I have a mini dachshund who has become a picky eater as of late. I’ve had him on Acana regionals for the last several years and he’s decided that he doesn’t care much for it anymore. To get him to eat, I am having to add toppers to his kibble, and I would rather not have to do this. Can your recommend some grain-free kibbles that are similarly high in quality to what he’s been eating? Specifically, any that you’ve found to be favored by picky eaters!
Dogs occasionally begin to show less interest in their food over the years because their sense of smell dulls a bit with age and, since smell is the number one factor a dog uses when determining whether or not they’ll put something in their mouth, they occasionally require an increase or change in the smell of their food. Dogs that have had an upset tummy or anything that caused queasiness (this can be anything from getting into the garbage to stress or a medical illness or procedure) can associate the feeling of nausea with the smell of whatever they were eating at the time.
Unless the cause is medical, smell is a great place to start looking for a solution for most picky dogs. Also know that he’s got you pretty well trained and is probably aware that if he waits long enough, you’ll “fix” his supper the way he wants it. It’s going to take real fortitude to not give in to those precious dachshund eyes asking you for those special toppers!
Since you’ve been feeding the Acana Regionals, you’re already feeding a pretty “stinky” food. If you’ve been sticking with one particular formula for a while, switch! If he was on the Wild Atlantic, he may be avoiding ALL fish after a GI upset so you’d be looking for a blend without fish. You can also try other foods in the Acana/Orijen family that have a more specific protein (their singles are slightly lower protein, but single-source so their Lamb & Apple smells stronger than the Grasslands, the Duck & Pear smells stronger than the Meadowlands, etc.).
If you’d like to try switching brands, we’ve been hearing rave reviews about Farmina N&D and Stella & Chewy’s new kibble. Both are highly palatable and very digestible. Nature’s Variety is an older brand but they just went through a brand refresh and their newer formulae are really exciting!
Of course, you can always skip the kibble entirely and try raw. There’s many brands out there with premade raw diets in a “morsel” or quick-thaw formula that can make feeding raw as simple as feeding a dry kibble. Nature’s Variety, Northwest Naturals, OC Raw, Primal, and Stella & Chewy’s all have balanced, raw food diets in tiny, bite-sized pieces.
Stop in your local Chuck & Don’s and ask an associate to show you around the freezer section or go over the benefits of any of the other foods you may be interested. Bring your dog if he’d like to come – there’s nothing more fun than a visit from a dachshund!