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What dry dog food will picky dogs eat?

Tips for Picky Eater Dogs & Cats

Tips for Picky Eater Dogs & Cats

Do you have a picky eater dog or cat? As a pet parent, you want to provide the best nutrients, minerals, and proteins for your furry friend but it can be difficult when your pet is a picky eater. What should you do when they reject healthy food? Follow our tips for some creative ways to get picky dogs and cats to eat their food.

Don’t Tempt Picky Cats and Dogs with Human Food

Never tempt your pet with human food. Bribing your pet to eat their food with human snacks will only make them want human food more. This can be a challenging habit to break as the potent ingredients in human food can make it far more alluring to your pet than their own food. Often picky eating is caused by wanting table scraps more than their own food. This may be especially challenging if you have a dog that’s a picky eater due to their heightened sense of taste and smell. Dogs have more scent receptors than humans and cats, making the smell of human food more alluring than their own food. Giving them human food also adds unnecessary calories that often contain high levels of sugar, carbs, and fat.

Turn Dinner into a Game

Games are very creative ways to make dinner time fun for your picky pet and fun for pet owners as well. Introducing new foods in fun ways can get them excited to eat. Try putting a few pieces in a feeding toy and let them play with their dinner. Dogs and cats are natural hunters, so doing this will help them tap into their natural wild animal instincts. For a toyless option for your picky dog, you can try playing a good old fashion game of hide-and-seek. This is done by portioning your dog’s meals into small bowls then hiding the bowls around your house. This encourages your dog to “hunt” for their food. For a picky cat, you can try puzzles that can also engage your cat’s hunter spirit. Using toys and games are a great way to make mealtime fun and gives your pet something more to look forward to.

Make Their Food Their Only Option

If you’ve bought multiple pet food brands, your picky pet may have learned to wait for better options before eating. Don’t fold and offer another brand if they don’t eat a meal — removing a meal or two will help them realize that you aren’t going to provide another option. Your pet will soon understand that the food you are giving them is the only food that’s available to them. Once they have been eating this way for a while, they will get used to eating the food you give them. This tactic will help restore your pet’s normal eating habits by training them to be content with eating what they’re given.

Don’t Go Cold Turkey on Old Food

You may be excited to let your picky cat or dog try a new type of food but don’t go cold turkey. Combine the new food with the remnants of the old food to gradually transition your pet away from the old food. This way, they will get used to the taste instead of refusing to eat new food. Remember to be patient and give your pet time to transition. Depending on your pet’s picky eating habits, it may take longer for them to transition to a new food. Consider doing this for about a week to see how it goes.

Top It with Rustic Stew or Bone Broth

Another trick to get your picky dog or cat to eat is to top their food with Rustic Stew or Bone Broth. Similar to mixing old and new foods, covering food with a tasty pet food topper they love encourages them to eat. Liquids are best, as they soak in and can’t be picked out (adding in a few treats may cause them to dig through for the treats without actually eating the food). Open Farm has multiple options for wet food toppers that are tasty and healthy for your pet. One of the best dog foods for picky eaters is our rustic stew, which has a delicious, thick, and pourable texture and comes in a variety of protein choices. Our bone broth is another delicious alternative that includes a variety of tasty protein options for both cats and dogs.

Open Farm Cat & Dog Food for Picky Eaters

Open Farm carries a number of options for picky eater pets, from our rustic stews and bone broths that add more flavor to dry food, to our Gently cooked options which include non-GMO traceable ingredients that are antibiotic and hormone-free. Whatever suits your pet’s needs, Open Farm has you covered. We offer the most nutritious and delicious pet food that even the pickiest pets can’t resist.

Choosing the Best Dry Dog Food for Picky Eaters

A patient pooch waiting for a special dry dog food for picky eaters.

While some dogs may happily eat their bowl of food and be content, other dogs can be very picky eaters. It’s not uncommon for dogs to be particular about their food, but that doesn’t make it any less unnerving when your best friend doesn’t finish their meal.

A lack of appetite can happen with dogs of all ages and breeds for several different reasons. Fortunately, there are ways that you can address the picky problem. Let’s break down how to tell if your dog is a picky eater, how to choose the best dog food for picky eaters, and how you can entice your dog to eat full meals.

How Do I Know if My Dog is a Picky Eater?

A picky dog is typically defined as a furry friend who does not consume all of their food at least once a day. If your dog has suddenly stopped eating, it is always good to be sure that there isn’t another reason why your dog isn’t eating all their food. There are a variety of other factors aside from fussiness that can create a lack of appetite. These include:

  • A change in environment
  • Separation anxiety
  • Dental issues
  • A sensitive stomach

If your dog is in good general health and has become less than enthusiastic about food, you may have a case of picky eating on your hands. In that situation, you’ll want to take some measures to help your best friend enjoy mealtime.

What to Feed a Picky Dog?

The answer to this question can depend on the dog. Some particular pooches may prefer a specific type of flavor or texture, whereas other may hold out for something they find to be super delicious.

Dogs can’t talk, but they can communicate with their actions. You’ll want to experiment with different options to see if your finicky friend shows a preference to different types of kibble. Some dogs may also need some added incentive to chow down on their breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Don’t be afraid to try adding some wet dog food to their kibble as a mix-in or topper to incentivize your best friend to eat.

While it’s hard to determine what is the best tasting dog food for picky dogs – each furry friend will have preferences after all – there are some key characteristics that you should look for in dry food.

  • How it’s made – Not all pet food is made the same way. Some dry dog foods are cooked and extruded at extreme temperatures, a process that can damage key nutrients found in the raw ingredients. Look for dry foods that are slow-cooked so that they help preserve key nutrients and natural taste that can help sway even the pickiest of dogs.
  • How much animal protein it has – Our dog’s ancestors survived on animal protein, and it’s still an important part of a best friends’ diet. Food made with more high-quality animal protein can give picky dogs more of the essential amino acids they need to thrive.
  • Whether there are any added flavors – Some dog food brands make up for cooking methods by adding rendered fat, powder flavoring, and more to try and make their food more appealing to dogs. While this may fool some dogs, it’s best to stick with kibble that combines great taste and nutrition without the need for spray or powder enhancers.

How to Make a Picky Dog Eat: Put Together an Action Plan

Finding the best dog food for your picky eater is just one step in helping your furry friend be less persnickety about their food. There are a few key factors that can help you entice your dog to consistently eat everything in their food bowl. Here’s a four-part action plan to get your picky eater eating again.

Step One: Have a plan and be consistent

Dogs are creatures of habit, so make sure that you’re creating a comfortable routine for feeding your dog. Changing that routine can throw off your dog and make fussy eaters less likely to commit to a full meal.

Once you find a food your dogs like, be consistent with when, where, and how you feed them. Your dog should maintain a regular schedule so that they’re less likely to feel the need to hoard food for the future.

You should also identify and maintain a regular feeding spot – changing this space can be a bit jarring for a hungry pooch. Keeping all these details consistent will help eliminate some outside factors that may keep your dog from committing to a full meal.

Step Two: Keep dog food and people food separate

While it can be awfully tempting to say yes to an adorable face and puppy dog eyes, table scraps and human food are not an ideal part of a healthy, canine diet. In fact, people food can often lead to your dog not having enough space for their own kibble – or even a refusal to eat their dog food in favor of what you have on your plate. Even worse, giving your dog the wrong people food can lead to gastric distress.

Dropping a few morsels of people food on top of your dog’s kibble can quickly add unnecessary calories to your dog’s bowl. It’s best to stick to a tasty, nutritious dog food to help ensure complete nutrition and avoid picky eating habits.

Step Three: Be mindful with treats

Dog treats are great for training your dog or rewarding them for being so adorable. However, it’s important to balance an appropriate amount of treats with your dog’s meals.

Treats are awfully tasty, but handing out too many snacks may make your dog less interested in regular meals. This possibility means that you’ll want to monitor how many treats you dole out to your furry friend. The American Kennel Club recommends limiting treats to no more than 10 percent of your dog’s diet.

The easiest way to accomplish this goal is to manage the number of treats you give your dog. This can be hard to accomplish if you’re in the middle of training and need those treats to reward good behaviors. In this case, you can try breaking treats into smaller pieces. You can also use a smaller reward like Bil-Jac Little-Jacs Training Treats to keep the portions manageable.

Step Four: Make it an easy transition to dog food made for picky dogs

Just switching brands may not resolve a dog’s picky eating problems. Once you find a dry dog food your picky dog prefers, you’ll want to make the transition as painless as possible.

It can be easier to make the switch from some foods than others. If you’re transitioning your dog from one brand to another, you’ll want to start adding some of the new kibble to the old kibble. Over time, you can increase the amount of the new dry dog food until you’re completely switched over to the new kibble.

Meanwhile, some dogs will take to their new food right away. For example, many dogs can easily make the transition to Bil-Jac without mixing, but if your dog is especially sensitive, it’s worth taking your time to make the change.

Picky No More: A Dog Food for the Pickiest Eaters

When you’re ready to try a dry dog food for the pickiest of pooches, Bil-Jac Picky No More Dry Dog Food should be at the top of your list. Picky No More recipes feature chicken liver, which is often used in dog treats because most dogs find it so irresistible. Even better, chicken liver helps provide high-quality protein, fat, and Vitamin A, making it a great choice to help your dog stay healthy.

Picky No More also contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids as well. These fatty acids help create that lush, shiny “show-ring coat” – just one reason why Bil-Jac is the preferred choice of many professional dog breeders and handlers.

Ready for the scientific stuff? Slow cooking at controlled temperatures helps protect the essential nutrients that are in your dog’s food. Part of those essential nutrients are amino acids. Amino acids help support key body functions. Arginine helps support the immune system, while leucine and lysine rebuild muscles. Different types of dogs have special dietary needs as well, which is why Picky No More comes in two different varieties.

  • Picky No More Small Breed Dog Food
  • Picky No More Medium & Large Breed Dog Food

Each formula is made to accommodate your dog’s specific needs. For example, our Picky No More Medium & Large Breed provides naturally sourced, guaranteed levels of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. These compounds are naturally sourced in our chicken ingredients, rather than through an added supplement. Bil-Jac strives to support nutrition on a holistic basis.

The Paw-fect Solution for Picky Dogs

Mealtime is meant to be a happy occasion, which is why it’s important to get your picky pooch back to finishing meals. If you’re ready to get your dog back on track, check out the full line of Bil-Jac Picky No More Dry Dog Food for small breed dogs and medium & large dogs and “bring excitement to every meal®,” even for your picky eaters!

Want to learn more about what you can do to support your best friend’s health and happiness? Join our Best Friends Club to receive more helpful articles and special members-only discounts on Bil-Jac products.

Dog Food for Picky Eaters

Dog Next to Uneaten Bowl of Food

Finding a Dog Food for Picky Eaters
Every dog owner wants their furry friend to eagerly run to (and finish) their bowl at mealtime. If that’s not the case for your dog, you’re likely on the hunt for a food to encourage a healthier appetite.

What Is a Picky Eater?
Before you search for a dog food for picky eaters, it’s important to understand whether you have a picky dog on your hands, or whether your dog’s lack of appetite might be a sign of a potential health issue.

Some dogs may self-regulate their food intake, refusing food or decreasing the amount they eat to prevent overeating and digestive discomfort. Others might simply be less hungry because of the number of treats and scraps they receive between meals.

If you offer your dog a wide variety of different foods, it might lead them to refuse one type of food after a few days, in hopes that a new and enticing meal might be offered instead.

Dr. Jerry Klein, Chief Veterinary Officer of the American Kennel Club (AKC) defines a picky eater in this way: Dogs that don’t empty their food bowls within a certain amount of time, usually about 20 minutes, are more likely to be considered “picky eaters.”

According to Dr. Klein, another sign of picky eating is if your dog turns up their nose at its own dinner but will happily accept a tidbit from your dinner plate.

Exceptions to this are a significant decrease in normal appetite that lasts longer than 12 to 24 hours, or occurs in conjunction with any of the following:

  • Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • In puppies less than 6 months old
  • Diabetes
  • A dog (especially a senior dog) that seems to want food but doesn’t eat, or will only eat soft food

If any of these conditions apply, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Tricks to Get a Picky Dog to Eat
If your dog is tending to be picky at mealtime, here are several things to try:

  • Keep treats to a minimum – Treats should only account for 10% of your dog’s daily calories. Otherwise, they may lose interest in their food.
  • Explore new textures – Your dog may prefer a softer food or a different kibble size. Try softening their dry kibble by adding a little water. With Just Right dog food you can create a blend personalized for your dog, and change kibble size and texture as needed, to keep meals interesting.
  • Make meals fun – Try a puzzle feeder to get your dog engaged in their meal.

What’s the Best Dog Food for Picky Eaters?
If your dog is a picky eater, the best dog food is a complete-and-balanced food they will eat, and enjoy!

Instead of searching for one, you can create a Just Right blend personalized just for your dog. The process starts with a 5-minute quiz. We then take the information you provide and customize a blend that combines your dog’s preferred ingredients, ideal kibble size, and unique feeding plan.

Your dog’s personalized Just Right blend is then shipped directly to you. And because it’s made just for your dog, we guarantee they’ll be satisfied!

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