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How to get picky dogs to eat?

Updated: Jul 7, 2022


So what is a picky eater?


So let’s start by talking about how dogs are stereotyped. Most people will tell you the dogs will eat anything whether it’s bland kibble or your old slipper this is not always the case. Sometimes finding the right food for your dog can be a bit of an exercise.


What do you try to understand first?


No 1. See your vet and eliminate any medical issues


There are some medical conditions that can lead to picky eating so the first thing you should do is eliminate these.


These can include:

  • They have swallowed something they shouldn’t have

  • They have a dental problem

  • They are suffering from allergies

  • They have parasites or an infection

  • They have a gastrointestinal issue

  • They have arthritis or spinal issues

  • They offering the side-effects of a recent vaccination


Once you eliminate these then it comes down to the food but always considers visiting your vet if your dog is losing weight or you can see areas of the coat that is particularly dishevelled.


Remember healthy dogs don’t want to starve themselves no matter how picky they are. If you suspect your dog is suffering from any of the above conditions please visit your vet immediately.



So what do you do if your dog is displaying signs of being a fussy eater?


No 1. The best ways to get picky eaters on the right track - some tricks that work!


Try this proven method we and many other dog owners swear by our success.


Give your dog their food as you normally would and walk away, do not interact with them or try and make them eat the food. If your dog will not touch the food within 15 minutes, take this food away. Wait until the next meal time and offer the dog food again.


Make it fresh food do not offer your dog kibble that’s been sitting around all day or all night. Again if your dog does not eat this meal after 15 minutes take it away one more time.


By the third time your dog will be getting really hungry and will also realise that they’re not getting anything else. So they are left with one choice and that is to eat the food. This works because no healthy dog will starve themselves. They will eat as this beats being hungry. Generally, most dogs can go a few days without eating so don’t worry about your dog being hungry.



No 2. No feeding from your table!!!


If you are feeding kibble, your dog not be interested in that, after a juicy piece of steak! And if you are feeding your dog from the table they will get the idea that’s where food comes from….NOT their bowl.


You can of course feed them fresh food, just before dinner, which I find a great idea as the house is full of great food smells and they are part of that experience. Again Fresh food looks, smells and tastes better to them as well as you!



No 3. What kind of food is best for a picky eater?


GO Fresh NO KIBBLE. Much better for picky eaters and senior dogs!



So why do we not recommend kibble for dogs and in particular picky eaters?


About Kibble.


The first dry kibble was produced through a process called extrusion. Extrusion is a method used for manufacturing large quantities of shelf-stable foods (like breakfast cereals). It works like this: wet and dry ingredients are mixed together to form a dough-like

consistency, which is then fed into a machine called an expander. The dough is cooked under extreme pressurised steam and high temperatures before being extruded (or pushed) through a die-cut machine and forming the small shapes we recognise as kibble today.


There is lots of information online about kibble based dog food, so I won’t bore you with it here but let’s just say it’s the best food for dogs. It is however a great marketing and convenience stunt that leads a lot of us to believe it’s okay.



A better way!


There is a much better way to feed your dog and it’s called human-grade fresh food, and it’s even more convenient. Dogs love it because it’s healthy and full of moisture. We have found that even the most picky eaters will eat our food. We will talk about some recipes that work below. We have made it as convenient as buying kibble, and with our fresh food, you can store it in your cupboard for up to 90 days. It’s delivered free to your door.



So what recipes work:

Many Picky eaters do better with a single protein meal. We have six great meals in our range:

All our meals are perfectly balanced by Pet Nutritionists, so you can be confident your picky eater is getting what they need.



1. Grass fed beef bowl

Dogs will often eat Beef because it smells so good, this nutritionally balanced bowl is a great hit with picky eaters.




2. Free range Pork Bowl

Again often a big hit with picky eaters, our Pork Bowl smells and tastes delicious. Often preferred by dogs with allergies, great for stimulating the desire to eat again.





3. Free range Chicken Bowl

Picky eaters will often eat chicken because it is a treat, especially with all the other amazing ingredients in this meal.

Dogs like a variety in their diet, and if they have to eat the same thing every day, they could get sick of it, so here are 3 more suggestions.





4. Barn Raised Turkey Bowl

Turkey is one of the leanest animal proteins and is rich in nutrients like protein, riboflavin, and phosphorous. It is particularly significant for dogs sensitive to fats due to conditions such as pancreatitis





5. Wild Kangaroo Bowl

Kangaroo is a rich protein source and a perfect alternative for dogs who are allergic to other meat proteins It is one of the lowest fat meats and rich in B vitamins, Omega 3s, iron and zinc





6. Grass fed lamb bowl

Lamb based foods are good to try if your dog suffers from food sensitivities. It’s also a great choice if your dog has food allergies,

to other meats like beef or chicken. It is often considered to be Hypoallergenic



No 5. Transition to fresh food in stages, if required.


Days 1 – 3 – 75% current food. 25% New food

Days 4 – 6 – 50% current food. 50% New food

Days 7 – 9 – 25% current food. 75% New food

Day 10 – 100% New food


Some dogs don’t need any transition, but if your picky eater doesn’t like change, we recommend you follow the guide above.



No 6. Variety is the spice of life.


I wouldn’t eat the same kibble for 10 years, would you? Try a varied fresh food menu and pick a few varieties that your dog loves.



No 7. Warm food smells better and tastes yummy.


We recommend warming fresh food for picky eaters this really gets their senses going. Just like us, they love those delicious smells from the kitchen except their sense of smell is much more acute than ours. So imagine how much more appetising that is for them.



No 8. Don’t leave food out all day

Food doesn’t taste better after hours in the bowl, feed them the right amount at the right time and throw away any leftovers.


And please clean their bowl, Dirty bowls = bacteria that make your dog sick



Check out our amazing recipes @ www.rarafresh.com.au


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