Are Maltese Dogs Expensive?

By John Martin - September 18, 2022

Maltese ready for dog show

If you see a snow-white, cotton ball with innocent eyes and fluffy ears running towards you, you have just witnessed an angel sighting on earth. The precious dog you are about to wrap your arms around is a Maltese.

Also known as “The Comforter,” the Maltese is a therapeutic and friendly dog. However, if you’re looking to adopt or buy a Maltese, there are several cost factors that you should keep in mind.

While we want to encourage you to bring home a Maltese, we also want to make sure that you will be able to take care of your dog. Read along to find out more about the lifestyle of Maltese dogs and whether or not they are expensive.

Understanding Maltese Dogs

Physical Features

Weighing less than 7 pounds, Maltese are small dogs completely covered in a snow-like white exterior. The extravagant white coat makes them look royal, but they’re actually quite humble in nature.

They grow a mere 7-9 inches in height and belong to the Toy Group of dogs. Don’t let their black, button-like innocent eyes deceive you, they’re quite playful and notorious dogs.

These dogs have a silky white mantle that grows right up to their feet. So, unless you’re a fan of long, luscious hair and slight shedding, Maltese need frequent grooming.


Maltese are extremely easy to get along with and very friendly. They’re considered to be therapeutic dogs and will make you feel better when you need comforting.

Maltese are alert and intelligent dogs and can make a good watchdog for your home. They’re extremely responsive and aware of the environment around them.

While they look quite calm and composed, Maltese have a lot of energy. They’re very playful and will be ready to fetch no matter what hour of the day.

These dogs adore being pampered. They need a lot of human attention, especially their parents’ attention. Not being around them for long periods of time, can make these dogs suffer from separation anxiety.

We understand your need to over pamper and spoil your dog, but doing that with Maltese dogs can make them over-possessive and aggressive. They will bark and bite at anyone, even friends and family if they feel a person is a threat to their relationship with their family.

Overall, Maltese are very lively dogs and people-oriented. With the right upbringing and training, they will welcome and play with anyone who treats them well.

Exercise Needs

Maltese are playful and energetic and hence, don’t need excessive physical exercise to stay fit. As long as you take them for regular walks and play with them, extra physical activities won’t be necessary.

For Maltese, you need to wait till they’re at least eight months old before taking them out on long and tiring walks. Till 8 months of age, their bones are still developing, and it is better to play with them indoors or in your backyard more often.

Related: Can Maltese Swim?


While Maltese don’t face difficulty getting along with people of all age groups, it is better not to bring them into families with small children. These dogs are very delicate and easy to injure.

Maltese need to be handled with a lot of care. Young children might drop them or not know how to play with them properly, and this can prove risky to your dog.

If Maltese are exposed to other dogs and cats from a young age itself, they can socialize and get along with them effortlessly well. That being said, it is safer for them to maintain a distance from very large dogs or cats as they’re unaware of their petite size.

Expenses For Maltese Dogs

While being a parent to a dog is a blessing, there are many factors that need to be considered before buying or adopting a dog. One major aspect that cannot be overlooked is the cost that goes into looking after a dog.

Once you buy a Maltese, except for the cost of the Maltese, you need to consider the various maintenance costs. These costs include veterinarian costs, grooming costs, lifestyle costs, training costs, and so on.

While not every dog is necessarily a pinch to your pocket, some dogs are higher maintenance than others. Read along to find out about the cost of parenting and looking after a Maltese dog.

Purchasing Cost

While purchasing any breed of a dog, you need to consider whether or not the dog has been vaccinated, how many weeks the dog is, if the dog has papers and other such factors. Similar things need to be kept in mind before buying a Maltese dog.

You will find yourself paying an average of $1,500 for a Maltese dog with papers, but without show quality or breeding rights. While the price for puppies without papers is lower, it is advised to get a puppy with papers.

If you want to buy a Maltese puppy with a superior lineage, breeding rights, papers as well as show quality, you will have to pay a premium price. The price can range from $3,000 to $10,000.

Along with the purchasing cost of the puppy, you need to incur an annual cost for taking care of your dog. The annual cost for a Maltese dog can be anywhere between $500 and $2,000 for the first year and then between $500 and $1000 for the following growing years of your dog.

There is no price difference in the puppies based on their gender.

Related: 26 of the Most Popular Maltese Mix Breeds

Food Cost

Maltese belong to the Toy Group of dogs. The dogs of the Toy breed have higher chances of getting hypoglycemia, a condition that results in low blood sugar levels, than other breeds.

This means that if you don’t feed your Maltese good meals regularly, they may die. To keep them hale and hearty, it is very important to feed them healthy meals frequently.

While good food is a must, Maltese don’t have a very large appetite. Maltese between 2 to 4 pounds will eat around 1/4th cup to 1/2 cup of solid food per day along with other snacks. Maltese above 5 pounds will eat around ½ cup to 3/4th cup of solid food per day along with other snacks.

The first and most cost-effective food option is home-cooked food. You can prepare different forms of meat like chicken, lamb, fish blends for your dog.

The second option is packaged food, which is filler-free and any artificial preservatives and substance-free. You need to buy a premium quality brand for your dog’s snacks, which include dry food and grain food.

You can find these premium and healthy dry food choices on any e-commerce website or local pet store. The cost of these food items ranges between $40 to $70, and the prices differ for different sizes.

While these are the general food habits of Maltese dogs, each dog is different. Some dogs need specific food items prescribed by your vet, and some can rely on simple, home-cooked, and packaged food.

The amount you spend on your dog’s food depends largely on his or her eating habits.

Veterinarian Cost

It goes without saying that your dog needs to visit the vet and get vaccinated regularly. Vets usually have an average rate for most dogs, and the cost differences for each breed are not too severe.

The average cost for doing a basic physical examination of your dog is between $45 and $55. This will vary based on where you reside.

Maltese puppies are usually given three rounds of core and non-core vaccines. The first round is when they’re 6 to 8 weeks old, the second round is when they’re between 10 to 12 weeks old, and the third round is between 14 and 16 weeks old.

Besides these, adult Maltese dogs may also be recommended annual booster vaccinations.

Usually, the average vaccine cost per shot in low cost-clinics is $10 to $15. The average vaccine cost per shot in private clinics is between $15 and $30.

Besides the basic vaccinations, your dog might have to undergo certain tests like heartworm tests, a fecal exam, or allergy tests. These tests can cost you anywhere between $45 and $250 depending on the test.

Training Cost

One of the many advantages of owning a Maltese dog is that they’re very easy to train. Shower them with treats and rewards, and they’ll follow your commands.

A trainer is not a necessity with Maltese dogs, so you can save money there. However, if you don’t have the time to train your dog or simply feel more comfortable with a trainer, you can read through the average training costs.

The average cost of one-on-one dog training is usually $45 – $120 per session with your trainer. The duration of the sessions is up to you and your trainer’s convenience, but the average time is 90 minutes.

Group training classes usually cost between $30 and $50 per class. You can also get weekly group class packages, which will cost you anything between $200 and $600 depending on the number of days the package includes.

If you want to train your dog for special purposes like protection, therapy, or support, the average cost is $120 for an hour.

If you’re not a big people’s person and rely on technology to get your work done, there are many virtual training options. Not only are these classes convenient, but also cheaper than in-person training.

These are just average costs for training. Every trainer has their own fees, and that might also vary based on your dog’s personality.

Grooming Cost

While Maltese have long and royal looking white hair, they don’t shed a lot. Growing their hair out or keeping it short is a decision completely up to you.

Maltese, especially the ones with hair up to their feet, need weekly shampooing and brushing to avoid tangled and unruly hair. The color of their hair is pure white, which means that dirt is very visible on their exterior.

If you don’t want your Maltese to look shoddy, he/she needs weekly bathing. Maltese shampooing and bathing products are not very expensive and usually fall between $15 and $30.

Besides home grooming, you can always pamper your Maltese by taking him/her to the salon. The average cost for a grooming session for your Maltese will be approximately $40 -$70.

The cost of grooming depends on the weight and breed of your dog. Since a Maltese is a small dog, the grooming costs aren’t very steep.

A full grooming package that costs $40 – $70 usually covers teeth brushing, ear cleaning, nail clipping, haircut, and bath. If you don’t want a package and want to opt for individual services, the approximate rates fall between $5 and $20 depending on the service.

Accessories And Toys Cost

It can be difficult to have such an adorable dog at your home and not pamper him/her all the time with presents and treats. Pampering is tempting, especially for a breed like Maltese that loves attention combined with lots and lots and lots of gifts.

Maltese are extremely playful dogs. You can get them to fetch balls, squeaky toys, and chewy bones for reasonable prices between $6 and $15.

If you have grown out of your Maltese’s hair and want to accessorize it, there are many hair accessories for dogs available at e-commerce websites. You can get accessories like bows, clips, and elastic bands for up to $10.

Accessorizing and spoiling your dog is completely up to you. However, we definitely support the right amount of pampering!

The Final Decision

While Maltese can be an expensive breed to buy, the only major cost expense while taking care of them is their food. They’re delicate and need a nutritious and premium diet to stay healthy.

You can save up on other expenses for training, grooming, dolling up your dog by doing those yourself, or choosing cheaper alternatives. If Maltese didn’t already have enough tempting qualities to make you want to get one, the fact that they aren’t high maintenance is an added bonus!

So if you can afford the one-time expense of a few extra dollars to bring home your very own Maltese dog best friend, we would definitely recommend you to do so.