Published on: 02/21/2020, updated on: 10/15/2021

Best Dog Food for Maltese | Top Picks for Maltese Puppies and Adults

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Maltese is a small dog breed and it is known as the ultimate companion dog. This is because this dog breed is affectionate, fearless, and very playful.

Maltese is one of the oldest dog breeds in history, and this dog adapts very well to both humans and other animals. They do not have high demands when it comes to maintenance. However, they need the best dog food for Maltese for healthy growth and development.

When it comes to food, these dogs have high standards, which only good-quality and nutritious food can satisfy. The food needs to be easily digestible, delicious, and full of flavor. Does that sound like an impossible mission?

Well, we are here to make it very much possible, as we have done our findings to put together some of the best dog food for Maltese. The foods on our list are formulated to meet the nutritional needs of your Maltese. They are also nutritious, delicious, and pocket-friendly.

Our top pick is the Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Small Breed because it is specifically formulated for small breeds. This food contains complete and balanced everyday nutrition for Maltese. It is also the ideal dog food for Maltese with allergies and sensitive stomachs.

The Best Dog Foods for Maltese Are:

1. Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Small Breed — Best Dog Food for Maltese with Allergies

Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food Small Breed 4

If you have a Maltese with food allergies or a sensitive stomach, it is best you feed it with only good-quality, grain-free dog foods. That is where this grain-free dry dog food from Wellness comes into play. This food is made with only the best of ingredients and it is completely free from all kinds of grains. Many Malteses like this food because of its delicious taste.

The first three ingredients of this food are deboned turkey, turkey meal, and chicken meal, meaning this food is very rich in protein. This makes it the perfect dog food for Maltese with high energy needs. In addition to the great protein sources, this food contains a plethora of healthy whole foods including broccoli, carrots, spinach, apples, flaxseed, blueberries, sweet potatoes, and more.

It is also enriched with minerals and vitamins, providing your pet with a nutritionally complete meal. This food contains an impressive 36 percent protein with a minimum fat content of 15 percent. The maximum fiber content is 5 percent while each cup of this food contains 396 kilocalories. It also contains glucosamine, chondroitin, omega 3, and omega 6 fatty acids in the right proportions.


  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • Grain-free for small breed dogs with allergies and sensitive stomachs


  • High-quality protein sources
  • Calorie-dense and high protein count
  • Fortified with minerals and vitamins
  • Grain-free formula


  • It is a bit expensive
Wellness Core Food Dog | Chewy

2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Small Breed Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Small Breed Grain Free Dry Dog Food

This small breed, grain-free formula from Blue Buffalo is one of the best dog food for Maltese. This food comes with the right amount of nutrients for this dog breed. It is rich in protein, with bison, beef, and lamb as the major sources of protein. It also contains plenty of veggies and fruits, which provide the majority of antioxidants and vitamins in this food.

This food is made for small breed varieties and it is a bit higher in carbs and protein count in a small bite kibble to provide smaller dogs, such as Maltese, with all the energy they need throughout the day. This is also one of the best dog food for Maltese with allergies or sensitive stomachs, as it is 100 percent grain-free.

The food is also free from gluten, fillers, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. It also contains pumpkin to help resolve digestive problems. The food is intended to mimic the ancestral canine diet and provide an easily accessible alternative to raw diets. The first five ingredients of this food are deboned beef, chicken meal, peas, pea protein, and tapioca starch.

The chicken meal is another great source of Glucosamine, which provides your dog with healthy bones and joints. It also contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids to provide your Maltese with healthy skin and a shiny coat. It is available in two different sizes: 4 and 10 pounds.


  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • Grain-free for small breeds


  • Three sources of protein
  • No artificial colors or preservatives
  • Higher carbs and protein for small breeds
  • Enriched with fatty acids and glucosamine
  • Supports a healthy digestive system


  • It contains peas

3. Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Small Breed Recipe

Screen Shot 2021 10 16 at 12.02.18 PM

The next on our list is the Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Small Breed Recipe. This is another great dog food that is formulated for small breeds such as Maltese. It is a small bite, protein-packed kibble designed for the mouths of smaller dogs. It contains real Texas beef for a complete protein source, which is the first ingredient of this food.

This food also contains whole veggies and fruits, providing your pooch with all the minerals and vitamins it needs. This formula is 100 percent grain-free, making it ideal for Maltese with allergies. It is free from corn fillers and soy. It contains flaxseed, which is a great source of fatty acids. This small-breed formula comes with the right amounts of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids to support coat and skin health.

It is also free from gluten, and it contains a lot of digestive probiotics to promote the digestive system of your Maltese. It also helps to reduce issues with sensitive stomachs, as the probiotics will help your dog digest the food very well.

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The first five ingredients of this food include deboned beef, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, peas, and potatoes. The protein content of this food is a whopping 38 percent with a crude fat of 15 percent. This food also contains glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints and bones.


  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • Grain-free for sensitive stomachs


  • Ideal for sensitive stomachs
  • It contains flaxseed for better digestion
  • Great sources of protein
  • No additives


  • Picky dogs may not like the taste
Merrick Grain-Free Dog Food | 2018

4. Fromm Four-Star Salmon Tunalini Dog Food

Fromm Four-Star Salmon Tunalini Dog Food, 12 Lb

Fromm Four-Star is a high-end dog food brand and the firm has been making highly nutritional dog food with the approval of the AAFCO. This formula is also free from grains and the major protein sources of this food are fresh wild salmon and tuna. The food is formulated for Maltese that are less active or other smaller dogs looking to lose weight.

Some of the top ingredients used to make this food are a medley of Mediterranean garden veggies such as fresh carrots, tomatoes, zucchini, spinach, olive oil, and eggplant. It also comes with a plethora of added vitamins and minerals to provide your dog with a complete and balanced diet. This food also includes chicory root extract to support the digestive system of your dog.

The flaxseed and salmon meal content makes up some of the omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids in this recipe to give your dog a shiny coat and healthy skin. The food is also rich in calories, as each cup contains up to 408 kilocalories. The crude protein content of the food is 28 percent while the minimum crude fat is 16 percent. It also contains 3.5 percent crude fiber, which is impressive.

This dry dog food is for all life stages, which means it is suitable for puppies, adults, and seniors. Your Maltese is going to wag its tail while eating this food because it is very delicious.


  • Dry food
  • All life stages
  • Grain-free


  • Made with fresh wild salmon and tuna
  • AAFCO-approved
  • It contains fresh, all-natural ingredients
  • Moderate levels of fat and fiber
  • Supports healthy skin and shiny coat


  • Not the best option for dogs that are allergic to eggs

5. Orijen Senior High-Protein, Grain-Free, Premium Quality Adult Dry Dog Food

ORIJEN Senior Dry Dog Food

If you are looking for the best dog food for senior Maltese, then you should consider this high-protein, grain-free formula from Orijen. This dog food is formulated to provide your dog with biologically appropriate nutrition that befits their changing needs as they grow.

This food is made in Canada and it contains only fresh regional ingredients that are never outsourced. It is packed with 85 percent poultry, egg, and fish ingredients while the remaining 15 percent consists of vegetables, fruits, and botanicals.

This ingredient formula is somewhat limited with a single protein, making it ideal for older Maltese and those with sensitive stomachs. The first three ingredients of this food are deboned chicken, deboned turkey, and yellowtail flounder. This formula is limited in carbs and it is completely grain-free. The low carb content of this food helps to maintain a healthy weight level as your dog’s energy level starts to drop.

It is also free from tapioca, potato, and plant protein concentrates. It contains pumpkin, carrots, spinach, kale, apples, blueberries, and cranberries.

The crude protein content of the food is an impressive 38 percent with a minimum fat content of 15 percent. The fiber content is 8 percent, which is a bit high. This formula also includes chondroitin and glucosamine to maintain healthy joints and bones. It also contains great sources of healthy omega fatty acids.


  • Dry Food
  • Adult, Senior
  • Grain-free


  • Rich in protein
  • 85 percent protein sources and 15 percent veggies, fruits, and botanicals
  • It contains glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Fresh ingredients


  • The fiber content is a bit high

6. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Dog Food

To keep your Maltese always happy and healthy, you need to provide it with a balanced ratio of macronutrients – fat, protein, and carbs. The formulation of this food is specifically for small and toy breeds such as Maltese. This healthy and delicious meal contains chicken and brown rice recipe. The number ingredient of this food is protein-rich, deboned chicken.

This food also contains wholesome grains, including minerals, vitamins, and fresh veggies and fruits. It also contains a unique blend of added antioxidants, which supports healthy muscle development and the immune system of your dog. It does not contain any by-product meal, artificial fillers, colors, or preservatives.

This food is also free from soy, wheat, and corn, making it an ideal pick for Maltese with sensitive stomachs. The protein content of this food is 26 percent and the crude fat content is 15 percent. It features a maximum fiber content of 4 percent with a calorie content of 397 kilocalories per cup. The omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids present in this food will leave your pet with a shiny coat and healthy skin.


  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • For small, extra small, and toy breeds


  • Available in three different flavors and sizes
  • Specially formulated for small breeds
  • It contains Blue’s exclusive LifeSource Bits
  • All-natural ingredients


  • The protein count is somewhat low
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dog Food | Chewy

The Best Foods for Maltese Puppies Are:

1. Solid Gold Small Breed Wet Dog Food

Solid Gold Small Breed Wet Dog Food

The second Maltese puppy food on our list is a wet dog food from Solid Gold. This food is formulated for small & toy breed dogs. This highly tasty dog food is available in five different flavors, Salmon, Chicken, Beef, Lamb, and Turkey. Each flavor has between 25 to 45 percent protein, and the lamb flavor has the highest protein.

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All the flavors also contain a mix of animal-sourced ingredients such as chicken, lamb, eggs, and whitefish. All these ingredients add to the overall nutritional profile of this food to keep your Maltese healthy.

This food contains more meat than plant ingredients, making it much lower in carbohydrates than the average dry dog food. The calorie content of this food is also lower than the typical kibble diet, making it a perfect option for Maltese that gains weight easily.

This food is completely grain-free and natural and it comes in a convenient, easy-to-serve cup. It is nutritionally balanced and complete and it is also gluten-free. This food comes with balanced omega fatty acids for a shiny and soft coat. The ingredients are also stomach-friendly, which is great for Maltese with sensitive stomachs.


  • Chunks in gravy
  • Puppy
  • Grain-free


  • Low carbohydrate
  • Highly palatable
  • Super rich in protein
  • Stomach-friendly ingredients


  • It is on the higher end of the price spectrum

2. Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Puppy Food

Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Puppy Food

The Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Puppy Food is another great dog food for Maltese puppies. This small breed puppy food is formulated to support healthy growth and development.

It is made in the United States and it contains only fresh, all-natural ingredients. This puppy recipe contains deboned turkey, salmon meal, and oatmeal. The kibble is also smaller in size, making it easy for puppies to pick and chew.

This food contains a natural source of DHA to support healthy eye and brain development. It also features a guaranteed level of phosphorus and calcium for healthy muscles and bones. This dry dog food for puppies features select fats, high-quality proteins, and carbs that are easy to digest, providing all the building blocks that your pup requires to grow healthy and strong.

It is free from meat by-products, corn, wheat, soy, or artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. A Wellness Satisfaction Guarantee backs this food, and buyers can return the unused portion to get a full refund if they are not satisfied with the food.


  • Dry Food
  • Puppies
  • For healthy digestion


  • Balanced and complete everyday nutrition
  • Reduced calorie for healthy weight management
  • All-natural ingredients
  • No additives


  • Not completely grain-free
Wellness Complete Health Grain Free Dog Food | Chewy

Buyer’s Guide | Things to Consider When Buying Dog Food for Maltese

When buying dog food for a specific dog breed, the first thing you will want to do is to study the characteristics of the breed. In the case of a Maltese, this is an active small dog breed with a silky and long coat. As such, you need to opt for a wet or dry dog food that will enhance the look of your dog and help it stay energized all through the day.

Putting this in mind will help you find the best dog food for your Maltese, and it would also help you realize it is not all about brands when it comes to dog foods. It does not matter if you settle for the most popular brands such as Taste of the Wild, Wellness Core, Orijen, Taste of the Wild or Merrick. Rather, what matters more is the needs of your dog.

Knowing what your Maltese needs is the first step to buying the best dog food for your pet. After this, there are other factors you need to consider also. There are also some ingredients you need to avoid, especially if your Maltese has a sensitive stomach or allergy issue.

Here is a complete guide to help you settle for the best dog food for Maltese:

High-Quality Protein Sources

Maltese need protein to be the major ingredient of their diet. However, you are less likely to get that if you buy your wet or dry dog food off the shelf at local grocery stores. This is because only a few grocery stores have quality brands, and you can quickly tell by taking a look at the list of ingredients.

We highly recommend that you stay away from low-quality kibble, though they might be cheap, they are definitely not good for the overall health of your Maltese.

Low-quality dog foods usually have corn as one of the major ingredients. If it is not corn, it would be some other filler that does very little or nothing for your dog. This is something you want to stay away from. As such, you need to make sure you settle for dry or wet dog food with a named meat product as the first ingredient.

Next, take a look at the second ingredient of the food. Sometimes, meat can be deceitful when looking for it as the number one ingredient, as many types of meat, such as chicken, have high water content. This means that once it is processed, only very little will be remaining, which might no longer qualify it as the number one ingredient.

You need to check the ingredients to see if the food contains meat meals such as chicken meal or lamb meal as the second ingredient, as these ingredients are super rich in protein, with 300 percent more protein than a completely drained fresh meat.

After considering the protein quality, the next thing you need to consider is the protein count. Maltese is a dog breed that is somewhat prone to weight gain. Choosing a dry or wet dog food that has a bit more protein can help keep your dog healthy and lean.

For protein count, we recommend dog food with a minimum of 25 percent protein content, especially for small dogs susceptible to weight gain. Hence, you should not settle for any food that contains less than 25 percent protein, as Maltese needs more protein. All the products reviewed in this article are rich in protein, with some containing up to 38 percent protein.

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Another vital thing to put into consideration when shopping for dog food for your pet is the fiber content. All dog foods, kibble or wet, contain fiber to an extent. However, low-quality products are less likely to contain the right amount of fiber, nor the right kind.

Maltese need fiber for a wide range of reasons. Fiber plays a major role in keeping their digestive system healthy. It also helps with firm stools and prevents stomach irritation. Fibers in a dog’s food also help to keep the dog fuller for a long time. When it comes to weight control, quality sources of fiber are very important.

Fiber is even more important in the food of a dog with diabetes. If the food of your dog is rich in fiber, it would promote less blood sugar fluctuations, which helps your dog to live a normal life by helping them to fight common dog illnesses.


Carbohydrates are also very important in the diet of a dog. You want to make sure that your dog’s food contains enough carbs. However, you want to settle for high-quality, healthy carb sources. We recommend you stay away from starchy carbs.

Some commercial dog foods contain things like maple syrup and sugar in them, which are not good. Rather, go for slow-burning, complex carbohydrates. One of the best complex carb sources is sweet potatoes. Except your dog has some allergies or digestive issues, you can also go for food with oats, barley, and brown rice as carb sources. These carb sources are easy on the stomach and dogs to digest them easily.

Maltese need carbs in their diet to be healthy and well. Carbohydrates provide essential minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, so they are necessary for the diet of your Maltese. The only exception is when your Maltese has diabetes, which we would recommend you go for low-carb dog foods.

Fatty Acids

Like other dog breeds, Maltese also need adequate levels of fatty acids. Fatty acids are necessary for Maltese and other long-haired dogs. Fatty acids such as omega 3 and omega 6 are usually found in flaxseed, fish, and more, and they help to provide your pet with a shiny and smooth coat and healthy skin.

If you want to keep seeing the silky and long hair of your Maltese, then you need to make sure you settle for a dog food that is rich in fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6. If your dog has allergies, it would greatly benefit from dog food with loads of fatty acids.

Your Maltese’s Age

At every stage of life, the nutritional requirement of dogs differs. This same applies to Maltese puppies. Maltese puppies need more calories and protein; they also need to feed more often to reduce their chances of developing hypoglycemia.

On the other hand, adults need fewer calories. As such, you need to consider the age of your pup before making a food choice, as this would help you know the best dog food that would meet its nutritional needs.

Sensitivities and Allergies

It is common for dogs to be allergic to some ingredients. However, some Maltese puppies can be allergic to very common ingredients. Allergies can be severe or moderate and can result in some health problems.

Some ingredients that Maltese are allergic to include dairy, grains, and sometimes a certain protein. Fortunately, there are many allergy-friendly dog foods in the market. The majority of products on our list are allergy-friendly and they are also easy on dogs’ stomachs.

Hence, it is imperative that you take a look at what you are buying and make sure that the food does not contain any ingredient that may trigger an allergy within your dog. Sensitivities are almost the same thing.

They can cause digestive upsets and disrupt the eating habit of your dog. Hence, make sure you know all the things that trigger sensitivity and allergy issues within your Maltese.

Things You Should Avoid

  • Artificial Additives: Additives are ingredients used to boost the color, appearance, or taste of the dog food to make it more appealing to your dog. Nevertheless, these additives do not contain any nutritional value. They might also be harmful to your dog in the long run. Additives also cause digestive issues such as loose stools, diarrhea, bloating, and make your dog feel uneasy. They have also been the main cause of allergic reactions within dogs.
  • By-Product Meals: Another thing you should try to stay away from is by-product meals. By-products are animal parts that are not safe for human consumption. Some of these parts include brains, lungs, intestines, feet, spleen, and other parts that ought to go to waste. By-products are not as healthy or beneficial as foods with whole proteins. Rather, opt for dog food with lean and whole proteins like whole turkey, chicken, and other healthy proteins.
  • Preservatives: Preservatives are used to extend the shelf life of dog foods. Nevertheless, these artificial preservatives are not good for your dog’s overall health as they can trigger some allergy issues such as itching and dry skin. High-end dog foods use natural preservatives, which are safe for your Maltese to consume.

Final Thoughts

Satisfying the fussy tastes of your Maltese might take a while, but providing it with the best dog food for Maltese will help your dog maintain weight and build health. With the reviews of the top products as well as the buyer’s guide in this article, choosing the best dog food for your Maltese should no longer be a problem.

From our list, our top pick is the Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Small Breed because it is specifically formulated for small breeds. This food contains complete and balanced everyday nutrition for Maltese. It is also the ideal dog food for Maltese with allergies and sensitive stomachs.

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