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A guide on how to feed a fussy dog

While some dogs will happily eat whatever their owner puts in front of them, other dogs will refuse to eat certain types of food, either because they don't like it or because they are simply bored of it. Owners of such pups often have to experiment with new types of dog food to find the right one. Get our top tips on what to do if you have a real food connoisseur at home!

Create your fussy approved menu
Team Marleybones

Just like with children, we tend to think the worst when something happens to our four-legged friend, but there's no need to worry if your dog starts to be picky with food. If he remains happy, eager to eat his reward treats and shows no signs of tiredness, listlessness or illness, he is probably just being picky. Symptoms of food allergies, for example, usually appear immediately in dogs, so if you experience these symptoms it's recommended seeing your vet.

If your dog starts to become fussy, it's definitely worth trying a new type of dog food. Marleybones gently steamed fresh cooked dog food could definitely be a game changer for your fussy eater pup. At Marleybones, you can find the perfect wet food for your fussy eater dog that is sustainable, healthy and delicious at the same time. Our meals are packed with nutritious meat, luscious vegetables and all the best superfoods we could get our hands on. All of our recipes use fresh, nutritious and locally-sourced ingredients prepared to the highest standards in Great Britain such as British free-range chicken, grass-fed lamb & beef and Scottish hand-reared salmon.

Game changing for fussy eaters. A fantastic brand, all the way from the customer service, branding to the quality of products. We had a really fussy working cocker spaniel and tried 3 different kibbles to no avail. He absolutely loves this stuff and you can tell the freshness even by just smelling it yourself. Could not recommend it enough!

Jamie Denison Trustpilot

Top tips for fussy dogs

    Be patient with fussy eater dogs

    Dogs are known for their eclectic taste in food. While some will happily eat anything that is put in front of them, others can be quite fussy about what they will and won’t eat. If you have a fussy dog, it is important to be patient when trying to figure out what they like to eat. Dogs have a keen sense of smell, so the aroma of the food is often more important to them than the taste. Certain kinds of food may also trigger memories of positive experiences, such as being fed table scraps by their owner. As you experiment with different foods, pay close attention to your dog’s body language and vocalizations. These can give you clues as to whether they are enjoying the food or not. Dogs can often take their time when eating, and if you try to hurry them along, they may become even more fussy. It’s important to give your dog the time they need to eat, and not to force them. With a little patience and trial, you should be able to find a food that your fussy dog will enjoy.

    How can you make your dog’s food more appealing?

    I'm sure we've all had this experience: you lovingly prepare your dog's favorite meal, only to have them turn their nose up at it. It can be frustrating, but there are a few things you can do to encourage them to eat. First, try adding a little bit of hot water to their food. This will help to release the aromas and make the food more appealing. You can also try heating the food up, as many dogs enjoy eating warm meals. If your dog is still reluctant to eat, try hand-feeding them a few pieces of food. This will create a positive association with eating and may encourage them to eat on their own. Finally, don't worry if your dog skips a meal or two. They'll usually be back to their normal eating habits in no time.

    The better the quality of food, the less likely your dog will be to refuse it. Just like people, dogs can be picky eaters, but if you're feeding them high-quality, delicious food, they're less likely to turn their noses up at it. Marleybones is dedicated to providing only the best for your furry friend. Even though human food does not cover all of the nutrients dogs need, they just love the smell of a Sunday roast or a fresh salmon when you create your dinner. With Marleybones, your four legged friend will not only enjoy the smell of these delicious foods but will be able to eat them while getting the proper amount of nutritions needed to stay healthy and energised every day.

    Health is one the main drivers behind Marleybones and we want to make the best and most delicious dog food as we possibly can. As long as your dog eats our food as recommended by our nutritional consultation, you can be assured your dog is getting everything it needs. We’ve worked alongside dedicated experts in dog nutrition to make sure all our meal live up to the highest standards.

    Tips for feeding a fussy dog

    Besides trying to add hot water and warm your meals, we here give you a step by step guide on how to help your fussy dog. First, ensure your dog has a quiet safe place to eat, where they can relax and do not feel like they are being ‘watched’. Next, decide what food you are feeding your dog that day and stick to it. Call your dog enthusiastically when it is food time, put the food bowl down and give them an instruction which can be anything really to tell them it is time to eat ‘Dinner time!’. Then leave them alone. Once your dog stop showing an interest take the bowl away. Grazing not only encourages fussy eating but also puts stress on the pancreas. Remember to simply ignore them when they refuse food and praise when they eat it. Finally, do not feed them or give them tit-bits until their next meal. 

    Why is my dog a fussy eater?

    Most probably your pooch was not born as a picky eater, but he has some reasons not to eat the food you provide. Just think about yourself. You love pizza and pasta, but after a two-week holiday in Italy, you would maybe try something else as well. Same goes for your furry friend. The environment, the people around him and other animals can have a significant impact on his eating habits. If you have been feeding your dog the same food day in and day out, it 's no wonder they're losing interest. Dogs are creatures of habit, and they like routine. But that doesn't mean their diet has to be boring. Try mixing things up by adding new brands or flavours of food to their bowl. You can also try different textures and shapes of food.

    If your dog is refusing to eat, it might be because of a behavioral issue. Dogs are sometimes finicky eaters, and they may go on hunger strikes to protest something. For example, if you've been feeding your dog table scraps, he might be expecting a gourmet meal every time he sits down to eat. Whatever the reason is, it's important to stay calm and avoid giving in to his demands. Otherwise, you'll just be reinforcing bad behavior. If you're ever in doubt about why your dog isn't eating, it's always best to consult with a veterinarian. They'll be able to help you figure out the root of the problem and find a solution that works for both you and your furry friend.

    Some dogs also have sensitive stomachs, so they may not be able to digest certain types of food. Digestive issues can occur when feeding a dog with dog food that contains wheat and grains as it can irritate their tummy. Have you considered giving your pet a meaty meal? Kibble might not be their favorite, and it's possible that crunchy texture is what turns them off. A tailor-made fresh dog meal with a juicy piece of cooked chicken, beef, lamb or salmon can make all the difference!

    At Marleybones, all of our gently cooked meals are grain-free, made from British free-range chickens, grass-fed beef and lamb and Scottish hand-reared salmon which makes them the perfect choice for your picky eater friend. Our tasty meals are nutritionally balanced and created by experts to keep your dog healthy and happy.

    Does your dog snack between meals?

    Have you ever come home to find that your dog has barely touched his food? You might have chalked it up to a loss of appetite, but the truth is that your furry friend might just be snacking too much between meals. Dogs are often highly motivated by food, which means that they're likely to beg for a treat every time someone opens the fridge or cupboard and if everyone gives them small treats, they can be filled up easily. As a result, they may not be very hungry at mealtimes. If you want your dog to eat more at mealtime, try cutting back on the snacks and treats throughout the day. Only give treats to your pet if it is part of the training process and is included in their diet! This way, he learns that snacking is conditional on prior performance, and he learns to separate the concept of snacks from actual meals. With a little less food in his stomach, he'll be ready to eat by dinnertime.

    How can you tell if your dog is eating enough?

    As any pet owner knows, one of the most important things to pay attention to is whether or not your furry friend is getting enough to eat. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to tell. If you're wondering how you can tell if your dog is eating enough, there are a few key signs to look for. One way to tell if your dog is getting enough to eat is to pay attention to his energy levels. A dog who is well-fed will typically have lots of energy, while a dog who is not getting enough to eat will be sluggish and lethargic. Another way to tell if your dog is getting enough to eat is to look at his stool. A healthy dog will have firm, compact stool, while a dog who isn't eating enough will have a loose, watery stool.

    Most importantly, remember to monitor your dog's body condition. If you notice your dog is loosing weight and is getting too thin, it might be a sign they aren't getting enough food. 

    If your dog needs an extra calorie boost, you will have the option of adding an omega boosting oil, made with flaxseed, hemp seed and evening primrose oil to top your food. Besides its primary function of supporting skin and coat health, it can aid with a few extra calories. This will also help with making the meals more tempting.

    What’s the best food for a fussy dog?

    The difference in quality - between food and food - is striking. Just think of the difference between a fast-food meal and a home-cooked lunch. Huge, right?

    It's no different for our furry friend. Like us humans, they need a varied and balanced diet, rich in fibre and quality protein in order to have a balanced, happy behaviour.

    Marleybones dog dining is available in 4 tasty flavours and are made from the finest produce and is gently steam-cooked to retain all the nutrients and natural flavour. All of our recipes use sustainable, fresh and locally-sourced ingredients prepared to the highest standards in Great Britain. When the tummy is happy, our pooch is happy! Try it now!