The average lifespan of a Maltese is 12 to 14 years, with 13.1 years of age being the median age of death from natural causes. However, some Maltese live significantly longer and have been known to reach 17 years of age. Females tend to live slightly longer than males.
The leading cause of death of adult Maltese is cardiovascular disease. Cancer is also a significant cause. The risk of a Maltese developing cancer increases significantly with increasing age. A healthy diet, regular exercise and proper dental care can all increase the odds of a Maltese living longer. Reducing exposure to cigarette smoke and taking the dog to the veterinarian for regular check-ups can also extend their lifespan.