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What is the Best Tasting Dog Food for Picky Dogs?

bulldog rejecting dog food

Yep, I have a picky dog.  For years I have been searching for the golden ticket of dog food. I have yet to find the perfect combination unfortunately but am researching, ever researching and hope to have some foods and ideas to share.

I funnily enough do have some tips that I find useful that I can share.

It is my belief that dogs, like us humans, get bored with eating the same thing every single day. Hubby and I have been getting freeze dried meats for years and crumbling over our pups dry food in order to ‘tempt’ him to eat, even going to the extent of adding in veggies and food from our plates. Sad isn’t it? But what do you do when you have a finicky pup?

The vet says leave the food out until they eat it, but we’ve waited days for this to happen and I cannot stand the wait and feel like we are somehow neglecting our pup. And that just doesn’t sit well with my heart or soul. 

Feeding Finicky Dogs

scruffy dog sitting next to red dog food bowl refusing to eat

There are many reasons a dog may not like his or her dry kibble. One reason could be health related.  We always suggest a vet visit if your dog suddenly decides to go on a hunger strike or is just not interested in the food you are giving them. 

Important: If your dog suddenly stops eating see your vet because it could indicate a serious health problem.

Once you’ve ruled out health issues, then it’s time to look at options that might tempt your dog to eat. Many people find that home cooking works well for dogs and we have several recipes that are big hits including: chicken dinners for dogs, meatloaf for dogs, and dog friendly meatballs.

Another great option is adding a bit of people food to your dog’s food. Some dogs are so picky that they will just pick out the people food and leave the dry food. In that case you can dry different dry dog foods and/or wet dog foods.

Best Dry Food for Picky Dogs

This Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Grain Free Base Mix Recipe for Dogs is a fantastic choice as you get to control the protein that goes into your pupfood. So, if like my pup yours doesn’t like beef, you can add chicken or fish. You can even mix it up and add a couple different proteins, including eggs.

Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Grain Free Dog Food Base (Found on Amazon

Best Wet Food for Picky Dogs

Sometimes you just want to spoil your pup.  And sometimes you have no choice but to give them wet food. My dogs personal favorite is the Cesar Brand wet foods and they come in just the right size portions for his size, he only weighs 15 lbs.  A bigger dog may need a little more or you can also do as I have done and mix into their dry kibble to help entice them to eat.

Cesar Wet Dog Food (found on Amazon)

Tasty Food for Picky Eaters with Sensitive Stomachs

This homemade chicken and rice dinner recipe is great for sensitive stomachs. Rice is an ingredient that vets often recommend for dogs that have sensitive systems.

If you’d rather have a commercial option Hills Science for sensitive stomachs (you can get it on Amazon by clicking here) is a good choice.

People have a lot of good things to say about this dog food:


I bought this for my chihuahua
She is 1 1/2 and weighs 6 pounds
I brush her teeth but wanted to add
to her dental care so after
researching I decided to buy science diet
oral care. I’ve always fed my dogs
science diet . I still feed her her regular
food I just give her less and add a couple
pieces of the oral care. She loves it.
I was surprised when my 3 pound chihuahua was able to eat the nuggets as well. I was also happy. She’s 12 years old and having issues with her teeth because she won’t let me brush her teeth.


My Poodles Love It!

What a surprise!!! Unbelievable how well my poodles love this food!
They are simply not chewers, and it has been difficult to tolerate my 5 year old teacup’s breath (5 lbs soaking wet) and she has developed bad teeth. When I had to make an appointment to have a couple removed for her, along my 2 year old (8 lb) poodle began showing staining teeth and developing bad breath, I knew things had to change. I began searching for oral care treats and discovered this food. I poured thru so many reviews and decided it looked promising. Wow! After 3 weeks the results are impressive! They are now on Bag #3. The dog kisses are much more welcomely recieved! I bought toothbrush and toothpaste now as well and just went to brush their teeth, and the 2 year old’s teeth have completed brightened back to a new white! The stains are completely gone!
The tiny teacup’s are also noticeably brighter, and breath is down to mild instead of 👹👃😲😵😷.

The most enjoyable part is dinner time. They love the “meatball” size and taste of this food more than any bag dry food Ive ever seen from any dog. They seem to think they are getting a bowl of treats!! The little one takes her food to the bed inside her kennel, then she will even stay in it and “guard” her morsels for hours to make sure the other dog doesnt get hers. My boy poodle has a different habit- his favorite things go out the doggie door. For instance, he will sneak socks, paper towels and all the best toys are discreetly taken outside to be enjoyed privately. And that now includes Hill’s Science Diet Oral Care dog food-one piece of food at a time. They eat each piece slowly, and never a crumb left behind.

Other dry dog food varieties seem to scatter messily at the bowl or to the rug, or land in the water dish. Those problems are gone!
Aroma is positive as well, if that concerns anyone. Since I always scoop with my hands, I like to be able to tolerate the smell too since I am physically touching it everyday. (I do so because they smell me and my love for them on their food. Silly, maybe but I saw it on the Dog whisperer…), This food smells fresher somehow? Maybe its the parsely, but it does not smell like typical dry dog food, but has a light aromatic scent the dogs enjoy but it does not entice a human to want to eat it….lol.

Kaisa Kraizy

Food for Older Dogs with Bad Teeth

Older small dog eating soft food

Even with the best dental hygiene for older dogs, eventually most dogs will have teeth that hurt or need extraction. If your dog’s mouth hurts – they may not give you much indication other than not eating their food or you may notice a case of very bad breath so they might seem like picky eaters.

There are several solutions to this:

  1. Add water or gravy to their dry food to soften it. Sodium free broth is also another good choice.
  2. Switch to wet canned food.
  3. Cook for them, my dog loves this option for obvious reasons…he feels like he’s getting away with something because he’s getting something he’d normally get from our plates…and according to my Vet that’s not necessarily a bad thing as long as it is protein and cooked or raw veggies that are safe for them.

The Bottom Line on Feeding Picky Dogs

Bulldog with nose turned away from small dog treats

Just like children our pups can act out, get tired of the same thing or just get bored with the meal time.  Always have a set schedule for feeding if you can, with a time limit (this is always the hardest to stick to for us because we feel like bad pet parents). When we have been able to stand ‘the eyes’ it works. (Darn these stubborn soft hearts that give in every time we get the 

At any rate, you know your pup best. Figuring out a schedule is a very important part of meal time…you can try to make it more appealing by following some of the steps above or you can make meal time a challenge and fun..dogs love being put to work and figuring out puzzles…but that’s an entirely different subject which you can find some ideas here:  interactive meal times

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