Best Dog Food for Picky Eaters 2023

By Jasmine Sawatzky

Published: 03/24/2023, edited: 07/05/2023

Best Dog Food for Picky Eaters 2023 image

The Wag! team conducts independent research and consults pet experts to curate our recommendations. This content is supported by our affiliate pet partners and we may receive a commission on the links provided.


Choosing the right dog food for your fur-baby can be overwhelming enough, so it doesn’t make things easier when your dog turns their nose up at it! If your pup is a picky eater, there are a few things to consider when choosing the pawfect food and flavor.

As with choosing any dog food, the first thing to look for is the quality of the ingredients. High-quality dog food should contain real meat as the primary ingredient, instead of fillers like corn or wheat. It's also important to avoid foods that contain artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, these can harm your dog's health. You want to choose a food that’s delicious and nutritious!

Before you begin your dog food journey, try to discover the root of why your pup is being picky. It’s important to consider whether it’s because of an underlying health issue. If your dog has a sudden change in appetite or is not eating enough, it calls for a visit to the vet. 

On the other paw, some dogs simply get bored and like variety. Some dogs prefer dry kibble, while others may prefer wet or canned food, and even others are particular about the meat they eat. Since dogs have a keen sense of smell, they tend to drool over foods with the natural aromas and more satisfying flavors that are often found in wet foods.

Whatever new flavors you try, be sure to change their food gradually over the course of three to five days, which gives your dog enough time to get accustomed to new flavors and textures. Don’t try to compensate for your picky pup by giving them too many treats or human food, as they won’t get a balanced diet this way and it could lead to obesity.

Here are some of the best dog foods on the market for picky eaters! They’re sure to have your doggo drooling.



Overview

Nom Nom Dog Food

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5

Nom Nom dog food is a high-quality wet dog food that comes in a refrigerated pouch and made with nutritious human-grade ingredients. 

The main protein sources they offer are beef, chicken, turkey, or pork, which are sourced from farms that meet high animal welfare standards. 

These proteins are then combined with a blend of healthy veggies, like carrots, peas, and green beans, to provide a variety of essential vitamins and minerals. 

Freshly prepared and delivered right to your doorstep, it doesn’t get more convenient than that!

Nom Nom Dog Food variations:

    • Beef Mash
    • Chicken Cuisine
    • Turkey Fare
    • Pork Potluck
    Nom Nom Dog Food

    Nom Nom Dog Food

    Why Wag! Loves It

    • Made with high-quality, human-grade ingredients
    • Delivered directly to your door on a regular basis
    • Offers personalized meal plans and portions based on your dog's age, weight, breed, and activity level
    • Uses fresh ingredients that make it easy for your dog to digest and absorb the nutrients

    Considerations & Concerns

    • Is more expensive than some other dog food options
    • Needs to be refrigerated
    • Generates more packaging waste compared to buying dog food in larger quantities

    What pet parents say about Nom Nom

    “My dogs absolutely love this food. The quality of the food is exceptional. Both of my dogs have more energy and better coats. Their poops are amazing, easier to clean up and very little smell. Friends have commented on how much better Molly and Charlie look, and I recommend this food to them.”

    Read more reviews on Consumer Affairs.

    Product image sourced from the Nom Nom website. Copyright NomNomNow Inc.



    The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Food

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    5

    You know The Farmer's Dog’s fresh food must be delicious because they used live feeding trials conducted on real dogs of multiple breed sizes and ages over a 6-year period. 

    Whole proteins are combined with veggies like carrots, broccoli, green beans, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts, fiber-rich chickpeas and lentils, and omega 3 fatty acids to provide a nutrient dense diet for your pup. 

    With their subscription service, you’ll get a vet-designed plan with fresh, human-grade dog food that is tailored to each individual dog's needs.

    The Farmer’s Dog variations:

    • Beef recipe
    • Turkey recipe
    • Chicken recipe
    • Pork recipe
    The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Food

    The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Food

    Why Wag! Loves It

    • Uses fresh, human-grade ingredients in their meals
    • Customizes meals based on your dog's individual needs and preferences
    • Delivers the meals directly to your doorstep
    • Are transparent about where their ingredients come from and how they are prepared

    Considerations & Concerns

    • Can cost more than other commercial dog food brands
    • Has limited variety compared to traditional dog food brands
    • Requires freezer storage until it’s ready to serve

    What pet parents say about The Farmer’s Dog

    “Such a great dog food! My nearly 12 year old cocker spaniel has never looked better! She had two spine surgeries in the past two years and had put on a little weight from the bed rest (which was also not great for her recovery!). Since switching her to this food, [she’s] lost her extra weight, her coat feels amazing and she is truly excited at every meal! This food has extended the quality and likely the quantity of her golden years. Thank you!”

    Read more reviews on Better Business Bureau.

    Product image sourced from The Farmer's Dog website. Copyright The Farmer’s Dog, Inc.



    Orijen Dog Food

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    5

    Orijen prides itself on providing biologically appropriate meals for dogs. For many pups, Orijen dry dog food is just as delicious as raw or fresh food, but without the hassle for pet parents! 

    These foods are made with high-quality, whole animal ingredients, like free-range chicken and turkey, wild-caught fish, and pasture-raised lamb, mixed in with some nutrient-dense fruits and veggies. 

    What makes Orijen unique is its "whole prey" approach to ingredients, which means that the food includes the entire animal, including organs and cartilage. All the most succulent and nutritious parts of the prey that your dog’s ancestors would have eaten!

    Orijen Dry Dog Food flavors:

    • Puppy
    • Puppy Large
    • Small Breed
    • Original
    • Six Fish
    • Regional Red
    • Tundra
    • Fit & Trim
    • Senior
    Orijen Dog Food

    Orijen Dog Food

    Why Wag! Loves It

    • Uses fresh, high-quality ingredients in its recipes
    • Is designed to be high in protein
    • Offers a wide range of flavors, so you can find one that your dog will love
    • Does not use any artificial preservatives in its recipes

    Considerations & Concerns

    • Is more expensive than some other dog food options
    • Has a strong smell that pet parents may not love
    • Is very nutrient-dense, which means that it’s high in calories

    What pet parents say about Orijen

    “I just recently switched over to this brand from Blue Buffalo and so far my dog really loves her new kibble. Since she’s a picky eater, I started giving her the new kibble piece by piece until she grew accustomed to it. Normally after 3 days, she gets tired of her kibble and then I switch over to wet food but so far I haven’t had to switch. She’s been even barking at the bag for seconds which I guess means she really likes it. Highly recommend!”

    Read more reviews on Chewy.

    Product image sourced from Chewy. Copyright Champion Petfoods.



    Ollie Dog Food

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    5

    Ollie dog food will have pups licking their bowl sparkling clean. This is another subscription fresh dog food that comes in individually portioned containers, which are customized to your dog's individual needs and delivered straight to your doorstep. 

    The recipes contain satisfying combinations for dogs with sensitive stomachs, or picky palates. The limited ingredient list makes it less likely for your dog to dislike something in it, and for you to have to guess what it is.

    Ollie Dog Food flavors:

    • Fresh Beef with Sweet Potatoes
    • Fresh Chicken with Carrots
    • Fresh Turkey with Blueberries
    • Fresh Lamb with Cranberries
    Ollie Dog Food

    Ollie Dog Food

    Why Wag! Loves It

    • Made with high-quality, human-grade ingredients, including real chicken and fresh vegetables
    • The customizable subscription service allows pet owners to choose the best dog food, frequency of delivery, and optional add-ons
    • Is minimally processed, so most of the naturally existing nutrients are present when your dog eats the food

    Considerations & Concerns

    • Is more expensive than some other dog food options
    • Requires freezer space to store the food
    • Pouches require time to thaw before feeding
    • Generates more packaging waste compared to buying dog food in larger quantities

    What pet parents say about Ollie 

    “#1 Customer service is outstanding. #2 Ollie is wonderful food. My 2 picky chihuahuas have had a few online foods in the past 6 months and Ollie is the only one they will eat. Their coats are shinning they have great gut health again and much more energy. My 11yr old is doing so well. Thank you Ollie for being apart of our family.”

    Read more reviews on Trust Pilot.

    Product image sourced from the Ollie website. Copyright Ollie Pets Inc.



    Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Dog Food

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    4.5
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    Vet Recommended

    Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Dog Food offers the convenience of kibble without compromising on taste. It uses a combination of freeze-dried, raw-coated kibble and pieces of real, freeze-dried raw meat. 

    This recipe line offers your pet a diet similar to what they would have consumed in the wild. All Merrick Backcountry recipes are rich in Omega fatty acids for healthy skin, and glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint health.

    Dr. Georgia Jeremiah, pet nutrition expert and one of Wag!’s veterinary consultants, even recommends Merrick. "Merrick products are made with high-quality, whole food ingredients, and they use no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.”

    Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused recipes:

    • Big Game
    • Game Bird
    • Great Plains Red
    • Hero’s Banquet
    • Large Breed
    • Puppy
    • Pacific Catch
    Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Dog Food

    Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Dog Food

    Why Wag! Loves It

    • Uses high-quality protein sources like deboned beef
    • Contains raw-coated kibble for extra flavor and nutrition
    • Does not contain any artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors
    • Includes grains, which can provide dogs with a source of carbohydrates, fiber, and other nutrients

    Considerations & Concerns

    • Can be more expensive than some other options on the market
    • Can cause digestive issues in dogs with sensitivities to grains
    • Contains a high-calorie content

    What pet parents say about Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused

    “This is the ONLY dog food my very [picky] husky will eat. Trust me when I say that we have tried every brand available. She loves Merrick Raw Infused plus grains and Chewy makes it very convenient to ship to our home. Thanks Chewy!”

    Read more reviews on Chewy.

    Product image sourced from Chewy. Copyright Merrick Pet Care.

    FAQ

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