Top 5 Best Dog Food for Maltese Dogs, A Comprehensive Review

April 1, 2022 // 6 minute read

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Maltese dogs are friendly, charming companions that are small and energetic. They are known for their attractive and sometimes glamorous appearance, as they are often adorned with clothing and accessories. And, they thrive when feed the best dog food for Maltese on a daily basis. This ancient breed originates from Greece around the fifth century B.C. Maltese dogs make excellent guard dogs, enjoy socializing with humans, and are relatively easy to train.

This small breed performs well in competitive sports, such as obedience and agility, and they are highly intelligent, loyal, and talented in a variety of skills. Maltese dogs are very protective and become very attached to humans. Their small stature makes them an ideal pet for an apartment, as they don’t require much space to play and exercise.

Maltese dogs thrive on a diet rich in protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals to support their active lifestyle and promote healthy digestion. Our top 5 best dog food for Maltese choices include reputable brands that rate highly in several categories, including price, pet satisfaction, product size options, nutrients, and the quality of ingredients.

Best Dog Food For Maltese Dogs, Our Top 5 Picks

Best Small Breed Dry Dog Food for Maltese Dogs

Hills Science Diet

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Small Paws for Small Breed Dogs, Chicken Meal & Rice, 4.5 lb. Bag

Editor’s Comments:

Hill’s Science Diet Small Breed dry dog food is an excellent formula for a Maltese dog and similar small dogs. This brand specializes in providing science-based ingredients and quality for optimal health.

Price
95%
Quality of ingredients
96%
Nutrients
96%
Product size options
93%
Pet satisfaction
94%
  • Manufacturer: Hill’s Pet Nutrition Sales Inc.
  • Size:13 x 8.38 x 10 inches, and a weight of 4.5 lbs.
  • Ingredients: Chicken meal, soybean meal, brewers rice, whole grain wheat, flaxseed, chicken liver flavor, carrots, spinach, dried grape pomace, calcium, dried citrus pulp, oat fiber, dried tomato pomace, vitamins C, A, B12, D3, zinc, copper, manganese, taurine

Overall Score:

95

The Bottom Line:

Hill’s Science Diet Small Breed is a well-formulated dry food ideal for small dogs such as a Yorkshire Terrier or Maltese dog.

What’s Good

  • Highly recommended by a veterinarian
  • This formula offers antioxidants that support immune system health for miniature and small dog breeds
  • All ingredients are natural, without any preservatives, artificial flavors, or colors
  • It contains vitamin E and omega-six fatty acids to support healthy skin and fur coat
  • Includes digestible ingredients ideal for dogs with a sensitive stomach
  • Available in several flavor blends, including chicken, a chicken meal with rice, lamb meal with rice, and lamb
  • Made with premium ingredients in a high-grade U.S. facility
  • Hill’s Science Diet is a reputable brand with high-quality products based on decades of research

What’s Bad

  • Only available in two sizes, 4.5 and 15.5 lbs., both of which may not be consistently available to buy
  • Not all flavor options are available
  • This formula is not recommended for large breed dogs or puppies

Summary

Hill’s Science Diet Small Breed is one of the top vets’ recommended brands for small dog breeds. It offers all the quality nutrients, including natural meat protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals required for a well-balanced diet and active lifestyle. This formula is ideal for toy breeds and miniature dogs, with the right blend of ingredients and nutrients designed to support their unique size and health.

Best Small Adult Dog Food for Maltese Dogs

Royal Canin Health Nutrition

Royal Canin Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food, 14 lb bag

Editor’s Comments:

Royal Canin Size Health Nutritional dry dog food is specially formulated for small dogs and toy breeds, including Maltese, Yorkshire Terrier, Pugs, Shih Tzu, and Poodles.

Price
96%
Quality of ingredients
96%
Nutrients
97%
Product size options
93%
Pet satisfaction
96%
  • Manufacturer: Royal Canin
  • Size:5 x 14 x 23.5 inches, and 14 lbs.
  • Ingredients: Chicken, corn, brown rice, brewers rice, dried plain beet pulp, vegetable oil, calcium, salt, chicken fat, fish oil, wheat gluten, vitamins B12, E, B1, D3, A, copper, rosemary extract, zinc, manganese

Overall Score:

96

The Bottom Line:

Royal Canin Size Health Nutritional formula is ideal for small breed dogs, similar to the Royal Canin Maltese adult blend, which is more breed-specific. This dry dog food offers a nutritionally balanced product for toy breeds and miniature-sized dogs.

What’s Good

  • This formula is specially designed for smaller dogs between 9 to 22 lbs.
  • Provides support for healthy skin and fur coat with omega fatty acids
  • Ideal for picky eaters and small adult dogs with a sensitive stomach
  • Supports highly active dogs with quality protein, fiber, and nutrients for adult Maltese dogs between 10 months and eight years old
  • Keeps your dog at a healthy weight and supports heart health with L-carnitine
  • Ranked as a best seller in the top 25 dry dog food category

What’s Bad

  • This formula may cause some allergic reactions due to corn and wheat gluten
  • Not recommended for a Maltese puppy or other small breed dogs

Summary

Royal Canin Size Health Nutritional dry dog food is an excellent option for the Maltese breed and small dogs like Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terriers, and poodles. Royal Canin is a top-rated brand that offers unique formulas designed for specific breeds and dog sizes, which ensure your pet gets the proper nutritional balance without deficiencies.

Best All-Natural Small Breed Formula for Maltese Dogs

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 15-lb

Editor’s Comments:

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula for small breed dogs is a well-balanced dry dog food available in lamb and chicken flavors. It provides an easily digestible serving for Maltese adult dogs.

Price
96%
Quality of ingredients
97%
Nutrients
97%
Product size options
96%
Pet satisfaction
95%
  • Manufacturer: Blue Buffalo Company Ltd.
  • Size: 20 x 13.25 x 3.75 inches, and a size of 14.99 lbs.
  • Ingredients: Deboned chicken, fish meal, barley, oatmeal, brown rice, pea starch, peas, pea protein, dried chicory root, zinc, chicken meal, flaxseed, blueberries, barley grass, turmeric, carrots, garlic, vegetable juice, vitamins B5, B7, D3, B2, A, B9, oil of rosemary, dried kelp, copper, calcium, potatoes.

Overall Score:

96

The Bottom Line:

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula features high-grade protein from real meat, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins to support smaller dogs and their unique nutritional needs.

What’s Good

  • It contains high-quality protein from natural chicken to support healthy muscle, bone, and joint growth and development
  • Supports small dogs’ immune health with high-quality antioxidants, probiotics, and protein sources from meat and vegetables
  • It does not contain poultry by-products, meals, wheat, corn, artificial flavors, soy, or preservatives
  • Reasonably priced
  • Promotes a healthy fur coat and skin with fish oils and fatty acids
  • Ranked as a best seller in the top 10 dry dog food products
  • Available in three sizes, 5, 6, and 15-pound packages

What’s Bad

  • This formula is not recommended for senior Maltese dogs or puppies

Summary

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula provides all the essential nutrients and high-quality protein required for a healthy, balanced diet. This dry dog food blend provides increased amino acids and carbohydrates that support active, small breed dogs. The kibble size is shaped conveniently for smaller dogs to pick up, chew and digest quickly.

Best Maltese Puppy Dry Dog Food Formula

Purina Pro Plan

Purina Pro Plan High Protein Toy Breed Puppy Food DHA Chicken & Rice Formula - 5 lb. Bag

Editor’s Comments:

Purina Pro Plan Small Breed dry dog food is a high-protein, nutrient-rich formula designed for Maltese and miniature dog breed puppies in the first two years.

Price
98%
Quality of ingredients
96%
Nutrients
96%
Product size options
94%
Pet satisfaction
94%
  • Manufacturer: Nestle Purina Pet
  • Size:25 x 8.25 x 16 inches, and 5 lbs.
  • Ingredients: Chicken, corn gluten meal, dried egg product, whole grain corn, brewers rice, potassium, fish oil, corn germ meal, fish meal, calcium, salt, copper, vitamins D3, K, A, E, garlic oil, manganese

Overall Score:

96

The Bottom Line:

Purina Pro Plan Small Breed dry dog food is formulated to meet the needs of toy breed and miniature-sized dogs in the early stages of life.

What’s Good

  • The high amount of lean protein as the main ingredient
  • Fortified with probiotics and antioxidants to support immune development
  • Easily digestible and ideal for picky eaters
  • Kibble size is petite crunchy, making it effortless and enjoyable for small puppies to pick up and chew
  • Contains DHA for brain and vision development
  • Contains omega-six fatty acids for healthy skin and fur coat
  • This formula offers a significant source of phosphorus and calcium to promote healthy bone, joint, and muscle development
  • Ranked as a best seller in the top 75 dry dog food product category
  • Available in three sizes, 5, 18, and 6-pound bags
  • Reasonably priced

What’s Bad

  • Not recommended for adult or senior Maltese dogs
  • Some package sizes may not be consistently available for purchase

Summary

Purina Pro Plan Small Breed dry dog food offers a high-protein, mineral-rich formula that gives small breed dogs everything they need to develop properly within the first two years. This blend includes quality probiotics, vitamins, and fatty acids that promote the development and growth of organs, including visual and brain health. It’s one of the best puppy food options for small breed dogs.

Best Small Breed Dog Food for Senior Maltese

Wellness Complete Health

Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Senior Dry Dog Food with Grains, Turkey & Peas, 4-Pound Bag

Editor’s Comments:

Wellness Complete Health Natural dry dog food supports senior dogs’ special dietary requirements without any preservatives, fillers, or artificial colors.

Price
97%
Quality of ingredients
98%
Nutrients
98%
Product size options
90%
Pet satisfaction
95%
  • Manufacturer: WellPet LLC
  • Size:75 x 8 x 13.5 inches, and 3.95 lbs.
  • Ingredients: Deboned turkey, peas, rice, oats, ground brown rice, chicken meal, pea fiber, spinach, carrots, ground flaxseed, chicken fat, tomato pomace, potassium, sweet potato, apples, blueberries, zinc, calcium, vitamins A, C, D3, B12, green tea extract, copper, taurine, manganese

Overall Score:

96

The Bottom Line:

Wellness Complete Health Natural senior dog formula offers all-natural ingredients, quality proteins, fatty acids, and nutrients designed to support small breed dogs in the later stages of life.

What’s Good

  • This formula is specially designed to support senior dogs’ health with all-natural whole grains, protein, vegetables, fruits, and omega fatty acids
  • Provides essential minerals to support joints, bones, and muscles in aging dogs
  • There are no fillers, meat by-products, or artificial preservatives
  • This brand is well-established and known for offering recipes for dogs of all breeds and life stages without artificial ingredients
  • Promotes digestive health with healthy fiber, probiotics, and prebiotics
  • Supports dental health, including teeth and gums
  • Essential minerals and vitamins support a healthy coat and skin

What’s Bad

  • Available in one size only
  • Not recommended as a formula for Maltese puppies or young adult dogs

Summary

Wellness Complete Health Natural formula is one of the best dog food options for smaller dogs of advanced age. It’s a great dry dog food that supports senior Maltese dogs with aging bones and joints, which gives them greater comfort and mobility to exercise and play.

Every ingredient in this formula is high-quality, and there are no fillers or artificial ingredients that may impact food sensitivities or allergic reactions.

Best Dog Food for Maltese Dogs: Buyer’s Guide

Maltese dogs are highly active, friendly, and entertaining dogs that require a great deal of attention and a well-balanced diet for optimal health. They thrive on high-protein diets rich in nutrients, including multiple protein sources from meat and vegetables.

Some of the best options for commercial dog food and human food include lamb, bison, rabbit, chicken, turkey, salmon, and fish blends. Ensuring your Maltese dog receives all the essential nutrients to enjoy an active lifestyle is essential, as they are naturally apt to perform, play, and exercise.

They are a highly social breed and don’t require much space to stay active, making them popular for smaller dwellings, including apartments.

Your Dog

Maltese puppies require a rich but adequately balanced diet that ensures optimal nutrients for healthy growth (consisting of the best dog food for Maltese dogs). For this reason, puppy formulas should be fed to Maltese for the first year and may continue for up to two years.

Once a Maltese dog is fully grown, a high-protein blend is required to maintain a solid muscular frame and energy for physical activity.

There are essential factors to consider when choosing a dog food formula for your Maltese dog:

  • Your dog’s age, health, size, and activity level
  • Any known allergies, food sensitivities, and health conditions
  • Any preferences your dog enjoys, such as wet dog food, specific flavors, and kibble size
  • Always read the label of dog food products to ensure there are no added flavors, preservatives, or artificial colors
  • Dietary requirements for Maltese dogs performing in competitions, including recommendations from a veterinarian or vet nutritionist

Since Maltese dogs are considered small or toy breeds, they may not require too much food at a time or may eat more frequently when they’re active. Keeping a steady supply of high-protein dog food, including all-natural treats, especially when training for an event, is helpful if traveling with your dog.

It’s important to avoid replacing regular meals with snacks or treats, as these items don’t contain all the essential nutrients your dog needs to thrive and should be offered on occasion or as a reward during training.

Vet Recommended

Maltese dogs may develop allergies to specific animal proteins, such as beef or chicken, or dairy, wheat, corn, or soy sensitivities. A veterinarian can recommend a well-balanced formula designed for small breed dogs with allergies, whether food or environment-related, while ensuring they receive the required proteins and nutrients for growth and development.

Ideally, it’s best to determine if there are any food sensitivities from a young age, preferably when your Maltese pup is under one year, to eliminate any foods that cause discomfort or illness.

If your Maltese dog participates in competitive sports, it’s best to consult with a vet nutritionist on a specific diet that supports your pet’s high performance while maintaining its health to determine which is the best dog food for Maltese dogs. In many cases, a quality blend of meat and vegetable-based proteins, vitamins, probiotics, fiber, and minerals offer the best foundation for a healthy life.

Best Dog Food For Maltese Dogs Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to feed a Maltese dog cat food?

While some cat food formulas may seem similar to small breed dog food formulas, especially wet dog food products, it’s best to avoid feeding your Maltese cat food unless a veterinarian suggests it.

Which human foods can a Maltese dog safely eat?

Raw fruits and vegetables are generally acceptable to feed your Maltese dog, with some exceptions. The best options include apples, bananas, carrots, watermelon, cantaloupe, cooked poultry, plain popcorn, peanut butter (unsweetened), blueberries, cucumber, green beans, and potatoes.

While pork and beef are acceptable in small amounts, these meats should be lean and without any sodium. It’s essential to avoid processed meats, as they are high in sodium and may contain unhealthy additives or preservatives.

Which foods should I avoid feeding a Maltese dog?

Fruits with pits or stones should be avoided, as they contain chemicals that are considered poisonous to dogs. Other foods to skip include avocado, dairy products, bread dough, onions, garlic, foods containing caffeine or alcohol (even trace amounts), xylitol (a sweetener), chocolate, raisins, grapes, and foods high in sodium.

While some dog owners may feed dairy to dogs on occasion, especially low-fat options like cottage cheese or plain yogurt, it’s generally best for medium or large-breed dogs and not ideal for small toy breeds or miniature dogs.

Is a grain-free formula best for Maltese dogs?

Grain-free formulas are ideal for dogs with food sensitivities, though many puppies thrive on the nutrients that wholesome grains provide and full-grown Maltese adults. If you’re uncertain whether your dog is allergic to grains, it’s best to observe their reaction to a dog food brand containing wheat, corn, or barley. It’s also essential to choose formulas with whole grains only, as processed wheat, corn, or soy is more likely to cause an allergic reaction.

Grains are also added as a filler and aren’t required as a part of your Maltese dog’s diet. You can easily replace food products with grain-free formulas with excellent results.

And, choose one of the best dog food for Maltese dogs listed on this page as a starting point.

How often should I feed a Maltese puppy?

Maltese puppies between 8 weeks and one year of age can free feed, which means they can eat anytime, and fresh food should be left out for them to consume. It’s essential to ensure the bowl of food is fresh, especially wet dog food, and a bowl of fresh, filtered water is also best to keep alongside the food at all times. Keep the portions small and only refill when empty for best results

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