A Maltese does not reach full physical maturity until it is two years old. During that time your puppy’s body and bones are growing and developing at a rapid pace. Consequently, for the health of your Maltese, it is essential that he receives the right amount of nutritious food.
Until your puppy is three months old, you can use the free feeding method. Keep the proper amount of puppy food in your Maltese’s bowl so he can eat whenever he feels hungry. Your Maltese puppy needs a daily diet of 1 oz. of food for every pound of his body weight. For example, if your puppy weighs three pounds, he needs 3 oz. of food every day. If your puppy is especially active, you can raise the amount of food-to-body-weight ratio to 1.5 oz.
Suspend the free feeding method when your puppy is three months old and begin dividing his daily allotment of food into three or four meals, depending on his appetite and liveliness. Keep to this regimen until your puppy is six months old.
When your Maltese puppy is six months old, the ratio and feeding cycle changes. Now you will feed him 1.5 oz of food for every two pounds of body weight. If you have been feeding your puppy four times a day, drop it down to three meals; if you have been giving him three meals a day, reduce it to two.
If you decide to feed your Maltese commercial dog food, make certain it is a high-quality brand specially designed for puppies. Until your Maltese is six months old, feed him a mix of wet and dry puppy food, 1/3 wet and 2/3 dry, at each meal. At six months you can switch entirely to dry food.
Recently many dog breeders and dog owners have turned away from commercial dog food in favor of cooking meals for their dogs. There are objections to fillers, the ingredients in commercial dog food that have no nutritional value. If you decide to cook for your Maltese, these foods are best: lean chicken, hamburger and lamb; chicken hearts and livers; fish; white or brown rice and pasta; baby carrots, peas, green beans, broccoli, spinach, potatoes and sweet potatoes. Every meal should be 40-50 percent protein, 25-35 percent vegetables, 25-35 percent starch. Do not give your Maltese caffeine, fruit or onions, or add salt to his food; these things will make him sick. The simplest way to cook for a Maltese to stew the protein and vegetables together until very tender. Rice or pasta should be boiled until its is soft.