In a hurry? Then check out TruDog: Feed Me: Freeze Dried Raw Superfood as our Best Pick.
Canine diets can be affected by fads, much like human eating habits and training methods. Out with the liver pates and beef chunks with gravy; here come pasture-raised chicken bits and antioxidant medleys. In the massive modern world of available dog foods, how do you even begin to choose the best dog food for Maltipoo? Are their nutritional needs truly any different than other breeds?
In this article, we’re going to review the following top 5 picks:
- Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food Small Breed
- Merrick Lil Plates Grain Free Small Breed Recipe
- Purina Bella Natural Bites for Small Dogs Adult Dry Dog Food
- TruDog: Feed Me: Freeze Dried Raw Superfood
- Whole Earth Farms
Dog Food for Maltipoo Buying Guide
We set out to make your choice of dog food for your Maltipoo easier. After reading this report, you will have a working knowledge of what ingredients your dog’s food must have, what unique characteristics of your Maltipoo you can address with nutrition, and how to choose the best type of dog food.
We conclude with a review of the best dog foods we found for Maltipoos. We ensured these products had high-quality ingredients fitting the general nutritional requirements of dogs, that they were appropriate for Maltipoos, and that they provided special benefits that similar products did not have. A list of pros and cons for each will make it easy for you to make a selection best for your needs.
Must-Have Ingredients in Dog Food
Whether your dog is a Maltipoo or a Neopolitan Mastiff, careful inspection of the dog food label gives you important clues about suitability and quality of the diet.
As you know, amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and protein is the foundation of the body’s muscles and biologic functions.
The protein source should be the first listed ingredient of any dog food. Dogs can obtain proteins from vegetable sources like corn, but a premium diet should offer an animal source as the primary ingredient. This is because dogs are carnivores foremost, and they thrive best on a diet comprised mostly of meat.
Look for beef, lamb, salmon, fish, chicken, duck, and other animal sources along these lines. It can be a meal as long as it is a primary animal source and not a nonspecific by-product (e.g. venison meal). Protein meal is a way dog food makers can pack a higher protein concentration into a manageable quantity of the food extruded for kibbles.
Dogs are not like primates, whereby they need carbohydrates for survival. Nevertheless, dogs even in the wild seem do crave some kind of carbohydrate. Foxes and coyotes often supplement their diets with berries.
Dogs, unlike cats, can utilize carbohydrates for their nutritional needs. Like proteins, carbohydrates should have quality foods as their source.
Carbohydrates from high-quality fruits and vegetables provide important antioxidants that have been shown to prevent various diseases. You will see other carbohydrate sources in kibble where the manufacturer needs a binder to hold the food into a nugget form. Corn and rice are common binders that contain carbohydrates and proteins.
We obtain much of our expendable energy from carbohydrates, but dogs get most of theirs from fat. Like proteins, fats should come from animal sources as opposed to plants. Dogs can absorb and utilize animal fats more easily than canola oil or even olive oil.
Fats provide important anti-inflammatory agents like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These are great for basic bodily functions and the musculoskeletal (muscles, cartilage, bones, and joints) and integumentary (skin) systems.
Coconut oil is an interesting fat that provides several benefits for dogs. Its unique medium-chain triglyceride structure makes it easier to absorb than other plant-based oils.
Vitamins and Minerals
Food labels specify these to widely differing degrees. Most list Vitamins A and E and zinc and calcium. If a dog food meets AAFCO (Association of American Food Control Officials) standards for nutrient content, then it has the appropriate balance of vitamins and minerals.
Extra compounds may be added to dog food to achieve certain bonus benefits. Glucosamine and chondroitin are quite commonly added to maintain or achieve joint health. If amounts of any supplements are not specified, do not assume they are present in therapeutic quantities.
There is a gray zone concerning the use of fillers in dog food and exactly what constitutes a filler. Purists advocate fillers not be used at all in pet foods while some experts argue they are necessary to balance dog food.
Fillers generally include anything not biologically necessary for dogs. However, this line becomes a little blurred when necessary vitamins or minerals are added to substances like cornmeal. Furthermore, some classify rice and corn as fillers, and sometimes they are the major nutritional components of the diet.
Generally, you can expect some meat by-products to be high in protein and nutritional density because they commonly include organ meats. The problem lies with dogs that suffer from food intolerance and hypersensitivity.
We prefer kibble manufacturers do not use meat by-products because we see it as a way for companies to add cheap and unidentified proteins to dog food. I do not feed any food or treats with vague or general ingredients in them to my dogs.
We also prefer dog foods not be corn-based. Corn is actually quite a nutritious grain, but dogs are not truly designed to digest and use it as a primary form of nourishment. In many cases, it wreaks havoc on the canine intestinal tract because of its poor digestibility.
What is Special About the Maltipoo?
The Maltipoo hails from the United States. As its name indicates, it is a Maltese-Poodle hybrid. Like many Poodle designer dogs, the Maltipoo was intended to be hypoallergenic. True to the nature of mixed breeds, this trait is variable among individuals. Multigenerational dogs (more than 3 generations of Maltipoo-Maltipoo crosses in ancestry) are truer to what the original founders intended with this cross.
Maltipoos are small like their parents, with the largest under 20 pounds. Most of them qualify as toys according to size. Therefore, a diet designed for toy breeds will generally suit them.
Maltipoos are a pretty consistent blend of activity level between the Poodle and Maltese. Poodles are high energy working-type dogs and Maltese are relatively sedentary lap dogs. Maltipoos have low to moderate activity levels and their metabolic needs reflect this. You will have to monitor calories with this dog but probably not as close as you would for a Maltese.
Toy breeds are prone to oral health issues. Paying attention to kibble size and any ingredients that may address gums and teeth is a bonus.
Be aware that Maltipoos may inherent allergies and sensitive stomachs from either parent. You will want to base your dietary choices on these factors. Some may require hypoallergenic diets while others need limited ingredients.
How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Maltipoos?
You are finally at a point where you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. You have as much knowledge as you can bear, and you are on the brink of choosing the perfect dog food for your Maltipoo. What next? How do you tie breed requirements and crucial ingredients together in one stand-out recipe?
Always read the labels when choosing food. Also utilize critical reviews involving consumers, your veterinarian’s advice, and the experience of your friends who might have small dogs.
- Protein – A high-quality protein should be the first listed ingredient, preferably meat. The recommended protein content is 25 percent or more. Watch for fillers in the first five ingredients and try to assess how big a role they play.
- Toy breed formula – research whether the food is appropriate for the metabolic needs of small breed dogs.
- Carbohydrates – these dogs, like their parent breeds, do better with limited carbohydrates and no added sugar. They can be susceptible to developing diabetes and also are prone to pack on extra weight.
- Digestibility – this affects how well your dog can use the nutrition from its food.
- Organic, natural, and human-grade – these all contribute quality.
- Palatability – small dogs can be picky about their food. It may be a challenge to find a diet they will be happy with for the long-term.
- Dental health – kibble should be appropriately-sized for a toy dog’s small mouth.
Product Reviews of the Best Dog Food for Maltipoo
This is a premium dog food for small-breed dogs that uses high-quality natural ingredients. It is a high-energy formulation. You may have to adjust your feeding down from the instructed amounts depending on how your pet maintains its weight.
The primary protein sources are turkey and chicken with secondary sources of peas and potatoes.
- Premium natural ingredients – there are no artificial flavors or colors in this food.
- Grain free – there is no corn, wheat, or soy. This dog food is great if your dog has a sensitivity or allergy to the grain.
- High in proteins and low in carbohydrates – this is a good balance for toy breeds. Protein content is about 36 percent.
- high in fiber – this feature is great to regulate stools and may help prevent bowel inflammation.
- Has additional chondroitin and glucosamine – at 250mg/kg each, these are amounts that may be helpful to prevent arthritis in dogs.
- Protein is quite high which may cause concern with some owners – We have not conclusively determined a protein content that is too high for canines. As long as the quality is excellent, dogs can process higher levels of proteins. This presumes they do not have health concerns where high dietary protein is counterindicated.
Another premium option, this food features chicken and turkey as its main source of proteins. Secondary sources of protein come from sweet potatoes and peas. The primary sources of fat are salmon and chicken, although some of the fatty acids come from omega-3 rich flaxseed oil and sunflower seeds.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: this dog food has one of the highest levels of fatty acids of any formulation. This benefits the coat and brain and has anti-inflammatory effects for the skin and joints. Fat content is about 17 percent.
- Gluten-free: improves digestibility for dogs.
- grain-free: this is great for dogs with allergies or who do not tolerate grains.
- Antioxidants – sweet potatoes, blueberries, and apples provide protection against free radicals.
- Glucosamine and chondroitin
- high protein to carbohydrate ratio – beneficial for toy breeds who do not need many filler calories. Protein content is at least 38 percent.
- Palatability issues – Any dog can be picky, but some toys seem to feel entitled to their pampered existences. Most dogs like the food, but several do not enjoy it or lose interest in it.
- Inconsistent quality control – owners reported unsealable bags and changes in consistency and solubility of the kibble.
Chicken is the No. 1 ingredient in this premium diet. Beef is the other primary protein source with secondary sources of corn. Purina keeps small dogs interested with varying textures and multiple flavors in the food.
- Spinach and sweet potato accents – provides natural protein flavoring, making you think it is getting something extra. Purina excels in palatability.
- Fat from beef – the primary source of fat is beef.
- Vitamins and minerals – these are itemized very well, uncommon on dog food labels.
- Antioxidant blend – this is formulated specifically to support the immune system.
- Protein lower – for owners who are concerned about high protein intake or for dogs with health issues requiring lower protein intakes, this diet works well. The protein content is 26 percent, much lower than some of the other choices in this group.
- Varying textures – shredded tender morsels mixed with the crunchy kibble encourages interest in the food.
- Contains multiple grains – wheat is a major ingredient and this grain is a common allergen and source of food intolerance for dogs.
- Soybean and canola oil are major sources of fat – high-quality animal fats are easier for dogs to absorb and utilize than plant-based oils.
- Corn gluten, a filler, is in top 5 ingredients. Although high in protein, gluten is also largely undigestible and good for making an animal feel full.
If you want to feed your Maltipoo a raw diet, this food is better even than you concocting a meal in your kitchen. With the freeze-dried dog food, you do not have to attempt to create a viable blend of vitamins and minerals. This raw diet alternative meets AAFCO dietary guidelines as well as standards for a Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods Diet.
- All natural ingredients: Cage-free turkeys are the main source of proteins with hearts and bones included. Herring supplies the fat.
- Limited ingredient diet includes only three unique ingredients.
- No-grain diet
- Minimal processing – this allows the product to retain more of its nutritional value.
- Appropriate for all breeds and ages
- May have bits of bone – Ground bits of bone in the food are not harmful, but some dog owners do not like it.
- Loose stools – Some dogs may experience softer stools than you are used to. It may improve as your pet adjusts.
A premium food using natural ingredients, Earth Farms uses chicken as the major protein source. Secondary protein sources are potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, and turkey. Fat comes from the chicken.
- Lower protein – a 26 percent protein content makes this a good food for seniors and other dogs who have low protein needs.
- High fiber – Fiber content is six percent, great for digestive function and normal stool consistency.
- Grain-free: enhances digestibility for sensitive and allergic dogs.
- Exceptionally small kibble – the small bites are not only good for a Maltipoo’s mouth to handle, but they pose no issues if your dog has dental problems.
- Excellent palatability – this is important if you who want to feed your Maltipoo dry dog food but have a problem getting him or her to eat it. Owners report dogs wolf this food down.
- USA-cooked but this does not mean food sources come from the United States. USA-manufactured
- Sometimes the kibbles stick together – this is not a moist and meaty type of food, so when the pieces clump, small dogs may be less inclined to eat it.
The clear winner of our round-up is Tru Dog Real meat Dog food. We fee the freeze-dried recipe provides the closest nutritional equivalent to what a wild dog might eat in nature. The ingredients are natural, wholesome, and limited.
When it comes to grain-based diets, Purina Bella Natural is about as good as it gets. Performing numerous trials, Putina is second to none in the department of palatability.
The other grain-free recipes all used high-quality ingredients with premium animal protein and fat and quality carbohydrates. We simply felt the raw diet was superior with very limited ingredients and minimal processing.