Skip to Content

Learn About Maltese Lifespan: Health Issues & Tips to Increase Longevity (2024)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

maltese lifespan facts you should knowAre you intrigued by the Maltese breed? These tiny dogs are known for their long life expectancy and consistent popularity among royalty.

Let’s take an in-depth look at the lifespan of this beloved breed and find out what health issues may affect them along with tips on how to increase their longevity.

Key Takeaways

  • Maltese have an average lifespan of 10-13 years, but some can live up to 20 years.
  • Smaller breeds like the Maltese tend to age slower and live longer than larger breeds.
  • Teacup Maltese have a shorter lifespan and require extra owner diligence.
  • Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Maltese, so it’s important to screen for symptoms and take preventative measures.

Maltese Life Expectancy

Maltese Life Expectancy
You can give your small pup a longer, healthier life by recognizing that the average Maltese lives 10-13 years, but has been known to reach 20.

The ancient breed is related to Bichon, Bolognese, and Havanese breeds and has maintained its popularity with royalty since 1500.

Maltese dogs don’t shed much, but they do have tear stains which require regular cleaning.

They are an active breed who enjoy agility competitions and playing outdoors. Vet checkups once a year are recommended along with tailored nutrition for optimal health benefits.

Insist on health certificates from responsible breeders when obtaining these dogs as heart conditions tend to be the #1 cause of death among them. Other illnesses such as PRA (progressive retinal atrophy), liver shunts, or dental issues should also be monitored closely.

Trauma is another leading cause of mortality, so preventative measures against accidents around the house should always be taken for this toy dog’s long lifespan!

Why Do Small Dogs Live Longer?

Why Do Small Dogs Live Longer
Research shows that smaller breeds tend to live longer than larger breeds due to their slower rate of aging. To maximize the lifespan of your Maltese, it’s important to regularly brush its teeth, spay or neuter it, and provide proper socialization training.

Additionally, selecting appropriate toys for playtime and controlling its diet are also essential in maintaining a healthy lifestyle for your pet. Exercise is an important factor as well. Regular physical activity helps maintain muscle tone while reducing the risk factors associated with heart disease.

Finally, quality time spent playing with your Maltese should not be overlooked. This will help create a strong bond between you both, which can significantly extend its lifespan.

Maltese Health Issues

Maltese Health Issues
As a Maltese owner, it is important to be aware of the health issues your pup may face. Cardiovascular Disease, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Portosystemic Shunt (PSS), White Dog Shaker Syndrome, and Dental Issues are all potential concerns for these small breed dogs.

Educating yourself on these conditions can help you provide the best care possible to keep your beloved pet healthy and happy for as long as possible.

Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in Maltese dogs, so it’s important to keep your furry friend’s heart healthy and strong like a drum.

Start by screening for symptoms during yearly vet visits. Look out for coughing, fatigue, or difficulty breathing. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent more serious conditions from developing.

Regularly monitor dental issues such as periodontitis, as they are linked with cardiac health risks too.

Prevention is key. Make sure your Maltese has high-quality tailored nutrition along with daily exercise and quality time spent together!

Lastly, insist on health certificates from responsible breeders when purchasing a puppy. This will ensure you’re getting the best start possible in terms of genetics and overall well-being that will last throughout their lifetime.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

One of the more serious health issues in Maltese dogs is Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), which can cause blindness if left untreated. It’s important to properly diagnose PRA with genetic testing and receive veterinary advice on eye treatments for small dogs.

Breeding programs should be developed to prevent PRA from occurring in future generations of guard dogs beloved by royalty, such as the Maltese breed.

Signs of PRA include tear stains, clouding or reddening of the eyes, night blindness, and vision loss over time.

Portosystemic Shunt

Be aware that Portosystemic Shunt, a congenital liver defect, can drastically reduce your Maltese’s life expectancy if left untreated. It’s important to understand the risk factors and symptoms associated with this genetic condition in order to ensure early detection and proper treatment.

Genetic testing should be done at the time of purchase from a reputable breeder or upon adoption, along with regular veterinary care including vaccinations and wellness check-ups.

Signs of PSD may include lethargy, poor appetite/weight loss, excessive drinking and urination, as well as neurological signs like seizures or head pressing behavior.

As an ancient breed originating on Malta centuries ago, it’s essential for owners to be vigilant about their pet’s health in order to maximize their lifespan.

White Dog Shaker Syndrome

It is important to be aware of White Dog Shaker Syndrome, an illness that can affect Maltese dogs and should be monitored for. This condition causes a characteristic shaking, which often affects the head and neck area.

Symptoms include trembling or twitching, loss of coordination in limbs, tremors when touched on certain areas of the body, or fur color changes from white to brownish-gray due to pigment migration.

Prevention involves selecting responsible breeders, as well as providing quality nutrition with veterinary care for regular checkups and diagnosing early if symptoms show up. Trauma prevention is also key since it’s one of the leading causes of death in small companion dogs like Maltese.

Dental Issues

Pay attention to your Maltese’s dental health—regular vet checkups and teeth cleanings can help avoid problems like cavities or gum disease. For example, one case study found that regular brushing prevented tartar build-up in a small dog over the course of two years.

To ensure your Maltese has good oral hygiene, brush their teeth regularly with toothpaste designed for dogs. Give them chew toys to reduce plaque buildup. Avoid human food as snacks since they may contain sugar, which contributes to decay.

Ask your veterinarian about preventive care options such as fluoride treatments or sealants. Monitor any changes in eating habits, which could indicate dental pain or infection.

How to Increase Your Maltese’s Lifespan

How to Increase Your Maltese’s Lifespan
Making the best decisions for your Maltese will help ensure that they live as long and healthy a life as possible. To do this, it is important to choose an experienced breeder, provide regular healthcare visits with your veterinarian, feed them high-quality food tailored to their needs, spend quality time bonding together through interactive activities and exercise regimens; all of which can contribute significantly towards increasing their lifespan.

Choosing the Right Breeder

When looking for a Maltese puppy, it’s important to insist on health certificates from responsible breeders. They can provide the highest quality pup and help prevent illnesses like PRA, liver shunts, dental issues, or white dog shaker syndrome.

Responsible breeders also understand that high-quality tailored nutrition is essential for your pet’s longevity, as well as daily exercise and quality time with their owner.

Health Care

Providing regular healthcare is essential to helping your pup live a long and happy life. Vet checks should be done yearly, with special consideration given to the royal pedigree of the Maltese dog. Monitor for any illnesses such as PRA or liver shunts that may develop over time, along with dental issues like tear stains and color changing.

Make sure vaccinations are up-to-date – this’ll help prevent trauma that can become fatal in small dogs. High-quality nutrition tailored specifically for your pet’s breed and size is also important.

With these steps followed regularly, you can ensure a longer lifespan for your beloved pooch!


Feeding your pup high-quality, tailored nutrition is key to extending their life expectancy. Breed selection should be made with care; Maltese are prone to certain health conditions, and a good diet can help prevent them.

Groom hygiene helps keep the skin healthy, which in turn wards off disease. Regular baths and brushing/combing fur daily with appropriate products also remove allergens from the environment.

Exercise keeps joints supple and muscles strong. Aim for 30 minutes per day, split into two sessions if possible, but don’t overdo it or skip days!

Environment control includes providing clean air, avoiding stressful situations (such as loud noises), keeping the home temperature steady, and ensuring safe physical spaces. Stairs should be blocked to prevent access to hazards indoors and outdoors. Regionally relevant weatherproofing is also important.

Quality Time and Bonding

Spending quality time with your pup is like cozying up to a warm fire on a cold night—it’s essential for strengthening the bond and increasing their lifespan. Socializing your Maltese, playing games, and meeting other dogs in public parks or beaches can help them stay active and healthy.

Be sure to keep an eye out for any medical care or grooming needs they may have, as well as provide behavioral training when needed. Quality bonding time also creates deeper trust between you two, which will make them more relaxed during vet visits and travel trips away from home—both of which are important factors in maintaining longevity.

So be sure to carve some special moments each day just for you and your furry friend!


Exercise your Maltese regularly to help extend their life expectancy and give them the best quality of life. A daily routine should include at least 30 minutes of physical activity, but make sure to follow safety precautions when exercising with small dogs.

Use a harness or leash and make sure they don’t overheat in hot temperatures or become too cold in colder climates.

There are many health benefits associated with exercise for your furry friend. These include improved cardiovascular health, stronger muscles and bones, increased blood circulation throughout the body, as well as better overall moods! Keep activity levels appropriate for age.

Low-impact activities such as walking on soft surfaces work great for older pups, while younger ones can enjoy more energetic games like fetch.

With proper care, you’ll have many years of happy memories with your Maltese companion!

Teacup Maltese Lifespan

Teacup Maltese Lifespan
Teacup Maltese are adorable, but their tiny size means they have an even shorter lifespan than a standard-sized one, so you must take extra care to ensure your pup lives the fullest life possible. To do this, it’s important that breeders make wise choices when selecting parents and breeding stock in order to produce healthy puppies.

Furthermore, as an owner of a Teacup Maltese, you’ll need extensive knowledge of the breed to provide long-term health maintenance for your pet. This includes proper nutrition tailored specifically for Teacups and daily exercise with quality time spent together – all vital for optimizing life quality.

It also requires yearly vet checks and monitoring illnesses like PRA or liver shunts that could potentially be fatal due to their small size.

As such, safety is something else owners should keep as a top priority by preventing any trauma, which is unfortunately the leading cause of death among these dogs late into their years despite the preventable measures taken beforehand.

Taking all these steps will help ensure that your beloved companion enjoys many happy years ahead!

Ancient and Modern Breed of Maltese

Ancient and Modern Breed of Maltese
The Maltese breed is an ancient one, with a history that can be traced back to 3500 BC. They were beloved by royalty and could fetch high prices as early as 1500 due to their elegant breeding traits.

Described in ancient texts, these hypoallergenic shedders have been around for centuries and remain popular today due to their small size, sweet nature, and alertness when it comes to spotting strangers.

The white coat of the Maltese may also sometimes feature tear staining or color changing, which is a unique characteristic of this breed.

As well as being excellent companion dogs, they are active enough for agility trials or other activities that require mental stimulation, such as scent work games! With proper care, including yearly vet checks, tailored nutrition plans, and daily exercise sessions, your beloved pet will enjoy not only a long lifespan but also many happy years spent together!

High-quality health certificates from responsible breeders should always be insisted on in order to ensure you get the best possible start with your new pup – after all, they are our furry friends who deserve love & attention throughout life’s journey!

Popularity of Maltese Among Royalty

Popularity of Maltese Among Royalty
You’ll feel like royalty when you spoil your Maltese with love and attention, as this ancient breed was historically popular among kings and queens.

Since the 1500s, these pups have been sold at luxury prices due to their small size and hypoallergenic fur. The origins of Maltese can be traced back to 3500 BC according to ancient texts. They are related to breeds such as Bichon Frise, Bolognese dogs, and Havanese lapdogs – all pet trends popularized by royalty’s pets in centuries past.

Throughout history, there has been a demand for these cute little companions that need minimal exercise yet still remain alert enough to bark at strangers from time to time! Today’s modern-day Malteses aren’t too different from those bred hundreds of years ago – they’re just as playful but slightly larger on average, reaching up to 8-9 inches tall and 7-9 lbs in weight, making them even more lovable than ever before!

Unique Traits of Maltese

Unique Traits of Maltese
You may not know it, but the Maltese has some unique traits that make it stand out from other breeds. For starters, tear stains are common due to their protruding eyes and flat face; they also have color-changing noses, which can range from pink to black or blue depending on the season.

Non-shedding coats require minimal grooming and offer a low allergen option for those with sensitivities.

Tear Stains

You may notice that Maltese dogs tend to develop tear stains under their eyes, caused by a combination of allergies and genetics. To minimize these, try specialized Tear Stain Remedies such as mild shampoos or wipes.

Be aware, though, that some breeds will be more prone than others – it’s important to note any breed variations when seeking medical advice for your dog.

Color-Changing Noses

Discover the unique trait of Maltese that causes their noses to change color! From black at birth, they may become a lighter brown or even pink. This is due to their non-shedding coat and tear staining, which can impact pigment in some dogs.

Additionally, this breed is known for its agility competitions as well as guard dog abilities. They are also one of the few breeds with color-changing noses, making them stand out from all other breeds! While not every Maltese will have this characteristic, it’s still an interesting feature that makes these pups so special and lovable.

The combination of intelligence, loyalty, and cuteness makes them ideal companions no matter what hue their nose turns!

Non-Shedding Coat

Experience the joy of having a Maltese with its unique non-shedding coat that won’t cause allergies or mess up your home. The hypoallergenic fur, which is a breed trait, makes it an ideal pet for those with pet sensitivities.

Its soft texture and silky white locks make it popular among show dogs as well as family pets alike.

While these traits are desirable to many people looking for a companion animal, responsible breeders should be aware of inbreeding issues associated with this particular dog breed over time. Blue-eyed puppies may have vision problems later in life due to breeding practices, so caution should be used when selecting them from litters.

By understanding what sets the Maltese apart from other breeds, you can ensure your new furry friend will bring years of love and companionship into your home without any allergens or shedding worries!

Agility Competitions

Try your hand at agility competitions with your Maltese and watch them dazzle as they fly through the course! This breed has a royal appeal, thanks to its long history of being favored by nobility. Its small size makes it suitable for teacup breeds, while its intelligence allows it to excel in agility training.

These dogs tend to have more tear stains than other breeds, and their coats can change color over time due to age or stress levels.

Guard Dog Abilities

You’ll find that Maltese are surprisingly loyal guard dogs, with their alertness and bark acting as a strong deterrent. They have innate defensive instincts that can be honed through obedience training to make them excellent guard dog breeds.

While these barking warnings may seem intimidating at first, it’s important to remember that they’re just doing what comes naturally.

Companion Dog Qualities

Take comfort in knowing that your Maltese companion will be loyal to you and provide unconditional love throughout their lifetime. Training is essential for these intelligent dogs, as it not only strengthens the bond between pet and owner but also helps with socialization.

Exercise should include daily walks or playtime, depending on age. Plus, brush its silky coat regularly to keep it healthy and tangle-free. Not only does this breed enjoy the companionship of people, but they also thrive when given attention from other pets around them.

With regular exercise, grooming sessions, and plenty of playtime, your Maltese will stay happy for years to come.

Maltese in Pop Culture

Maltese in Pop Culture
The popular Maltese dog is ranked 48th out of 193 breeds in the American Kennel Club’s rankings. Learn more about how this breed has become a part of pop culture and find out upcoming information on their lifespan facts you should know.

American Kennel Club Ranking

Discover the American Kennel Club ranking of Maltese and let their beloved personalities win you over! The AKC ranks them as number 13 out of 193 breeds, a testament to their long breed history.

Despite being small in size, these dogs have an energetic personality that makes them popular companions for travel or playtime alike. Their inquisitive nature is also great for those looking for a pet who loves adventure and exploration.

With all this combined with hypoallergenic coats plus adaptability to various climates, it’s no wonder they are found around the world in movies and TV shows too! From royal courts to movie stars – everyone loves Maltese!

Upcoming Information

Learn about Maltese dogs’ iconic presence in pop culture, from royal courts to modern films and commercials. These loving little pups have been around for centuries due to their hypoallergenic fur, intelligence, and agility.

While breeding costs can be high, vet visits are recommended yearly as heart conditions are the number one cause of death in this breed.

Emotional bonding with these animals is essential because trauma is a leading cause of mortality amongst small breeds. Regular exercise and quality time will help increase life expectancy significantly.

Agility training provides an ideal way to bond with your pet while also providing mental enrichment, which helps keep them healthy both mentally and physically.

Travel Inspiration in Malta

Travel Inspiration in Malta
Explore the stunning beauty of Malta, from sandy beaches like Golden Bay to historic sites such as Mdina – The Silent City. From traditional music and dining customs to historical architecture and local wildlife, there is something for everyone in this Mediterranean paradise.

  • Enjoy delicious cuisine influenced by both Italy and North Africa at one of the many restaurants or cafes throughout Valletta’s city center.
  • Discover ancient history with a tour through Valletta’s old fortifications or experience modern life with a walk along Sliema promenade.
  • Take time out on Comino Island’s Blue Lagoon beach where you can relax under crisp blue skies while swimming amongst vibrant coral reefs teeming with colorful fish species!

Whether it be wandering cobbled streets filled with artisanal shops or taking part in traditional festivals showcasing unique folkloric performances, holidays spent here will leave you feeling enriched after gaining an appreciation for Maltese culture!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What type of environment is ideal for a Maltese?

A Maltese needs a loving environment, like a warm blanket enveloping them in security and comfort. Provide daily exercise and quality time to ensure their well-being; tailored nutrition helps too! Monitor for any illnesses or conditions that may arise, such as heart issues.

What resources are available to ensure a Maltese’s health?

Ensure your Maltese’s health with high-quality nutrition, yearly vet checks, and daily exercise. Monitor for illnesses like PRA or shaker syndrome. Prevent trauma by keeping them safe from potential hazards.

What is the best way to socialize a Maltese?

Socializing a Maltese can be easy! Spend quality time with your pup, take them to the park for playtime, and introduce them to other people and dogs.

Are Maltese typically good with children?

Maltese are generally good with children, as they love attention and being spoiled. They have a tendency to bark at strangers but usually warm up quickly when around kids. It’s important to socialize them early on so that they can become accustomed to family members and other people in the home.

What is the average cost of a Maltese?

The cost of a Maltese can vary greatly, but typically falls within the range of $1,500-3,


Are you interested in learning more about the lifespan of your beloved Maltese? It’s important to understand the common health issues that can affect your pup and take steps towards increasing their lifespan.

You can start by choosing the right breeder and providing quality nutrition, exercise, and quality time.

In addition to that, learning more about the ancient and modern breed of Maltese, their unique traits, and their popularity amongst royalty can be fascinating. Lastly, explore the island of Malta for some travel inspiration. With the right care, your Maltese will be able to enjoy a long and healthy life.

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.