The Maltese dog breed has several genetic health concerns that can be effectively managed through diet. The best dog food for Maltese dogs will be specifically balanced to address the nutrient requirements of this particular breed.

The Maltese are a toy breed that weighs less than 7 pounds. It's recognizable by its long, flowing, silky white hair which is the breed's hallmark.

Their activity level can vary wildly, but they are typically active enough for a brisk morning stroll. Maltese dogs are reported to live up to 15 years.

Because this is such a popular dog breed, I work with many Maltese dog owners in my practice as a veterinarian.

Over the years, I've found several commercial dog food for Maltese products that work very well for them.

When choosing the best Maltese dog food, I consider the breed's common health concerns.

The Maltese are generally a healthy breed, but they have a few specific health issues commonly known to veterinarians.

Maltese Dog Food: Maltese Dog with Different Dry and Wet Foods

Are Maltese Dogs Picky Eaters?

The Maltese have a reputation for being picky eaters. This fussiness means they require some persuasion when it comes to mealtime.

Because they may be picky eaters, owners usually find that feeding them a diet exclusively for the Maltese breed produces the most remarkable results.

The most effective of these Maltese dog food frequently feature delectable scents and sensations. A balance of nutritional components to meet their other health needs.

Maltese Dog Being Picky

Maltese Dog Food: Is It Best Wet or Dry?

Most dogs prefer wet Maltese dog food over dry Maltese dog food if given the option; however, this is not always the best option for them.

A diet mainly consisting of moist foods may cause leaky intestines. Furthermore, dry kibble has a superior texture for teeth.

As a result, most Maltese do best on dry kibble. However, you may add a touch of wet food or pour a bit of low-sodium chicken or beef broth over the kibble if your Maltese needs a little more assistance.

If you choose wet Maltese dog food or homemade Maltese dog food, make sure to follow all at-home dental care instructions, including giving your dog a daily dental chew.

Warming food can also encourage people to eat their meals; this can be done in the microwave. However, mix the food once it has finished warming and check the temperature with your pinkie finger or inner wrist to ensure it is not too hot to touch.

Maltese Dog Food Maltese Eating Peanut Butter

Foods That Are Safe For Maltese Dogs

The digestive system of dogs differs from that of humans, which only implies that some delicious meals for humans can be hazardous or even fatal to dogs.

On the other hand, many human foods are safe for dogs and give essential nutrients and health advantages.

We'll look at which human foods are safe for dogs:

#1: Carrots

Carrots are a good source of nutrition for dogs. When chewed, it can help eliminate plaque from teeth and support overall dental health.

They are also high in vitamin A, healthy for the dog's immune system, skin, and hair.

#2: Apples

Apples are high in vitamins A and C, which are essential for dogs.

They are also an excellent source of fiber, which can aid with digestion in dogs. Dogs, on the other hand, can get alcohol poisoning by eating rotten apples.

#3: Fish

Salmon, shrimp, and tuna are all healthy to consume and high in protein for dogs.

Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and tuna can assist a dog's immune system, coat, and skin to stay healthy.

Shrimp also contains B vitamins, which can improve a dog's digestive tract and blood circulation.

Uncooked fish can contain dangerous parasites, so it's crucial to prepare them before feeding them to your dog.

#4: Pork

Cooked pork that hasn't been seasoned is okay for dogs to consume.

On the other hand, pork should be consumed in limited amounts since the high-fat content is difficult for dogs to digest and can induce inflammation and pancreatitis.

Because of the high salt level, don't give your dog bacon or processed ham.

#5: Peanut Butter 

In moderation, dogs can consume unsalted peanut butter with no added sugar or sweeteners.

Peanut butter is high in vitamins E and B, niacin, healthy fats, and protein, among other things.

However, make sure the peanut butter doesn't include the sugar xylitol, which is extremely harmful to dogs.

Anyone who fears their dog has consumed xylitol should consult a veterinarian.

Food Not Good For Maltese Dogs

Foods That Are Bad For Maltese Dogs

Now that we've read all about the foods safe for our dogs, let's move on to those that aren't:

#1: Chocolate, Coffee, and Caffeine

Never offer your dog chocolate, coffee, or anything else that contains caffeine.

Methylxanthines, which are particularly harmful to dogs, are included in these items. The chemicals can induce nausea, irregular heartbeat, seizures, and even death.

Dogs can have chocolate treats, but they must be made with a particular chocolate alternative that is safe for them to ingest.

#2: Raisins and Grapes

Dogs are particularly harmful to grapes, raisins, sultanas, and currants. Even in modest amounts, renal failure and, in rare situations, death can occur.

Also, avoid offering your dog any products containing these ingredients, such as fruit cake or malt loaf.

#3: Coconut Products

Coconut water has a lot of potassium, thus dogs shouldn't drink it.

Limiting the amount of coconut oil or meat fed to a dog is also a good idea since these items can induce stomach discomfort and diarrhea.

#4: Citrus Fruits

Citric acid is found in citrus trees and their fruits, such as oranges and lemons. While some dogs may tolerate tiny amounts of peeled fruit, it might cause gastrointestinal trouble in others.

Citric acid, at excessive doses, can cause nervous system depression.

#5: Nuts

Dogs should not be given nuts.

Dogs are poisoned by macadamia nuts, which induce muscular weakness, vomiting, lethargy, and heat.

Other varieties of nuts may induce choking in dogs.

Maltese Dog Looking With Sad Eyes

How Much Food Should A Maltese Dog Consume in a Day?

There is a difference when it comes to feeding large dogs and a small toy dog breed like Maltese.

#1: New Puppies

It is suggested to free-feed from the 8th to the 12th week. This is the approach of always having fresh food available.

This is because hypoglycemia (a sudden drop in blood sugar levels) can occur in very young puppies, and one of the causes is not feeding frequently enough.

You'll want to remind your new puppy where he can get his food. Also, don't ‘top out' the bowl with water. Because stale kibble is rarely appetizing to pups, keep little amounts in the dish and toss and replenish as needed.

#2: Puppies

Maltese pups should be fed three times a day from the age of 12 weeks to 9 months. It is not advisable to continue free-feeding because most Maltese will eat more if they have planned meals at this age.

You may leave this in a bowl or place a portion inside a treat-dispensing toy if you'll be gone for the mid-day meal. Filling treat-release chews with your dog's favorite kibble and a dab of smooth, all-natural peanut butter is typically a hit.

Because Maltese are such a little breed, finding an appropriately sized treat-release toy may be difficult; most are just too large.

#3: Adults

Small dogs require more frequent feeding than larger dogs, thus most adult Maltese will never be satisfied with just one meal each day. Adult Maltese can take three little meals every day or go back to two.

Both choices are acceptable and will depend on a Maltese's tastes, as well as how often snacks are offered and if a Maltese has to be home alone during the day.

Maltese Dog Food Maltese Petted by their Owner

10 Maltese Dog Food Best Recommended by Vets

Before switching your dog to any new diet, always consult with a veterinarian. Remember that no article on the internet can replace a consultation with a vet, including this one.

Despite being a generally healthy, long-lived breed, the Maltese can suffer from breed-associated medical problems.

Some of these can be helped, treated, or even prevented with appropriate nutrition. This will talk about the brand of the best food for Maltese.

Maltese Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach

It is essential to have your Maltese evaluated if vomiting or diarrhea are common occurrences.

Some Maltese dogs that experience tummy troubles are diagnosed with IBD – inflammatory bowel disease, while others are not.

IBD is a catch-all term that describes a complex interaction between the dog's intestinal microflora, their genetic makeup, the immune system, and possible environmental triggers.

About 50% of dogs with chronic digestive issues and IBD experience improvement after changing to a special diet.

Talk to our veterinarian about the best Maltese dog food.

IBD patients typically undergo food trials to determine if food sensitivity or intolerance is a piece of the puzzle. Sometimes biopsy results will help guide your veterinarian to the proper diet.

1. Hill's Prescription Diet Digestive Care i/d

1st Best Maltese Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach: Hill's Prescription Diet Digestive Care i/dOften, if this is not done, veterinarians start with a low-fat, highly digestible diet first.

In this case, I would recommend Hill's Prescription Diet Digestive Care i/d as the best dog food for Maltese dogs.

Many dogs with IBD improve when they make the switch to i/d. It is highly digestible and enriched with prebiotics, ginger, and omega-3 essential fatty acids.

Maltese dogs have tiny mouths and are predisposed to dental disease, making this hearty, tasty stew a good choice.

2. Royal Canin Veterinary Diets

2nd Best Maltese Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach: Royal Canin Veterinary DietsNovel protein diets such as Royal Canin Veterinary Diets are often selected, as they are the least likely to provoke an immune response.

Suppose your veterinarian suspects a food intolerance as a cause of IBD. It is essential to select a trusted veterinary prescription diet that only contains one novel protein (venison) and one novel carbohydrate (potato).

While other Maltese dog food companies sell limited ingredient diets, these are not as appropriate as prescription diets for IBD dietary therapy.

Many over-the-counter brands cannot dedicate manufacturing solely for that particular line – so cross-contamination of allergens is possible.

Royal Canin also manufactures its hypoallergenic and novel protein diets in separate facilities from other lines containing allergens.

Maltese dogs have tiny mouths and often have dental issues, making the Venison and Potato canned diet a tasty, easy-to-eat option.

3. Nutro Limited Ingredient Fish and Potato Premium Loaf

3rd Best Maltese Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach: Nutro Limited Ingredient Fish and Potato Premium LoafSuppose your Maltese has occasional bouts of tummy troubles and has not been diagnosed with IBD or similar digestive issues. In that case, it is a good idea to provide proper digestive support through diet.

A good option for otherwise healthy Maltese dogs is Nutro Limited Ingredient Fish and Potato Premium Loaf dog food for Maltese.

Nutro has a delicious canned loaf diet that can improve digestion in particular dogs.

While this is a step down from a prescription novel protein/carbohydrate diet, it is an excellent place to start.

The fish in the diet provide easily digested protein and omega-3 essential fatty acids for a healthy, luxurious coat.

Maltese Dog Food for Floating Kneecaps (Medially Luxating Patella)

Toy breeds like the Maltese are prone to developing floating kneecaps. Medially luxating patellas (floating kneecaps) happen when the kneecap pops out of place, often causing pain and eroding the protective cartilage of the knee.

Toy breeds often have very short legs, and their legs are very straight.

The straightness of their legs can cause a “conformational abnormality” where their bones meet at the knee.

This can make it difficult for the knee cap to sit in the grooves of the tibia where it belongs.

It can pop out of place very quickly in some cases, causing limping or hopping when walking, pain, and early-onset of osteoarthritis.

MPL is graded – with Grade 1 being least severe to Grade 4 being most severe and likely requiring surgical repair.

Over a lifetime, this knee problem can cause significant cartilage degradation and early arthritis.

Keeping your dog in the top lean condition will help prevent excess strain on their knees.

4. Hill's Science Canned Food

Best Maltese Dog Food for Maltese Dog Food for Floating Kneecaps: Hill's Science Canned FoodA joint-protecting diet for adult Malteses with mild (Grade 1-2) luxating patellas can help protect their joints.

I recommend Hill's Science Canned Food as the best dog food for Maltese dogs in this situation.

This dog food for Maltese looks as good as it sounds.

It contains age-appropriate nutrition in an easily chewed and digested format.

It also contains antioxidants (cranberries), chondroitin sulfate for joint health, and flaxseed for an omega-3 boost.

Maltese Puppies Eating Maltese Dog Food

Maltese Dog Food For Puppy

Maltese puppies look like tiny, adorable polar bears. They stay super small, so it is essential to provide them with adequately timed and formulated meals.

It is best if you can adopt a Maltese puppy once they are ten weeks old.

If you happen to get one weaned younger, it is essential to know about Toy Breed Hypoglycemia.

Until your Maltese puppy is 8-10 weeks old, he will require frequent meals.

If your puppy goes too many hours between meals, he could suffer from potentially life-threatening low blood sugar.

The best way to prevent this is to feed a tasty, canned Maltese puppy food every 2-4 hours until your pup is 8-10 weeks old.

Maltese puppies have difficulty eating dry dog food Maltese since even small-bites formulas seem too big for them to handle.

5. Natural Balance Whole Body Health Formula

1st Maltese Dog Food For Puppy: Natural Balance Whole Body Health FormulaIt is good to feed them with Maltese puppy food until they reach 3-4 pounds of body weight, then introduce dry Maltese puppy food or adult Maltese dog food.

As the best dog food for Maltese dogs that weigh less than 4 pounds, I recommend Natural Balance Whole Body Health Formula.

It is one of the best food for Maltese puppies that have made a tasty canned diet easily fed to tiny puppies.

It is fortified with vitamin-rich colostrum, high-quality protein from real duck and chicken, and essential fatty acid DHA for puppy brain development.

6. Royal Canin X-Small Puppy Dry Food

2nd Maltese Dog Food For Puppy: Natural Royal Canin X-Small Puppy Dry FoodIf your older puppy prefers a crunchy kibble, it is acceptable to switch them to dry food only or do a mixture of canned and dry.

A favorite small bites food of mine is Royal Canin X-Small Puppy Dry Food.

Royal Canin's X-Small dry Maltese puppy food is formulated with your tiny Maltese in mind.

Their kibble shape and size are made to ensure that your puppy has an easier time picking it up, chewing, and swallowing.

As these dogs are prone to digestive issues as they get older, the addition of prebiotics in this best dog food for Maltese will help promote healthy GI tract function.

Adult Maltese Eating Maltese Dog Food

Maltese Dog Food For Adult

Malteses become adults around 10-12 months of age. At this time, it is best to switch them to adult food.

Malteses, like other toy breeds, are prone to developing dental disease at an early age. It is a myth that average dry dog food will help keep their teeth healthy.

If your dog likes dry food, indeed, continue feeding high-quality dog food.

If they prefer canned, this is okay too. Talk to your veterinarian about how you can keep your Maltese's dental care up-to-date.

7. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Formula

1st Maltese Dog Food For Adult: Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition FormulaIf your Maltese is eating Royal Canin X-Small, it is a good idea to transition them to Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Formula.

Royal Canin's dry Maltese dog food is very similar to their X-Small line of adult dog foods. The primary difference is in the kibble shape and composition.

The kibble itself can deter certain dogs from eating dry food – if it is too big for their mouth, too firm, or an awkward shape.

The kibble shape promotes proper digestion where digestion begins – with appropriate chewing.

8. Nutro Hearty Stews Adult Canned

2nd Maltese Dog Food For Adult: Nutro Hearty Stews Adult CannedIf your Maltese prefers canned or wet food, or if they are a picky eater– don't despair!

I recommend Nutro Hearty Stews Adult Canned for dogs in this category as the best dog food for Maltese dogs.

Nutro's Hearty Stews line does not disappoint when it comes to nutrition and taste.

This canned dog food for Maltese is available in several different types of meat, including lamb, chicken, and turkey.  It also contains a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate for joint health.

Senior Maltese Eating Maltese Dog Food

Maltese Dog Food For Senior

As your Maltese grows older, it will be necessary to provide them with a tasty, consistent diet rich in high-quality protein and antioxidants.

As mentioned before, many dogs will suffer from the dental disease in their lifetime, and some may not have many teeth as they approach their Golden Years.

9. Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Entrée

1st Maltese Dog Food For Senior: Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ EntréeWith this in mind, I recommend canned food such as Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Entrée as the best dog food for Maltese in their senior years.

The inclusion of barley into this formula is fantastic for seniors over the age of 7.

Many Malteses become overweight into their senior years, and ingredients can help them maintain a healthy weight.

Barley is an ingredient that has been clinically shown to help pets maintain consistent, adequate blood sugar levels and maintain a healthy weight.

It's a great ingredient to add to the best dog food for Maltese. This dog food for Maltese is complete and tasty on its own or can be mixed with dry food.

Around the age of 6, it is a good idea to start supplementing your Maltese diet with natural, whole-food sources of antioxidants.

As your pup gets older, these antioxidants will help to support cellular function, and they may age a little more gracefully.

10. Purina Pro Plan Additions Puree

A good line to consider is meal enhancements from Purina, like Purina Pro Plan Additions Puree. 

Purina Pro Plan Additions Puree

There are a variety of additions that you can squeeze onto the best dog food for Maltese dogs in their senior years. Some contain high levels of naturally-derived antioxidants from fresh foods like blueberries and pumpkin.

Others provide digestive support with fiber and prebiotics.

If your senior is recovering from an illness or a picky eater, these additions can help keep them well-nourished and satisfied.

Maltese Dog Food Maltese Eating From Food Bowl

Maltese Dog Food Summary

Having and taking care of a Maltese dog might be a little tricky, especially if it's your first time.

We made this list of best dog food for Maltese to help you even for a bit since these dogs are a little sensitive to their food.

Knowing the best Maltese dog food or best food for Maltese puppies will be a great help as they adjust to the sensitiveness of their stomach.

READ NEXT: 10 Vet Recommended Dog Food Brands That Are Inexpensive

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10 Maltese Dog Food Best Recommended by Vets

In the last 8 years, Dr. Shores has worked as a clinical veterinarian for dogs, cats, small mammals and non-human primates as well as a writer on the subject of pet health. Her passion is breaking down the intricacies of proper dog health care and dog nutrition.