What Dog Food is Best for Picky Eaters?

The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Beef Clusters
  • Use code VETERINARIANS30 for 30% off
  • PREMIUM NUTRITION: Clusters are thoughtfully prepared using human-grade muscle meat & liver, low glycemic carbs, beneficial fats & live probiotics; cold pressed into delicious, bite-size, ready-to-eat pieces.
  • MINIMALLY PROCESSED: Clusters are made by mixing small batches of fresh ingredients.
  • WE SAY NO TO: This recipe contains no feed-grade ingredients, meat meals, fillers, GMO ingredients, artificial flavors or artificial preservatives.

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

A dog can be a picky eater for many reasons, the top being genetics. Certain dog breeds are more likely to be fussy eaters and have delicate palates.

Another reason is the environment. Whether or not your dog eats may be up to the surroundings. Too much traffic and noise, the same as an inadequate food bowl, can affect the dog’s appetite.

To determine whether your dog is a picky eater or not, observe them while they eat – if they don’t finish their bowl of food within 20 minutes, it is a sign of a picky eater dog.

Another sign indicating the same is if your dogs don’t finish their meals but are eager to eat table scraps from human meals. If you notice these two signs, you can conclude that your dog is a picky eater.

How do I Get My Picky Dog to Eat His Food?

There are certain steps that you can try to make your picky eater dog finish their meals:

  • Step 1: Set a definite time for your dog’s meals and stick to that particular time every day
  • Step 2: Leave the bowl of food out for your dog for no longer than 20 minutes
  • Step 3: Take away the bowl of food after the designated time, even if your dog hasn’t finished eating
  • Step 4: Avoid giving treats or snacks until the next meal.

Following this daily routine can slowly transition your dog from being a picky eater to finishing their meals in time.

The Best Dog Food for Picky Eaters Reviewed

Choosing food for a fussy eater is a challenging task. To help owners, we have created a list of delicious-tasting dog foods suitable for picky eaters.

The Honest Kitchen Whole Food Clusters Grain Free Beef

The Honest Kitchen Whole Food Clusters Grain Free Beef

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Summary: The Honest Kitchen Beef Recipe is grain-free dog food made with human-grade foods. The main ingredient, ranch-raised beef, is combined with low-glycemic carbohydrates, and several superfood fruits and vegetables. Then, the ingredients are minimally processed – cold-pressed, roasted, and dehydrated to retain most of the nutrients and natural flavors. The recipe is enriched with live probiotics to ensure healthy digestion. It comes in the form of small, easily chewable, and bite-sized clusters. Customers can also get 30% off on their first orders of $30+ using code VETERINARIANS30.

Type: Dry dog food 

Best for: Puppies and adult dogs 

Flavor Options: Beef; Chicken; Turkey; Beef & Turkey 

Price: $6.99 per pound 

Pros

  • 30% off on first orders of $30+ using code VETERINARIANS30
  • Made with nutrient-dense, human-grade foods
  • Ranch-raised beef is the first ingredient 
  • Rich in healthy fats, antioxidants, and probiotics 
  • Bite-sized and easy-to-chew cluster pieces
  • No fillers, rendered meals, and artificial additives 

Cons

  • No significant cons 

Ingredient Analysis

  • Great Ingredients: Beef, potatoes, peas, beef liver, lentils, carrots, ground flaxseed, eggs, broccoli, pumpkin, apples, salmon oil, natural beef flavor, coconut oil, kale, chia seed, taurine, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, turmeric, and rosemary extract 
  • Not-so-Great Ingredients: None 

Review: Pet owners are delighted with this Beef Recipe and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. They say their dogs love it, and some even describe the food as a “lifesaver.” Customers also love the fact the food comes recommended by veterinarians. 

Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Marie’s Magical Dinner Dust

Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Marie’s Magical Dinner Dust

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Summary: This is a finely ground blend of healthy raw foods that can be used as a food topper over your dog’s daily kibble meal. This food formula is free of grain and gluten that can irritate a dog’s stomach. The main ingredient of this recipe is cage-free meat from chicken, beef, or duck. This formula contains freeze-dried raw ingredients, which guarantee the highest nutrient levels. Adding even a little bit of this food topper will make your dog’s meals more enticing and healthy.

Type: Fresh dog food (freeze-dried)

Best for: Dogs of all life stages

Flavor Options: Chicken; Bacon; Beef; Duck

Price: $21.99 per 7-oz package

Pros

  • Freeze-dried fresh raw ingredients with minimal processing
  • Contains 95% protein content from cage-free animals
  • Makes daily meals more appealing for dogs
  • Promotes appetite and digestion in dogs
  • Improves vitality and gum health and protects from allergies

Cons

  • Contains preservatives

Ingredient Analysis

  • Great Ingredients: Chicken, chicken liver, chicken gizzard, pumpkin seed, organic cranberries, organic spinach, organic broccoli, organic beets, organic carrots, organic squash, organic blueberries, fenugreek seed, dried kelp, probiotic strains, vitamins, and minerals
  • Not-so-Great Ingredients: None

Review: Based on 4,437 customer reviews, this food topper has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Pet parents claim that their dogs dine happily and enjoy their meals with this high-quality pet food topper.

Cesar Simply Crafted Wet Dog Food Meal Topper

Cesar Simply Crafted Wet Dog Food Meal Topper

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Summary: This food topper formula is a perfect complement for your dog’s wet food meals. This food topper contains healthy protein such as beef, chicken, or duck as the first ingredient. Contains select five ingredients that make it a perfect choice for picky eaters. This formula is free of artificial flavors, fillers, and preservatives.

Type: Wet dog food

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Chicken; Chicken & Sweet Potato; Chicken, Carrots & Spinach; Chicken, Carrots & Green Beans; Beef, Chicken, Potatoes & Peas; Chicken, Duck, Potatoes & Pumpkin; Chicken, Carrots & Potatoes; Beef, Chicken, Potatoes & Green Beans

Price: $4.29 per can (1.3 oz)

Pros

  • Healthy protein sources suitable for canine dietary needs
  • With superfoods like pumpkin, carrots, and sweet potatoes
  • Improves overall health in dogs with daily consumption
  • Makes meals tastier for dogs
  • Free of fillers, preservatives, and added flavors

Cons

  • Can be used with wet food only

Ingredient Analysis

  • Great Ingredients: Chicken, water
  • Not-so-Great Ingredients: None

Review: Based on 9,686 customer reviews, this food topper has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Customers claim that their picky eater dogs are healthier and eat better with this meal topper.

Instinct Healthy Cravings Grain-Free Wet Dog Food Topper

Instinct Healthy Cravings Grain-Free Wet Dog Food Topper

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Summary: This wet food topper comes in an easy-to-pour pouch for adding it to your dog’s daily meals. All the protein sources come from grass-fed and cage-free animals making this a healthy choice. This food topper is free from soy, potatoes, corn, wheat, grain, and carrageenan, making it a safe option for picky eater dogs. This gravy topper formula is enriched with natural ingredients that improve your dog’s skin and coat health.

Type: Wet dog food

Best for: Dogs of all life stages

Flavor Options: Beef; Chicken; Salmon; Lamb

Price: $18.00 per variety pack

Pros

  • Grain-free food topper without wheat, corn, and soy
  • Contains a high proportion of protein from cage-free animals
  • Formulated with natural ingredients making this a healthy choice
  • Boosts skin and coat health in dogs
  • Comes in easy-pour pouches that make it easy to use

Cons

  • Contains guar gum for thickening the gravy

Ingredient Analysis

  • Great Ingredients
    • Real Chicken Recipe: Chicken broth, chicken, chicken liver, eggs, ground dried peas, natural flavor, sodium phosphate, salt, sodium carbonate, DL-methionine
    • Real Beef Recipe: Beef broth, beef, chicken, beef liver, eggs, ground dried peas, natural flavor, sodium phosphate, salt, sodium carbonate, DL-methionine
    • Real Lamb Recipe: Lamb broth, lamb, beef, beef liver, eggs, ground dried peas, natural flavor, sodium phosphate, salt, sodium carbonate, DL-methionine
  • Not-so-Great Ingredients: Guar gum (added thickener) in all recipes

Review: Based on 3,165 customer ratings, this wet food topper has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Customers state that their picky eater dogs are not picky when their meals are topped with this.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Toppers Wild Cuts Wet Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Toppers Wild Cuts Wet Dog Food

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Summary: This is a meat topper to accompany the daily meals of your dog. This food topper contains chunks of red meat blended with other natural ingredients and vitamins. It can be added to dry kibble or wet dog food to make meals tastier for your dog. This formula doesn’t contain any poultry or chicken-by products, making this a great choice for dogs with poultry allergies.

Type: Wet dog food

Best for: Dogs of all life stages

Flavor Options: Beef; Chicken

Price: $52.56 per 12-pouch pack

Pros

  • Contains rich protein from real meat sources
  • Can be used to top wet or dry dog food
  • Makes regular dog food more appetizing for picky eater dogs
  • Free of chicken-by products or poultry
  • Comes in a variety pack of chicken and beef flavors

Cons

  • Contains guar gum as a thickening agent that can cause bloating in dogs.

Ingredient Analysis

  • Great Ingredients
    • Beef: Beef, chicken broth, water, chicken liver, dried egg product, potato starch, natural flavor, sodium phosphate, salt, sodium carbonate
    • Chicken: Chicken, chicken broth, water, chicken liver, dried egg product, potato starch, natural flavor, sodium phosphate, salt, sodium carbonate
  • Not-so-Great Ingredients: Guar gum (gravy thickener) in both flavors

Review: Based on 1,372 customer ratings, this formula has an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Pet owners claim that their dogs have now started to eat their kibble regularly with this meat topper.

Purina ONE SmartBlend Dry Dog Food

Purina ONE SmartBlend Dry Dog Food

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Summary: This is a limited ingredient formula in the form of semi-moist meaty morsels. The limited ingredients in this formula meet your dog needs and make it suitable for even the pickiest eaters with food sensitivities. This formula is boosted with a dual-defense antioxidant blend that improves your dog’s immune system and keeps diseases at bay. Contains natural sources of glucosamine that strengthens bone and joint health in dogs.

Type: Crunchy kibble + Tender morsels

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Lamb & Rice

Price:

Pros

  • Limited ingredient for finicky dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • Rich protein source from real lamb as the first ingredient
  • With an antioxidant blend for improved immunity
  • Contains glucosamine that strengthens bones and joints
  • Can be used as a food topper for an entire meal in itself

Cons

  • Contains chicken by-product meals and beef fat

Ingredient Analysis

  • Great Ingredients: Lamb (source of glucosamine, rice flour, whole grain corn, whole grain wheat, liver flavor, dried carrots, dried peas, vitamins, and minerals
  • Not-so-Great Ingredients: Chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, soybean meal, beef fat, soybean oil

Review: Based on 11,438 customer reviews, this product has an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. Customers state that this is a healthy option that improves the dog’s appetite and deals with digestive issues in dogs.

Canidae Pure Petite Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Canidae Pure Petite Freeze-Dried Dog Food

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Summary: This formula is a special blend suited for the dietary needs of small breed dogs. This formula contains raw meat from animals in a freeze-dried form that ensures the highest nutrition levels. This limited ingredient formula with less than eight select ingredients makes it hypoallergenic and safe. The small kibble size makes it suitable for small breed dogs to digest this. Contains probiotic strains that boost their digestive system and improve gut health.

Type: Raw-coated kibble

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Chicken; Lamb; Salmon

Price: $4.99 per pound

Pros

  • Limited ingredient recipe with less than eight select ingredients
  • Freeze-dried raw meat for maximum nutrient content
  • Small-sized kibble suitable for small breed dogs
  • Contains probiotics, prebiotics, and omega-fatty acids
  • With protein from delicious lamb, salmon, and chicken

Cons

  • More expensive than other options on the list

Ingredient Analysis

  • Great Ingredients: Lamb, lamb meal, peas, lentils, garbanzo beans, freeze-dried lamb, natural flavor, flaxseed, minerals, vitamins, and probiotics (dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract)
  • Not-so-Great Ingredients: Canola oil, tapioca

Review: Based on 1,946 customer reviews, this recipe has an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars. Dog owners state that their picky eater dogs eat well with this food and have developed healthier guts and coats. The recipe has also improved digestive health.

Blue Buffalo Delights Wet Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Delights Wet Dog Food

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Summary: This wet food is formulated especially for small breed dogs. This recipe is made with high protein content derived from chicken or beef. The formula is blended with superfoods like dried carrots, peas, and potatoes for balanced nutrition. All the ingredients are prepared in a nourishing gravy that keeps your dog hydrated. This formula is savory in nature and comes in easy-to-serve portioned cups.

Type: Wet dog food

Best for: Dogs of all life stages

Flavor Options: Chicken; Filet Mignon; New York Strip; Prime Rib

Price: $20.12 per 12 trays (3.5-oz)

Pros

  • High protein content derived from premium quality meat
  • Contains healthy superfoods
  • Suitable for small breed dogs
  • Rich gravy formula keeps your dog nourished and hydrated
  • Free of additives, fillers, corn, wheat, and soy

Cons

  • Contains guar gum as a thickening agent that can cause bloating in dogs

Ingredient Analysis

  • Great Ingredients: Beef, beef broth, water, chicken liver, carrots, chicken, potatoes, dried egg, peas, pea flour, potato starch, natural prime rib flavor, vitamins, and minerals
  • Not-so-Great Ingredients: Guar gum

Review: Based on 3,827 customer reviews, this canned dog food with quality ingredients has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, customers claim that it’s great for picky eater dogs who are now excited to devour and lick their bowls clean every time.

Crumps’ Naturals Beef Liver Sprinkles

Crumps’ Naturals Beef Liver Sprinkles

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Summary: This is a food topper that coats regular dog food with irresistible deliciousness. These granules of food toppers are prepared with 100% natural beef from Canada. This protein-forward formula will not add fat to your dog’s regular meals. This is a one-ingredient food topper containing only natural beef goodness.

Type: Powdered dog food topper

Best for: Dogs of all life stages

Flavor Options: Beef

Price: $6.99 per jar (5.6-oz)

Pros

  • Can be used with dry or wet dog food daily
  • Made with 100% natural beef
  • Doesn’t contain any added flavors or preservatives
  • Low in fat and rich in protein formula
  • Single-ingredient formula fit for sensitive tummies

Cons

  • Often out of stock on online retailers

Ingredient Analysis

  • Great Ingredients: Beef liver
  • Not-so-Great Ingredients: None

Review: Based on 5,062 customer reviews, this food topper has an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars. Pet parents state that this is a value-for-money dog food topper and is a game changer in feeding their picky eater dogs and helping them overcome health issues.

What do you Feed a Dog that Doesn’t Like Dog Food?

It can be worrisome to realize that your dog is a picky eater, and it will be challenging to feed them daily. Here are some things dog owners can ensure to feed their picky eater dog instead of regular kibble.

  • Use a Food Topper. Choose from our listed food toppers to enhance the flavor of your dog’s regular kibble that can help them finish their meals. Food toppers are delicious and nutritious.
  • Add Homemade Food Enhancers. You can add homemade food enhancers made from dog-friendly fruits and veggies such as pureed pumpkin, carrots, or freshly chopped fruits that they like to make their meals look more appetizing.
  • Try Feeding Human Food. If your dog has completely given up touching their regular kibble, try feeding them human food. This can be a savior for your dog’s diet if all else fails. Also, do not forget there are human-grade dog foods.

Will a Picky Dog Starve?

No, a picky eater will not starve.

Picky eater dogs may refuse to finish their meals or sometimes completely refuse to eat them at all, but dogs don’t intentionally starve themselves (even if they don’t like their food).

However, it’s important to remember that dogs feel hungry less frequently than humans. Namely, a dog can go without food for 48 hours. But if your dog refuses to have meals beyond 48 hours, take them to a veterinarian for a checkup.

Overall, no matter how tricky it is to find a food your picky eater likes, it’s not impossible. Use our detailed guide to find the right dog food formula and put an end to picky eating habits.