Best food for fussy dog

Author: VioVet
Published: Sunday 20th January 2013

Our customer asked:

What is the best food for my dog? She tends to be very fussy and has put on a bit too much weight, but now she is not bothered with her food. She will pick at the food and likes to go back later, but never eats a proper meal. She seems bright, happy and healthy in all respects, but will not eat, though she pesters for my food and tit-bits. She will eat sausages and bits off my plate, but leaves her normal  food whatever I give her.

Our reply:

Your comment about her usually only picking at some of the food and going back later is just because you give her more than she can eat, so she never feels very hungry. She just picks out some bits to eat, though finds it all rather boring. "Fussy" dogs are always dogs which are offered more food than they need to eat. "Greedy" dogs are always dogs which would like to eat more food than they are given. The difference is a function of the feeder, not the dog. A fussy or greedy dog will swap to the other way if owned by a different person, whereas one person can have several dogs which tend to go the same way. Basically it will be you making her fussy, but it is just a sign of your kindness and generosity, so not really a bad thing. It might result in her getting an unbalanced diet though, so ideally you should recognise this and chage things.

The best dog foods in my opinion tend to be the high meat content, expensive diets, like Orijen and Ziwi Peak. Most of the other good quality diets contain a lot of cereal which dogs like and digest easily, but it tends to make them put on weight, and does not seem like a natural diet for a carnivore. However most dogs do seem to be able to cope with all sorts of foods, and will do well on any of the premium diets. It is personal choice what to go for, but generally the more you pay, the better the quality of the ingredients and the more care is spent on providing useful, trace nutrients. Lily's Kitchen Dog Food would be a good example of a rather indulgent, good quality diet for fussy dogs which you want to spoil, so you could look at this. Then it is a matter of judging the correct amount to feed your dog, based on the resulting bodyweight and appetite. Manufacturers tend to suggest very generous portions, for obvious reasons!