Is your dog a fussy eater?

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If you have ever found yourself exclaiming, 'my dog is a picky eater,' know that you are not alone in this pet parenting conundrum. A dog that is picky eater can be a problem, but it is one that easily manageable with the right methods. For some dogs, these methods revolve around finding food that is the desirable texture, and for other, it is about the perfect flavor. Once you find the perfect dog food for picky eaters, mealtime with your dog is going to be a much easier.

The vast number of dog food options can sometimes be the very thing that turns dogs into picky eaters. While humans prefer variety, picky eater dogs can often be averse to this array of food choices. Different types of kibbles, pouches of moist meals, and refrigerated treats may seem enticing in theory, but consistency often wins the day with our four-legged companions. Dog food for picky eaters needs to have flavors and textures of their choice and needs to be offered in a consistent manner once you find the perfect meal for your dog.

Why can some dogs be picky eaters?

How to feed a picky eater dog is the most common concern amongst pet parents. A dog's approach to food is unique to its personality. To know more about your picky eater dog’s habits, read the following.

  • Genetics:

If one of your concerns is related to ‘my dog is a picky eater’ then, you must know the reason your fur baby’s eating habits. Some dogs are born with a hefty appetite, while others have a smaller appetite. This behavior in dogs is often a result of their genetic material.

  • Location:

The surroundings where your dog eats can make mealtime enjoyable or dreadful. Picky eater dogs might sometimes be triggered by their surroundings or even the bowl they eat in. A peaceful, stable environment can encourage a more enthusiastic approach to food.

  • Boredom:

If your dog rejects dinner, it might be a sign that the menu needs a little change. Just like us, dogs sometimes crave a change in their diet. One of the easiest ways to get your picky eater dog to eat is by providing variety in their meal option.

  • Routine:

Struggling to find answers to how to feed a picky eater dog? Try defining a daily routine. Dogs thrive on discipline, and timely eating makes mealtime a breeze. A regular schedule keeps their appetites steady.

  • Underlying conditions:

Sometimes, a dog's picky eating can mean something is not right with it. If you have tried changing dog food for picky eaters and maintained a routine, and your dog has still been struggling with food, then there might be a larger concern to investigate. Pay attention to your picky eater dog, and get it checked up for health concerns.

  • Old age:

As dogs age and are feeling under the weather, their eating habits may shift. Senior dogs often have smaller appetites and have a higher chance of being picky eaters.

  • Anxiety:

If you have been worried with questions like “why is my dog a picky eater?”, then the answer might be hidden in its emotions. For some pups, anxiety can reduce their appetite, turning them into picky eaters.

How can you help a dog that is a picky eater?

If your dog is a picky eater, there are a few hacks you can use to fix this issue.

  • Love and care:

Sometimes, all it takes is a little tender loving care and companionship to transform mealtime from a lonely affair to a cherished event.

  • Some creativity:

If the standard meal is not working, a new flavor or texture will cater to your pup's taste buds. Get a little creative, and experiment to find what your fur-baby’s preferences are.

  • Treats:

Treats are special and using them wisely can make regular meals the main event for your picky eater pup.

  • Shared meals:

Sharing your snacks can lead to a picky pup. Keeping human food as a rare delicacy ensures your dog appreciates its own dog-friendly dishes.


Understanding that each dog is an individual with its own preferences can be key to addressing picky eating habits. Experimenting with different types of high-quality dog food, incorporating enticing treats, or even introducing homemade meals can add variety and appeal to their meals. Remember, patience and consistency are crucial in establishing positive eating behaviors. If the reluctance persists, a veterinarian can provide tailored guidance, ruling out any potential health issues and offering specialized recommendations to meet your dog's nutritional needs.

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Frequently asked questions

It is ok for dogs to skip meals occasionally. Most dogs can stay healthy for up to 3 to 5 days without eating, provided they stay hydrated.

Ideally, human food is not suitable for your furry friend as it contains more fat which can be difficult for the dog’s digestion. It is better to look for nourishing dog food to ensure your canine companion not only gets enough calories but also essential nutrients.