic reactions in many dogs. Besides, a preservative called BHA is a known carcinogen. Choose a recipe that contains natural preservatives.
Meat by-products are those parts of an animal that are unfit for human consumption. Examples include chicken legs, claws, spleen, intestines, eyes, brain, and the like.
Yeah, I know, it doesn’t sound perfect. If you didn’t eat these, why give your dog food containing such ingredients? If the first ingredient in a recipe is real meat and contains some by-products (and the other ingredients are also impeccable), you don’t necessarily have to remove it from the list.
However, with meat by-products, you may not know for sure what you are giving your dog. It is best to look for a product that has real meat or meat meal.
Frequently asked questions
Below I will answer questions on this topic that people often ask.
What foods are bad for Maltese dogs?
There are human foods that are dangerous to dogs. Examples include avocado, chocolate, and other caffeinated foods, grapes and raisins, and macadamia nuts. Never give these to your Maltese dog. The same is true for foods that can cause allergic reactions. Be sure to find out which ingredients your dog is allergic to.
What Should I Feed My Maltese puppy?
Puppies need more protein and fat. This will cover their energy needs as well as the amino acids needed to build muscle. Almost all dog food brands produce puppy formulas. If you choose these, there should be no problem with feeding. Divide the required amount of calories into 3-4 meals during the day.
What fruits can Maltese dogs eat?
Fruits can be excellent treats for any dog. Their vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant content increases the efficiency of your dog’s immune system and affects the health of his entire body. There are healthy and harmful fruits for dogs; you should be aware of these. Basically, apples, bananas, and berries can be good choices.
Can Maltese eat scrambled eggs?
Eggs are very healthy, nutritious, and high biological value sources of protein. Dogs can eat them with confidence. Scrambled eggs are not necessarily a problem. However, it is important to consider the method of preparation. Most people make scrambled eggs with a lot of oil (or fat, possibly butter), many spices, and a lot of salt. This is not very healthy for dogs. Too much fat causes pancreatitis, and too much salt causes dehydration. If you want to give scrambled eggs to your dog, make it the easiest way, without fat and seasoning.
What are the best treats for Maltese?
The best treats for toy breeds are small and easy to chew. Pay attention to the ingredients of the products. Real meat, easily digestible carbohydrates, and omega fatty acids are important to feed Maltese. Avoid poor quality ingredients. The worst dog treats contain artificial additives, by-products, and fillers that can be harmful to your dog.
Can Maltese eat rice?
Whole grains are excellent sources of carbohydrates for dogs. The best of these is rice or brown rice. They are easy to digest, nutritious, high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and rarely cause allergies in dogs. Feel free to give your Maltese dog food containing rice.
Can Maltese eat apples?
Apples are very healthy for dogs. This fruit is rich in vitamins A and C as well as fiber. Because of this, you can feel free to give it to your dog as a treat. Many people recommend that you remove the seeds because of their cyanide content. Well, apple kernels do contain cyanide, but the amount of this compound is negligible. Nevertheless, give the apple without a seed to your dog if it reassures you.
Should Maltese eat grain-free?
Grains are very healthy for dogs. After all, they contain a lot of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other useful nutrients. So for most canines, these are the right carbs. However, some dogs are sensitive or allergic to various grains. It may be appropriate for them to introduce a grain-free diet. For a healthy and non-sensitive Maltese, however, I recommend grain-inclusive diets.
Can Maltese dogs drink milk?
Many dogs have lactose intolerance, meaning they can’t digest the lactose found in dairy products. This condition also occurs in humans and can have very unpleasant symptoms such as stomach pain or diarrhea. I suggest you don’t give your Maltese dairy products.
Can my Maltese eat bananas?
Bananas are a valuable and healthy fruit, so feel free to give them to your Maltese dog. They are high in potassium and vitamin C, but they also contain other useful micronutrients. However, due to the high sugar content, pay attention to moderation.
What are the best protein sources for Maltese dogs?
Animal proteins are best for all dogs, including Maltese. Great animal meats are chicken, turkey, lamb, duck, beef, venison, or fish. The point is that they are in the form of real meat or meat meal in dog food.
How much should I feed my Maltese dog?
Maltese puppies need more energy, more food. For them, 55 calories per pound of body weight are ideal. In adult Maltese dogs, that number is 45 calories. Of course, the exact amount of food also depends on the level of activity. Consult your veterinarian, monitor your dog’s weight, and follow the feeding instructions on your dog’s food packaging.
My final verdict
From my article, you could see what dietary needs a Maltese dog has. This knowledge is essential to choose the right dog food for this special and wonderful breed. Of course, don’t worry, you can count on my list as well. I selected these 10 products based on strict criteria.
And which is the best? My favorite was the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe. This formula can be a balanced and healthy diet for your dog. Of course, choose the puppy or senior formula from my list if you have a young or old Maltese dog.
I hope I have been able to help you with this detailed guide.