Dog Food For Picky Eaters

By Hungry Bark | August 5, 2020

You pour food in your dog’s dish, and they look at you and almost seem offended. Maybe your dog who usually gobbles down their food suddenly has less of an appetite; until you sit down for dinner, then they can’t stay away from the table. Why do some dogs seem so picky? What causes a dog to lose interest in their food, and what can you do about it?

Dogs Who Are Picky Eaters

When it comes to food, it seems that dogs operate on two different spectrums. There are food motivated dogs, who eat before the food touches the bowl, and then there are the picky eaters, who turn their noses up at their food. As long as a dog is not losing any weight, and they are staying healthy, picky eating is nothing to worry about. Picky eating becomes concerning when a dog suddenly begins losing weight, or a previously food motivated dog is suddenly not interested in food at all. There are many reasons a dog may be a picky eater, and most of them aren’t a cause for concern.

  • They’re grazers. Some dogs can make a bowl of kibble last because eating isn’t the first thing on their minds. As long as they maintain their weight and activity level, there’s no reason to worry.
  • They’re stressed. Have you recently moved, or has there been a disruption in your house? Like humans, some dogs are more prone to anxiety, and this can affect their appetite. As things settle down, your dog should, too.
  • They’re snackers. Do you give your dog a little treat here and a little treat there? This could be why they appear to be picky. They’re just full of treats. They may even prefer the treats to food and ignore their food in hopes that they get treats instead.
  • Someone is feeding them under the table. If your dog seems to be overly interested in your dinner but won’t eat their food, your dog may be hooked on people food.
  • You changed their food suddenly. If you suddenly changed your dog’s food, they may just not be used to it yet. If they’ve eaten the same thing for several months or years, they’ll be startled by a new taste and the new mouth-feel of their food.
  • They just don’t like their food. Tastes can change, even in dogs. If they’ve started turning their nose up at their food, or they’ve had time to adjust to a new food and still won’t touch it, they may just not like it.
  • You have a cat. If you have a cat with food in easy reach of the dog, and the cat food is disappearing at an alarming rate, your culprit is most likely the dog. Cat food has a higher fat content than dog food, which gives it a sweeter taste. Cat’s cannot taste sweet, but dogs can, which is why they love cat food.

My dog is a picky eater,
what can I do?

We’ve identified the reasons why your dog might be a picky eater, but what steps can you take to make sure they’re getting enough of the right kind of food?

  • Snackers and dogs who are eating people food on the side need to be cut off from their source. This may take a while if they’ve grown used to supplementing their diet in this way, but it will help ensure they eat a nutritious diet and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Set up a feeding area. If you have a high-stress dog, a routine can help get them on the right track. A designated area with their dishes away from high traffic areas in your home can help put him at ease and improve their appetite.
  • Set a feeding schedule. Many dogs thrive off of a routine. If they know they will be fed at the same time every day, they may be more eager for their food when dinner rolls around.
  • Try a new food. Do this slowly so you don’t cause an upset stomach, and start introducing a new food. They may just need a change in their diet.
  • Keep an eye out for health issues. If your dog has only recently become a picky eater, watch their behavior. Are they still acting normally, or do other things feel “off” as well? Are they favoring a limb, drooling more than usual, or experiencing mood changes? These could all be signs that your dog is sick or in pain. Especially in older dogs, one of the first signs that something may be wrong is ignoring their food. If this is the case, get them to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

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Best Dog Food For Picky Eaters

If you have a dog who is a picky eater, one of your biggest concerns is getting them the nutrition they need. Good quality food is necessary for all dogs, particularly in picky eating older dogs who have trouble maintaining a healthy weight. If your dog is a picky eater due to any health concerns, changing to a high-quality diet is beneficial. No matter why your dog is a picky eater, you will want to find your dog an easily digestible nutrient-dense food. A food with a good balance of protein to fat is essential, and a variety of protein options is important for dogs that may have food sensitivities.

Hungry Bark kibble recipes are great for picky eaters! They are made with ingredients that can be traced back to their source and are ethically obtained. The recipes use superfoods to provide the essential nutrients that a picky eating dog might otherwise miss out on. A good selection of different fresh meats and a variety of fruits, vegetables, and other natural ingredients slow cooked together make this a nutrient-dense food that is also highly palatable.

Hungry Bark also offers Protein Mix-ins that make for a perfect, tasty addition to any meal. These meal toppers are made with just top quality protein without yucky additives or filler ingredients. So it’s no surprise that even the pickiest of dogs gobble them up!

If your dog is a picky eater, there is rarely a reason for concern. You know your dog best, and you know what is right for your dog. As long as there are no underlying medical concerns, a high-quality diet will help keep your picky eater healthy and happy.

Protein Mix-ins
Freeze-dried single ingredient
Made in the USA
Beef, Chicken + Salmon

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