While many dogs would eat anything and everything you put in their bowl, some pooches are much pickier when it comes to their meals. In fact, some dogs are so fussy, it can be near impossible to find food they’ll actually want to eat! And while infrequent and selective eating can sometimes signal a medical concern and should be discussed with your vet, oftentimes it’s a simple case of “I want something tastier”. If you have a finicky eater in your household, we know your struggles. Sure, it’s easy to reach for ultra-flavored recipes that taste more like treats than real food, but if you want the best for your pup, it’s crucial to feed them a healthy diet. To help you find food that is both delicious and nutritious, we reviewed dozens of different formulas, detailing our favorites down below. And if you need more information on how to properly care for and feed a picky eater? Our buying guide contains everything you need to know!

The 10 Top Rated Dog Food for Picky Eaters

Editor's PicksProduct NamePriceRating
Best OverallAmerican Journey Active Life Salmon, Brown RiceCheck Price on Chewy4.6
Best Grain-FreeORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Dog FoodCheck Price on Amazon4.7
Best Whole GrainFromm Family Adult Gold Dog FoodCheck Price on Amazon4.7
Best for Sensitive Stomachs Taste of the Wild High Prairie Dog FoodCheck Price on Chewy4.7
Best Wet FoodWellness 95% Chicken Canned Dog Food TopperCheck Price on PetSmart5
Best High-ProteinBlue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken RecipeCheck Price on Chewy4.7
Best For Healthy SkinWellness CORE Grain-Free Original Deboned TurkeyCheck Price on Amazon4.6
Best OrganicThe Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Beef RecipeCheck Price on Amazon4.4
Most Palatable Merrick Grain Free Wet Dog Food Grammy's Pot PieCheck Price on Chewy4.4
Best AffordableRachael Ray Nutrish Real Chicken & Veggies RecipeCheck Price on PetSmart4.8
*Ratings are from Amazon, Chewy, and PetSmart at the time of publication and can change
The Farmer's Dog Fresh Human-Grade Dog Food
Key features:
  • Brand: The Farmer’s Dog
  • Ingredients: Fresh Meat & Veggies
  • Type: Fresh Food
  • Life Stage: All Life Stages

The Farmer’s Dog is a fantastic choice for fussy eaters. They offer 50% off to any new customers for the first 2 weeks so that you can try your pup out with a half-priced trial period. During this time they are happy to provide you with several protein options for your pup to taste including pork, beef, chicken and turkey.

They are built on the use of all-natural and completely fresh ingredients, so there are no hidden chemicals, preservatives or fillers that might put your pup off their food. It has a pleasing soft texture and The Farmer’s Dog are renowned for creating food that is perfectly suited to the vast majority of pups with digestive problems, meaning its an easy food to transition to as well.

Read our in-depth The Farmer’s Dog Farm-to-Bowl Fresh Dog Food Review.

Show More

1 Best Overall: American Journey Active Life Salmon, Brown Rice

Best Overall: American Journey Active Life Salmon, Brown Rice
Key features:
  • Brand: American Journey
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal, Brown Rice, Peas, Rice Bran
  • Primary Proteins: Salmon, Peas
  • Calories: 345 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Salmon, Seafood & Fish
  • Life Stage: All

American Journey’s Active Life Formula is carefully formulated to provide your dog with a delicious meal containing everything they need. We all know picking eaters are usually that way because of the flavor of their food – be it too bland, or just not right. Their salmon, brown rice, and vegetable recipe is a smooth yet rich flavor that has a reputation for being irresistible with many picky eaters. Real, deboned salmon is the first ingredient in this recipe, meaning you know your dog will be receiving high-quality protein-packed food. Not on that, but salmon is also a dense source of omega fatty acids, which help to take good care of your dog’s skin. Healthy skin also has a knock-on effect on your dog’s coat, helping it to stay sleek, healthy, and reducing the accumulation and shedding of dander.

Dogs are active creatures that require plenty of fueling; something that is difficult to do when you have a particularly fussy eater. Fortunately, salmon offers a refreshing and inviting change to your dog’s diet that is packed with enough protein and nutrients to fuel them for a day of fun. Additionally, they have developed a balanced blend of and antioxidants to support your pup’s immune system. They have even avoided the use of wheat, corn, soy, and by-product meals, as well as artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives, which means even the most sensitive of stomachs should be able to handle this food with ease. For a wider selection of choices, check out our American Journey Dog Food guide.

Ingredients:

Deboned Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal, Brown Rice, Peas, Rice Bran, Natural Flavor, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed, Dried Tomato Pomace, Suncured Alfalfa Meal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Salt, Dried Egg Product, Carrots, Oatmeal, Sweet Potatoes, L-Threonine, Choline Chloride, Blueberries, Cranberries, Dried Kelp, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Iron Amino Acid Complex, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dicalcium Phosphate, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Copper Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.

What others say about it:
image

We appreciate American Journey because they offer quality food for a reasonable price. This good works great for our mixed pup who has a sensitive stomach and skin issues. It is a bit smelly but worth the 5min salmon stink while he eats.

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Show More

2 Best Grain-Free: ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Best Grain-Free: ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Key features:
  • Brand: ORIJEN
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Turkey, Flounder, Whole Mackerel, Chicken Liver
  • Primary Protein Source: Chicken & Turkey
  • Calories: 473 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Chicken, Turkey, Poultry, Seafood & Fish
  • Life Stage: Adult

Made with top-quality ingredients, including 85% fresh and raw animal products, this tasty and biologically appropriate dog food is a perfect choice for all picky pups. Some of the ingredients include free-run chicken and turkey, wild-caught herring, flounder, mackerel and sardine, plus freeze-dried chicken liver, some cartilage and organs for that irresistible taste. The recipe is specifically formulated to mimic the diet of your pup’s ancestor – the grey wolf – so it’s packed with quality protein and fat, plus enriched with antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits, including red and green lentils, chickpeas, spinach, apples, pumpkin and more. Free from corn, wheat, soy and artificial additives, this food is not only delicious, but incredibly healthy too and suitable for sensitive dogs as well. ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is one of 5 recipes included in our review of the Orijen Dog Food.

Ingredients:

Chicken, Turkey, Flounder, Whole Mackerel, Chicken Liver, Turkey Giblets (Liver, Heart, Gizzard), Whole Herring, Eggs, Dehydrated Chicken, Dehydrated Turkey, Dehydrated Chicken Liver, Dehydrated Egg, Dehydrated Mackerel, Whole Red Lentils, Whole Pinto Beans, Chicken Fat, Whole Green Lentils, Whole Navy Beans, Whole Chickpeas, Lentil Fiber, Natural Chicken Flavor, Whole Peas, Pollock Oil, Pea Starch, Chicken Heart, Whole Pumpkin, Whole Butternut Squash, Collard Greens, Whole Apples, Whole Pears, Whole Cranberries, Dried Kelp, Salt, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Vitamin E Supplement, Freeze-Dried Chicken, Freeze-Dried Turkey, Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium Pantothenate, Copper Proteinate, Dried Chicory Root, Turmeric, Sarsaparilla Root, Althea Root, Rosehips, Juniper Berries, Citric Acid (Preservative), Rosemary Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product.

What others say about it:
image

I am so grateful to have found this food for so many reasons! Both of my picky pups enjoy it and devour every bite! I’ve had such a difficult time finding food they actually want to eat but this is it!! I also really appreciate the honest marketing. The ingredients hold up to what they promote which makes this dog mama very pleased!

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Show More

3 Best Whole Grain: Fromm Family Adult Gold Dog Food

Best Whole Grain: Fromm Family Adult Gold Dog Food
Key features:
  • Brand: Fromm
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Chicken Broth, Oat Groats, Pearled Barley
  • Primary Proteins: Chicken, Barley
  • Calories: 418kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Life Stage: Adult

Formulated with fresh duck, chicken, whole lamb, veggies, and real cheese, this food is sure to tantalize your picky dog’s taste buds and infuse health and nourishment into their diet at the same time. As a family run business, Fromm pride themselves on using only top-quality ingredients and creating healthy foods for pets all over the world, so if you’re looking for local, family-run brand that you can trust, this is it. This particular recipe is nicely balanced, crafted with lots of quality animal proteins such as duck, lamb, chicken, chicken meal and fish meal, as well as whole grains and fresh fruits and veggies like brown rice, oatmeal, carrots, lettuce and more. While 100% natural, the recipe is bursting with flavor and is guaranteed to satisfy even the pickiest of dogs!

Check out our review of Fromm Dog Food.

Ingredients:

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Chicken Broth, Oat Groats, Pearled Barley, Brown Rice, Chicken Fat, Menhaden Fish Meal, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Egg Product, Whole Oats, White Rice, Chicken Liver, Whole Barley, Potatoes, Cheese, Flaxseed, Salmon Oil, Brewers Dried Yeast, Duck, Lamb, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Celery, Alfalfa Meal, Salt,, Monocalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Chicory Root Extract, Vitamins, Minerals, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Sorbic Acid (Preservative), L-Tryptophan, Taurine, DL-Methionine, Sodium Selenite, Probiotics.

What others say about it:
image

We have three dogs and decided to change their diet to good nutritional food. I checked the reviews and fount Fromm to be one of the highest rated. We started feeding our dogs Fromm and compared to other dogs we have had in the past the three do not have to see the vet but once a year for their shots. We can only attribute it to healthy diet.

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com

Show More

4 Best for Sensitive Stomachs: Taste of the Wild High Prairie Dog Food

Best for Sensitive Stomachs: Taste of the Wild High Prairie Dog Food
Key features:
  • Brand: Taste of the Wild
  • First 5 ingredients: Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
  • Primary Protein Source: Buffalo, Lamb & Chicken
  • Calories: 370 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Buffalo
  • Life Stage: Adult

Next on our list of best foods for picky eaters is the Taste of the Wild High Prairie recipe. True to their name, this premium dog food brand prides itself on crafting pet foods that “nature intended”. This particular recipe boasts roasted bison and venison as main protein sources, plus lamb meal, chicken meal, beef, and fish meal for maximum nourishment. The formula is also filled with antioxidants thanks to nutritious vegetables and fruits such as blueberries and raspberries to strengthen the immune system and overall health. As a bonus, it’s enriched with probiotics and works hard to support gut and digestive health. Most importantly for picky dogs though, it tastes delicious even though it’s free from added flavors and colors. Taste of the Wild High Prairie is one of 7 recipes included in our review of the Taste of The Wild Dog Food.

Ingredients:

Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Potatoes, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Egg Product, Roasted Bison, Roasted Venison, Beef, Natural Flavor, Tomato Pomace, Potato Protein, Pea Protein, Ocean Fish Meal, Salt, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, Tomatoes, Blueberries, Raspberries, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D Supplement, Folic Acid. Contains A Source Of Live (Viable), Naturally Occurring Microorganisms.

What others say about it:
image

We have 4 dogs, an 80lb Fox Hound, and 3 wiener dogs under 12 lbs. We rotate all the flavors of this brand! Minimal ingredients, good protein, no harmful products. Rated one of the top 10 best dog foods, haven’t had any recalls. They all love it! Pour a little water on it before you serve it, and it creates an enzyme while they chew that cuts down on plague! The Salmon is great for puppy brain development, as well as senior dogs too. The heavier meats are best for the winter months. The lighter meats, chicken, and salmon are great for warmer months. Keeps them warm and cool and the weather changes!

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Show More

5 Best Wet Food: Wellness 95% Chicken Canned Dog Food Topper

Best Wet Food: Wellness 95% Chicken Canned Dog Food Topper
Key features:
  • Brand: Wellness
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Water Sufficient For Processing, Natural Flavor, Cassia Gum, Carrageenan
  • Primary Proteins: Chicken
  • Calories: 521 kcal/can
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Life Stage: Adult

Looking for healthy but tasty wet dog food for your finicky eater? Check out Wellness Ninety-Five Percent Mixer canned food. Super-simple and all-natural, this chicken recipe makes a for a fantastic topper or mixer so it’s best used over or with your dog’s regular kibble, but can be also served on its own from time to time. Because it contains no grains, additives, or anything else aside from chicken for that matter, this wet food is ideal for dogs who struggle with poor digestion. While healthy and natural, we recommend feeding this wet formula almost always with dry food because it’s not fortified with vitamins and minerals.

Ingredients:

Chicken, Water Sufficient For Processing, Natural Flavor, Cassia Gum, Carrageenan.

What others say about it:
image

I purchased 2 cases of this food. I have fed mostly the stews to my dogs for almost 20 years without a problem. 1 1/2 days after starting this my dog started throwing up blood. I brought him to the vet and he said not to give him any more of the food. He got pancreatitis. This might not be the best food if you have a dog prone to pancreatitis. Consumer service at Wellness was awesome. I am a lifetime Wellness supporter.

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com

Show More

6 Best High-Protein: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe

Best High-Protein: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe
Key features:
  • Brand: Blue Buffalo
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Pea Protein, Tapioca Starch
  • Primary Protein Source: Chicken
  • Calories: 409 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Life Stage: Adult

Made with tasty and nutritious ingredients like chicken, menhaden fish meal, sweet potatoes and blueberries, Blue Wilderness Chicken Recipe is a great choice for fussy eaters who do well on a high-protein diet. Completely natural and easy to digest, this kibble is also a good option for sensitive pups who suffer from digestive issues. To provide a balanced meal, the food is supplemented with all essential vitamins and minerals, so it’s guaranteed to support your picky eater’s health and well-being. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe is one of 10 dog food recipes mentioned in our Blue Buffalo Dog Food Review

Ingredients:

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine), Peas, Pea Protein, Tapioca Starch, Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Dried Tomato Pomace, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Pea Starch, Natural Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Direct Dehydrated Alfalfa Pellets, DL-Methionine, Potatoes, Dried Chicory Root, Pea Fiber, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vegetable Juice for color, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), L-Carnitine, Copper Sulfate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), L-Lysine, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Sulfate, Taurine, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary.

What others say about it:
image

My husband and I have a beautiful 60 lb lab mix (we’re reaching her 8-month birthday soon since we adopted her). We tried feeding her different brands of dog food (3 brands), but noticed she started to develop a rash on her belly after the 2nd brand. We couldn’t afford the first brand we had ($80/bag) for long (it was a temporary vet-recommended food). We did some heavy research on good dog foods and this was near the top of the list due to the ingredients. Our dog loved it AND her rash went away within the first week to a week and a half of switching.

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com

Show More

7 Best For Healthy Skin: Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Deboned Turkey

Best For Healthy Skin: Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Deboned Turkey
Key features:
  • Brand: Only Natural Pet
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes
  • Primary Protein Source: Turkey
  • Calories: 417 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Original
  • Life Stage: Adult

Number six on our top-list of best foods for picky eaters is Wellness Core Original recipe. This delicious food is made with deboned turkey and chicken, offering lots of quality protein and a complete amino acid profile for proper muscle development. Aside from quality animal proteins, the formula also contains healthy fruits, vegetables and legumes such as peas, lentils, flaxseed, broccoli, apples and blueberries, so it’s packed with vitamins and minerals, as well as a delicious taste. Since it’s free from grains and all artificial additives, it’s a good choice for sensitive pooches as well. Wellness CORE Original Deboned Turkey & Chicken Meal is one of 5 dog food recipes included in our Wellness Core Dog Food Review.

Ingredients:

Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal (source of Glucosamine), Chicken Meal (source of Chondroitin Sulfate), Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes, Lentils, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato Pomace, Ground Flaxseed, Natural Chicken Flavor, Salmon Oil, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Choline Chloride, Chicory Root Extract, Spinach, Broccoli, Carrots, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Kale, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.

What others say about it:
image

I have never found a dry food that my samoyed/husky/malamute mix would eat plain, let alone look forward to eating. I always had to add meat or wet food, switching it up as he would get bored of those too. It has been months now of consistent eating and I don’t have to add anything to this food! All I do is rotate between the two flavors available for adult grain-free Wellness Core food- turkey and fish- to switch it up a bit. He’s a dog who knows what’s good for him, and their healthy coats and energy show it! Now the whole family has been switched to Wellness Core, our little pug being on the grain-free small breed. She loves it! Our rottie/heeler mix had troubles with her weight and bowel movements with other foods, but she is doing great now! It is a more expensive option, but so worth it!!

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Show More

8 Best Organic: The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Beef Recipe

Best Organic: The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Beef Recipe
Key features:
  • Brand: The Honest Kitchen
  • First 5 ingredients: Dehydrated Beef, Organic Oats, Organic Barley, Organic Flaxseed, Dehydrated Potatoes
  • Primary Proteins: Beef, Barley
  • Calories: 441 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Beef
  • Life Stage: Adult

Made with delicious organic ingredients, the Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Dog Food is guaranteed not only to entice your fussy eater’s senses but also improve their health and boost their immune system. Some of the ingredients include ranch-raised beef, which is not only tasty but also super-healthy for your pup, wholesome grains like organic oats and barley, and antioxidant-packed produce such as carrots, potatoes, apples, spinach and cranberries. Because this is dehydrated food, you should always mix it with warm water before serving – while not every pup’s cup of tea, it’s perfect for dogs who could use extra hydration in their diet.

Ingredients:

Dehydrated Beef, Organic Oats, Organic Barley, Organic Flaxseed, Dehydrated Potatoes, Dehydrated Carrots, Dehydrated Eggs, Dried Apples, Dried Parsley, Dried Cranberries, Dehydrated Spinach, Minerals [Tricalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Potassium Iodide, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite], Taurine, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), D- Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement].

What others say about it:
image

I don’t write many reviews, but felt I needed to for this one! We have a Great Dane pup and have been battling diarrhea for her whole life. I’ve tried 6 different dry dog foods, and all resulted in the same thing. The only thing I could feed her if I didn’t want to get up every two hours all night long night was plain chicken and white rice. I finally decided to try something besides dry kibble, and I’m so glad I did! This food has finally given her tummy troubles a break. She has stopped trying to eat everything in the yard and has solid poo every day, twice a day. Thank you so much for this dog food!!

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com

Show More

9 Most Palatable: Merrick Grain Free Wet Dog Food Grammy’s Pot Pie

Most Palatable: Merrick Grain Free Wet Dog Food Grammy's Pot Pie
Key features:
  • Brand: Merrick
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Broth, Potatoes, Carrots, Apples
  • Primary Proteins: Chicken
  • Calories: 383 kcal/12.7-oz can
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Life Stage: Adult

Next up is a highly palatable grain-free wet dog food by Merrick. This delicious recipe is sure to entice even the fussiest of eaters and includes tasty ingredients like chicken, potatoes, peas, carrots and juicy red apples. They all come in a scrumptious gravy and might just be the food that gets your fussy dog to eat. Like many of the amazing picks on our best dog food list, this brand is void of artificial additives, making it a great choice for sensitive pups. Because it’s fortified with all essential supplements, you can serve it all on its own, or mix it with your pooch’s regular dry food. As a bonus, the food is suitable for all life stages! Merrick Grain Free Grammy’s Pot Pie is one of 8 recipes included in our review of Merrick Dog Food.

Ingredients:

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Broth, Potatoes, Carrots, Apples, Peas, Dried Egg Product, Flaxseed Oil, Potato Protein, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Flavor, Potato Starch, Minerals (Potassium Chloride, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenite), Sodium Phosphate, Gum Ghatti, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Salt, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Biotin), Salmon Oil, Cassia Gum, Agar-Agar, Flaxseed, Locust Bean Gum, Choline Chloride, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Yucca Schidigera Extract.

What others say about it:
image

The ingredients are nutritious and my dog, a 15-pound miniature pinscher, absolutely loves this food!!

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Show More

10 Best Affordable: Rachael Ray Nutrish Real Chicken & Veggies Recipe

Best Affordable: Rachael Ray Nutrish Real Chicken & Veggies Recipe
Key features:
  • Brand: Rachael Ray Nutrish
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Soybean Meal, Grain Sorghum, Dried Peas
  • Primary Proteins: Chicken, Peas
  • Calories: 340 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Chicken, Veggies
  • Life Stage: Adult

Another dry dog food to consider for your picky dog is Rachel Ray Nutrish Real Chicken & Veggies Recipe. The number one ingredient is US farm-raised chicken, a great source of protein that is bound to support healthy muscle development and your pup’s energy levels. Other ingredients include nutritious grains like brown rice and whole corn, and veggies such as peas and beet pulp for added fiber content. The formula also contains natural probiotics that aid with digestion and boost gut health, as well as added vitamins and minerals for complete nutrition. Rachael Ray Nutrish Real Chicken & Veggies is one of 5 dog food recipes mentioned in our Rachael Ray Dog Food Review.

Ingredients:

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Soybean Meal, Grain Sorghum, Dried Peas, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Whole Corn, Corn Protein Concentrate, Barley, Brown Rice, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Carrots, Natural Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Dicalcium Phosphate, Malted Barley Flour, Inulin, Taurine, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Choline Chloride, Ascorbic Acid (Source of Vitamin C), Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Copper Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Citric Acid (preservative), Sodium Selenite, Annatto Extract (Color), Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Rosemary Extract, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement.

What others say about it:
image

My dog had been eating the same food for several years without issue. She has a sensitive stomach and could eat the food she’d been eating without issue until one day it started affecting her. She took to this food almost immediately and it really helped her tummy get back to normal.

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com

Show More

11 Blue Buffalo Wilderness Beef & Chicken Grill

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Beef & Chicken Grill
Key features:
  • Brand: Blue Buffalo
  • First 5 ingredients: Beef, Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Potatoes
  • Primary Proteins: Beef & Chicken
  • Calories: 523 kcal/can
  • Flavor: Beef & Chicken
  • Life Stage: Adult

Feed your fussy eater this delicious grain-free wet dog food by Blue Wilderness and watch them thrive while enjoying their meals. Made with two protein sources – beef and chicken – plus simple and nutritious veggies such as potatoes and flaxseed, this is one healthy and easy-to-digest food. Importantly for picky dogs, it’s also very tasty, making it a perfect topper or a mixer that can also be fed as a complete meal. The grilled pieces of beef and chicken and lots of healthy fat are bound to make any pup come back for more, so we highly recommend it for all finicky adult dogs!

Ingredients:

Beef, Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Potatoes, Carrageenan, Flaxseed, Guar Gum, Cassia Gum, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Choline Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Cobalt Amino Acid Chelate, Niacin Supplement (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9).

What others say about it:
image

I love how blue buffalo has so many varieties of flavors. My dog’s digestive system is sensitive, thanks to blue buffalo. He is healthy and no more belly issues.

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Show More

Best Dog Food for Picky Eaters Buying Guide & FAQ

While most dogs will wolf down anything you feed them, some will be much pickier with their meals. Feeding such pooches can sometimes be a nightmare as it seems that no matter what food or brand you buy, they won’t come near it. Thankfully, there are ways to make your pup eat their meals with pleasure, and no, this doesn’t include feeding them unhealthy, artificially flavored foods. It does include, however, choosing carefully crafted, healthy and tasty recipes. To help you find the best tasting dog food for your pup, we’ve not only reviewed some of the most popular formulas in the market but have also put together this buying guide where we cover absolutely everything you need to know about feeding fussy dogs. So, if you have a picky eater in your household,  read on!

Check out our guide on Popular Dog Food Brands.

Is Your Dog a Picky Eater?

Before we jump to tips and tricks on how to feed a finicky eater, let’s quickly talk about which dogs are even considered to be picky eaters.

Descended from grey wolves, who are opportunistic hunters, dogs normally eat whatever they can get. At least most dogs do. However, some pups, typically spoiled with tasty human foods and snacks, can become quite picky when it’s time to eat their normal dog food. What does this tell us? That most fussy eaters are not fussy by nature – they’re (unintentionally) trained to be highly picky with their food. And really, who would want to eat plain old kibble when there’s an abundance of yummy table scraps available?!

That being said, some dog breeds are simply pickier with their food by nature. Typically, these are small breeds like Maltese, Yorkshire Terrier, Poodle, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and others. But even certain medium and large breeds such as Greyhound and Eurasier are not immune to pickiness. Of course, even a Labrador, who is normally highly food motivated, can become fussy with their diet if they’re fed table scraps on a daily basis. In other words, any dog breed can indeed become finicky with their food, even though they’re not particularly fussy by nature.

Read here our articles on the Best Dog Food for Small Breeds and Best Large Breed Dog Food.

But how can you tell if your dog is picky or simply doesn’t like eating huge amounts of food regardless of their breed? There is a simple test for this: feed your pup their normal amount of kibble for breakfast and pay no attention to the leftovers in their bowl; have them be physically active during the day (no treats of any kind!) and then don’t feed them their usual lunch or dinner but wait to see if they’ll eat their leftovers. If they do, they’re not picky but bored and sedentary. Thankfully, you can easily fix this problem by ensuring your dog gets regular daily exercise and play. If, on the other hand, your pooch does not eat their leftovers even though they seem to be hungry, try feeding them fresh kibble or wet food; if they eat it with pleasure, congratulations, you have a picky eater at your hands!

When to Worry About Your Picky Dog

If your dog is a finicky eater but maintains a healthy weight, has plenty of energy and a shiny coat, there’s no reason to worry. However, if your pet suddenly stops eating and this is accompanied by stomach upset, vomiting, weight loss, or noticeable fatigue, then you might have a more serious medical issue on your hands. If this is the case, get your dog to your vet asap, as it might be more than your pup simply being fussy.

If your pup won’t eat their normal meals, but has no other worrying symptoms and will happily eat treats and table scraps, they might just be a fussy eater or the particular food you are feeding them might not make them feel their absolute best. Follow the tips below to encourage them to eat normal dog foods again.

What to Look for in Foods for Picky Eaters

Feeding a picky eater might be frustrating but you can make the whole process easier for yourself and your dog by purchasing quality and tasty dog foods. Not sure how to find them? Look for the following things:

  • Quality meat and fish: all dogs love tasty meat, poultry and fish, so pick recipes that are made with top-quality animal proteins, such as real chicken, turkey, lamb, beef or fish. While named meat by-products might be nutritious, they’re not the best choice for fussy dogs.
  • Plenty of healthy fat: fat is not only a great source of energy, it’s also what makes food taste and smell good, so look for formulas that contain plenty of healthy fat sources such as fish oil, flaxseed, salmon oil, canola oil, etc. Animal fat such as chicken fat is also welcome.
  • No fillers or additives: while it might be tempting to reach for an artificially flavored formula as it’s more palatable, we highly recommend sticking to natural foods. This is because if you start feeding your dog highly flavored foods, they might not want to return to blander but healthier recipes. It’s always best to stick to simple, naturally rich in flavor formulas.

Check out our article on Lamb Dog Food.

How to Encourage Your Picky Eater Dog to Develop Healthier Eating Habits

To encourage your finicky pup to eat better and healthier try some of the following tips and tricks:

  • Limit the number of treats that you give them in-between meal times and avoid feeding them human food straight from the table. If you choose to cook them meat and veggies add this into mealtime.
  • Place their food down for 30 minutes and then remove it. They need to learn that mealtime is a definitive time and that if they don’t eat their food then and there they will have to wait for their next meal.
  • Place their food in a low-noise room where they feel safe, away from high traffic areas.
  • If all else fails, definitely consider changing their food. Do this gradually to avoid stomach upset though. Simply add a quarter of the new food into their old food and gradually increase the amount every few days.

Take a look at our guide on the Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs.

Our Top Pick – American Journey Active Life Salmon, Brown Rice

While there are many, many great foods to choose from when trying to find the right diet for your fussy pup, we are particularly fond of the American Journey Active Life Formula dog food. Not only does it give each pooch a refreshing change of pace, but their particular blend of ingredients formulated to provide your dog with the ideal amount of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, proteins, and antioxidants is especially reassuring. So not only will your pup finally be able to enjoy a delectable meal to get them ready for their day, but they with physically benefit greatly from the Active Life diet as a whole.

Sources:

  1. Dr. Mike Paul, DVM, Why is My Dog a Picky Eater?, Pet Health Network
  2. Jennifer Dixon, When Your Dog Is a Picky Eater, WebMD
Eloise Hands

Eloise is the owner of a Malamute/Akita cross, a first-time mum, and an animal enthusiast from England. She comes from a family which has never gone a day without a pet (or 3!), and over the years has learned all the best tips and tricks to raising a difficult pet. A knowledge that she has put to good use, to help others navigate the limitless world of pet care.

Leave a reply

Please enter your name here
Please enter your comment!