Top 3 Dog Foods for Maltese According to An Expert

Top 3 Dog Foods for Maltese According to An Expert

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Small, dainty, and affectionate, it’s hard not to fall in love with the adorable Maltese! Rarely weighing more than 12 pounds, don’t let this toy breed’s size fool you—Maltese have the same basic nutritional needs as any other dog.

In this guide, we’re chatting about the best dog foods for Maltese, and sharing valuable insight from Maltese breeder and pet expert Teresa Mistretta. 

Tips for Choosing Dog Food for Maltese

Maltese can be a little particular, which leads the breed to be prone to being underweight. Let’s take a look at some advice from our expert for getting your picky Malty to chow down. 

Feeding a Picky Eater

It’s not uncommon for Maltese to turn their nose up one day and beg for food the next. What’s important is not getting frustrated, and trying again as many times as necessary.

“Maltese can be very picky eaters,” Teresa states. One reason could be because not all of them want to eat twice a day, “If yours is refusing breakfast, try just feeding at dinner.”

Top 3 Dog Foods for Maltese According to An Expert Teresa Mistretta
Teresa Mistretta, Maltese breeder & pet expert

 She said another reason you might be struggling to get your dog to eat is because some dogs don’t like to eat out of a bowl. “A little trick is to take the food out of the bowl and put on a paper plate or directly on the floor. Sometimes that’s enough to get them to eat,” Teresa notes.

In some cases, Maltese are picky because they just don’t like the food, while in other cases, it could quite literally be an issue of the wrong serving bowl. It may take some trial and error to find the right food and serving dish combination, so keep trying!

Helping Maltese Gain Weight

Because Maltese are so picky, they are notorious for being underweight. Like being severely overweight, being underweight can have ramifications for your Maltese’s health, and you should be endeavoring to help them gain appropriate weight. Typically, your veterinarian will recommend that you start by increasing their calorie intake. 

Jamie Peyton, a veterinarian in Los Angeles told us, “To gain weight, owners can increase the amount of food they are giving by 25% to see if there is an improvement.” 

Jamie Peyton on Top 3 Dog Foods for Maltese According to An Expert
Jamie Peyton, Veterinarian

She said the other option is to “feed a more calorie-dense food that contains a higher level of fat.”  

She recommends increasing slowly to prevent GI upset. “Higher levels of fat in a food are also typically more enticing to eat and may help a dog struggling to maintain weight.”

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Best Dog Food for Maltese Dogs

Now that you’ve learned a little bit about your Maltese’s nutritional needs, possible health concerns, and how to get a picky Malty to eat, let’s talk dog food! Here are three high-quality dog foods our Maltese expert recommends.

1. Best Fresh-Frozen: The Farmer’s Dog Beef Recipe

Top 3 Dog Foods for Maltese According to An Expert
Source: @TheFarmersDog

If your Maltese loves human food and turns their nose up at dog food, try feeding them food from The Farmer’s Dog! Made from whole ingredients that you can quite literally see in their recipes, The Farmer’s Dog cooks the meals than instantly freezes them to lock in freshness. 

Even the pickiest dogs love their recipes (seriously, we’ve tested it!) and humans love that The Farmer’s Dog takes all the guesswork out of meal portions. Before you place your order, The Farmer’s Dog will ask you to fill out a brief survey on your dog, then share suggested recipes and a custom meal plan. 

Buy From The Farmer’s Dog

Top 3 Dog Foods for Maltese According to An Expert
First 5 IngredientsUSDA Beef, Sweet Potato, Lentils, Carrot, USDA Beef Liver
Food TypeFresh-frozen, grain-inclusive
Guaranteed Analysis (crude)11% Protein — 8% Fat — 1.5% Fiber — 72% Moisture
Feeding InstructionsFeeding instructions are customized based on your dog’s personal information
Cost Per Meal$1.39 per meal — price estimate given by Farmer’s Dog*

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2. Best Air-Dried: Sundays For Dogs Beef Recipe

Sundays For dogs woman pouring into bowl

If you struggle to get your Maltese to eat their food, but they love treats, they’ll probably love Sundays For Dogs. Air-dried in small pieces that look, taste, and feel like jerky, Sundays For Dogs can also be used as training treats if you’re working on teaching your Maltese new tricks, or they just deserve an extra snack at the end of a long hard day of naps. 

Other than the delicious recipe, we think Sundays For Dogs deserves consideration for best food for Maltese thanks to the turmeric to reduce inflammation, blueberries for antioxidant and immune support, and tart cherries to protect the joints. 

Get 35% off your first order + free shipping w/ code ROCKY35!

Top 3 Dog Foods for Maltese According to An Expert
First 5 IngredientsBeef, Beef Heart, Beef Liver, Beef Bone, Quinoa
Food TypeAir-dried, grain-inclusive without wheat, peas, corn, or legumes
Guaranteed Analysis30% Protein – 20% Fat – 3% Fiber – 15% Moisture
Feeding InstructionsFeed ½ cup (2.2 oz.) per day or ¼ cup (1.1 oz.) per meal*
Cost Per Meal $1.92 per meal* – $69 for 72 oz. (best option for savings)

What Reviewers Say:

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3. Best Raw: We Feed Raw

Top 3 Dog Foods for Maltese According to An Expert

Because raw dog food doesn’t include cooked or processed ingredients, the vital nutrients may be more bioavailable to your pooch. This fact can make raw dog food a good option for Maltese who need to gain weight, especially since raw blends are extra-high in protein and healthy fats. We Feed Raw has a wide range of raw recipes, including this venison formula which features venison and a blend of beef organs, bone, and cartilage. 

For dogs with joint problems like patellar luxation, raw diets are high in B vitamins, chondroitin, coenzyme Q10, glucosamine, magnesium, taurine, vitamin E, and zinc. 

Save 25% off your first subscription trial box.

Buy From We Feed Raw

Top 3 Dog Foods for Maltese According to An Expert
First 5 IngredientsVenison, Beef Heart, Beef Liver, Beef Kidney, Beef Neck with Bone
Food TypeRaw, grain-free
Guaranteed Analysis (crude)13% Protein — 10.7% Fat — 1% Fiber — 69.4% Moisture
Feeding InstructionsFeed 5.6 oz. per day, or 2.8 oz. per meal*
Cost Per Meal$1.74 per meal* — $49.99 for 5 lbs

What Reviewers Say:


Tips for Choosing Dog Food for Maltese

Let’s take a look at some advice from our expert! Maltese can be a little particular, which leads the breed to be prone to being underweight. Teresa Mistretta has some excellent advice for getting your picky Malty to chow down. 

Top 3 Dog Foods for Maltese According to An Expert

Maltese Nutritional Needs

Maltese have the same basic nutritional needs as other dogs, but can be a little particular about flavor and form factor. Dogs do well on a high-protein diet that includes whole animal protein, healthy fats, and a small portion of dog-safe fruits, vegetables, seeds, and grains. Maltese do especially well on a diet that is free from filler ingredients and doesn’t include ingredients like chicken meal or other meat byproducts. 

Feeding high-quality dog food isn’t just about cosmetics—Maltese that eat a healthy diet may also be less likely to develop chronic illnesses, will maintain a healthier weight, and may live longer, healthier lives overall. 

Maltese Health

A maltese

Maltese dogs are a generally healthy breed, and many live to be 15+ with proper care and nutrition. Deceptively hearty, there are a few conditions Maltese may be prone to in older age. 

  • Luxating patellas
  • Heart abnormalities
  • Congenital liver issues
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While a high-quality diet can’t entirely prevent or cure any of these conditions, feeding your Maltese a diet high in key nutrients may contribute to reduced health issues and longer life. 

Key Nutrients for Maltese

Beyond the basics—protein, fat, fiber, and moisture—Maltese can benefit from a diet high in the following nutrients.

NutrientUsesSources
B-Complex VitaminsJoint support, liver support– Beef
– Chicken
– Eggs
– Mackerel
– Oats
– Organ meats
– Salmon
ChondroitinJoint support– Beef cartilage
– Blueberries
– Chicken cartilage
– Green
-lipped mussels
– Salmon
– Turmeric
Coenzyme Q10Joint support, heart support– Organ meats
– Mackerel
– Salmon
– Sardines
GlucosamineJoint support– Beef cartilage
– Bone broth
– Chicken cartilage
– Green
-lipped mussels
MagnesiumHeart support– Ground bone
– Lamb
– Mackerel
– Pumpkin seeds
– Salmon
– Spinach
Omega-3 Fatty AcidsJoint support, heart support, liver support– Cod
– Mackerel
– Salmon
– Sardines
PotassiumHeart support– Blueberries
– Carrots
– Green beans
– Sweet potato
TaurineHeart support– Beef
– Fish
– Goat milk
– Organ meats
– Turkey
Vitamin CJoint support, liver support– Blueberries
– Carrots
– Kale
– Pumpkin
– Sweet potato
Vitamin EJoint support, heart support, liver support– Eggs
– Liver
– Salmon
– Spinach
– Sunflower oil
ZincLiver support– Beef
– Chicken
– Hemp seeds
– Lamb
– Pumpkin seeds
– Salmon
– Sardines- Spinach

Feeding Maltese Dogs FAQ

Wonder what other Maltese owners are asking about feeding their dogs? Here are our answers to some of the most common questions about the best dog food for Maltese. 

What is the best dog food for Maltese tear stains? 

If your Maltese has excessive tear stains, it’s a good idea to put them on a diet that is free from corn, soy, and other processed filler ingredients. 

Many Maltese owners worry about their dog’s tear stains and wonder what the best dog food for Maltese tear stains. Some of the fillers [like] corn and soy in overly processed food [aren’t] healthy for dogs and could lead to a weaker immune system [and worsened tear stains.] There are food brands that claim to help Epiphora (tear stains) like this one but it doesn’t work. And even if it did, it’s a large-sized kibble and most Maltese won’t touch it.

Provide your pet with a well-balanced diet like ones mentioned above or you can make homemade food for your Maltese, use filtered water instead of tap, and choose stainless steel as the material for your pet’s feeding bowls.

If the tears persist Angel Eyes is a supplement you add to food that works on many but not all Maltese.

As a very very very last resort, you can ask your vet for a course of amoxicillin which will clear it up. Obviously, this cannot be a long-term thing.

What is the best canned dog food for Maltese?

If your Maltese prefers canned/wet dog food, try Merrick’s Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Small Breed Wet Food. Lil’ Plates come in a variety of flavors including Teeny Texas Steak Tips Dinner, Tiny Thanksgiving Day Dinner, and Itsy Bitsy Beef Stew.

What are the best recipes for homemade food for Maltese dogs?

When making homemade dog food, it is crucial to do your research to ensure your recipe is properly balanced. Consulting with your vet can help you determine exactly what your pooch needs, and give you key insight into canine nutrition. 

To give you a jumping-off point, take a look at these recipes for raw homemade food.

What is the best wet food for a Maltese puppy?

Merrick makes a Lil’ Plates recipe just for puppies! Their Pint-Sized Puppy Plate is grain-free, made from real chicken, and is high in essential nutrients your Maltese puppy needs to grow big (er..small) and strong!

What is the best Maltese dog food for allergies?

Maltese with allergies can benefit from a novel protein diet like the venison recipe from We Feed Raw

Do you recommend the Royal Canin Maltese dog food?

We do not recommend Royal Canin’s Maltese blend. The second ingredient in Royal Canin’s Maltese recipe is corn, followed by chicken by product meal, chicken fat, and wheat gluten. These ingredients are not whole and are known to worsen tear stains. 

Maltese are also notorious for not liking kibble, so it’s unlikely your Malty will eat this brand. 

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