The Best Dog Food for Maltese: Ranked and Reviewed

Written by Austin S.
Updated: May 27, 2024
© Francisco Gomez Perpinan/Shutterstock.com

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Maltese are charming, playful toy dogs that weigh less than seven pounds. They’re easy to identify by their long, straight, silky, white coats, though many owners choose to keep their hair trimmed in a “puppy cut.” But don’t let their aristocratic looks fool you. These tiny dogs are mighty intelligent and highly trainable, though sometimes they have a mind of their own.

If you’re lucky enough to share your home with a Maltese, you know that these high-energy beauties require high-quality dog food to keep them in top shape. And your vet has probably told you to watch their calorie consumption because this breed is prone to obesity.

We’ve curated, ranked, and reviewed a list of the best dog foods for Maltese. Any food on this list will help keep your little white dog happy, healthy, fit, and energetic.

  1. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient
    • Specially formulated for small breed dogs
    • Maintains digestive health, skin, and coat health
    • Contains natural ingredients like chicken and lamb
    • Produced in the USA
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed
    • Contains chicken, chicken meal, and brown rice
    • Fish meal and flaxseed provide omega fatty acids
    • Kibble is designed to be small and tasty
    • Help remove tartar from the teeth of your Maltese
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Purina ONE Natural, High Protein +Plus Healthy Puppy
    • Specifically formulated for puppies
    • High level of fat provides long-lasting energy
    • Uses real chicken, oatmeal, and whole-grain corn
    • Contains vitamins A and E, calcium, and phosphorus
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  4. Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free
    • Specifically formulated for small dog breeds such as the Maltese
    • Venison and lamb is the primary protein sources
    • No artificial fillers, colors, flavors, or preservatives
    • Includes K9 probiotic blend for digestion
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

A-Z-Animals’ Top Picks for Dog Food for Maltese

#1 Best Overall: Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Small Breed

Our choice for the #1 Best Overall dog food for Maltese is Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food. This product is specially formulated for small breed dogs and focuses on maintaining digestive, skin, and coat health.

This dog food is also formulated to reduce the number of ingredients your dog is exposed to. This is useful if you’re trying to determine which foods your dog is allergic or sensitive to or if your dog has known food allergies or sensitivities.

This dry kibble includes natural ingredients, including lamb meal and brown rice as its main ingredients. It has a protein analysis of 21%, which is suitable for your Maltese. By including natural ingredients such as chicken and lamb instead of empty-calorie fillers, your Maltese will feel full longer and be less likely to overeat.

This high-quality dog food provides 12% crude fat and 4% crude fiber. It also contains taurine for heart health. Tomato pomace is included to provide dietary fiber, amino acids, and antioxidants.

This company provides a 100% guarantee on its dog food, and each production run is tested to ensure its safety.

Reviews for this product were overwhelmingly positive, but a few reviewers reported that their dogs didn’t like it.

Pros and Cons of Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Small Breed

ProsCons
This recipe is formulated specifically for small breed dogs.Some reviewers said that their dogs didn’t like this food.
It focuses on maintaining digestive, skin, and coat health. 
This is a limited-ingredient dog food, which may be useful if your dog has food allergies or sensitivities. 
It includes lamb meal and brown rice as its main ingredients and its protein analysis is 21%, which is appropriate for Maltese. 
It provides 12% crude fat and 4% crude fiber and taurine for heart health. 
Tomato pomace provides dietary fiber, amino acids, and antioxidants. 
The company provides a 100% guarantee and each production run is tested to ensure its safety. 
Overall Best
Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient
  • Specially formulated for small breed dogs
  • Maintains digestive health, skin, and coat health
  • Contains natural ingredients like chicken and lamb
  • Produced in the USA
Check Chewy Check Amazon

2. Best for Affordability: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed is formulated for small breed dogs and is available at an affordable price. It features chicken, chicken meal, and brown rice as its primary ingredients. It also contains menhaden fish meal and flaxseed, which provide omega fatty acids that help keep your dog’s skin healthy and their coat shiny.

The kibble is designed to be small and tasty to entice your tiny dog. It’s also designed to help remove plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth. Blue Buffalo adds their LifeSource Bits, their proprietary blend of antioxidant-rich nutrients to keep your dog healthy and lively.

The major drawback of this product is that it contains grains, so it’s not suitable for dogs that are allergic or sensitive to grains.

Pros and Cons of Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed

ProsCons
This dry dog food is formulated for small breed dogs.It includes grains, so it’s not suitable for dogs that are allergic or sensitive to grains.
It’s affordable. 
The primary ingredients are chicken, chicken meal, and brown rice. 
It also contains menhaden fish meal and flaxseed for omega fatty acids for skin and coat health. 
The kibble is small and tasty and designed to remove plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth. 
It includes LifeSource Bits, Blue Buffalo’s blend of antioxidant-rich nutrients. 
Best for Affordability
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed
  • Contains chicken, chicken meal, and brown rice
  • Fish meal and flaxseed provide omega fatty acids
  • Kibble is designed to be small and tasty
  • Help remove tartar from the teeth of your Maltese
Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best for Puppies: Purina ONE Natural, High Protein +Plus Healthy Puppy

Purina ONE Natural, High Protein +Plus Healthy Puppy recipe is specifically formulated for puppies. This product has a high level of fat, which provides long-lasting energy. Fish oil supplies DHAs for optimal brain and eye development. And real chicken, oatmeal, and whole-grain corn provide digestible protein for sensitive puppy tummies.

This recipe contains a blend of vitamins A and E for immune system health and calcium and phosphorus to support growing bones and joints. Tender meaty morsels within the kibble provide flavor and texture that puppies love.

The major drawback of this product is that it is not made specifically for small-breed dogs. However, Purina ONE states that each ingredient has a purpose and provides balanced nutrition for a growing puppy. Therefore, this product is also suitable for your Maltese puppy.

Pros and Cons of Purina ONE Natural, High Protein +Plus Healthy Puppy

ProsCons
This recipes is formulated specifically for puppies.It is not small-dog specific.
It has a high level of fat for long-lasting energy. 
Fish oil provides DHAs for optimal brain and eye development. 
Real chicken, oatmeal, and whole-grain corn provide digestible protein for sensitive puppy tummies. 
Vitamins A and E support immune system health. 
Calcium and phosphorus support growing bones and joints. 
The kibble is filled with meaty morsels for flavor and textures puppies love.
Best for Puppies
Purina ONE Natural, High Protein +Plus Healthy Puppy
  • Specifically formulated for puppies
  • High level of fat provides long-lasting energy
  • Uses real chicken, oatmeal, and whole-grain corn
  • Contains vitamins A and E, calcium, and phosphorus
Check Chewy Check Amazon

4. Best Grain-Free: Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free

Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free is formulated specifically for small dog breeds such as the Maltese. This grain-free recipe features venison and lamb as its primary protein ingredients and protein sources. Healthy legumes, including garbanzo beans, peas, and lentils, provide dietary.

Duck and ocean fish meals provide flavor and protein. Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dry Dog Food also includes its proprietary K9 strain probiotic blend to support digestive health.

This product includes no artificial fillers, colors, flavors, or preservatives.

While this product may be ideal for dogs that cannot tolerate grains, those with other food sensitivities may not find it easy to digest because it several different animal proteins. It’s also important to note that grain-free dog foods that replace grains with legumes, including peas and lentils, have been linked to canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

Pros and Cons Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free

ProsCons
Formulated for small breedsContains several different meat protein sources, which may not be suitable for dogs with some food sensitivities.
Grain-FreeThis recipe includes legumes, including peas and lentils, which have been linked to canine dialated cardiomyopathy (DCM).
No artificial ingredients or additives 
Contains high-quality meat protein 
High in proteins and fat 
Healthy legumes added for fiber 
Includes K9 probiotic blend for digestion 
Best Grain-Free
Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free
  • Specifically formulated for small dog breeds such as the Maltese
  • Venison and lamb is the primary protein sources
  • No artificial fillers, colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Includes K9 probiotic blend for digestion
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Choosing the Best Dog Food for Maltese: What to Look For

When choosing the best dog food for Maltese, there are three factors you need to consider: price, ingredients, and your dog’s sensitivities. Here is how to consider the best dog food across each factor.

Price

When buying food for your Maltese, you should have a budget. Maltese usually have to eat more often to maintain their energy. So it’s important to find a quality dog food that provides your Maltese with all the nutrients it requires while remaining budget-friendly.

Ingredients

It is important to go through dog food ingredients before purchase to ensure that no artificial ingredients or fillers, such as animal by-products, are added. You should also ensure that the dog food contains good sources of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, since these are the major nutrients required by your Maltese for proper growth, development, and maintenance.

Know Your Dog’s Sensitivities

Maltese can have a few temperament and health-related issues. They can be picky eaters, suffer from dental issues, or have joint problems. It is important to know if your Maltese has any of these issues. This can help guide your choice of dog food.

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About the Author

Growing up in rural New England on a small scale farm gave me a lifelong passion for animals. I love learning about new wild animal species, habitats, animal evolutions, dogs, cats, and more. I've always been surrounded by pets and believe the best dog and best cat products are important to keeping our animals happy and healthy. It's my mission to help you learn more about wild animals, and how to care for your pets better with carefully reviewed products.

The Best Dog Food for Maltese: Ranked and Reviewed FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How do I find out if my dog’s food has been recalled?

As of January 17, 2023, none of the food featured here has been recalled according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s Recalls and Withdrawal database.

Are Maltese dogs picky eaters?

Among dog breeds, the Maltese have a reputation for being a picky eater sometimes. This means they might need a little coaxing when it’s time to eat.

Can Maltese eat eggs?

Yes, as long as your dog isn’t allergic or sensitive to them, cooked eggs are perfectly safe. They also contain nutrients that can help your dog. However, you should never feed your dog raw eggs or eggshells.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.