Not all dogs were created equal, and neither were their dietary needs. While all dogs share some basic nutritional requirements -- calcium for healthy bones and teeth, fatty acids for a shiny coat -- things such as age, weight and possible health problems factor differently into a dog's diet, depending on breed. Maltese dogs are susceptible to excessive weight gain and teeth and gum weaknesses. Their diets should be healthy and lean, and high in natural calcium.
As a general rule, meat should comprise 40 to 50 per cent of a Maltese dog's diet, with 25 to 35 per cent each of vegetables and starch. Lean chicken, fish, or lamb food products are healthy choices for Maltese, as are carrots, peas, green beans, spinach, rice and grains. As with all breeds, homemade dog foods are much healthier than even the best product brands, but if you buy dog food ready-made, look for products that are high in calcium, Omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains, fibre and antioxidants.
Keeping dry food available for Maltese dogs at all times can lead to poor eating habits and unhealthy weight gain. Therefore, it is important to feed your Maltese on a schedule, even for puppies. Feed a mix of 2/3 dry to 1/3 wet food to puppies six months and younger 3 to 4 times a day. Gradually work the dog down to two meals a day. By the time a Maltese is two years old, it should eat 14.2gr of dog food per pound, once or twice a day.
Treats and snacks can be given to puppies and adults, but should only be used to reward good behaviour. Give your Maltese any doggy treat in moderation, but for more regular or frequent snacks, stick to calcium-rich dog biscuits.
Weight is an important factor of the Maltese dog's diet, given the breed's susceptibility to gain excess weight easily. You don't want to feed your Maltese any fewer or any more calories than needed. There is a simple formula you can perform in order to ensure appropriate calorie intake, but you need to know your dog's weight, which can vary week by week. To determine your Maltese's daily caloric needs, divide the weight of your dog, in pounds, by 2.2. Multiply that number by 30, and add 70. This is the amount of calories your dog should consume each day to maintain its weight. If your Maltese is overweight, reduce the calorie intake a bit under veterinary supervision.