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10 Best Tasting Dog Foods for Picky Eaters – 2024 Reviews & Top Picks

Chantelle Fowler

By Chantelle Fowler

boston terrier eating dog food While many dogs have hearty appetites and will happily scarf down their food in seconds, this isn’t always the case. Dogs can be extremely picky eaters, which can cause much stress for their owners, who know they need to eat to live a long and healthy life.

Not only is it frustrating to pick up another full food dish, but it’s expensive because trying new foods every week will drain your pet’s food budget pretty quickly.

If you’re at your wit’s end, we can help. We’ve collected a list of the ten best-tasting dog foods even the pickiest eaters can’t resist. Read the reviews of these ten foods below and find our tips on encouraging your fussy pup to eat.


A Quick Look at  Our Favorites in 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
The Farmer’s Dog Beef The Farmer’s Dog Beef
  • Four recipes to choose from
  • Cooked in USDA kitchens
  • No feed-grade ingredients
  • Best Value
    Second place
    American Journey Turkey & Vegetables American Journey Turkey & Vegetables
  • Large cans
  • Real turkey as the main ingredient
  • Loaf style appeals to picky eaters
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Wellness Bowl Chicken & Squash Wellness Bowl Chicken & Squash
  • Made with real, fresh ingredients
  • Can be used alone or as a topper
  • Contains fatty acids for skin and coat health
  • Wellness Complete Health Just for Puppy Wellness Complete Health Just for Puppy
  • Mouthwatering texture
  • Vitamin A for immune system support
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Formulated for sensitive stomachs
  • Great source of fatty acids
  • The 10 Best Tasting Dog Foods for Picky Eaters

    1. The Farmer’s Dog Beef – Best Overall

    The Farmers Dog Beef

    Main ingredients: USDA Beef, Sweet Potato, Lentils, Carrot, USDA Beef Liver
    Protein content: 41%
    Fat content: 31%
    Calories: 1,590 kcals per kg

    The Farmer’s Dog is a dog food delivery service offering veterinarian-developed nutrition for pups. Their website is easy to use, so you can customize your delivery schedule and pick and choose which meals you’d like.

    This company crafts fresh dog food made with whole, fresh foods with minimal processing. They have four tasty recipes to choose from in flavors even the pickiest dog loves, including beef, turkey, chicken, and pork. The Farmer’s Dog meals are gently cooked in USDA kitchens and then quickly frozen to ensure safe shipping and easy storing. The company doesn’t use feed-grade ingredients, and nothing in their recipes has been processed to be shelf-stable. For these reasons, we believe The Farmer’s Dog is the best-tasting dog food for picky eaters overall.

    The Farmer’s Dog is a high-quality option for your tasty pup, but it comes at a higher price than you may be used to.

    • Four recipes to choose from
    • Cooked in USDA kitchens
    • No feed-grade ingredients
    • Made with simple and gently cooked ingredients
    • Customizable plans
    • Expensive

    2. American Journey Canned Dog Food – Best Value

    American Journey Turkey & Vegetables Recipe Canned Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Turkey, Turkey Broth, Turkey Liver, Carrots
    Protein content: 8.5%
    Fat content: 6.0%
    Calories: 410 kcals per can

    Dog owners looking for a budget-friendly option for their picky pup will love the American Journey Turkey & Garden Vegetables Recipe Canned Dog Food. This premium loaf is offered at an affordable price considering the can size (12.5 ounces), making it the best-tasting dog food for picky eaters for the money.

    This recipe features high-quality turkey as the first ingredient to provide the dose of protein your dog needs to fuel its active life. It contains nutrients and antioxidant-rich ingredients to promote a strong immune system and better overall health. It’s a hearty loaf-style food with a meaty texture that picky eaters are drawn to.

    Some cans are sloppier than loaf form, which may be an issue for dogs that prefer the loaf style.

    • Affordable priced
    • Large cans
    • Real turkey as the main ingredient
    • Loaf style appeals to picky eaters
    • Some cans are sloppy in texture

    3. Wellness Bowl Boosters Dog Food – Premium Choice

    Wellness Bowl Boosters Freshly Frozen Fresh Chicken & Butternut Squash Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Butternut Squash, Rice, Spinach, Chicken Livers
    Protein content: 10.0%
    Fat content: 3.5%
    Calories: 998 kcals per kg

    Though the Wellness Bowl Boosters Freshly Frozen Fresh Chicken & Butternut Squash Dog Food is not budget-friendly, we understand that desperate dog owners will do whatever it takes to get their pets to eat. This flavorful dog food features real, fresh ingredients and high-quality meat that your dog can see and taste, making it much more appealing to picky eaters than many other dog foods on the market. These high-protein meals have been frozen to lock in the nutrients of each ingredient. It is versatile as it can be used alone as a full meal or as a topper to make your dog’s kibble more appetizing. The formula contains fatty acids to promote skin and coat health and calcium and phosphorus to keep your dog’s teeth and bones healthy.

    • Made with real, fresh ingredients
    • Can be used alone or as a topper
    • Contains fatty acids for skin and coat health
    • Frozen to lock in nutrients
    • High protein for muscle support
    • Expensive

    4. Wellness Complete Health Puppy Canned Food

    Wellness Complete Health Just for Puppy Canned Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Chicken Broth, Chicken, Chicken Liver, Salmon, Ground Barley
    Protein content: 9.0%
    Fat content: 6.0%
    Calories: 434 kcals per can

    It’s hard when an adult dog is picky, but even more challenging when it’s your brand-new puppy. Your growing pup must get the nutrients it needs, so you need something tasty like Wellness Complete Health Just for Puppy Canned Dog Food to encourage your dog to eat. Its savory taste and mouthwatering texture are appealing to puppies. This food is packed full of protein and vegetables to provide whole-body health. Your pup will derive energy from the high-quality chicken and immunity from the antioxidants in carrots. This pate-style recipe contains nutrients your dog needs for growth, like vitamin A to support healthy immune system development and vitamin D to support bone growth.

    While most puppies like pate-style wet food, this recipe may be too thick and paste-like for some picky pups.

    • Mouthwatering texture
    • Vitamin A for immune system support
    • Contains antioxidants
    • Promotes whole-body health
    • Texture may not appeal to some puppies

    5. Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Classic Sensitive Skin & Stomach Canned Food

    Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach Wet Dog Food Pate Salmon and Rice Entree

    Main ingredients: Water Sufficient for Processing, Salmon, Rice, Fish, Potato Protein
    Protein content: 7.0%
    Fat content: 5.0%
    Calories: 467 kcals per can

    Our Vet’s Choice pick is Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Classic Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Entree Canned Dog Food. Sometimes a dog’s pickiness comes from having a sensitive stomach, so foods that address the tummy issues can help encourage picky pups to eat. This single protein recipe was also formulated for dogs with allergies that irritate their skin. It is packed with nutritious salmon to provide a source of fatty acids for cognitive development and rice for a yummy-tasting meal with an appealing texture. No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives are used in this formula.

    This food is only available in 13-ounce cans, which may or may not be economical for some dog owners.

    • No artificial ingredients
    • Formulated for sensitive stomachs
    • Great source of fatty acids
    • Useful for dogs with some food allergies
    • Single protein
    • No small can option

    6. Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Low Fat

    Hill's Prescription Diet i_d Digestive Care Low Fat

    Main ingredients: Water, Pork Liver, Rice, Carrots, Chicken
    Protein content: 3.5%
    Fat content: 1.0%
    Calories: 123 kcals per 5.5 oz

    Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Low Fat Rice, Vegetable & Chicken Stew is designed to support your dog’s digestive system, so if its pickiness stems from digestive issues, this food could potentially address them. This low-fat food features highly digestible protein from pork liver and chicken. Hill’s ActivBiome+ technology is a unique blend of prebiotics that can activate your dog’s unique gut microbiome and support beneficial gut bacteria. This tasty wet food contains ginger, an ingredient known for its nausea-fighting ability. Ginger can also decrease gas and bloating, which may encourage your pup to eat more.

    The ingredient list is vague. For example, the third most prominent ingredient listed is “rice.” But is it whole grain rice, white rice, or brown rice? It’s hard to judge the quality of the food without knowing the exact contents.

    • Designed for dogs with digestive problems
    • Highly digestible protein
    • Prebiotics to support gut bacteria
    • Ginger to decrease gas
    • Vague ingredient list

    7. Rachael Ray Nutrish Dish Natural Dry Dog Food

    Rachael Ray Nutrish Dish Natural

    Main ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Dried Peas, Brown Rice, Brewers Rice
    Protein content: 26.0%
    Fat content: 14.0%
    Calories: 364 kcals per cup

    If your dog isn’t much into wet food, then Rachael Ray Nutrish Dish Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe with Veggies & Fruit Dry Dog Food might be just what you need. This grain-inclusive recipe is made with real ingredients you can see, like carrots, apples, and pieces of real chicken. This formula features chicken as the first ingredient and chicken meal as the second. Chicken meal is rendered meat that has been dried and ground up, and as unappetizing as that may sound, it packs a huge protein punch, providing more protein pound for pound than chicken. This formula features added vitamins like thiamine for proper brain function.

    This food doesn’t appear to contain any probiotics, which would benefit your dog’s digestion. Additionally, the photo on the bag does not accurately represent what the food looks like.

    • High-quality protein
    • Supports brain health
    • Contains pieces of real chicken
    • Added vitamins
    • No probiotics
    • Marketing photos may be misleading

    8. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Dry Dog Food

    Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley
    Protein content: 24.0%
    Fat content: 14.0%
    Calories: 377 kcals per cup

    Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food is a tasty, high-protein option for picky pups that prefer kibble over wet food. This recipe features high-quality real chicken as its first and main ingredient. It contains glucosamine to support joint health and mobility and essential vitamins like calcium and phosphorus to promote bone and teeth health. This grain-inclusive formula features brown rice as a main ingredient to provide your pup with the B vitamins it needs to help with digestion, metabolism, and cognitive functioning.

    There are some inconsistencies with the kibble sizing from bag to bag.

    • Provides joint support
    • Promotes bone health
    • Healthy complex carbohydrate source
    • Real chicken as the main ingredient
    • Inconsistent kibble sizing

    9. Stella & Chewy’s Meal Mixers Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food Topper

    Stella & Chewy's Chewy's Chicken Meal Mixers Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food Topper

    Main ingredients: Chicken With Ground Bone, Chicken Liver, Chicken Gizzard, Pumpkin Seed
    Protein content: 48.0%
    Fat content: 28.0%
    Calories: 4,440 kcals per kg

    Sometimes picky dogs need a tasty meal topper to entice them to eat their food. Stella & Chewy’s Chicken Meal Mixers Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food Topper is a great option. This topper is made with cage-free chicken raised without hormones or antibiotics. The recipe is 95% chicken and contains nutrient-rich organs and bones. There are no peas in this probiotic and antioxidant-enhanced formula. Don’t worry if your dog doesn’t care for chicken; other protein options are available, like duck, lamb, pork, and beef.

    There appear to be inconsistencies in the texture and hardness of the pieces, with some being extremely difficult, if not impossible, for dogs to eat. Sometimes the bags are full of crumbs instead of kibble pieces.

    • Hormone and antibiotic-free chicken
    • No peas
    • Antioxidant-rich
    • Many flavors to choose from
    • Inconsistency with texture

    10. CANIDAE All Life Stages Canned Dog Food

    CANIDAE All Life Stages Chicken, Lamb & Fish Formula Canned Dog Food 2024

    Main ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Lamb, Chicken Liver, Dried Egg Product
    Protein content: 9.0%
    Fat content: 6.0%
    Calories: 518 kcal per 13-oz can

    The CANIDAE All Life Stages Chicken, Lamb & Fish Formula Canned Dog Food is suitable for dogs of all breeds, ages, and sizes. This veterinarian-formulated recipe contains three protein sources in a broth that smells enticing to encourage your picky pup to eat. It features wholesome grains in the form of brown rice for energy. The formula contains omega 3 & 6 fatty acids to promote skin and coat health and probiotics to support healthy digestion.

    While this recipe contains three protein sources, only two are transparent. The third is “ocean fish,” which can include various fish sources. It would be nice to see some transparency from CANIDAE. In addition, the multiple proteins in this formula may not agree with every dog’s stomach.

    • Fatty acids for skin and coat health
    • Probiotics for digestion
    • Real chicken as the first ingredient
    • No transparency regarding fish content
    • Multiple protein sources are not ideal for all dogs

    Divider-Dog Paw and Bone- New

    Buyer’s Guide: How to Find the Best Tasting Dog Food for Your Picky Pup

    Why Are Some Dogs So Picky?

    Sometimes dogs are born picky, while others become picky over time. Some of the most common reasons your dog has suddenly become choosy about what it eats include:

    • Boredom. Can you imagine eating the same food every single day? It would get incredibly boring over time, wouldn’t it? The same can happen with your pup. It may get used to the flavor of its usual food to the point where it is no longer excited at mealtime.
    • Bad-tasting food. You wouldn’t want to eat food you didn’t like the taste of, and neither does your dog. Of course, your dog can’t tell you that it doesn’t like how its food tastes, so you’ll need to use cues from its body language and eating habits to determine if that’s why it has no interest in mealtime.
    • Health conditions. If your dog suddenly has no interest in eating, an underlying health condition may be the reason. Maybe your dog has a toothache and can no longer eat its kibble without pain, or maybe the bacteria in its gut is imbalanced, making digestion challenging. Many health conditions can cause inappetence, so it’s best to make an appointment with your veterinarian to see what the problem could be.
    • Loss of taste or smell. Dogs have a keen sense of smell, which plays a big part in how they taste and experience food. Unfortunately, dogs may experience a decline in their ability to smell (and, in turn, taste) as they age. If they can’t smell their food, they may not be as interested in eating it as they won’t be able to taste it as much.
    • Anxiety. Just as nervous humans sometimes can’t bring themselves to eat, the same is true for dogs. Many things can make your pup anxious, including loneliness, boredom, storms, or being separated from you for too long.
    • Too many treats. A dog that eats too many treats may not be as interested in its food come mealtime. And if you’re guilty of sharing your food with your pup too often, you’ll need to cut back on that, too. Treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calories, so cut back on the treats if you think your pup is being picky because it prefers its treats over its meals.
    Schnauzer puppy dog eating tasty dry food from bowl
    Image Credit: Maximilian100, Shutterstock

    How Can I Encourage My Dog to Eat?

    It can be incredibly challenging, not to mention stressful, to deal with a dog that refuses to eat. Wasting your money on new foods only for your pet to turn its nose up at whatever you offer can only go on for so long. Let’s look at some tips for encouraging your fussy pup to eat.

    • Ensure it’s not sick. Before you try any of the tips below, you need to make sure that the reason your dog isn’t eating isn’t because it’s sick. If it is exhibiting any other signs of illness or acting unusually, make an appointment with your vet.
    • Leave food out for a short time. Leave your dog’s food for 15 to 30 minutes at every meal. Once that time has passed, take it away until it’s time for its next meal, when you will try serving the same food again. Eventually, your dog’s hunger will overtake, and it will eat what you’re offering. This tip works best if you feed your dog kibble, as uneaten wet food should be discarded to prevent bacteria growth.
    • Cut back on treats. As previously mentioned, dogs that get too many treats may either not be hungry come mealtime or will have acquired such a strong preference for goodies that they will refuse their meals. Try withholding treats for a few days to see if your pup is more interested in its food.
    • Try adding food toppers. A few foods on our list are meal toppers (though they can also be used as a main meal). Food toppers add a little extra flavor and provide an incentive to eat.
    golden retriever dog eating healthy dry food from bowl at home
    Image Credit: AYO Production, Shutterstock
    • Try wet food. If your dog only eats kibble, it may be time to try introducing it to wet food. Canned food is stronger smelling, which can entice picky pups to eat. Wet food can be served independently or used as a meal topper.
    • Heat the food. Before serving your pup a meal of canned food, put it in the microwave for a few seconds. Warming the food makes it more aromatic and appetizing for your dog. If you have pouches of wet food, you can heat them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes. The food should be warm, not hot.
    • Find its favorite. Some dogs are extremely picky with the type and consistency of food. They may like canned food, but it has to be in pate form. Or they may prefer dry food, but the kibble must be a certain size. Unfortunately, figuring out which your pup prefers may take some trial and error. Once you identify what it likes, stick with that formulation.
    • Don’t offer human food. It’s important to resist the temptation to provide your dog with table scraps to get some food into its belly when it’s picky. Human foods can not only be dangerous for dogs to eat but they’re not formulated with your dog’s unique needs in mind. Dogs that develop a taste for table scraps can be difficult to transition back to dog food.
    • Get outside. There’s no way to build up a hefty appetite like exercising. Physical activity makes dogs (and humans!) hungry, so if your pup is resistant to food, try taking it outside for a long walk. This technique may work best with high-energy breeds, but even tiny dogs can be bribed to eat with exercise.
    • Follow the appropriate transition timeline. Once you’ve found a food that your dog likes, you shouldn’t toss out its old food. Dogs can resist sudden changes, and transitioning to a new food needs to be done slowly. Switching from its old food to the new one should take around ten days. Follow the timeline below:
    • Days 1 to 3: 75% old food, 25% new food
    • Days 4 to 6: 50% old food, 50% new food
    • Days 7 to 9: 25% old food, 75% new food
    • Day 10: 100% new food
    Pitbull dog eating healthy and nutritious kibble
    Image Credit: Roberto Cabrera Castro, Shutterstock

    Divider-Dog- New


    For the best overall dog food for picky eaters, The Farmer’s Dog provides an irresistible, wholesome, and tasty meal that’s hard to resist. Picky pup owners on a budget will appreciate the affordable price of our best-value pick from American Journey. This recipe is available in a loaf style to entice picky eaters to eat.

    Our premium pick, the Wellness Bowl Boosters, is great for fussy pups whose owners have no budget to stick to. The boosters work great as a meal topper or a meal on their own. Owners of finicky puppies love Wellness Complete Health’s puppy recipe as its mouthwatering texture is irresistible, and it’s full of nutrients young dogs need to thrive.

    Finally, Purina Pro Plan is our Vet’s Choice pick for the best-tasting dog food for picky eaters. This recipe is formulated for dogs with sensitive tummies, which may be the reason your dog is resistant to meals in the first place.

    Unfortunately, it’s hard for us to weigh in on the best-tasting dog food because we’re not about to start taste-testing them ourselves. However, any of the above ten picks are great jumping-off points as you hunt for the perfect food for your picky pup.

    Featured Image Credit: Jaja Fekiacova, Shutterstock

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