How Much Does It Cost to Own a Maltese? A 2023 Price Guide

Maltese dog playing in the grass

The Maltese, an ancient toy dog breed cherished by royalty throughout Europe, holds a special place in history. From Roman Emperor Claudius to the legendary Elvis Presley, Maltese dogs have captured the hearts of the famous. However, owning a Maltese comes with a hefty price tag. Every aspect of their care, from purchasing a puppy to monthly expenses, requires financial commitment. But with their gentle temperament and adorable faces, the investment is well worth it.

How Much Is a Maltese: One-Time Costs

Finding a Maltese puppy at a shelter is possible, but most likely, you’ll need to purchase one from a breeder, especially if you’re looking for a teacup Maltese. Free Malteses can sometimes be found at shelters, but they tend to be older and may have health issues. However, they are still incredibly lovable and deserving of a forever home.

Alternatively, you may come across Malteses available for adoption, typically requiring a small adoption fee ranging from $25 to $50. Some shelters even provide vaccines and microchipping for free or at a low cost, making adoption an affordable option.

When purchasing from a breeder, the cost of a Maltese can range from $500 to $3,000. Ensure that you choose a reputable breeder, especially for teacup Malteses, as these delicate dogs are more susceptible to genetic disorders. Factors like age, lineage, and show quality can significantly affect the price, allowing you to save money by opting for a non-show-quality Maltese.

Maltese Price: Initial Setup and Supplies

Bringing a Maltese puppy home requires some essential supplies from day one. These include a dog cage, food bowl, license, vaccinations, food, and potentially a microchip. Grooming tools, toys, and tear stain removers are also necessary, but you can purchase them a day or two later if needed.

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Maltese purple vest

List of Maltese Care Supplies and Costs

How Much Does a Maltese Cost Per Month?

The cost of owning a Maltese can range from $1,000 to $3,000 per year, with most owners spending around $1,500 annually. On a monthly basis, this amounts to roughly $125, although the exact price may vary depending on location and specific dog needs. Bear in mind that the age of the dog significantly influences monthly costs, as older dogs may require more frequent vet visits and medications.

Maltese on beach

Maltese Health Care Costs

Malteses are more prone to genetic disorders compared to other breeds, especially teacup Malteses. As a result, expect to incur higher healthcare expenses. Besides vaccinations and basic health care necessities, you might need to allocate funds for potential issues related to their health.

Maltese Food Costs

Although food expenses can be a significant cost for any dog, Malteses require less food due to their small size. Most Maltese owners spend around $75 on food. Investing in high-quality dog food is recommended, as it contributes to your dog’s overall health, potentially reducing future medical bills.

Maltese Grooming Costs

Despite being hypoallergenic, Malteses require regular grooming to maintain their beautiful coats. Grooming visits typically cost between $40 and $75. However, if you’re willing to learn and invest in the necessary tools, such as scissors, combs, and tear stain removers, you can groom your Maltese at home.

Maltese Medications and Vet Visits

Expect additional expenses for basic vaccinations, tick and flea medicine, and occasional vet visits. Vaccines generally last for one year, while flea treatments may be required monthly or every other month, depending on the treatment type. A healthy dog typically only needs an annual check-up, which includes necessary vaccinations and prescriptions.

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Maltese Pet Insurance Costs

Considering the breed’s predisposition to illness, especially as they age, pet insurance for your Maltese might be a wise investment. Pet insurance plans range from $25 to $50 per month, with most falling around $40. Alternatively, you could create a savings account for your dog, periodically adding funds for unexpected medical expenses.

Maltese Environment Maintenance Costs

Maintaining a clean environment for your Maltese is relatively inexpensive compared to other pets. While optional, investing in deodorizing sprays, lint rollers, and doggy bags can help keep your home fresh and comfortable for both you and your Maltese. Environmental maintenance costs are typically around $20 per month.

Maltese Entertainment Costs

Despite their small size, Malteses need adequate entertainment. Luckily, they can be entertained in affordable ways. Basic toys can last for years, as these dogs are not highly aggressive. Additionally, you might consider a subscription box, costing up to $50, as a fun treat for your furry friend. Watching them play with new toys can be a delightful experience for both of you.


Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Maltese

After the initial expenditure on purchasing a Maltese, food becomes the most significant monthly expense. Fortunately, Malteses’ entertainment and environment maintenance costs are relatively low. Investing in high-quality dog food not only promotes your dog’s health but can also save you money on potential vet visits, which can be costly.

Additional Costs to Factor In

There are a few additional factors to consider when owning a Maltese. You might need to hire a dog sitter or utilize a kennel when you’re away. Additionally, furniture repair may be necessary during the initial stages of training your Maltese. Although these expenses are not monthly occurrences, they do require consideration. Establishing a savings account for your Maltese can provide financial security for such situations.

Owning a Maltese on a Budget

If your budget is tight, there are strategies to consider when obtaining a Maltese. Visiting local shelters and looking for adult Malteses is an excellent way to rescue one without breaking the bank. Male Malteses tend to be cheaper than females, as more males are born and they are less crucial for breeding purposes.

For the best of both worlds, consider adopting an adult male Maltese, as they are the least expensive option. Moreover, their small size reduces concerns about territorial behavior.

Maltese dog with tear stain standing on the floor