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Picky eater - Please i need some ideas :)

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Hey guys, sorry for the long post, i would love some ideas regarding my border collie who is a picky eater. Ragnar is 2 y/o, male, not neutered and a working line BC. So far I have fed Hills and Taste of the Wild puppy kibble (high in protein), up to when he turned one year old as we wanted him to gain a few kilos because he is quite long but thin (and athletic). At that stage we switched to Purina Pro Plan Chicken. The changes in kibble are due to the fact that he gets easily bored of eating the same kibble over a prolonged period of time (and of course my fault for not persisting). We switched to raw food about 5 months ago with the hope that he would be more excited in raw feeding but stopped last week mainly due to my concern of, (1) whether i am correctly balancing his meals and (2) I also noticed that the smell of the food is sometimes not the greatest and this is making him slowly become less interested. I have tried both diy and ready raw meals but feeding only ready meals are a bit expensive for my budget. We have been to the vet for a check up last month and everything is in order health-wise thank god. He is a working line border collie and of course active (agility, obedience, walks, toys etc). Generally a happy boy. What kibble brands would you recommend? I think i will stick to kibble in the future but i am open to any suggestions. Would love to look into new ideas maybe.

Thank you and apologies for the long post!


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I've always found Fromm to be a wonderful food, second to raw.  I'd not force or worry about a picky eater. He will eat when he's hungry as you've said he has been vet checked and he's healthy. Mine get 5 minutes and the bowl is picked up. Next meal they may be more inclined to eat it all, or not. 

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I am in Australia, so I can't really make recommendations about kibble for you. 

With my dogs, they do eat kibble, but also always get what I call a topper.  Sometimes it may be a few raw chicken hearts.  Sometimes it may be some tinned sardines.  Sometimes it may be some cooked chicken meat, or cottage cheese, or natural yoghurt.  Sometimes it is just a few of their treats sprinkled on top.  Or it may be a little fruit or some vegetables.

They do not need it for nutrition, as that is what the kibble is for.  It is there to provide some variety and interest.

This is purely anecdotal, and not vet recommended etc.  It is just what we do.

I am glad that you have a healthy active BC, and that you care so much to make sure that he gets the best food for him.  I wish you and Ragnar the very best!

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I feed Wellness brand, because it gets a high rating, has good ingredients, and doesn't completely break the bank, although it is not cheap. But the cheap foods, like Purina, are not good nutritionally.

I add a topper to all of the dogs' meals. This way, I can vary the topper and give them a lot of different flavors and variety while still buying the larger bags of kibble and not paying a premium for smaller bags and switching kibbles. I use various high quality canned dog foods for the toppers, and it's not really that expensive because they only get a large spoonful on top of each meal. I can get various flavors and brands of different canned foods for variety. I also top their food sometimes with raw bits of beef cut from my own meal preparation, cooked chicken breast, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, pumpkin, and other things. This also helps them to stay excited about their food.

You can look up brands of dog food to see the ingredients and an analysis of the quality of them by going to the Dog Food Advisor. I choose the 4.5 to 5 star foods, and then read the ingredients on the bag every so often when I go to the store to make sure they haven't changed the ingredients.



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If he has a good body score, he is eating what he needs (probably).

Here are some thoughts since you don't describe your feeding routine. (You may already be doing some of these.)

Feed twice per day - no leaving food out for him to graze as he wishes. If he hasn't finished in 10-15 minutes, pick up his food bowl. He does not get fed until the next routine feeding.

I also add a topper to the dog's kibble AND I add a decent amount of water (maybe 1/2 cup) and mix it up into a stew. Although my dogs have 2 large water bowls in the house, they often pass on water when exercising. So I 'force' them to get a little water by mixing it with their food. I don't presoak the kibble, but that might be a strategy to try and see if it helps his appetite.

Purina Pro Plan is a quality food, but I know that sometimes a dog just doesn't like a food. That is where the toppers can help. I have used the Purina Pro Plan Shredded Chicken kibble, but I have one hard keeper. I noticed that the PPP Chicken had fewer calories per cup than another PPP kibble (Sport). Once I switched to the Sport formula, my dog did gain a bit of weight. The point being that if your dog is too skinny and is not eating enough, perhaps change to a food that is more calorie dense.

I quite frequently change up the kibble brand. About every 3 or 4 bags, I may buy another brand (Inukshuck, Wellness or ??), then go back to the PPP kibble. I am not a believer that a dog should eat the same kibble its entire life.

You could use raw as a topper. I agree that I am confused about how to balance a raw diet for dogs which is why buying the prepared raw is comforting, but beyond the budget as the main diet. I can afford to use it as a topper once in a while.


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Hey guys, first of all please let me thank you for taking the time to reply to us, it's really appreciated! This is us in the photos and this is how his body looks now, after gaining weight (with raw mainly).

He is 70 cm long from neck to bottom of tail for reference. After we stopped eating raw i was scared that all our progress weight wise would be lost. However, the vet suggested that his weight is ok now as his build is athletic (and that i shouldn't worry).

His trainer suggester a kibble brand i had never heard before that she uses for her dogs as well, and he likes it, it's called winner plus sport (chicken). She also advised what you guys suggested, leave the food for 15 minutes and then that's it. He is not on 2 meals a day yet but we're getting there! Also tried to add yogurt and he cleaned his bowl so i will continue with the toppers you guys suggested! Again, thank you so much, big kisses to you and your furbabies! Gioia and Ragnar




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