What to do when your pooch is a finicky eater

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By Robert Mueller

The majority of pet owners are used to their pet‘s gulping their meals down and begging for more, especially when it’s scraps from the table or certain kibbles (loaded with flavor-enhancing agents). They could never even imagine their pet turning their nose up at any “food” let alone a raw diet. However, it’s not uncommon for your dog to become picky when switching to a raw diet.

Don’t let the cute face fool you.

Let me explain. I have been raw feeding for over 40 years. I have had countless calls from customers stating that they have a picky eater that refuses to eat their raw patties, so they switch back to feeding table scraps or even worse, kibble.

The refusal to eat is common in dogs that are switching to raw diet. They may have been getting an excessive amount of treats, table scraps or kibble and canned foods full of fat sprays, preservatives and chemicals. This is no different than children who prefer fast food over their mom’s home-cooked meals.

In addition, there may be other factors causing your pet to be more finicky than normal. Depression, anxiety, antibiotics, steroids or an upset tummy can all be factors. It is critical that you pin point the true root of the problem rather then concluding it must be they just don’t like raw diet.

There are a lot of things that you can try to get your dog back on track and here are some special tips that have been very successful:


Be firm with your pet.

  • Add liver sprinkles – (this is a nutritional treat that works like magic in many cases to encourage eating)
  • Add coconut oil – pretty inexpensive and dogs love it!
  • Pan Sear – leave the middle raw but the outside quick fry – it brings out the aromas of the meat.
  • Add a little water or chicken/beef broth – it opens it up and smells good
  • Add a little peanut butter – Just make sure it’s single ingredient RAW peanut butter.
  • Try adding a little baby food with gravy to the mix. It’s a good simple option.
  • Try just a drop of corn or maple syrup.
  • Lastly, fast your dog for a day – no food. I know it’s hard. But they won’t starve and will be good and ready to return to BARF
  • the next day.

We passionately believe that feeding a raw diet is the best thing you can do for your pet. Your dog was designed to eat a biologically appropriate raw diet and this diet has been precisely formulated to combine the correct balance of nutrients just as Mother Nature intended.

Look, all dogs are different. Most dogs gobble up raw diets and beg for more. However, if you’re dog is a finicky eater, please have patience and do not GIVE UP. Keep working at it and eventually you will succeed…and have a much healthier dog as a result of your efforts. Always remember…you are in charge – no matter what those beautiful brown eyes may want you to believe.


Robert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of Living Enzymes: The World’s Best Kept Pet Food Secret”. The book is for sale at Amazon.com



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