Like other toy dog breeds, Maltese dogs are prone to hypoglycemia, or low blood pressure, so they should be fed small amounts of a high-quality dog food low in additives and fillers throughout the day. Ideally, 40 to 50 percent of a Maltese's daily calories should come from meat.
Maltese dogs should never be feed table scraps or bones. Table scraps can upset their sensitive digestive systems, while cooked bones can splinter and injure their intestines or stomachs. Because Maltese dogs have delicate appetites, some owners prefer to home cook meals, aiming for a balance of meat, vegetables and starch. Preferably, 25 to 35 percent of a Maltese's daily calories should come from steamed or raw vegetables. The remaining 25 to 35 percent can be made up of white or brown rice, or pasta.
When purchasing dog food, brands that advertise moderate amounts of animal fat and large amounts of protein are suggested. Wet foods should feature a high moisture content. Most dry foods contain grains as fillers, which is not recommended, as carnivores like dogs do not need grains. Brands that do not use animal by-products are ideal. Dogs should not be fed anything containing soy; it has been demonstrated to affect their endocrine systems negatively.