Best Dog Foods For Picky Eaters Of 2022
To help you find the best food for picky dogs that are both delicious and nutritious, weve covered dozens of different formulas, with a detailed rundown of our favorites below and if you need more information on how to care for and feed a picky eater properly? Our buying guide contains everything you need to know!
Picky Eater Dogs Foods: Faqs
# Does Picky Eating Indicate Some Medical Problem?
Picky eating can indicate some underlying medical issues. However, to know for sure, always consult your vet.
# Would Making My Own Kibble Help?
Making your own kibble may help since you are giving them something new and interesting. Just make sure to follow the guidelines for your dogs nutritional needs.
# How Do I Know My Dog is a Picky Eater?
It is easy to find out. If your dog refuses to eat or seems to be waiting for something better, your dog may be a picky eater.
Learn How To: Choose The Right Food For Your Dog
How To Encourage Fussy Eaters To Eat
There are many techniques to try when encouraging your picky dog to eat their food. Here are just a few:
- Mix their dry food with a scoop of wet or canned food
- Dont free feed
- Add in healthy inclusions salmon oil, coconut oil, and cooked fruits and vegetables are great!
- Limit their treats so theyre hungry when its time to eat
- Add in a dog food topper like freeze dried or shredded meat
- Moisten their food with water or broth
- Feed with enthusiasm! When youre excited, so is your dog
You can try these options one by one or mix them until you find a winning combination that works for your dog.
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The Best Dog Food For Picky Eaters According To A Veterinarian
- Best Wet Dog Food for Picky Eaters: Cesar Simply Crafted Wet Dog Food Meal TopperA wet food topper with multiple protein sources for maximum health benefits and a delicious mealtime experience.
- Best Grain-Free Dog Food for Picky Eaters: Instinct Healthy Cravings Grain-Free Wet Dog Food TopperA grain, corn, and soy-free formula enriched with premium meat for picky eaters available in an easy-use variety pack.
- Best Value for Money Dog Food for Picky Eaters: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Toppers Wild Cuts Wet Dog FoodA variety pack of chunky meat toppers that will make your picky eater dog excited for meal times.
- Best Semi-Moist Dog Food for Picky Eaters: Purina ONE SmartBlend Dry Dog FoodA blended mixer of crunchy kibble and tender semi-moist chunks of meat that your dogs will love to chew on.
- Best Freeze-Dried Dog Food for Picky Eaters: Canidae Pure Petite Freeze-Dried Dog FoodMaximum protein content from freeze-dried raw meat boosted with superfoods for the overall health of dogs.
- Best Easy-Use Dog Food for Picky Eaters: Blue Buffalo Delights Wet Dog FoodIndividual and easy-use cups of savory gravy with tender meat morsels that will excite your dog for mealtimes.
- Best Powdered Dog Food for Picky Eaters: Crumps Naturals Beef Liver SprinklesA one-ingredient powdered dog food topper that coats your dogs regular kibble or wet food in tasty goodness.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Dog Food A Wild Diet Option
The wild ingredients in Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Dog Food include beef, venison, and lamb as well as lots of fruits and veggies that would be in their natural diet! This blend includes LifeSource bits that are essentially chunks of berries that are rich in antioxidants.
Though we loved the notion of the added nutrients, we found some of our furry friends were not a fan of their flavor and ate around them. For that reason, we recommend Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food which was an overwhelming hit during our testing.
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Things To Consider When Look For The Best Tasty Dog Food For Picky Eaters
When looking for the best food for picky dogs, the taste is the most important aspect to look at.
However, you dont want to compromise on quality, so lets take a look at what to look for when looking for the best dog food for picky eaters, which is also good enough to give your dog the right quality of nutrients for a long time and healthy life.
What Dog Food Is Best For Dogs With Yeast Infections
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Your canine bud already has yeast, but its normally harmless because of its low numbers. However, as youll see later, there are a bunch of simple things that can trigger yeast overgrowth and create many other problems for your dog. The good news is pet parents who use yeast-free dog food dont have to worry about excessive yeast growth and all the other issues that come with it.
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Best Dog Food For Puppies
The nutritional needs of dogs vary throughout their life. Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs, and senior dogs have their own nutritional considerations. Most dog food companies carry specially formulated puppy foods for each stage of a dogs life, making it easier to narrow down your choices. If you are concerned about which is the best dog food for your dogs life stage, consult your veterinarian to see what stage food is appropriate for your dog.
Your puppy requires a different nutrient balance than an adult dog. This is especially true for large breeds. Feeding a large breed puppy food can help, as their growth needs to be monitored carefully to prevent bone and joint problems. Other puppies do well on both puppy food and food labeled for all life stages. The best food for your puppy depends on your puppys size and breed. Always consult your veterinarian for recommendations on puppy feeding, and advice on how to switch puppies to adult dog food.
Will A Picky Dog Starve
No, a picky eater will not starve.
Picky eater dogs may refuse to finish their meals or sometimes completely refuse to eat them at all, but dogs dont intentionally starve themselves .
However, its important to remember that dogs feel hungry less frequently than humans. Namely, a dog can go without food for 48 hours. But if your dog refuses to have meals beyond 48 hours, take them to a veterinarian for a checkup.
Overall, no matter how tricky it is to find a food your picky eater likes, its not impossible. Use our detailed guide to find the right dog food formula and put an end to picky eating habits.
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Best For Chicken Allergies: Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet With Healthy Grains Real Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
Key Ingredients: Deboned salmon, salmon meal, brown rice, oatmeal, barley | Flavors: Salmon and brown rice | Packaging Size: 4, 12, or 22 pound bag
Limited ingredients list with no chicken
Contains supplemental vitamins
May not appeal to picky eaters
Some dog foods that dont mention chicken on the front of the package may still contain chicken by-product hiding in the ingredient list. For dogs who are the most sensitive to chicken, even these by-products may cause an allergic reaction. Merricks limited ingredient diet is a good option for those dogs. This dry dog food is created using nine key ingredients including salmon, brown rice, oatmeal, and sweet potatoesand most importantly no chicken or chicken by-product. It’s also free of soy, corn, wheat, and eggs.
If your dog is experiencing food allergies its very likely to be from the protein source, which is why we recommend a limited ingredients recipe like Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Lamb & Oatmeal Dog Food as our best overall dry dog food. Another good option is a salmon-based recipe like Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet with Healthy Grains for a successful, irritation-free mealtime.
Or, if your dog prefers wet food, we recommend Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach Canned Food.
How To Make Homemade Dog Food:
Making homemade dog food is a cinch! Heres a quick rundown of the process:
- Brown the turkey. Heat a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Add in the coconut oil and turkey and sauté until it is browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Add the veggies. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the zucchini, spinach, carrots and turmeric. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
- Mix in the egg. Turn off the heat and and crack in the egg. Let the egg cook in the hot food, mix it around to ensure it mixed through and cooked through.
- Stir in the rice. Add the rice and stir it in with the other ingredients until everything is well combined. Cool and serve!
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What To Consider When Choosing Food For Picky Eaters
Regardless of how picky your dog is, the two primary factors that make food delicious are flavor and taste. This theory holds in the human world as well!
Certain flavors and tastes are incredibly irresistible to dogs, and formulas suited to fussy eaters will contain at least a few of these.
Firstly, the best dog food for picky eaters will always be formulas made with high-quality ingredients. We all know that cheap food stuffed with fillers and artificial preservatives tastes bland at best. On the other hand, a responsibly sourced, nutritionally complete, and balanced diet promises to be more delicious and nutritious.
Moist foods are also appealing to the canine palate. It doesnt necessarily mean that wet or canned food is the way forward, but its worth avoiding food that is too dry. Moist kibble will taste and feel more like real meat, whereas dry food will taste like cardboard yuck!
Dogs love the taste of meat, so its well worth choosing a meaty formula for your picky pup. Thankfully, many flavors and recipes are on offer, including chicken, beef, and turkey to more exotic foods like venison, wild-caught salmon, and buffalo.
The best dog foods for fussy eaters will also be either free from or low on corn and other grains. They might bulk out a meal for your dog, but they can cause digestive problems and put your dog off eating in the future. Grains are actually among the top five foods that cause pet allergies, so it is a widespread issue.
Complete And Balanced Dog Foods
One of the first things you should look for on a dog food label is the statement is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles. This isnt just an advertising slogan. The Association of American Feed Control Officials has strict requirements to make sure that a product is in fact complete and balanced for dogs . Complete and balanced diets must contain the minimum amount of all of the nutrients necessary for dogs, which is also indicated in the guaranteed analysis. This analysis gives the minimum amount of crude protein and fat, along with the maximum amounts of water and crude fiber. The analysis does not, however, give the exact amount of these components, which means there is room for considerable variation. The manufacturers average nutrient profile is often a better tool for evaluating a product.
You can always contact the dog food company directly to get more information about its product. A reputable company that has your dogs interests at heart should be happy to answer your questions and in many cases will give you more information than what is available on the website or product label. The World Small Animal Veterinary Association has a helpful sheet with questions you can ask a company representative.
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The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Organic Grain
- Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Dehydrated Turkey, 2. Organic Flaxseed, 3. Dehydrated Potatoes, 4. Dehydrated Spinach, 5. Dehydrated Carrots
- Caloric content : 4,290 kcal
- Analysis: Protein 29%, Fat 18%, Fiber 9.6%, Moisture 7.8%
Some dogs can show aversion to commercial dog foods because they are used to homemade food, or maybe you just treated them to homemade goodness once too often, and now they are turning their noses at their kibble. The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Turkey Recipe is a delicious answer to your dilemma. You will find this one on almost all the best tasting dog foods for picky eaters lists. It is made from real free-range turkey and is 100% human-grade, which is another way of saying it that it contains top-quality ingredients.
What adds to the flavor is a fine blend of fruits and vegetables, including cranberries and carrots. The savory flavor can entice the fussiest of furbabies, be they pampered pups or aristocratic adults. It is free of grains, GMOs, artificial additives, and antibiotics. It is just what your dog needs, and exactly what they want. Just add water and watch your baby drool over its bowl.
Instinct Original Small Breed Dog Food
Original Small Breed is one of 5 dry recipes included in our review of the Instinct Original product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, chickpeas, tapioca, chicken fat
- Type: Grain-free
- Best for:Small breed adults and puppies
This Instinct Original formula derives the greatest part of its animal protein from fresh chicken and chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 39% protein, 22% fat and 31% estimated carbs which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.
Instinct Original Small Breed provides an optimal balance of protein, fat and calories to ensure a balanced nutrition for your small dog. Highly recommended.
Sample buyer reviewI love this dog food, and so does my dog. I like all of the ingredients and trust the company. My dog begs for it and devours it. Hes doing very well on it. His coat is shiny, his muscles are defined, and his stools are firm. I rotate this brand with a few other brands so he has some variety, but Im very picky with which foods I include in the rotation, and only choose brands and formulas of the highest quality.
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Is A Raw Diet Good For My Dog
Insider Reviews spoke to veterinarians who said that even though there are some reported benefits of raw diets, they’re just too risky. They put pets at risk of nutritional deficiencies, bacterial infections, and possibly even injuries from bones in the food. Plus, there are risks to humans. Those who are immunocompromised, elderly people, and young children are at risk of bacterial infections if they live in a household where a dog is fed a raw diet. If you want to learn more, you can check out the statements from the FDA and CDC on the health and safety risks of raw dog foods.
Best For Picky Seniors: Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain
As your dog gets older, many dog foods lose their appeal to them. This is because of a change in their dietary requirements and preferences. The Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Senior Canned Dog Food is great for seniors who have become fussy with their taste in dog food.
Many senior dogs cant chew dry food or dont enjoy it as much, while some simply dont enjoy certain ingredients. This Blue Buffalo dog food contains a single animal protein source deboned turkey, an excellent ingredient for dogs with digestive issues. It also has glucosamine, turkey broth, and potatoes for added benefits.
|Contains deboned turkey for protein||Limited flavor options|
|Has turkey broth for extra moisture|
|Great for senior dogs with metabolism and digestion issues|
|Packed with lots of vitamins and minerals|
|Holds its shape even under duress|
- Contains turkey broth for extra moisture
- Added vitamins and minerals
- Contains a single animal protein source – deboned turkey
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Our Top Dog Food Picks For Picky Eaters
All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Great Pet Care may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.
- Best Overall Dog Food for Picky Eaters:Ollie
- Best Dog Food for Picky Eaters with a Sensitive Stomach: Hills Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult Sensitive Stomachs & Skin Recipes
- Best Dog Food Topper for Picky Eaters: Open Farm
- Best Puppy Food for Picky Eaters: Merrick Backcountry Raw-Infused Puppy Food
Blue Buffalo Life Protection
Image courtesy Amazon
The Premium Grain-Free Puppy Food is made with real meat, whole grains, and garden veggies and is designed to satisfy the nutritional requirements of all stages of life as well as many dog breeds.
Chicken & Brown Rice, Lamb & Brown Rice, and Fish & Brown Rice are just a few of the flavors available with Life Protection Dog Food. It’s also available in a large breed version.
With real meat, whole grains, and garden veggies, Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dog Food is a high-quality pet food. It’s designed to satisfy the nutritional needs of all life stages and breeds of dogs.
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Best Food For Weight Control: Wellness Core Rawrev Grain
Dog food for picky eaters often contains lots of fat and additives to entice them into eating. If your dog isnt active enough to burn the extra calories, it could end up packing on a lot of weight. The Wellness CORE RawRev Healthy Weight Recipe has a high fiber-to-fat ratio and has a delicious turkey liver and heart to make your pup enjoy eating.
This Wellness CORE dog food contains deboned turkey and chicken meal and salmon oil for healthy omega-3 fatty acids. The extra flavor and joint support come without unnecessary calories. It also aids digestion and boosts the immune system.
|Has lower fat and lower calories||Not the best for tiny dogs|
|Aids digestion and boosts the immune system|
|Salmon oil for added joint support and bone development|
|Flavorful but not with unnecessary additives|
- Contains delicious turkey liver and heart
- High fiber-to-fat ratio