My pet is a picky eater. How can I encourage them to eat more?

Finicky eaters might make you worry as a pet parent. While healthy pets are unlikely to starve themselves due to picky eating, they could end up with unbalanced nutrition—similar to a child who wants to eat only ice cream and skip their broccoli.

Also, picky eating habits can make it harder to give your pet medications when needed, or to maintain a healthy weight during illness.

For all these reasons, it’s best to find a healthy, nutritionally complete recipe your picky eater loves!

Here are a few tips (for healthy adult dogs and cats) that can encourage better eating habits…

  • Try to establish a feeding routine, with meals at the same time each day.

If your pet doesn’t eat anything after 15-30 minutes, put the food away. Then try again a few hours later. This helps your pet develop the habit of eating food when you offer it.

  • Don’t offer treats or table scraps just because your pet won’t eat the food in their bowl—this “trains” your pet to hold out for treats.
  • Add some water or a little bit of canned food to kibbles.

Moisture enhances the food’s aroma, which attracts your pet’s sensitive nose. Wet (canned) food can also enhance the taste of dry (kibble) food.

When adding water or wet food, throw out any uneaten food after a couple of hours.

We encourage you to contact our customer service team to determine how much wet food is appropriate to add, too much can cause weight gain.

  • Let wet food warm to room temperature for just a few minutes after removing it from the fridge, before you serve it to your pet. This boosts the food’s aroma and taste, and some pets just don’t like cold food.
  • Find your pet’s preferred flavor and texture.

With Fromm Four-Star Nutritionals, you can try different recipes without stomach upset when you switch between flavors, allowing you to see which flavors your pet likes best.

Once you find a recipe your picky eater likes, it’s best to stick with that. Otherwise, too much variety can reinforce their finicky eating habits.

If your pet has any unusual symptoms or changes in behavior, goes 24 hours without eating, or suddenly becomes a picky eater when they’re usually not picky, check with your veterinarian because there could be an underlying medical cause.