Dog food toppers were born over the last couple of years for a very clear reason. The last years have seen dog owners scrutinizing their pet’s food just like it was their own.
Dog food manufacturers have made an effort to improve the ingredient list and nutritional values but prices have also increased. This has put off a huge segment of this market who finds kibble to be a more convenient and cost-efficient type of dog food. Yet, most dog owners know kibble loses in palatability, even with more premium dry foods.
This is where dog food toppers make a booming entrance.
What Are Dog Food Toppers?
Also known as dog food sauces or dog food gravies, dog food toppers make your dog’s kibble a lot tastier and flavorful while also increasing the nutritional value of the meal. Indeed, dog food toppings often focus on both taste and health by using quality vitamins, probiotics, superfoods and better cuts of meat.
Toppers also win over a lot of dog owners by allowing them to feel like their dog’s meal is homemade. It’s like too much convenience becomes boring for us people. We feel bad at just serving few hundred grams of dry kibble, so dog food mixers are helping us making it more appealing and stimulating for our beloved pets.
However, it is important to note that, like the name suggests — a food topper is not complete and balanced on its own and should not be used as sole diet! It has to top the dry dog food bowl in order to gain its full power.
Should I Top My Dog's Food?
If your pet is eating wet food, you definitely won’t need an additional sauce, mixer or gravy. On the other hand, if your puppy or dog is on dry kibble, then you should definitely consider these toppers.
It’s usually dogs who are finding it hard to enjoy their meals or those who get easily bored that get the maximum return on investment. Dry food is far from being enticing so you can use a quality dog food topper to reward your dog, or to transition them onto a new kibble.
Sick dogs or nursing bitches generally have a loss of appetite and changing them to a completely new diet (wet food or raw) might get them even more sick. Therefore, using a dog food topper is the perfect solution. It adds taste and nutrition which are the things ill dogs need the most.
The 4 Best Dog Food Toppers
Because I want to save you time and money spent on low quality products, here is a list of the best dog food toppers and why they’re a good deal.
1. The Honest Kitchen Proper Toppers
— Best Natural Dog Food Topper
With at least 50% of high quality human-grade proteins per tablespoon, The Honest Kitchen is offering an all-round winner here.
The chicken is free range, it’s all natural and only has 90% meat for six ingredients:
- free range chicken,
- dried apples,
- dehydrated pumpkin,
- dehydrated chard,
- dried blueberries
- and vitamin and mineral premix
The Honest Kitchen Proper Toppers will boost your dog’s immune system as well as enhance your pet’s vitamin and mineral levels. With no GMO ingredients, preservatives or by-products, it’s a wonderful dog food topper made in the United States to ensure quality control.
To us, it’s a must have for all dog owners and it can be used as a super duper healthy treat, reward or as its first purpose, a food topper.
2. Petchup Variety Pack
— Best Condiment For Dog Food
Dog food toppers come in various packaging and require different preparation. Some need warm water while other need to be mixed with the kibble, and so on. If you don’t want all this hassle but still need to boost taste and nutrition, Petchup condiments are for you (and your dog!)
Each bottle of 1lb (shy of 500g) will last your forever and they come bundled together: Petchup (Beef), Muttstard (Salmon) and Mutt-n-aise (Turkey).
At each meal, your dog will thank you for all the great nutritional benefits he will obtain from this yummy dog sauces:
- Glucosamine — for better joints and muscles movement
- Omega Fatty Acids — for a shinier coat and healthier skin
- Prebiotics — for supporting your dog’s digestive system
Petchup condiments are made in the United States and completely natural. The various flavors are all adored by dogs and definitely break the routine so even the pickiest eaters can finally finish their entire bowl of kibble.
The daily recommended serving is:
- .5 tbsp. for dogs under 10.5 lbs
- 1 tbsp for dogs around 10.5-18 lbs
- 2 tbsp. For dogs over 18 lbs
Little tip: pour some in an ice cube tray and freeze them! They will be awesome treats during the summer.
3. Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Boost Mixer
— Best Protein-Packed Mixer
Some individual dogs naturally require more proteins because of their breed or simply because they tend to exercise a lot more than average. Having a quality protein mixer is vital in order to avoid any deficiency… and Nature’s Variety is delivering on that basis!
Inspired by dogs and wolves’ ancestral diet, Instinct Raw Boost Mixers are adding a lot more proteins at each meal as well as nutrients to help digestion. Nutritious fatty oils are also used to help better your dog’s coat especially for those spending a lot of time outdoors.
Because these recipes are all-natural, grain-free and freeze-dried, they may be a little pricier than the competition but it’s all worth the investment. Here as well, you may use these as training treats or actual food toppers.
4. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Toppers
— Most Flavorful Dog Food Topper
Somewhere between actual wet food and dog food topper, this incredible hybrid mixer is by far the most flavorful. It uses original premium meats and fish such as alligator, catfish, venison or halibut.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Toppers are not loaded with synthetic additives to enhance both taste and nutrition. Instead, everything is based on using rare ingredients sourced fairly so it can offer a unique taste that dogs cannot find anywhere else.
Will Food Toppers Improve My Dog’s Health?
This is a loaded questions because not all dog food toppers should be considered equal. Just like kibble, a lot of food toppers are of high quality while others are pure nonsense.
The rule is to use a nice kibble and then establish what are your dog’s primary nutritional needs. Only you and your vet would be able to know what does your dog need at a given time. For example:
- If you have a bully breed, you want a food topper with more proteins
- If you have a sick dog or nursing bitch, get a topper with big flavors and vitamins
- If you have a senior and large dog, you want to make sure it helps digestion
As long as you follow these simple guidelines, you will absolutely be improving your dog’s health. Dog food toppers have a great place in such a smart diet that is feeding your dog’s primary needs.
Why Not Do My Own Topper At Home?
For the very same reason you aren’t preparing each of your dog meals at home, yourself.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all about homemade. But hey, we are all living busy lives and the time spent preparing your own food topper every single day is perhaps not worth the benefits because it’s hard to get it right each time:
- can you meet the right and exact nutritional requirements for your puppy?
- can you cook your sauce properly without adding dangerous condiments?
- can you stock the right ingredients for the rest of your dog’s life?
- can you do it consistently for years on?