Why Is My Dog a Picky Eater?

Jack our mini poodle on a trip in Montana
Jack taking a hike among the pine trees in Montana

Healthy Eating Habits

Tips to Encourage Healthy Eating Habits for a picky eater.

Is your dog a picky eater? Having a picky eater in the family can be frustrating especially  when your furry friend turns up their nose at food. But fear not, there are ways to tackle this issue and ensure your pup is getting the nutrition they need.  Through the years I have boarded and or rescued hundreds of dogs.  Some couldn’t get enough to eat no matter how much you feed them.  Some, well its a challenge and a worry when they won’t eat.
I’ve decides to put my methods to use and blog about it.  Some people may think they are unconventional that’s ok. I just know 99% of the time they worked.
Jack pictured below, has a good appetite but he will stick up his nose at a new dish. My method of having him taste it generally wins him over
Jack while visiting the Bear Tooth mountains
Jack while visiting the Bear Tooth Mountains.

(Before I forget: This website may be compensated for linking to other sites for sales of products at no extra cost to you.
We at Livinwithdog.com are very selective and will only link to products we have used ourselves or feel will benefit dog owners.)

How Routine is feeding time for your picky eater?

Firstly, consider the feeding routine. How long does it take your dog to finish their food? This can indicate if they’re being picky or not. Remember, a dog can survive for over a week without eating, but it’s important to establish a consistent feeding schedule.  When you know you cannot make it home at a certain time once in a while use a Dog Food Dispenser.

When we were working in Yellowstone National Park our day sometime took us to the far reaches of the park.  That’s when we would put this dispenser out. The size fit our lifestyle of the RV and the Sailboat. It was simple but it worked. If interested in our lifestyle 

Dog Food Dispenser for anytime is good but really needed if you have a picky eater that needs a schedule.
Dog Food Dispenser for anytime is good but really needed if you have a picky eater that needs a schedule.

Travel, dogs, sailing, food & Fun Set and stick to a mealtime schedule, leaving the food out for no longer than 15 to 20 minutes. If your dog doesn’t eat anything, remove the bowls and avoid giving them additional food or treats until the next scheduled feeding time.

Let’s talk about texture

Texture can also play a role in picky eating. Some dogs prefer soft and soupy food, while others like it dry but flavorful. You can experiment with both canned and dry dog food to determine your dog’s preference.

Picky eater may like new options

If your dog seems disinterested in their food, try gradually introducing new options. These can include:
Adding meal toppers.
  • Low Sodium Bone broth can entice your picky eater.
  • Meat,lean non-fatty .
  • Fish, trout, mackerel, smelt, sardines, anchovies, and herring. These fish are all oily fish that are low in the food chain and therefore low in mercury and other environmental contaminants.
  • Veggies, I like to add steamed veggies. For a picker eater it easier. However do not add beans this is still in study and I would rather be safe beans may add to enlarged hearts in dogs.   
  • Organic dog treats,
  • Peanut butter, Natural is the best.
  • Canned pumpkin, plain no additives.
  • Unsweetened yogurt,
  • Scrambled eggs, no onions, mushrooms
  • Raw and freeze-dried toppers.
Mix these tasty additions with your dog’s dry kibble to enhance flavor. I usually do all of the above anyway, picky eater or not. Lately when we travel or the RV is too hot to cook in I bring out the Stella and Chewy. Cannot say enough about this product. My dogs love it easy to use and stays fresh.
stella and chewy for the blog of lininwithdogs.com
Great dog food topper for picky eaters.

Still got a picky eater?

If all else fails, try some interactive feeding techniques. Rubbing a bit of food on your dog’s front teeth or pretending to eat part of it can pique their interest. You can also set the food time to coincide with your meals, as dogs often eat when their pack members do.
Changing up the presentation can also make a difference. Instead of using a regular bowl, try serving the food on a plate. Some dogs prefer smaller portions, so offering small amounts and refilling as needed may help.
ceramic low bowl or plate for picky eaters
My Jack loves this ceramic low bowl or plate. We love it because it does not slip either in the RV or the Boat.

Travel, dogs, sailing, food & FunMy Senior Standard Poodle on the other hand needed a raised bowl to eat out of due to arthritis.

Travel, dogs, sailing, food & FunTravel, dogs, sailing, food & Fun

Only as last resort:

In extreme cases, hand feeding from the floor can be a last resort. Gradually lower your hand while feeding, moving it closer to the bowl each time. The goal is for your dog to eventually eat from the bowl without your hand present.
Remember, if your dog consistently refuses to eat, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian. There may be underlying health issues or reasons for their picky eating. And always prioritize nutrition by avoiding table scraps and treats that can reinforce picky eating habits.
With patience, experimentation, and professional guidance, you can help your picky eater find joy in their meals again.
Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  This is the time and place to let us know. Just leave a comment below.  Also if you would like to see a topic about Dogs, photography, or lifestyle discussed we have not covered. Drop your suggestion in the comments below.
Thanks for stopping by!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *