How To Get A Fussy Dog To Eat? (7 Methods That Work)

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It can seem impossible to get a picky dog to eat his food. So how to get a fussy dog to eat? After reading this article, you will have 7 best methods to solve this problem. Let’s dive right in!

Why is my dog being a picky eater?

Why is my dog suddenly being picky with food? There are two possible causes.

First, the issue could be medical. You need to consult your veterinarian to rule out anything more serious.

The following are some of the most common medical diseases that cause fussy eating:

  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Dental disease
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Infection
  • Parasites
  • Swallowed something they shouldn’t
  • Vaccination side effects

The second reason, which is also more common, is usually the result of owners feeding them in the wrong way and making dogs pickier. 

Your dog isn’t likely to be a picky eater from birth. Instead, their fussy eating habits show that they are intelligent dogs.

Your pup has learned that if they ignore their regular daily meals for long enough, they will receive more attention and, most importantly, a better-tasting alternative.

Answer some of the questions below to see if you are feeding your dog the wrong way!

Do they have snacks between meals?

How to get a fussy dog to eat

Some dogs may not want to eat the food you give them simply because they are not hungry. Sneaky snacks can make them less interested in the food in their bowls.

Do they receive treats from the family?

Family members can occasionally give dogs tiny quantities of treats. But if every member gives them, it can quickly fill them up.

Are they being fed when you eat?

Does your family feed dogs food from plates or sneak them food under the table? If so, it’ll undoubtedly make your dog happy, but some human foods are unhealthy for dogs and cause them to fill up on food leftovers rather than their own.

Now we will show you how to tell if your dog is a picky eater!

How to get a fussy dog to eat

Many owners complain like my dog won’t eat his food but will eat human food, or they ask why won’t my dog eat his food but will eat treats? 

If your dog refuses to eat their food but shows interest in what you’re eating or their favorite treats, they may be just fussy about what they eat.

But don’t worry! We’ll guide you on the best way to stop your dog from being picky. Read on and follow the way that works for you.

How to get a fussy dog to eat?

1. Remove your dog’s meal for a while

Many parents of picky eaters swear by its efficiency. It all begins with you feeding them dinner as you normally would. If your dog hasn’t eaten his meal within 15 minutes, take his food away. Wait until the following morning to feed your dog a fresh breakfast meal.

This time your dog is hungry and realizes that he won’t get any more food. There will only be one option available for your dog: To eat his food!

2. Use dog food toppers to mix up mealtime

raw diet for dogs

Many owners say that adding food toppers to their fussy dog food is the only way to get him to eat it.

Dog food toppers help improve the taste of regular food while also providing nutritional benefits. Imagine it as a food seasoning.

Picky eaters can be enticed to complete their meal with a small amount of wet dog food, salmon oil, veggies, ground beef, etc.

The key to using meal toppers effectively is to stir them into your dog’s food until it covers every piece of kibble. This way, your picky dog won’t pick out the meal topper and ignore the rest of his meal.

3. Warm the meal to enhance the flavor

Many fussy dogs can be encouraged to eat their meal just by warming it up. This method can stimulate your dog’s appetite as it releases a strong aroma and improves the taste of the food.

How do you warm your dog’s meals?

You can warm wet food in the microwave or a steamer pot. For dry kibble, just stir with a small amount of hot water.

4. Try switching to a tastier food

Is a Raw Diet Good for Dogs

Switching to a different meal could be the answer to getting your picky dog to eat. By refusing to eat, your dog may be trying to tell you that he hates the taste of the current food.

When switching to a new food, you should avoid similar flavors and try new flavors. Let’s pretend your dog doesn’t like chicken. Fish and beef are better options.

The good news is that tastier food does not have to be more expensive. Many picky dog owners have had luck switching to a less expensive kind.

Remember to switch to the new food gradually to avoid upsetting your dog’s stomach. Begin by adding small amounts of the new food into your dog’s regular diet, gradually increasing the amount over the period of 7-10 days.

5. Exercise your dog

Exercising is a great way to increase hunger. And as you might have guessed, a hungry dog is not a picky eater. For example, going for a long walk is one of the easiest ways to exercise your dog.

Whatever type of exercise you use, the goal is to get him tired. After he’s burned off his excess energy, it’s time to recharge your dog. Now he’ll be more likely to eat his food.

Keep in mind that don’t feed your dog right after he’s finished exercising. You should wait at least 15 minutes to settle his stomach.

6. Create a safe and distraction-free space

my dog won’t eat his food but will eat human food

Distractions can sometimes make it difficult for a dog to finish his dinner. Maybe your dog isn’t a picky eater, so he just can’t concentrate on his food.

For example, if you have a young child running around to play with your dog or an aggressive dog is nearby, it’s hard to focus on eating.

Finally, eating in a new environment can cause a dog to become stressed and refuse his meal. Therefore, having a relaxing, distraction-free environment can help.

7. Create a routine for your furry friend

The key here is consistency. If your dog’s feeding routine is unpredictable, he’ll eat food in a similarly unexpected way.

This routine will help your dog know when it’s time to eat. It’s best to:

  • Feed the same type of food with the same amount.
  • Use the same bowl.
  • Feed them at the same time.
  • Feed in the familiar location.


How long will a picky dog go without eating?

Generally, a picky dog can go without food for three to five days. However, if they are given water regularly, the time will be longer.

Will a dog starve themselves?

No, a dog will not starve themselves. That’s why the first method we mentioned above has a great success in stopping your dog from being fussy!


my dog won’t eat his food but will eat human food

How to get a fussy dog to eat? Here are 7 methods that work:

1. Remove your dog’s meal for a while
2. Use dog food toppers to mix up mealtime
3. Warm the meal to enhance the flavor
4. Try switching to a tastier food
5. Exercise your dog
6. Create a safe and distraction-free space
7. Create a routine for your furry friend

Which of these seven methods would you use to get your dog to eat? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Whatever your dog’s breed is, training is a must if you want to eliminate bad behavior and create the obedient, well-behaved dog of your dreams. You can choose suitable online classes from these 20 reputable SpiritDog Training courses to learn how to “successfully” train your canine using science-based positive methods, or grab the free guide below.

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