How Much Does a Maltese Cost? (2024 Price Guide)

Maltese price and expenses how much does a Maltese cost

Though small in nature, the Maltese is said to be quite an expensive breed. But how much does a Maltese cost exactly? Does maintaining them require a large sum of money? 

To put all your queries and worries aside, I’ve gathered all information on the Maltese price so you can efficiently set a pet budget. 

From its basic needs to optional expenses, this article gives you an insight into the financial preparation you’ll need to do.

The Average Cost of a Maltese Puppy

Average cost of a Maltese puppy

The price of a Maltese puppy from reputable breeders ranges from $2,000 to $4,000. Some of the factors that directly affect its cost are gender and quality. Female and show quality Malteses are often sold at a much higher price point because of demand.

Of course, the exact Maltese selling price would also be affected by the breeder’s reputation, training and socialization, and a lot more. 

But the foremost factors I have mentioned are still those that greatly dictate why this pooch is expensive.

To illustrate, here are estimated Maltese puppy prices depending on gender and quality:

Maltese Gender/QualityMaltese Puppy Price
Male Maltese$2,500
Female Maltese$3,000
Show Quality$4,000
Pet Quality$2,000 – $3,000

As observed above, female Malteses are often more expensive by a few hundred dollars than their male counterparts.

Similarly, most dogs bred for show rings are also more pricey than pet Malteses since they are conditioned and primed for competition.

Curious to see what makes the Maltese worth the splurge? Watch this video:

My Puppy is Too Smart......

READ NEXT: Male vs. Female Maltese: Which Is Better?

Factors Affecting the Cost of a Maltese Puppy

Overall, physical and behavioral characteristics affect the price range of a Maltese puppy. But a Maltese breeder may also have a hand in determining how much a Maltese dog costs.

Here are the main factors that influence the price of a Maltese puppy:

  • Gender: Gender plays a huge role in the cost of a Maltese puppy. Males are cheaper than females since they cannot be used for breeding. Moreover, the fact that female dogs of breeding quality are harder to find calls for a much higher price. If you want an in-depth comparison between the two genders, read our article on male vs. female Maltese.
  • Bloodline: A reputable breeder that produces Maltese pedigree dogs ensures that they have conforming physical attributes and personalities. Since this type of Maltese performs well in shows and comes from champion bloodlines, expect its price to be higher compared to a pet-quality Maltese.
  • Breeder’s Reputation: The breeder’s reputation plays a huge role in a Maltese’s cost. Experienced, quality breeders consider the puppies’ health, so they subject their dams and sires to health tests. They also conduct genetic testing to ensure that they offer high-quality puppies. Reputable breeders who go to great lengths to do this are expected to charge more.
  • Health Tests: Unlike puppy mills, professional breeders often administer health screenings to ensure that their dogs are in tip-top shape. These screenings and health care treatments aren’t cheap, so it is included in the overall price of the pup.
  • Training and Socialization: Most puppies are subject to training to ensure that their behavior and attitude are in check. Training generally helps Malteses deal with other dogs and strangers. Maltese puppies bred to be socialized properly are likely to cost higher.
  • Supply and Demand: Supply and demand have always had an impact on determining the prices of dog breeds on the market. The Maltese’s price could spike to higher values if there aren’t many Maltese breeders in a particular area.

Other factors that play a role in the cost of a Maltese puppy include shipping, age, weight, and kennel club registration. 

There may also be others that weren’t mentioned here, so it’s best to talk to the breeder about their basis in pricing purebred dogs.

How Much Does It Cost to Adopt a Maltese From a Rescue?

If you find yourself wishing to adopt a Maltese from animal shelters or rescues, expect the cost to range between $150 and $600. The fee covers the necessary care the Maltese is given prior to adoption.

This includes heartworm prevention or heartworm test, medical treatment, spaying and neutering, microchipping, and vaccinations appropriate for the dog’s age. This ensures that you will take home robust puppies that grow into healthy adults.

Bringing a Maltese puppy or adult dog from a rescue or shelter might seem easy, but the reality is that there is a lengthy screening process that you have to go through before your application is approved. 

If you have your heart set on giving an adorable puppy or adult Maltese a new home, read our ultimate guide on dog adoption to ace your application.

READ NEXT: The Ultimate Guide to Dog Adoption: Process, What to Ask and Tips to Get Approved

Initial Cost of Maltese Ownership

Maltese sitting on a bench

Owners who have just purchased or adopted their Maltese puppy should also consider the expenses that come with owning this breed. An integral part of being a future fur parent is knowing and planning your Maltese puppy’s needs.

It is always wise to set a budget for their necessities and lookup options to help you save money.

The list below details every item that your Maltese puppy will need initially:

  • Food and Treats: It is your primary duty to provide your Maltese with food and treats to nourish them. Typically, high-quality puppy food costs between $50 and $80. Check out our Maltese food guide and list of best puppy treats, so you are guided in your brand selection.
  • Food and Water Bowls: Feeding bowls are essential in keeping your Maltese dog’s food portions in check. It also reduces water spills and dog mess when eating. The usual cost of dog food and water bowls ranges between $10 and $25.
  • Bed: A Maltese puppy needs lots of sleep to grow up accordingly. A comfortable bed promotes uninterrupted, high-quality sleep. Beds for small breeds cost around $30 to $150.
  • Crate: Having a dog crate will help your Maltese feel secure when you aren’t at home. This will serve as their little sanctuary where you can put their bed and toys. A small crate typically costs between $30 and $200.
  • Leashes and Collars: If you plan to bring your Maltese anywhere outside your home, you would need collars and leashes. This would aid you in controlling them, making sure that they won’t go out of sight. A sturdy leash and collar typically cost around $50 to $80, depending on its material. 
  • Toys: Playtime is vital for dogs, and the Maltese is no exception. Chew toys can stimulate your dog during playtime and help ease the pain while teething. Meanwhile, interactive toys, comfort toys, and treat dispenser toys can prevent them from being bored and aggressive. You can buy these items for around $20 to $30.
  • Grooming Essentials: Usually, dog grooming kits are readily available on Amazon for $30 to $150. This kit includes shampoo, clippers, comb, ear powder, de-shedding tool, slicker brush, and scissors.
  • Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications: Since Maltese puppies love to play and they sport a fluffy coat, they are more susceptible to fleas and ticks. They may also gain parasites inside their body that can cause gastrointestinal problems. Flea prevention medication and deworming cost between $50 and $200.
  • Initial Vet Visits: Frequent visits with a licensed veterinarian are necessary to ensure that your puppy is in tip-top condition and is growing right for its age. Expect to spend around $100 to $300 on vet expenses.
  • Initial Vaccine Shots: Depending on the state you’re in, most Maltese puppies are required to have rabies vaccinations to ensure that they won’t cost lives if ever they become aggressive. There are also a host of other vaccines that they would need initially, but on average, puppy vaccinations cost around $75 to $200.
  • Neutering and Spaying: Though spaying or neutering is best done at the puppies’ fourth-month mark, you can have this procedure done at any age. Neutering and spaying can cost around $50 to $500.
  • Dog License: A dog license along with a tag containing the dog’s identification number usually costs $10 to $20. This is pretty useful if your dog gets lost or if it accidentally bites a stranger. In both cases, you’ll be easily contacted.
  • Microchip: A microchip can be implanted in your dog by a veterinarian for $40 to $60. It emits a radio frequency signal that is read by scanners to learn about your identity as the pet owner.
  • Miscellaneous Supplies: Aside from the main expenses detailed in this list, there are also some items that you may find necessary as your Maltese transitions to your home. This includes poop bags, potty pads, poop scooper, odor remover, and more. Generally, they can cost between $15 and $30.

Here’s a rundown of all the initial expenses for your Maltese puppy:

Type of ExpenseCost
Food and Treats$50 – $80
Food and Water Bowls$10 – $25
Beds$30 – $150
Crates$30 – $200
Leashes and Collars$50 – $80
Toys$20 – $30
Grooming Essentials$30 – $150
Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications$50 – $200
Initial Vet Visits$100 – $300
Initial Vaccine Shots$75 – $200
Neutering or Spaying$50 – $500
Dog License$10 – $20
Microchip$40 – $60
Miscellaneous Supplies$15 – $30
Total Initial Cost$560 – $2,025

Like any other breed, owning a Maltese puppy takes serious consideration and planning. Thus, before you go pick up your pup, make sure that all these essential items have been purchased and are ready to use.

READ NEXT: The Ultimate Guide to What Malteses Can (And Can’t) Eat

Annual Cost of Owning a Maltese

Adult Maltese annual cost

An annual cost estimate can give you a more realistic view of how much you should set aside for your Maltese puppy. When viewed from this perspective, you’ll find that tending to a Maltese is pretty manageable.

Here is a detailed breakdown of the annual expenses of owning a purebred Maltese:

Type of ExpenseYearly Estimate
Food and Treats$240 – $720
Toys$60 – $90
Beds and Crates$60 – $350
Leashes and Collars$20 – $30
Grooming$100 – $250
Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications$150 – $250
Routine Veterinary Care$200 – $400
Pet Insurance$500 – $600
Vaccinations$80 – $250
Miscellaneous Supplies$30 – $50
Yearly Total$1,405 – $3,010
Average Monthly Cost$117 – $251

Aside from the common supplies needed by your Maltese, you’ll also find yourself spending on grooming essentials. 

DIY grooming can easily be done at home with the right tools. A budget of $100 to $250 should be allocated for these items.

Another thing that you should not neglect is your Maltese routine veterinary care which can amount to $200 to $400 annually. 

This ensures that your dog doesn’t become vulnerable to certain diseases like patellar luxation and white dog shaker syndrome.

It would also be better to avail yourself of pet insurance in preparation for expensive medical emergencies. Pet insurances for toy dogs like the Maltese breed cost around $200 to $300 monthly.

Note that all these expenses are the bare minimum. Depending on their needs, you may need to spend more on your Maltese pup. Hence, you should really assess them from day one, so you can provide for their needs properly.

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Other Potential Expenses

There are quite a few services that you may want to avail yourself of for your Maltese as they mature. While these potential expenses aren’t must-haves per se, it’s also normal to go the extra mile for your Maltese puppy. 

Here are some potential expenses you could encounter as a Maltese pet parent:

  • Pet Boarding Services: The last thing pet owners want to worry about when going on vacation is their pet. If you’re the jet-setting type, you might want to invest a little extra in pet boarding services. Trendy pet hotels that house and care for pets cost around $35 to $50, depending on the dog’s size.
  • Dog Sitting/Walking Services: Dog sitting/walking services are an alternative to pet boarding. Pet owners can hire reputable dog sitters to care for their little dogs while they are busy or away. These dog sitters perform tasks such as walking and feeding the Maltese for $25 to $30 per day. 
  • Grooming Services: While you can groom your Maltese if you have the skill and patience, it never hurts to get it professionally done. Expert groomers help keep your Maltese coat clean and silky for $50 to $75.
  • Kennel Club Registration: If you’d like your pet to be registered to a kennel club and enjoy its perks, you first have to pay for the registration papers. These usually cost between $30 and $80.

Again, these expenses are optional. You don’t necessarily have to include them in your budget, especially if they aren’t within your means. Always consider your finances and preferences before spending on your Maltese.

Places to Find Maltese Puppies for Sale and Adoption

Four Maltese puppies for sale and adoption

Generally, Malteses make good family dogs. It isn’t a surprise that so many pet lovers are drawn to them with their affectionate and playful nature. Since the Maltese is a pretty popular breed, finding them shouldn’t be too challenging.

Since you now have a run-down of the breed’s expenses, take these professional Maltese breeders and rescues into consideration if you’re opting to buy or adopt one.

If you’re looking to purchase a purebred Maltese, check out these reputable Maltese breeders:

  • Maltese Mystique – Maltese Mystique breeds Maltese puppies that are home-raised and AKC-certified. This breeder socializes their puppies and potty trains them before being purchased. Moreover, all their pups come with health guarantees.
  • MaltaAngel Maltese – MaltaAngel Maltese has been focused on breeding dogs for show and companionship since 1993. They have proudly produced a number of award-winning Malteses, so you’re sure to get high-quality Malteses from them.
  • Always Maltese Always Maltese breeds AKC-registered Maltese puppies for show and companionship. This breeder aligns their practice with the American Maltese Association Breeder Code of Ethics. They ensure that their Maltese puppies grow up in a healthy environment to prepare them for their future homes. 

RELATED: 10 Best Maltese Breeders (2023): Our Top 10 Picks!

If you’ve decided that adoption is the path for you, take a look at these Maltese rescues in the United States:

  • Metropolitan Maltese Rescue – Metropolitan Maltese Rescue is a New York-based rescue center for Maltese purebreds and mixes. Potential owners are screened thoroughly to ensure that they can provide the rightful care and attention that the rescue dog deserves.
  • American Maltese Association Rescue – American Maltese Association Rescue is a rescue organization that operates solely on donations. They employ the help of foster homes to restore the condition of their rescued puppies and adult dogs before they are put up for adoption. 
  • Maltese Rescue California – Maltese Rescue California is a non-profit organization focused on saving unwanted, abused, and lost Maltese dogs. Like the American Maltese Association, they also rehabilitate their dogs through a foster system. This ensures that the dog’s personality and well-being are prioritized.

To prepare yourself for adoption screenings, read our ultimate dog adoption guide. It will give you an overview of the process, along with tips on how to ace your application.

RELATED: 10 Best Maltese Rescues for Adoption (2023): Our Top 10 Picks!

Money-Saving Tips for Maltese Owners

Don’t be fooled by the Maltese’s small stature. They may look tiny, but they do require expert care and maintenance which often incur an expensive fee.

Nevertheless, it is still up to you as an owner on how you will strategize to save money, albeit tending to an expensive pup.

To help you out, below are some friendly tips on how you can cut costs in Maltese ownership:

  • Learn the basics of the Maltese breed. It goes without saying that before buying a puppy, you should know what you’re getting yourself into. If your heart is set on having Maltese as your pet, learn about this dog’s health conditions, diet, exercise regimen, and grooming. A little knowledge can help you plan better and weed out the things you don’t need to spend money for. 
  • Maintain its good health. While illnesses can never be prevented, you can keep your Maltese healthy for the most part. Health issues common in older dogs, including white dog shaker syndrome and patellar luxation, should be diagnosed and treated early to save more money. Allowing your pup’s condition to worsen over time results in more expensive vet bills.
  • Invest in quality items. This goes for all things, be it food, chew toys, hygiene products, or medicine. Low-quality products take a shorter time to deteriorate, leading you to repurchase them again and again. Invest in good quality items so you won’t have to buy the same item repeatedly.
  • Get really involved with your Maltese. Don’t be afraid to get creative in aspects you know you can handle. If you know that walking your Maltese or doing a little trimming here and there isn’t too much trouble for you, then go ahead and do it. Dog sitters and pet boardings are great for when you’re out of town, but if you’re looking to save up, do the walking and grooming yourself. 

Just because you have a purebred dog as regal and gorgeous as a Maltese doesn’t mean you have to spend a hefty sum of money.

Remember, there is nothing wrong with spoiling your furbaby, but always keep your finances in check and make sure you don’t go broke in the process. 

Final Thoughts

One might be tempted to think that having a small dog breed like Maltese is relatively easy and cheap. After all, their size is not intimidating.

However, this is quite a big misconception. Most breeders produce puppies that are properly socialized and well-adapted to a home setting, so they can get a bit pricey.

Moreover, even as small dogs, maintaining Maltese’s health and grooming needs is physically and financially challenging compared to other breeds.

If you really want to cut some costs, follow the money-saving tips stated in this article, or better yet, adopt a Maltese from a rescue or animal shelter.

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