The Best Nutrition for your Maltese Dog
You finally have the dog of your dreams. After waiting for what may have seemed like forever, you just brought home your adorable little Maltese dog. The question is-now what? What do you feed your new Maltese to keep him or her in tip-top shape? The answer depends on a variety of factors, such as the age of your dog and its overall temperament. Read on to learn more about Maltese nutrition for each stage of their lives.
It should go without saying that Maltese puppies have different nutritional needs than older dogs. For the first two years of their lives, they will experience radical changes in their bodies and they need a larger amount of calories to fuel their growth spurts. Once they've reached two years of age, they are a considered a fully-grown adult, but until then, they require a different formula of dog food than their older peers. It's important to note that Maltese puppies need food that is properly formulated for dogs, and that food should not be freely accessible. Maltese puppies should not be encouraged to eat whenever they want to, because it sets the stage for a greedy puppy! Maltese puppies have small stomachs, so they require small meals-typically three or four a day. However, as puppies they are also very active, so you'll have to keep an eye on them and make sure they are not hungry. They'll certainly let you know! As your puppy grows older, you can begin to give them larger meals that are less frequent. Make sure you give them adequate time to eat when you place a bowl in front of them. Both wet and dry food will satisfy the Maltese, but dry food is essential for when they are teething, as it promotes good dental health. It's fine to give your dog wet food, but the majority of their diet should consist of dry food. Try to be as consistent as you can by feeding them at the same times each day. If you're buying your puppy food at the store, make sure you only buy food that specifically caters to the growing needs of puppies, and it will usually indicate that on the bag.
Maybe your Maltese has graduated into adulthood, or maybe he or she was a rescue who needed a loving home. Regardless, the adult Maltese has different nutritional needs than a puppy. Adult dogs should be given one meal a day, or two meals divided into smaller amounts. However, as the owner of a Maltese, it's your job to decide what type of meal plan suits best. More active dogs will require more food, but watch out because obesity is just as bad for dogs as it is for humans. Always keep an eye on your puppy's size and if the weight starts to creep on, consult with your veterinarian about potential adjustments you can make to your dog's diet. If you have the time, you can prepare your dog's food at home, but store-bought food is fine as well. Remember that your Maltese is a carnivore by nature, and all Maltese dogs require adequate protein to get them through the day.
After the age of seven, your dog is considered to be a senior citizen of the canine population, so adjustments will need to be made to his or her diet. On the bright side, at this age dogs already have their feeding habits down habit, and you don't have to worry about feeding them enough when they're having growth spurts. However, you will have to keep a watchful eye on your dog, as activity decreases with age and can bring on, you guessed it, obesity. Obesity is often a plague upon dogs of advanced years, so it's vitally important not to overfeed your dog and provide a diet specifically catered to senior dogs. Your dog's last years shouldn't be characterized by painful joints and other health conditions brought on by excessive weight.
Just like humans, Maltese dogs like the occasional snack. Snacks can be an indispensable part of training your Maltese puppy, but it's important to keep snacks as healthy as you can. Raw vegetables, such as carrots and broccoli, are a good choice for the Maltese, as well as meat such as beef liver. Doggy treats from the store are fine on occasion, but don't overladen your dog with fatty food that can bring on obesity. Also, too many treats can cause gastrointestinal upset, resulting in one miserable dog! Treats should be just that, treats, and should be given to the dog sparingly, preferably as a reward for desirable behavior.
What Brands of Food Should I Buy for my Maltese?
There are many brands of dog food on the market, but how do you know which ones are good enough. The cheap bags of dry food will contain Corn or Wheat as their main ingredients and either chicken or meat bi-products (scraps). Corn and Wheat are filler products and should be avoided. Spend a little extra for your new furry friend and look for a premium food that contains a meat product as their first main ingredient and contains other healthy ingredients. Talk with any petsmart or petco employee and they will explain the different brands they carry and point you in the right direction. We are currently using Whole Earth Farms Brand which was reasonable priced while maintaining good ingredients. Ive found a helpful site. http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/