A Comprehensive Guideline for the Best Dog Food for Maltese

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Best Dog Food For Maltese

Maltese dogs are beloved by many, especially celebrities, for their sweet personalities and fluffy fur. Despite being small dogs, the Maltese need a lot of calories to survive. Providing your Maltese doggie with high-quality dog food is a must to minimize the risk of disease and for keeping their stunning coats, stunning. Read this article to learn about nutritional requirements for Maltese dogs and get recommendations for the best dog food for Maltese.

Best Dog Food for Maltese

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Nutritional Requirements for Maltese Dogs

Maltese dogs on average weigh between 4 and 7 pounds, according to the American Kennel Club. Therefore, these dogs are classified as small breed toy dogs.

Energy requirements for dogs vary depending on their environment. As most Maltese dogs live in households, they have fewer caloric requirements compared to dogs that live outdoors. But this doesn’t mean your Maltese can survive on just a bit of food.

Your Maltese needs 6 classes of nutrients in its diet every day. Your dog needs proteins, carbohydrates, and fat to gain energy. In addition, Maltese dogs need sufficient amounts of vitamins to promote the health of skin, coat, and bone, among other benefits. Water, as a nutrient, keeps your Maltese well hydrated.

Here is an overview of some of the nutritional requirements for small breed dogs, according to the Merck Veterinary Manual:


Water requirements for your Maltese depend on the environment. In general, it would need about 44 to 66 milliliters of water per kilogram of body weight. Certain environmental conditions, such as heat, will change this value.

Dog owners should be aware that canned pet foods have between 60 to 87 percent of moisture content. In dry foods, moisture content varies from a minimal 3 percent to 11 percent. So-called semi-moist foods contain about 25 to 35 percent of water. So if your doggie is nibbling on dry food, it requires more water for drinking.


Protein is one of the most important nutrients your Maltese needs. Protein gives your dog energy. Protein as synthesized as amino acids in the body. Maltese dogs, like all other dogs, require these 10 amino acids to live:

  • Arginine
  • Histidine
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Valine

Maltese adult dogs need a minimum of 2.62 grams of protein in their diet per day. This value should be biologic. Meaning, the proteins should be easy for your dog to digest.

The dog food you buy at stores derive proteins from both plant and animal sources. Dogs digest plant proteins less well compared to animal-based proteins. That means plant-based proteins have poor biologic value for dogs, and thus make for poor-quality diets.


Like humans, your dog needs the right amount of fat in the body to store energy and to help absorb important vitamins. Too little fat is bad for your Maltese, as is too much fat, which can make your pet obese. Obesity puts your pet at risk for chronic diseases and also leads to mal-absorption of vitamins and minerals.

Dietary fat requirements for your Maltese varies with age. A Maltese puppy needs about 5.9 grams of fat per kilogram of body weight. For an adult dog, that’s between 1.3 to 10 grams, depending on the size.

You can find between 5 to 15 percent of fat content per dry matter in commercial dog foods. This amount must be balanced with the protein amount to prevent overfeeding your Maltese dog.


Your dog requires glucose derived from carbohydrates to maintain optimal brain function. However, there are no minimal dietary requirements for this nutritional group for dogs.

Your dog can digest carbohydrates from starch-based foods or sugar. Your dog can only tolerate pre-cooked carbohydrate sources. Otherwise, digestive issues like diarrhea and flatulence can occur.


It may sound like a lot of vitamins are great for your dog. It’s not. Unfortunately, most commercial dog foods have vitamin levels that exceed minimal recommended requirements.

Watch out for certain vitamins listed in commercial dog foods that your dog may not actually need. For example, dogs are able to synthesize vitamin C in their liver. Therefore, there is no minimum requirement set for this vitamin. Vitamin C as a supplement in dog food is not necessarily bad because it can act as an antioxidant in your pet’s body.

Your adult Maltese needs about 0.45 mg of Vitamin K per 1,000 kcal. Intestinal bacteria can synthesize this vitamin in dogs. But, certain conditions like taking antibiotics, can result in vitamin K deficiency.

Vitamin A is the most important vitamin Maltese owners should watch out for. Vitamin A is synthesized in the liver. Excessive consumption of vitamin A can lead to liver problems as a result. As Maltese are already prone to liver issues, it’s paramount that you monitor your pet’s vitamin A intake.

How to Choose the Right Dog Food for Your Maltese

Maltese dogs are notorious for having sensitive digestive systems. They are also quite prone to developing food allergies. Therefore, you should only purchase the best quality dog food to ensure optimal digestion and nutrient absorption.

Generally speaking, follow these tips:

  • Get your Maltese dog a food brand that includes mostly animal-based proteins. Your dog may not tolerate plant-based diets well.
  • Grain-free diets are recommended for Maltese dogs. However, if your dog already tolerates grains well, this shouldn’t be an issue.
  • Dog food with the right amount of fiber can help your Maltese develop healthy gut flora.
  • Avoid purchasing just dry kibble. Wet food can help your Maltese stay hydrated throughout the day.

If your Maltese or overweight or underweight, you need to first ask for dietary requirements from your veterinarian. Certain diseases can limit the type of food your Maltese can consume. Therefore, ask your vet if a special diet is necessary.

The following reviews for dog food are intended for Maltese adult dogs that don’t require special diets.

Best Dog Food for Maltese Reviews

Here are some suggestions for good-quality dog food that don’t include mostly poor ingredients:

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The Wellness Core recipe is 100 percent grain free. This formula is protein-rich because it’s made mainly with real chicken and turkey ingredients. The recipe can support high-energy small breed dogs.

Maltese dog owners should be happy to know that this formula doesn’t contain any meat by-products, artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or corn. The product is made in the U.S., but some ingredients, like the extracts, are sourced from China. The brand offers a quality guarantee as a U.S-made product.

The brand claims this recipe has 80 percent more meat than regular dog foods with grain filler. Indeed, the main ingredients are deboned poultry, turkey meal, and chicken meal. It does include potatoes and peas as well.

The recipe includes four different fermented ingredients that act as probiotic ingredients. The kibble is fortified with minerals, vitamins, and animal fat. Though the recipe is high-energy, it’s suited for older dogs as well. However, this recipe might not be suitable for dogs who are obese or are at risk of obesity.

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This dry dog food kibble well suited for owners on a budget who can’t afford expensive recipes, but still want their dogs to chew on healthy food. This small breed recipe is made from real meat for the most part. Chicken raised in U.S. farms is the main ingredient.

While the bag says this recipe doesn’t include in filler or poultry by-products, the ingredients list include chicken meal, soybean meal, and corn gluten meal. Some dogs are allergic to fillers like this. You should check the ingredients list first to ensure it doesn’t include anything your dog might be allergic to.

This isn’t a grain or poultry free formula. So it might not be suitable for Maltese doggies with sensitive stomachs or allergy-prone immune systems.

The kibble comes in small bites to feel comfortable in small Maltese mouths. You can slightly moisten the dry kibble, especially if your dog is not drinking enough water. This kibble contains plenty of vitamins and minerals, including supplemental vitamins and riboflavin. The kibble includes cranberries as a source of antioxidants.

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The Cesar Classic wet dog food package includes 24 food cans, a dozen each of rotisserie chicken and filet mignon flavors. The recipe is exclusively for adult dogs. Both flavors are fortified with essential vitamins and minerals. The recipe is suitable for all dog sizes but is mainly tailored for small breeds like Maltese.

The food trays have peel away seals that are really easy to open, even in a hurry. There’s plenty of juices in each can so your Maltese doggo can stay well-hydrated. Water is the main ingredient listed for the recipes.

The main ingredients for both flavors are largely the same. The first three ingredients are water, beef by-products, and animal liver. The chicken flavor includes chicken meat and by-products. The filet mignon flavor includes bacon and beef. Both flavors include cheese as well.

The recipes are completely grain free. The flavors don’t include plant-derived proteins or by-products. Only some soy flour is used as a filler ingredient. The brand recommends feeding three trays per day per 10lbs of weight.

The product is manufactured in American facilities. However, the brand doesn’t specify if all ingredients are sourced in the U.S. as well.

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The Blue Buffalo dry kibble is formulated to take care of the special needs of smaller dogs, according to the brand. This kibble recipe has increased protein and carbohydrate percentages.

This recipe contains deboned chicken as the main ingredient. Other main ingredients include chicken meal, brown rice, oatmeal, barley, and Menhaden fish meal. The recipe includes omega-3 fatty acids from the fish and omega-6 fatty acids from flaxseed.

Overall, the kibble as 18 percent crude protein, 10 percent crude fat, and 7 percent crude fiber per serving. Other nutrients include calcium, phosphorous, and vitamin E.

This kibble can meet high energy needs of active Maltese adult dogs. However, it might not be suited for older dogs who aren’t as active. It’s not suitable for dogs with poultry allergies.

This recipe contains real meat and no animal by-products, so it might suit Maltese dogs with sensitive stomachs. Kibble parts are cat-sized for small breed dogs. It doesn’t contain a lot of filler, only some pea starch.

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Purina Pro Plan is highly recommended for small breed dogs like Maltese who have stomach sensitivities. This product is specially formulated for sensitive tummies to prevent indigestion and problems like diarrhea.

Pro Plan looks like a good choice for picky little eaters as well. The dog food derives high-quality protein mainly from real meat. The first listed ingredient is chicken. However, the formula is not grain-free.

This dog food contains about 29 percent crude protein, 17 percent crude fat, and 3 percent crude fiber per serving. Proteins are derived from chicken, poultry by-products, soybean meal, and fish meal. It includes a number of supplements as well, including vitamins A, B-12, D-3, and riboflavin.

Purina sources its ingredients mostly from the United States. According to the brand website, 99 percent of Purina pet foods sold in the U.S. are also made there. Some ingredients are sourced from China. But these are essential nutrients like B vitamins and not main ingredients like protein.

The formula is available in different flavors, but it’s best if you purchase a “with shreds” flavor. The shreds are softer, so the food is easier to chew for small Maltese dogs. It’s even suitable for elderly dogs and pets with missing teeth who might find hard dry food difficult to chew.

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Merrick Lil Plates dog food kibble comes as small and crunchy bites. The small size makes it easy for tiny dogs to chew. And the crunchiness helps remove plaque from teeth, according to the manufacturer.

The formula is packed with high-quality proteins. The first ingredient is always real deboned meat or fish to match the flavor. For example, the chicken flavor comes with deboned chicken as the first ingredient. Some proteins are sourced from vegetables, such as peas.

If your Maltese is allergic to poultry, there are salmon, lamb, and beef flavors available. This brand is promoted as a poultry-free alternative to allergic dogs. The food is made in the U.S. But the manufacturer doesn’t specify where the ingredients are sourced from.

This is a grain-free recipe that includes no gluten. It may ease digestion for your Maltese. The ingredients list includes what the brand calls probiotic and prebiotic fibers. The recipe is antioxidant enriched and contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.


The clear winner from the above list is the Wellness Core recipe. It’s grain and filler free, so you can ensure optimal comfort for a Maltese with a sensitive stomach. The kibble is rich in proteins derived from real meat and has no animal by-products.

To top it all off, the kibble has probiotics. The high-energy recipe is probably the best to keep your Maltese well-fed with a shiny coat.

Check out the other suggestions listed above as well. Some recipes might be more tolerant for your Maltese dog. As an owner, there might be a number of things you need to watch out for, such as the size of the kibble. Browse the above recommendations to find a dog food your Maltese will really like.

Last update on 2024-06-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API