8 Best Dog Foods for Maltese in 2022 – Reviews & Top Picks


little dog maltese eating food from a bowl at home

Maltese dogs are affectionate, curious, and fearful companions. As one of the oldest dog breeds in the world, this toy breed is relatively easy to care for. They’re people-pleasers at heart, but they are spunky little dogs that aren’t afraid of a challenge.

It can be difficult to find the right dog food for small and toy breeds. While you want to find nutritious, high-quality dog food, you also need to find a food that your Maltese finds palatable. It needs to be easily digested and flavorful. Since these dogs have a few health problems that they are prone to developing, it’s also important to find a dog food that works for your dog, not against them.

To help you do this, we developed reviews on the best dog foods for Maltese. Read on to find foods for your tiny companion that are delicious, nutritious, and budget-friendly.

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A Quick Glimpse at Our Favorites in 2022

Image Product Details

Best Overall

Winner

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult
  • Easy to digest

  • Whole ingredients

  • Balanced nutrient ratios


  • Best Value

    Second place

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Small Breed Dog Food

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Small Breed Dog Food
  • Grain-free

  • High-protein

  • Good for food sensitivities


  • Premium Choice

    Third place

    ORIJEN Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    ORIJEN Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Freeze-dried raw

  • All-natural ingredients

  • First five ingredients are proteins

  • Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small Breed Dog Food

    Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small Breed Dog Food
  • High good quality-protein

  • Grain-free for sensitive stomach

  • Tastes good

  • Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Adult Dog Food

    Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Adult Dog Food
  • High fiber

  • Promotes weight lose

  • The 8 Best Dog Foods for Maltese — Reviews & Top Picks 2022

    1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult — Best Overall

    Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult

    Check Price on Chewy
    Brand: Blue Buffalo
    Life stage: Adult
    First five ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, oatmeal, barley
    Primary protein source: Chicken
    Food Form: Dry food
    Special Diet: No corn, wheat, or soy, with grain

    To stay healthy, Maltese dogs require a balanced ratio of macronutrients, fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed is formulated specifically for the needs of small breed dogs, including Maltese, which makes it our recommendation for the best overall dog food for Maltese dogs.

    The small, easy-to-chew kibble is protein-rich and enhanced with vitamins, minerals, and a blend of antioxidants to support your dog’s immune system while promoting muscle development. You won’t find any by-products or fillers in this food, only whole ingredients. Since it is wheat, corn, and soy-free, it’s a great choice for dogs that have sensitive digestive systems.

    Pros
    • Whole ingredients
    • No byproducts
    • Easy to digest
    Cons
    • Not grain-free

    2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Small Breed Dog Food — Best Value

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Small Breed Dog Food

    Check Price on Chewy
    Brand: Blue Buffalo
    Life stage: Adult
    First five ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, pea protein, peas, tapioca starch
    Primary protein source: Chicken
    Food Form: Dry food
    Special Diet: High-protein, grain-free, no corn, wheat, or soy

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness is a great choice for Maltese dogs with allergies or food sensitivities. It’s also the best dog food for Maltese for the money. It’s made with chicken, peas, sweet potatoes, blueberries, cranberries, and carrots mixed to create the perfect protein, fat, and carbohydrates ratio. It’s rich in antioxidants to support immune function and protein to support muscle mass.

    While this food is designed for dogs with sensitive stomachs, it doesn’t work for all dogs. Some dogs still have difficulty digesting the food; in this case, you may need food with more limited ingredients.

    Pros
    • Grain-free
    • High-protein
    • Good for food sensitivities
    • Budget-friendly
    Cons
    • Pea-derived protein in the formula
    • Not tolerated by all dogs

    3. ORIJEN Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food — Premium Choice

    ORIJEN Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    Check Price on Chewy
    Brand: ORIJEN
    Life stage: Adult/Senior
    First five ingredients: Chicken, turkey, Atlantic flounder, whole Atlantic mackerel, turkey giblets
    Primary protein source: Turkey and chicken
    Food Form: Dry food
    Special Diet: Grain-free, high-protein, weight control, gluten-free, natural, raw, no corn, wheat, or soy

    ORIJEN offers one of the best senior foods on the market for small breeds like the Maltese. This variety is our premium choice, as it’s almost double the price of most other dog foods. It is high-quality, high-protein food, however. If you’re looking for a grain-free food to support your Maltese’s health, support joint, and immune function, and keep them active into their golden years, look no further.

    This food contains no fillers or artificial ingredients. The first five ingredients are all proteins, while the rest of the list contains whole fruits and vegetables. It is dry food, but it’s freeze-dried raw food, so all the nutrition of whole ingredients is preserved.

    The primary protein in ORIJEN senior food is chicken. Unfortunately, this food doesn’t come in any non-poultry varieties. If your dog has sensitivities to chicken or turkey, this food won’t work for you. It also gives off a fairly strong fish smell, so it’s best kept in a sealed, air-proof container once the bag is opened.

    Pros
    • All-natural ingredients
    • Freeze-dried raw
    • First five ingredients are proteins
    Cons
    • Only comes in poultry recipes
    • Strong smell
    • Expensive

    4. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small Breed Dog Food

    Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small Breed Dog Food

    Check Price on Chewy
    Brand: Wellness CORE
    Life stage: Adult
    First five ingredients: Deboned turkey, turkey meal, chicken meal, lentils, peas
    Primary protein source: Turkey and chicken
    Food Form: Dry food
    Special Diet: Grain-free, gluten-free, no corn, wheat, or soy, high-protein

    If your Maltese has a sensitive stomach or food allergies, check out this grain-free food from Wellness CORE. It has a complete nutritional profile, contains high-quality ingredients, and has no grains of any kind. The high-protein levels provide dense energy for your small dog, and it tastes good!

    While this food is formulated for dogs with allergies, it still contains chicken as one of the top ingredients. Since chicken is the most common offending protein for dogs with digestive sensitivities, it won’t work for all dogs.

    Pros
    • Grain-free for sensitive stomach
    • High protein
    • Tastes good
    Cons
    • Chicken is the primary protein source

    5. Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Adult Dog Food

    Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Adult Dog Food

    Check Price on Chewy
    Brand: Wellness
    Life stage: Adult
    First five ingredients: Deboned turkey, chicken meal, salmon meal, oatmeal, rice, barley
    Primary protein source: Turkey and brown rice
    Food Form: Dry food
    Special Diet: Weight control, no corn, wheat, or soy, with grain

    If your adult Maltese has a weight problem, this is the food for you. Instead of depriving your little one with less-than-desirable diet food, give them a food specially formulated to help small breed dogs lose weight. This kibble from Wellness offers tasty food that is low in calories but still offers complete nutrition. Added probiotics and fiber help with digestion, and there are no fillers or byproducts.

    Wellness dry dog food has larger chunks of kibble than you would expect out of a small breed food. In most cases, this just helps your dog chew and eat slower, therefore consuming less at a time. If you have a senior Maltese with dental problems, though, this food might be too difficult for them to chew.

    Pros
    • Promotes weight lose
    • High fiber
    Cons
    • Large kibble chunks

    6. Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    Check Price on Chewy
    Brand: Merrick
    Life stage: Adult
    First five ingredients: Deboned beef, lamb meal, salmon meal, sweet potatoes, potatoes
    Primary protein source: Beef and sweet potato
    Food Form: Dry food
    Special Diet: Grain-free, no corn, wheat, or soy, gluten-free, sensitive digestion

    To keep little dogs satisfied, Merrick offers a high-protein, high-fat formula. We’re reviewing the Texas beef and sweet potato recipe here, but Lil’ Plates dry food comes in eight different flavor options. Merrick is the brand to look for if your Maltese needs a novel protein food due to a sensitivity or digestion issue.

    Merrick is a food brand with large kibble that isn’t appropriate for dogs with dental issues; however, it does make the same nutritious recipes in wet food if that is a concern. It is also a more expensive brand of food than many other small breed choices.

    Pros
    • Many recipe choices
    • High protein
    • High fat
    • Also available as wet food
    Cons
    • Large kibble
    • Expensive

    7. Halo Holistic Chicken Small Breed Dry Dog Food

    Halo Holistic Chicken Small Breed Dry Dog Food

    Check Price on Chewy
    Brand: Halo
    Life stage: Adult
    First five ingredients: Chicken, chicken liver, dried egg product, dried peas, oatmeal
    Primary protein source: Chicken and chicken liver
    Food Form: Dry food
    Special Diet: With grain, non-GMO

    Halo is well-known for having high-quality ingredients in its pet food, and this recipe for small breed dogs is no exception. It’s made with wholesome, natural ingredients, with small kibble bites filled with dense nutrition. Although not in high quantities, there is grain in this food, and it’s enriched with vitamins and minerals to provide complete nutrition for your Maltese.

    This food isn’t a good choice for picky eaters, though, as many dogs don’t seem to like the flavor. It is also a strong-smelling food, so it’s probably not one that you want sitting in the open for too long.

    Pros
    • Natural ingredients
    • Small kibble pieces
    • Complete nutrient profile
    Cons
    • Not all dogs like it
    • Strong smell

    8. American Journey Small Breed Adult Grain-Free Dog Food

    American Journey Small Breed Adult Grain-Free Dog Food

    Check Latest Price
    Brand: American Journey
    Life stage: Adult
    First five ingredients: Deboned salmon, chicken meal, turkey meal, chickpeas, sweet potatoes
    Primary protein source: Salmon
    Food Form: Dry food
    Special Diet: Grain-free, no corn, wheat, or soy, high-protein

    To meet the high-energy brand of your Maltese, American Journey has made its grain-free, small breed dog food with salmon and chicken meal as the top two ingredients. The fish contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to give your dog a healthy coat and skin. The chicken meal contains glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate to support joint health.

    American Journey’s kibble is bite-sized for small mouths, so it’s easy for little dogs to chew. This food is also high in fiber, so your dog won’t have to eat as much to feel full, which is great news for their waistline and your pocketbook.

    This is one of very few small dog recipes with a novel protein. If your dog has sensitivities to poultry or beef, it’s a great food to try. It is a bit higher in calories than we’d like to see in small breed dog food, though. It’s also considered a high-fiber food, which isn’t always necessary. That said, the fibers are from natural ingredients.

    Pros
    • Novel protein
    • Bite-sized kibble pieces
    Cons
    • High calories

     

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Dog Foods for Your Maltese

    With so many small breed dog foods available, finding one that’s reliable for your Maltese can be a challenge. Hopefully, this list of reviews has helped you find one that fits your needs, but if you still can’t decide, here is a handy buyer’s guide to addressing common questions and concerns about buying food for Maltese dogs.

    What to Look For in Maltese Dog Food

    Whole Food Ingredients

    Any time you buy dog food, your number-one focus should be on wholesome, high-quality ingredients. This means meat should be the first ingredient, followed by healthy fats and carbohydrates, ideally ones that come from whole grains.

    If your Maltese doesn’t have digestive issues or food sensitivities, you don’t need to buy grain-free food. Grains aren’t bad for dogs; it’s just that they can irritate some dogs’ digestive systems, much like in people.

    If your Maltese does have digestive issues, food allergies, or skin issues, it’s usually best to stick to a limited-ingredient food.

    Quality Proteins

    Maltese thrive on high-protein diets, but the protein should come from real meat sources, like chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, or fish. It’s okay for dog food to contain meal ingredients, like chicken meal, but you should avoid meat by-products whenever possible.

    Healthy Fats

    Healthy fats promote your dog’s skin and coat health. While indoor dogs don’t need as much fat as active dogs, any dog should get plenty of exercise. Small dogs, in particular, don’t eat that much food, so they need it to contain as much protein and fat for energy as possible.

    Ingredients to Avoid

    There are many dog food brands that offer high-quality ingredients and great-tasting food. Unfortunately, there are also many brands that don’t. It’s easy to find a cheap dog food full of fillers, artificial additives, and low-quality ingredients. To avoid buying the wrong one, you need to know what you’re looking for.

    Things to avoid include:
    • Fillers: excessive carbohydrates in the formula derived from wheat, corn, rice, or starchy vegetables.
    • Artificial additives: Colors, flavors, and preservatives are often found in dog food. They can make food last longer, taste better, and look better, but these are common culprits for poor skin and coat health, digestive issues, and allergic reactions.
    • Animal byproducts: Meat byproducts are the “leftovers” from meat processing that aren’t considered safe for human consumption. While these aren’t unhealthy for your dog, the problem is that you don’t know what exactly you’re getting. There aren’t any standards for which byproducts can be put into dog food. It is better to choose products naming exactly what is in the food, for example, chicken liver, chicken heart.

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    Conclusion

    Hopefully, you have a good handle on what dog foods are best for your Maltese. To recap, our recommendation as the best overall dog food for Maltese is Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult. It has a well-balanced nutritional profile, small kibble pieces that are easy to chew, and tons of vitamins and minerals to keep your dog healthy. We also recommend Blue Buffalo Wilderness Small Breed Dog Food as the best value for the money. This is a budget-friendly food that doesn’t compromise on quality, nutrition, or flavor and is designed for dogs with sensitive stomachs.


    Featured Image Credit: Monika Wisniewska, Shutterstock

    The post 8 Best Dog Foods for Maltese in 2022 – Reviews & Top Picks appeared first on Pet Keen.

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