Finding Food for Your Finicky Pet

Sometimes when we get a new dog or cat, it is hard to find the perfect food for them.  Some people are lucky, and their pet will act as a vacuum and eat everything, but often pets are finicky and turn their noses up on practically anything you give them.  If you find yourself in that situation, how do you go about finding what they will eat?  Unfortunately, if you have an unusual pet there aren’t many options and you’ll have to simply hope for the best.  If it’s a dog or cat though, there are some steps you can take to find the perfect food.

What Not to Feed Your Pet

First, you should be warned not to feed your pet everything.  Often there are allergies and somethings that will harm dogs and cats. You might think tuna for humans is okay for cats, but it’s not.  Milk is something cats are given, but in actuality most grown cats are lactose intolerant. Neither Dogs or cats should be fed raw meat, same as humans; and if they are given bones they could choke.  Neither dogs or cats should have chocolate, grapes or raisons because this could cause serious sickness or death.  The list is extensive.  If you want more information on what not to feed your dog and reasons why go to WebMD’s “Slideshow: Dangerous Foods for Dogs” (; and for cats go to “Slideshow: Foods Your Cat Should Never Eat Slideshow” (  For these reasons it is not suggested that table foods be fed to your companion.

Talk to People

Sometimes when getting a new pet people can get lucky and be told what their animal likes already.  If not, you can ask.  Call the previous owner, animal shelter, or pet store if you weren’t told and/or forgot to ask. Once in a while though, you might be unable to ask.  If this is the case, you’ll have to use trial and error.  Do talk to others; like family, friends, and coworkers.  They might have suggestions of what their pets do and don’t like; and they might give you food that their pets don’t like, but yours might.

Trial and Error

If you don’t have people you know with pets, you may need to go and buy trial foods on your own.  A finicky pet may hate certain brands or flavors, even the texture of the food could be important.  A cat should be fed both dry and wet food.  Wet food is important because cats are carnivores and need meat.  Cats have choices of solid wet food, shreds or chunks.  Dogs might like or hate crunchy dog food or soft dry food.  Dogs don’t need wet food, but that option is available and if they are turning their nose up on everything dry, do give wet food a try.  Unfortunately, at a grocery store your choices of brands and textures can be limited.  Try what you can, and if you still can’t find anything you may have to examine pet stores like PetSmart or Pet-Co or the internet.  To start buy single cans instead of packages of many so you’re not stuck with something your furry friend hates.

Pay Attention to the Different Kinds of Pet Food Available

You may have to start by trying one brand and different flavors and textures.  You will probably find that some flavors are preferred over others.  Your companion still might not eat much of one brand, so you’ll have to try another brand with flavors they seem to like the most.  Hopefully you will see which texture the pet likes the most too, and be able to buy the brand, flavor, and texture all together.  It may take time, but eventually you will probably find something that at least kind of works.  So, avoid “people” food, talk to people about what food your pet might like, use trial and error at grocery stores and pet stores, and pay attention to different varieties.

It was hard to find a wet food my cat liked.  The Meow Mix chicken dry food she liked right away.  We had to use these steps to find a wet food she liked though.  Finally, she liked chicken, turkey, or liver (but not beef or fish,) Meow Mix wet food chunks, (not solid or shreds,) with a lot of gravy.  Here’s hoping you find something your finicky pet likes soon.


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