Getting an Underweight Dog to Eat

We have just adopted a Maltese terrier. She is approx. 8 years old. She seems to eat very little and needs to gain weight. I have tried dry food small bites, but this is not her favorite. Does anyone in the community have a Maltese that can share some expertise on this subject? Thank you in advance.


By Sheila from Ontario, Canada

July 26, 20100 found this helpful

My male matease will only eat the dry food if I put a lil water on it that has been heated in the microwave. Dont use hot tap water because of the lead in the hot water heater. I just put about half cup of cold tap water in the microwave and heat it til warm about 25-30 seconds. Pour over the dry food and let it soften for a few minutes. Shake it around. Their teeth tend to get sensative as they get older.

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July 27, 20100 found this helpful

I like to make sure the food you are going to feed is a decent one, is there real meat and not meat by products in the first four ingredients? If not, then I would either buy a better food, or start supplementing the meal for your dog with chicken.

I would cut up chicken and feed it about three times a day. Small amounts, just a little at a time, an underweight dog or one that is not going to eat food needs also to have a lot of water. I would give it some pedialyte or make some on your own, and feed it with a dropper and see if that helps!

Here is a site I found on Maltese care



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July 27, 20100 found this helpful

I have a golden that weighs between 45 and 52 lbs. She is 12 years old and will just not eat--so we feed her puppy food (IAMS) for the extra calories and add (per the vets instructions) either cooked diced chicken, cottage cheese or rice (she loves the wild rice flavor) to her regular dry dog food. These supplements seem to keep her weight about 50 lbs, and then she is not ALL skin and bones, but she is still skinny. If we fail to add for more than a few days she seems content to just forgo eating and drops the weight. She is healthy, but that skinny is cause for my concern so I am addicted to the supplements (and apparently she is too). Good luck.

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July 28, 20100 found this helpful


I assume you have been to the Veterinarian? My Corgi eats a brand that was recommended by our Vet. The name is Wellness, it contains sweet potatoes and is very palatable. My Tucker loves it.

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July 28, 20100 found this helpful


This is Sheila from Ont. again. Thank you so much for all the suggestions. My Maltese Maggie has been to a vet. We have found out recently that her teeth are inflamed and they need to be cleaned. She has started to eat dry food with a slight mix of canned food to add flavor. This is helping. Does anyone have an idea on good dental hygiene for dogs? This website is so great, with some very knowledgeable people.


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February 8, 20110 found this helpful

Hello Sheila,

We are Canadian/Americans who recently moved from Ontario to Traverse City MI. Our little rescued Shiz Tzu had a lot of tartar on his teeth and gum issues. He subsequently was malnourished. Our vet put him on a royale canine oral dry food. The chunks are large but they rid the teeth of tartar so well. We also mix in one tbsp of good wet food a day. He is in great shape now & his teeth are good as well We had to buy it from the vet, but the little guys only eat a cup a day. All the best, Trisha

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July 10, 20130 found this helpful

When my dog would not want to eat I would give her a cooked yam. The vet said it was fine. I also gave her blueberries. Look on the internet for foods that are good for your pet and or look at the expensive dog foods to see what is in it.

I always call a vet and ask first before I feed something different.

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August 24, 20160 found this helpful

Hi, I have Maltese. I don't feed can food, if you knew what was in them you wouldn't either. I only give kibble for dental reason. I boil chicken breasts (no skin) with sweet potato, carrot, pumpkin and beans, adding flaxseed oil unprocessed and teaspoon of kelp. Kelp is excellent for them n so is flaxseed oil, good for shining coat too. Don't feed your dog normal potato not good for them. Some fruits are good to. For treats I cook liver and slice into small pieces they love it.

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