4 Tips for Dogs that Will Only Eat Human Food and not Dog Food

Every now and then, you may have fed your dog some human food as a treat but it may have now reached a point where your dog is ignoring dog food altogether and only willing to eat when human food is presented in front of him. Here are some tactics you can employ to get your picky-eating dog back onto a regular diet that doesn’t only amount to human food.

Can Dogs Eat Human Food?

Yes, a lot of human food are actually safe and nutritious for dogs to eat, but it should always be fed to dogs in moderation. There are also a lot of human food that are dangerous for dogs. Chocolate is the prime example, but you also need to consider others like bacon (high in sodium content) and cooked food that contains garlic (may damage red blood cells).

For most dog owners, we would suggest making a dog’s diet primarily consist of dog food as they are formulated to meet a dog’s daily dietary intake. Here are some tips and tactics for dog owners who have picky eaters in the house.

Be Consistent with the Food Choices

It may be time to show your dog some tough love by only giving him one type of food and sticking to it at all times. You should not give the dog any treats or tasty add-ins during this time. Whether it is regular kibbles or other types of dry dog food, you should offer it to your dog two or three times a day. If they don’t respond to the food within ten minutes then take it away.

In most cases, the dog will eventually give in and start eating the dog food within two or three days. It might not seem right as you are “starving” the dog but in some situations, this might be necessary to let your dog know that there is no point in waiting it out for better-tasting food.

Take Your Dog Out for a Run

This is an add-on to the above method and works well for the most stubborn of dogs. With this method, you are trying to make your dog feel hungry by taking him out for a run. This is what we suggest. Take the dog out for a morning run then offer him plain dog food soon after. If he doesn’t eat the food within ten minutes then take it away.

In the evening, repeat the same steps. If the dog doesn’t approach the food in ten minutes then take it away. Eventually, your picky-eating dog will give in and start eating the plain dog food. Make sure, though, that your dog has access to water at all times.

Try Offering Your Dog Different Flavors

Dogs are just like us and enjoy different flavors and taste. Maybe they got bored of the same old chicken-flavored kibble they have been fed for most of their life. Diversifying the flavor of dog food may help your dog enjoy his dog food a lot more. Get small packets of dog kibbles in different flavors and see if that helps your dog’s appetite.

Some dogs might find some initial comfort if you were to offer the food by hand, especially for dogs that are apprehensive about any new objects or strangers.

Train Your Dog to Not Beg for Food

Your dog might have been eating a lot of human food because he begs every time you are having your own meal and you cave in towards his demands. This might not happen overnight but you will need to teach your dog to stop begging for human food.

There are a couple of ways to do this. For example, you might need to teach your dog the “stay” command so that he stays in a designated spot (well away from the dining table) while you are having your meal. Whatever training method you employ, do not ever yell or hit your dog. Positive reinforcement training is the best way to educate your dogs the right behavior.

If none of the above methods work and your dog continues to resist after a few days then this might potentially indicate there is something else that’s discouraging your dog from eating. We would suggest visiting the vet as soon as possible to confirm there is no underlying health conditions that’s affecting your dog’s diet.

Disclaimer: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.


  • SHARON FORD | 17/05/2022

    My dog will eat the dry food if he is hungry enough. My vet hates me because of this.

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