The 10 Best Dog Food Toppers to Buy in 2021

The 10 Best Dog Food Toppers to Buy in 2021

In a lot of ways, dogs are pretty much like people. Just as humans often desire a little extra boost to what we eat (sprinkles or nutrient-dense superfoods, depending on your style), for many pet owners, adding dog food toppers can help round out their best friend’s daily meals.

There are seemingly limitless options when it comes to dog food toppers, and sorting through the crowded market of dog food toppers is daunting. But there are a few ways to determine what’s best for your pets.

Most Important Factors in Choosing a Dog Food Topper

For most pet owners, balancing a set of needs and considerations is crucial to choosing the best dog food topper. Some may have a clear idea already of what they need, but the sheer number of possible options can make the task difficult even for those pet owners.

Your Dog’s Needs

Your reasons for wanting to add a topper will guide most other decisions. This could include helping to treat health problems (like this product for skin and coat health or this one for immune support) or it could be as simple as trying to make your buddy’s food more appealing (dogs will love the taste of this one!)

Type of Topper

Toppers generally come in one of three forms: dry pellets, wet chunks, and liquid (or powder that becomes a liquid when water is added).

Ingredients

Though toppers aren’t made to meet a dog’s complete nutritional needs (there are exceptions to that, such as this one), these products are still food. As you do with choosing the right food, you should look for healthy, nutritional ingredients that are largely free of filler. For those who feed their dogs specific diets, such as raw or grain-free, be sure to read the product labels thoroughly to ensure they follow the diet. If you’re unfamiliar with ensuring all foods you’re giving your dog meet their nutritional needs, the American Kennel Club offers a crash course in reading dog food labels.

Price

With any product, price is a big factor, and it’s just as true for dog food toppers. But while economics should be part of the equation, remember that we’re talking about smaller-volume toppers rather than food, so the overall expense is likely to be low. In other words, if you are considering a splurge for your pet, dog food toppers might be a good option.

Top 10 Best Dog Food Toppers 2021

1. Best Overall Dog Food Topper: Zesty Paws Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil

Zesty Paws Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil


Editor’s Rating:

Why we like it: For most dogs, just one or two pumps per day of this oil-based supplement can provide a much-needed boost to joint, skin, and coat health, also supporting the heart and immune system without adding too many calories to your pup’s diet.

Quick Facts

  • Form: Liquid supplement
  • Benefits: Joint function, immune health, heart health

Why Your Dog Will Like It

The fishy flavor will appeal to most dogs, and the texture will make them feel like they’re getting something special with their regular food.

Why You’ll Like It

This supplement can be given to cats and dogs alike, so for homes where both types of pets are present, there’s no need to buy special products for each animal. While this fish oil supplement may help control mild itching and skin allergies in dogs, though be sure to consult with your vet to make sure it isn’t a more serious problem. Some pets may need to be medicated to relieve skin allergies and excessive itching.

Key Ingredients

Salmon oil is the chief ingredient in the product, which helps introduce important omega-3 fatty acids into a pet’s diet. The product can be used for both dogs and cats, which is a bonus for homes with both. The supplement is without many bells and whistles, but that’s because not much is needed to give a helpful nutrient boost to a dog’s diet. Pet owners looking for more bulk in their dog food toppers, such as those trying to entice finicky pups, may want to consider a different type of topper (this and this are great options for that).

Feeding Recommendations

One pump is roughly equivalent to a teaspoon. For medium-sized dogs around 50 pounds, the daily recommended serving is two pumps, which means a 32-ounce bottle should last a few months. This is a fish oil-based product, and the high fat content may be irritating for some dogs’ stomachs, so the topper should be introduced slowly.

Pros

  • Well-round nutritional supplement
  • Easy-to-use pump dispenser
  • Good value
  • Product should last a few months

Cons

  • Only offered in one flavor — salmon
  • High fat content

2. Best Premium Dog Food Topper: Stella & Chewy’s Meal Mixers

Stella & Chewy’s Meal Mixers


Editor’s Rating:

Why we like it: These meal mixers are made with wholesome ingredients and well-rounded nutrition in mind and they’re complete enough to be fed to dogs as regular food.

Quick Facts

  • Form: Dry pellets
  • Benefits: Raw, grain-free, flavor enhancer

Why Your Dog Will Like It

Especially when used as a food topper, the dehydrated raw bits provide a flavor-rich punch that will have your dog counting down to his next meal.

Why You’ll Like It

It’s made in small batches from responsibly sourced ingredients, including the protein and vegetables, and for pet owners who want to feed their dogs an all-raw or partially raw diet, it’s ideal.

Key Ingredients

Proteins are the star of the show, with flavor options including beef, chicken, turkey, and seafood, with other grain-free ingredients that includes, depending on the flavor, pumpkin seed, cranberries, broccoli, beets, carrots, squash, and more. Stella & Chewy’s Meal Mixers meet the nutritional standards governing minimum nutritional guidelines for dog food, meaning that it can be given as a standalone food.

Feeding Recommendations

One quarter-cup scoop per day is recommended for dogs up to 25 pounds, with serving recommendations rising with dogs’ size. This topper can be added to food as-is or it can be rehydrated by adding two tablespoons of water per quarter-cup scoop for dogs who prefer a moist meal. While the product can be used as the sole food, its high price will make using exclusively this a challenge for budget-minded pet owners (there are cheaper options like the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Wild Cuts). Also, the fat content is relatively high, which could be challenging for dogs who are sensitive to fatty foods or have heart problems.

Pros

  • Raw and grain-free
  • Multiple protein options
  • Full of meat flavor
  • Can be rehydrated to provide larger serving

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Rich, especially if substituted for regular food

3. Best Budget Dog Food Topper: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Wild Cuts

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Wild Cuts


Editor’s Rating:

Why we like it: Blue Buffalo’s Wilderness Trail Wild Cuts provide a grain-free topper option at a low price, and dogs will love the meat flavor and hearty gravy.

Quick Facts

  • Form: Wet
  • Benefits: Grain-free, flavor enhancer

Why Your Dog Will Like It

The protein-rich flavor of the bits and heart gravy will make your dog’s food irresistible.

Why You’ll Like It

This grain-free product is one of the few specially made dog food topper products to come from a company that’s already known for its dog food. That could make it ideal for pet owners who already feed their dogs a Blue Buffalo product.

Key Ingredients

Protein is the chief ingredient, and depending on the flavor, other ingredients include broth, egg, and potato starch. In addition to beef, other flavor options include salmon and chicken, and all versions are grain-free.

Feeding Recommendations

Medium-sized dogs can have up to three pouches per day, according to the manufacturer, but the rich gravy that comes with the bits may be too much for dogs who are sensitive to fatty foods. Plus, the longer the topper can last, the better. When it’s given to pets in limited quantities, it’s quite cost-effective, but using three pouches per day could get pricey in a hurry.

Pros

  • Grain-free
  • Multiple protein options available
  • Flavorful
  • Affordable for most small- to medium-sized dogs

Cons

  • May be unaffordable for larger dogs or when several pouches per day are used
  • Rich gravy not recommended for sensitive dogs

4. Best Dog Food Flavor Enhancer: Flavors Food Topper

Flavors Food Topper


Editor’s Rating:

Why we like it: Got a dog that loves peanut butter but hates their kibble? Try this stuff. Flavors Food Topper products come in a range of flavors and are easily mixed with water then added to dogs’ food to make it a special treat.

Quick Facts

  • Form: Powder
  • Benefits: Flavor enhancer, grain-free

Why Your Dog Will Like It

The range of flavor options probably includes a taste that your dog loves, with peanut butter, white cheddar, chicken, and red meat options.

Why You’ll Like It

It comes in a powder form that mixes with water to create a quick broth, which means you don’t have to spend a ton of time preparing it. That also means you can give this product sparingly if you wish. For pet owners who worry they might spoil their best friend with special flavors, the powder topper mix will go a long way.

Key Ingredients

All flavors are grain-free and made from human-grade food products, including roasted peanuts, white cheddar cheese, potato starch, sweet potato, beef, chicken, and bone broth (depending on the flavor). While the ingredients are wholesome, there aren’t any additional benefits in terms of nutritional additives, though that also could be considered a benefit for those interested in feeding their pets a limited number of ingredients.

Feeding Recommendations

Mid-sized dogs should be given 1 tablespoon of mix per 1 cup of food. To make the broth, combine 1 tablespoon of powder with a quarter-cup of warm water, then incorporate into dog’s normal food. Unlike the high-calorie treats your dog may occasionally get from the dinner table, this product is low-sodium and low-calorie.

Pros

  • Flavorful
  • Multiple flavor options
  • Grain-free
  • Makes enticing gravy

Cons

  • No special nutritional aspects
  • If given with every meal, mix could be used up quickly

5. Best Dog Food Topper for Skin and Coat Health: Grizzly All-Natural Salmon Oil Supplement

Grizzly All-Natural Salmon Oil Supplement


Editor’s Rating:

Why we like it: Grizzly’s salmon oil supplement is packed with omega-3 fatty acids that can help improve skin and coat as well as boost your dog’s immune system.

Quick Facts

  • Form: Liquid supplement
  • Benefits: Immune health, skin and coat

Why Your Dog Will Like It

The fish flavor and added moisture will make your dog’s boring dry food much more interesting, though from a dog’s perspective the other benefits may go unnoticed.

Why You’ll Like It

This supplement is packed with omega-3 fatty acids that boost immune health and can improve the quality of your dog’s skin and coat, and it’s made with wild-caught salmon. A bottle should last about four months for a medium-sized dog, which also makes it a great value.

Key Ingredients

Wild-caught Alaskan salmon is the source of this fish oil supplement with no other ingredients included. That said, the fatty acid is quite rich, so owners should act accordingly depending on their pet’s tolerance for fat-rich foods. The high fish oil content may help dogs with sensitive skin that’s prone to itching and irritation. As with some other fish oil dog food toppers (like the Zesty Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil), it may be possible to phase out the need for prescription medications, but that’s a decision that should only be made in consultation with your vet.

Feeding Recommendations

A medium-sized dog should get a couple of pumps (or just under 2 teaspoons) per day on top of or mixed with their food, and an average bottle should last for about 135 pumps.

Pros

  • Excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Rich fish flavor dogs will love
  • Bottle should last a while
  • Made from wild-caught Alaskan salmon

Cons

  • Some dogs may not tolerate rich oil
  • No other added nutrients beyond fatty acids

6. Best Liquid Dog Food Topper: Nutramax Welactin Omega-3 Supplement

Nutramax Welactin Omega-3 Supplement


Editor’s Rating:

Why we like it: It’s an omega-3-based supplement that is specially formulated to eliminate the toxins that can sometimes accumulate in large cold-water fish.

Quick Facts

  • Form: Liquid supplement
  • Benefits: Skin and coat, joint health, heart health, immune support

Why Your Dog Will Like It

The rich fishy taste and added moisture will spice up your pet’s day-to-day food doldrums. Like other fish oil products, though, it’s unlikely pets will notice benefits beyond that.

Why You’ll Like It

Because it’s made from small cold-water fish, this supplement will be less likely to contain toxins and other pollutants that often can be found in larger fresh-water fish, even those that are wild-caught. For pet owners concerned about environmental toxins, such as heavy metals that are often present in fish, this is a critical consideration.

Key Ingredients

This product is a fish oil supplement made entirely from wild-caught fresh-water fish, making it a single-ingredient product. All products are examined for presence of heavy metals in the fish oil. A cheaper alternative with low contamination is available from Zesty Paws.

Feeding Recommendations

A medium-sized dog should get one scoop (included with the bottle) per day, which is equivalent to about half a tablespoon. A warning that the bottle can be quite messy, so it’s helpful not to attempt to fill the scoop up entirely and instead try for a half-scoop or use a spoon.

Pros

  • Excellent source of fatty acids
  • Enticing fishy taste
  • Skin and coat health support
  • Produced from wild-caught fish

Cons

  • Messy dispenser
  • No alternate flavor options

7. Best Broth Dog Food Topper: Purina Beyond Grain-Free Bone Broth

Purina Beyond Grain-Free Bone Broth


Editor’s Rating:

Why we like it: It’s a limited-ingredient chicken broth product that comes in easy-to-use single-serving pouches, eliminating the need for complex measuring and mixing.

Quick Facts

  • Form: Broth
  • Benefits: Immune health, limited-ingredient diet, grain-free

Why Your Dog Will Like It

Purina Beyond’s grain-free bone broth amps up the chicken flavor and makes even the most mundane dry kibble enticing to any dog.

Why You’ll Like It

With a limited set of ingredients and an easy-to-use package, this topper allows you to boost the nutrients in your dog’s food without adding many calories.

Key Ingredients

Chicken broth is the chief ingredient, with vitamin and nutrient supplements added to increase the health benefits, including immune support. The limited ingredient list may be beneficial to dogs who are sensitive to overly complex foods.

Feeding Recommendations

Adult dogs should eat one-half to one pouch per day. To create the broth, you’ll need to gently squeeze the packet to ensure ingredients are well-incorporated. You can then pour the broth over the top of your dog’s dry food or mix it into wet food. This is not a product that can be a substitute for your dog’s normal diet, and it currently only comes in a single serving size, which can be difficult for people with smaller dogs.

Pros

  • Grain-free
  • Limited ingredient list
  • Chicken bone broth
  • Added vitamins and nutrients

Cons

  • Comes in only one flavor
  • No options for smaller serving sizes

8. Best Dog Food Topper for Gut Health: Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Boost Mixers

Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Boost Mixers


Editor’s Rating:

Why we like it: Dogs won’t be able to resist the raw bites included in Instinct’s freeze-dried raw topper, and a fiber-rich gut health version can help regulate even the most sensitive digestive systems.

Quick Facts

  • Form: Dry
  • Benefits: Gut health, grain-free, raw

Why Your Dog Will Like It

The mix of protein and fat in the freeze-dried raw mixers provide a flavorful punch in a dog’s daily meals.

Why You’ll Like It

The grain-free raw ingredient set can help soothe the digestive worries of sensitive pups, and other formulations can boost immune health, joint function, and skin and coat health.

Key Ingredients

Chicken is the leading ingredient in the gut health formulation, with pumpkin seeds and sweet potato not far behind. The mixers are well-balanced between protein and fat, with fiber taking a large proportion of the ingredient list and probiotics added to boost digestive health. This topper is on the higher end of the scale when it comes to cost, so pet owners will pay a premium for these benefits.

Feeding Recommendations

This product isn’t designed to provide a dog’s required nutrients for the day, and a 30-pound dog should eat about a half-cup per day, assuming that’s spread across two meals. Because you’ll need to offset the calories contained in this mixer by adjusting your dog’s normal food, this may not be an ideal product for overweight dogs who are already being fed less food to lose weight.

Pros

  • Chicken flavor
  • Grain-free
  • Raw
  • Probiotics for gut health

Cons

  • Fairly high in calories
  • Expensive

9. Best Dog Food Topper for Shed Control: Shed-X Dermaplex Nutritional Supplement

Shed-X Dermaplex Nutritional Supplement


Editor’s Rating:

Why we like it: This liquid supplement can help boost the fatty acids a dog is consuming, and it’s been designed specifically to reduce problem shedding and improve coat health.

Quick Facts

  • Form: Liquid supplement
  • Benefits: Skin and coat health, anti-shedding

Why Your Dog Will Like It

He won’t know it, but after about six weeks, he’ll probably find he’s scratching less; from his perspective, he’ll just be enjoying the tasty treat he’s getting with his food.

Why You’ll Like It

You’ll have less fur all over the place to clean up, as Shed-X guarantees that through proper use, excessive shedding can be eliminated in about five or six weeks.

Key Ingredients

The primary ingredients include Norwegian anchovy and sardine oils, flaxseed oil, vitamins, and minerals. This combination is designed to supplement a dog’s daily intake through food of fatty acids and nutrients and ensure their skin and coats are healthy.

Feeding Recommendations

A tablespoon of the oil should be added to a dog’s food every day, though especially small dogs should get less. This topper is relatively high in fat, which is true for most other oil-based products, like this Omega-3 supplement and this shed-control supplement, so sensitive dogs will probably need to ramp up their daily servings. But with one of the lowest prices per ounce, this supplement dog food topper should last long enough to help you get your pet’s shedding under control.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Rich in fish oils and other nutrients
  • Good taste

Cons

  • No nutrients to aid other health issues
  • Fatty ingredients may be too much for some dogs

10. Best Dog Food Topper for Older Dogs: Zesty Paws Advanced Aller-Immune Bites

Zesty Paws Advanced Aller-Immune Bites


Editor’s Rating:

Why we like it: Zesty Paws Aller-Immune Bites blend a complex combination of vitamins, protein, fiber, and other nutrients to give a pet’s immune system an extra boost.

Quick Facts

  • Form: Dry
  • Benefits: Immune health, digestive health, skin and coat

Why Your Dog Will Like It

The central flavor is lamb, and rich salmon oil adds a hunger-satisfying kick.

Why You’ll Like It

The nutrients in these mixers can improve your dog’s health in a range of areas, but the stars are the immune-boosting vitamins, antioxidants, prebiotics, probiotics, fish oil, and colostrum.

Key Ingredients

Colostrum is the chief listed active ingredient, followed by apple cider vinegar, salmon oil, and a probiotic blend. Colostrum is a fluid produced by mammals before breast milk is released. It’s high in antibodies that can help improve immune response to fight infections. The oil-rich ingredients could be challenging for pups that are sensitive to fatty supplements, so these toppers should be introduced slowly.

Feeding Recommendations

Most dogs should get one chew per day, which can be crumbled into their food, and larger dogs or ones with chronic health concerns could be given two per day. A version is also available for dogs of all ages.

Pros

  • Broad health benefits
  • Unique ingredients that boost immune response
  • Tasty chewable format
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Oil-rich ingredients could be irritating for sensitive pets
  • Lots of active and inactive ingredients

Buying the Best Dog Food Topper

As with anything else we’re feeding our pets, choosing the best dog food topper is a complex decision. Let us help you demystify the process and understand how to go about making your choice.

What Is the Purpose of Dog Food Toppers?

The two biggest reasons that dog owners look for food toppers are enhancing the nutritional balance in their dog’s food or to make the food tastier for their dogs to eat. That said, “dog food topper” is in many ways a vague category.

That’s because many pet owners have been including food toppers without even knowing it. Even water can be considered a dog food topper because it can make dogs more likely to eat their food than they might have otherwise been.

Anything added to your dog’s food as an enticement or nutritional enhancer could be considered a topper, including the cottage cheese most dog owners are familiar with, especially after a gastrointestinal incident.

But regardless of the reason for adding a topper, ensuring that everything you’re feeding your dog is healthy and nutritional is critical, even if what you’re adding is more about enticing your dog to eat his food than health considerations.

Making Diet Considerations for Your Dog

Just as with standard dog food, different considerations must be made depending on the unique characteristics of your dog. The following are the most common:

  • Breed: Many dog owners don’t know that different dog breeds can have significantly different nutritional requirements. Take some time to research your breed’s dietary characteristics and adapt their nutrition to those unique constraints.
  • Age: As dogs age, many begin to lose their appetite and need additional incentives to eat enough: often, this comes in the form of a food topper. As your dog ages, their tastes may change. Be flexible with your food topper to help your dog age gracefully.
  • Temperament: Some dogs are just picky eaters, and in this case, a dog topper might make sure your peckish pup gets enough nutrition.
  • Medical Considerations: Some breeds are prone to having cardiac difficulties, other dogs are diabetic, arthritic, or have liver disease. Work with your veterinarian to find a topper that properly meshes with the medical status of your dog.

Introducing New Foods

In many cases, products marketed as dog food toppers have a relatively high fat content so that dogs will be more interested in eating all their food to get to the good parts. This also means that they could be upsetting to some dogs’ tummies, especially those who are sensitive to rich foods.

As with any new food, toppers should be fed in small amounts at first to test a dog’s tolerance. Particularly for toppers that are intended to make food more palatable, consider ramping up portion size over a few days.

On day one, offer just a taste and monitor your dog’s reaction. If all goes well, increase by about 25 percent per day until you’ve reached the full serving size you plan to feed daily. Remember that serving sizes can be different than what’s listed as the recommended package serving, and always adjust based on your dog’s calorie requirements.

Treats or Toppers?

Dry dog food toppers can be an excellent alternative to traditional treats, especially the toppers that are meant as nutritional boosts. Though these may be blander than taste enhancers, the fact that they are stored separately from the dog’s normal food may help make your pet perceive them as more special than their standard dry food.

The reverse also can be true, though, which may allow pet owners to bypass the need for a new product. For pet owners who have a go-to treat that their dog loves, depending on the nutritional content and their reason for needing a topper, their existing treats could be an ideal topper.

This can be especially useful for finicky eaters who tire of their food but never pass up treats. If your dog has begun turning his nose up at his food but is still interested in treats, break up one or two of his treats and mix it in with his food. Doing this for a few days could break your dog of their finicky habits, but be sure to monitor their overall calorie intake.

Pros and Cons of Dog Food Toppers

Your mileage may vary, but there are generally a few pros and cons that dog food toppers have in common:

Pros

  • Easy to include with daily food
  • Lots of flavor varieties
  • Versatile health benefits
  • Mostly affordable
  • Usually come in small bites or liquid format so they can be given to dogs of varying sizes without the need for separate products

Cons

  • Add calories to a dog’s food and require measurement
  • Limited health benefits due to calorie and ingredient changes
  • Health supplement toppers and flavor enhancers tend to be high in fat, which can be irritating for dogs with sensitive stomachs

Alternatives to Store-Bought Toppers

dogs eating meat from bowl

If you don’t have the budget to purchase a store-bought topper, there may be some other homemade dog food toppers you could try. Here’s a look at some of the most common improvised food toppers you probably already have in your fridge or cupboard:

  • Cottage cheese: Any owner of a dog that’s prone to gastrointestinal upset is familiar with adding a dollop of cottage cheese. It’s not much in the flavor department, but the textural difference and fat content can be an excellent enticement for finicky eaters.
  • Scrambled eggs: Eggs are another food commonly recommended for dogs experiencing digestive upset, and it’s easy to whip up a couple days’ worth of egg toppers at a time. Remember that making scrambled eggs for a dog is different than for people, so lay off the butter, salt, and pepper for the canine version.
  • Carrots: Add a few slices of raw carrot or a couple of pieces of canned cooked carrots and toss them into your dog’s food for a vitamin boost. Be sure to take your dog’s size into account not only in serving size but also portion size. Smaller dogs will need carrot cut into smaller chunks. (Here are a few more tips on feeding your dog carrots.)
  • Pumpkin: You probably don’t have canned pumpkin on hand when it’s not around Thanksgiving, but it is a great way to boost the fiber content of your dog’s food. This can be especially helpful for dogs who have trouble fully emptying their anal glands.
  • Meat: A few bits of meat, such as chicken, beef, or fish, will no doubt be a popular addition to your pooch’s supper. Again, as with other foods that require preparation, remember that anything you add to the food will make its way into your dog’s mouth, so you don’t need to worry about making a roast chicken worthy of a cooking show. Some cuts of meat are high in calories, so don’t forget to monitor your dog’s intake for the day.

Types of Toppers

Whether they’re used for flavor enhancement or have a health-related purpose, dog food toppers come in a wide variety of forms and formulas. Here’s a look at the various types you’re most likely to come across:

Liquid

This includes products that are purchased already in liquid form, such as broth-based toppers (like this product), as well as those that come in a powder form to which you add water and create a liquid or gravy-consistency booster. Some liquid dog food topper products have a condiment-like consistency that’s thicker than broth.

Wet

Non-liquid wet dog food most often comes in chunks and is typically packed with liquid or oil in the packaging. Some owners will add the entire contents of a packet to their dog’s food, while others may choose to pick out the solid bits from the material it’s packed with. This is largely a matter of personal preference, but for dogs with sensitive tummies, the water or oil residue left behind by chunk-style wet toppers can cause upset in the digestive system.

Dry

Dry dog food toppers consist largely of bits of kibble or freeze-dried raw pellets that can be placed on top of or mixed in with your dog’s regular food. This format also is commonly given as a treat instead of traditional treats that can be high in filler content. Most dry dog food toppers are softer than normal kibble, which helps make it feel special for dogs.

Raw

Pet owners are increasingly embracing the raw trend in dog food, and there are a few options for raw dog food toppers as well (like this one or this one). With this product type, the meat is freeze-dried before it’s packaged, which almost eliminates the moisture in the food. This makes it shelf-stable, meaning it can be stored in the pantry instead of taking up fridge space, and it means that the flavor of the meat becomes heavily concentrated, which makes it delicious for dogs.

Supplements

Fish oil supplements are the most common supplement-style dog food topper, but there are other supplement dog food toppers out there (like this chewy version). Supplements that come in oil form generally are easy to give with your dog’s food. In many cases, (like with this option it’s as easy as just hitting a pump-action dispenser a couple of times. Some oil-based supplements can be messy, so figuring out a system that works for you is important.

Given the nature of oil-based supplements (mostly coming from fish oil), these are usually advertised as benefiting a dog’s immune, skin, and coat health. These are many of the same benefits that humans experience in using fish oil supplements.

Powder

As we’ve mentioned, powder-based dog food toppers sometimes are designed to be put directly into dry food, but they’re most often meant to be mixed with water to create a gravy or broth that’s then poured over or mixed into the dog’s food. This is largely a matter of what your dog prefers. Some dogs respond better to moisture in their food, while others are put off by it. Understanding your dog’s quirks is important here.

Dog Food Topper FAQs

Here’s a look at some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to dog food toppers.

Are Food Toppers Good for Dogs?

Short answer: Yes. Long answer: It depends. Not all dog food toppers will be good for every dog, though they’re rarely harmful. Dogs can be quite sensitive to food, especially when something new is introduced. So, while it may seem like a casual decision in terms of giving a food topper, you really need to consider your individual dog’s food-related history before deciding. The most common issue is digestive upset.

That said, there are many dog food toppers that are specially made to provide boosts to a variety of areas of canine health, including joints, immune system, and skin and coat. So, in some cases, food toppers can make a dog healthier than standard dry food alone.

Are Homemade Dog Food Toppers OK?

We listed some possible homemade dog food toppers above, and for the most part, if a food is fine to give to dogs, it’s probably fine to give as a topper.

Remember to consider how often you’re going to be including a topper and account for the calories and fat involved. When it comes to diet, you may need to reduce the amount of regular food your dog eats to balance out their overall calorie intake when adding a topper.

Can I Feed My Dog Only Food Toppers?

Usually not. Most dog food toppers do not have sufficient nutritional content to completely replace your dog’s normal food. While some do, the cost involved in expanding their use to provide all your dog’s food would be too expensive for many pet owners. The only time we’d recommend this is if your dog won’t eat enough calories otherwise.

How Often Are Dog Food Toppers Meant to Be Used?

Most dog food toppers are designed to be added to each of your dog’s meals in a day, though serving recommendations vary depending on the product. Importantly, you should be sure to introduce food toppers gradually to ensure your dog doesn’t have a sensitivity.

Final Thoughts

Responsible pet owners take the time to properly consider what goes in their pets’ mouths. This is true for the all-important dog food discussion, and it extends to special items like dog food toppers. No one product is perfect for every pup, but for those considering adding a topper to their dog’s food, it could be a perfect way to get your dog the nutrients they need.

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