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Maltese Weight

If your Maltese is overweight, steps should be taken right away to help your dog lose weight at a healthy and steady pace.

Each day that your dog is overweight is one more day that health problems can arise.

While the Maltese is known for being one of the most elegant dog breeds in the world, this breed can become fat if care is not taken.

Learn how many calories your Maltese needs and how to help your dog lose weight.

Here, we discuss all of the elements that you will want to know regarding the size and weight of your dog.
Maltese weight
Baby fat on a Maltese puppy is normal and expected; but having  an overweight Maltese adult can bring many health issues.

The Healthy Weight for a Maltese

A healthy weight for an adult Maltese is 4 to 6 pounds ( 1.81 kilograms to 2.72 kilograms). Some dogs will have slightly larger bone structure, therefore a 7 pound (3.17 kilograms) Maltese is still considered to be healthy. However, once a Maltese reaches 8 pounds (3.62 kilograms), this is the time to be concerned regarding the dog's diet and exercise habits.   When a Maltese reaches 10 pounds (4.53 kilograms) this could mean that the dog is naturally a bit larger than the breed standard or the dog is overweight.

What about Puppy Weight?

Maltese puppy dogsDo not be overly concerned if your Maltese puppy is a bit round and has some baby fat on him or her.  Your dog will be growing rapidly for the first 2 years.  The average weight of a healthy Maltese puppy is 1.5 pounds (.68 kg). At the 2 year mark, your Maltese should be at their normal adult weight.

Therefore, only if your 1 year old puppy is a full 6 pounds, you should have the dog checked for any possible medical issues that could affect its weight.  If none are detected, it may be time to cut down a bit on food or focus on offering low calorie snacks.

Catching a Weight Gain Before it Get Out of Control

We see our dogs every day and owners do not always notice a weight gain.  Then one day, it suddenly hits us.."My Maltese is overweight!"   In addition, if you keep your Maltese with the longer "Show Dog" look, a weight gain will not be immediately noticeable.  When a dog becomes overweight this most often shows on the rib cage area.

So how can you keep an eye on your dog's weight?  The best method is to keep a calendar posted in a place where you will see it often, such as on your refrigerator.  Choose a date to weigh your Maltese and then mark the calendar to do a weigh in each month. In this way, you can catch a gain before it becomes a major issue.

Be sure to have a scale that fits flat on the floor and shows small increments.  Most dogs will not sit still on a scale long enough for you to obtain a good reading. Therefore it is recommended to:
  • Have a small basket with a soft towel inside it
  • Weigh the basket without your Maltese in it
  • Make a note of the weight
  • Gently place your dog into the basket.  You can place a small dog toy inside if that will keep him or her calm.  
  • Note the weight of the basket and dog combined
  • Subtract the weight of the basket
  • This final number will be the weight of your dog
How You Can Help Your Overweight Maltese Lose Weight

cute Maltese dogNot to despair if your Maltese is overweight; this can be corrected with a nutritious diet and proper exercise.  However, since thyroid issues can cause weight gain along with some other rare health issues such as heart or metabolic imbalances it is important to first have your dog fully checked out by their veterinarian.

Once you have the go ahead that your Maltese is healthy, fat but healthy, you can begin the process of bringing their weight down.

Dogs should never be forced to lose weight rapidly.  A drastically reduced diet or excessive exercising can quickly give your Maltese heat stroke, fainting and other health issues.

How Many Calories a Maltese Needs:
  • A 4 pound (1.81 kg) adult Maltese needs 165 calories per day
  • A 5 pound (2.26 kg) adult Maltese needs 206 calories per day
  • A 6 pound (2.72 kg) adult Maltese needs 247 calories per day

To ensure that your Maltese loses weight in a healthy yet steady way you must count the calories that you are feeding your Maltese.  If your dog is 8 or more pounds (3.62 kg)  247 calories per day is appropriate.  This includes snacks!  It is recommended to feed your dog in this way:
  • 200 calories for their main dinnertime meal
  • 47 calories (or very close to it) for a mid-day snack
If your Maltese is used to eating quite a bit more food than the above recommended diet, try to not give in to pleading puppy dog eyes begging for food.  247 calories is a healthy amount of food that will not send your Maltese into starvation and will be enough to give your dog strength for his or her daily routine and exercise.   You may choose to change over to a low fat, high quality dog food; however it is not mandatory.   Staying with the same healthy dog food is fine, as long as the calories are counted.   Be careful to not offer pieces of your food to your dog; those calories will add up and prevent weight loss.

Exercising Your Dog for Weight Loss

If you are following proper exercise guidelines, you will already be walking your Maltese each day.  To help your overweight Maltese lose weight,  you should provide 3 short bursts of exercise per day.  Since this breed can overheat, only skip a scheduled exercise if the outside weather is extremely hot or very cold.  Indoor exercise should replace outdoor exercise if needed. 

Strolling along at a leisurely pace will not do much to help your overweight Maltese.  Running will overtax an unhealthy body.  Therefore, a brisk walk that brings up your heart rate a bit will be what your dog needs.  Exercise should be 15 - 20 minutes, 3 times per day. 

If your Maltese is severely overweight and seems to struggle with exercise or is breathing very heavy, slow down and allow your dog to rest.  For very obese dogs, you may wish to begin with 2 exercise periods per day and work your way up to the 3.

You can make exercise fun!  Beside walks,  playing fetch and other games that keep your dog moving can prompt weight loss and keep your dog happy.

How Fast Weight Loss Should Occur

While each dog is different, it is recommended to weigh your Maltese every 2 weeks during the dieting phase.   A weight loss of 1/2 pound (.22 kg) is optimal.  If your Maltese is losing more than that, you should bring the walks down to 2 per day.  If your Maltese is not losing weight, be sure that no one in the family is giving your dog food outside of the guidelines.   If your dog is truly eating only the 247 calories per day but is still not losing weight every 2 weeks,  bring the calorie count to 200.

More Information in our book:

  • Nutritional Needs
  • If Supplements are Really Necessary & if so...which ones?
  • Feeding the Newborn, Puppy, Adolescent & Senior Maltese
  • Odd Eating Behavior
  • Fussy Eating.... All This and So Much More is Inside of the PetMaltese eBook for you to download. Click Here

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