Many people wonder how long it will take their Maltese to grow and how much they should weigh as puppies till they become adults.
The Maltese dogs are usually a tiny breed, what they weigh varies from one dog to the other, irrespective of how old they are.
How much does a Maltese weigh? An adult Maltese can weigh between 2 to 7 pounds for both males and females. Both genders are having very similar weights and they tend to stop growing at the age of 12 to 15 months. After they become adults, their weight mainly depends on their diet, activity level, health condition and etc.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the ideal weight of Maltese dog should be below 7 pounds if the dog is to compete in their show and get a certification, this is a strict policy. But it is not uncommon to have Malteses that weighed 8 or even 9 pounds; they just not able to compete in show competition.
If your Maltese is not for the show biz, then you are in the clear, although if they are overweight, that could also be a problem.
All Malteses vary in weight even at the same developmental age. Several factors could influence how much a Maltese would weigh and how tall they’ll be at adulthood.
The sex of the dog is not a determining factor of how much they’ll weigh, although the male Maltese is usually a few inches taller than the female.
The Anticipated Size of a Maltese
The expected growth of a Maltese cannot be absolute, how they grow is dependent on a couple of factors, which includes;
- Hereditary factors
- Activity level
- Health status
The genetic factors play a significant role in determining the overall size of this breed. The genes inherited from their parents predetermines the rate of growth and development throughout their lives.
The size of the parents can give you a rough estimate of how the puppy will look, although in some cases, they may become bigger than their parents. Other factors also contribute, but the gene is the most critical factor.
The amount of food you feed your Maltese also plays a significant role. If you overfeed him, there’s the tendency for the dog becoming overweight.
On the other hand, not feeding it enough could make the dog underweight and stunt its growth. Either way could pose specific threats to their general health status.
You should feed your Maltese with premium dog food that is low in fillers and additives but has a high nutritional content. While he is a puppy, feeding him twice a day is appropriate, then you can regulate the feeding schedule as he grows.
Avoid giving them sweets as they are prone to teeth and gum problems. It has been ascertained that by merely improving your Maltese’s diet, you can improve their general life expectancy by up to two years or more.
Exercises also influence the size of your Maltese. Engaging your Maltese in regular exercise works their heart and improves blood circulation. This increases their bone density and strengthens their muscle and free movement in their joints, keeping them at a healthy weight.
Since Malteses likely going to behave like their owners, if you are laid back, your Maltese will mirror you and become laid back too. Taking them on walks for at least 20 minutes a day improves their quality of life.
The health status of your Maltese can affect his size. If he is sick with an infection, worms, or congenital disease (a disease present since birth), the growth rate of your Maltese will be affected.
Some of these congenital diseases like liver shunt and patent ductus arteriosus are life-threatening. It is paramount to take them to the vet immediately if this is the case.
Maltese Growth Chart
All the numbers are in ounces except the expected adult weight, which is in pounds. First, convert your Maltese weight from pounds to ounces (16oz =1lb). Determine your Maltese age on the left side of the chart, then go along that roll until you get to your present Maltese weight (still in ounces).
Finally, follow the column you found its present weight to the end to get the expected adult weight in pounds. Keeping a close eye on this chart is important.
In some cases, your Maltese might not follow this pattern, that does not mean there’s a problem; it could just be bigger due to unavoidable factors like genes.
The table below shows the average weight a Maltese should be at various stages of development.
Maltese Growth Curve (Weight in Ounces)
(1 day old)
|Final Adult Weight in Pounds||2||2.5||3||3.5||4||4.5||5||5.5||6||6.5||7|
Note: 16 ounces = 1 pound
These data apply to both male and female Maltese as both genders have a very similar weight. The data is just approximations and can differ from dog to dog.
It is expected that a Maltese gains weight every day from birth until it is nine months of age. As the puppy approaches nine months, weight gain slows down. From when it is nine months to adulthood, weight gain is entirely due to external factors like diet and activity.
Some breed of dogs typically become adults as from 18 to 24 months, but a Maltese becomes fully grown at 12 to 15 months. At this point, they are considered adults.
They should be about 10 inches in height from the floor to their shoulders; this is regarded as the average for this breed.
Is Your Maltese Overweight or Underweight?
Since the Malteses are a small breed, it might be challenging to know whether or not they are the right weight. It is quite easy for them to slip and either be overweight or underweight if proper attention is not given to them and how much they eat.
There are particular signs to look out for to determine if your Maltese has an unhealthy weight:
Examining the ribs: This is the most obvious way to know if your Maltese is overweight or underweight. At a healthy weight, you should be able to feel your Maltese ribs with a thin pad of fat over them along their sides.
But if your Maltese is overweight, feeling their ribs might be difficult because of the excess “padding” of fat. On the other hand, when your pet is underweight, their ribs are usually very prominent.
Hip contour: In a healthy Maltese, you can feel the contour between the ribs and the hips as a slight indentation. It usually looks like an hourglass figure when staring at it from above.
In an underweight Maltese, the contour is overly exaggerated, while in an overweight Maltese, the contour is difficult to detect.
Energy levels: A healthy Maltese has optimal energy levels, but in overweight and underweight Maltese, there is insufficient energy even to play.
However, the best way to know of your Maltese’s weight status is by going to the veterinarian’s office and keeping adequate track of their weight.
In some instances, the bone density of the Maltese may be high (large bones); this can increase the weight of the Maltese.
Why a Maltese Might Be Underweight?
There are several reasons why a Maltese could become underweight. It could be as a result of unsanitary care by the breeder, and this can affect the development of the dog. Another reason why your Maltese could be underweight is if it is underfed.
When you don’t feed your Maltese well enough, it will be underweight because it is not receiving the right kind of nutrition, which it needs to stay healthy.
Having an underlying health issue can also affect your Maltese’s body weight. When a Maltese is underweight, they usually suffer hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), this can make them lethargic and fatigued.
Why a Maltese Might Be Overweight
Overfeeding plays a significant role in making your Maltese overweight. As earlier mentioned, feeding your Maltese with dog food that has a lot of additives, fillers, and low nutritional value could cause an unhealthy weight gain.
It is important to monitor what and when your Maltese is eating. If possible, have a well thought out schedule, so that the right amount of food is served at the right time.
Another critical point to mention is inadequate exercise. When your dog is not getting enough exercise, it can become overweight.
Being overweight can cause a lot of health issues for Maltese dogs, especially in their joints because they are small-boned dogs, and they will be carrying excessive weight.
Maltese Feeding Habits
Generally, the Maltese dogs are picky eaters. They are selective with what they eat, but usually eat almost anything when they are hungry. It is crucial only to feed them during a scheduled time and give them treats sparingly because they are prone to obesity.
Ensure giving them table scraps does not become a habit. Adult Malteses are supposed to eat less frequently than the growing pups. When you notice your Maltese is very selective, give it chicken – without the bone.
They generally like chicken. You can even add it to their food, and this can boost their appetite.
Many factors could affect how your Maltese eats. These are some of the factors:
A New Environment
When a Maltese is in a new place, it tries to examine its new owners before it gets comfortable enough to eat; otherwise, it won’t eat. Maltese dogs are very cautious.
It is vital to gain their trust by first hand feeding them before getting a dog bowl. You should ask the breeder about the dog’s feeding habits, and the breeders feed of choice.
Try to get the exact type and wean it off the feed slowly if you decide to change what it was fed with while it was with the breeder. Raising your Maltese in a loving atmosphere builds trust.
When it has gained your confidence, feeding it would not be hectic. On no account should you force-feed it because it can associate such hostility with feeding, which can further decrease its appetite.
Scheduling their meals at the same time twice a day while they are growing up is very beneficial. They learn to use cues from their environment to determine when it is time to eat.
Tooth decay is usually a common health problem of the Maltese. It can affect how much they eat or if they even eat at all.
Always inspect their mouths regularly for tooth decay; if there is any, it should be removed as it can cause discomfort for them when they eat. Making the food soft enough for them to chew also helps.
Small indigestible objects are hazardous for the Maltese. Try to keep it away from them. Your Maltese can mistake them for food and swallow them, which can block its tiny throat and stomach.
This can cause difficulty while eating and even harm them. If you notice heavy breathing or unease, and you suspect it’s as a result of stomach difficulty swallow, rush to the vet as it could be life-threatening.
When your Maltese is ill, it might find it difficult to eat and will refuse to eat. If you notice your Maltese is fatigued and has lower energy than usual, take it to the vet. Such illnesses may range from mild to severe. If it is detected in time, proper intervention can ensue.
As earlier mentioned, Malteses are very cautious, so it is crucial to introduce new food to them gradually. As you do this, pay attention to how they react to the food.
Observe their stool and if the new food doesn’t go well with them, change it. Make sure it is nutritious, high in protein, and it doesn’t have fillers.
When They Have Already Eaten
When your dog has already eaten, it will not eat again. It could have eaten food from the floor, or it could have been fed by someone else. Always keep an eye out for your Maltese.
If possible, inform your neighbors of your dog’s feeding schedule so that they don’t feed it causally or tamper with your scheduled time of feeding.
Malteses are a proud breed, and sometimes they might want to dominate their owners by playing alpha. They usually do this by not eating what you give them. They might walk away from the food. Do not allow this because they will start thinking they can dominate you.
When they exhibit power trips like this, do not change the food; instead, remove it from their reach. If they don’t see the food when they are hungry, they realize they are not the alpha and relinquish their dominating power.
Weight and Size Info of Some Common Maltese Mixes
Below are some common maltese cross breeds and what they weigh when they become adults.
- Maltipoo: This is a breed of Maltese gotten by crossbreeding a Maltese and a Poodle. Although not recognized by the American kennel club, they are a common crossbreed. They usually weigh between 5 to 20 pounds and are generally about 5 to 15 inches tall at the shoulders.
- Maltipom: This hybrid is gotten when a Pomeranian is crossed with a Maltese. They usually weigh about 4 to 9 pounds and are 8 to 12 inches tall on the average.
- Malshi: Malshi is the result of crossbreeding a purebred Maltese and a Shih Tzu. It weighs about the same as the Maltipoo but is a bit taller at 5 to 20 inches at the shoulders.
- Maltipug: This breed results from breeding a Maltese and a Pug. They weigh about 10 to 20 pounds and are about 10-14 inches tall at the shoulders.
- Malchi: When a Maltese and a Chihuahua are crossbred, a malchi is the result. They are, on average, about 12 to 14 inches tall at the shoulders and weigh 5 to 12 pounds.
- Morkie: This is a hybrid gotten when a Yorkshire Terrier is crossed with a Maltese. They are about 4 to 8 inches tall and weigh about 7 to 13 pounds.
- Malteagle: When a Maltese and a Beagle are crossed, the resulting breed is a malteagle. It weighs about 15 to 22 pounds, and it is about 9 to 15 inches tall.
- Maltichon: A maltichon is a hybrid resulting from crossbreeding Maltese and a Bichon Frise. They are about 8 to 10 inches tall and weigh 9 to 14 pounds.
Finally, Malteses are special dogs that require a lot of attention, especially growing up. Proper care is needed to raise them from puppies to adulthood.
The majority of the Maltese hybrids are not recognized by the kennel club; breeders usually breed them to be designer dogs because they have a portable size and are typically furry.
Their weight and height vary from one breed to the other. No two Malteses are the same, and even when they are born the same day, they usually grow at different rates.
Having a general knowledge about their expected growth rate is very important to know when they get off track.
Keeping a regular veterinarian’s appointment can help detect and treat any disease condition that might impede the progress of your Maltese growth. It might take a village to raise a child, but it only takes a very vigilant you to raise a Maltese.