The 5 Best Dog Foods For Malteses

October 5, 2021

The 5 Best Dog Foods For Malteses

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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 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.

Quick Look at Our Top Picks:

  • Perfect for the faster metabolism of a Maltese
  • Good palatability to encourage your dog to eat
  • Omega fatty acids keep your Maltese’s skin and coat healthy
  • Specially formulated for dogs that weigh less than 10 pounds
  • Contains Vitamin A, omega fatty acids, and antioxidants for your dog’s skin, coat, and immune system
  • Contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Formulated specifically for small breed dogs
  • Contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
  • Easy to digest with natural fiber and added probiotics
  • Beef meal is the first ingredient in this formula
  • This food is nutrient-dense and meat-based
  • Contains no potatoes, peas, lentils, corn, rice, soy, or chemically-synthesized vitamins, minerals, or trace nutrients

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 in 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 it wet food quality 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.

Best Rated Dog Food for Malteses Reviewed

Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 34% Min
  • Fat – 15% Min
  • Fiber – 7.0% Min
  • Moisture– 10% Min

Caloric Content: 417 kcal/cup

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.

Click here to see full list of 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.


  • Have plenty of flavors to choose from
  • Specific kibble for small breeds available
  • Grain-free
  • No artificial preservatives


  • Some dogs appear to find the food unpalatable, but most owners report that their dog loves it.

Best for Puppies: Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Puppy Recipe

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 27% Min
  • Fat – 17% Min
  • Fiber – 5.0% Min
  • Moisture– 10% Min

Caloric Content:489 kcal/cup

Growing puppies Malteses need plenty of high-quality protein and healthy fats to support their growth and development. This Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Puppy Recipe is a great choice for your Malteses because it is rich in animal proteins like turkey and salmon with 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.

Click here to see full list of 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.


  • Rich in quality animal proteins
  • Digestible carbohydrates
  • DHA for brain development
  • Supplements for strong bones and teeth


  • Contains some plant protein
  • Not grain-free

Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Puppy Dry Dog Food

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 28% Min
  • Fat – 18% Min
  • Fiber – 3.0% Min
  • Moisture– 12% Min

Caloric Content: 468 kcal/cup

Priced under $10 for a 6-pound bag, Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food is an excellent choice for your Pup. This formula has  real chicken, lamb or salmon as the first ingredient. With its small-sized kibble, this puppy food helps make chewing easier for your little Maltese.

Click here to see full list of Ingredients
Chicken, Brewer’s Rice, Poultry By-Product Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Animal Fat Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols, Whole Grain Corn, Corn Germ Meal, Brewer’s Dried Yeast, Fish Meal, Animal Digest, Dried Egg Product, Fish Oil, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Manganese Sulfate, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Sulfate, Riboflavin Supplement, Garlic Oil, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Biotin, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Sodium Selenite. W-4458.


  • The brand has a special formula for dogs with sensitive stomachs and skin
  • Have special formula for sensitive stomach


  • Could have a higher ratio of protein
  • Some dogs do not enjoy the taste of the food

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Dry Dog Food

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 32% Min
  • Fat – 18% Min
  • Fiber – 4.0% Min
  • Moisture– 10% Min

Caloric Content: 509 kcal/cup

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

Click here to see full list of 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).


  • Lesser chances of allergic reactions
  • High quality animal protein
  • Grain-free


  • May cause diarrhea in some dogs

Orijen Adult Dry Dog Food

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 48% Min
  • Fat – 18% Min
  • Fiber – 5.0% Min
  • Moisture– 12% Min

Caloric Content: 412 kcal/cup

Orijen is probably one of the best dog food brands out there. Containing 85% poultry, fish and egg, If you’re someone looking for a reliable brand and can afford the high price, then this product is for you.

Click here to see full list of Ingredients
Chicken (ground with bone), turkey (ground with bone), whole herring, chicken liver, chicken heart, whole eggs, spinach greens, pea fiber, turkey liver, turkey heart, whole flounder, ground whole sunflower seeds, whole pumpkin, butternut squash, whole carrots, whole cranberries, whole blackberries, whole blueberries, apples, pears, plums, apricots, brown kelp, mixed tocopherols (preservative), chicory root, dandelion root, summer savory, peppermint leaf, ginger root, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate.


  • Whole ingredients (real fish and meat), free of poultry by-product meals
  • Grain-free
  • Contain no artificial preservatives


  • Very expensive

Allergies & 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 Malteses to develop eye issues later in their lives. Therefore, you must add orange vegetables like carrots, that 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 likely as the Maltese advances 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

Fillers – These are ingredients that are added to some cheap dog foods to give it 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 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 upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea and allergic reactions like rashes, itching, hot spots and 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 en route to facilities, and pets that have been euthanized at shelters. All these sources can legally be added to dog food. You do not want to your dog to consume expired or diseased meat, or meat that has traces of euthanizing chemicals.

Considering Homemade

While famous brands claim quality and build trust, the question of whether or not processed food is the best option is a major one. With reports of harmful artificial elements and toxins in pet food coming up now and again, hence, it is worth preparing proper homemade Maltese dog food recipes and giving up on commercial foods. Homemade food will contain no harmful preservatives or additives.

Similar to processed food, you will have to keep your Maltese’s dietary needs in mind when you prepare a meal at home. Also, you must be aware of any special needs related to medical issues. Maltese are prone to obesity so don’t feed them too much in a day. Moderation is key. Cooking a meal full of nutrition is essential but creating something that is easy to digest, is also important for your dog’s health.

Whether you go with homemade or store-bought food for your Maltese, read, research and ask the right questions before you make decisions about the diet of your dog.

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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