Canine Bible is reader-supported. We receive affiliate commissions via some of our links. This doesn’t affect rankings. Learn more.
This is the most comprehensive Maltese homemade dog food guide.
Are you considering making food for your Maltese? It is essential to understand the nutritional needs of the Maltese dog to prepare the best homemade dog food meals.
Maltese are a beautiful breed of dog. They are small, affectionate, and make great companions. However, Maltese can be prone to certain health problems, so it’s important to feed them a nutritious and well-balanced diet.
We’ll cover everything you need to know, from what ingredients to use, benefits, and recipes to how to prepare them. By the end, you’ll be a pro at making delicious, healthy Maltese dog food. Let’s get started!
Benefits, risks & nutritional guidelines
Maltese Homemade Dog Food Benefits
These are some of the main benefits of cooking homemade meals for your Maltese.
- Healthy eating habits
- Quality control
- More affordable
- Portion size control
- Fresh ingredients
- Dietary requirements can be met
Board-certified veterinary nutritionists and diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, Jennifer A. Larsen, DVM, MS, Ph.D., and Joe Bartges, DVM, Ph.D., agree that switching to homemade dog food comes with great advantages such as diet management, appeasing picky eaters, bond-building, combatting food intolerance and allergies issues, and avoid concern over food recalls.
Further benefits include preventing many conditions associated with a poor diet, such as obesity, poor skin, coat condition, pancreatitis, diabetes, and reduced immunity.
Food And Maltese Health: Why Feed Homemade?
Research shows that dogs that eat fresh food diets are linked to a 20% longer lifespan than those who don’t. A year-long study of 522 dogs by Lippert and Sapy found that dogs fed high-quality, freshly made, real food had an average life expectancy of 13.1 years versus just 10.4 years for dogs fed commercially processed pet food.
Home-cooked meals for dogs also ensure that your pup always eats fresh, wholesome, and allergen-free foods as no chemicals, additives, or fillers are used when cooking at home, preventing allergies.
More importantly, you have control over the ingredients used. You can pick safe ingredients that you know won’t trigger allergies in your Maltese.
If you are unsure what ingredients may cause sensitivities or allergies in your pet, we advise doing an At-Home Food Dog Allergy Test before selecting the ingredients for their next meal.
Maltese Homemade Dog Food Risks
Understanding the risks of cooking for your dog is essential to providing a balanced diet. Here are the most common ones.
- Not understanding the nutritional needs of Maltese
- Using inadequate or dangerous recipes
- Not preparing a balanced meal
- Using unsafe or harmful ingredients
- Not understanding the impact of food and dietary changes
- Not understanding your dog’s life stages (puppies, adults & senior) nutritional needs
- Neglecting your dog’s health conditions
A study by the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary found that most homemade dog food recipes lack key essential nutrients, and other recipes used dangerously high levels of some nutrients.
Even more shocking, research published in The Journal of Nutritional Science concluded that 48% of homemade dog diets had an imprecise determination of ingredients and quantities and that 71.3 % of dog owners did know how much food to serve per meal. What’s more alarming is that 30.4% of the pet parents admitted to purposely changing the recipe, 40% of owners didn’t measure the proportions of the ingredients well enough, and 28.3% didn’t use any of the recommended vitamins or minerals or amino acid.
In a survey published in the journal Preventive Veterinary Medicine, vets reported 97% of obesity cases in dogs could be traced to how owners fed and played with their pets.
It’s vital to understand that dogs’ nutritional requirements are unique. We recommend consulting with a veterinary nutritionist who can address your Maltese’s dietary requirements and help you craft nutritionally balanced recipes or recommend a homemade food service for convenience.
Maltese Nutritional Guidelines to Follow
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AFFCO) (the entity regulating dog food nutritional value in commercial dog food) states there are six indispensable nutrients that all dog meals require to support life and function in dogs and provide a balanced and healthy diet.
A proper homemade diet should also consider your pup’s weight, health conditions, size, and activity level.
Your Maltese will grow strong and healthy if these six components are present. Below is a breakdown of each nutrient and its importance.
|Protein||Chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, fish, yogurt and cooked eggs||Builds and repairs muscles and other body tissues. Needed to make new skin cells, grow hair, hormones, enzymes and more.
|Carbohydrates||Oats, brown rice, potatoes, and whole wheat||Source of energy for dogs and supplies glucose needed by the brain, nervous system and other critical organs for normal function.
|Fat||From meats and oils such as olive or sunflower oil, fish oil, canola oils among others||Responsible for providing quality energy. Necessary for the normal development and function of body cells, nerves, muscles, and body tissues
|Minerals||Calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, zinc, etc.||Common functions include the formation of bone and cartilage, nerve and muscle function, fluid balance regulation, the transportation of oxygen in the bloodstream and hormone production.
|Water||Water||Hydration is critical in dogs. A dog that loses too much water (10% to 15% of the water in his body) can get very sick and even die. Ensure they have water available throughout the day.
|Vitamins||A, B, C, D, E, and K||Keeps skin and coat healthy, strengthens bones and teeth, and gives them the overall energy that they need to function.
You may also want to add a multivitamin like Zesty Paws Multivitamin Chews to ensure your Maltese pup gets the recommended balance of vitamins and minerals.
Be sure to consult a veterinary nutritionist to help create a diet plan for your Maltese. Formulating a completely balanced diet without professional help can be a tedious process.
If you need more advice on Maltese nutrition, an excellent resource is Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets: the Healthful Alternative by Donald R. Strombeck, DVM, Ph.D., a long-time expert in veterinary medicine. This book it’s considered by many pet nutritionists to be the Bible of healthy homemade dog nutrition.
Health Dietary Changes In Malteses
We recommend adjusting the diet for Maltese if she is experiencing any of the food-related issues below.
|Condition||Dietary Needs & Adjustments
|Coat Color Changes||Increase amino acids which can be found in protein (>75 grams per 1000 calories)|
|Concurrent GI Signs||Avoid foods with tryptamine and histamine such as dairy or fermented vegetables and meats (yes, this includes bacon); try a simple ingredient food trial
|Chronic Itching and Dermatitis||Fortify the diet with Vitamin E, B Vitamins, Zinc, omega-6 and the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil; add a dog probiotic; try a simple ingredient food trial|
|Dull Coat and Scaling||Adjust EPA and DHA levels in the diet (added fish oil being the most common way); try a food that has added zinc
|Dandruff and Crustiness||Add Zinc and Vitamin A levels
If your Maltese suffers from allergies, joint pain, or you just want to make sure their skin and coat stay healthy, adding a few squirts of dog fish oil to their meals can provide relief and nourishment.
According to the AKC, fish oil reduces itchiness and flakiness in the skin through its omega-3 fatty acid content. Other significant benefits include strengthening heart health in dogs and promoting improved immunity against cancer.
Maltese Calorie Requirements
The caloric needs of dogs are based on their weight. An adult Maltese usually weighs between 6 and 9 pounds, which means most Maltese need between 236 and 323 calories a day.
Make sure you follow the 10% rule when feeding treats to your dog. Food would equal 90% of the total calories and treats the remaining 10%.
For instance, if a Maltese weighs 8 lbs. he would need 293 calories per day. For those eating treats, that’s 264 calories in food (90%) and 29 in treats (10%). Usually, most full-grown dogs eat two meals per day. So, you need to split 264 into two meals of 132 calories each.
You can use this calculator to find the exact caloric needs of your dog based on his weight.
Pregnant or lactating Maltese may need up to 2 to 4 times the amount of food they normally need as the mother’s energy requirements increase after delivery and during lactation. Be sure to talk to your vet.
Homemade Dog Food For Maltese Puppies
A Maltese puppy’s diet is different from an adult Maltese.
Compared to adult dogs, puppies need higher levels of protein, fat, calcium, and phosphorus. Too few (or too many) of these nutrients can cause deficiencies, stunted growth, or lifelong complications.
According to the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN), puppies need about twice as many calories per pound of body weight as an adult dog of the same breed.
Most people worry that their puppy requires more food and calorie intake every day because they are rapidly growing. This isn’t necessarily the truth. Dr. Justin Shmalberg, DVM, a veterinary nutritionist at Nom Nom, advises that most puppies need about the same calories and the same type of food from 4 months to 12 months of age to promote normal growth.
Maltese puppies should eat 3 to 4 times a day. When your puppy is a bit older (6 – 12 months), you can switch to 2 to 3 meals daily at scheduled intervals.
For proper growth and development, it is not advised to skip meals while your puppy is growing and developing. As our nutritional guidelines previously outlined, a puppy’s diet needs to include a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, water, and vitamins.
Homemade Dog Food Delivery Service
If you are a busy dog parent with a hectic schedule, cooking homemade food can be a time-consuming or even overwhelming process for dog parents unaware of how to prepare balanced dog meals, let alone use the right ingredients and serve the right portions.
If this is you, don’t worry, your pup can still get all the benefits of homemade dog food through a homemade dog food delivery service like Ollie.
Ollie delivers fresh, healthy dog food made with real, human-grade ingredients customized to your pup’s unique nutritional needs. Their recipes are formulated by board-certified veterinary nutritionists who ensure each recipe complies with AAFCO standards. Their meals are full of healthy proteins, fresh veggies, and superfoods delivered right to your door.
The best part about Ollie is that they cater to your pup’s nutritional needs, goals and health concerns. For instance, if your Maltese has weight issues, digestive issues, picky tastes, or other health concerns, Ollie will cook a personalized meal plan to meet those requirements.
The ingredients are sourced from human-grade farms in the US, and their premium, pasture-raised lamb, comes from free-range farms in the US and Australia. They only feature USA-sourced ingredients cooked in human-grade kitchens. Meals come pre-portioned for easy serving.
Ollie promises NO by-products, fillers, artificial flavoring, or preservatives in their food. With Ollie’s fresh food, your dog can experience convenient homemade food with the benefits of shinier coats, fewer allergies, more energy, and better overall health.
Our readers have access to save 50% off their first Ollie order. No code is needed, just use this link and the discount will be applied!
Recipes, cooking tips & FAQs
Maltese Homemade Food Tips
If you choose to prepare home-cooked meals for your Maltese, here are a few tips you need to implement.
- Set a consistent feeding schedule.
- Feed your Maltese two times a day (puppies under 12 months, 3 to 4 times a day, check with your veterinarian).
- Meal prep weekly or monthly.
- Measure and control portion sizes depending on your dog’s calorie needs.
- Keep meals frozen for 2 to 3 months or refrigerated for about 5 days.
- Make a new batch when the food supply is getting low.
- If you want to feed different recipes, you can make multiple batches and color code by ingredients, rotating out the different meals.
- Prepare the food in bulk and portion it into containers (one container per meal makes it extra easy).
- Increase portions appropriately as your puppy grows.
- Monitor weight to make sure you are feeding the proper amount of calories.
How To Cook Homemade Food For Maltese ( Video)
Learn how to cook for your Maltese in this video.
Best Maltese Homemade Dog Food Recipes
Below are our favorite homemade dog food recipes for Maltese. So gather your ingredients and get cooking!
We’ve also added a tasty homemade treat recipe with incredible health benefits. This recipe can do a lot for your pup’s health and wellness. It has our favorite secret ingredient, dog CBD oil.
Note: Please consult with your pet’s veterinarian and use personal judgment when applying this information to your dog’s diet. The recipes below do not include serving size because portion sizes will vary depending on breed, weight, activity level, age, and dog’s health. A common recommendation is to feed your dog a comparable amount of ounces/cups to what you would usually feed in kibble BUT check with your vet to be certain.
CBD-Infused Dog Treats
CBD dog treats can help with seizures, anxiety, arthritis, inflammation, pain, wellness, and many other health problems.
Treat your Maltese with these nutritious, delicious and therapeutic CBD pumpkin dog treats.
You can also buy CBD dog treats so your pup can experience all the benefits of CBD.
Don’t forget to talk to your vet before giving CBD to your pup and make sure you provide the right dosage.
- 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 apple, cored and grated
- 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and grated
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3 cup olive or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup water
- dash of sea salt
- 120 mg CBD oil
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a dog cookie baking tray with coconut oil.
- Core and grate the apples, then peel and grate the carrots.
- Combine the gluten-free flour, oats, and coconut sugar in a medium-sized bowl. In another medium-sized bowl, beat the egg. Then, add coconut oil, water, and grated apples and carrots.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients bowl; mix thoroughly. Finally, add CBD oil and mix once more.
- Using a Tbsp measuring spoon, portion out the dog biscuits and press them into the dog treat baking pan. Bake for 32-37 minutes or until the biscuits are firm and golden-brown on the outside.
- Store in an air-tight container.
Recipe from: Truth Theory
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ pound chicken livers, rinsed and trimmed
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, or more as needed
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a 9-inch square baking dish and line with parchment paper.
- Add oats to the bowl of a food processor, and blend.
- Add liver and eggs and blend well.
- Add the liver mixture to the oat and flour mixture and stir well.
- Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
The bites should serve as treats, not full meals.
Recipe from: All recipes
Chicken Patty Recipe
- 2 1/2 pounds of ground chicken
- 4 ounces of turkey livers
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 small apple, cored
- 1/2 cup kale
- 2 whole eggs (including shell)
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Add the carrot, apple and kale to a food processor and process until finely chopped.
- Add the remaining ingredients except for the ground chicken and process again until well combined.
- Transfer the mixture into a large bowl. Add the ground chicken and mix with a spatula or your hands.
- Form into patties about the size of your palm and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake until cooked.
- Freeze unbaked patties until solid, transfer to a storage container or plastic bag and keep frozen.
- Remove one day’s worth of patties from the freezer the night before and place them in the refrigerator to thaw before baking and serving.
Recipe from: Canine Bible Test Kitchen
Marvelous Mutt Loaf
- 2 and 1/4 Pound 85% Lean Ground Beef
- 4 Eggs, white or brown
- Kidney Beans
- 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- Sprig Rosemary – 1 Teaspoon
- 1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 2 Carrots Shredded
- 3 Medium Size Potatoes Shredded (skins on)
- Using your hands, fold the mixture until well combined.
- Using a Muffin Tin, make a ball and pack the muffin hole. Don’t overfill as they can leak out over your pan.
- Pop into a pre-heated 350F (180c Oven). After 50-55 minutes, the Meatloaf will be ready.
- You can use larger loaf pans instead of a muffin tin. However, the muffin tin allows you to make individual portion sizes. If you use a larger container, It will also take longer to cook, usually around 1 hour and 10 minutes.
- Allow the Meatloaf to cool down before feeding them to your pup.
Recipe from: The Whoot
If you are interested in more homemade dog food recipes and cooking options for your Maltese, cookbooks can come in handy for dog food recipes. Our top pick is Home Cooking for Your Dog: 75 Holistic Recipes for a Healthier Dog.
Best Homemade Dog Food Cooking Practices
Follow these best practices below to ensure your Maltese meals are safe and nutritious.
- Never use unsafe or toxic ingredients for dogs
- Use only boneless meats (no cooked bones)
- Cook all animal products thoroughly to kill harmful bacteria
- Cook all grains, beans, and starchy vegetables to make them easier to digest
- Research every ingredient before using it for safety
- Follow recipes as instructed
- Add supplements to their diet if needed
- Run any questions by a vet nutritionist
What Foods Should Your Maltese Never Eat?
Your Maltese should not consume the following foods. Please refer to the list below.
- Onions and garlic
- Coffee, tea, and other caffeine
- Grapes and raisins
- Macadamia nuts
- Raw bread dough
Check out this handy list for a comprehensive list of all foods to avoid. Please print it out and put it on your refrigerator as a reminder.
Maltese Raw Diet (BARF)
Veterinarian and nutritionist Dr. Ian Billinghurst is the precursor of BARF. A raw dog diet resembles what dogs ate in the wild millions of years ago. Raw dog foods usually include organs, muscle, whole or ground bones, raw eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables, and dairy.
Several kinds of raw foods are available for dogs, including homemade raw dog food and store-bought (frozen, freeze-dried, and dehydrated).
Preparing a BARF diet for your Maltese requires extra care and planning since the risk of contamination and nutritional imbalance is higher when handling raw foods.
Raw dog diets are gaining popularity because of their fantastic health benefits for teeth, coat, digestion, and allergies. Read our raw dog food diet article if you are interested in learning more about the benefits and risks, and get the best commercial raw food diet for your Maltese.
Monitor Weight And Health
When you cook for your dog, it can be challenging to understand the ins and outs of dog nutrition. How can you make sure your homemade dog food meets its nutritional needs?
The weight of a dog is an essential indicator of its health. This is simple for pet parents to keep track of and document every month at home.
Providing the appropriate quality and quantity of dog food to your Maltese makes maintaining a healthy weight easier. If your dog’s weight increases or decreases rapidly, it might be due to food-related health issues.
Skin or coat issues, excessive tiredness, allergies, weight loss, malnutrition, and obesity can be caused by unbalanced and insufficient meal plans. If you detect any of these symptoms while feeding homemade meals, stop doing it immediately and seek expert advice.
Contact your veterinarian to make sure all of your dog’s meals are nutritionally adequate.
Other Food Alternatives
So, should you make your dog food? The answer is YES!. It’s not as difficult as it may seem, and many benefits are. Nevertheless, if you don’t have enough time, a homemade dog food delivery service might be perfect for you.
Homemade dog food can be a great way to ensure your Maltese pup is getting a balanced diet, you can customize the diet to meet his specific needs, and it’s cheaper than buying commercial pet food.
Remember to continually introduce new foods slowly and watch for any stomach upset. With experimentation, you’ll find out what foods they love – and which ones they should avoid. And who knows? You may even discover that you have a talent for canine cuisine!
Always consult with a veterinarian if you are unsure about the best diet for your dog.
Read up on vegan dog food if your Maltese is prone to food allergies or food-related health issues. Plant-based diets are also becoming increasingly popular for dogs with food sensitivities and other health issues.