How Much to Feed a Maltese (Puppy & Adult Feeding Chart)

Maltese adult and puppy feeding chart how much to feed your Maltese

Maltese dogs are tiny pooches that are arguably the cutest dogs in the toy group; however, due to their tiny size, Maltese feeding can be tricky.

Although you want your Maltese to enjoy their meals, you must also provide the necessary nutrients for it. Their food must properly fuel their tiny bodies to prevent health and weight problems.

This guide will teach you how to feed your Maltese and follow a proper feeding schedule. It will also go over the age-based nutritional requirements of Maltese. Keep reading to discover all of these and more! 

Maltese Feeding Chart by Age: How Much to Feed Your Maltese?

Young woman feeding a Maltese dog food

The amount of food your Maltese will consume largely depends on its age. For Maltese puppies, a quarter to three-quarters of a cup of puppy food daily is enough. Meanwhile, adult and senior Maltese need at least three-fourth cups of dog food daily. 

You need to give your Maltese puppy enough food to promote healthy growth and lessen the risk of obesity. You can also make a proper diet decision for your dog by using the feeding schedule provided in this guide.

However, you shouldn’t use this as your only guide when determining how much food to feed your Maltese. It should be adjusted depending on your dog’s needs and the assistance of your pet nutritionist or dog’s vet.

Maltese Puppy Feeding Chart (2 to 12 months)

Maltese puppies depend on their mother’s milk from birth for the first five weeks. Like all young puppies, a Maltese puppy will go through weaning. This procedure involves switching from mother’s milk to puppy food. 

During this time, their growth requires more calories than adult dogs to meet their energy requirements. That said, a high-quality and protein-rich diet is essential to help your Maltese grow into healthy adults.

To know the feeding requirement of your Maltese puppy, refer to the feeding chart below:

AgeDaily Food Quantity
(Per day)
2 – 3 months0.25 – 0.580 – 12522% – 32%10% – 25%
4 – 5 months0.25 – 0.75125 – 25022% – 32%10% – 25%
6 – 9 months0.5 – 0.75165 – 38522% – 32%10% – 25%
10 – 12 months0.5 – 0.75315 – 40022% – 32%10% – 25%

The amounts might seem very little, but remember that Malteses are small dogs, and their size affects how much food they can consume. 

In general, puppies are susceptible to diseases at this age. That said, the food you feed them should contain nutrients that will strengthen their immune systems.

Following this advice, you can ensure that your Maltese puppy’s muscles and bones will develop properly. A high protein diet will also provide enough energy for your dog’s everyday physical activity.

Adult Maltese Feeding Chart (1 to 7 years)

Maltese reaches its adult size between 12 and 15 months. As they age, they will grow within a fairly typical range. However, you should tailor your expectation to the type and gender of your Maltese puppy.

The Maltese should have a robust immune system by the time it reaches adulthood. That said, throughout the mature stage, you should offer your Maltese dog food that has been made to increase its lifespan.

The table below shows that an adult dog requires fewer calories than a Maltese puppy. Most dogs, especially larger canines, experience this as they age because their metabolism slows down slightly.

Here’s how much food to feed your adult Maltese:

AgeDaily Food Quantity
(Per day)
1 – 7 years0.7180 – 36022% 10%

With this chart as a guide, you can help your adult dog grow to the standard size and weight. Additionally, keeping your dog on a healthy diet will prevent health issues later on.

Senior Maltese Feeding Chart (7 years and older)

The Maltese will need different nutrients as it ages, and once it reaches the age of 7 years old, it will be considered a senior dog

As your Maltese dog becomes less active, it will require less energy. As a result, finding a kibble that will satisfy all its nutritional needs while having fewer calories is critical. 

Also, your Maltese needs less fat. Not only may too much fat make it overweight, but as it gets older, your pup can develop a sensitive digestive system which makes it difficult to properly break down fat.

The feeding chart below illustrates your senior Maltese’s ideal daily food consumption:

AgeDaily Food Quantity
(Per day)
8 years and above0.7246 – 40820%5.5%

You can see from the table that senior Maltese require less food in quantity and calories. Following this advice will guarantee that your Maltese isn’t overfed or underfed, given their age and digestive situation.

To be safe, it is recommended to ask your veterinarian or a pet nutritionist for a senior-specific diet.

Meanwhile, you might need to estimate and keep track of your Maltese dog’s daily calorie intake if you decide to feed it homemade meals throughout its life stages.

Maltese Feeding Frequency: How Often Should You Feed Your Maltese?

Woman gives food from the hand to her Maltese dog

The feeding frequency of a Maltese depends on its age. Maltese puppies under three months old are recommended to be free-fed. On the other hand, Maltese puppies between 3 and 11 months should have 3 to 4 meals per day. Meanwhile, adult and senior Malteses should be fed twice daily. 

A Maltese puppy should be accustomed to eating three scheduled meals when it reaches three months old. This establishes an eating routine, which is extremely beneficial for dogs.

This steady adjustment should continue until your Maltese is 12 months old. After that, they should naturally eat twice daily during adulthood.

The table below summarizes the feeding frequency for Maltese dogs:

AgeFeeding Frequency
0 – 3 monthsFree-fed
4 – 12 monthsThree to four times a day
1 – 6 yearsTwo to three times a day
7 years and aboveTwice a day

The Malteses are usually lively little dogs that can burn calories quickly. Still, if given unlimited access to food, they can quickly gain weight. 

That said, to monitor your dog’s meal intake, follow the recommended feeding frequency unless your vet suggests otherwise.

As mentioned earlier, a Maltese should have two meals at least once a day, about 12 hours apart. A schedule that includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner is also a great choice.

This is important as their stomach might become hyper acidic and cause nausea if more than 12 hours pass between meals.

Optimal Feeding Times for Maltese

Aside from the amount and frequency of feeding, another consideration while feeding Maltese dogs is when to feed them.

Maltese feeding schedules assist you in keeping your dog’s energy levels, weight, and digestive health in check. 

Maltese pups that are being free-fed don’t have a specific schedule to follow. As for an adult Maltese, the optimal feeding time is morning, noon, and evening. Meanwhile, for senior Malteses, the most appropriate feeding time is morning and evening.

Because of the feeding schedule, your pet starts to depend on you as their owner to provide food at specific times.

A regular feeding routine strengthens your relationship with your pet and reassures it that you care.

Here’s a summary of the optimal feeding times for the Maltese:

AgeOptimal Feeding Times
0 – 3 monthsFree-feeding
4 – 12 months7:00 am, 1:00 pm, 7:00 pmor7:00 am, 11:00 am, 3:00 pm, 7:00 pm
1 – 6 years7:00 am and 7:00 pmor7:00 am, 1:00 pm, 7:00 pm
7 years and above7:00 am and 7:00 pm

As previously said, three months or older Maltese should be taught to eat three to four times a day. The most appropriate time is morning, before noon, afternoon, and early evening.

For an adult Maltese, the same recommended feeding schedule is appropriate. On the other hand, it is advised that a senior Maltese get two meals daily, one in the morning and one in the evening.

Consult with the breeder or rescue organization where you adopted your dog if you’re having difficulties getting your Maltese to eat on schedule. It can be possible that your Maltese is already used to its previous feeding routine.

Best Dog Foods for Maltese

Little Maltese eating natural organic food from a bowl

A Maltese dog feeding guide would be incomplete without advice on the best dog food for this furry breed. This is important whether you’re raising a puppy or caring for an older dog.

Malteses have a wide variety of food choices. Nutrition is just as crucial for a young Maltese puppy as it is for an older Maltese.

The best pet food differs depending on your Maltese dog. Since it may be a picky eater or has food allergies, it is crucial to keep an eye on your Maltese’s response to various dog diets.

The list below shows the best dog food options you can provide your Maltese:

  • Dry Food: Giving dry food will help keep your Maltese full and satisfied at regular intervals. Avoid generic brands as they might harm your dog’s health. Simply seek a brand suggestion from your veterinarian or the breeder where you got your Maltese. 
  • Wet Food: A can of wet food is a type of food that is mainly made of water and is very mushy. This might serve as the primary meal for your Maltese or can be added to your dog’s diet mix with kibble. The best-canned foods will have a lot of protein, fish oil, and some nutritious fruits.
  • BARF Diet: Biologically-Approved Raw Food Diet (BARF) is an alternative diet with raw meat and bones that are usually combined with fruits and vegetables. The raw diet is beneficial for your Maltese dog since it is high in protein, moderate in fat, and low in carbohydrates.
  • Home-Cooked Diet: Making your own Maltese food gives you the flexibility to change the ingredients to meet your dog’s nutritional needs. According to some experts, homemade food is preferable for Maltese dogs since it excludes additives and is less likely to have dangerous bacteria or diseases. 

The video below shows a homemade recipe you can follow to feed your Maltese pup:


The best diet for any Maltese color variation, including the black Maltese, is well-balanced, high-quality, and created especially for little or toy dogs.

Meanwhile, because the coat color of this dog breed is exclusively white, it is preferable to choose a food with lower quantities of beta-carotene and copper. This can prevent the discoloration of their white coat.

You can also read our article about appropriate foods for Maltese. It offers a comprehensive guide with various categories that will help you know what your Maltese can eat and what to avoid giving them.

Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Maltese

As previously said, Malteses are famously picky eaters, and their stomachs are extremely sensitive. The food a Maltese dog consumes will have an immediate and long-term effect on its health.

It is equally crucial that the food your Maltese eats provides the necessary food that does not result in problems like upset stomachs or allergic responses.

This includes onions and garlic, which contain a chemical that can harm a dog’s red blood cells, leading in severe cases to anemia.

Due to the caffeine and methylamine content, coffee, tea, and cola are poisonous to dogs. Consuming any of these could cause tremors, hyperactivity, a rapid heartbeat, and in some severe cases, sudden death.

Chocolate is also considered one of the foods that Maltese puppies and adult dogs should avoid eating.

It includes methylamines, which can result in increased urination, vomiting, a rapid and erratic heartbeat, muscle trembling, and seizures.

All prescribed and over-the-counter medications, including painkillers, anti-inflammatories, and vitamins, are highly hazardous to dogs and may be lethal. 

You should avoid giving your dog any medications unless your veterinarian has prescribed them.

Furthermore, because of the potential side effects, there are other foods you should avoid giving your Maltese.

Although they are not considered hazardous, they can make your dog feel sick, have diarrhea, and gain weight.

Many dogs end up in veterinary clinics due to incorrect feeding. This can get costly, especially if your dog ingests something extremely poisonous.

Read our article on Maltese costs to learn more about the cost of medical emergencies.

READ NEXT: Can Dogs Eat Crackers? Answers for 45+ Types of Crackers

How to Transition Your Maltese to a New Food

Little dog Maltese waiting for his food at home

There may come a time when you need to switch out your dog’s diet. Regardless if you’re trying out a healthier formula or switching to homemade foods, a gradual transition is definitely advised.

For starters, your dog must be introduced to the suggested new diet slowly. Making a sudden switch might lead to digestive problems, and the puppy might not be interested in trying new flavors.

These adjustments should take place over 5 to 7 days. During this transition, you will progressively include more of the new food by combining it with your dog’s current diet.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recommends starting with 25% of the new food and gradually increasing it to 100% until the dog’s previous diet is entirely replaced.

Here’s a transition chart that you can use as a guide for your Maltese:

DayOld FoodNew Food
1 – 275%25% 
3 – 450%50%
5 – 625%75%

However, a more extended transition period might be necessary for some dogs with sensitive stomachs, food allergies, or other gastrointestinal conditions

Meanwhile, keeping an eye on your dog’s responses is the secret to a successful diet change. To keep your dog in tip-top shape, you should ensure that its diet is well-balanced and appropriate.

Feeding an Overweight Maltese 

Malteses are tiny dogs that weigh only 4 to 7 pounds at maturity. Unfortunately, owners often overfeed and give too many treats, which causes them to gain excess weight. 

It is crucial to regularly check on your Maltese to ensure they are not becoming overweight, given that over half of dogs in the United States belong to this category.

You can tell that your Maltese is overweight when you can’t feel its ribs or can’t tell where the rib cage and hips meet. 

Meanwhile, if you take a few steps and your Maltese starts panting and wants to stop, they are likely overweight and out of shape unless there are other reasons why it’s panting.

An indication of a healthy Maltese weight is the thin layer of fat that covers their ribcage. In contrast, Maltese who are overweight have an observable layer of fat in their chest and abdomen.

It is always advisable to seek confirmation from a professional veterinarian regardless of these symptoms. 

To reduce the danger of obesity, you should monitor their calorie intake and weight. You should clearly understand the food your dog should eat once your veterinarian has created a weight-management plan. 

You may also use a suitable measurement device instead of free-feeding or eyeballing how much dog food you feed your Maltese. This way, you can ensure that you are providing the recommended portion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman feeding her Maltese dog food by hand

Why Is My Maltese Not Eating?

Your Maltese may refuse to eat for a variety of reasons. Minor problems, such as dental problems, stomachaches, or environmental stress, are possible causes.

However, it may also result from unfavorable prescription medications, sudden dietary changes, increased body temperatures, or your dog’s picky eating habits.

Do Maltese Eat a Lot?

Maltese dogs are known for being picky eaters and sometimes do not eat much. They require some encouragement when it comes to eating because they tend to be fussy.

Maltese owners often discover that giving their dogs a diet made specifically for the breed yields the best benefits. These healthy diets have alluring flavors and the perfect ratio of nutrients to suit their nutritional needs.

Can Maltese Eat Bones?

Maltese dogs can eat the majority of raw or uncooked bones. Raw bones from cattle, lamb, chicken, or turkey are easily chewed and ingested. 

On the other hand, they are not allowed to consume cooked bones. Any type of bone, no matter the size, will become fragile after cooking.

Can Maltese Be Vegetarians?

Vegetarian and vegan meals are possible for Maltese dogs, but they must be followed carefully. These diets may contain less protein needed by your dog.

The best method is to speak with a veterinarian or pet nutritionist to ensure that a sudden lifestyle shift to a vegetarian diet won’t compromise your dog’s health.

Final Thoughts

Maltese dogs don’t eat too much, which makes sense given their small stature and lightweight. 

That said, the amount of food you feed them matters a lot. As owners, you should be aware of the right food, ideal quantity, and schedule for your dog.

A high-quality puppy diet should also provide the nutrients necessary for healthy vision and brain development. The right pick for a Maltese puppy is dog food that will improve their bones and not make them overweight. 

Speaking with your veterinarian about your Maltese’s best feeding options is advised. They can assist in ensuring that your Maltese consumes the safest and healthiest diet possible.

What is your experience in feeding your Maltese? Let us know some tips and tricks about Maltese feeding in the comments below!

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