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Picky Pups: A Guide to the Best Dog Food for Fussy Eaters

Picky Pups: A Guide to the Best Dog Food for Fussy Eaters

While many of us think of dogs as living vacuum cleaners, willing to hoover up any scrap of food in sight, a lot of pups actually have quite picky palates. Any owner with a fussy dog knows the struggle of trialling different dishes when a dog decides to turn their nose up at dinnertime, and there can be many reasons why a dog is fussy with their food.

They may just not like the taste or texture, or it may be down to deeper health issues or as a symptom of stress or anxiety.

Today, we are going to take a look at the main reasons why your dog may be a picky eater, tips on how to deal with and manage your dog if they are refusing their food, as well as guidance on some of the best dog food for picky eaters.

My dog is a fussy eater

My dog is a fussy eater

There are a number of reasons why your dog is a fussy eater, and if you notice your dog is off their food, the first thing to do is consult your vet to rule out any underlying health issues that may be causing it.

Some of the most common reasons for doggy dinner defiance include:

Unpleasant flavour or texture

Sometimes your dog may just not like the flavour or texture of the food they are given. Dogs tend to be drawn to stronger tastes, often having a taste for wet or meaty foods, and they may find dried kibbles less enticing. Each dog is unique and therefore will enjoy different things, however some pups can be particularly fussy.

Too many treats or table scraps

If a dog gets too much of a taste for treats or are frequently given scraps from your own plate, it can be the case that they then find their own food boring or are too full to get it down.

Negative association with certain foods

Negative association with certain foods

It is possible your dog may have had a negative experience with certain foods, perhaps through illness or abuse, and therefore will avoid eating it if they can.

Stress or anxiety

Stress can be a huge factor in a dog’s loss of appetite, and so if your dog is exhibiting food-avoidant behaviours it could be down to their emotional state. This stress can be due to many things, such as a bout of separation anxiety or a change in their environment or routine.

Underlying health issues

This is one to watch out for. If your pet is in obvious pain during or after eating, frequently avoids eating and drinking, and is maybe showing other signs of physical distress, consult your vet immediately to rule out any serious health issues that may be affecting their ability to eat.

Tips for dealing with a fussy dog

Tips for dealing with a fussy dog

Once you have identified the cause for your pup’s picky eating habits, you can go about trying to manage the issue. Of course how you deal with things will depend on the problem, however here are a few handy tips to get you started:

Change up their diet

If you find that your dog is struggling with certain tastes and textures, it may be a case of switching up their diet. This should always be done under veterinary guidance and any new food should be introduced gradually to avoid any adverse digestive reactions.

Appealing add-ins

Rather than changing your dog’s entire diet, you may find that the addition of a few tasty yet nutritious tidbits (that can be easily mixed in with your dog’s food) may help things go down a little easier. Water-based fruits and veggies, cooked eggs (cooked plain with no oils) or no-salt stock are all good options, and even just adding a bit of water to either wet or dried dog food can help to bring out the natural smells and flavours to help entice puppy senses.

Limit treats and scraps

Try and limit the amount of treats or human-food scraps you feed your dog, as this could be turning them away from their dinner. They may be filling up on these snacks or find their own meals boring in comparison, resulting in a fussy pup who dreams of living on treats alone!

Limit treats and scraps

Little and often

Sometimes a larger meal can seem overwhelming, particularly to fussy dogs. Why not try spacing your dog’s feeding schedule out a little more, feeding them little and often throughout the day as opposed to larger set mealtimes.

Positive reinforcement

Encouraging your dogs to eat by giving them verbal or physical praise (kind words, happy noises or cuddles and pets) is an excellent training tool, and will quickly teach your dog that if they do something they will be rewarded.

Environment is everything

Ensuring your dog has a calm and quiet space to eat their food, away from busy environments and foot traffic, may help ease any feelings of anxiety or that their food will get taken away by humans or other dogs. If you have multiple dogs you may want to consider feeding them in different parts of the house to avoid any feeding-time stress.

Picky Pups: A Guide to the Best Dog Food for Fussy Eaters

Food for picky dogs - what are the choices?

Finding food for finicky dogs doesn’t have to be a Herculean task.

In fact, finding the right dog food for fussy dogs can be made easy by sourcing high-quality, natural ingredients with as little processing as possible. Every dog is different and so choosing the best fresh dog food for picky eaters will depend on your pup’s tastes and medical state.

Always consult your vet before making any drastic changes to your dog’s diet, as one style of feeding may suit one dog but not another. Size, age, breed and medical conditions can all contribute to dogs needing a specific diet, and if fed the wrong food can cause significant troubles for your doggy’s digestion.

You may want to consider a raw food diet for your dog. The nature of the diet means it is free from additives and preservatives, boasting only the freshest ingredients that will be gentler on your pup’s system and less likely to provoke allergies and other health issues. This has made it a firm favourite dog food for picky eaters with a sensitive stomach. Not to mention it’s tasty too!

Not only is raw food extremely nutrient dense, it is much easier for dogs to digest compared to commercial pet foods, full to the brim with vitamins and enticing tastes and textures for your fur baby.

Looking for homemade food for picky dogs?

Looking for homemade food for picky dogs? We offer specially-crafted BARF mixes. Consisting of high-quality meats, organs, bones, dog-safe fish and veggies, our mixes are packed with protein, essential vitamins and minerals, as well as being naturally hydrating.

Following a BARF diet can also contribute to better muscle maintenance, a leaner physique, as well as skin and coat condition.

A raw diet may not be suitable for every pup, and so we made sure to cover that too. We provide a broad range of high-quality canned dog foods which tailor to all different ages and sizes of dog, helping you find the right fit for your fur family.

It can take a few tries to find the best dog food for picky eaters, but once you find it you will be coming home to a happier, healthier pup!

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