How to Deal With a Fussy Eater Dog: Tips and Tricks

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 05/18/22 •  7 min read
The contents of the website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on this site (“Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase this item or service, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain our own.

Fussy Eater Dog

Online Veterinary 24/7
Chat With A Veterinarian Online

Connect with a verified veterinarian in minutes. Licensed vets are available 24/7 to answer your questions. No need to worry about your furry family member.

If your dog is a fussy eater, you know how frustrating it can be. Dogs who are picky about their food can be a challenge to feed, and they can also miss out on important nutrients that they need to stay healthy.

In this blog post, we will give you tips and tricks on how to deal with a fussy eater dog. We will also discuss some of the causes of canine finickiness, and offer solutions to help make mealtime less stressful for both you and your pet! 

How to Handle Dogs That are Picky Eaters

Dogs’ eating habits should be monitored closely. Feeding table scraps or too many snacks encourages finicky behavior.

Dogs are smart animals who love to eat. They will always choose what they want over anything else. You should never try to force them to eat something they don’t want.

Effective ways to correct this behavior include setting out your dog’s food every day, and taking it away if it isn’t eaten after 30 minutes.

Dogs aren’t supposed to check for extra treats. But if they do, don’t give them any more. This is an effective technique in getting rid of finicky eating behavior. In the long run, you’ll be glad you did it.

Why is my dog a fussy eater?

Your Dog Had a Bad Experience With a Specific Food

Dogs may be loyal to you, but they also have their own preferences. Sometimes, dogs eat things that make them sick. You should try different foods to see if they help your dog feel better.

High quality food is important. It’s packed full of goodness that is healthy and natural. There is even a special high density dog food just for small dogs such like Dashshunds.

Your Dog Has a Health Issue

When your dog is sick, make sure you give him plenty of water and rest. He might want to skip meals and sleep to recover.

Your dog may be having an illness. He might be sick, or he might be stressed out. You should take him to the vet if you think this is the case.

Your dog may be suffering from dental problems, allergies, infections, parasites, gastrointestinal issues, arthritis, or spine issues. He may also be experiencing vaccination side effects. If he isn’t eating, he could be suffering from gastric ulcers or other stomach ailments.

Strategies to Get a Fussy Dog to Eat

1. Swap over to a tastier food

Fussy dogs may refuse to eat because they don’t like the flavor or texture of their current food. Try switching to a different brand or type of food if your dog refuses to eat.

Having a chicken-only diet? If your dog won’t eat chicken, try switching to another type of meat.

Studies show that stinky flavor was much more likely to be eaten by dogs than other flavors.

Dogs love salmon and lamb! These dry foods have a noticeable fishy smell. Your dog might need to hold his breath while he scoops out his meal. But it’s worth it because your dog will enjoy eating this tasty treat.

Don’t change your dog’s meals too often. Your dog may become less willing to eat if you constantly switch up what he gets.

2. Make the transition slowly

You’ve changed your diet! Your dog should be happy about this. He/she will now enjoy eating the new brand of dog food.

Dogs’ digestive systems work well when they eat different kinds of food. They can easily switch to new foods. You should mix the old food with the new food over ten days. The more you feed them the new food, the less you feed them the old food.

Your dog will eat his new food faster if you give him smaller portions every day. He’ll also eat less if he gets larger portions.

You should use a meal topper to make your dog’s kibble more appealing. A meal topper is something that goes on top of your dog’s food. This could include things such as cheese or peanut butter. These items will help your dog eat his kibble better.

3. Mix in a food topper

A meal topper is an ingredient added to pet food to make it more palatable. Some owners believe that adding a topper makes their dogs less likely to reject dry dog food. There is a wide variety of food toppers available including: “

You should try different types of foods to see what works best for your dog. Try adding some wet dog food, cooked vegetables, or ground beef to your dog’s meals. Also, add salmon oil to his meals.

Stirring the meal topper into the dog’s food makes sure he gets every bite. Fussy dogs may not eat the meal topper if it’s left out.

4. Exercise your pup

Exercise builds up your appetite. You can use this to get a picky pooch to eat his food. High energy dogs like Fox Terriers, Dalmations and German Shepherds love to run around. They are hungry when they finish running.

Dogs need to be exercised to stay healthy. A hungry dog doesn’t care about what he eats. He’ll eat anything! So if you want him to lose weight, make sure he gets plenty of exercise. Walk your dog for 45 minutes or more before dinner if they are being consistently stubborn.

Don’t have time for a walk or playtime with your dog? Try using a tug of war toy. Play fetch with a tennis ball. Throw an inflatable dog toy around inside when the weather is bad! 

From purebred Poodle to Mutt, all dogs can benefit from frequent vigorous exercise.

Dogs need to work hard to burn off their extra energy. When they’re done working out, give them some food. Don’t feed them right away, though. Let them rest first. This gives them time to digest their food before they start eating again.

What to feed a picky eater?

Dogs are very picky eaters. They won’t eat anything unless they really enjoy it. Their favorite food is meat. They love eating bones. They also like to eat poop.

Healthy dogs are rarely nibblers. This behavior is usually caused by a lack of attention or interest in the food they’re being provided. Changing a dog’s diet is one of the things that can cause them to become picky eaters.

Dogs need to eat certain types of food to stay healthy. Cooking food at home is safe, but it must be complete and balanced. Your vet can help you choose what kind of food your dog needs.

Dogs need to be fed regularly throughout the day. You should feed them before you eat, and give them a treat after eating. Try to get your dog used to eating out of bowls instead of plates or dishes. Make sure they have plenty of water available, too.

Hand feeding is a common practice among pet owners who want to make sure their pets get enough nutrition. However, this method isn’t recommended for dogs because it can lead to obesity. Soaking dry food in warm water releases the nutrients, but also makes it soggy. Microwaving wet food releases its aroma, but it doesn’t release any nutrients.

The bottom line

Dogs should eat fresh foods. Their stomachs need to be empty before they eat. They shouldn’t eat too much at once. They should also avoid spoiled foods.

(Visited 73 times, 1 visits today)
Online Veterinary 24/7
Chat With A Veterinarian Online

Connect with a verified veterinarian in minutes. Licensed vets are available 24/7 to answer your questions. No need to worry about your furry family member.


Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!