There will be times that you’ll encounter a picky eater—even your pets at home! Having a picky dog or cat at home can be a real challenge, especially if everything you put in their bowl simply does not suit their appetite. With a budget to follow, constantly experimenting on what to feed them is a stretch. So what do we need to do when your furry baby starts acting up during meal times? The answer: Strategize.


There are dogs or cats that are naturally picky, while others are a result of overindulgence from you, paw parent! But with the right mealtime planning, this behavior can be corrected. So whether they’re born that way or they’ve developed a disliking to their good ol’ canned food, here are ways to feed your picky dog or cat.


  1. Limit your treats! A happy pet owner may give in to every pet’s wishes, but resist those love eyes and discipline your little one! Stop overfeeding them with treats, as your dog or cat may prefer them over their real meal. Two to three treats a day is a good number, given during training time.


  1. Set people food aside. We cook our food to suit our tastes—a delicious, satisfying meal that will be hard not to finish. And with human food that’s tasty, we can only imagine how our pets would love to have a bite! As much as possible, avoid feeding them dinner leftovers as they may get used to our delish meals, thus losing appetite over their dog or cat food.


  1. Make mealtimes a routine. Try to feed them on a regular schedule twice a day—one in the morning and one in the evening. Building a habit will make them look forward to eating and (possibly) finishing what’s in their bowl!


  1. Do a bowl switch. Maybe it’s the bowl that’s at fault. There are certain food containers that could cause discomfort to your dog or cat’s eating. Go bigger or smaller, as necessary, and see if it helps entice your canine or feline friend to wolf down their dinner.


  1. Give them company (or not). If they still refuse their food, check the environment they’re in. Sometimes, their surroundings affect their eating habits. If mealtimes are done with other pets, try feeding them separately. Or if they’re always alone, maybe a company of voracious eaters will invite them to join in the party?


  1. Mix and match. If you're changing their pet food, do it gradually. Have your pet get used to the taste, little by little. Mix and match wet and dry food, and see if they’re taking a liking to certain flavors.


  1. Warm it or cool it. You can try experimenting with temperature as well—maybe your dog or cat loves heated food more than cool ones. Check which state your pet responds to well.


  1. Add flavor boosters. When all else fails, adding some flavor boosters, like Tiki Dok wet food or Natural Balance Platefulls, is the solution for the picky dog or cat. They’ll love the added flavor and variety to their meal.