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Finding Fido’s Fancy

Tips for feeding finicky four-legged friends

March 2024

Story courtesy of Family Features

Similar to humans, dogs can also experience digestive discomfort, picky palates and sensitive stomachs, and it can be hard for pet parents to anticipate their pets’ changing diets and needs.

If your four-legged friends are picky eaters or showing signs of sensitive stomachs, consider these tips.


A visit to a trained veterinarian is one of the best resources for getting recommendations and advice specific to your pet’s diet, conditions and needs. Sensitive stomachs can arise from a variety of causes, including diet, age, health status and stress levels, but veterinarians can conduct tests such as blood panels, stool samples and X-rays to help identify the cause of discomfort and provide information to help guide your next steps.


If your vet has confirmed your dog is healthy and there are no significant reasons why he or she is being picky at mealtimes, it may be time to try to improve his or her relationship with food.

If your dog is just uninterested in food, try adding toppers like chopped carrots or bone broth, or warming up wet food in a microwave-safe bowl to release the flavorful aromas.

You may also consider adding an appealing ingredient like tripe. Palatable to even the pickiest of dogs, green tripe is frequently given to help working dogs, competition dogs and other dogs that may be experiencing digestive upset due to stress or excitement to encourage them to eat. Beyond being an excellent source of protein and omega fatty acid, green tripe has multiple nutritional benefits and contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Whenever you make a change in your pet’s diet, remember to do so gradually, as introducing a new food too abruptly can create stomach issues.


Suppose you and your family members have a habit of giving your dog food from the table or sneaking too many treats. In that case, this can cause him or her to not only fill up on your food, but it can also impact digestion, as human food can be too rich and fatty or contain too much sodium to properly digest. While it may seem harmless to give your dog a bite or two here and there, these kinds of table scraps can quickly throw off his or her nutrition and do more harm than good.


Helping your dog overcome picky eating habits can start in your own kitchen. In fact, it’s likely you know your pet’s preferences best. Whether you opt to create a home-cooked meal or add nutrient-rich food toppers, there are multiple ways to easily encourage him or her to eat. A picky eater often plays with his or her food instead of eating it, so a feeding toy or bowl that makes it fun and time consuming can also get your dog to be more excited about the food. Additionally, rotating the types of foods, flavors and other ingredients you add to meals can incorporate variety and encourage your picky eater to chow down.