Maltese Prices 2024: Purchase Cost, Vet Bills, and More!

Written by Sandy Porter
Updated: September 6, 2023
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If you’re looking for a highly affectionate, sweet, small dog, the Maltese may be your right choice. The little dogs originated in the Mediterranean island nation of Malta. They’ve been loved by royalty and commoners alike since their existence. These deeply loyal dogs can be expensive, though, so calculating Maltese costs before bringing one home may be essential for your financial health.

Let’s take a look at the overall initial costs, monthly costs, and more to find out if a Maltese dog is right for you.

Most Maltese puppies will range from $600 to $1,000 but can run up to $15,000.

How Much Does a Maltese Cost?

A variety of factors impact the costs for a Maltese. For one, if you’re getting a pure-bred puppy, the costs will be much higher than an adopted undocumented lineage Maltese adult.

Three basic places offer Maltese puppies for new owners.

Breeders and Pet Shops: $600 — $15,000

Many folks opt to bring home a puppy from a breeder or pet shop. This enables folks to ensure the puppy’s pedigree and family health history. These purchases for Maltese puppies typically run between $600 and $2400. The more “superior” the lineage, the more expensive the puppy is likely to be. So, if you’re looking for a more affordable pup, don’t worry about the excessive lineage factors. Instead, focus on finding the right puppy personality.

Teacup Maltese

The teacup Maltese is a cute and cuddly dog; it is an excellent choice for apartment living! However, it’s best to know the upfront and long-term costs before bringing one home.

©Plernz/Shutterstock.com

Most puppies will be closer to the $600 — $1000 range, rather than the massive $15,000 price tag. Just be sure the breeder is verified and reputable or you may wind up with a pup that has poor health or other problems.

If you’re not sure where to look, find the best pet shop near you that deals with dogs. They’re likely to have a breeder they work with if they don’t have any Maltese puppies available currently.

Rescue Shelter Adoptions: $50 — $500

When you visit a rescue society or shelter, you’ll find an adoption fee comes into play. These can run anywhere from a mere $50 to a whopping $500. It just depends on the shelter’s policies, the number of dogs they have, regulations, the dog’s age, temperament, or health. These adoption fees typically cover costs of spaying or neutering, vaccinations, medical treatments, or similar while the dog has remained at the rescue.

Free Maltese Dogs

Though you’re not super likely to come across one, occasionally there may be a free Maltese at a shelter or online. Occasionally, folks realize they can’t afford to keep a dog, have some kind of other life change, or some disaster leaves an animal homeless. In these cases, you’ll find a Maltese may be looking for a new home from a shelter or ad.

What’s the Cost Of Insurance and Health Care for Maltese Dogs?

Veterinary treatment - lovely Maltese dog and friendly veterinary

After the initial purchase of pure-bred Maltese costs, medical care is the highest factor in affordability for these dogs.

©gorillaimages/Shutterstock.com

One of the major expenses of any pet’s life is health care and insurance. In this case, Maltese dogs have several needs that must be dealt with early on and some ongoing needs.

First-Year Medical Care for Your Maltese

In their first year of life, Maltese puppies require specific, unique care in their medical lives. This starts with vaccinations, routine check-ups, and basic treatments. Additionally, puppies should be spayed or neutered around the fourth month of their lives for best results. It can be done any time after this, as well, but four months is ideal. Typically, these initial Maltese costs will run you between $195 and $510, depending on specific needs.

Adult Maltese Health Care Costs

Per month, Maltese dogs may require basic medical care running between $25 and $100. This covers things like flea and tick treatments, and similar.

However, Maltese dogs tend to be more prone to genetic disorders than many other small breeds, especially if you have a Teacup Maltese or toy. As Maltese age, they may well encounter any of the following conditions, and require expensive treatments for them.

  • Collapsing trachea: treatment $2500 — $4500
  • Portosystemic Shunt or liver shunt: treatment $2000 — $5000
  • Patellar Luxation: treatment $300 — $2000

Health Insurance

Since your Maltese is likely to develop some serious conditions in their lifetime, you may well want to consider getting pet health care insurance. The fees usually run between $25 and $50 monthly.

Microchipping

close-up photo of a microchip for pets on human finger

Microchipping helps your dog’s safety, particularly if it gets lost.

©Todorean-Gabriel/Shutterstock.com

Not everyone opts for this, but it’s recommended that you get your Maltese microchipped when you first take them to the vet. This helps ensure their safety. They’re also more likely to be returned to you if they get lost somehow.

Microchipping usually runs between $50 and $75.

Vaccinations

Essential care for your Maltese includes vaccinations. They need these to help protect against common diseases. During the first year of life, Maltese puppies need a series of shots to boost their immune system. These come in a series of three visits over the year, running about $75 to $100 per visit.

In many cases, the initial vaccines are all your Maltese needs. In some states, though, annual rabies vaccines are required. Check with your vet and see if they recommend boosters annually or not.

Deworming, Tick, and Flea Medications

These fluffy pups love to play outdoors, so they’re prone to insects invading all that fur. They’ll need flea and tick treatments on a regular basis along with deworming medications. These together will run between $50 and $200.

Basic Supply List for Maltese

  • Crate
  • Food
  • Toys
  • Treats
  • Water and food bowls
  • Dog bed
  • Leashes and collars
  • Dog license
  • Miscellaneous supplies (poop bags, etc.)
  • Grooming gear

Cost for Crate

dog in crate in car

Dog crates can be useful for keeping your pup safe while traveling together. If the crate is large enough, it can double as the home crate.

©Monika Wisniewska/Shutterstock.com

When you’re not at home, you’re going to likely need to keep your pal in a crate for safety and sanity’s sake. They can get into a bit of mischief otherwise. A small crate typically runs between $30 and $200, depending on the brand you choose.

Cost for Food

It’s always recommended that you opt for the best, highest-quality pet food you can find. This helps reduce health problems throughout your pup’s lifetime and generally helps them feel better.

Small breeds like Maltese don’t eat as much as larger breeds like Great Danes or even Labrador Retrievers. This means their food won’t be quite as costly per month. In most cases, dog food for a Maltese will cost between $100 and $200 annually.

Cost for Toys

Maltese dogs do have some good energy in them, but they don’t tend to play as hard or intensely as larger breeds. You’ll need some toys to start out and occasionally replace them over their lifetime. You’ll likely just need about $20 to $40 to start out, as they can enjoy cheap toys. They don’t shred them like others, so they don’t need to be super well made. You’ll likely replace the toys every couple of years for about $5 each.

Cost of Treats

Maltese dog, pet, white puppy in garden, summeritme

Maltese dogs need training for the best life. The costs can be a bit much if you’re on a budget, but you can do things at home to help.

©Tomsickova Tatyana/Shutterstock.com

Dog treats should also come from high-quality food sources. This means that you’ll likely spend between $10 and $30 a month on dog treats during training. To maintain their training, treats will more likely cost between $10 and $20 monthly.

Water and Food Bowl Costs

Every day, your dog uses food and water bowls. You’ll need a set initially, as well as a backup set to trade out during cleaning times. Over the years, you’ll need to replace them occasionally, as well. Initially, you’ll find $10 to $25 should cover this, with probably another 3 to 4 more purchases over their lifetime.

Dog Bed

Comfortable, easy-to-clean dog beds help make your life and your Maltese’s way better. Choose high-quality bedding for better sleep. You’ll find these may run anywhere from $40 to $150.

Leashes and Collars

Since your Maltese needs plenty of exercise and walks benefit you both, you’ll need to purchase leashes and collars. A quality set will likely start at about $30 and reach up to $80.

Dog License

Purchasing a dog license is a good idea for your Maltese’s safety. These usually run between $10 and $20.

Miscellaneous Supplies

A few miscellaneous supplies needed mostly pertain to hygiene. You’ll need poop bags, potty pads, odor remover, poop scoopers, and similar. Expect to spend about $15 to $30 initially on these, with a consistent refill running about $20 a month in most cases.

Maltese Prices: Training

Maltese dog white happy animal

Maltese dogs love to play! But they still need training to help keep their play choices in check and help them socialize.

©fotovideoslk/Shutterstock.com

Some folks think that a small dog shouldn’t require much training. However, even small pooches like Maltese benefit from training. They’re fairly easy to train, too, which helps. The main thing is that you need to be patient with them.

Group classes are best for Maltese, as this also provided socialization with other dogs and humans. Group classes typically run between $100 and $300 for a series of classes. Prices vary mostly on the trainer, size of the class, and location.

You can also help train your Maltese at home, using treats, games, and toys. If you’re disciplined and patient, you may be able to save money by fully training at home. You should always invest time in socialization, though. Consider taking your Maltese to dog parks and set up some play dates.

Maltese Prices: Grooming and Grooming Supplies

Depending on how frequently you groom your Maltese at home versus taking them to the vet, you’ll see costs in this area run between $0 and $75 monthly. Purchasing a kit for home use will keep this cost lower after the initial purchase. Most kits on Amazon or similar stores run between $30 and $150. These include shampoo, clippers, eat powder, combs, slicker brushes, scissors, and de-shedding tools. Choose your kit wisely for a higher price now and you’ll save more money in the end.

Be sure to bathe and trim nails on your Maltese about once monthly, as well, to help improve overall life and appearance. This also helps reduce allergens.

Other Potential Costs

Throughout the lifetime of your Maltese, some other costs may arise. Your lifestyle will largely impact these. You could be looking at any of the following.

  • Pet boarding services: If you can’t take your pooch with you on vacation, they may need to be boarded. This can cost as little as $40 per night to $100. The service you choose can make all the difference in cost.
  • Dog sitting or dog walking services: Dog sitting or dog walking may be part of your pet care plan. The cost varies by company, but typically runs between $25 and $50 per day, depending on your pet’s needs.
  • Kennel Club Registration: If you opt to register your Maltese, there’s a cost involved. Most memberships run between $30 and $80.

Total Costs of Bringing Home a Maltese

Young maltese dog in a meadow

Maltese costs can add up quickly. Be sure to save up beforehand, especially if you want a toy, teacup, or purebred with a high pedigree.

©Dora Zett/Shutterstock.com

  • Purchase of dog: $0 to $15,000
  • First-year medical care: $195 to $510
  • Health insurance: $25 to $50
  • Microchipping: $50 to $75
  • Crate: $30 to $200
  • Food: $50
  • Toys: $20 to $40
  • Treats: $10 to $30
  • Dog bed: $40 to $150
  • Leashes and collars: $30 to $80
  • Food and water bowls: $10 to $25
  • Dog license: $10 to $20
  • Miscellaneous supplies: $15 to $30
  • Optional costs: $30 to $80

All said and done, bringing home a Maltese dog will run you between $515 and $16,815, including the purchase of the dog, initial medical care, and supplies.

Monthly Costs for a Maltese Dog

Save in the event of medical emergencies or chronic conditions, the average monthly cost of raising a Maltese will run you between $80 and $200. If you employ money-saving methods, this may decrease the cost as much as $40 monthly.

Money-Saving Tips for Maltese Owners

Although Maltese dogs can be expensive to raise, there are a few ways you can save money.

  • Invest in high-quality dog food. This will help maintain your pooch’s health and ultimately save money on medical bills. And, more importantly, it will give your dog a happier, healthier life.
  • Buy your own grooming equipment for basic grooming care. Scissors, nail clippers, and toothbrushes will all reduce grooming and dental care bills. You won’t be able to do everything yourself, but you can certainly maintain things in between grooming sessions.
  • Create a savings account for your Maltese emergency and pet care. This could save you on health insurance if you like. Save money to equal whatever goal you have and skip the monthly insurance payments.
  • If you sense any conditions in your pooch, take them to the vet sooner than later. The longer you wait, the worse the condition can become. This could not only make things painful and miserable for your pup now but could worsen their long-term health, resulting in more medical bills later on.
  • Keep your Maltese active. Just like humans, dogs need lots of exercise for a healthy life. This helps you both and saves money.

Helpful and Fun Facts About the Maltese Breed

White Maltese dog getting a haircut in a grooming salon

Various haircuts are popular for Maltese dogs. Choose your preference, of course, but keep your environment in mind for their comfort in heat or cold weather.

©Ana Vorkapic Marosevic/Shutterstock.com

Maltese dogs are an amazing breed with an interesting history and loads of fun facts.

  • As you might guess from the name “Maltese,” this dog breed probably came from the nation of Malta originally. The small nation island resides south of Sicily.
  • The rich, luxurious lifestyle Malta finds fame for seems to really fit this little breed of dog.
  • Maltese pooches are known to be people pleasers. They absolutely adore their humans and love all the cuddles and kisses they can get.
  • While the most recent Queen of England loved corgis, previous queens adored Maltese dogs. Both Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I kept Maltese dogs in their palaces.
  • Like poodles and Bichon Frise, Maltese dogs are considered hypoallergenic. They find much favor with folks who suffer from dog allergies but love canine pals.
  • Maltese dogs have always been highly valued. Even back in the 1500s, some sold for today’s equivalent of $2,000.
  • These little dogs notoriously pick at their food. Many folks have suggested this pickiness dates back to their early heritage as royal and wealthy dogs.
  • Have you ever noticed a Maltese nose looking pink? If so, you can know that the pooch needed to get more sun! Their noses actually turn from black to pink when they don’t get enough Vitamin D. They can also turn pink if the dog is in heat.

For more amazing Maltese facts, check out an article all about them.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © fotovideoslk/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Sandy Porter is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering house garden plants, mammals, reptiles, and birds. Sandy has been writing professionally since 2017, has a Bachelor’s degree and is currently seeking her Masters. She has had lifelong experience with home gardens, cats, dogs, horses, lizards, frogs, and turtles and has written about these plants and animals professionally since 2017. She spent many years volunteering with horses and looks forward to extending that volunteer work into equine therapy in the near future. Sandy lives in Chicago, where she enjoys spotting wildlife such as foxes, rabbits, owls, hawks, and skunks on her patio and micro-garden.

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