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How Much Do Maltese Cost? 2024 Price Guide

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Maltese dog playing in the grass

The Maltese is one of the oldest toy dog breeds in Europe, and it has been loved by Royals for centuries. Royalty ranging from Roman Emperor Claudius to Rock-n-Roll king Elvis Presley have all loved and owned Maltese.

Of course, being a dog of royalty comes with a high price tag. Just about every part of Maltese ownership is expensive, including purchasing a puppy and maintaining monthly expenses. In other words, owning a Maltese is a long term financial commitment.

If you aren’t prepared to spend a lot of money to purchase and take care of this dainty breed, you should select a much more affordable pet instead. However, their docile temperaments and adorable faces make them well worth the price.

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How Much Is a Maltese: One-Time Costs

Although it is possible to find a Maltese puppy at a shelter, you will most likely have to purchase your Maltese from a breeder. Especially if you want a teacup Maltese, a breeder is a must.

Image Credit: Pezibear, Pixabay

Free Malteses

In the case that you were able to find a Maltese at a shelter, you will be able to bring your Maltese home, free of charge. Most of the time, Maltese available for free are old and may come with some health issues. These dogs are still super lovable and worthy of a great home.

Maltese Adoption

  • $25–$50

You may even be able to find a Maltese that is available for adoption. You will likely have to pay a small adoption fee for the Maltese. The fee will depend on where you are adopting the Maltese from, but most fees range from $25 to $50.

Sometimes, shelters that offer adoption will even provide vaccines and a microchip for free or a low fee. This can make adopting your Maltese an even more financially sound decision.

Maltese Breeders

  • $500–$3,000

Most likely, you will have to go to a breeder to find a Maltese. Teacup Maltese are especially in need of a skilled breeder. From a good breeder, a Maltese costs between $500 to $3,000.

When you are buying from a breeder, make sure that the breeder is reputable. Especially for teacup Maltese, a reputable breeder is a must since these dainty dogs are more prone to genetic disorders.

Even at a reputable breeder, the price of Maltese can vary. Factors such as the age, family lineages, and show quality will affect the price dramatically. You can save money by buying a Maltese that isn’t show quality, for example.

Maltese Price: Initial Setup and Supplies

  • $100–$500

Whenever you bring your Maltese puppy home, there will be some things that your dog will need from day one. This includes a dog cage, food bowl, license, vaccinations, food, and potentially a microchip.

You also want to buy grooming tools, toys, and tear stain removers early on, but you can wait a day or so on those items if needed.

Maltese purple vest
Image Credit: RitaE, Pixabay

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List of Maltese Care Supplies and Costs

ID Tag and Collar $15
Spay/Neuter $145–$600
X-Ray Cost $100–$250
Ultrasound Cost $250–$500
Microchip $45–$100
Teeth Cleaning $150–$300
Bed $30
Nail Clipper (optional) $7
Brush (optional) $8
Toys $30
Crate $40–$100
Food and Water Bowls $10

How Much Does a Maltese Cost Per Month?

  • $85–$250 per month

Owning a Maltese can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 a year. More realistically, most Maltese owners pay around $1,500 a year. This adds up to about $125 a month, but the exact price can vary on location and special needs of the dog.

The age of the dog largely affects the monthly cost. As your dog ages, expect to pay more per month on medications and vet visits.

Maltese on beach
Image Credit: suju, Pixabay

Maltese Health Care Costs

  • $25–$100+ per month

One downside of Maltese is that this breed is more prone to genetic disorders than other breeds. Teacup Maltese are especially sickly. Their sickly disposition means that you should expect to pay more for health care with a Maltese than other healthier breeds.

Even if your Maltese is pretty healthy, you will have to pay for vaccines, flea visits, and other basic health care necessities.

Maltese Food Costs

  • $50–$85 per month

Food is one of the most expensive expenses for any dog. Luckily, the small size of the Maltese means that the dog eats less food than larger breeds. Most Maltese owners spend around $75 on food.

We recommend splurging on Maltese food. The better the food quality, the healthier your dog will be. Not only does this mean you will have more time with your Maltese, but it also means you will save money in medical bills. Think of high-grade food as an investment.

Maltese Grooming Costs

  • $0–$75 per month

Many people like Maltese because they are hypoallergenic, but their coats require quite a bit of grooming. Most grooming visits cost between $40 and $75. Of course, you could always groom your Maltese at home if you buy the proper tools, such as scissors, combs, and tear stain remover.

You will need to give your Maltese a bath once a month, trim their nails once a month, and keep their coat trimmed a respectable length.

Maltese Medications and Vet Visits

  • $0–$50+ per month

As we have already mentioned, Maltese can be expensive for health care. Even if you have a healthy dog, you will have to pay for basic vaccinations and tick and flea medicine.

Typically, vaccines will last 1 year or so, meaning they won’t cost you by the month. Flea treatments may be required every month or every other month, depending on the treatment type.

Vet visits will not be necessary every month either. If your dog is healthy, you only need to take them once a year for an annual check up. Your vet will give needed vaccines and prescriptions then.

Image Credit: Pezibear, Pixabay

Maltese Pet Insurance Costs

  • $0–$50 per month

Because Maltese are a bit prone to illness, especially as they age, you might want to get pet insurance. Pet insurance will help you out in the case that your dog gets sick. The plans can range anywhere from $25 to $50, but most are around $40.

If you don’t want to pay for pet insurance, you could also have a savings account for your dog. Add money to this account when you can and withdrawal on a rainy day. Both of these ideas are optional, but they are recommended.

Maltese Environment Maintenance Costs

  • $0–$25 per month

One benefit of having a dog over a cat is that they require very little in terms of environment maintenance. Whereas you have to buy kitty litter and other basics every month if you own a cat, environmental maintenance is much more optional with the dog.

However, you might want to get deodorizing spray, lint rollers, and other little devices to make the home cleaner for you and your Maltese. Definitely opt for doggy bags! Environmental maintenance can cost up to around $20 a month.

Maltese Entertainment Costs

  • $0–$50 per month

Even though Maltese are small, they require quite a bit of entertainment. Luckily, their small size means that you can entertain them in multiple affordable ways. If you get some basic toys at the beginning of the dog’s life, those toys will often last for years since these dogs aren’t very aggressive.

You could also buy a subscription box if you would like. These boxes can cost up to $50, but they can be a fun way to treat your dog. Not to mention, it is super fun to watch your Maltese play with these new toys, making subscription boxes a little treat for you too.

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Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Maltese

  • $85–$250 per month

After paying the initial high price for your Maltese, the biggest expense you will have to pay for every month is their food. Luckily, Maltese don’t require as much money when it comes to their entertainment or environment maintenance. Splurging on food may be a great idea to help save money on their vet visits, which can be a big expense as well.

Additional Costs to Factor In

There are also some other random factors you may want to consider. For example, you will have to hire a dog sitter or a kennel to watch your dog if you leave. You may also have to pay for furniture repair whenever you are first training your Maltese.

These factors will not be a monthly occurrence, but they will happen enough that you do need to think about them. Having a savings account for your Maltese can really help out for these sorts of instances.

Owning a Maltese on a Budget

If you are on a really tight budget, you need to be smart when buying a Maltese. As we learned, Maltese can be expensive. You can go to a local shelter and look for adult Maltese. This can be a great way to rescue a Maltese without spending a fortune.

You may want to look for male Maltese as well. Although it may sound odd, males are typically much cheaper than females because more are born, and they aren’t as necessary for breeding purposes (one male can impregnant multiple females).

If you want to make the most of both of these tips, you can look for an adult male Maltese. Adult males will be the cheapest. Plus, Maltese are so small that you don’t have as much to worry about with the males being territorial.

Maltese dog with tear stain standing on the floor
Image Credit: Augustcindy, Shutterstock

Saving Money on Maltese Care

You can save money when caring for your Maltese as well. Once again, investing in high-quality dog food can save on medical bills in the present and the future. Additionally, buying scissors, nail clippers, and everything needed for grooming can save you a whole lot over the dog’s life.

It might be a good idea to opt for a savings account for your Maltese instead of an insurance plan. You would have to pay for the insurance plan every month, whereas you can build a savings account and stop adding money once the account reaches a desirable amount, such as $1,000.

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Conclusion: Maltese Price

Maltese are expensive upfront and require a financial commitment for the rest of their lives. Bringing a new Maltese home can range from costing you nothing to $3,000. If you shop for adults or males, you should be able to find a Maltese at an affordable price.

Like any other dog, Maltese require financial commitment beyond their initial pay. You should expect to pay between $85 and $250 every month for the rest of their lives. The Maltese two biggest monthly expenses are food and health care.

To keep monthly expenses low, invest in high-quality dog food and perform as much grooming as you can at home, such as baths and nail trims. Since these dogs are so cute and cuddly, they certainly are worth the price for many owners.

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