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Breed Maltese
  • Breed Group
    Toy Group
  • Temperament
    Playful, Charming, Gentle, Affectionate
  • Personality
    • Height7-9 in
    • Weight4-6 lbs
    • Lifespan12-15 years
    • EnergyModerate
    • GroomingHigh
    • SheddingLight

Maltese

Maltese Facts and Best Dog Food - NutriCanine

The Maltese is an ancient breed whose history traces back at least two millenia. Many historians attribute the breed's origin to the island of Malta located in the Mediterranean. There are early representations of the Maltese on artifacts found at Fayum, Egypt. They were even mentioned by Greek philosopher Aristotle around 370 B.C. Ancient hieroglyphics depict that in Egypt, harem women were given Maltese dogs as companions. The Maltese was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1888.

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Maltese Appearance 

The Maltese is a toy dog breed with a small, compact body. These dogs have dark eyes, small floppy ears and a tufted tail that curls over their back. A Maltese generally reaches somewhere between 7-9 inches in height and just under 7 pounds in weight.


Maltese Temperament 

Maltese are characterized as affectionate, playful, charming and intelligent. With their gentle disposition, the Maltese make wonderful family pets. They get along well with children and other dogs when raised with them. The Maltese is a natural watchdog, which can make them defensive around strangers at first. Occasionally, the Maltese can have a stubborn streak but this is easy to overcome through proper training.

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Grooming Your Maltese

The distinctive feature of the Maltese is their silky white coat. Some owners decide to trim the coat short while others keep it long and flowing. Although Maltese dogs don’t shed much, it’s important to brush them daily to prevent mats and tangles. Maltese also need regular nail trimming, ear cleaning and dental care.

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Training & Exercise for a Maltese

Maltese are independent dogs and sometimes stubborn, so it’s best to start socializing and training them from a young age. This will ensure your Maltese  grows into a happy, well-adjusted adult. As a breed that thrives on human interaction, Maltese are easy to train and pick up on basic commands very easily. Positive reinforcement and reward-based training goes a long way with this breed.

Maltese don’t require a lot of exercise to keep happy and healthy. As a small breed, these dogs don’t require a lot of space to burn off some energy. Maltese enjoy daily walks, hikes, playing fetch and other fun activities.


Health Considerations for a Maltese 

The Maltese is a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 12-15 years. To ensure your Maltese gets the most out of these years, it’s important to be aware of some of the common health issues Maltese are prone to, including encephalitis, liver shunt, patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) and patellar luxation. 

Encephalitis

Young to middle-aged dogs are more at risk of developing encephalitis. Encephalitis is an inflammatory brain infection that usually results from various causes such as fungus, parasites, or bacteria. Some common symptoms to look out for in your Maltese include fever, seizures, blindness, tremors and loss of coordinations. If your Maltese is showing any signs of encephalitis, immediate care is required as this condition progresses rapidly and can even be life-threatening. 

Liver Shunt

Liver shunt is a congenital defect commonly found in the Maltese breed. This vascular anomaly of the liver occurs when veins that should carry blood to the liver bypass the liver through an abnormal vessel. Symptoms of liver shunt include seizures, excessive urination, vomiting, diarrhea and abnormally small body size. Surgery is often the treatment of choice to correct and close the shunt. 

Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)

Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) is the most common congenital heart disease in dogs. This occurs when the patent ductus arteriosus muscle fails to constrict, this leaves a passageway for blood flow, which can result in heart failure. Some signs to be aware of in your Maltese include fast breathing, a forceful pulse, shortness of breath and poor growth. If detected in time this condition can be treated with surgery. 

Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation is a common problem among many toy or small breeds, including the Maltese. A luxating patella is a knee cap that moves out of its normal position. When this occurs your Maltese may have difficulty bearing weight on their leg. This condition can cause your Maltese to have cartilage damage, pain, inflammation and in some cases ligament tears. Some symptoms to look for in your Maltese include limping, lameness or sudden lifting of the hindlimb. Treatment will depend on the severity of the condition; however, surgery may be needed to hold the patella in its appropriate location.

Reverse Sneezing

Maltese are susceptible to the respiratory disorder reverse sneezing. This occurs when the soft palate of your Maltese becomes irritated. During a reverse sneeze your Maltese will forcefully inhale air through their nose. A loud snorting or honking sound is produced but this is usually harmless. Most cases of reverse sneezing don’t require treatment or medication.

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What Makes a Maltese Unique? 

The Maltese is the oldest toy breed

Believed to be over 2000 years old, the Maltese is one of the oldest toy breeds in existence today. These companion dogs were highly admired by the Ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians. Maltese are also closely related to other toy breeds including the Bichon Frise and the Havanese.

The Maltese is hypoallergenic

Sporting a long, silky coat of hair, Maltese don’t shed much. However, Maltese still require regular grooming to keep their coat in check. As a hypoallergenic breed, the Maltese is great for owners who are allergic to dog dandruff and fur. 

A Maltese was a billionaire

A Maltese named Trouble was among one of the wealthiest canines. When Trouble’s owner Leona Helmsley died in 2007, she left $12 million dollars to her pooch in her will. A judge later cut back the dog’s inheritance to $2 million dollars. Trouble lived a life of luxury before passing away in 2011.

The Greeks erected tombs for their Maltese

The Ancient Greeks had a great love and respect for their Maltese dogs. The breed was admired for beauty and companionship. The famous Greek Philosopher, Aristotle, was the first to mention the Maltese in his writings. Maltese were so highly valued by the Greeks they would erect lavish tombs to commemorate their beloved pups once they passed.

Royalty loved the Maltese

Maltese were originally bred as companion animals for royalty. Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria, Marie Antoinette and Mary Queen of Scots were among some of the many royal figures that owned a Maltese dog in their lifetime.


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Why NutriCanine Is Great For Maltese

  • Best Dog Food for a Maltese Puppy (1-4 years)

    The best dog food for your Maltese puppy will be high quality and nutritionally complete to ensure they grow into a healthy adult. Maltese will typically reach their full adult size between 6 - 9 months old. When choosing the best dog food for your Maltese it can help to understand the special needs of this particular breed. For example, the Maltese has a reputation of being a picky eater. They’re also at risk of developing both liver and heart problems. With this in mind, it's important to consider a nutrient-rich dog food made with real, fresh ingredients such as meat, fruits and vegetables.

    When choosing dog food for your Maltese puppy, NutriCanine’s fresh dog food recipes are an ideal pick. Our fresh dog food recipes are made with fresh whole foods including chicken, salmon, turkey, beef and lamb. As you search for the right dog food for your Maltese, animal protein should be at the top of the ingredient list. In the developing stages, Maltese need a high-quality, nutrient-dense diet that will work to support their accelerated growth rate and will help prevent the various health issues this breed is susceptible to.

    NutriCanine offers a variety of dog food recipes designed to meet the nutritional needs of your Maltese pup. Our raw dog food recipes will help to strengthen your Maltese’s immune system while reducing any allergies and intolerances. But if you’ve got a picky eater, a pup with a sensitive stomach, or an immunocompromised family member at home, NutriCanine’s gently cooked dog food is a great option as well. All NutriCanine dog food recipes are freshly prepared with real, human-edible, locally sourced ingredients. NutriCanine’s dog food is always free of hormones, antibiotics and preservatives.

  • Best Dog Food for an Adult Maltese (5-7 years)

    An adult Maltese needs high-quality, protein rich dog food to fit this stage of their life. NutriCanine’s raw dog food recipes are a great solution as they contain rich animal proteins and natural ingredients. NutriCanine’s raw dog food recipes provide your Maltese with a variety of flavour options including chicken, salmon, turkey, beef and lamb. These raw dog food recipes are formulated to be complete and balanced and are specially designed to meet your Maltese’s nutritional needs.

    However, if you’ve got a picky eater, a pup with a sensitive stomach, or an immunocompromised family member at home, NutriCanine’s gently cooked dog food is a great option as well. All our dog food recipes are freshly prepared with real, human-edible, locally sourced ingredients. NutriCanine’s dog food is always free of hormones, antibiotics and preservatives. Adult Maltese need a trusted dog food that can fully support their lifestyle.

  • Best Dog Food for a Senior Maltese

    Once a Maltese reaches seniority their energy levels begin to slow down considerably. It’s important to feed your Maltese dog food that contains high-quality ingredients and is low in calories and fat. NutriCanine’s raw dog food recipes are specially formulated to accommodate your senior dog’s nutritional needs; however, our gently cooked line might be easier for an older dog to transition to if they’re not accustomed to fresh dog food. Our fresh dog food comes in a variety of delicious recipes that your Maltese will absolutely love, including high-quality proteins like chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, and chicken and salmon.

    There are numerous health benefits when feeding your Maltese a diet of real, fresh dog food. With complete and balanced nutrition from NutriCanine, you’ll start to see health benefits in your senior Maltese including improved digestion, fresher breath, more stable energy levels, reduction of allergies and intolerances, brighter eyes, fresher breath, cleaner and whiter teeth, a stronger immune system, a thicker and glossier coat, less flatulence, and firmer stools, to name a few. Our dog food recipes offer complete and balanced nutrition for your Maltese, with human-edible animal proteins and our unique blend of highly digestible fruits and vegetables. All our dog food recipes are freshly prepared with no hormones, no antibiotics, and no artificial preservatives, colours or flavours.

  • Best Dog Food for an Overweight Maltese
    If your Maltese is experiencing weight issues it’s important to take the necessary steps to get them back to an ideal weight. Proper exercise is important and dog food that’s low in calories. There are numerous health benefits when feeding your Maltese a diet of real, fresh dog food. With complete and balanced nutrition from NutriCanine, you’ll start to see health benefits in your Maltese, including improved digestion, fresher breath, more stable energy levels, reduction of allergies and intolerances, brighter eyes, fresher breath, cleaner and whiter teeth, a stronger immune system, a thicker and glossier coat, less flatulence, and firmer stools, to name a few. NutriCanine dog food recipes also come pre-portioned, making it easy to track your Maltese’s calorie intake.
  • Best Dog Food for a Maltese with a Sensitive Stomach
    Selecting which dog food to feed your Maltese with a sensitive stomach is made easy with NutriCanine. Our gently cooked dog food recipes are specially designed to meet your Maltese’s nutritional needs. With a variety of protein-forward recipes to choose from, a great starting point is our gently cooked beef recipe as it would respond well to your Maltese’s sensitive stomach. This unique blend contains antioxidant-rich berries and highly digestible rice, the perfect formula to strengthen your Maltese’s immune system while reducing any allergies and intolerances. NutriCanine’s meals are freshly prepared with real human-edible, locally sourced ingredients. NutriCanine’s dog food is always free of hormones, antibiotics and preservatives.

Top 10 Facts About Maltese

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NutriCanine Meals

Raw

NutriCanine raw recipes contain a unique blend of highly digestible fruits and vegetables. Our raw recipes offer complete and balanced nutrition, ideal for all dogs of all ages and sizes. The transition to raw tends to be easier for younger dogs and high energy dogs.

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Gently Cooked

NutriCanine gently cooked recipes are great for all dogs including picky eaters, sensitive stomachs, or senior dogs with brittle teeth. Our recipes are safe enough for humans to eat but specially designed to meet your dog's nutritional needs.

Try NutriCanine gently cooked recipes