Pups, like humans, have varying personalities. Some are fussy eaters, and others will eat anything they see. Regardless of your pet’s food personality, the tastiest dog food toppers in 2022 can help maintain a balanced diet with a nutritional boost. Has it ever crossed your mind that eating kibble might be like eating dry cereal? Consider a dog food topper as the equivalent of chocolate milk being added to your cereal. Just as you’d much rather have that milky chocolate cereal, we’re sure your pup would rather have kibble with a doggyliscious food topper. If you’re new to the world of nutritional supplementation for your pet, we’re here to guide you along. We’ll help you choose the best variety for your dog’s needs, but first, check out our top pooch-approved culinary picks.
This ‘no peanut’ peanut butter is a great alternative for dogs. It is made from only two ingredients namely beef meal and beef tallow. The meaty spread can be used as a meal mixer, sneaky pill popper, chew toy filler, or training treat. It comes in a 16 oz jar and is suitable for dogs of any size and age. Although many people give their dogs peanut butter, Visionary Pet Foods advises against this due to its poor nutrient and calorie-dense nature as well as the possibility of causing itchy skin, inflammation, and allergies. Using a healthier option such as this guilt-free beef alternative won’t cause allergies and can promote healthy skin.
Suitable for all sizes and types of dogs
Easy to mix into food
Promotes soft and shiny coats and healthy digestion
Instinct Raw Boost Mixers are uncooked freeze-dried toppers made with raw meat, fruits, and vegetables. The frozen whole food ingredients are freeze-dried to remove moisture. This locks in nutrients, natural flavor, antioxidants, vitamins, amino acids, and makes the product shelf-stable. The nutrient-dense topper is free of grains, soy, and contains no artificial colors or preservatives. The topper comes in 3 varieties specifically formulated for gut health, joint health, as well as skin and coat maintenance. It is also available in two different sizes so you can try out a smaller pack before committing to a bulk purchase.
Contains antioxidants and probiotics
Free of wheat, grains, corn, and soy
Maintains healthy skin and coat
Pups with severe stomach sensitivity may experience adverse effects
Stella and Chewy‘s raw meal mixers are ideal for picky eaters. The raw freeze-dried topper is completely natural and minimally processed. It doesn’t require any preparation or rehydration, simply scoop and serve. The nutritious, flavor-boosting mixers contain no added hormones, antibiotics, grains, or potatoes. With great benefits, these toppers support improved energy, digestion, and immune support. It also assists in relief from allergies and enhances gum, teeth, skin, and coat health. Since it’s available in various quantities, you can save on a bulk pack if you have more than one pup to treat.
Wilderness Trail Toppers Wild Cuts are available in four pup-loving flavors including beef, chicken, duck, and salmon. The high-protein snack is made with natural ingredients and enhanced with vitamins and minerals for quality nutrition. The grain-free meal topper contains chunky meaty bites smothered in gravy which makes it easy to add into kibble or other foods for a delicious meal or to have as a snack on its own. The wet food topper is available in convenient 3oz. pouches so you don’t need to measure servings or worry about anything going to waste.
No preparation required
Free of soy, artificial flavors, and preservatives
Free of corn and wheat
Pack includes 24 x 3oz pouches for lasting freshness
Once opened the pack needs to be used within a couple of days
The Honest Kitchen’s dog food topper is ideal as a complete meal, or to sprinkle over your pet’s dinner. The grain-free range is available in beef, free-range chicken, turkey, and fish flavors. Each pack includes a feeding guide with quantities to help you make sure your pet gets the best nutrition possible. Whole food ingredients including meat, poultry or fish, green beans, pumpkin, and apples are dehydrated for optimized nutrient retention and a stable shelf-life. Simply mix with warm water to rehydrate and serve.
Ideal for all size and breed adult dogs
No GMO ingredients, corn, or soy
No feed-grade ingredients or by-products
Available in 12 individual portions or a bulk pack
Not suitable for young dogs
Best Dog Food Topper Buying Guide
Just like taking a supplement can help you with your skin, joints, or gut health, keeping your pet healthy with the right nutrients is essential. Sometimes, fussy eaters need a little extra help. Dog food toppers are a great way to increase your pet’s nutrition in a natural way. No need to sneak supplements into their snacks or give them foods they shouldn’t be having because they won’t eat the food they should be having. In this guide, we’ll enlighten you on all the benefits of using the best dog food toppers and give you some tips to choose the most suitable option for your furry friend.
What Are Dog Food Toppers?
Dog food toppers are intended to enhance the nutritional value and palatability of regular dog food, although some brands provide toppers that can double as a completely balanced meal. There is no clear-cut rule as to what toppers should include, but they should enhance your pup's diet whether eaten as a snack or added to kibble for a meal.
Regular dog food is required to meet certain nutritional standards depending on the dog's life stage. Just as humans have specific foods for newborns that change as they develop, dog food needs to meet nutritional standards for their growth stage, adult maintenance, breeding, or a combination of these. Any dog food that you purchase should indicate on the packaging that the food meets these dietary standards.
Dog food toppers will either state that they are intended for supplemental feeding only, or they will indicate that it can be served as a whole meal. In this case, the label should verify that it meets the standards for the life stage that it is formulated for. Toppers that aren’t labeled as suitable to substitute a complete meal should not exceed 10% of your pup’s diet.
Dog Food Topper Benefits
The first great benefit of toppers is that they make your pup's normal kibble taste a whole lot better. For pet parents with picky eaters, this is a great help not only to boost their nutrition but also to ensure they eat enough food as a whole.
If your pet is already eating well, toppers can also serve as a healthy in-between snack. Wet dog food toppers can help with hydration while others can serve as a supplement for specific health conditions such as joint, gut, or skin health. The label should specifically indicate if it is formulated to assist in specific conditions, however, your pet should still get a healthy, balanced diet mainly from their everyday meals.
Types of Toppers
Toppers can be wet or dry and the one you choose will most likely depend on your pup's preference.
Wet dog food toppers
Wet toppers often come in pouches or may require reconstitution from a powder. They generally come in the form of gravies, sauces, and broths with some types including bits of meat.
These are ideal for dogs that need to increase their hydration and are also a sneaky way to get your pup to eat their regular dinner since a wet topper is harder to pick out from their other food. It is easy to mix in for a gourmet touch.
Hydration tip: If you are struggling with your pet's hydration, you may want to opt switching to canned food for a period as opposed to kibble.
These toppers come in freeze-dried, air-dried, or dehydrated types. The dried nuggets are easy to give as a treat and easy to store. They can be used for training and to sprinkle over your pup's meal.
Wet or Dry: Which Is Better?
The nutritional value of the topper is more important than the consistency. As mentioned earlier, whether you choose a wet or dry product will mostly depend on what your dog likes most. Even though toppers should only make up a small percentage of your dog's diet, the nutritional value and quality of the ingredients are vital.
Always make sure that the foods are free of artificial flavors, colorants, and preservatives. They should be GMO-free and only include high-quality meat. If the topper has poor quality ingredients you and your pup are better off not adding it to mealtime.
Dog Food Topper Flavors
The flavor you choose will largely depend on your dog's taste buds and also on the health benefits that the specific flavor is formulated for. Flavors generally include chicken, beef, fish, and duck or turkey. You may have to experiment with a few different products to find the one that your pup really loves. Some brands offer small-size packs which are ideal for trying out before you buy a bulk pack.
Best Dog Food Topper FAQ
Q: Can dog food toppers give my dog an upset stomach?
A: It is possible that not all dogs will react in the same way to all products. Start introducing the topper in small amounts before giving your dog a full serving to ensure they aren’t sensitive to any of the ingredients. Always check the label to make sure there are no artificial ingredients or preservatives.
Q: Will bananas make my dog sick?
A: Bananas are actually a healthy snack for dogs and many dogs love eating them too.
Q: How much dog food topper should I give my dog?
A: Toppers should not comprise any more than 10% of your dog's overall diet. Always follow the packet guidelines in terms of serving size and instructions.
Q: Can I give my dog cheese?
A: A small piece of cheese, on rare occasions, is safe for your dog, however, it is not recommended as a regular treat or in large amounts. The high-fat content of cheese can not only cause weight gain but could lead to pancreatitis, which can be potentially fatal in dogs.
Jarett and his vapor wake dog, Toxi, help keep the students and public safe on the University of Notre Dame’s campus. Jarett knows what equipment, food and toys to keep Toxi safe, productive and still able to have fun.