Tricks to Encourage Picky Eaters

Sometimes, our dogs just don’t want to eat. You may try to switch up his food and add variety to entice him to eat, yet he continues to only nibble and sniff his meal before he walks away.

Before we provide our tips and tricks to get him back on the right track, the best tip we can give you is to take your dog to the vet to rule out any possible underlying medical problems. Stomach problems, allergies, or sore teeth and gums are all reasons your dog might not be too eager to eat. A check-up is especially important if your dog is usually very eager to eat his meals and suddenly seems to have lost his appetite.

If he’s been cleared of any health issues, it’s time to look at his habits, and yours. One of the most common causes of picky eating in dogs is the humans around him feeding him dinner scraps and leftovers.

Not only does this increase the risk of obesity in your dog, but he will grow accustomed to the variety of human foods and no longer want his old dog food. Why eat kibbles when he knows you’re going to give him your leftover meat loaf?

If your dog is a picky eater as a result of this type of change in appetite, here is how you can reverse it.

Establish Meal Times

Setting strict times for breakfast, lunch, and dinner will make the necessary food change much easier for your dog. His body will be conditioned to expect food at these set times, and your pup will be more than ready to eat when you feed him.

An extra step you can take is to put away any food he doesn’t eat if he walks away from his bowl without finishing. This will drive home the notion that these set times, and only these times, are when he can eat. In the future, he will learn to finish his food as soon as you give it to him.

No More Scraps

Human foods and snack must be avoided altogether until he learns to love his dog food again. This will be heathier for him in the long run. You should also limit dog treats to a minimum, as these too are filled with calories and should not be given to your dog on a regular basis.


If your dog is having a hard time loving his old food again, you can make the transition a bit easier by adding healthy snacks into his bowl. Chopped carrots and peas are healthier foods that can give his dog food a little extra flavor without sacrificing his health.