Best Dog Food For Picky Eaters

hungry dog eating

If you're the lucky owner of an angel that eats whatever dog food you put in their plate, no matter what recipe or flavor that is, then you've got a gem at home that you should be very thankful for.

However, and unfortunately for many of us among the community of pet owners, this isn't exactly the case with many of our canines.

For many of us out there, getting our dogs to eat their meals seems to be the hardest task in the world, sometimes even impossible for some.

It may be because your pooch is feeling ill at the moment, it may be because they just aren't really hungry, it may be because they are trying to get your attention.

Or, it may be that you just have a really picky eater at home that you have to buy only the best tasting dog food to convince them to eat.

If you've got a finicky eater in your pup, then worry not, as these dog food choices have specifically proven their worth and fondness to some of the pickiest of canines out there.

Our Top 4 Best Dog Food For Picky Eaters (In 2019)

Top Pick: The Honest Kitchen Revel: Natural Human Grade Dehydrated Dog Food
Pick #2: Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food
Pick #3: Nature's Variety Prairie Dry Dog Food
Pick #4: NUTRO Adult Hearty Stews Canned Dog Food



The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food
  • Very tasty
  • Gives beautiful skin and coat
  • All-natural
Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food
  • Decent nutrition, amazing taste
  • Smells good too
  • With natural prebiotics
Natures Variety Prairie Dry Dog Food
  • Real chicken
  • Regulates bowel movement
  • Freeze-dried raw coating
NUTRO Hearty Stews Adult Wet Dog Food
  • Wet food goes down better than dry
  • Promotes healthy skin and coat and healthy joints
  • Complete and balanced



Boost Me Mighty Beef Booster
  • Boosts taste
  • Boosts nutrition
  • Freeze-dried raw beef
Petchup Original Beef Flavor Nutritional Condiment for Dogs
  • Breaks kibble boredom
  • Appropriate dietary fats
  • Contains glucosamine

*Note: The links in the tables above, as well as several links in the remainder of the article below, will take you to over to where you can find out more information about the products, such as current prices and customer reviews.

A Closer Look Into Our Favorite Dog Foods For Picky Eaters

Pick #1 - The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Organic Grain Dog Food

The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food

If there was ever a dog food we would recommend for picky eaters, this formula from The Honest Kitchen is our absolute favorite, hands down.

First off, you won't have to worry about compensating any part of your dog's nutritional needs in return for the brilliant taste.

You get to meet your pooch's nutritional requirements for the day and get to feed them one of the tastiest dog foods available today at the same time.

What we also love about this formula is how well it's able to take care and improve the condition of your dog's skin and coat, something not a lot of formulas are able to do because of the trade off between nutritional value and taste.

You also won't have to worry about dealing with any of the harmful chemicals or additives that other formulas out there specifically made for amazing taste are full of.

So, for anyone looking for the best combination between a nutritious dog food formula and excellent taste to go along with it for their finicky eater, this formula from The Honest Kitchen is our favorite option and our #1 recommendation.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food

Not boasting the same nutritional benefits that the formula from The Honest Kitchen above has to offer your buddy, this Nutrish formula from the renowned Rachael Ray does, nonetheless, combine a decent nutritional portfolio along with amazing taste.

So it is still a great formula, making for a very good option for anyone with a picky eater at home. Definitely the best tasting dry dog food on the market.

This formula also appears to smell lovely, just like it tastes, a very important issue to consider when choosing dog food for a picky eater.

Just like your pooch will be put off by any food that tastes bad when they try it, they will also be put off by any food that smells bad as soon as they get anywhere near it.

Fortunately, these two issues are non existent with this formula from Rachael Ray Nutrish, for it is a very palatable food.

Natures Variety Prairie Dry Dog Food

This option from Nature's Variety is a must-consider for anyone with a picky eater at home that also has their fair share of digestive problems, especially when it comes to irregular "poop trips".

Not only is this one of the tastier dry dog food formulas available on the market, it's also been proven to help canines get more regular pooping trips, not to mention that their poops become healthier looking.

There's quite a difference between a firm, yet easy to come by poop that suggests your pet is healthy and their digestive system is operating normally, and frequent loose stools that suggest something's wrong and needs to be addressed.

This formula from Nature's Variety helps move your furry friend towards the former, healthier scenario.

One of the most unique aspects to this food, an aspect that greatly contributes to its incredible taste that goes down very well with picky eaters, is the freeze-dried, raw coating on every piece of kibble. There's no doubt your puppy will love it.

Last but not least, a canned option for all you pet owners out there looking to feed your picky eater a wet, canned variety of dog food instead of a dry option.

Something many pet owners will prefer to do if they have previous experience with their animals and know for a fact that wet dog food goes down much better with their furry buddies than dry kibble.

A Closer Look Into Our Two Favorite Dog Food Enhancements

Pick #1 - Boost Me: Mighty Meaty Beef Booster All Natural Dog Food Enhancer 

Boost Me Mighty Beef Booster

Not only does this enhancer make your dog's food that much tastier, it also does a pretty good job in making it more nutritious and beneficial to their overall health as well.

What you get with this product is freeze-dried raw beef that you can add into any bowl of food your canine is having a hard time eating.

This formula benefits them nutritionally by improving the amount of dietary protein they'll be getting from the food (useful in case your pooch's favorite food happens to be low in protein).

Not to mention, it is just all round very tasty for dogs because of the raw and frozen nature of the beef we're talking about.

Petchup Original Beef Flavor Nutritional Condiment for Dogs

A Ketchup for dogs? Yup, you've got that right, this is exactly what Petchup strives to be, as is obvious by the name.

Obviously enough, you're not getting the exact same ingredients that are found in Ketchup, as those can be very harmful for canines in the concentrated quantities they exist in.

Instead, you're getting as close a product you can get to Ketchup, except that it's one that was made with ingredients specifically included with the nutritional needs of dogs in mind.

Let's look at some of the health, nutritional and well-being benefits that Petchup can offer your pet, besides giving their food a tremendous boost in taste and tempting even the pickiest of eaters to wipe their bowl clean.

  • It contains 19 vitamins and minerals
  • It contains very beneficial sources of dietary fat such as flaxseed oil and fish oil (omega 3)
  • It contains certain amounts of Glucosamine

All in all, a very powerful dog food enhancer that will most certainly challenge even the pickiest of eaters out there.

Why Are Some Dogs More Picky Eaters Than Others?

Why is it that some canines come off as angels that make it the absolutely smoothest of ordeals when it comes to eating their food and getting their nutrients for the day, while others make it much harder and energy-draining than it needs to be on their owners?

Here are some of the most common reasons why some dogs may be "picky eaters" when required to eat certain foods, be that both human food (like fruits and vegetables) or dog food alike.

Not Tasty: No matter how hard you try or what tricks you think you may have up your sleeve, some canines will just absolutely detest certain dog food recipes/flavors.

This is why many pet owners facing a difficult time in getting their pooch to eat from a certain formula/recipe/flavor often try out different ones that have done well for other pet owners and see how that goes.

Obviously enough, since no one looks forward to the thought of having to buy 10 different dog foods for Fido to try and see which one they like the most, this is one of the reasons we've put together the list of the best tasting dog food for picky eaters above, so that you have the least testing to do before finding a winner.

Dry VS Wet Dog Food: Besides the taste of the actual food you're offering your pooch to eat, the texture of it also plays a very important role in some cases and is the reason why many dogs out there prove to be more picky eaters than others at many times.

Some canines are just all about that dry kibble, while others can't stand dry food and would much rather eat canned food that's more wet and moist.

What Makes The Best Dog Food For Picky Eaters?

So, how exactly can a pet owner tell which dog food is best for their finicky eating pooch? How can you know if a certain formula will go down well with your pup and they won't just have it laying there in their bowl refusing to touch it?

The following list covers some of the most important criteria that you should be looking for in the best dog food for your picky eater so you can be sure that you've got just the right food for your buddy.

Filler Free: One of the first issues you should be making sure of when it comes to any dog food you're looking to get for your picky eater is that it be "filler-free".

Nothing makes a picky eater more resistant to eating food than a formula that's full of cheap, useless filler such as corn, wheat, soy, meat by products, etc ..

Not only do these ingredients offer no nutritional value for your canine whatsoever, they also add absolutely nothing to improve the taste of the food.

Meat-Based: Generally speaking, the tastiest dog food for picky eaters is almost always going to be meat-based.

This is just as important a criteria as is the issue of choosing a filler-free formula mentioned above, if not more important because of how good and satisfying meat-based dog food feels like for Fido.

To make sure this is the case with the dog food formula you're considering picking up, take a quick look at the top 2-3 spots on the ingredients list and see if meat sources are included there. If that's the case, then you're good to go.

Also, look for some of the higher quality sources of meat, such as chicken, lamb, beef, poultry, etc ..

How Can I Make My Dog Less Of A Picky Eater?

white dog with yellow bowl

Assuming that the reason your pup is a picky eater is purely behavioral and doesn't have anything to do with a sickness or sudden health issue that just popped up, here are some useful tips you should take into consideration if you want a more easy going dog that doesn't give you such a hard time eating their food.

Easy On The Treats: One of the most common reasons why canines become picky eaters is because their owners have spoiled them a whole lot by overwhelming them with treats and not taking moderation into consideration, to the extent that they don't find actual food as tasty as these treats they've grown used to love.

This is one of the reasons why you should always remember that dog treats should be used in moderation and on occasion, and that you should keep them to when you need to use them most with Fido (always keep in mind not to overdo it with your dog's training treats).

Easy On The Human Food: Just like you should be taking it easy on the dog treats and keeping those within the realms of moderation, the same concept applies to human foods that we all tend to feel the urge to share with our companions from time to time.

Be that fruits, vegetables, table scraps or whatever we eat ourselves that we feel inclined to feed Fido as well, always keep in mind that the majority of their diet should only come from dog food that was specifically produced to meet their dietary and nutritional needs, and anything else other than that should make an absolute minority in their eating regimen.

Do Not Respond To Begging: When trying to train your canine to get used to eating more of their dog food and less of treats/table scraps, there's going to be a lot of begging at first and temptations for you to just give in and give them what they want so that they can just stop.

small dog with pink bow

However, this is definitely not something you want to do, and you're just going to have to push through with your consistency, remain firm and stay true to your message to your pup that dog food is the only thing they're going to be getting to eat 90% of the time.

Respond to begging a few times and then don't a few other times, and all you're going to be doing is sending them mixed signals that encourage them to keep trying in hopes that you'll end up giving in just like you did before.

Gradual Changes: If you decide to change the formula/recipe of whatever dog food brand you're giving Fido, or change the brand altogether and move on to another one, one of the keys to avoiding having a picky eater is to do this change gradually and over a well spaced out period of time.

This way, you'll be giving your pooch enough time to get used to the new dog food you're trying to incorporate into their diet without rushing things too fast, which is something that usually leads to having a dog that refuses to eat their food in the first place.

Making major changes to their diet real fast also causes a whole lot of digestive and stomach problems, two issues which also contribute to having a canine that refuses to eat the food they're given.

A Very Important Note About Picky Eating Dogs

A very important note must be made to all pet owners out there who believe they have a "finicky eater" at home, you must make absolute sure that this is indeed the case with your furry friend.

In other words, you must make sure that your canine is indeed acting this way and making it hard for you to get them to eat their food for any reason other than a medical condition that's affecting their eating habits.

Check out this video to know exactly what to look out for in your pup's eating habits (and when you should be worried):

If you've had your pooch medically checked on and the tests have shown that they don't suffer from any underlying medical condition that's affecting their eating habits, then you can be sure that this is a behavioral issue and your dog is choosing not to eat their food.

However, if you don't have them medically checked on, you'll never know whether they're choosing to make it harder than it needs to be when it comes to eating their food, or whether there's an underlying medical condition that's affecting them and making it very hard for them to eat any food, when in reality they actually want to.

How Can I Tell If My Dog Is A Picky Eater Or There's Something Wrong With Their Health?

Often times, though, the majority of people should be able to tell whether they just have a picky eater at home because of the personality/behavior issues, or whether they have a dog that need medical attention because something's wrong with their health.

To do this, you have to do some backtracking and see whether this behavior is something new or whether they have always been like this. So, ask yourself some of the following questions to find out which is which with your pooch.

Do they have a history of making it very hard for you to get them to eat their food? Or did getting them to eat their food used to be a very easy task that suddenly changed?

Did you recently change anything that has to do with the food you get for them to eat that may have warranted this difficulty in getting them to eat their food? Did you change the formula, the recipe, the brand of dog food, etc ..

It's this sudden change in behavior and sudden refusal to eat their food while all else variables have remained the same that you, as a pet owner, should be worried about and should ideally be getting your dog medically checked on to make sure that there's nothing wrong with their health that's causing this change.


  1. I took your advice and tried the Honest Kitchen. My fussy dog hated it. I tried the Rachel Ray, too. He wouldn’t eat that, either. So, you’re list isn’t accurate for MY fussy eater. I need to keep looking. He’ll eat Orijen, on occasion, if he’s in the mood for the meat topper I’ve added to it. T

    HAT’S what it’s like with a fussy eater. I’ve had dogs all my life, and this little guy is my FIRST fussy eater. He’s driving me crazy!

    It seems to me that there MUST be SOME food that actually appeals to fussy dogs. I hate forcing him to eat foods he dislikes. It’s like forcing a kid to eat foods they hate. Not my style at all.

  2. My 15 year old german shepard has eaten the best and highest rated dog foods her entire life. About two years ago she was done with all of it. I searched high and low for something she would not turn her nose up at. At a friends house she loved Rachel Rays chicken dry dog food. Ok, 40 Lbs for under $40 at Target and she still eats all of it! Works for me! We made it 15 years and still going strong. After 2 years now with RR the vet brings in others from his office to have them guess her age. Thank you RR, the next time your in napa Ill treat you pick.

  3. “filler such as corn, wheat, soy, meat by products, etc …
    Not only do these ingredients offer no nutritional value for your dog”
    Not sure, but I believe this statement is factually false


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