While Connie's recipes are very good, I'm afraid I'll have to disagree with her about some of her recommendations. Frankly, it doesn't sound like she is familiar with the Maltese breed.
It is not uncommon for some Maltese to be very finicky when it comes to eating. This can quickly become a serious problem for underweight or scrawny Maltese. Specifically, if they don't eat regularly, they can become hypoglycemic (in other words, have low blood sugar).
What I disagree about is the suggestion of restricting Jasmine's feeding time and then removing the food if it's not eaten right away. Of course, you want to make sure that her food is fresh (not stale) if it has fresh cooked foods or wet food in it. Dry kibble can be left out for much longer without spoiling, but mixing in fresh cooked and/or wet food can be helpful for enticing her to eat.
Be aware that a low blood sugar episode triggered by fasting can quickly lead to serious health problems for a Maltese dog, including suddenly having a seizure, and even dropping dead.
What we recommend for underweight dogs is leaving dry food down all the time, so they can eat it when they want. Some dogs like dry food better than wet food. Additionally, feed a small amount of dry/wet or dry/fresh-cooked food mix twice a day. Don't remove the food so quickly! Leave them alone with the food for a while--up to a couple of hours--so they have a chance to eat when they are ready. If they still haven't eaten after that, let them get out for some exercise and potty, then put them back in with the food and try again. I'm not sure why, but Maltese often like to eat their food after they leave it and then return to it later, rather than when you first serve it.
I agree that making hand feeding a habit is not a good idea; however, you can sometimes entice them to start eating by hand feeding two or three bites to get them started. In any event, do not let them go for more than a day without eating. If all else fails, you can feed them some Nutri-stat to keep their blood sugar from crash diving, but you must eventually get them to eat.
Hope this helps. Good luck.
:Hi Jaime. I owned a kennel for many years and found every time the following program worked: (1) Decide how often, how much,and what time your Jasmine needs to eat. (2)Chose a dry kibble food which is well balanced and her size, but make it so yummy she cannot resist it using real food, not snack food. Cook boneless chicken, shredded small, and add 1/2 to 1 tsp. with broth to her dish. (3) Put her food down for twenty to thirty minutes, and leave her be with it. Don't coax, hoover, or cajole. At the end of the time pick up her bowl and toss out the food. (4) Feed nothing in between her meals, even if Jasmine will be smoking on fumes before her next meal. (5) Don't hand feed. We had clients who did and their dogs were neurotic and, often, ill. If you follow this program you will find that within three days Jasmine will come around to be on your schedule. One tip: some dogs like their food dry. Some dogs like their food wet. THe wetter the food, the more stool there will be. Taking in fluids is improtant too, so depending on her drinking habits (let's hope it is not rum), water or broth (1 tsp)might be good for her. Experiment.
:Good luck. Don't worry, be calm and Jasmine will pick up on that too. I've never knwon a dog to starve itself to dea th. But, I have known a few cute dogs who worried their owner almost to that point.
::Hey everyone. I am a new Maltese owner (an 11 week old female) and am trying to get it on a schedule when it comes to eating. The problem is, my puppy (Jasmine), seems to play with her food, and not eat very much. She will lunge at it, bark at it, and carry it around but doesnt seem to eat very much at all. She will eat when I "hand feed" her (hold the food in my hand) but doesnt seem to want to eat on her own. Does anyone know of way to fix this? Thanks for any help.