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Why is my dog a picky eater?

For most dogs, we tend to assume that mealtimes are a joy for them to look forward to. However, what is the best dog food and brands for fussy eaters? We can find it hard to find dog food for picky dogs. But why do they exhibit disinterest in their food bowls? Here are some of the reasons for their lack of appetite, as well as how we can encourage them to eat.

Health-related problems

The habit of picky eating in dogs may be due to possible health problems. This may be so if your pets have never had a problem with finishing their food, but are now struggling to do so. This may be due to several health problems ranging from serious illnesses – for instance, cancer, liver or kidney issues. It could also be due to dental complications, gastrointestinal disorders or pain. It is best to bring your pet for a thorough check-up at the vet.


If your dog is being picky about food, it could be due to stress which is taking a toll on his emotional well-being. Are there any sudden and uninvited changes in their environment? This could lead to stress manifesting, which then leads to a loss of appetite. In this case, you might want to solve the change in environment or show more care and attention while teaching them to slowly adapt to permanent changes such as a new family member or a new home. Read this article about Dog Wellness 101!

Old age

If your dog is getting on in age, the ageing process might be the reason why they have picky eating habits and become less interested in their food. Older dogs are not as active and have old gums and teeth. These all contribute to smaller appetites.

Undesirable feeding routine

If you have checked that your dog does not have any health issues, then there might be a problem with the feeding routine. Firstly, dogs who are fed table scraps and treats in an inconsistent manner may start eating selectively. This is because they know that tastier morsels will arrive later. Second, an unsuitable feeding area may affect their appetite when eating. Many dogs crave peace and quiet when they are having their meals. Placing their feeding bowls right in the middle of a busy room may cause them to feel anxiety and lose their appetite. This then inculcates the habit of picky eating.


Your dog may be refusing to eat usual chow simply because it is bored. Just like humans, dogs who are fed the same food for a long time may grow bored. This is why Supawbox is helpful for introducing a wide range of high quality treats every month. Check out this article on 3 shocking benefits of dog subscription boxes

How to correct picky eating

Fixed feeding schedule

Dogs should eat no more than 2-3 times a day. Do stick to a strict feeding schedule where each meal is equally portioned. After 30 minutes of feeding time has passed, do remove any leftover food from their bowls to enhance the effectiveness of a strict feeding schedule. Minimize the amount of treats you feed in between meals. Only use them for rewarding your pup with treats during training. This helps to curb pickiness as it forces them to be satisfied with daily meals. For older dogs who eat less, you can introduce softer dog foods that are specially formulated for senior pets. This helps them to eat more, as they are easier to chew and swallow.

Make mealtimes more enjoyable

If your pet does not eat still, you can make mealtimes more enjoyable! Try shifting the food now to a quieter area to build up a sense of safety and comfort for your dog. Or, you can try making your pet perform a trick before it’s allowed to eat its meals to make it seem more like a reward. This is more appealing than a meal that’s given without having to work for it. You could also capture its attention with a food-dispensing puzzle that’s been filled with its meal. Sign up for Supawbox’s monthly subscription box so that your dog will be a less picky eater!

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