How long do Maltese live? The life span of a Maltese dog is 12 to 15 years if the dog is in good health. Of course, many factors can affect the life expectancy of your pup, so be sure to provide proper care and regular checkups with the veterinarian so you can identify and treat any issues early.
Maltese dog and life span
The Maltese dog is one of the oldest dog breeds and has been around for more than 28 centuries. They were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1888 and are a member of the toy group. These beautiful white dogs are described as charming, gentle, and playful. They are a joy to have in your family and home.
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The dog grows 7 to 9 inches tall and weighs no more than 7 pounds. To get the most out of the Maltese life span of 12 to 15 years, make sure you are giving your pup the care he needs.
Maltese dog care requirements
To live a happy, healthy life, your Maltese pup needs a good diet, regular exercise, and frequent grooming. If your dog is overweight, the Maltese life span may be decreased, as the dog is more prone to certain diseases. In addition, her quality of life may not be as good.
Feed your dog a high-quality commercial diet appropriate for her age, whether that be puppy, adult, or senior food. Avoid feeding her too many treats, as this can cause her to gain weight. Maltese dogs tend to have a medium energy level, so make sure she gets some activity each day, whether that be a daily walk through the neighborhood or playtime in the backyard. These dogs may be small, but they are athletic and agile and can excel in canine sports, such as agility.
In addition, Maltese dogs have a long, silky coat that needs regular grooming to avoid tangles and matting. If their fur gets matted, it is not only uncomfortable but it can lead to skin infections as well. Grooming is also a good opportunity to check your dog for any lumps, injuries, or other signs of illness that may need veterinary attention.
Health concerns for Maltese dogs
The Maltese breed is generally quite healthy; however, there are some hereditary conditions common in the breed that can affect the life expectancy for a Maltese dog. Luxating patella is a concern, and responsible breeders should make sure that the dogs they breed as well as the puppies are evaluated for the condition.
Liver problems may also occur, and breeders can use a bile-acid test to check for many of these problems. Some of these conditions include liver shunt, which occurs when the blood vessels don't flow through the liver and prevent it from functioning properly, and microvascular dysplasia, which occurs when microscopic blood vessels don't develop properly or at all, resulting in an atrophied liver.
Breeders should also ensure that dogs get a cardiac exam, as patent ductus arteriosus may occur in Maltese dogs. This condition is a defect in the heart where the ductus arteriosus fails to close when the puppy is born. This is the part of the heart that separates the aorta, which sends oxygenated blood to the body, and the pulmonary artery, which sends oxygenated blood to the lungs. When this doesn't close, more of the blood flows through the pulmonary artery rather than through the artery to supply the body.
Teacup Maltese dogs
When searching for a Maltese pup to bring into your family, you may come across teacup Maltese. Teacup is simply a descriptive label indicating that these dogs have been bred to be smaller than the preferred-size Maltese, often just 2 to 4 pounds. While the breed standard doesn't state a minimum weight, 4 to 6 pounds is generally considered ideal.
Teacup Maltese life expectancy may be shorter due to some additional health risks from this type of breeding. In addition to all the other genetic health concerns, teacup Maltese dogs may also suffer from hypoglycemia. To control hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, you will need to make sure your pup is fed frequently. If untreated, hypoglycemia can cause seizures. Work with your veterinarian to find a diet and feeding schedule that works.
These tiny pups also tend to be quite fragile. Their bones may be more prone to breaking, and joint problems are also a concern.
- American Kennel Club: Maltese
- Critical Care DVM: Liver Shunts – Small Problems That Cause Bigger Ones!
- VCA Animal Hospitals: Hepatic Microvascular Dysplasia
- VCA Animal Hospitals: Patent Ductus Arteriosus in Dogs
- Maltese Breeders and Information: Teacup Maltese
- K9 Web: Teacup Maltese: All You Need to Know About This Tiny Pup