Maltese are more and more popular dogs. The small companion full of energy arouses sympathy from the first meeting. It is cheerful, lively and looks charming, but in order to maintain this state both now and in the future, it is necessary to take care of proper food. Every owner wants their Maltese to enjoy their meals, but it is equally important that they provide a balanced amount of nutrients and do not cause digestive problems or allergies.
Feeding a Maltese puppy
When a young dog comes to us from a breeder we should apply a gradual transition to the food we want to use. Usually, we will receive with the puppy a supply for a few days, but it’s worth knowing the brand – and making a bigger supply for ourselves in case the pooch adapts to the new diet longer than we anticipate. We suggest transitioning in small steps, mixing the existing food with the new food:
- 1 week – ¼ of the new and ¾ of the old Maltese food
- 2 week – ½ of the new food and ½ of the old Maltese food
- 3 week – ¾ of the new food and ¼ of the old Maltese food
From the fourth week onwards we have been feeding only the new food. It is possible that at this stage we will have to make several attempts, as a Maltese can be fussy. The content and quality of the food will be discussed later, but in general we have a choice between a properly arranged home diet and ready-made food for small breed puppies. The feeding decision at this stage can have an impact on the feeding of the adult dog, who is likely to be resistant to change (e.g. from homemade food to dry food).
How often to feed a Maltese puppy and how much food to give?
Up to the age of 12 weeks, a Maltese puppy can eat as much as it wants, but it is important to keep the food fresh – keep small amounts of dog food in the bowl, replacing it frequently with a new portion.
Maltese puppies, from 12 weeks to 9 months of age, should get 3 or 4 meals a day. At this point, it is already necessary to respect a certain amount of food, because if there are no restrictions, the Maltese can eat too much. The number of daily meals is very important because Maltese puppies are prone to hypoglycemia. As a guide, it should be assumed that a puppy needs around 400 calories a day (around 55 calories per kilogram of body weight). However, this value can change slightly depending on activity, health and individual metabolism.
A year-old adult Maltese can already go for 2 meals a day, and about 200 calories (45 calories per kilogram of body weight). However, keep in mind that this is a small breed and, as with feeding yorkies, the frequency of feeding 3 times a day won’t be wrong either. It all depends on what your dog prefers.
Always check your dog’s weight – if it becomes overweight or underweight, its diet should be corrected. In such cases, a veterinary consultation is also necessary to rule out possible illnesses. It’s also worth examining labels – there are usually instructions on them, which allow you to easily determine the appropriate portions of food.
The best food for puppies and adult Maltese
When choosing food for your Maltese, you should be guided above all by quality. This means avoid foods with a high content of fillers such as cereals, corn bran, peanut shells, oat hulls etc., and artificial additives such as preservatives, colourings, flavourings etc.
What we will particularly look for is a high meat content like chicken, turkey, lamb, rabbit. Other healthy ingredients are also desirable – fish oil, vegetables, fruit. When buying, it’s also worth paying attention to the size of the food – it must be adjusted to the capabilities of the Maltese.
In case you want to prepare the food yourself, you should get acquainted with the rules of preparing a home diet for a dog, as well as the advisable and forbidden products.
It’s worth noting that good quality food can be more calorific, because in smaller quantities it contains more values for the dog. This in turn means smaller portions, but there is nothing wrong with that – your dog will be just as full and will receive all the necessary ingredients.