The Best Tasting Dog Food for Picky Eaters – Reviews and Ratings of the Best Wet and Dry Brands for Fussy Dogs in 2021

The Best Tasting Dog Food for Picky Eaters – Reviews and Ratings of the Best Wet and Dry Brands for Fussy Dogs

Some dogs will eat anything and everything. However, others are much pickier and may have a minimal range of acceptable foods. Sometimes, canines even need a bit of coercion to get them to eat!

While picky eating is sometimes short-term and linked to stress, other times, our canines are just born picky.

In these situations, picking a dog food becomes more about choosing something your canine will eat – instead of just picking the best quality food you can afford.  There are a few extra factors you need to keep in mind when choosing food for the pickiest eaters.

Reviews of the Best Dog Foods for Picky Eaters

Our Pick

Nom Nom Now Dog Food

  • Fresh, human-grade ingredients
  • Includes Vitamin B12
  • Convenient delivery

Doggypedia rating: 5/5

Calorie Content: 1239 kcal/kg

First 5 Ingredients: Diced chicken, sweet potatoes, yellow squash, spinach, and sunflower oil.


Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

  • 37.04% Protein
  • 18.52% Fat
  • 14.81% Carbohydrates

Best dog food for the pickiest eater

If you have a picky dog, fresh dog food can encourage them to eat. These dog foods are often tastier than your average, commercial dog food. Plus, they’re usually healthier as well. The inclusion of unprocessed meats means that the food closely resembles what our dogs would eat in the wild, which can make picky dogs more likely to eat it.

Out of all the fresh foods out there, Nom Nom Now is one of the best. Their beef recipe is delicious, though they also make other formulas if you’re inclined to try something different. This particular formula includes ground beef, russet potatoes, eggs, carrots, and peas, as well as a few other ingredients. There is quite a lot of beef included, which you can see just by looking at the food. Because of this, your dog is much more likely to eat it.

The macronutrient content of this food is relatively reasonable, as well. Protein is very high at 37%, and fat is decently high as well at 18%. Carbohydrates are also quite low, which puts this dog food very close to what our canines would be eating naturally in the wild. The inclusion of lots of fat and protein also makes this dog food tastier, which is always a plus when you’re dealing with picky eaters. Highly recommend.

Recall Info: Never

Best Dry Dog Foods for Picky Eaters

Our Pick

Dr. Tim’s Ultra Athletic Fusion Formula Dry Dog Food

  • 87% protein
  • Unique fiber mixture for healthy digestion
  • Brewer’s yeast and Omega-3 fatty acids

Doggypedia rating: 5/5

Calorie Content: 4110 kcal/kg

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken liver, chicken meal, brown rice, chicken fat, menhaden fish meal.


Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

  • 38.89% Protein
  • 27.78% Fat
  • 24.44% Carbohydrates

Best Tasting Dry Food

This food is one of the best on the market. It includes many different meat sources in the first five ingredients. Chicken liver is included as the first ingredient and is one of the best meat sources for your dog. Most formulas just include a little bit of chicken liver, because it is often quite expensive. However, this one has chicken liver as the first ingredient, which means there is quite a lot of this great ingredient in this formula.

There are also various other meat sources included throughout the ingredient list as well, including chicken meal and menhaden fish meal. Chicken fat is also included in the first five ingredients. This increases the fat level of the food and makes it taste quite good, which is helpful if your dog is picky. Furthermore, this is one of the best quality fat you can add.

Menhaden fish meal is also included. Because this is a fish, it includes plenty of healthy fats as well and increases the omega-3 fatty acid content of the food.

The macronutrient breakdown of this food is quite good as well. Protein is at almost 40%, with carbohydrates down at 24%. This is quite close to what our dogs would naturally eat in the wild, making it an excellent choice for any canine.

Recall Info: Never

Also Great

Blue Buffalo Carnivora Prairie Blend

  • Farm-raised meats
  • Contains nutrient-rich organs and cartilage
  • Omega 3s and Omega 6s

Doggypedia rating: 4.5/5

Calorie Content: 3963 kcal/kg

First 5 Ingredients: Deboned beef, beef liver, beef meal, dried chicken, tapioca starch.


Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

  • 46.67% Protein
  • 22.22% Fat
  • 22.22% Carbohydrates

This protein-packed food is full of great ingredients. It includes meat as the first four ingredients, including beef liver, which is exceptionally nutritious. Most of the meat comes from beef, though there is some chicken, lamb, and pork thrown in as well. This is great because diversifying your dog’s food helps ensure that they don’t develop allergies and increase the nutritional value of the dog food.

Besides meat, tapioca starch is also included. This is an alternative starch used in higher-end kibbles. It is gluten-free and non-GMO, making it a better choice in many cases.

The macronutrient basis for this food is fantastic and one of the best on the market. Protein is almost at 50%, which is fantastic. Fat and carbohydrates are at 22%. This is about as good as you can get on the market currently, which is one of the reasons we rated this food so high.

The only reason that this food was not given the highest possible rating is that the company has been recalled many times. There are multiple reasons for their recalls, and they seem to come from all their food lines, which means the overall company is likely to blame – not just one factory or supplier. Furthermore, this company was also linked to a dietary heart disorder by the FDA.

Recall Info: Many times

Also Great

Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe With Real Beef

  • Includes freeze-dried kibble
  • USA-raised beef as the first ingredient
  • Probiotic boost for digestive health

Doggypedia rating: 4.5/5

Calorie Content: 4351 kcal/kg

First 5 Ingredients: Beef, chicken meal, white fish meal, peas, chicken fat.


Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

  • 39.56% Protein
  • 23.08% Fat
  • 28.57% Carbohydrates

This dog food is made in the USA with the finest ingredients available. It includes a probiotic blend to help with gut health and includes higher levels of omega 3 for healthy skin and coat. It is also full of antioxidants for immune health, which can also help your dog avoid allergies and upset stomachs. It includes freeze-dried kibble for taste as well, making it perfect for picky eaters.

As far as the ingredient list goes, there are tons of meat products included. USA-raised beef is included as the first ingredient, with chicken meal as the second. Whitefish meal is also included, and the sources of the fish include Pacific whiting, Pacific sole, and Pacific rockfish. Chicken fat also graces the first five ingredients. The inclusion of fat not only increases the fat content of the food but also makes it tastier for your canine.

We particularly liked how many different sources of meat were included in this food. This makes it tastier and decreases the chance of your canine, developing a food allergy. There are no grains, potatoes, corn, wheat, or soy as well.

The macronutrient content of this food is pretty good, but it could be better. Protein is pretty high at 40%, but fat is lower than we would like it at 23%. Carbohydrates are also pretty high at 28.57%, which is less than stellar. The macronutrient content isn’t perfect by any means, but it is decent. For this reason, we still felt confident recommending it for picky dogs.

Recall Info: Many times

Best Wet Dog Foods for Picky Eaters

Our Pick

Purina Beyond Wild Prey-Inspired Turkey, Liver, & Duck

  • Made with rich organ meat
  • Glucosamine for joint health
  • Grain-free

Doggypedia rating: 5/5

Calorie Content: 1169 kcal/kg

First 5 Ingredients: Turkey, turkey broth, chicken, liver, duck.


Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

  • 40.91% Protein
  • 31.82% Fat
  • 13.64% Carbohydrates

best tasting Wet dog food

When it comes to wet food, you really can’t beat this dog food by Purina. It contains only meat products, including turkey, chicken, and duck. All the other ingredients are added nutrients like folic acid, vitamin B-6, and potassium iodide. These nutrients help ensure your dog gets a complete diet, and the inclusion of only meat matches very carefully to what your dog would naturally eat in the wild.

The macronutrient content is also fantastic. Protein is higher than 40%, and carbohydrates are just under 15%. Fat is also quite high at over 30%. This matches closely with what our dogs would be eating if they had control of their diet, making this an excellent dog food for practically any canine.

Because it contains plenty of animal fats and protein, this food is also quite tasty. If your dog is picky, you might have some luck with this tasty food.  

Recall Info: Yes

Our Pick

Wellness Ninety-Five Percent Chicken Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

  • 95% chicken
  • Designed to be used as a topper
  • No meat by-products, wheat, corn, soy, or artificial preservatives

Doggypedia rating: 5/5

Calorie Content: 638 kcal/kg

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, water, natural flavors, cassia gum, carrageenan.


Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

  • 36.36% Protein
  • 27.27% Fat
  • 22.73% Carbohydrates

Great Tasting Food for Fussy Dogs

This food is designed to be a topper, which means it is not a complete meal in itself. However, toppers are a great way to spice up your dog’s meals and help with picky eating. Because of this, we felt that it had a place on our review list.

As far as toppers go, this is one of the best ones available. It is practically only chicken and water. Other ingredients include cassia gum, which is a gelling agent that helps keep the topper “together,” and carrageenan. And that’s it. If your dog has allergies or a sensitive stomach, this is an excellent option for your canine.

The macronutrient content is also quite good as well. This food contains about 36% protein, 27% fat, and 22% carbohydrates. This is quite close to what our dogs would eat in the wild, making this food a right choice for many canines.

Because this food contains mostly high-quality chicken, most dogs find it very appealing. If you don’t want to completely switch your dog’s food, switching some of the meal to a topper is an excellent choice. This company also makes other topper flavors so that you can switch up your pet’s diet regularly.

Recall Info: Yes

Also Great

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Beef & Chicken Grill

  • Real beef and chicken
  • No grain, gluten, by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, and artificial flavors
  • Promotes healthy muscle growth

Doggypedia rating: 4.5/5

Calorie Content: 1477 kcal/kg

First 5 Ingredients: Beef, chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, potatoes.


Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

  • 45.45% Protein
  • 40.91% Fat
  • 0% Carbohydrates

Best Limited-Ingredient Grain Free Dog Food for Picky Eaters

This is the best limited-ingredient dog food money can buy for picky eaters. It only contains meats, potatoes, and added nutritional supplements. If your dog has a sensitive stomach or allergies, this food is perfect.

All the meat products included in this food are incredibly high-quality. Beef and chicken are included as the first two ingredients. Because they’re in their complete forms, you can pretty much bet that they’re high-quality. Chicken broth is also included. This helps raise the nutritional content of the food when compared to other wet foods, since most on the market use water. Furthermore, chicken liver is included as the 4th ingredient. This is an extremely high-quality ingredient that is full of many different nutrients our dogs need.

We also loved the macronutrient breakdown of this food. It contains very, very few carbohydrates and high levels of fat and protein. You really can’t get better than this dog food.

Recall Info: Many times

Best Puppy Foods for Picky Eaters

Our Puppy Pick

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Turkey & Chicken Grill Puppy Dog Food

  • Includes DHA for brain development
  • Real turkey and chicken
  • No grain, gluten, by-products, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives

Doggypedia rating: 5/5

Calorie Content: 1200 kcal/kg

First 5 Ingredients: Turkey, chicken broth, chicken, chicken liver, potatoes.


Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

  • 47.73% Protein
  • 40.91% Fat
  • 0% Carbohydrates

Best Puppy Food for Picky Eaters

If you have a picky puppy, this is the food to get. Most puppies prefer wet food over dry food, especially as they are learning to eat solid foods. Wet food is also tastier, which is why many dogs continue to prefer it as they grow up. This particular formula includes tons of animal meats and lots of fat. Both of these ingredients make it extremely tasty and smelly – two things your puppy will have a hard time resisting.

The ingredient list of this food is quite good. It includes mostly meat, including chicken broth and real turkey. Chicken liver is also included as the fourth ingredient and adds plenty of nutrients for your puppy. The ingredient list is almost wholly meat – besides potatoes and pea protein. The pea protein raises the protein content of this food substantially, though we would have rather seen the protein added from another animal source.

This food also contains plenty of added nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin D3, and vitamin E. These added nutrients help ensure your canine is getting all the nutrients they need from their diet.

Recall Info: Many times

Also Great

Instinct Original Puppy Grain-Free Chicken Recipe

  • Contains natural DHA for brain and eye support
  • Includes fruits and vegetables
  • Made in the USA

Doggypedia rating: 5/5

Calorie Content: 1161 kcal/kg

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, beef liver, salmon, carrots.


Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

  • 45.45% Protein
  • 27.27% Fat
  • 13.64% Carbohydrates

This is another beautiful puppy food you can use. It includes real chicken as the first ingredient, and chicken broth is included as the second. Chicken broth helps increase the protein content of the dog food and adds in a few extra nutrients as well. Furthermore, beef liver is also included. Liver is an exceptionally nutritious meat and makes the food taste quite good as well. The last meat on the list is salmon, which adds plenty of healthy fats to make the food even tastier.

There are a few veggies and fruits included on this list as well. Unlike many dog foods, though, many of the veggies chosen are very good for our furry friends and include plenty of nutrients. The only exception might be the peas, which have been linked to a dietary heart disorder by the FDA. However, they appear further down on the list, and the high protein content of this food makes us feel great about recommending it despite the inclusion of peas.

The macronutrient content of this food is excellent. It is incredibly high in protein and includes minimal carbohydrates. Fat is at a medium level. It could be higher, but the extremely high protein content makes up for it.  

Recall Info: Yes

Why You Should Trust us

I’ve been a dog owner my whole life, growing up with puppies to adopting my newest pup, Max. I have experience with feeding dogs that are picky, and we have reviewed hundreds of different dog foods over the years, so we have an expert view of what the market currently offers. All of our reviews are based on scientific evidence, not marketing campaigns or ads. We carefully stay up to date on the latest research so that we can recommend only the best to you and your pets. 

Before making it into any article, each dog food has to pass a rigorous review process that involves more than just surface-level information. We calculate all of our own macronutrient data. While we pay attention to the ingredient list, we also consider macronutrient ratios and recall frequency. Additionally, we speak to the dog food brands, vets, and dog trainers to make sure our recommendations are the most healthy options for your dog.

Common Causes for Picky Eaters

Almost no dog is picky just because they can be. Instead, canines are typically picky for a reason. Sometimes, this reason isn’t changeable and is just something you’re going to have to live with. Other times, the pickiness is short term and can often be solved through other measures.

Here are some of the most common reasons dogs become picky eaters:

  • Stress. A dog that is stressed may not have an appetite, which makes it less likely that they’ll eat. Often, even stressed out, dogs will consume foods they consider irresistible, which usually includes treats and broth-soaked foods. If you have recently adopted a dog or your dog has suddenly become a picky eater, it is probably stress, not actual picky eating.
  • Frequent treats. A dog that eats too many treats during the day is not going to be hungry for mealtime. If your dog happily eats table scraps and treats, they might just be filling up on them. It is essential to refrain from feeding your pooch too many table scraps or treats, as it can cause obesity and is not nutritionally complete.
  • Low food drive. Some dogs are extremely attached to their food, while others could care less. Small breeds, in particular, tend not to be very food driven, which can make them pickier about the foods they do eat. There isn’t anything you can do about this, but trust that your dog isn’t going to starve themselves.
  • Recent sickness. If your dog has recently been sick, they could not be feeling hungry yet. Typically, it takes a little bit for a dog’s appetite to come back. In the same vein, if it was food that made your dog sick, to begin with, they could remember this and feel apprehensive about it. This usually goes away with time, though switching to a better, tastier food isn’t a bad idea.
  • Health problems. Some health problems can zap your pet’s appetite. If your dog experiences a sudden change in appetite that you can’t link to stress, they should be seen by a vet.
  • Poor-quality food. Some food just tastes terrible. If your dog isn’t particularly food-motivated, they may not eat low-quality food. Even if your dog has eaten that food previously, they may have gotten bored with their current formula and need a change.
  • Too many distractions. Believe it or not, some dogs get distracted from eating very quickly. Your canine might do better with a quiet, dedicated space to eat.

Food That Can Help a Picky Eater

No matter why your dog is picky, they will likely benefit from certain foods. Some reasons for pickiness can be solved simply by changing a few environmental factors, while others require a change of food. Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting dog food for your canine.

  • Most dogs who are picky will be encouraged by high-quality meats. While dogs have evolved to eat grains and veggies, they are still meat-eaters, first and foremost. Many will be encouraged to eat if their food if it contains high-quality meats.
  • You should also look for food with plenty of healthy fats. Fats taste good, which is very encouraging for a picky canine. Of course, it is vital to choose healthy fats – not fillers. Usually, you want fats that come from a quality meat source. Often, fattier types of meats are all you need to watch for.
  • Consider switching to wet meals with natural ingredients. Many dogs will prefer wet foods over dry food. They smell better and taste better. Plus, wet foods are often better for your dog anyway, as they usually contain more meat.
  • Many dogs also prefer natural flavors, as opposed to artificial ingredients. Once again, this can be easily achieved by choosing food with high-quality meats.
  • Changing your feeding time can also be helpful. Consider spreading out your dog’s mealtimes further apart so that they have a bigger appetite when it is time to eat. Be sure not to feed them treats or table scraps shortly before mealtime either.
  • If your dog isn’t on a feedings schedule now, they likely need to be. This works in tangent with our last point. If your dog goes longer in between meal times, they’ll be more likely to eat more when it is time for them to eat.
  • Aim for food with real ingredients. This not only makes the food taste better, but it is also easier on your dog’s stomach. If your dog is refusing to eat because of stomach issues, real ingredients can help substantially.

How We Picked

We took into account a few different factors when choosing each food on our list.

Firstly, we considered the macronutrient content of each food. Macronutrients are carbohydrates, fats, and proteins – the main building blocks of any animal. Each species needs a particular macronutrient layout in their diet.

Dogs need a diet high in protein and fat, but low in carbohydrates. We aimed to only list foods that met these guidelines.

Secondly, we stayed away from foods full of fillers. Fillers are ingredients that don’t have much nutritional content but are there to “bulk up” the dog food and make it cheaper. They aren’t useful for dogs, especially those that are already having trouble with picky eating.

Finally, we looked for foods with plenty of quality, tasty ingredients. Healthy meats are particularly crucial for picky dogs, as they add scent and taste to the food. They’re also great for your dog’s nutrition, so they’re the preferred way to help with picky eating.

Read More Dog Food Reviews: Best Cheap Dog Food or Best Beagle Dog Food

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