Maltese mommies and daddies want to do right by their little munchkins, whether it's with a pretty haircut, a beneficial exercise plan or the best diet. Nutrition-wise, there are certain foods that can optimize maltese health, and offering these foods will help enhance your little one's well-being.
Maltese Weight and Calorie Needs
The recommended weight range for a healthy adult Maltese is about four to seven pounds. They should consume anywhere from 250 to 325 calories per day, but this depends on specific weight, activity and general health. Pet parents should verify these numbers and cross check with their vet.
Whatever your baby's exact number is, it's generally recommended that dogs consume a diet of at least 50 percent animal protein, 25 percent carbs and 15 to 18 percent fats.
The backbone of the diet, animal proteins, will comprise at least half of your maltese's meals. These foods include meats, eggs and dairy, and meat is the most important. Maltese parents might experiment with small doses of eggs and dairy, monitoring for any tummy issues.
Recommended meats include organs, chicken, fish, lamb, bison and, sometimes, lean ground beef. Many dogs can't tolerate beef, so if your little one hasn't tried it, offer just a smidgen at first.
Recommended Vegetables and Starches
Dogs are carnivores, but they need vegetables too. This makes sense, as back in the day when their ancestors hunted, they would eat their entire prey, including partially digested vegetable matter. Your Maltese might enjoy veggies like carrots, peas, leafy greens, white and sweet potatoes, green beans and more. If veggies are new to your pup, offer cooked versions, and she might even enjoy an occasional piece of fruit. Recommended starches include brown and white rice, and pasta.
Fats round out the diet, offering flavor, calories, and vitamins E, D, A and K. Some fats, especially certain oils, contain beneficial essential fatty acids that can help keep your Maltese's fur soft, her skin healthy and her immune system running smoothly. Oils like wild salmon oil and flax oil contain omega-3 fatty acids, and many dogs love the taste. Your little buddy will also get some fats within the meats she is eating.
Whether you're feeding your Maltese homemade foods or commercial, you'll want to make sure these important ingredients are included. If you feed commercial, choose a high quality brand with a known meat source as the first ingredient, followed by vegetables and healthy fats. If switching to a homemade diet, you can slowly begin incorporating meats, vegetables, starches and fats into your baby's diet. After a month or two, she should be fully acclimated to her new menu.
Sarah Whitman's work has been featured in newspapers, magazines, websites and informational booklets. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in nutrition, and her projects feature nutrition and cooking, whole foods, supplements and organics. She also specializes in companion animal health, encouraging the use of whole foods, supplements and other holistic approaches to pet care.