If you’re thinking about bringing a Maltese home, you might wonder, “how long do they live?” After all, most dog parents want their furry friends to live as long as possible. In most cases, small breeds like Maltese tend to live longer than larger dogs, but every breed can vary. So, how long do Maltese live and what do you need to do to help your Maltese live a long, happy life?
How Long Do Maltese Live?
Maltese generally live to be 12 to 15 years old. However, there have been reports of a Maltese even reaching 20 years old! This is because they’re one of the smallest breeds, only weighing about 7 pounds or less. It’s unclear exactly why small dogs live longer than large dogs, but it’s suggested that it’s because they have a faster metabolism.
Maltese Lifespan Compared to Similar Breeds
While most small breeds live long lives, the Maltese is actually one of the dog breeds that live the longest. Their lifespans are similar to other small, fluffy dogs like Yorkshire Terriers, Shih Tzus, and Toy Poodles. These other small dogs also live for an average of 15 years. However, there are still some small breeds that frequently outlive Maltese, such as the Chihuahua, who usually lives anywhere from 12 to 20 years!
The main reason Maltese live longer than many other dog breeds is because they’re a generally healthy breed. They can be prone to common healthy concerns like dental disease and joint problems, but none of those are life threatening. So, with proper care, you should have no problem helping your Maltese thrive.
How to Lengthen a Maltese Lifespan
All dogs have an average lifespan, but there are always ways to change how long Maltese live. Excellent care can help increase their lifespan while poor decisions could shorten it. Of course, there will always be health problems that are out of your control, but if you can, you should always try to improve your dog’s health in as many ways as possible.
Feed Them Healthy Food
What your dog eats is a huge part of how healthy they are. Many dog parents just select the cheapest and most accessible dog food they can find, but that could negatively impact your dog’s health. So, instead, you should take your time when choosing a food. Oftentimes, fresh food, wet food, and raw food are much healthier for dogs, but they’re also more expensive. So, you should choose the best quality food that you can without breaking the bank.
The best way to decide whether or not a dog food is good quality is to analyze the ingredients. You can’t always trust recommendations from others, even from vets. So, your best bet is to take a look at the ingredients yourself to decide what’s best. Look for foods that are high in protein, but low in carbs. Also, be sure to avoid cheap filler ingredients and controversial items like by-products. The best dog food products should only include the items that your dog truly needs.
Don’t Neglect Regular Walks
Maltese might be tiny, but they have big personalities and frequent bursts of energy. So, like any dog, they need regular exercise to help them maintain a healthy weight. Oftentimes, short daily walks combined with playtime sessions are good enough to keep your Maltese healthy. However, it can be easy to get lazy and pass up exercise sessions as time goes on. Therefore, you should try to stick to a schedule to make sure that your Maltese always gets enough exercise to stay healthy.
Even if you walk your Maltese daily, it’s still possible for them to become overweight though. Exercise is just one important health factor, but it means nothing if it’s not paired with a healthy diet and vet checkups. Instead of solely focusing on exercise, make sure it’s part of a routine that caters to all aspects of your dog’s health.
Visit the Vet for Checkups
Vet bills can add up quickly, but they’ll be even worse if you don’t attend your regular checkups. Your Maltese should visit the vet at least once a year for a physical exam. If your dog is a senior, you might want to consider coming in more often. These checkups will give your vet a chance to look at every area of your dog’s body to make sure they’re in tiptop shape. This is also a chance for you to make sure their vaccinations are up to date and to refill their heartworm, flea, and tick medications if needed. Keeping up with your Maltese’s health can seem like a lot of work, but visiting the vet yearly can help you catch major health concerns before it’s too late.
Give Your Maltese the Life They Deserve
When you bring a dog home, that dog becomes your commitment and your responsibility. The way you care for that dog can have a huge effect on how long that dog lives. It might seem like a big role to take on because it is. That’s why it’s always important to consider this before getting a Maltese.
Your Maltese deserves plenty of love, a high-quality meal, regular vet checkups, and an exercise routine. Taking care of a dog is never easy, no matter how big or small they might be. So, as a dog parent, it’s important that you put in the extra time and effort to help give your Maltese the long, happy life they deserve.