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8 Best Foods for Maltese Puppies in 2023 — Reviews & Top Picks

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Maltese puppies in a basketIf you’re like most dog owners, you want only the best for your Maltese puppy, and you do all that you can to keep them happy. Feeding your pup high-quality dog food is one important thing that you can do to ensure a long and healthy life for them.

The first thing to do is make sure that you choose food that was developed specifically for puppies or dogs of all life stages, as it’s higher in protein and certain nutrients than adult food to aid in quick growth and development.1

There are several dog food brands available, which can make it challenging to determine what kind to choose for your pup. Luckily, we’ve done the hard work of testing out the most popular dog foods, so you don’t have to.

We focused on many characteristics, such as ingredients, pricing, kibble size, and taste, during our tests. We have identified eight brands that we think are the best for Maltese puppies. Following are thorough reviews of the best food for Maltese puppies that you can rely on to nourish your pup until they’re ready to move on to adult food.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Ollie Fresh Dog Food Ollie Fresh Dog Food
  • Personalized plans
  • Convenient delivery
  • Meets AAFCO standards
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Royal Canin Small Breed Puppy Royal Canin Small Breed Puppy
  • Affordable compared to similar brands
  • Made just for small breed puppies like the Maltese
  • Includes easily digestible protein
  • Third place
    Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
  • Small kibble size is easy for Maltese puppies to chew
  • Includes all essential nutrients necessary for optimal health
  • Puppies love the taste
  • Rachael Ray Nutrish Bright Puppy Rachael Ray Nutrish Bright Puppy
  • Made with real chicken raised in the United States
  • Includes DHA for optimal brain development and health vision
  • VICTOR Select Nutra Pro Active Dog & Puppy VICTOR Select Nutra Pro Active Dog & Puppy
  • Features a 92% protein blend for optimal energy absorption
  • Low-carb formula for easy meal digestion
  • The 8 Best Foods for Maltese Puppies

    1. Ollie Fresh Dog Food — Best Overall

    ollie chicken dish fresh dog food

    * offer valid November 20 - November 26, 2023

    Ollie is a dog food delivery service that provides customizable meal plans for dogs, and it’s our pick for the best overall dog food for Maltese. Before subscribing, you must complete a short survey regarding your Maltese puppy’s weight, age, activity level, and food sensitivities. Once the Ollie algorithm has considered your answers, it will provide you with personalized plans based on your dog’s needs. Ollie has three meal plan options: fresh, baked, or mixed.

    Their fresh meals are made with real meat, vegetables, and grains, so you can ensure your pup gets the nutrients they need to grow and develop. There are four protein options: beef, chicken, lamb, or turkey. Unfortunately, the turkey recipes were unavailable at the time of writing due to a nationwide turkey shortage.

    Their baked meals are considerably cheaper than their fresh options and are Ollie’s version of kibble. Since these meals are baked, not only are all the nutrients preserved, but they are also more flavorful.

    Ollie’s mixed plan provides your Maltese pup with the best of both worlds. You can mix and match flavors and textures for maximum variety to keep your puppy interested at mealtime.

    All of Ollie’s recipes abide by the AAFCO standards for all life stages, which means you can continue feeding your Maltese their favorite Ollie recipes even as an adult.

    Pros
    • Personalized plans
    • Fresh and kibble options
    • Convenient delivery
    • Meets AAFCO standards
    • Kibble is minimally processed
    Cons
    • More expensive than kibble-style food

    2. Royal Canin Small Puppy Dry Food – Best Value

    Royal Canin Small Puppy Dry Dog Food

    Royal Canin understands that small dogs burn more energy than larger breeds and have a quicker growth rate for a shorter period. That’s why they designed this puppy food specifically for little breeds such as the Maltese. Your pup should find the small kibble size easy to chew and the flavor irresistible.

    Another reason we think this is the best food for Maltese puppies for the money is that it’s affordably priced compared to similar options you can find on the store shelves or online. This small puppy food contains protein in the form of chicken that is easy to digest for optimal nutrition absorption. The blend is lightly flavored to appeal to the finicky appetites of dogs like the Maltese. The kibble is formulated to prevent the buildup of tartar over time.

    We found that the small kibble pieces also easily fit into treat toys. The downside of this food is that it contains wheat products, so if your Maltese is gluten-intolerant, they may experience digestive issues.

    Pros
    • Affordable compared to similar brands
    • Made just for small breed puppies like the Maltese
    • Includes easily digestible protein
    Cons
    • Contains wheat products that some puppies may be intolerant to

    3. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy Food

    Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Dry Dog Food

    Featuring real chicken, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables, Blue Buffalo Life Protection is designed to support optimal growth as puppies quickly grow into adulthood. Brown rice, oatmeal, barley, peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, blueberries, and cranberries play an important nutritional role in this impressive food blend. Both DHA and ARA are featured for proper brain and eye development.

    Calcium and phosphorous are included to support strong bones and teeth. Every puppy deserves healthy skin and a shiny coat, which is why this brand ensures that omega fatty acids can be found in every serving. Blue Buffalo Life Protection also contains a proprietary ingredient called LifeForce Bits, which is a unique blend of antioxidant nutrients that supports a healthy immune system.

    Corn, soy, and by-products aren’t included in this formula, which are all fillers that don’t have much nutritional value. Your Maltese puppy is sure to love this kibble’s meat flavor, and you will appreciate the health benefits your dog receives as time goes on.

    Pros
    • Small kibble size is easy for Maltese puppies to chew
    • Includes all essential nutrients necessary for optimal health
    • Puppies love the taste
    Cons
    • More expensive than other options on our list

    4. Rachael Ray Nutrish Dry Puppy Food

    Rachael Ray Nutrish Bright Puppy Natural Real Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

    If you’re looking for a good deal that won’t sacrifice your puppy’s health, Rachael Ray Nutrish Bright puppy food might be the right option. It features chicken that is raised in the United States and is slowly roasted to remove moisture, so your puppy gets more nutrients in every bite.

    Whole fruits and vegetables are also included, which will keep your puppy’s immune system healthy while they grow and explore their outside world. Fish meal provides an excellent source of DHA, which is needed for healthy brain development.

    You won’t find any artificial ingredients, fillers, or by-products in the ingredients list, so you can have peace of mind knowing that your pup is eating only quality foods. The kibble pieces are small and easy to chew, but some puppies get bored of the flavor over time and quit showing interest in eating it daily.

    Pros
    • Made with real chicken raised in the United States
    • Includes DHA for optimal brain development and healthy vision
    Cons
    • Some dogs get bored of the blend

    5. VICTOR Select Nutra Pro Active Puppy Dry Food

    VICTOR Select Nutra Pro Active Dog & Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food

    If your Maltese is like most, they enjoy a highly active lifestyle filled with walks, playtime, and adventures. So, they need puppy food that can keep up with their nutritional needs, which is precisely what VICTOR Select Nutra Pro Active puppy formula can do. Designed specifically for active pups, VICTOR Select is made up of 92% protein to ensure that your dog gets all the energy they need throughout the day.

    This blend is low-carb, making it easy for small puppies to digest. Green tea extract and alfalfa support a healthy immune system. Spearmint extract will help keep your puppy’s breath fresh between meals. However, it doesn’t include as many fruits and veggies as other brands on our reviews list.

    Pros
    • Features a 92% protein blend for optimal energy absorption
    • Low-carb formula for easy meal digestion
    Cons
    • Lacks sources of whole fruits and veggies

    6. American Journey Puppy Dry Dog Food

    American Journey Active Life Formula Puppy Chicken, Brown Rice & Vegetables Recipe Dog Food

    With nutrient-dense whole foods as a focus, American Journey Active Life puppy formula will keep your pup healthy while their bodies are busy growing. Whole chicken is the first ingredient, followed by brown rice, peas, and flaxseed. Each component offers nutritional benefits that will protect your puppy from health problems in the future.

    No wheat, corn, soy, by-products, or artificial ingredients are ever used to produce American Journey puppy food. But the kibble pieces are a little bigger than many other brands, so your dog might have a hard time chewing their food until they’re a few months old.

    Pros
    • Formulated with nutrient-dense ingredients for quick-growing puppies
    • Includes flaxseed as a whole food source of omega fatty acids
    • Free of corn, soy, and artificial ingredients
    Cons
    • Kibble size is larger than most other brands

    7. Eukanuba Small Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food

    Eukanuba Small Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food

    Since it’s made with real chicken and beet pulp, Eukanuba Small Breed puppy food will give your Maltese all the nutrients they need to lead a happy and healthy life. This complete and balanced blend was designed with bone and muscle growth in mind but includes the nutrients necessary for a healthy cardiovascular and immune system.

    Calcium, phosphorous, and DHA are all present to protect and support the brain, eyes, coat, and nails. The kibble is small enough for weaning puppies to chew. However, Eukanuba lacks many of the fruits and veggies that comparable options feature. It also contains fillers like corn and wheat.

    Pros
    • Made with real chicken protein
    • Complete nutrition for small-breed puppies
    Cons
    • Contains fillers like corn

    8. Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Dry Dog Food

    Purina Pro Plan Puppy Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

    This chicken and rice formula is designed to help growing puppies thrive as they reach adulthood. Fish oil is prominent to ensure healthy vision and optimal brain development. Omega-6 fatty acids will keep your dog’s coat shiny, so you don’t have to wash them often. This food also contains eggs, which include the essential amino and fatty acids your dog needs to grow strong, lean, and healthy.

    There are no artificial flavors or colors to worry about, and every batch of Purina Pro Plan is produced in United States facilities. Puppies seem to love the taste and texture, too. However, it contains meat by-products that some dog owners prefer to avoid.

    Pros
    • Promotes healthy vision and supports proper brain development
    • Includes essential omega-6 fatty acids for a shiny coat
    • Manufactured in the United States
    Cons
    • Contains animal by-products

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    Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Food for Maltese Puppy Dogs

    Choosing the right puppy food for your Maltese is one of the most important decisions you will make for them. Without proper nutrition, your pup can’t thrive and can even develop health conditions as they age. You should search for a formula that provides optimal nutrition for the entire body and mind. Our reviews list is a great place to find high-quality options that will support the health of your Maltese. However, you can also use the following guidelines as you compare your options.

    Determine Your Dog’s Activity Level

    While the Maltese is considered an active dog, some are less energetic. So, it’s a good idea to determine your dog’s activity level before choosing a new food. If your dog is more active, you should look for a food designed specifically for small, active breeds to ensure that they get all the protein they need. Less active dogs don’t need such a formula, which expands your options dramatically.

    Understand Animal By-Products

    Many pet owners avoid dog food that includes animal by-products because they know nothing about them. But the truth is that by-products are made up of organs, like the liver, that provide great nutritional value to a dog food. In fact, many foods contain animal by-products but are labeled as organ parts in the ingredients list. So, before shunning by-products in your dog’s food, take the time to learn a little more about them. You may find that including by-products in their food optimizes their diet.

    Talk to Your Veterinarian

    It’s always a good idea to talk to your veterinarian before choosing a new food for your Maltese. Your veterinarian can provide you with critical insight into the type of nutrition your Maltese needs based on information such as their health, age, and weight. Your vet might take blood tests and complete a thorough exam to determine how well your pup has been fed to date and how well they digest their food.

    They might also use your dog’s health records to help you determine which food types to choose from. They may provide you with a list of food recommendations, which should make choosing a new food easy.

    Read Reviews

    You can learn a great deal of information about puppy food by reading customer reviews online. Customers aren’t shy about their grievances, especially regarding the nutrition of their dogs. So, you can expect to read honest feedback that gives you insight into the true nature of the food. Customer reviews should provide you with information such as:

    • The size of the kibble
    • Whether other Maltese puppies like the flavor and texture
    • How well the food digests
    • Side effects that might develop

    Read reviews from more than one source to ensure that you’re getting a broad picture of the puppy food you’re researching.

    Maltese pup

    Create a Wish List

    You can make comparing puppy foods easy on yourself by creating a wish list to use as a guide. Your wish list should include all the features you want to see in your new dog’s food. What kind of meat protein do you prefer? Are specific fruits or vegetables important to you? What price point are you looking for?

    Referring to your wish list when shopping for new puppy food will help ensure you don’t overlook anything important to your puppy’s health. If there are certain things that you want to avoid when buying new puppy food, you can always create a nix list and use it along with your wish list while you shop.

    Prepare to Make Changes

    A high-quality puppy food that does well for other Maltese dogs may not work well for your pup. There is always a chance that your puppy doesn’t like the new food that you offer them or develops digestive issues, even if it’s a whole food blend. If this happens, you’ll have to switch to another food until you find one that agrees with and supports your pup.

    So, choose at least two dog foods to save yourself the trouble of researching more foods later. You should be prepared to introduce the new food to your puppy’s diet gradually, so consider buying your backup choice when buying your first pick so it’s already on hand if you have to make a switch.


    Divider 2Conclusion

    While all the puppy foods on our reviews list deserve attention, we highly recommend our number-one pick: Ollie Fresh Dog Food. It masters the taste and texture that dogs love and provides high-quality nutrition from whole food sources that you can appreciate. The second pick on our reviews list, Royal Canin Small Breed puppy food, shouldn’t be overlooked, either. It’s formulated for small-breed dogs like the Maltese and is easy to digest.

    But don’t limit yourself to only these two options! Take the time to learn about all of the puppy foods on our reviews list and read through our buyer’s guide before deciding which brand to choose for your puppy. What kind of puppy food have you used in the past, and what were your experiences? We’d love to hear from you in our comments section below.


    Featured Image Credit: haidi2002, Pixabay

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