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Weight

Maltese Weight Issues

Weight of Maltese Puppies

Overview

It is important to note that it is normal for puppies to have times of rapid growth and times of slight stalls. It is a bit like a roller coaster. And, each puppy is unique. At any one given time, two Maltese pups of the same age can be up to a pound apart, but end up the same adult weight. 

Weight gains and stalls

With such a small end goal of usually no more than 7 pounds, and usually not over that by more than a pound to perhaps 8 pounds, all sorts of things can happen from the 8 week mark and on:
  • A Maltese puppy can shoot up for one month, then stop. He may barely gain anything; thus being extremely close to his adult weight as young as the 4 or 5 month mark.
  • He can slow gain, making you wonder if he'll be extra tiny, but then have a big push during a later month, near the 5 to 6 month mark, suddenly jumping in weight by a pound or more. 
  • A pup can have a steady gain throughout without any surprises; but this is the exception and not the rule. 
Age that weight gain slows and stops

Again, while each Maltese puppy is unique, in general weight nearly stops close to the 6-month mark, and then completely stops near the 9 month mark. From 6 to 9 months, there may be just ounces gained, or up to a pound or so. 

Weight Gain Chart

It is important to note that since a Maltese can end up with a final adult weight of anywhere from 3 pounds to 7 pounds, and the gains that will happen to reach that finish point can be steady or wildly erratic, the weight ranges for young pups is a big one.

Let's look at just a 5-month old Maltese pup, and the various scenarios that can happen:

If he is destined to be 4 lbs., he may be just 2.5 lbs. at 5 months. He still has a good amount to gain.
If he is destined to be 4 lbs., he may be 3.5 pounds at 5 months; He will only gain a little bit for the next 1 to 4 months.
If he is destined to be 7 lbs., he may be 6.5 pounds. He did most of his growing, and he's almost done.
If he is destined to be 7 lbs., he may be 3 pounds at 5 months; He still has a way to go. 

Below is a chart of possible weights for Maltese puppies age 8 weeks to 6 months:
Maltese puppy weight gain chart

How to Help a Maltese Puppy Gain Weight

It is not uncommon for owners to worry that their Maltese puppy is not gaining weight as expected. Do keep in mind that with an end goal of just 3 to 6 or 7 lbs. there is not that much growing to do. 

Typically, a new 8-week-old Maltese puppy will only be gaining 6 pounds at the most, and this is spread out over 4 to 7 months (with final adult size being between the 6 to 9 month mark).

If you believe that your Maltese is not growing at all, and any time that you suspect weight loss, this should be reported to the vet asap. Worms, other parasites, and other health issues could be to blame.

With all possible causes ruled out, some pups may not have strong enough appetites, and may need just a bit of a nudge. 
If you want to help your Maltese puppy gain some weight, offering a nutritional supplement may be just the thing. A high calorie supplement that comes in gel form can work well. The gel does not fill a puppy's tummy up, but does offer a good amount of calories. 

A supplement such as Tomlyn High Calorie Nutritional Gel for Puppies (Nutri-Cal) is flavored to please picky puppies and a teaspoon is 28 calories. This is a high number for a little puppy. A 2 lb. pup only requires about 110 calories per day; therefore, 28 calories is a 25% increase. 

Health Weight Ranges for Adult Maltese

Though the breed standard calls out for a Maltese to be under 7 lbs. (3.17 kg), a healthy weight for an adult Maltese is 3 or 4 lbs. to 8 pounds (1.36 to 1.81 kilograms to 3.62 kilograms). 

Some dogs will have slightly larger bone structure, therefore a pound or so over that 7 lb. limit is not unusual and no cause for concern. 

However, once a Maltese reaches 9 pounds (4.08 kilograms), this will be a matter of determining if the dog has a larger bone structure than expected, or if this is an issue of being overweight. 

While rare, being overweight is not a problem limited just to medium and large dog breeds. Any dog with good bone structure can end up carrying excess pounds. 

Overweight Maltese

If you believe that your Maltese may be overweight, you will first want your veterinarian to confirm this. 

There are some health issues that can cause weight gain and some that can cause fluid retention which can cause a dog to appear bloated. 

If all health issues are ruled out, and a Maltese is indeed carrying a few extra pounds, it will be time to put a moderate diet in place. 

The goal will be to offer fewer calories, while still giving the same volume of food so that a Maltese copes well with the changes, and by adding in some extra activity without causing a physical strain. 
Here are some helpful tips:
1) If you know that you are feeding your Maltese a great brand of food, you may wish to look if that particular brand offers a low-calorie formula. This may be worded as 'healthy weight' or 'weight management'. 

If you are unsure of the quality of the food that you are offering, it may be time to switch. Inferior foods often have fillers, which make a dog feel full right after eating, but then they are hungry soon afterward.

Another option is to remove 1/4 to 1/2 of a serving's worth of kibble, and replace this with very low calorie ingredients. This would include cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, and/or sugar snap beans. 
2) Snacks are important as well. Look for low-calorie options. A great choice is Fruitables Skinny Minis Apple Bacon Treats and their other wonderful all-natural fruit treats for dogs, which have only 3.5 calories per treat, are made in the USA, and are wholesome without chemical additives. 
3) With your vet's 'okay', aim to add 5 to 10 minutes to each walk, with the goal of meeting the exercise requirements of two walks per day. Often, increasing duration is preferable to increasing intensity. 
4) A typical good goal to have in regard to weight loss is 1/4 to 1/2 lbs. per month. 

Small white Maltese dog walking

It may seem overwhelming to think about all of the elements involved with keeping a Maltese super white, clean, and well-groomed. However, once you have the right tools and get into a schedule, it will be much easier. 

Tips and advice for all grooming elements: Baths, brushing, coat products, seasonal care, and more. 
Small white Maltese dog sitting on grass

House training can be a challenge, but it's also a great opportunity to work together as a team towards something you and your Maltese can both be proud of. Avoid the most common hiccups to find fast, effective results. 
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