Nutrition Reviews

The 5 Best Dog Foods For Maltese Dogs

January 30, 2024

The 5 Best Dog Foods For Maltese Dogs

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Best Dog Foods For Maltese Dogs

A dog of many names, the Maltese—or Mal for short—is a very famous small toy dog breed. Usually weighing less than seven pounds, they are usually draped in a long, silky white coat and have a cute black button nose and eyes. Famous for not shedding, these pups make a great choice for those with dog allergies.

If you want to enjoy your Maltese dog’s company for as long as possible, feed it a healthy diet specific to its nutritional needs. You may not realize it, but Maltese dogs may need a different type of food than larger breeds to meet their unique energy requirements.

Royal Canin Maltese Adult Dry Dog Food

1. Royal Canin Maltese Adult Dry Dog Food

Wellness Core® Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

2. Wellness Core® Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Puppy Recipe

3. Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Puppy Recipe

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Canidae Grain Free Pure Dry Dog Food

5. Canidae Grain Free Pure Dry Dog Food

Protein
22% Min
Protein
34% Min
Protein
27% Min
Protein
26% Min
Protein
32.0% Min
Fat
16% Min
Fat
12% Min
Fat
17% Min
Fat
15% Min
Fat
18.0% Min
Fiber
3.3% Max
Fiber
6% Max
Fiber
5.0% Max
Fiber
4% Max
Fiber
4.0% Max
Calories
317 kcal/cup
Calories
3,492 kcal/kg or 342 kcal/cup ME
Calories
489 kcal/cup
Calories
383 kcal/cup
Calories
509 kcal/cup

Our Criteria

The criteria we use in selecting the best dog foods for Maltese dogs and other breeds comes from the World Small Animal Veterinary Association.

Using the WSAVA guidelines, we look for dog foods that meet the following standards:

  • The food should meet AAFCO approval, preferably by means of a food trial instead of a nutrient profile.
  • We like dog food companies that have nutritional research to back up their formulations.
  • Pet food companies should have canine or veterinary nutritionists on staff to formulate their foods.
  • A pet food company needs to have strong quality control measures and be willing to discuss them.

Best Rated Dog Foods for Maltese Dogs Reviewed

Best Overall
1.

Royal Canin Maltese Adult Dry Dog Food

Product Info

  • Protein: 22% Min
  • Fat: 16% Min
  • Fiber: 3.3% Max
  • Calories: 317 kcal/cup
Pros
  • Made specifically for Maltese
  • Contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
  • Helps maintain your Maltese’s silky, long coat
Cons
  • Pricey dog food
  • Some dogs refuse to eat

Royal Canin Maltese Adult Dry Dog Food is a tailored diet for the Maltese pure breed, ensuring skin and coat health, digestion, and satisfying appetites. The kibble is designed for the medium-length tapered muzzle and scissor bite, with biotin, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids for skin care and EPA and DHA from fish oil for long coat maintenance. The food's kibble size, aromas, and flavors are sure to please picky eaters.

Ingredients:Brewers rice, corn, chicken by-product meal, chicken fat, wheat gluten, pork meal, natural flavors, dried chicory root, vegetable oil, fish oil, grain distillers dried yeast, potassium chloride, sodium silico aluminate, vitamins [DL-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), niacin supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), D-calcium pantothenate, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin A acetate, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], salt, fructooligosaccharides, sodium tripolyphosphate, monocalcium phosphate, choline chloride, DL-methionine, taurine, calcium carbonate, marigold extract (Tagetes erecta L.), trace minerals [zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, copper proteinate], magnesium oxide, L-lysine, glucosamine hydrochloride, green tea extract, chondroitin sulfate, rosemary extract, preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid.

Best Grain Free
2.

Wellness Core® Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Product Info

  • Protein: 34% Min
  • Fat: 12% Min
  • Fiber: 6% Max
  • Calories: 3,492 kcal/kg or 342 kcal/cup ME
Pros
  • Have plenty of flavors to choose from
  • Specific kibble for small breeds is available
  • Grain-free
  • No artificial preservatives
Cons
  • Some dogs refuse to eat it

This is a good option for those who want to set up a grain-free, balanced diet plan at a reasonable price. It comes in many flavors, as well as in the form of kibble specifically made for small breeds. Although the normal kibble size of this food is easy to eat for small dogs as well, the specific variety also has the right ratio of nutrients to suit their needs.

Ingredients: Whitefish, Herring Meal, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Peas, Potatoes, Dried Ground Potatoes, Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Pea Fiber, Tomato Pomace, Natural Fish Flavor, Ground Flaxseed, Spinach, Vitamin E Supplement, Broccoli, Carrots, Choline Chloride, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Kale, Sweet Potatoes, Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.

Best for Puppies
3.

Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Puppy Recipe

Product Info

  • Protein: 27% Min
  • Fat: 17% Min
  • Fiber: 5.0% Max
  • Calories: 489 kcal/cup
Pros
  • Rich in quality animal proteins
  • Digestible carbohydrates
  • DHA for brain development
  • Supplements for strong bones and teeth
Cons
  • Contains plant proteins
  • Contains grains

Growing Maltese puppies need plenty of high-quality protein and healthy fats to support their growth and development. This Wellness Small Breed Puppy Recipe is a great choice for your Maltese because it is rich in animal proteins like turkey and digestible carbohydrates like oatmeal and brown rice. This formula is supplemented with DHA for brain health and has guaranteed levels of calcium and phosphorus for strong bones and teeth.

Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Salmon Meal, Ground Barley, Ground Brown Rice, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Rye Flour, Tomato Pomace, Menhaden Fish Meal, Natural Chicken Flavor, Pea Fiber, Tomatoes, Salmon Oil, Ground Flaxseed, Carrots, Spinach, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Sweet Potatoes, Apples, Blueberries, Vitamin E Supplement, Choline Chloride, Mixed Tocopherols Added to Preserve Freshness, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Taurine, L-Carnitine, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Beta-Carotene, Chicory Root Extract, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.

Best for Small Dogs
4.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Product Info

  • Protein: 26% Min
  • Fat: 15% Min
  • Fiber: 4% Max
  • Calories: 383 kcal/cup
Pros
  • Natural ingredients
  • Real chicken is the first ingredient
  • Rich in antioxidants
Cons
  • Price on the high side
  • Some dogs refuse the smaller pieces

This dog food is made with natural ingredients and enhanced with vitamins and minerals. It comes in chicken, fish, and lamb flavors. Reviews note that it's a good choice for dogs watching their weight, but it's on the pricier side. BLUE Life Protection Formula Chicken and Brown Rice Small Breed dry dog food is made with the finest natural ingredients and enhanced with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. It’s a high-quality, balanced recipe you can both feel great about.

Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley, Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Natural Flavor, Pea Starch, Dried Tomato Pomace, Peas, Pea Protein, Dried Egg Product, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Direct Dehydrated Alfalfa Pellets, Dried Chicory Root, Potatoes, Pea Fiber, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Garlic, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vegetable Juice for color, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), L-Carnitine, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), L-Lysine, Copper Sulfate, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Sulfate, Taurine, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary

Best Limited Ingredient
5.

Canidae Grain Free Pure Dry Dog Food

Product Info

  • Protein: 32.0% Min
  • Fat: 18.0% Min
  • Fiber: 4.0% Max
  • Calories: 509 kcal/cup
Pros
  • Less chances of allergic reactions
  • High-quality animal protein
  • Grain-free
Cons
  • May cause diarrhea in some dogs

This dog food uses simple recipes for sensitive dogs. Each limited-ingredient diet is made up of easily recognizable key ingredients that do away with uncertainty. The product also contains probiotics to help support healthy digestion and antioxidants to help support your pet’s immune system.

Ingredients: Lamb, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Chickpeas, Peas, Chicken Fat, Menhaden Fish Meal, Potatoes, Sun-cured Alfalfa, Natural Flavor, Minerals (Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Choline Chloride, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Mixed Tocopherols (A Natural Source of Vitamin E).

Nutritional Requirements

To make sure your Maltese dog is fed properly, along with satisfying its hunger, it is important to understand its eating habits and dietary needs. The average adult Maltese needs about 200 calories per day for optimum weight and health.

A lot of dog foods on the market these days contain great amounts of carbs, something Maltese are unable to digest well.

If given the choice, most dogs would take wet dog food over dry; however, feeding only wet food is not the best choice for them. Even if the quality of the wet food is very good, feeding your dog only this may lead to runny bowels. In addition, the texture of dry kibble is better for their dental health.

Taking all the things we have mentioned into account, the following is a list of the top 5 Maltese dog food suggestions that can suit your toy breed’s needs.

Allergies and Health

Like many other breeds, Maltese are susceptible to a few serious medical conditions. Certain ingredients in your dog’s food may help prevent, or at least limit, your dog’s chances of developing these problems.

It is not unusual for Maltese to develop eye issues later in their lives. Therefore, you must add orange vegetables like carrots, which contain a substance called beta-carotene, to their diet. This important nutrient can help to prevent or at least stave off eye problems that become more likely as the Maltese advance in years.

Apart from this, the breed can also suffer from dental issues, like other small breeds. Liver shunt, colitis, and hip and leg problems are also things you must watch out for and, if possible, prepare against.

A lot of the dog food that you will see displayed at supermarkets is of poor quality. Inferior dog foods bring about lots of issues.

What You Should NOT Feed Your Maltese Dog

Fillers: These are ingredients that are added to some cheap dog foods to give them more bulk and fiber. Hence, it appears as if there is more real food than there is. Fillers have very few nutrients, and typically, the dog’s body does not absorb them. Common dog food fillers include corn bran, corncobs, oat hulls, peanut hulls, cottonseed hulls, rice hulls, soybean mill run, wheat mill run, citrus pulp, and cereal by-products. Fillers may also be added as protein sources, but these are either plant sources or meat by-products, which are far inferior to meat and can be harmful to your dog.

Artificial additives: These are artificial agents added to make dog food last longer or to improve its appearance or flavor. The ingestion of chemical preservatives, coloring, and/or flavoring can cause a lot of issues. Owing to their dangerous affects, many additives are banned in several countries. The most easily noticed problems caused by additives are an upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, and allergic reactions like rashes, itching, hot spots, and a thinning coat. Research is now showing that, similar to humans, additives also cause behavioral problems in dogs.

Generic meat sources: Be very careful with these. If the label does not identify the source of the meat, it may be from diseased or dying livestock, roadkill, deceased zoo animals, poultry that dies on route to facilities, or pets that have been euthanized at shelters. All these sources can legally be added to dog food. You do not want your dog to consume expired or diseased meat or meat that has traces of euthanizing chemicals.

Final Thoughts

Processed food is a concern due to potential harmful elements and toxins. Homemade Maltese dog food recipes are safer and more nutrient-dense. It’s important to consider your dog’s dietary needs and medical issues. Moderation is key, and a nutritious meal is essential for their health. Research and ask questions before making a decision about your Maltese’s diet.

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate holds a certificate in fitness nutrition and enjoys writing about health and wellness trends — she also enjoys crafting original recipes. In addition to her work as a ghostwriter and author, Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.
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