Best Dog Food for Maltipoos 2020 — Reviews & Top Picks

Last Updated:

Castor & Pollux dog foodMaltipoos are adorable designer dogs. A cross between a purebred Maltese and a toy poodle, these mild-mannered, people-pleasing dogs require a nutritious dog food that’s adapted for their small size. Dry kibble is best because it helps prevent the common issue of dental problems. Also, selections with high-quality ingredients rich in protein with added vegetables, minerals, and vitamins will help keep your Maltipoo healthy.

With a wide variety of dog food brands available, choosing the best dog food for your Maltipoo may be difficult and overwhelming. You’ll need to consider your Maltipoo’s age and energy level and if your Maltipoo has food sensitivities and allergies.

We’ve saved you time by sorting through the top dog food brands and choosing seven of our favorite selections. Hopefully, our detailed reviews and quick-reference pros and cons lists will help you find the right dog food for your lovable Maltipoo.


A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

ModelPriceSizeEditor Rating
Hill's Science Diet
Hill’s 9097 Science Diet Dry Dog Food(Best Overall)

Check Price
15.5 lb4.90/5
Rachael Ray Nutrish
Rachael Ray Nutrish 18141700 Dry Dog Food(Best Value)

Check Price
11.5 lb4.80/5
Castor & Pollux
Castor & Pollux 35056 Grain Free Dry Dog Food
(Premium Choice)

Check Price
10 lb4.70/5
Royal Canin
Royal Canin RC493025 Puppy Dry Dog Food

Check Price
2.5 lb4.40/5
Blue Buffalo
Blue 683 Buffalo Freedom Dry Dog Food

Check Price
11 lb4.30/5

The 7 Best Dog Foods for Maltipoos — Reviews 2020

1. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food — Best Overall

Hill’s 9097 Science Diet Dry Dog Food

We recommend Hill’s Science Diet as the best overall dog food for your Maltipoo. This affordable dry dog food recipe contains “nibble-size” kibble that’s perfect for your Maltipoo’s small mouth.

Hill’s Science Diet is made with natural ingredients that are selected for their easy digestibility. It has an optimal protein content to promote lean muscles, with nutrient-condensed chicken meal as its first ingredient. This recipe has skin- and coat-enhancing omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E. Its antioxidant blend works to boost your Maltipoo’s immune system.

We found that a recent change in formula may result in some dogs experiencing stomach upset. The new inclusion of corn, green peas, and broccoli may cause digestive distress. Also, brewer’s rice as the second ingredient has little nutritional value and can be considered a filler.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Reduced size kibble for small dogs
  • Natural ingredients
  • Optimal protein content
  • Omega-6 and vitamin E for healthy skin and coat
  • Antioxidant blend to boost immunity
Cons
  • Some dogs experienced stomach upset
  • Recent change in formula
  • Brewer’s rice acts as a filler

2. Rachael Ray Nutrish Dry Dog Food — Best Value

Rachael Ray Nutrish 18141700 Dry Dog Food

For the best dog food for Maltipoo for the money, consider Rachel Ray Nutrish Dry Dog Food. At a great price, this kibble offers your Maltipoo complete nutrition with no by-products or artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. With celebrity chef Rachel Ray behind this product, it’s no surprise that most dogs seem to enjoy the taste!

Rachel Ray Nutrish is made with farm-raised chicken as its first ingredient. It has an excellent protein content with added nutrient-rich chicken meal. This recipe has wholesome brown rice and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables such as carrots, apples, and cranberries.

For Maltipoos, the kibble may be a bit large and discolor the white fur around your pup’s mouth. Also, this selection has peas and potatoes — while they offer nutrients and fiber, they are listed on an FDA alert of ingredients in an ongoing study.

Pros
  • Complete nutrition
  • No by-products, artificial additives, or artificial preservatives
  • Most dogs seem to like the taste
  • Farm-raised chicken is first ingredient
  • Excellent protein content
  • Wholesome grains, fruits, and vegetables
Cons
  • FDA alert about peas and potatoes
  • Kibble may be too large
  • May discolor the fur around your Maltipoo’s mouth

3. Castor & Pollux Grain Free Dry Dog Food — Premium Choice

Castor & Pollux 35056 Grain Free Dry Dog Food

We selected Castor & Pollux Grain Free Dry Dog Food as our premium choice. This kibble is approved as USDA organic, with its recipes cooked in an organically certified USA kitchen. The first ingredient is organic, free-range chicken.

This selection is specialized for small breed dogs, making it ideal for your Maltipoo. It has a smaller kibble size. The probiotics and prebiotic fiber help with your pup’s sensitive stomach and improve digestion. It incorporates a nutrient-rich blend of organic superfoods such as flaxseed, blueberries, and coconut oil.

While a bit more expensive, this brand is competitively priced with similar high-quality dry dog foods. We recommend this grain-free recipe if your Maltipoo suffers from food sensitivities or allergies. Otherwise, be aware that grain-free dog food may be linked to canine heart disease in recent FDA research and ongoing study. We learned a few dogs exhibited sick symptoms after eating this product.

Pros
  • USDA organic
  • Organic, free-range chicken as first ingredient
  • Specialized for small breeds
  • Reduced kibble size
  • Probiotics and prebiotic fiber for improved digestion
  • Nutrient-rich, organic superfoods
  • Ideal for Maltipoos with allergies
Cons
  • A bit more expensive
  • FDA alert about grain-free dog food
  • A few dogs became sickened

4. Royal Canin Puppy Dry Dog Food — For Puppies

Royal Canin RC493025 Puppy Dry Dog Food

Formulated for small breed puppies, Royal Canin Dry Dog Food offers your Maltipoo puppy a nutritionally complete meal. This recipe is prepared to meet the needs of your Maltipoo puppy’s brief yet rapid growth period.

The kibble is adapted for small breeds. The shape and size are designed for your puppy’s small mouth. It has a taste and texture that most dogs seem to enjoy. The recipe has a nutrient-rich blend of antioxidants and added minerals and vitamins, as well as probiotics and prebiotics for better digestion. The inclusion of fish oil supports healthy skin and coat.

Although easily digested, we are not impressed that brewer’s rice is the first ingredient. Although not harmful, this ingredient is lacking in nutritional value, making it a filler. Also, this selection uses lower quality chicken by-product and corn ingredients, which may act as an allergen in some puppies.

Pros
  • Nutritionally complete meal
  • Ideal for small breed puppies
  • Kibble size, shape, taste, and texture adapted for small breeds
  • Nutrient-rich blend of antioxidants
  • Added vitamins and minerals
  • Prebiotics and probiotics for better digestion
  • Fish oil for healthy skin and coat
Cons
  • Lower-quality first ingredients: brewer’s rice and chicken by-product
  • Corn ingredients may act as allergens

5. Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Dog Food

Blue 683 Buffalo Freedom Dry Dog Food

Grain free with high-quality ingredients, Blue Buffalo Freedom Dry Dog Food is ideal if your Maltipoo has food sensitives, skin issues, or digestive issues. This affordable selection lists real de-boned chicken as its first ingredient, followed by nutrient-rich chicken meal.

Blue Buffalo Freedom contains no meat by-products or potential allergens such as corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or artificial preservatives. This small breed recipe enhances energy levels, promotes skin and coat health, and supports joint health. The kibble size and texture are adapted for small breeds’ mouths.

LifeSource Bits, a unique feature of Blue Buffalo, contains a highly nutritious blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. While an excellent addition, we learned that some bags have a small ratio of bits, and some dogs refused to eat the bits entirely.

Keep in mind, that certain ingredients in this selection, such as peas and potatoes, are being studied by the FDA after they issued an alert possibly linking grain-free dog food to a canine heart disease.

Pros
  • Grain-free, high-quality ingredients
  • Ideal for dogs with skin and digestive issues
  • Real de-boned chicken as first ingredient
  • No by-products, potential allergens, or artificial ingredients
  • Enhances energy levels
  • Supports skin, coat, and joint health
  • Adapted kibble size and texture for small breeds
  • Bite-sized pieces offering nutrient-packed blend
Cons
  • FDA alert about grain-free dog food
  • Too little ratio of LifeSource Bits
  • Some dogs refuse to eat LifeSource Bits

6. Nulo Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Nulo Grain Free Dry Dog Food

The limited ingredients in Nulo Grain Free Dry Dog Food are selected to support the unique needs of your small breed dog. This high-protein formula features a premium assortment of fish and meat. The 84% protein content meets the demands of your small pup’s metabolism, especially if your Maltipoo has an active, energetic disposition.

Nulo has no wheat, corn, or soy ingredients, nor any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. It contains helpful vitamins and minerals, such as miscanthus grass and L-Carnitine for improved metabolism and a patented BC30 probiotic for easier digestion. This selection also has an adapted, smaller size kibble; however, it still may be slightly too large for some dogs.

Most Maltipoo owners report that their dog seems to enjoy Nulo. However, a few dogs did not care for the taste. Be aware that grain-free dog food is the subject of an FDA alert and ongoing study into its possible link to canine heart disease.

Pros
  • Limited ingredients
  • Ideal for small breed dogs
  • High-protein formula
  • Well suited for active dogs
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Contains essential vitamins and minerals
  • Patented probiotic for improved digestion
Cons
  • Kibble size may be too large
  • A few dogs do not seem to like taste
  • FDA alert about grain-free dog food

7. Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Wellness 88421 Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

For a complete and balanced grain-free choice, Wellness Core Natural Dry Dog Food is specially formulated to support your small breed’s overall health.  

This protein-rich recipe features premium turkey and chicken and offers calorie levels that match the energy needs of your active pup. This selection has omega-3 fatty acids to enhance your Maltipoo’s skin and coat, glucosamine and chondroitin for your pup’s hip and joint health, and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables.

Wellness only uses all-natural, high-quality ingredients with no fillers, by-products, or artificial additives. It doesn’t contain potential allergens such as wheat, corn, or soy, making it well-suited if your Maltipoo suffers from food sensitivities, skin issues, or digestive problems.

It’s important to note that the peas, potatoes, legumes, and lentils in this recipe are included in an ongoing study by FDA looking into the link between grain free dog food and canine heart disease. Also, we learned of quality control issues in which some dogs experienced skin reactions and stomach upset.

Pros
  • Complete and balanced nutrition
  • Specially formulated for small breeds
  • Protein-rich formula
  • Contains omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
  • All-natural, high-quality ingredients
  • No fillers, by-products, or artificial additives
  • No wheat, corn, or soy
Cons
  • FDA alert about grain-free dog food
  • Quality control issues
  • Some dogs had skin reactions
  • A few dogs experienced stomach upset

Buyer’s Guide

When deciding on a dog food for your Maltipoo, you’ll need to consider certain unique dietary factors associated with all small dog breeds. In this brief buyer’s guide, we’ll go over which ingredients help meet your small breed’s nutritional needs and what to look for in a high-quality dog food.

Kibble Size, Shape, and Texture

Maltipoo and other small dog breeds need kibble adapted in size and shape for their little mouths. Also, dental issues are common with small breeds. You should opt for dry kibble over wet dog food and look for kibble with a crunchy texture to help reduce plaque and tartar build-up.

Energy Levels

Many of the dog food brands we listed have higher protein levels. If you own an active, energetic Maltipoo, you need a dog food that’s packed with healthy protein sources to keep up with your dog’s speedy metabolism. Stay away from dog food that contains fillers and meat by-products. Whole meat and meat meal offer better nutritional value.

Sensitive Stomachs and Healthy Joints

It’s important to choose a dog food that has added vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support your dog’s overall health. If your Maltipoo suffers from stomach issues, look for a dog food that contains probiotics and prebiotics. For older dogs, hip and joint health is essential to improve your dog’s quality of life. Dog foods with added glucosamine and chondroitin support healthier joints.  

Grain-Free Debate

The FDA alert linking grain-free dog food to canine heart disease has sparked an ongoing study. If you’re concerned, look for dog foods that contain low-gluten ingredients like barley or gluten-free foods such as quinoa or rice. However, if your Maltipoo has a grain allergy, food sensitivities, skin issues, or stomach problems, grain-free dog food may be both necessary and helpful for your dog’s overall health. You should look for kibble with no potential allergens such as wheat, soy, or corn. Stay away from non-exotic proteins by choosing well-known meats such as chicken, turkey, duck, or fish.

Conclusion

We recommend Hill’s 9097 Science Diet Dry Dog Food as the best overall dog food for your Maltipoo. This affordable selection has a reduced-size kibble for small dogs and offers natural ingredients. With optimal protein content, Hill’s Science diet contains omega-6 and vitamin E for healthy skin and coat, as well as a nutrient-rich antioxidant blend to boost immunity.

how to transition your dog food

Our choice for the best value goes to Rachael Ray Nutrish 18141700 Dry Dog Food. Most dogs seem to enjoy the taste of this recipe. It offers complete nutrition with no by-products, artificial additives, or artificial preservatives. Farm-raised chicken is the first ingredient, providing excellent protein content. This selection also contains wholesome grains, fruits, and vegetables.

We selected Castor & Pollux 35056 Grain Free Dry Dog Food as our premium choice for its USDA organic ingredients, and its recipe is made in organically certified kitchens. Organic, free-range chicken is its first ingredient. Specialized for small breeds, Castor & Pollux has reduced kibble size and probiotics and prebiotic fiber for improved digestion. It incorporates nutrient-rich, organic superfoods. The grain-free formula is ideal for Maltipoos with allergies.

We hope our helpful reviews, at-a-glance pros and cons lists, and informative buyer’s guide have helped you to find the best dog food for your Maltipoo. Small breeds like Maltipoo need specialized recipes to meet their unique dietary needs. With the right dog food, your Maltipoo can thrive with excellent energy levels and outstanding health.

Featured Image Credit: Castor & Pollux, Amazon