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Maltese Life Expectancy: What You Need to Know About This Beloved Breed (2024)

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how long do maltese liveThe average Maltese lifespan is around 13.5 years, with a typical range of 12-15 years.

While small, the breed enjoys a longevity advantage over larger dogs.

Proper diet, exercise, genetics from responsible breeders, and preventive veterinary care contribute to a Maltese’s long life.

Mitigate risks like dental disease, hypoglycemia, and patellar luxation to maximize your furry companion’s wellbeing.

With attentive grooming, mental stimulation, and a nurturing environment, your Maltese can thrive into the senior years.

The oldest recorded Maltese, Banjo, reached an impressive 27 years—an indication of their enduring resilience when cared for diligently.

Key Takeaways

  • The average Maltese lifespan is around 13.5 years, with a typical range of 12-15 years. Their small size gives them a longevity advantage over larger breeds.
  • Proper diet, exercise, genetics from responsible breeders, and preventive veterinary care contribute significantly to a Maltese’s long life.
  • Addressing common health issues like dental disease, hypoglycemia, and patellar luxation through diligent care can maximize a Maltese’s well-being and lifespan.
  • With attentive grooming, mental stimulation, and a nurturing environment, Maltese dogs can thrive into their senior years. Some exceptional individuals have lived over 20 years.

Maltese Lifespan Overview

Maltese Lifespan Overview
As a proud Maltese owner, you know these charming pups have been delighting pet parents for centuries with their silky white coats and spunky personalities.

Have you ever wondered about their lifespan? Maltese dogs have an impressive life expectancy averaging 13.5 years, with many living 12 to 15 years when cared for properly.

This longevity is no surprise given the Maltese’s ancient heritage as a beloved companion breed.

While every dog is different, with the right care, your furry pal can stay by your side for well over a decade, making memories galore.

Factors like diet, exercise, and preventive vet visits play a key role in supporting your Maltese’s overall health and longevity.

Just revel in the joyful news that your little buddy has serious staying power!

Factors Affecting Maltese Longevity

Factors Affecting Maltese Longevity
To help your Maltese live a long and healthy life, you need to focus on providing proper nutrition through a high-quality diet and ensuring adequate exercise based on their energy levels. Additionally, choosing a reputable breeder and being proactive about addressing any potential health issues through preventive care can greatly impact your Maltese’s longevity.

Diet and Nutrition

To extend your Maltese’s life, feed a high-quality, balanced diet. Portion control, meal frequency (3-4 times daily for puppies), and incorporating nutritional supplements are key. Homemade diets require veterinary guidance for the best nutrition.

Exercise and Activity

Your Maltese needs regular exercise and activity. Daily walks, playtime, and indoor enrichment keep them healthy. Frequent, moderate activity promotes longevity by managing weight, building strength, and providing mental stimulation.

Genetics and Breeding

You’ll want to weigh the genetics and breeding practices that influence a Maltese’s longevity. Trustworthy breeders selectively breed for genetic well-being, reducing inherited conditions such as luxating patella.

Health Issues and Preventive Care

Adequate preventive care is essential for your Maltese’s health and longevity. Address issues like luxating patella, PDA, liver shunts, dental disease, and hypoglycemia through regular vet visits, grooming, and a balanced diet.

  • Maintain dental hygiene with regular brushing and cleanings
  • Monitor for signs of respiratory or cardiac problems
  • Provide a nutritious diet and prevent obesity

Common Health Problems in Maltese

Common Health Problems in Maltese
As Maltese owners, it’s essential to comprehend the prevalent health concerns this breed encounters:

Luxating patella (kneecaps dislocating from their proper position)

Patent ductus arteriosus (a cardiac condition)

Liver shunts

Dental ailments

Hypoglycemia (inadequate blood sugar levels)

Awareness of these possible complications empowers you to provide appropriate care, consult veterinary professionals promptly, and ultimately foster the well-being and extend the lifespan of your cherished Maltese companion.

Luxating Patella

Luxating patella is no fun! It causes your Maltese’s kneecaps to painfully pop out. Look for limping and avoid jumping.

Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)

Another health issue common in Maltese is Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA), where abnormal blood flow puts extra strain on the heart.

Liver Shunts

Liver shunts divert blood away from your Maltese’s liver, preventing proper filtration of toxins. This genetic condition requires:

  • Dietary management
  • Medications
  • Potential surgery

Early diagnosis is essential for these loyal companions.

Dental Disease

You’ll need to stay vigilant with your Maltese’s dental care. These dogs require regular brushing and professional cleanings to prevent painful periodontal disease.


Your Maltese puppy’s tiny body makes them prone to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Be vigilant and offer these frequent snacks:

  • Small portions of high-protein puppy food
  • Plain, boiled chicken or turkey (no seasoning)
  • Honey or corn syrup diluted in water
  • Puppy milk replacement formula
  • Plain, low-fat yogurt

Extending Your Maltese’s Life

Extending Your Maltese
To extend your Maltese’s life, prioritize proper grooming and hygiene to prevent health issues, and provide ample mental stimulation through training exercises and interactive playtime. Consistent veterinary care with routine checkups and preventive measures, coupled with vigilance against potential injuries, will help maximize your beloved companion’s longevity.

Proper Grooming and Hygiene

Your Maltese’s luxurious coat requires daily brushing and regular baths. Proper grooming maintains coat health, prevents matting, minimizes tear staining, and keeps their playful spirit shining.

Grooming Task Frequency Benefits
Brushing Daily Prevents mats, distributes oils
Bathing Monthly Clean coat, fresh smell
Ear Cleaning Weekly Prevents infection, prevents odor

Mental Stimulation and Training

You’ve kept their coat pristine – now keep their mind sharp! Provide plenty of mental stimulation through obedience training, agility, and puzzle toys. Maltese thrive on:

  1. Positive, reward-based training sessions
  2. Socialization with family and friends
  3. Engaging their playful, affectionate personality

Veterinary Care and Checkups

Proactive veterinary care and regular checkups are cornerstones to maintaining your Maltese’s health and wellbeing, catching potential issues early, and extending their delightful lifespan.

Preventing Injuries and Accidents

To prevent injuries, properly leash train and socialize your Maltese from an early age. House train them indoors, and keep their environment safe by puppy-proofing. Obedience training helps prevent accidents, while regular grooming maintains healthy skin and coat.

Maltese Life Expectancy Statistics

Maltese Life Expectancy Statistics
You’ve done well by caring for your Maltese’s overall health through proper diet, exercise, grooming, and vet visits – all key factors in extending their lifespan.

Now let’s look at the typical Maltese life expectancy statistics.

As a small breed, Maltese dogs generally live longer than larger breeds, with an average life expectancy of around 13.5 years.

However, many healthy Maltese live well into their mid-to-late teens, with a range of 12-15 years being quite common.

Genetics play a role too, as some Maltese bloodlines are predisposed to living on the higher end of that range.

By providing your pup with a nurturing environment and preventive care, you’re setting them up to reach – or even exceed – the breed’s expected longevity.

With some tender loving care, your furry companion can thrive for years to come!

Longest Living Maltese Records

Longest Living Maltese Records
Have you ever wondered about the oldest Maltese dogs on record?

While the average life expectancy for the breed is around 13.5 years, some remarkable individuals have lived far beyond that.

The oldest known Maltese, Banjo from Romania, reached an astonishing 27 years old!

Another superstar, Chanel from Virginia, lived to 21 years through a combination of great genetics, proper training, and an active lifestyle.

These incredible longevity records showcase the breed’s potential when given the best possible care.

With a high-quality diet, regular exercise, mental stimulation, preventive veterinary visits, and lots of love, your furry companion may become the next record holder for Maltese life expectancy!

Comparing Maltese Lifespan to Other Breeds

Comparing Maltese Lifespan to Other Breeds
In comparison to other breeds, Maltese dogs generally have a longer life expectancy with an average lifespan of 13.5 years. This longevity can be attributed to their small size, as toy and miniature breeds tend to outlive larger dogs.

Small Breed Dogs

You’ll find the Maltese’s small size belies its mighty spirit. These companion dogs thrive alongside their human families. Known for their friendly, energetic temperament, Maltese share many health benefits with fellow small breeds like Shih Tzus and Yorkies – including a longer lifespan compared to larger pups.

Toy Breed Dogs

You might be surprised to learn that Maltese, though toy breed dogs, have a lifespan of 12-15 years, making them one of the longer-lived toy breeds. This ancient breed, known for its gentle temperament and hypoallergenic coat, is generally healthy and low-shedding, making them an excellent companion.

Medium and Large Breed Dogs

Though Maltese are toy-sized, their lifespan varies greatly compared to medium and large dogs. Here are key differences you should know:

  • Larger breeds often live shorter lives due to rapid growth and size
  • Shiba Inus are an exception – an athletic, intelligent breed living 12-15 years
  • Training willful personalities requires patience and reward-based methods

Gender Differences in Maltese Longevity

Gender Differences in Maltese Longevity
With regard to gender disparities in Maltese longevity, females generally have a slight advantage over their male counterparts.

While the difference isn’t substantial, research indicates that female Maltese often surpass males in lifespan by a year or two.

This could be attributable to genetic factors or hormonal variations.

However, providing a loving home with adequate care is essential for optimizing the lifespan of your Maltese, irrespective of gender.

By adhering to a balanced diet, ensuring regular exercise, and maintaining routine veterinary appointments, you’re providing your furry companion with the best opportunity for a long, healthy life.

Ultimately, the connection you share with your Maltese is what truly matters most.

With a touch of additional care, you can cherish many delightful years together.

Maltese Aging Process and Signs

Maltese Aging Process and Signs
As your Maltese enters their golden years, typically around 8-10 years old, you’ll notice physical and behavioral changes signaling the aging process.

Their once lush white coat may turn gray or thin, and their energy levels will likely decrease. Maltese are prone to dental issues, so watch for bad breath or difficulty eating.

Cataracts and hearing loss are also common age-related concerns. While each dog ages differently, being attuned to subtle shifts in your Maltese’s routine can help identify emerging health issues early.

With their life expectancy around 12-15 years, cherish every moment and adjust their care as needed during this precious final stage of life together.

Caring for a Senior Maltese Dog

Caring for a Senior Maltese Dog
As your Maltese enters their golden years, their medical care, nutritional needs, and exercise requirements will evolve.

Consult your vet for specialized senior dog food and supplements to support aging joints and organs.

Maintain regular, low-impact activities like leisurely walks to keep them limber and engaged.

Their luxurious white coat may require daily brushing or combing to prevent matting and skin irritation.

For those with dog allergies, regular grooming with a slicker brush and nail files can minimize dander.

Senior companionship is crucial, so make sure they receive ample attention and playtime.

Caring for a senior Maltese takes patience and diligence, but their unwavering affection makes every effort worthwhile.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can Maltese dogs live indoors or outdoors?

Maltese dogs are little gems that thrive indoors. While they can enjoy supervised outdoor time, their delicate coats and small size make them ideal indoor companions to keep safe from the elements and potential hazards.

How much exercise does a Maltese need?

You’ll need to provide daily walks or playtime for your Maltese. These lively pups require around 30-60 minutes of exercise each day to stay happy and healthy.

Are Maltese prone to separation anxiety issues?

Yes, Maltese can experience separation anxiety if left alone too long. Providing mental stimulation, exercise, and proper training helps reduce anxiety. Creating a calming environment and gradually increasing alone time also prevents issues developing.

What grooming routine is best for Maltese?

You’ll need to brush your Maltese daily and bathe them regularly to keep their long, silky coat tangle-free and healthy. Consistent grooming prevents matting and removes dirt.

Do Maltese require special dietary considerations?

You’ll want to feed your Maltese a high-quality diet formulated for small breeds. Avoid overfeeding, as obesity can lead to health issues. Stick to the recommended portions on the food packaging.


Your cherished Maltese companion can live over a decade, with some thriving into their late teens.

Like an enduring candle flame, with proper care and nurturing, your furry friend’s spark can burn bright for many years.

Understanding how long Maltese live empowers you to provide the attentive grooming, nutritious diet, preventive healthcare, and enriching lifestyle that maximizes their longevity potential.

Embrace this breed’s remarkable resilience and create treasured memories spanning your Maltese’s golden years.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.