Finicky Fido? How to Feed a Picky Pet

March 21, 2013 | By More

Finicky Fido- Dog Refusing to Eat


My dog Chico, who I rescued two years ago, went through a lot of drama and probably his share of trauma before landing at my doorstep.  So much so, that the first two weeks at our house, he was a tough one to feed.  I tried many things including hand feeding and he slowly and reluctantly obliged.   But, once he was acclimated to our home he ate everything.  And now?  Well, he is my little land shark and would eat anything in sight.  If you have a finicky Fido, there is hope!

There can be many reasons your dog will not eat:  illness, change in surroundings, medication or simply being picky.   If your dog suddenly changes his eating routine and refuses food, make sure to check with  your vet.   If  illness is ruled out, he is not on medication that would suppress his appetite and nothing in his environment has changed then he is most likely being a finicky Fido.

Finicky Fido- Chico with Pancake Batter

There are numerous things to try:

  • Cut back on treats.  Many treats on the market are packed with calories and fat and do their best to kill a pet’s appetite.
  • Walk or exercise your dog prior to feeding him.  He will burn calories and perhaps be more eager to eat.
  • Feed you pet on a regular schedule.  Once in the morning and once in the evening is ideal for most pets.
  • If after 20 minutes, your pet has not eaten, pick up his food and put it down at the next scheduled feeding time.  Your pet will begin to get the idea that  food should be eaten when it is there.
  • Try a different brand of food.  If feeding chicken, try fish or add a bit of canned food.  You can even try adding  fish oil or coconut oil to their current food.  It might make it more palatable and it will promote a healthy skin and coat.
  • Make mealtime a fun time for your pet.  Use treat release toys to feed your pet his/her entire meal.   I like the line of Busy Buddy toys by Premier.
  • Change your pet’s feeding situation.  Is he fed with other animals?  If so, try feeding him alone.  Or, has he had the same bowl for a while?  Perhaps try a different style, material or height.   If you normally feed your pet with other animals, try feeding him alone. Or try using different bowls or plates at different heights to see what your dog prefers.

Good luck with your finicky Fido or Felix.  Did you have success changing the habits of your picky eater?  Tell us about it!

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Category: Pet Nutrition

About the Author ()

Jenn Fadal is a national Pet Wellness & Lifestyle Expert. In addition to being the founder of her own holistic pet boutique, Wag, this Tampa native can be seen frequently on Media General’s Daytime Television across the country, as well as on FOX, NBC and ABC. She is also a writer and subject matter expert for various publications.

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