Dogs, much like humans, have their own set of preferences when it comes to food. Picky eaters can be particularly challenging for pet owners, as finding the right dog food that not only provides the required nutrients but also appeals to a dog’s taste buds can be difficult. For this guide on the best-tasting dog food for picky eaters, we picked  Instinct Healthy Cravings Variety Pack as the best overall; it is a high-quality dog food designed for picky eaters, it aims to combine palatability with nutritional value to ensure that even the fussiest dogs enjoy their meals. Below are our other top picks;

Best Tasting Dog Food for Picky Eaters: (Our Top Picks)

Best Overall
Instinct Healthy Cravings Variety Pack

Instinct Healthy Cravings Variety Pack

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Best for Adding Flavor
Pawstruck Vet Air Dried Dog Food Toppers

Pawstruck Vet Air Dried Dog Food Toppers

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Best for Healthy Digestion
Bil-Jac Picky No More Dry Dog Food

Bil-Jac Picky No More Dry Dog Food

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Best for Variety
CESAR Filets in Gravy Adult Wet Dog Food

CESAR Filets in Gravy Adult Wet Dog Food

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Best for High-Quality Ingredients
Wellness CORE Natural Pet Food

Wellness CORE Natural Pet Food

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When looking for the best-tasting dog food for picky eaters, ingredients play a huge role. Foods that use real meat as the primary ingredient are often more appealing to dogs than those filled with fillers or by-products. Furthermore, the texture and aroma of the food can also influence a dog’s willingness to eat it. Soft, moist foods or those with a strong, appealing smell might tempt even the most reluctant eaters.

Another critical consideration is the nutritional balance of the food. It’s essential to ensure that the chosen food meets all of your dog’s dietary needs. Checking for a good mix of proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals can help maintain your dog’s health. With these factors in mind, we spent countless hours researching and testing various dog foods to identify the best options for picky eaters.

Best Tasting Dog Food for Picky Eaters

We’ve researched and tested numerous options to find the best-tasting dog food for picky eaters. Here are our top picks based on flavor, quality, and customer reviews.

1. Instinct Healthy Cravings Variety Pack

  • Adds appealing flavors
  • Contains natural ingredients
  • Easy to serve
  • Can be pricey
  • Pouches might leak

This product is a great solution for picky eaters who need a tempting addition to their regular meals.

We recently tried the Instinct Healthy Cravings Variety Pack with our picky eaters, and the results were impressive. The dog food topper added flavors like beef, lamb, and chicken, making the meal much more enticing. Our dogs quickly cleaned their bowls, which was a pleasant change from their usually selective eating habits.

One thing we love about this product is that it contains natural ingredients without fillers like corn or soy. This gave us peace of mind knowing we were giving our pets healthy, high-quality food. The pouches are also very convenient, making meal prep quick and simple.

On the downside, the price is a bit high compared to other options. We also found that some pouches had a tendency to leak, which can get messy. Despite these minor issues, the Instinct Healthy Cravings Variety Pack stood out as an excellent choice for dogs who need a little extra encouragement during mealtime.

2. Pawstruck Vet Recommended Air Dried Dog Food Toppers for Picky Eaters

  • Increases meal appeal with real chicken
  • Natural and grain-free, no harmful additives
  • Packed with essential vitamins and minerals
  • Some dogs might find it too hard to chew
  • Can have a strong smell

A great choice for adding flavor and nutrition to meals for picky dogs.

We tried Pawstruck’s Air Dried Dog Food Toppers recently, and it was a game-changer for our picky eaters. The real chicken and added vitamins really made a difference in their enthusiasm for mealtime. It’s a relief to see them enjoy their food without coaxing.

We love that it’s made from natural ingredients and is completely grain-free. The quality is apparent, and we feel good knowing it’s produced in a USDA-certified facility. Plus, it’s vet-recommended, adding an extra layer of trust.

On the flip side, the topper can be a bit hard, which might be challenging for older dogs. Also, the smell can be quite strong, though our dogs didn’t seem to mind. Despite these minor drawbacks, the improvement in our dogs’ appetite and joy at mealtime makes it worth trying.

3. Bil-Jac Picky No More Dog Food

  • Supports healthy digestion
  • Dogs love the chicken liver flavor
  • Uses fresh, local ingredients
  • Slightly more expensive
  • Large kibble size

Bil-Jac Picky No More is a great choice for dogs who turn their noses up at other foods.

If you’re struggling to find a food that your picky eater will enjoy, Bil-Jac Picky No More could be what you need. The chicken liver flavor seems to drive our dogs wild, making mealtime much more exciting.

This food uses fresh, locally sourced chicken and chicken liver, which gives us confidence in its quality. We noticed that our dog’s coat looks shinier and healthier thanks to the Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

We love that this dog food also supports healthy digestion. The stools are firm and small, which makes cleanup easier. We did find the kibble size a bit large for smaller dogs, but it works well for medium and large breeds.

Price-wise, it’s on the higher side, but we think it’s worth it considering our dog’s enthusiasm for it. For anyone with picky medium to large breed dogs, Bil-Jac Picky No More is a solid, delicious option.

4. CESAR Filets in Gravy

  • Real poultry is the first ingredient
  • Convenient and easy-to-serve trays
  • Variety of flavors keeps it interesting
  • On the pricier side
  • Some dogs may not like all the flavors

This food will make even the pickiest pups excited for mealtime.

We’ve found that CESAR Filets in Gravy is a game-changer for picky eaters. The variety pack is particularly great since it mixes up flavors, keeping things fresh and exciting for our dogs. We notice tails wagging more eagerly when these trays are served.

The trays are super easy to open with their peel-away seals. It makes feeding time a breeze, especially when you’re in a rush. The pate texture appeals to many dogs, making it easier for them to eat all their food. Plus, the packaging keeps the food fresh.

On the downside, this food can be a bit more expensive compared to other options. Some dogs might not love every flavor in the pack, so there could be a bit of trial and error. For larger dogs, you may need to use multiple trays to satisfy their hunger. Despite these minor issues, we believe this dog food is worth trying for your picky eater.

5. Wellness CORE Wet Dog Food

  • High-quality protein sources
  • Made in the USA
  • Grain-free and filler-free
  • Some cans may arrive dented
  • Higher price point

This product is a great choice for picky eaters due to its high-quality ingredients and savory taste.

Wellness CORE Wet Dog Food stands out with its premium ingredients like real turkey and chicken. We noticed our dogs were excited during meal times, which is a win for picky eaters. The grain-free formula seems to sit well with our dogs, promoting a healthy and shiny coat.

Despite the positives, the price is on the higher side. However, you truly get what you pay for in terms of quality. We appreciate that it’s made in the USA with care, ensuring that only the best ingredients go into each can.

A few cans arrived with dents, which was a bit disappointing. Additionally, while most dogs did well with the food, a small percentage had minor digestive issues. All in all, we find this product to be a solid choice for those looking to spoil their furry friends with a nutritious meal.

Buying Guide

When choosing dog food for picky eaters, we should consider several important factors.


Look for high-quality ingredients. Meat should be the first ingredient. Avoid foods with too many fillers like corn or soy.

Nutritional Balance

Ensure the food provides a balanced diet. Check for necessary vitamins and minerals.

Flavor Variety

Dogs can be picky about flavors. Try different options like beef, chicken, or fish to see what your dog prefers.


Some dogs prefer wet food over dry, or vice versa. Wet foods often smell stronger, which can be more appealing.

Ingredients to Look For:

Good IngredientsAvoid
Real meat (chicken, beef, fish)Corn
Whole grains (brown rice, oats)Artificial colors/flavors
Fruits and vegetablesSoy

Portion Size

Make sure the portion sizes are appropriate for your dog’s age, weight, and activity level.


Be aware of any food allergies your dog may have. Choose foods that avoid these allergens.


Read reviews from other dog owners. Their experiences can help guide your decision.


High-quality dog food can be more expensive, but it often pays off in your dog’s health and happiness.

By keeping these points in mind, we can find the best tasting dog food for our picky eaters.

Frequently Asked Questions

We answer common questions to help you find the best tasty dog food for picky eaters. From dry options to homemade meals, we cover various choices for different breeds and needs.

What options are available for high-palatability small-breed dog foods?

Small-breed dogs often enjoy foods with higher fat content and smaller kibble sizes. Brands like Blue Buffalo and Merrick cater well to small, selective eaters with their tasty recipes.

Which dry dog foods are known for being favorites among picky canines?

Picky canines often like dry dog foods with higher meat content and added flavors. Foods such as Orijen and Taste of the Wild are popular choices because they have rich flavor profiles that appeal to many dogs.

Are there specific dog food brands recommended for large-breed picky eaters?

Large-breed picky eaters may benefit from brands like Hill’s Science Diet and Royal Canin. These brands offer formulas designed to meet the nutritional needs of bigger dogs and are made to be more appealing.

How can homemade meals be tailored to appeal to dogs with particular tastes?

When making homemade meals, consider including lean meats, like chicken or turkey, along with a mix of vegetables and grains. Mixing in broth can enhance flavor and palatability, making meals more attractive to picky dogs.

What wet dog foods do picky eaters tend to prefer according to pet owners?

Wet dog foods tend to be more appealing to picky eaters due to their texture and flavor. Brands such as Wellness CORE and Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe are frequently mentioned by pet owners as favorites.

Are there any effective solutions to encourage a picky dog with a sensitive stomach to eat?

For picky dogs with sensitive stomachs, consider foods specifically formulated for digestive issues. Brands like Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d or Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach often help. Adding a bit of pumpkin or a probiotic supplement can also be beneficial.

Why Trust PawsAndTheCityNYC 📌

At PawsAndTheCityNYC, we are not just pet grooming experts, we’re pet lovers at heart. Led by our founder, Jane Hardson, our team brings over a decade of hands-on experience in dog grooming, coupled with a deep understanding of what pets truly need, In the past few years, we’ve attended to over 1000 cute dogs with a 92.3% return rate.

We take pride in providing your pets with the care and attention they deserve, applying the same standards when recommending products. Our team has thoroughly tested and reviewed each product in our buying guides to ensure it meets our high-quality standards.