For the Dog Picky Eater A Recipe to Tempt a Picky Dog

For the Dog Picky Eater
expert or vet photo
vet verified Dr. Joseph J. Wakshlag, DVM Associate Professor of Clinical Nutrition

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Ithaca, NY

Cats aren't the only pets that can turn their nose up at the most expensive foods. If your dog is a pick eater, try this tester meal to see if home-prepared meals might be a solution.

It’s not just kids who fall under the frustrating category of picky eaters; dogs can be just as guilty of turning up their nose to the food you buy. While there is no rhyme or reason to why some pets eat everything in sight and others barely finish their morning meal, there is a simple solution. First, if you are feeding your dog table scraps – stop! It is a hard habit to break but your dog is most likely getting spoiled by the tastes and smells of rich human food. However, if your canine companion simply won’t eat his or her morning breakfast no matter how many tricks you try or brands of food you buy, it might be time to take to the kitchen.

When it comes to cooking for your pet, you will quickly learn that rice is the foundation of the majority of dog friendly “human food” recipes. It is easy to digest and can be used in a variety of ways. Start simply with brown rice and shredded chicken. This recipe may not win any culinary awards but it will reign supreme when your dog actually enjoys eating a meal that is both nutritious and satisfying.

Give this recipe a try, and if your dog likes it, talk to your veterinarian about whether your pet would benefit from a homemade diet. You vet will be able to guide you in making sure your pet continues to get all the nutrients they’ll need and that are usually provided in commercial dog food.

The Simple Solution Recipe for Picky Eaters - A Basic Homemade “Tester” Meal


(Enough for a 15 lb dog)

  • One cup of cooked white or brown rice (200 calories)
  • 1 Medium Chicken breast (150 calories)

  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil (40 calories)

  • ¼  teaspoon of salt (preferably iodized salt)


If you are pressed for time, do not feel bad about buying instant rice! Just stay away from the flavored options and keep to a plain brown or white variety.Otherwise, buy raw long steam rice and prepare according to package instructions. Place raw chicken breast in a large pot with water. Bring to a boil for 15-30 minutes until completely cooked then shred chicken with a fork. Mix together with rice and add the salt and oil. This recipe is for the typical 15 lb dog and can be multiplied for larger dogs and cut back for smaller dogs. 


This recipe is only for use for a day or two to see if your dogs takes to the idea of a home prepared meal. If your dog seems interested it is essential to speak to your veterinarian or a board certified veterinary nutritionist to create a balanced homemade dietary plan for your dog. 

Back to Dog Treat Recipes 

Next: The Bone Strength Booster

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian. It has however been reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Joe, a board certified veterinary nutritionist and graduate of Cornell University's program for Veterinary Medicine. 

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