review of best tasting dog foods for picky eaters

8 Best Tasting Dog Foods for Picky Eaters

Sara Redding Ochoa DVM

This article has been fact checked and verified by our veterinary advisor Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM

Advice from our Veterinarian, Sara Ochoa: “In cases where your dog solely consumes dry kibble, mixing in some wet food of the same brand can sometimes make their meals more appealing. It’s common for dogs to grow tired of the same daily diet, and incorporating a small variation can often encourage them to eat better.”

While some have picky eaters that will eat anything they can get their paws on, there are other dog owners who struggle to get their pups to eat anything at all. If the latter sounds like a situation you can identify with, then don’t worry, there are solutions.

An explanation could be that your dog simply doesn’t like the kibble you are offering, or that they are sensitive to an ingredient in their current food.

The best thing to do is to look for a dog kibble that is so delicious that they won’t be able to resist, while also containing enough nutrients to keep them healthy and strong. Knowing what to look for is important, and which products are likely to appeal to your fussy pup.

Finally finding the best food for picky dogs in your household can make all the difference and make your four-legged best friend happier than you have ever seen him before.

Try Our Favorite Fresh Dog Food: The Farmer’s Dog

Fresh dog food is the better, healthier option for your fur baby.

The Farmer's Dog a service that delivers balanced, freshly made pet food with simple recipes, guided by science, and driven by love.

It's loaded with quality human-grade meat, fruits, veggies and superfoods in a vet-approved recipe.


I found that Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein is the best overall dog food for picky eaters because it’s the tastiest dry dog food product you can find at an affordable price. However, we have plenty more options depending on your pup’s individual needs.

Our Top 3 Picks

Our Top Pick
farmers dog food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness

  • Packed With Real Salmon
  • Antioxidant-rich Lifesource Bits
  • Healthy Ingredients
Best dry food
Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Labrador Retriever Puppy

Purina Pro Plan
Sensitive Skin & Stomach

  • Easy on the stomach
  • Rich in omega-6 fatty acids
  • No artificial colors or flavors
best wet food
Purina Pro Plan Puppy

Blue Buffalo Basics

  • High-Quality Proteins
  • Helps Support Gentle Digestion
  • Minimize Sources of Food Sensitivities

Our team has spent hours researching products to find the best-tasting dog food for your picky eater dogs, read our in-depth reviews below.

Quick Look at the Best Food for Picky Eaters

Learn more about our 10 point inspection checklist.

Best-Tasting Dog Food for Picky Eaters

1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain-Free

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein is an all-natural and grain-free kibble that is bursting with flavor – flavor that few dogs can resist, no matter how fussy they usually are at mealtime. It has protein from deboned salmon, fish meal, and chicken meal; making it a tasty dog food for picky eaters that fulfills their daily energy needs.

Wholesome vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and there are no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives! This gives the kibble a rich taste which a regular grocery store brand can never compare to, and the LifeSource Bits that Blue Buffalo mixes in with their regular kibble provides your fussy pup with all the nutrients he or she needs to stay healthy and strong.

In the hunt for the best-tasting dog food for picky eaters – this product is a must-try, and something you will want to consider.

Why We Like It – Finding the best-tasting dog food for picky dogs is a challenge, that is for sure, but nothing compares to the taste of real meat.

This is one of the tastiest dry dog food products you can find at an affordable price; one which few dogs can resist, and it is full of nutrients that can help boost your furry friend’s immune system and overall health.

Nutrition Information:

Calories/cup415 kcal/cup
Fiber6.0 % max
Fat15.0 % min
Protein34.0 % min
Moisture10.0 % max
Omega-31.0 % min
Omega-62.5 % min
Glucosamine400 mg/kg min
Calcium1.4 % min


+ With Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
+ LifeSource Bits infused with vitamins
+ Taste of real and fresh meat
+ High protein content from quality sources


– May contain fillers like tapioca starch and peas

2. Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach

The best dog food for a picky eater is simply something that they will eat, and that will provide their bodies with the nutrients they need to thrive.

A low appetite can sometimes have its roots in a stomach issue, or a sensitivity to certain ingredients, which is when a mild good-tasting dog food – such as this Purina formula – can come in handy. While a veterinarian should always be consulted when suspecting a medical issue, once that has been done, dog food like this is worth a shot. Check out this Purina Pro Plan Dog Food Review to know more about this brand.

Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach has salmon as its first ingredient, which is a mild protein source, and it contains prebiotic fiber for digestive health. There are no poultry or animal by-products, and it is free from soy, wheat, and corn, as well as artificial color, flavor, and preservatives.

Why We Like It – Try a new approach when trying to convince your dog to eat, with one of the best-tasting dog foods for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Perhaps what you’ve been feeding your pup gives him or her a stomach ache? It is worth a try to switch to something milder.

Nutrition Information:

Calories/cupNew: 467 kcal/cup
Original: 429 kcal/cup
Fiber4.0% min
Fat16.0% min
Protein26.0% min
Moisture12.0% max
Omega-30.75% min
Omega-61.6% min
Glucosamine350 ppm min
Calcium1.0% min


+ Salmon as the first ingredient
+ Easy on the stomach
+ Probiotic fiber for digestion
+ No animal by-products


– A bit more expensive than other options
– High in calories that may not be suitable for other types of dogs

3. Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free

Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free

A limited ingredient formula such as this Blue Basics wet dog food for picky dogs gets its high protein content from a single animal source, which can be beneficial for pups with food allergies and/or sensitive stomachs. This wet diet food has turkey, duck, lamb, or salmon as its first ingredients, depending on which flavor variety you choose, followed by a delicious mix of vegetables, fruit, berries, and seeds.

There is no dairy or egg – ingredients that are also known to cause upset stomachs and allergies in some dogs – and it provides your dog with the perfect combination of fish oils and vitamins, to boost the immune system and keep your pup strong, happy, and on top of their game. Natural ingredients give this kibble an intense and irresistible flavor, and the wet and meaty consistency will be tough for any pup to say no to, which makes it a top contender for the title of ‘best dog food for picky eaters.’

Why We Like It – When choosing wet dog food for picky eaters, many desperate owners turn to the first thing they find that their pup will eat, even if it is low quality.

This meaty option is a complete and balanced meal for dogs of all sizes and ages, and a great alternative to grocery store wet foods that tend to be less nutritious. You do not have to sacrifice quality just to get your fussy friend to eat. Find more fantastic and cheap dog foods here.

Nutrition Information:

Calories/cup484 kcal/can
Fiber1.5% max
Fat7.0% min
Protein7.0% min
Moisture78.0% max
Omega-30.25% min
Omega-61.0% min


+ Delicious and meaty canned wet dog food
+ With real meat as its first ingredient
+ Healthy fish oils and vitamins
+ Packed with legumes, fruits, and vegetables


– Lack of consistency

4. Ollie Human Grade Dog Food with Zero Fillers

ollie dog food options

Ollie Human Grade Dog Food is a vet-formulated freshly cooked dog food that has completely cut out any artificial flavor, color, and preservatives, and replaced it with natural ingredients bursting with real flavor.

With recipes full of amino acids and protein, this wholesome human-grade dog food will help your dog stay lean and healthy, and the omega-3 fatty acids add shine to the coat and keep the skin soft and elastic. Ollie offers a wide variety of recipes with high-quality meats sourced from family farms in the USA and Australia.

Their ingredients undergo minimal processing by gently cooking the fruits and veggies to preserve their nutrients. What’s even more incredible is that they have one of the best-tasting dog foods for picky eaters because of the fresh foods with no added artificial flavors. Also, they make use of superfoods such as chia seeds full of omega-3 fatty acids essential for your dog’s brain and eye development.


  • Hearty Beef Eats – made with sweet potato, sunflower oil, and carrots
  • Chicken Goodness – made with peas, spinach, and blueberries
  • Healthy Turkey Feast – made with pumpkin, lentils, and carrots
  • Tasty Lamb Fare – made with butternut squash, kale, and strawberries

Sweet potato – for those who didn’t know – is rich in fiber, something that helps the metabolism function properly, while also aiding the dog’s digestion. The limited formula restricts the ingredients to which your dog is exposed – a method that has proven effective when dealing with fussy eaters and dogs with food allergies. It is among the best-tasting healthy dog food options available, and it is suitable for dogs of all sizes and ages.

Why We Liked It – Ollie keeps it simple with fresh dog food picky eaters tend to love!

No fillers or artificial ingredients, and plenty of delicious options to make it a healthy dog food that your dog will be happy to eat.

Ollie currently has an amazing offer for trying out their dog food – Get 50% Off Your First Box of Ollie.

Nutrition Information:


Protein9% min
Fat7% min
Fiber2% max
Moisture70% max
Calorie Content1540 kcal ME/kg


Protein10% min
Fat3% min
Fiber2% max
Moisture73% max
Calorie Content1298 kcal ME/kg


Protein11% min
Fat7% min
Fiber2% max
Moisture72% max
Calorie Content1390 kcal ME/kg


Protein10% min
Fat7% min
Fiber2% max
Moisture74% max
Calorie Content1804 kcal ME/kg


+ Limited ingredients with one protein source
+ Sweet potato packed with digestive fiber
+ No corn or other pointless fillers
+ Fatty acids for improved coat quality
+ Delivered to your door with FREE shipping


– Fresh pet foods have a shorter period of validity

Check Latest Price

Other Alternative Options of Fresh Dog Foods:

The Farmer’s Dog

Picking out the best-tasting dog foods for picky eaters can be a royal pain in the *bleep* sometimes. So, if Ollie’s Human-Grade Dog Food doesn’t work out for your pooch, you can try The Farmer’s Dog products. The Farmer’s Dog also offers fresh dog food with human-grade ingredients to promote health and wellness to every dog they can cater to. They offer a service that delivers your customized dog foods right at your doorstep, so purchasing is much more convenient for pet owners!

Their human-grade ingredients are tested on humans that attest to The Farmer’s Dog’s high safety standards along with their human-friendly packaging. Delight your dogs with vet-designed meal recipes, which are prepared and pre-made based on the profile you customized for your pooch.

They offer 3 fresh dog food recipes, namely Turkey, Beef, and Pork.

Try The Farmer’s Dog customized recipes now and get 50% off of your first purchase! Redeem Here.

Another excellent option for pet owners with a picky dog is Nom Nom’s fresh human-grade pet foods. Nothing could go wrong with your dog’s appetite with all their four recipes vet-approved and nutrients valued based on the profiles established by AAFCO Food Nutrient Profiles.

Their four recipes include Beef Mash, Chicken Recipe Cuisine, Pork Potluck, and Turkey Fare, all made from fresh meat, fruits, and vegetables. They also offer a variety pack that samples all four recipes so you can test which recipe your smooch agrees on most.

For your convenience, they also have a delivery system that delivers the food and ensures that it arrives safely to you your home. Even more, they use environment-friendly packaging, which you can recycle for later use. At Nom Nom, you are promoting a healthy lifestyle for your pet and taking care of the environment at the same time.

Purchase a recipe now and get 20% off Click here for your first purchase at Nom Nom.

5. Nulo Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Nulo Adult Grain Free Dog Food

You still haven’t found the best-tasting dry dog food for your four-legged best friend? Then perhaps Nulo could be something for you! They use real meat in their products to provide quality protein, and it has an intense flavor that will have your dog feel almost like they are sinking their teeth into a big chunk of lamb, salmon, or turkey. Know more by reading reviews about Nulo dog food.

There are no grains in this Nulo Adult Grain-Free Dog Food, and it is also free from chicken, egg, soy, corn, and artificial additives. The patented Bc30 Probiotic aids with digestion; making sure your pooch feels so great on the inside that he or she will be begging for another meal! Tasty dog food isn’t always enough to convince a fussy eater, but this dog food goes out to care for a dog from the inside and out, by including only lean and gentle ingredients for a happy doggy tummy, and an increased appetite.

Why We Liked It – This food for picky dogs cares about your pup’s wellbeing, and they have created a revolutionary formula full of mild ingredients to care for the stomach and digestive system of your furry friend so that they will feel good enough to gulp down food at both breakfast and dinner time.

Protein Content

Calories/cup441 kcal/cup
Fiber4.0% max
Fat18.0% min
Protein33.0% min
Moisture10.0% max
Omega-30.5% min
Omega-62.75% min
Calcium1.0% min


+ With lamb, salmon, or turkey
+ Quality protein for lean muscle and healthy heart
+ Made in the United States
+ For small dogs and big dogs
+ Contains fruits and vegetables, Vitamins C and E, to promote immune health


– Not suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs
– Not all dogs are suitable for a grain-free diet

Alternative Option to Grain-Free Dry Dog Food:

Taste of the Wild

Looking for another dry dog food with a grain-free recipe for your picky dog? Don’t worry cause we’ve got you covered. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is the product you’re looking for! Their #1 ingredient is real meat made out of pasture-raised bison and venison that offers highly digestible protein that your pooch needs.

Additionally, Taste of the Wild products contains an omega-rich recipe with balanced Omega-6 and Omega-3 to ensure healthy skin and coat. This product will make your pooch happy with the complete nutrients they provide for adult dogs. Plus, antioxidants like fruits and vegetables are included to support a healthy immune system.

What are you waiting for? Grab one now and let your dog enjoy the roasted flavor of Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food.

6. Purina Beyond Grain-Free Natural Recipe

Choose between three tempting flavor varieties; Beef & Egg, Chicken & Egg, and Tuna & Egg, and discover the benefits of a product that is both gluten-free and made without soy, corn, or wheat. The No products found. is crafted in the United States and contains 27% protein, which is enough to keep your canine companion going for a full day of fun and activities.

For a picky dog, food can quickly become an issue; something that could leave your buddy low on energy and motivation, but this is among the best-tasting dog kibble available – designed and formulated to appeal to even the most stubborn little furballs. The manufacturer promises that every ingredient listed in the ingredients list can be traced back to trusted sources, which should give you peace of mind – knowing that your pup is receiving quality nutrition.

Why We Liked It – An affordable and tasty dog food for finicky eaters, which lives up to the expected standards of a balanced kibble for adult dogs of all breeds and sizes.

The composition is simple, with a focus on the right ingredients.

Nutrition Information:

Calories/cup427 kcal/cup
Fiber5.0% max
Fat16.0% min
Protein27.0% min
Moisture12.0% max
Omega-61.3% min
Glucosamine400 ppm min
Calcium1.0% min


+ 27% protein from identified sources
+ Three meat and egg varieties
+ With added vitamins and minerals
+ Gluten-free formula


– Not suitable for dogs with yeast allergy
– Only comes in a 3-pound and 13-pound option

7. Rachael Ray Nutrish Dish Natural Dry Dog Food

Rachael Ray Nutrish Dish Natural Dry Dog Food

Rachael Ray is known for using only dog food ingredients that she would use in her own kitchen, with the explanation that every dog deserves to eat well. A dog can’t get take-out or head to a restaurant with friends – they are stuck with what we feed them, and Rachael Ray and her dog food company understand that this means that we need to provide them with a high-quality diet.

The tasty Rachael Ray Nutrish Dish Natural Dry Dog Food comes in three flavor presentations, and kibble is mixed with dried fruit and vegetables that you can actually see. It has real meat listed first on the ingredients list, which is important, and it might as well be the best-tasting dry dog food for picky eaters out there!

Why We Liked It – The attitude with which this kibble is made is very inspiring because our dogs do deserve great food that they will love and that will also be good for them.

As a plus; a percentage of the profits are donated to animal rescue organizations in the United States! It is the best dry dog food for picky eaters that want to help other pets in need with every kibble bag purchased.

Nutrition Information:

Calories/cup364 kcal/cup
Fiber4.0% max
Fat14.0% min
Protein26.0% min
Moisture10.0% max
Omega-30.4% min
Omega-62.2% min
Calcium1.2% min


+ All-natural with vitamins and minerals
+ High meat content and quality ingredients
+ No artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors
+ Dried pieces of vegetables and fruit


– Contains peas
– Not suitable for small breed dogs

8. Crave Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog Food with Protein

Crave Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog Food with Protein

Dogs may have been domesticated now for a very long time, but it does not change that they were once wild animals – closely related to the wolf and that their nutritional needs remain similar to those of a meat-eating mammal in the wild. This dry dog food for picky eaters offers a wonderful mix of protein-rich meat that is so full of flavor that no artificial flavors are needed and a healthy mix of greens.

It is grain-free and nutritious and does not contain any unnecessary fillers or low-quality protein sources like animal by-products. Choose between chicken, beef, lamb, and salmon, and see how your four-legged fur pal suddenly becomes a lot more interested in finishing whatever is put on his plate.

Why We Liked It – It is nice to see dog food manufacturers take a dog’s genetic background into consideration, and the perfectly calculated blend of protein-rich meat and natural vitamin sources possibly makes Crave Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog Food the best dog food for picky dogs, thanks to that and its intense flavor.

Nutrition Information:

Calories/cup422 kcal/cup
Fiber3.5% max
Fat17.0% min
Protein34.0% min
Moisture10.0% max
Omega-6 Fatty Acids2.5% min


+ With meat full of flavor
+ Over 34% high-quality protein
+ No fillers or artificial preservatives
+ Small kibble size for all dogs
+ Vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A and E great for a dog’s diet


– Not for dogs who don’t like the taste and smell of fish
– Not recommended for dogs with chicken allergies

Try Our Favorite Fresh Dog Food: The Farmer’s Dog

Fresh dog food is the better, healthier option for your fur baby.

The Farmer's Dog a service that delivers balanced, freshly made pet food with simple recipes, guided by science, and driven by love.

It's loaded with quality human-grade meat, fruits, veggies and superfoods in a vet-approved recipe.


Great-Tasting Dog Food for Fussy Eaters Buyers Guide

If your dog does not seem interested in food – especially if the disinterest appears suddenly – you will want to consult your veterinarian before starting to experiment with kibble. Have them rule out a medical condition causing the lack of appetite, and once that is done, you can start your search for the best-tasting dog foods to help motivate your pup to want to eat.

When looking for dog foods for picky eaters – the flavor is the main aspect to look at. However, you don’t want to have to compromise on quality, so let’s have a look at what you should keep in mind when trying to find a delicious kibble or wet food, that is also good enough to provide your fur bestie with the proper nutrients for long and healthy life.

Natural vs. Artificial Flavor

You have probably walked through the dog food aisle at the supermarket; with all those kibble bags showing pictures of big chunks of meat, fruit, and vegetables, and possibly thinking that it sounds like a delicious meal for a dog.

The truth is that there is a big difference in a product tasting like for example beef, and a product actually containing beef. Many low-quality products use artificial flavors to give their kibble an appealing taste, even though it may not actually contain enough (or any) of the advertised ingredient.

Always check the ingredient list, and make sure that the flavors announced on the bag come from a quality source, and that the product you choose to purchase is free from artificial flavors.

Dogs are intelligent animals, and if your pup isn’t eating, it is possible that they have seen through the marketing tricks and the artificial flavor added to trick both dogs and owners into thinking that a food is better than it is.

Natural flavors from real quality ingredients are what you should want for your fussy eater, and while that does not mean that it should be dog food that tastes like human food – it should at least contain what it advertises.

Protein Content

A dog’s body needs protein to function properly, so you want to double-check that the dry food for picky dogs that you are considering contains enough. You can see this by having a look at the list of content, usually found on the bag, or specified on the website you are browsing.

Pay special attention to the first and second ingredients, since a high-quality kibble should have an identified meat product listed first, and if possible also second. Look for named meats like lamb, beef, chicken, turkey, and salmon, since these are considered good sources of protein for a dog.

Meat meals, like chicken meals and fish meals, are also considered protein-rich ingredients, but you should stay away from anything that says “by-products” since there is no guarantee for these containing enough quality protein.

Protein directly affects your dog’s energy level and general health, and since canines are meat eaters – a high meat content is among the best motivations a dog can get when it comes to eating. If the kibble has enough real meat, your dog will be able to taste it (and smell it).

Digestive Aid

As hinted at above; a stomach issue could potentially be the reason why your dog seems so reluctant to eat. Perhaps there is something in his or her food that upsets the stomach – causing discomfort – and who wants to eat when they are not feeling well? If your veterinarian has ruled out any serious issues, it could be worth a shot to try a limited ingredient kibble; possibly without chicken, egg, and dairy, which are known to irritate the stomach lining of some dogs, or even cause allergies, to see if you notice any difference in their general appetite.

Fiber is great for digestion and can be found in ingredients such as sweet potato, lentils, and other fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Many of these natural ingredients are also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which all help the canine body to stay strong and healthy, and function as it was meant to function.

What Are the Best-tasting Dog Foods for Picky Eaters?

Appropriate picky eater dog food is a mystery within itself since no dog is the same and since it might take a few tries before you find the best-tasting puppy food for picky eaters in your household.

There is no straight-forward answer, but good dog food for picky eaters is, for example, the Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain-Free, since it is packed with real meat that gives it an irresistible and strong natural flavor.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free

What Food Flavors Do Dogs Like?

The simple answer is that dogs like meat flavors since they are – by nature – meat-eaters. What type of meat they prefer might be very individual, but good flavors to test out are the duck, lamb, beef, and salmon since they all have a strong flavor to tempt the refined taste of a fussy eater.

Just remember to look for natural flavors (a good indicator is meat listed as the first ingredient), rather than artificial supplements.

What Is the Best-tasting Dog Food for Picky Senior Dogs?

The ‘Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free’ is suitable for dogs of all ages, including seniors, and it has all the nutrients to provide an aging dog with adequate nutritional value. A great product is this Orijen senior dog food which you can read more about in our completed review.

Some older dogs have trouble chewing, due to teeth loss and/or gum disease, which is not a problem here since this is the best “canned” dog food for picky eaters. If you rather feed your senior kibble, then we recommend the ‘Crave Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog Food with Protein’ for its incredibly rich flavor.

Crave Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog Food with Protein

Best-tasting Dog Food for Fussy Puppies?

A natural and delicious dog food suitable for puppies is the ‘Rachael Ray Nutrish Dish Natural Dry Dog Food’ – great for dogs of all ages. This means that you can start feeding it to your puppy and continue to feed the same as the puppy grows and develops.


Dog food for picky eaters reviews makes a good indication of what kibble and wet foods that have worked for other families, but no dog is the same and in the end, it comes down to the individual preferences of your fussy pup.

Be prepared to try a few different products before finding the right one, but if you do your homework and investigate before purchasing a product – you are a lot more likely to get it right already on the first try. You may want to give good old natural freeze-dried dog foods a try.

A picky eater needs motivation, and the best motivation you can provide them with is by purchasing dog food with enough protein from quality meat sources to taste- and smell great. Even the pickiest of dogs won’t be able to resist a kibble that tastes like a big and juicy steak, and you will notice an improvement in their appetite almost right away.

Expert Tip

Don’t fall for pretty packages and photos of meat and vegetables, but instead make sure you read the ingredients list to make sure the product is truly what it makes itself out to be.

Did You Know?

Some dogs get bored easily with food, especially if always fed the same, and might need a change every now and then to stay motivated.

For these dogs, it is a good idea to pick a kibble that comes in several flavor varieties, so that you can switch it up without having to change kibble entirely.

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