If your dog is picky about eating, it can be a pain at breakfast and dinner. Read more about a young dog who is picky about meals, and what you can do to alleviate the problem and get your dog starting to enjoy meals more.

I have an almost 2 year old 5 pound (give or take) Chihuahua is just too picky about his food! He’s been eating from the same small bowl of food for 2 days now. I’ve tried a few varieties, and I’m willing to try more, but I don’t know what to try! There’s no common denominator about the dry foods that I’ve tried. Some were for small dogs, some for whatever. I’ve tried the regular old stuff Wal-Mart offers that has the chicken by-product meal that I disapprove of, thinking that may just be what he wants. Nope. He was eating Pure Balance, which is a reasonably priced by-product free brand that Wal-Mart carries, but he’s stopped eating that. Any thoughts or suggestions about varieties to try?

What to do if a dog is picky about eating

A great question! Some dogs are definitely pickier eaters than others. Out of the shelter and rescue, I often had to sort out issues with food preferences and allergies. It can sometimes take a bit of time, trial, and error to get it right.

A couple of suggestions when it comes to food:

If it’s a sudden change, it’s a good idea to have a general checkup to make sure it isn’t related to health.

You can try adding something to the food you purchase to make it tastier, such as a sprinkle of parmesan cheese or a gravy or a bit of meat-only baby food (you can purchase ones made for dogs). If you do add stuff made for humans, just make sure it doesn’t contain any ingredients that are toxic to dogs (like onions).

Try foods with different textures, such as soft foods or fresh foods (you can purchase these in major stores now, ones designed for dogs). You could also try foods where a different protien is the primary ingredient, it may be a flavor issue.

When switching foods, I tend to follow the 3-3-3 rule of 3 days where it’s 1/3 new and 3/4 old food, 3 days where it’s half and half, and the last three days are 2/3 new and 1/3 old. This helps reduce the chance of tummy upset while you’re switching.

Good luck!

About Author

Jen deHaan is graphic designer, small business owner, and dog person living in Bay Area, California. Jen enjoys learning about dog training and behavior, and has taken several courses and seminars since 2010. She also contributes articles to leading websites, such as Victoria Stilwell's Positively . It all started with a great dog called Mikey (aka "dude"), loved and lost but remembered forever. Jen also runs a freelance business focusing on graphic, web, and UI design at FoundPixel, and a small business creating hand crafted dog products at Stylish Canine.