The life expectancy of a Maltese is approximately 15 years, though they have been known to live as long as 18 years. A dry environment is important for maintaining this breed.
Maltese may have a weak digestive system and be difficult to feed, which are both factors that can reduce their normal life expectancy. Maltese are prone to a myriad of health problems including dental, respiratory, vision and skin issues, and some may suffer from slipped stifle. The Maltese is a small hardy dog with a compact structure, fine bones and a deep chest. Their silky hair is a single layer coat in shades of white or light ivory, and they require daily grooming.