Skip to main content

Just like humans are selective eaters, dogs can also be picky. However, a dog’s refusal to eat is often caused by a medical condition. For example, a dog might be picky because of gastrointestinal issues that affect its appetite.

They might suffer from food allergies or intolerances or have an injury or illness that makes them feel less hungry than usual. They might also have trouble chewing their food due to dental problems.

So, if you need advice on what to feed a picky dog, you should ensure your dog is healthy. Consider taking them to the veterinarian for a checkup.

If everything seems fine, your dog is probably bored of their pet food. Here are some tips for making mealtime more exciting for them.

Identify the Flavor and Texture of Dog Food They Prefer

Some dogs are picky because they dislike the flavour and texture of pet food served to them. This might be the case with your dog.

Whether you feed your dog dry kibbles or canned dog food, try switching to a different brand to see if your dog prefers it. Orijen dog food is a popular choice. Once you find a flavour your dog likes, stick to it.

If your dog refuses to eat dry food, try canned or semi-moist pouches to see if they stimulate its appetite. You might need to try different food textures before identifying your dog’s favourite.

However, changing the type and flavour of pet food you give your dog too often can make them picky. Some dogs enjoy variety, but others don’t. So find one type of dog food your dog will eat, and keep feeding them the same. They only switch to something different if they become picky again.

Don’t Feed Them Too Many Treats

Your dog might be picky because it’s not hungry when mealtime comes. Perhaps you or someone else in the family has given them too many treats.

Whether you regularly give your dog table scraps or dog treats, this can spoil their appetite.

Or maybe your dog is hungry when you present them with their food bowl. However, they prefer table scraps or treats, so they act picky because they don’t get what they want.

Although it might be easier said than done, try to limit the amount of treats you give your dog day after day. Eventually, they will have no choice but to turn to their food bowl.

Add Some Flavor to Their Dog Food with Human Food

Feeding your picky dog only table scraps is not good. However, adding a small quantity of human food to their pet food from time to time could make it more flavourful and stimulate their appetite.

For example, you could pour some chicken or vegetable broth over their dog food, as long as no salt is added. You could also top their bowl with fresh veggies such as green beans, cauliflower, or fresh blueberries.

Just be careful not to feed them human food that isn’t good for dogs, such as grapes, mushrooms, onions, liver, chocolate, or cooked bones.

You could add warm water to a bowl of dry kibbles to make them more appealing to your dog.

Feed Them in a Consistent Manner

Figuring out what to feed a picky dog is critical but feeding them consistently might be even more imperative. Dogs need regular feeding.

When feeding your dog, put food in its bowl and leave it out for 15 to 30 minutes. If your dog refuses to eat, take his bowl away. If you feed dry food, you can simply give it to your dog for their next meal.

For canned food, however, it’s wise to throw away anything your dog didn’t eat after 30 minutes. To reduce waste, feed them a small amount if you’re unsure whether they will eat it.

If you repeat the same routine daily, your dog will stop being picky and eat food while it’s available. Ensure they have access to fresh water all day, even when they don’t eat pet food in their bowl.

Be consistent and, above all, be patient. It might take some time before your dog stops being a picky eater.

Photo credit:

Did you find this city dog content helpful? Share it with a friend or link it to social media. Enjoy short clips of silly dogs? Best dog training videos?  Holistic puppy training tips? Follow us on instagram @nydognanny or on YouTube at nydognanny.  Have some news you needs to get to dog and cat parents stat?  Email with your article pitch.

Skip to content