Do you have a picky eater dog or cat? As a pet parent, you want to provide the best nutrients, minerals, and proteins for your furry friend but it can be difficult when your pet is a picky eater. What should you do when they reject healthy food? Follow our tips for some creative ways to get picky dogs and cats to eat their food.

Don’t Tempt Picky Cats and Dogs with Human Food

Never tempt your pet with human food. Bribing your pet to eat their food with human snacks will only make them want human food more. This can be a challenging habit to break as the potent ingredients in human food can make it far more alluring to your pet than their own food. Often picky eating is caused by wanting table scraps more than their own food. This may be especially challenging if you have a dog that’s a picky eater due to their heightened sense of taste and smell. Dogs have more scent receptors than humans and cats, making the smell of human food more alluring than their own food. Giving them human food also adds unnecessary calories that often contain high levels of sugar, carbs, and fat.

Turn Dinner into a Game

Games are very creative ways to make dinner time fun for your picky pet and fun for pet owners as well. Introducing new foods in fun ways can get them excited to eat. Try putting a few pieces in a feeding toy and let them play with their dinner. Dogs and cats are natural hunters, so doing this will help them tap into their natural wild animal instincts. For a toyless option for your picky dog, you can try playing a good old fashion game of hide-and-seek. This is done by portioning your dog’s meals into small bowls then hiding the bowls around your house. This encourages your dog to “hunt” for their food. For a picky cat, you can try puzzles that can also engage your cat’s hunter spirit. Using toys and games are a great way to make mealtime fun and gives your pet something more to look forward to.

Make Their Food Their Only Option

If you’ve bought multiple pet food brands, your picky pet may have learned to wait for better options before eating. Don't fold and offer another brand if they don't eat a meal - removing a meal or two will help them realize that you aren’t going to provide another option. Your pet will soon understand that the food you are giving them is the only food that’s available to them. Once they have been eating this way for a while, they will get used to eating the food you give them. This tactic will help restore your pet’s normal eating habits by training them to be content with eating what they’re given.  

Don’t Go Cold Turkey on Old Food

You may be excited to let your picky cat or dog try a new type of food but don’t go cold turkey. Combine the new food with the remnants of the old food to gradually transition your pet away from the old food. This way, they will get used to the taste instead of refusing to eat new food. Remember to be patient and give your pet time to transition. Depending on your pet’s picky eating habits, it may take longer for them to transition to a new food. Consider doing this for about a week to see how it goes.

Top It with Rustic Stew or Bone Broth

Another trick to get your picky dog or cat to eat is to top their food with Rustic Stew or Bone Broth. Similar to mixing old and new foods, covering food with a tasty pet food topper they love encourages them to eat. Liquids are best, as they soak in and can't be picked out (adding in a few treats may cause them to dig through for the treats without actually eating the food). Open Farm has multiple options for wet food toppers that are tasty and healthy for your pet. One of the best dog foods for picky eaters is our rustic stew, which has a delicious, thick, and pourable texture and comes in a variety of protein choices. Our bone broth is another delicious alternative that includes a variety of tasty protein options for both cats and dogs.

Open Farm Cat & Dog Food for Picky Eaters

Open Farm carries a number of options for picky eater pets, from our rustic stews and bone broths that add more flavor to dry food, to our Gently cooked options which include non-GMO traceable ingredients that are antibiotic and hormone-free. Whatever suits your pet’s needs, Open Farm has you covered. We offer the most nutritious and delicious pet food that even the pickiest pets  can’t resist.