Learning Center | 7 Ways To Tell If Your Dog Likes Their Food

Young Dachshund dog drinking water.

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As loving pet parents, we want meal time to be as enjoyable for our dogs as possible. Sure, we’re focused on giving them the best balanced, healthy nutrition we can, but does taste matter when it comes to what our dogs eat? How do we know if the raw meals for dogs that we pick are actually tasty?

Dogs only have one sixth as many taste buds as we humans do. Yet flavor and texture still matter to our pooches. While some dogs will happily gobble up just about anything you give them—we’re looking at you, Retrievers!—that doesn’t mean they’re getting the most out of their meals. And other pups are quite finicky and absolutely need their humans to find quality meals that taste good.

Choosing the best raw food for our dogs that tastes great can help ensure our dogs are not only getting the right nutrition, but also enjoying meal time to the fullest.

So how can you tell if your dog actually likes their food? Here are a few steps you should take to find out!

1. Ask Your Vet

There’s really no substitute for professional advice, and your veterinarian is trained to provide just that.

Your vet should be your greatest resource when it comes to creating your dog’s nutrition plan, and they can work with you to select and approve meals that will help your pup thrive and enjoy their food. They can advise you about the healthiest raw food for dogs and which meals will suit your canine best.

You should discuss Wellness® CORE® RawRev meals, natural, balanced diets made with high protein kibble and pieces of 100 percent freeze-dried raw meat mixed right in! Wellness CORE RawRev provides pups with everything they need to thrive from the core.

Make sure you also observe your dog at meal time so you can report how they react, how fast they eat, and any other habits they have to your vet. This will help your vet find out if your dog loves their food and make adjustments to ensure your dog gets the most enjoyment possible from meals while maintaining a healthy diet.

Also, if you notice that your dog has stopped eating, no matter what foods you try, there may be a medical issue that your vet can detect and treat.

You should always consult your vet before changing your dog’s diet. It’s best to ask an expert!

2. Watch Your Dog’s Focus

A white terrier dog eating dog food from a clay bowl

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Does your dog wait eagerly for you to put their meal in front of them? Do they stay focused on the food as they eat?

When dogs are excited about food, they tend to show it. A well-trained pooch will be eager to perform commands such as “sit” and “wait” when they’re anticipating food that they enjoy as a reward. If the food reward is less appetizing, they may be less eager to perform.

Pay attention to how interested your dog seems as they eat, too. If they dig through their food, move it with their nose, or look around their bowl before eating, they may actually be searching for more appealing options.

The best way to check is to provide your dog with a healthy treat you know they like. If they show a lot more interest in that treat than their normal food, then chances are good that they’re not enjoying their regular meals as much as they should.

3. Gauge How Fast And How Much Your Dog Eats

When dogs enjoy their meals, they tend to finish eating in one sitting fairly quickly so long as they have appropriate serving sizes. They’re unlikely to leave their bowls with uneaten food still leftover.

It’s unhealthy for dogs to eat too fast, and if you suspect your dog eats too quickly, you should talk to your vet about options to slow them down. However, a dog who eats very slowly may be signaling that their food just doesn’t appeal to them all that much.

If your dog picks at their food, leaves it to come back to later, or fails to clear the bowl, they probably aren’t loving their meals. The best raw meals for dogs are rarely left in the bowl.

4. Experiment With Different Textures And Flavors

young beautiful labrador retriever puppy is eating some dog food out of humans hand outside during golden sunset

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With your vet’s guidance, you can experiment with different meals and see if your dog shows a preference for certain foods. Some vets have food samples handy for your dog to try, too.

Dogs are individuals, and even though they don’t have as many taste buds as we humans do, they still have their own preferences for flavors and textures. For example, some dogs prefer more moisture in their food to make it softer and more hydrating.

Some dogs prefer stronger, bolder flavors. If that’s the case for your dog, you may want to try a meal that’s high in a meat like beef or lamb. You should try Wellness CORE RawRev with Wild Game + 100% Raw Lamb.

Other dogs prefer more subtle flavors. These dogs tend to enjoy poultry like chicken or turkey in their meals. If that’s the case for your dog, you should try Wellness CORE RawRev Original + 100% Raw Turkey.

It’s best to change your dog’s diet gradually to avoid causing digestive upset. Again, your vet can provide guidance for how to safely help your dog try new foods and how to stick to the best raw meals for dogs.

5. Try The Same Foods Again

As you provide your dog with different foods to find one that they prefer, you may want to revisit some options that your pup has already tried.

Sometimes the food, itself, is not the problem. If you’ve accidentally stored the food improperly or failed to keep it as fresh as possible, that may be what’s putting your dog off.

Try serving your dog brand new food that hasn’t already been stored for a long time. If your dog shows more interest this time around, you may want to think about ways to ensure that your pooch’s food stays fresh.

6. See How They Feel After Eating

Dog bowl is a hungry German Shepherd waiting for someone to food in his bowl.

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When dogs get the right nutrients from their food, their health and attitude reflect it. They tend to prefer foods that make them feel good.

Dogs should get enough energy from their diets to sustain them throughout the day. On average, our canine companions can sleep up to 14 hours per day, and even more for puppies. But they should be active, alert, and playful in their waking hours.

The best raw meals for dogs provide all the energy pooches need during the day.

If your dog shows signs of illness or lethargy after eating, chances are good that they aren’t getting the nutrients they need. Consequently, they probably aren’t enjoying the food that’s making them feel that way. It’s also time for a vet visit.

7. Watch Your Dog When You Eat

High Angle Portrait Of Dog Sitting By Bowl

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Oddly enough, how your dog reacts to your own meal time may be a good indicator of whether they enjoy their food.

Dogs who get the right amount of good-tasting food tend to feel full and satisfied. Certainly, some dogs will beg for a taste of what their humans are eating no matter what. This is especially true for pet parents who share food with their pups regularly.

However, a dog who enjoys their food tends to look forward to their own meals most of all. They don’t feel especially hungry throughout the day, and they don’t tend to obsess over seeking additional sources of nutrition.

If your dog does beg for food when you eat, it’s possible that they’ll just eat opportunistically, which is normal behavior for canines. But if they tend to obsess over your meals, it’s possible that they aren’t enjoying their own food enough.

Do you want to give your dog meals that they’ll love? Wellness CORE RawRev meals are balanced, high-protein, and full of savory meat that will taste great and provide your dog with the nutrients they need.

Click here to get $3 off your order of Wellness CORE RawRev meals for your dog! Wellness CORE RawRev is satisfaction guaranteed, so if your pup isn’t crazy about it, you can return it for a full refund.

Does your dog love their food? How can you tell? Let us know in the comments below!