what to do if my dog doesn't like their food and is a picky eater | Pupford

What to Do If My Dog Doesn’t Like Their Food, A Guide to Picky Eaters

When I was a kid I absolutely HATED beets. And that hatred (similar to how much most dogs hate bath time) continued on for years. I mean, if I could eat Starbursts, why would I choose beets?!

Then, at age 26, my wife put into layman’s terms why I should eat beets. The vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc. blah blah blah. Meh, I was still uninterested and “stubborn and picky” – her words not mine.

A few weeks ago, something miraculous happened though. My wife bought some beets from our local farmer’s market and whipped them up with some delicious goat cheese and other ingredients.

Honestly, I still wasn’t a huge fan at first. I only took a couple of bites before moving over to the buttery mashed potatoes on my plate. Strangely though, I found myself going back to the beets. It’s like my body actually knew they were good for me. And now, I ask my wife pretty frequently to whip up those delicious beets again.

What does this have to do with your dog and their diet?

Well, if your pup is a picky eater he’s likely similar to the 13-year-old version of me – would rather eat treats (Starbursts) instead of their healthy food, barely touches the healthy things in their bowl (beets), and is overall quite picky about their food.

Well, I’m here to tell you, there is hope for your picky pup!

Anytime you switch your pup to a new food, there is likely to be a learning curve. This “learning curve” is especially true when your pup is switching food types! By food types, I’m referring to the switch from kibble or wet food to dehydrated Pupford food.

Many pups (maybe even yours) have been eating hard, crunchy kibble their entire life and simply are not familiar or used to the texture of soft dehydrated food. Don’t worry, we’ve got some ideas to help your pup better acclimate to their new food.

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Different Ways to Serve Pupford Food

Just like when switching any food for your pup, be sure to gradually introduce the food to your pup over about a 7-10 span. This will help them slowly become accustomed to the new food, and allow you to monitor how they are handling their now food.

Soupy vs Thick

The feeding guidelines for Pupford food, recommend about a 1:1 ratio of water to food. That creates a pretty oatmeal-like consistency for the food. If your pup doesn’t seem to like the food right off the bat, experiment with different levels of water that you add to the food.

Some pups really prefer a soupy consistency that they can lap up, while others will prefer a thicker mix. Be sure to try different consistencies with your pup. The range can be as low as ½ cup water to 1 cup of food and all the way up to 2 cups of water (or more) to 1 cup of food.

Cold vs Warm Water

Similarly to the consistency of the food, some dogs just plain aren’t used to having water in their food. To help mitigate that transition for your pup, try different temperatures of water.

For example, my pups like the water that’s mixed in with their food to be hot! I learned that because they seemed much less interested the one time I mixed the Pupford food with cold water. So, mix it up and find out what water temperature your dog likes best.

Switching Recipes

For some extremely picky eaters, alternating recipes can be a great way to keep them interested in their food and on their toes. For example, you can try feeding your pup the beef recipe for a week or two (or even an entire bag) and then switching to the chicken recipe.

Some pup parents have even done a meal of each recipe per day. Beef in the morning and chicken at night.

Give Your Pup Time

Like I mentioned before, your pup has probably been eating kibble their entire life – switching to a new food will be an adjustment. And in our opinion, great nutrition is worth the wait. It may take a little patience, and this may sound a bit drastic, but healthy dogs won’t let themselves starve.

Obviously, we’re not advocating starving your poor dog… just like a good parent wouldn’t starve their human child, but they would make them eat their veggies whether they liked em or not 🙂 Your dog will eat eventually. And if the food they finally eat is high quality, they’ll feel better and act better as a result. Luckily, most pups love the taste, but for those extra picky eaters, this good thing is worth the wait!

General Tips to Help Dogs That Are Picky Eaters

Let’s face it, sometimes our pup’s bad eating habits and pickiness is a direct result of our own choices. Even if you’ve helped create a picky monster 😉 there are still steps that can be taken to reduce the pickiness and help your pup love meal time!

Avoid Tables Scraps and Human Food

No matter how cute the puppy eyes may be, do your best to avoid giving your buddy any table scraps or human food. If your pup gets used to having table scraps, why would they ever want to eat their own food?

On top of it creating a picky eater, giving your dog table scraps is a very fast way to get an overweight pup! That is not good. Overweight dogs are often more prone to joint problems, organ issues, and other health issues.

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Stick to a Consistent Feeding Schedule

Dogs are creatures of habit. That truth goes for training, feeding, and so many aspects of their life. For a full breakdown of feeding schedules, see our article here.

Sticking to a consistent daily feeding schedule can help your pup learn to be less picky and to eat when it’s meal time. For dogs on a two meal schedule, make sure that their meals are within the same 30-60 minute window every day. For example, always feed breakfast between 7:30 and 8:30 am.

On top of the time of day, be sure to keep your feeding time to a limited window. Once the bowl is down, help your pup learn that they only have a certain amount of time to eat (roughly 20-30 minutes). This will help your pup understand that mealtime means that is the time to eat. Every dog is different, but this method has helped many picky dogs learn to eat at mealtime!

Give Your Dog Enough Exercise

Just like us humans, when your dog exercises more often and is active, their appetite increases. If your pup is acting extremely picky, be sure to ask yourself if your pup is getting enough exercise and playtime. Your little doggo may need just a little more time to play fetch to work up an appetite.

On a similar note, feeding your pup right after a walk or a game of fetch is often the best time to feed a picky dog!

Don’t Overfeed Your Dog

One common reason that pups seem to be picky or not interested in food is that they are getting too much food.

Every bag of dog food (Pupford included) has a feeding guide, often with general guidelines based on your dog’s weight and activity level. We do our best to make sure those feeding guidelines are right for every pup, but it’s important to remember that each dog has unique circumstances.

Some dogs who weigh the same can be an entirely different dog! Factors including their living conditions, amount of exercise, feeding history, and so much more can affect how much food they need to eat.

With that being said, keep an eye on any movements in your dog’s weight and monitor to see if they are eating too much food. Use the image below as a guide to check if your pup is at a healthy weight. You should be able to easily feel your pup’s ribs under a slight covering of fat.

ideal dog weight guide | Pupford

Recap & Overview

Here at Pupford, our ultimate goal is to help you build a better relationship with your pup. We know that high-quality nutrition will help that relationship improve.

Every pup and situation is different! We do our best to make products that will help out every pup but know that’s a lofty goal. If your pup continues having problems with their new Pupford food, please contact us so we can get it squared away. Remember, a healthy pup is a happy pup.

Written by Devin Stagg

Since being deprived of dogs during his childhood, he and his wife decided to make up for it by having three dogs, two Lab puppies, and one grandpa Puggle. Meaning you won’t see him not covered in dog hair. When he’s not busy training his dogs and/or picking up their poop, you can find him cheering on Tottenham Hotspur and all Cleveland sports (yes, even the Browns).

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