Best Dog Foods for Maltese 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

white maltese adult

The Maltese is known for its spunk and energy. People who own this breed know that they make great companions. Their long, white fur is what most people think of first when they hear about a Maltese. As a Maltese owner, you know how important it is to keep your little dog healthy, and the best way to do this is by feeding them a nutritious diet. But you may be wondering what exactly is the optimal diet for your Maltese.

This reviews guide compares seven of the best foods for the Maltese and offers pros and cons of each so you can pick one that suits your pet and meets your expectations. Read through the buyer’s guide at the end of the article to help you make your final decision.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Royal Canin Maltese Adult Royal Canin Maltese Adult
  • Helps with finicky eating
  • Customized kibble
  • Reduces stool odor and amount
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Blue Buffalo Life Small Breed Blue Buffalo Life Small Breed
  • Affordable
  • Uses LifeSource Bits
  • Removes tartar
  • Best for Puppies
    Third place
    Purina ONE Healthy Puppy Purina ONE Healthy Puppy
  • High in protein and fat
  • Antioxidants
  • Meaty morsels
  • Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small Breed Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small Breed
  • Easily digestible
  • Grain-free
  • Great for skin and coat
  • Taste of the Wild Small Breed Taste of the Wild Small Breed
  • K9 probiotic blend
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Healthy legumes included
  • The 7 Best Dog Foods for a Maltese — Reviews 2020

    1. Royal Canin Maltese Adult Dry Dog Food — Best Overall

    Royal Canin Maltese Adult Dry Dog Food

    Royal Canin offers a formula that is specific to adult Maltese through the ingredients and the shape of the kibble. Since the Maltese has a tapered muzzle, the kibble is shaped so your dog can pick it up easier, and it also encourages slower eating.

    The recipe features proteins that are easily digestible, with a fiber content of 3.3% to reduce stool amount and odor. The main protein is a chicken by-product and pork meal with brewer’s rice, corn, and wheat gluten. Fish oil provides EPA and DHA, which provides nourishment to keep your dog’s coat silky, and long, with a lovely shine.

    On the downside, this formula is pricey but offers specific ingredients to keep your Maltese healthy and happy, since they are known to be picky eaters.

    Pros
    • Ideal for adults
    • Formulated for Maltese
    • Customized kibble
    • Helps with finicky eating
    • Digestible proteins
    • Reduces stool odor and amount
    • Fish oil for a silky coat
    Cons
    • Pricey

    2. Blue Buffalo Life Dry Dog Food — Best Value

    Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dry Dog Food

    Blue Buffalo is the best dog food for Maltese for the money because it is formulated for small breed dogs and is offered at an affordable price. The primary ingredients are chicken, chicken meal, and brown rice. Menhaden fish meal and flaxseed provide omega fatty acids to help keep your dog’s coat healthy and shiny.

    The kibble is small and tasty and is designed to help remove tartar from the teeth. Blue Buffalo adds their LifeSource Bits, which are a blend of seven antioxidant-rich nutrients that will keep your dog healthy and full of life. On the downside, it is not grain-free for dogs with certain sensitivities, but it has plenty of protein and carbohydrates to meet the energy needs of your Maltese.

    Pros
    • Affordable
    • Great for a healthy coat
    • Easy to eat
    • Tasty
    • Removes tartar
    • Uses LifeSource Bits
    Cons
    • Not ideal for dogs with food allergies

    3. Purina ONE SmartBlend Dry Dog Food — Best for Puppies

    Purina ONE SmartBlend Dry Dog Food

    Purina One offers an affordable recipe that is formulated specifically for puppies. It contains real chicken, whole-grain corn, and oatmeal that provides digestible protein for sensitive tummies. The high level of fat is ideal for providing all-day energy, and fish oil supplies a source of DHA for optimal brain and eye development.

    It blends vitamins E and A to keep the immune system healthy, and the addition of calcium and phosphorus is added to increase the strength in your puppies’ joints and bones. Your pup will love the tender meaty morsels within the kibble that provide flavor and texture. Unfortunately, this is not a breed-specific food, but Purina One states that every ingredient serves a purpose and provides complete and balanced nutrition for a growing puppy.

    Pros
    • Affordable
    • Digestible proteins
    • High in protein and fat
    • Fish oil provides DHA
    • Antioxidants for immune health
    • Meaty morsels add soft texture
    Cons
    • Not breed specific

    4. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    Wellness CORE Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    This food from Wellness CORE is formulated for small breed dogs, so it contains a high concentration of meat protein to build lean muscle and fat to provide energy throughout the day. This is a grain-free recipe, so it is ideal for dogs who have sensitive stomachs or food allergies. The main ingredients are turkey, turkey meal, chicken meal, and potatoes — this is a great flavor combination that dogs love.

    Salmon oil provides omega fatty acids for a healthy coat and skin, while glucosamine and chondroitin are ideal for maintaining bone and joint health. Probiotics are included for digestive health, and it contains 5% fiber from flaxseed and the addition of fruits and vegetables. On the downside, the use of potatoes as one of the main ingredients is controversial, but they are tolerated and easily digestible.

    Pros
    • Formulated for small breeds
    • High in protein and fat
    • Easily digestible
    • Grain-free
    • Tasty
    • Great for skin and coat
    • High in fiber
    Cons
    • Contains a high amount of potatoes

    5. Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Appalachian Valley Small Breed Dry Dog Food

    Taste of the Wild is known for providing food as nature intended. This formula is specific for small breed dogs such as the Maltese. It is a grain-free recipe with venison and lamb as the primary protein ingredients and protein sources. Healthy legumes are added for fiber and other nutrients — these are garbanzo beans, peas, and lentils.

    The addition of duck and ocean fish meal provides flavor, as well as protein. Grain-free is ideal for dogs who cannot tolerate grains, but those who have other food sensitivities may find it not as easy to digest because it contains many animal proteins. There are no artificial fillers, colors, flavors, or preservatives, used, and it includes a proprietary K9 strain probiotic blend to support digestive health.

    Pros
    • Formulated for small breeds
    • Grain-free
    • High-quality meat protein
    • High in protein and fat
    • Healthy legumes included
    • No artificial ingredients
    • K9 probiotic blend for digestion
    Cons
    • Contains many different meat proteins

    6. Nutro Ultra Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

    Nutro Ultra Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

    Nutro Ultra is a dry dog food that is formulated for adult small breeds. It contains chicken, lamb, and salmon for protein sources. This combination lends a tasty flavor that dogs enjoy; however, the salmon makes the food odorous. Crude fiber equals 4%, with sources from brown rice, flaxseed, beet pulp, and whole-grain oatmeal.

    Since it contains rice, it is not grain-free, so it’s not ideal for dogs with food sensitivities. However, it provides the right amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates to keep your Maltese healthy. Antioxidants are present to preserve the health of the immune system, and sunflower oil keeps your dog’s skin healthy and coat shiny. There are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, and the high amount of fiber is great for your dog’s digestive system.

    Pros
    • Three animal proteins
    • Tasty
    • High in fiber
    • Ideal source of protein and carbohydrates
    • Antioxidants present
    • Keeps skin healthy and coat shiny
    Cons
    • Odorous
    • Not ideal for dogs with food sensitivities

    7. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    Blue Buffalo offers a recipe that is specifically made for small breeds to fit their nutritional needs. The formulation contains three animal protein sources for added flavor, but it can also be a negative aspect if your dog suffers from food sensitivities. However, the chicken, chicken meal, and turkey provide a high amount of digestible protein to the food, so your dog has plenty of energy throughout the day.

    This is a grain-free dog food that is ideal for dogs who have grain sensitivities. Sweet potatoes, peas, and potatoes provide plenty of complex carbohydrates for added energy. Antioxidants supplied from blueberries, cranberries, and carrots keep the immune system functioning correctly, and glucosamine helps with increasing mobility and keeping the joints healthy — these are present in their LifeSource bits, which some dogs do not like the taste of.

    Pros
    • High in digestible protein
    • Grain-free
    • Complex carbs for energy
    • Keeps immune system healthy
    • Glucosamine for mobility
    Cons
    • Not ideal with some food sensitivities
    • LifeSource bits not tasty to all dogs

    Buyer’s Guide

    To choose the best food, you must keep a few considerations in mind before making your final decision. It doesn’t have to be a complicated process, and once you know what to look for, you will feel confident in the choice you make. This section focuses on things to think about when you are searching for the right food for your Maltese.

    Considerations

    Know the Breed

    Maltese are known for having a few temperament and health-related issues. They can become obese easily, suffer from joint problems, are finicky eaters, and can suffer from dental issues.

    • Digestion: Maltese can suffer from digestive concerns, such as food allergies or sensitivities and general stomach concerns. They need a diet that has plenty of probiotics and fiber with easy-to-digest proteins. If they have food allergies, you can choose a grain-free variety or pick a formula that offers only one animal protein. Keep in mind that artificial ingredients can also wreak havoc on the digestive system.
    • Obesity: Since they are small dogs, they need more calories per day than their larger counterparts because of their fast metabolisms. However, if they don’t get enough physical activity, then they can become overweight, especially if you continue to feed a food that is high in protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
    • Joint concerns: A common health concern with this breed is canine arthritis. Food that contains chondroitin and glucosamine can help preserve and protect joints and ligaments. Keeping your dog fit will also prevent damage to the joints.
    • Finicky eaters: If they don’t like a food, they won’t eat it and Maltese are known for their pickiness. Once you get to know your dog, you will have a good idea of what they like and don’t like. If you are unsure, start with a recipe that contains minimal ingredients and has only one protein source.
    • Dental issues: It’s not uncommon for this breed to develop tartar, gingivitis, and early tooth loss if their teeth aren’t cared for properly. Finding a kibble that is easy for them to pick up but makes them chew slower is ideal because this will clean their teeth to prevent plaque from forming.

    Maltese

    Ingredients in the Food

    • Protein: Providing a high amount of protein is recommended as long as your dog is active. Protein builds lean muscle and provides energy. Amino acids are present in protein that help with tissue repair and muscle maintenance.
    • Fat: An important part of your dog’s diet needs to include the right amount of fat. Not only do they provide energy, but omega fatty acids nourish the skin and keep the Maltese coat beautiful and shiny. Plus, fatty acids are essential for heart and brain health.
    • Carbohydrates: Not all carbs are created equal, and typically, complex carbohydrates are what you want within dog food. Carbohydrates provide energy, and when you feed whole-grain carbs, fiber and vitamins and minerals are also needed to maintain a healthy body. Carbohydrates can be found in grain and grain-free formulas.

    Ingredients to Avoid

    Artificial ingredients should be avoided. There is no reason for the food to contain artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives because they contain no nutritional value. Fillers are found in lower quality dog food and should also be avoided because they can cause allergies and stomach upset and provide no nutritional value.

    Price

    Everyone has a budget that needs to be followed. Even though Maltese eat less in one sitting, they have to eat more often to maintain their energy. Quality dog food that contains all the essential ingredients and doesn’t use fillers and artificial ingredients will cost more money. But think of it as an investment because your dog will be healthier and won’t require as many visits to the veterinarian, so you will save money over the life of your dog by feeding them quality food.


    Conclusion

    Taking care of your energetic and spunky Maltese can be a full-time job, especially when you aren’t sure what food formulation is the best choice. This reviews list highlights seven of the best formulas that can provide a nutritious diet for your pet.

    Out top pick is Royal Canin Maltese Adult dry dog food because it provides optimal nutrition that is specific to the breed, and the kibble is customized for their medium-length tapered muzzle. The best value on our reviews list is the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula for small breed dogs, as it contains whole grains, veggies, and fruit for optimal nutrition throughout the life of your dog.

    We hope this reviews list helps you find the right food for your Maltese. We know it is important that you provide the best care for your dog, and by feeding them an optimal diet, you are doing your best to help them live a long and happy life.


    Featured Image: Tania Van den Berghen from Pixabay