Have you ever wondered why is my Maltese puppy not eating? It’s surprising how common this issue is among dog owners. Despite their tiny size, Maltese puppies can be quite finicky when it comes to their meals. It can be concerning when your adorable puppy refuses to eat, but there are several reasons behind this behavior.

There are various factors that can contribute to a Maltese puppy not eating. One important aspect to consider is their history and background. Maltese puppies are known to be sensitive eaters and may have specific dietary preferences or aversions. Additionally, changes in routine, a sudden switch in food, or even stress or anxiety can impact their appetite. It is crucial to monitor their eating habits and consult with a veterinarian if the issue persists. With the right approach and consideration, you can find a solution that ensures your Maltese puppy consumes a balanced diet.

why is my maltese puppy not eating?


Why is My Maltese Puppy Not Eating?

Having a maltese puppy can be an exciting and fulfilling experience. These small, adorable dogs require proper nutrition to grow and thrive. However, if your maltese puppy is not eating, it can be a cause for concern. In this article, we will explore the possible reasons why your maltese puppy is not eating and provide helpful tips to encourage their appetite. We will also discuss the importance of proper nutrition for maltese puppies and how to address any underlying health issues that may be affecting their appetite.

Understanding a Maltese Puppy’s Eating Habits

Before diving into the potential reasons why your maltese puppy is not eating, it’s important to understand their natural eating habits. Maltese puppies, like many small dog breeds, tend to have smaller appetites compared to larger dogs. They may prefer to eat smaller meals throughout the day rather than consuming large amounts of food in one sitting. It’s important to take note of your maltese puppy’s regular eating patterns and monitor any changes in their appetite.

Additionally, maltese puppies can be picky eaters, especially during the transition from their mother’s milk to solid food. They may be hesitant to try unfamiliar foods or may become bored with their current diet. It’s essential to provide a balanced and nutritious diet that appeals to their taste buds to ensure they receive the necessary nutrients for their growth and development.

1. Dental Issues

One common reason why a maltese puppy may not be eating is dental issues. Maltese puppies are prone to dental problems such as retained baby teeth, gum infections, or tooth decay. These dental issues can cause pain or discomfort when eating, leading to a decreased appetite. If you suspect dental problems, it is crucial to schedule a visit to the veterinarian. The vet can examine your puppy’s mouth and recommend appropriate treatment or dental care.

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To maintain your maltese puppy’s dental health, regular brushing with a dog-friendly toothpaste and providing dental chews or toys can help prevent dental issues and encourage a healthy appetite.

2. Change in Environment or Routine

A change in the environment or routine can also impact a maltese puppy’s appetite. Moving to a new home, changes in the household or family dynamics, or a disruption in their regular schedule can cause stress and anxiety, leading to a loss of appetite. Maltese puppies are sensitive to changes, and it’s important to provide a stable and comforting environment to help them feel secure.

If you have recently moved or experienced significant changes in your household, try to establish a consistent routine and provide a quiet and safe space for your maltese puppy to eat. Offering familiar and comforting smells, such as a blanket or toy from their previous home, can also help ease their anxiety and encourage them to eat.

3. Medical Conditions

If your maltese puppy’s lack of appetite persists or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it is crucial to consult a veterinarian, as underlying medical conditions may be the cause. Various health issues, such as gastrointestinal problems, infections, or parasites, can affect a puppy’s appetite. The vet will be able to conduct a thorough examination, perform any necessary tests, and provide appropriate treatment.

Remember, prevention is key! Regular check-ups, vaccinations, and a balanced diet can help prevent many potential health issues and ensure your maltese puppy stays healthy and happy.

4. Stress or Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can impact a maltese puppy’s appetite as well. Situations such as separation from their mother or littermates, loud noises, or changes in their routine can cause stress, leading to a loss of appetite. It is essential to provide a calm and secure environment for your maltese puppy to help them feel comfortable.

Creating a designated safe space, using soothing music or calming scents, and providing positive reinforcement through praise and treats can help reduce stress and anxiety, ultimately improving your maltese puppy’s appetite.

5. Food Preferences

Maltese puppies, like many dogs, can be picky eaters. They may have particular food preferences or get bored with their current diet. It’s crucial to offer a variety of high-quality dog foods that meet their nutritional needs. If your maltese puppy consistently refuses to eat a specific type of food, it may be worth trying different brands or flavors to find one that they enjoy.

Remember to introduce new foods gradually and monitor your puppy’s reaction. Abruptly switching their diet can lead to digestive upset or further loss of appetite. Consult your veterinarian for guidance on transitioning your maltese puppy to a new diet or for recommendations on suitable dog foods.

6. Upset Stomach or Digestive Issues

Upset stomach or digestive issues can also cause a maltese puppy to lose their appetite. Diarrhea, vomiting, or other gastrointestinal problems can be uncomfortable and lead to a decreased desire to eat. If your maltese puppy is showing any signs of digestive issues, it’s important to consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

In the meantime, you can try feeding your maltese puppy small, frequent meals of easily digestible foods such as boiled chicken and rice. This bland diet can help soothe their stomach and encourage them to eat.

7. Lack of Exercise

Maltese puppies, despite their small size, still require regular exercise to stimulate their appetite. Lack of physical activity can lead to a decreased appetite as they may not be burning as many calories. Ensure that your maltese puppy gets daily exercise through walks, playtime, or interactive toys to help stimulate their appetite.

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Additionally, providing mental stimulation through puzzle toys or training exercises can also help to increase their interest in food. A well-exercised and mentally stimulated maltese puppy is more likely to have a healthy appetite.

The Importance of Proper Nutrition for Maltese Puppies

Proper nutrition plays a vital role in the overall health and well-being of maltese puppies. As small breeds, maltese puppies have specific nutritional needs that should be met to ensure their proper growth and development. Here are some key points to consider when it comes to your maltese puppy’s diet:

1. Balanced Diet

A balanced diet is essential to provide maltese puppies with the necessary nutrients for their growth and development. High-quality commercial dog foods specifically formulated for small breeds, such as maltese puppies, are recommended. These foods are designed to meet their unique nutritional needs and often come in smaller kibble sizes for easier chewing.

Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your maltese puppy. They can recommend a specific brand or provide guidance on home-cooked meals if that is your preference. Remember to follow portion recommendations and avoid overfeeding, as maltese puppies are prone to weight gain.

2. Adequate Protein

Protein is an essential nutrient for maltese puppies as it supports their muscle development and overall growth. Look for dog foods that list animal proteins, such as chicken or lamb, as the primary ingredient. Adequate protein intake is crucial to ensure your maltese puppy develops strong, healthy muscles.

3. Sufficient Healthy Fats

Healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, are beneficial for maltese puppies’ skin and coat health. Look for dog foods that contain sources of healthy fats, such as fish oil or flaxseed. These fats can promote a shiny and healthy coat, reducing the risk of skin issues that can affect maltese puppies.

4. Essential Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are vital for the overall health and proper functioning of a maltese puppy’s body. Ensure that the dog food you choose provides a balanced blend of essential vitamins and minerals. If you opt for home-cooked meals, consult with your veterinarian to ensure that all necessary nutrients are included in the diet.

5. Hydration

Proper hydration is crucial for maltese puppies. Ensure that your puppy always has access to fresh, clean water. Adequate hydration supports proper digestion, nutrient absorption, and overall bodily functions.


Having a maltese puppy not eating can be concerning, but with patience and careful attention, you can address the issue and ensure their well-being. Remember to consider factors such as dental issues, changes in environment or routine, underlying health conditions, stress or anxiety, food preferences, digestive issues, and the importance of a balanced diet and proper nutrition. Regular veterinary check-ups and open communication with your vet are essential in maintaining your maltese puppy’s health. With the right approach and care, you can help your maltese puppy regain their appetite and thrive.

Key Takeaways: Why Is My Maltese Puppy Not Eating?

  • Your Maltese puppy may not be eating due to stress or anxiety, so try to create a calm and comfortable environment for them.
  • It’s possible that your puppy may have an underlying health issue, so it’s important to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.
  • Ensure that you’re offering your puppy high-quality and nutritious food that suits their specific dietary needs.
  • Puppies may lose their appetite during teething, so providing appropriate chew toys and soothing their gums can help stimulate their appetite.
  • Your puppy’s feeding schedule and portion sizes might need adjustment, so consider discussing this with your vet to ensure you’re providing the right amount of food.

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our FAQ section on common reasons why Maltese puppies might not be eating. If you’re concerned about your puppy’s appetite or lack thereof, we’ve got you covered. Check out our answers below to understand why your Maltese puppy may not be eating and what you can do to help.

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Q: How do I know if my Maltese puppy is just being picky or if there’s a bigger issue at hand?

A: It’s important to assess your Maltese puppy’s behavior and overall health. If your puppy is usually a good eater and suddenly becomes picky, it could be due to a temporary situation such as a change in routine, stress, or an upset stomach. However, if the lack of appetite persists for more than a day or two, it’s best to consult your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health concerns.

If your Maltese puppy is also showing other symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or weight loss, it’s even more crucial to seek veterinary advice as these can be signs of a more serious issue.

Q: Could my Maltese puppy be teething and that’s why they’re not interested in eating?

A: Absolutely! Maltese puppies, like any other breed, go through the teething process. As their baby teeth fall out and are replaced by adult teeth, their gums may become sore and tender. This can make it uncomfortable for them to eat hard kibble or chew on toys. If your Maltese puppy is not eating, it’s worth considering teething as a potential cause.

To help alleviate any discomfort during this stage, offer soft and easily chewable food such as wet canned food or soaked kibble. You can also try giving them frozen treats or teething toys specially designed for puppies. If you’re unsure whether teething is the primary cause, it’s always a good idea to consult your veterinarian for proper guidance.

Q: My Maltese puppy seems to have lost interest in their food. What can I do to entice them to eat?

A: It’s not uncommon for Maltese puppies to have occasional episodes of decreased appetite. To entice your puppy to eat, you can try a few simple strategies. First, make sure you’re offering a high-quality and nutritious dog food specifically formulated for puppies. Ensuring the food smells appealing and is at an appropriate temperature can also help stimulate their appetite.

Another trick is to try hand-feeding your Maltese puppy or offering small, frequent meals throughout the day instead of one or two larger meals. Mixing in some warm water or low-sodium chicken broth with their food can also make it more enticing. If your puppy continues to show little interest in eating despite your efforts, consult your veterinarian for guidance.

Q: Is it normal for Maltese puppies to have a decreased appetite during hot weather?

A: Yes, it’s quite common for dogs, including Maltese puppies, to have a decreased appetite during hot weather. Just like humans, dogs can feel lethargic and less inclined to eat when it’s hot outside. It’s their way of conserving energy and reducing heat production. To ensure your Maltese puppy stays properly hydrated, make sure clean water is always available and consider providing them with wet food or adding water to their kibble.

However, if your Maltese puppy’s appetite doesn’t improve when the weather cools down, or if they show signs of dehydration like excessive panting or lethargy, it’s important to consult your veterinarian.

Q: Can stress or anxiety be the reason my Maltese puppy is not eating?

A: Yes, stress or anxiety can certainly affect a Maltese puppy’s appetite. Factors such as changes in the environment, a new home, introduction to new people or animals, or even a recent traumatic experience can cause stress and impact their eating habits. To help your puppy feel more at ease, create a calm and comfortable environment for them. Stick to a consistent routine, provide them with a safe space, and offer soothing activities like gentle play or massage.

If your Maltese puppy’s lack of appetite persists despite your efforts to alleviate stress, it’s best to consult your veterinarian for further guidance and advice tailored specifically to your puppy’s needs.

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