The Maltipoo (a mix of Maltese and Poodle) is truly an affectionate and fun-loving pooch that charms family members and house guests alike. This breed is perfectly adaptable to any type of living abode, whether a house, an apartment or a condo. The fact that they are also good-mannered and well-behaved make them suitable companions whether you have a family or are living alone.
Maltipoos, like any specialized dog breed comes with its own health concerns and nutrition needs. Here are some health and nutrition tips for your Maltipoo:
Common Maltipoo Health Problems
Patellar Luxation. This type of condition is common among small dog breeds, affecting the Maltese, Shih Tzu, Pomeranian and the Maltipoo as well. The patella, which consists of the tibia, the patella and the femur aren’t properly lined up, and this causes an irregular gait. The luxation usually happens later on in life as your Maltipoo ages, which can also evolve into a form of arthritis. The most severe cases of slipped stifles can be fixed with surgery.
White Shaker Syndrome. Affects all dogs that have white coats. There’s a high likelihood of a Maltipoo developing this disease if he or she came from a white Poodle and a white Maltese. White shaker syndrome is characterized by rapid eye movements, poor coordination and uncontrolled bodily tremors. This disease can start in-between 6 months to 3 years old and is triggered via hyperactivity and constant stress.
Legg-Calve-Perthese Disease. Affects many toy dog breeds. This condition happens when the blood that flows to the rear leg bone is cut off, causing slight limping and muscle atrophy. Look out for this during the first 4 to 6 months of your Maltipoo pup’s life. Surgery can be done to remove the diseased femur that’s causing the muscle atrophy.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy. PRA is an eye condition where the dog loses the photoreceptors, leading to eventual blindness. Thankfully, this condition shows up early and the owner can make the necessary arrangements for their dogs to navigate while having poor vision. Their other senses will be just as sharp and they can still live a long, happy life.
Portosystemic Shunt. PSS happens when the blood flowing between the liver to the rest of the Maltipoo’s body is compromised. Some of the more notable characteristics include lack of appetite, intolerance to medication, urinary tract issues, intermittent gastrointestinal problems, hypoglycemia and poor balance. This condition may be corrected by surgery and a change in your dog’s diet.
Nutrition Tips For Your Maltipoo
Free-feeding, or providing fresh table food for your 2 or 3-month old Maltipoo is best during this stage. Make sure you empty the feeding bowl of previous contents before putting in a new meal.
When they get to 3 months up to a year, your Maltipoo should be fed 3x a day. Add in some tasty dog treats as snacks in-between meals.
For Maltipoos who are 1-year-old and above, 2x or 3x feeding should be done everyday. Combine dog training and doggie treats for good measure.
Dry food is great for your Maltipoo because it keeps their teeth healthy. Wet food may be appealing to some because of the added water content and savory aspect. It will depend on your Maltipoo’s feeding preference – if they aren’t keen on eating dry food, you can add a bit of beef broth, warm water or maybe half a cup of wet dog food to stimulate their appetite. If you plan to combine wet and dry foods, it will be best if they are of the same brand.
Here are some things you need to watch out for when choosing dog food:
Generic Meat Sources. Beware the bag of dog food that lists its ingredient as simply “meat”, as it could be impossible to find out the exact source of the ingredient.
By-Products. Don’t buy dog foods that have “by-products”. They usually are the intestines, lungs, toes, beaks and brains of chicken.
Fillers. These are cheap ingredients that bulk up the bag of dog food. What’s worse is that they offer zero nutrition in terms of your Maltipoo’s health.
Artificial Additives. These ingredients can cause allergic reactions and a host of other pesky problems, including upset stomach, nose discoloration, poor coat health and various skin issues.
Look out for these beneficial ingredients when buying your Maltipoo’s dog food – antioxidants which could manifest in blueberries, Omega 3 which can make your Maltipoo’s coat healthy and shiny, and Glucosamine which keeps the cartilage and joints healthy. Also, be sure to choose a type of food that has a meat based protein (such as chicken, beef, lamb) as the first ingredient.
Your Maltipoo’s health and quality of life are heavily dependent on you feeding them a proper diet and watching out for any health concerns. Starting them out with good quality food from an early age will ensure your pup can live a long and healthy life! Although these dogs are small, regular exercise is always recommended to maintain optimal health.
Written by The Bark Buzz