By The Farmer's Dog | February 22, 2017

While every dog is different—in appearance, in weight, in personality, and quirks—we think of all dogs as having one thing in common: A love for food. However, a good, consistently hearty appetite is not universal.

Some dogs inhale everything you put in front of (or frankly—anywhere near) them. But for owners of picky eaters, mealtime can be extremely frustrating to deal with. And it’s likely not much fun for the eater either, which is why it’s important to take the time to find a solution. Picky eating isn’t always a major cause for concern, but mealtime should be one of the best bits of a dog’s day.

Here are our tips to entice your dog into enjoying its dinner!

Get in some hot water

Don’t be afraid to play with their food — the texture and temperature of it, that is! Mixing in a little hot water to the food and mashing it up with a fork can make it more enjoyable for some dogs, as temperature and texture preferences can be a very personal preference for pups.

However, we do NOT recommend heating the food in the microwave, as this will destroy the food’s natural nutrients — the best part about our fresh recipes!

Toy around with the timing

Some dogs simply don’t need multiple meals a day, and are quite content with one. If you notice your dog seems set with one feeding session a day, don’t be afraid to adapt your feeding schedule to suit their preferences, and offer them their food when they want to eat — rather than when you think they should. Getting all their daily calories is the most important thing, rather than when they get them.

Once you find times that they like though, you should stick with it as the consistency helps them learn when they should expect to eat. If they’re not interested in a meal, feel free to take it away after a certain period of time — 20-30 minutes is appropriate. That way, your dog understands that when food is offered, it’s time to eat it. Otherwise, the food goes away.

Minimizing treats is another key part of retraining your picky eater. If a dog is being overfed with treats, they are more likely to feel full and therefore avoid the food bowl.

If in doubt, get the healthy fats out

If you’ve tried both of these things and your dog still doesn’t seem keen, our favorite magic trick is to drizzle a little anchovy oil on top of the food. The healthy fat is great for dogs, and most importantly, irresistible tasty!