Just like humans, yes, you’ve heard the title right – dogs can be picky eaters as well. This can be a problem if you are faced with a dog that has to keep good nutrition for their sickness, and they won’t eat their food.
Eating the right food for dogs is just as important as it is with humans. With the balance of the right amounts and portions of food, they can stay healthy against diseases.
Hence, you may be interested in choosing the best dog food for picky eaters, which we will suggest to you in this article.
- Top 5 Dog Food for Picky Eaters
- Things to Consider Before You Buy
Top 5 Dog Food for Picky Eaters
Here are some of our picks for the best dog food for picky eaters that your dog may like:
1. Sojos Complete Natural Grain-Free Dog Food
For dogs who like a chicken meal without potatoes and without fillers, this one may be an ideal choice for them.
It may be a “just-add-water” formulation but it is made only with natural dog food ingredients using chicken without gluten and grain, especially if your vet advised on that.
Each pack contains 7 lbs. of natural dog food and if you just want a basic chicken meal, this could be a great option for picky eaters. The bag’s contents are also freeze-dried so you can keep them for a long time yet they don’t have preservatives.
2. Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Dog Food
Also organic as a chicken meal, this one can be ideal for picky eaters as well. It is gluten-free and grain-free and is easy to serve by just scooping, mixing, and then serving. Each bag can make up to 8 scoops with its 18-ounce content.
It does not have any fillers or preservatives so it may be great for dogs who are advised to only eat nutritious and natural food. As a bonus, the bag also comes with a collapsible pet bowl.
There are also other flavors to try for this Meal Mixers product, such as duck and goose, lamb, turkey, beef, and salmon, so that may be ideal if your vet recommended other meat sources other than chicken.
3. Weruva Limited-Ingredient Natural Dry Dog Food with Grass-fed Lamb
Dogs who have sensitive tummies or have digestive problems yet are picky eaters may like this one. It is a lamb dinner with lentils in a 4-lb. bag and is only made with natural ingredients other than lamb, such as salmon oil, which can be good for your dog’s coat health.
It is also developed well for digestive problems since it has pumpkin and seaweed which is known to help with tummy upsets for most dogs. The dog food is free from most grain, corn, and soy, and has a lot of protein from the animal source.
4. OC Raw Freeze Dried Rabbit & Produce Sliders
If your dog is a big fan of doggie sliders, this one is an organic choice that is made with 90% rabbit and 10% produce. It is freeze-dried so it does not have preservatives and it is also gluten-free and grain-free.
Each pack contains 14 ounces and can be easily fed to dogs like biscuits. There is also a feeding guide at the back of the label to make sure your dog gets the right amount of sliders per day.
5. Fromm Gold Coast Grain Free Weight Management
As a 4-lb. pack of dog food, this may be ideal for dogs who are picky eaters and have problems keeping up a good weight.
It is a mix of whitefish and salmon so it can be a nice source of protein for dogs. It also comes with L-carnitine so it may be good news for dogs who are overweight or have trouble keeping their weight in the normal range.
Things to Consider Before You Buy
Before choosing the best dog food for picky eaters, you might want to know about the following facts first to help you decide for yourself:
Why are some dogs picky eaters?
There are a couple of possible causes that are medically-proven to change your dog’s appetite and could make them picky eaters. Some of them are the following:
They may have trouble with their digestive system.
Dogs who have problems with their digestive health, such as irregular pooping, could have problems with their appetite. Just the same when humans don’t feel too well when they’ve just had LBM or lower bowel movement, or even diarrhea, dogs may feel the same. You can ask your vet to help you out as to which foods are safer for them in this case (which they will not be picky about).
Your dog may have hormonal issues.
Just like when women are on their period (usually, there are times they feel too bloated to eat anything), dogs, too, could have hormonal problems that can cause them to be picky in terms of eating and appetite. Don’t worry though – most hormonal-caused appetite issues for dogs are temporary and don’t really last too long.
Dogs with dental problems could more likely be picky eaters.
Like with humans, if dogs don’t have good teeth, they may not be able to chew food properly, and hence, may start to lose appetite. This is why you may need to check with your vet if your dog has some teeth problems that may cause them to lose interest in food. In most cases, dogs with gum pain that is caused by decaying teeth and various other dental issues for canines may be the source of their suffering.
If your dog has tumors, they may be picky, too.
While this is not always the case, if your dog has been diagnosed of a tumor, or if you suspect that your dog has one, he or she may possibly lose interest in food, since something is wrong within their system. In the same way, if all other reasons that we have mentioned above are ruled out, you may consider consulting your vet if the dog’s behavior on eating is not really changing no matter what you do.
How do I choose the best dog food for picky eaters?
To choose the most ideal dog food that your dog may love if he or she starts to get finicky overeating, you may consider any of these criteria to help you out:
Pick more meats.
Since dogs are usually meat-lovers due to their ancestry with wolves, dogs will mostly love anything that is meat-based. This is where most dogs get their energy due to calories and protein content.
Dogs, contrary to popular belief, are actually omnivorous due to their evolution as domesticated pets, unlike the wolves who are carnivorous. While it is okay to include some fruits and veggies into their diet for immunity against sickness and also for their coat health, you may want to boost more on their meat side because they may eat best with meat.
But don’t forget to mix in some veggies and fruits.
Because dogs, as we said, are now omnivorous, they may also feast on fruits and veggies occasionally. You can throw in some bitter veggies like broccoli and spinach and they will be actually easier to feed than most kids.
The biggest benefit of feeding your dog some greens is like with humans – providing them with ample amounts of vitamins and minerals for their eye health, their coat shine, their immune system, and much more. Antioxidants may also be present in some fruits and veggies, which also helps their immune system and overall health.
No artificial flavorings.
Many dog food nowadays that are commercially sold are getting rid of those artificial flavors to ensure that your dog. If your dog gets only naturally-cooked chicken or other meal that has been prepared without preservatives, they will be less likely picky eaters in the future.
There are many essential proteins that are present when there are no artificial flavorings. Plus, anything that is not authentic may harm your dog’s health in the long run, since they can be full of sugars that may not be helpful to their health.
Dogs, as mostly meat-eaters, will most likely eat anything that has fat. This is because fat tastes good not only to humans but also to dogs. Fats can also be in the form of oils so it is good to give your dog some of them, especially if your vet recommends it. Just make sure your dog doesn’t eat too much fat.
Your vet’s recommendation.
If you are unsure with your dog’s eating problem, you can consult your vet. Some dogs may work better with certain food types ad your vet can help you assess the situation by recommending them ideal food types that are specific to their age and breed and will still keep them healthy without losing their appetite.
How do I help my dog improve their eating habits to prevent picky eating?
In some cases, it’s not just the food that your dog may have a problem with – sometimes, it can depend on their situation in being fed. Here are some (hopefully) helpful tips to make your dog improve their eating habits when they become picky eaters:
Feed them only dog food.
This may sound ridiculous to some pet owners, especially those who in a country where dog food is expensive and pet keeping altogether is kind of an economic challenge, but dog experts always say that it is always best to feed them only with dog food and not with table scraps.
The reason for this is that giving them human food from the table will most likely make them develop the habit of always begging towards you. This is why there are places in the world with stray pets and such places don’t encourage guests to feed them (since they are fed special food of their own).
Did you know that most dog breeds may be prone to diarrhea if you give them mixed food from table scraps? While table scraps work with lower breed dogs, such as the stray ones that live in places near poverty lines, if you feed a dog with a higher breed, they may be more sensitive and therefore, table scraps may not be ideal for them.
Keep a schedule and make it work.
Overfeeding and underfeeding are some of the problems that can lead to your dog being a picky eater. Not only does feeding too much cause obesity, but it can also cause some behavioral problems to your dog, one of which could be being picky eaters. Make sure you stick to a schedule when feeding your dog, especially if they are still puppies or at a young age.
Ensure proper and equal food portions.
Dogs who get the right amount of food portions not only get healthier but also become less likely picky eaters, since they are not accustomed to only a certain type of food. For instance, some dogs who always eat a lot of meat may not like veggies and fruits if you don’t introduce them earlier.
Inform all family members (or new owners) of the dog’s diet plan.
If you have different family members or if you are letting your dog get adopted to new owners, you should consider informing them first of the dog’s eating habits and the diet plan that they need to work on to ensure your dog doesn’t end up becoming a picky eater.
To wrap it up, our chosen top pick is the Stella & Chewy’s Freeze Dried Dog Food as the best dog food for picky eaters because of the variety in terms of meat variety or flavor, the positive comments by most dogs with picky eaters, the organic and gluten-free (as well as grain-free) nature of the food, and the good packaging.
The Sojos Complete Natural Grain-Free Dog Food is also a good runner-up since it may be ideal for those who want a quick way of feeding their dog who is picky due to the hassle-free preparation of the dog food and its chicken meal content without preservatives.
All the other top picks were okay, but these two stood out due to their good amount of ingredients, which may be ideal for dogs who are picky eaters.