Pet Insurance for Maltese

Find out all about Maltese and their common health conditions, and then compare pet insurance options from some of Australia’s leading insurers.

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, updated on September 26th, 2023       

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Price range

$1,500 –$3,500


25cm - 28cm


3kg - 5kg


Independent, affectionate, loving

Coat length

Long, hypoallergenic

Exercise needs




Life expectancy

12 - 15 years



The Maltese is a small, white long-haired breed named after the Mediterranean island of Malta. It has been known in the Mediterranean area since ancient times, with numerous references to these dogs in Ancient Greek and Roman literature. For thousands of years, these dogs were cherished companions for royalty and nobility, known for their distinctive white non-shedding coats, dark eyes, and elegant appearance. Genetically, they are related to other small or toy breeds such as the Havanese, Bichon Frise and Bolognese.  

Maltese dogs are affectionate and loyal to their owners. They tend to be playful but alert, and have a strong vocal nature, making them effective watchdogs. Despite their diminutive size, they have a bold and confident personality. They are adaptable and can thrive in small living spaces, making them suitable as lap dogs and for apartment dwellers.  

The Maltese does require regular brushing and professional grooming to keep their long coat looking beautiful. Be prepared to brush and groom your Maltese regularly if the coat is kept long, or to have it clipped into a puppy style every six weeks or so. The Maltese makes a very loving and loyal family pet that is suitable for families with young children, and requires only a little daily exercise and playtime to keep it happy.  

Common diseases and conditions of Maltese

  • White Shaker Syndrome: This is a syndrome that is common in smaller white dogs, and causes the whole body to shake. It is easily manageable with the right veterinary treatment.  
  • Luxating Patella: Luxating patella is a condition where the kneecap (patella) dislocates from its normal position. It can cause lameness and discomfort.   
  • Dental issues: Maltese are known to have dental issues due to their small mouth size, so they need to have their teeth cleaned regularly.

 Breed-specific issues:  

The small size of Maltese means they can be injured easily, so they should be handled with care by older children. They can also suffer from separation anxiety if left alone too long. They love to be with their families at all times, and can become problem barkers if not given sufficient human attention. 

How much does pet insurance cost for a Maltese?

Most Australians can expect to pay between $20 and $60 a month for pet insurance. There are many factors that can influence the cost of pet insurance for your dog, which is why it's important to compare pet insurance policies. Factors affecting the cost of your insurance include: 

  • Age: The older your dog is, the more pet insurance is likely to cost. This is because senior dogs tend to have more physical health conditions and illnesses due to age, and so present a higher insurance risk.    
  • Type of insurance you choose:  There are three basic types of pet insurance available in Australia; accident-only, accident and illness, and comprehensive insurance. An accident-only policy is the cheapest type of insurance available, with comprehensive coverage costing the most.  
  • The policy annual limit: Each pet insurance policy has an annual limit, which is the maximum amount that will be paid out on the policy in one financial year. Annual limits range from around $10,000 up to $25,000 or more.   
  • Sub-limits: In addition to an annual limit, there may also be sub-limits that apply to the policy, for example, a $300 sub-limit for consultation fees, or a $5,000 limit for cruciate ligament conditions.   
  • Benefit percentage: Pet insurance does not cover 100% of the cost of your vet bill. Instead, it may pay a percentage of the total bill. This can range from 50% for cheaper policies, up to 90% for the best policies available.   
  • Excess amount: This is the amount you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket each time you make a claim on your policy. Some pet insurance policies do not come with an excess amount, whilst others do.  
  • Any add-ons you choose: It’s possible to add on more cover options to a basic policy, such as emergency boarding fees, routine care and dental care. These add-ons extend the scope of your pet insurance, but do increase the overall cost of the policy.  
  • Discounts: some insurers offer discounts of between 5% and 15% if you have multiple pets insured together, if you pay your premium annually, or if you bundle your pet insurance with other forms of insurance with the same company.
  • Gap-only insurance options: Some insurance companies offer a gap-only insurance option, which means when you go to the vet you'll only be required to pay the gap amount, not the cost of the whole bill. This is similar to the Medicare system of health insurance for humans in Australia, where gap payments can be made at HICAPS terminals at the time of treatment. 

Types of pet insurance you can choose from

Why compare pet insurance with Savvy?

Common questions about Maltese

What is the difference between a Maltese and a Maltese Shih-Tzu? 

The difference between a Maltese and a Maltese Shih-Tzu is their lineage. The Maltese is a purebred dog, while the Maltese Shih-Tzu is a crossbreed between a Maltese and a Shih-Tzu. This crossbreeding results in variations in appearance, temperament, and potential health traits. 

Does the Maltese get along with other small dogs?

If Maltese are properly socialised from a young age they can enjoy the company of other small dogs, as they dislike being alone. However, they can be territorial and jealously guard their living space if they are not properly socialised, so adult dogs will need to be introduced to other companions gradually so as not to arouse jealousy.  They do not tend to enjoy the company of larger breeds of dogs. 

Does the Maltese bark a lot?

Yes, Maltese dogs are known for their alertness, and they can bark frequently. Proper training and socialisation can help manage excessive barking behaviour. 

Can a Maltese live outside in the back garden?

No, Maltese dogs are not well-suited for living outside in the garden. They are better suited to being indoor dogs. This is because their coat can easily get dirty and matted, and because they do not cope well with extreme temperatures, either hot or cold. They thrive on human companionship and are very sensitive to extreme weather conditions, so are best kept as indoor pets. 

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