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healthy canine living
Dog waiting for food

Dog food toppers are exactly what they sound like — they “top” your canine’s food. Toppers come in the form of broths or powders, adding healthy and delicious taste to a dog’s meals. If Fido tends to turn their nose up at kibbles, a topper could make their normal food more enticing.

Our favorite dog food toppers 

  1. Native Pet Organic Bone Broth for Dogs — A yummy, all-natural beef broth
  2. The Honest Kitchen Bone Broth Dog Food Topper — Boost of protein and veggies
  3. Flavors Food Topper and Gravy for Dogs — Easy-to-mix kibble seasoning
  4. Native Pet Organic Pumpkin Powder — For flavor and fiber

4 best dog food toppers, reviewed

What we love: This bone broth topper is completely organic, dairy-free, soy-free, and paleo-friendly. It has no added preservatives and is made with only two ingredients! You can sprinkle it over your dog’s food either as a powder or mix it with warm water to help your dog sneak in some extra hydration.

What customers say: Customers say their dogs can’t get enough of their food when they use this topper. Some even say that it’s the only thing they can use to get their dog to eat their food. The broth also has an impressive shelf life and makes more servings per container than other food toppers. One reviewer shared, “Our foster dog wishes she could drink it straight from the bottle!”

👉 Added bonus: This broth can also top cat food, which is great if you have several pets at home. 

Has this product ever been recalled? If so, why? No

Ingredients: Beef bone broth, sunflower lecithin.

What we love: This beef topper consists of human-grade ingredients as opposed to other pet foods toppers which are food-grade. There’s an impressively small list of ingredients in this recipe. This list of ingredients in this stew includes vegetables to give your pup an extra fiber boost.

What customers say: Customers say their pets who need to increase their protein intake see improvements in their dog’s muscle health when they see the vet after using this topper. They love that they can recognize all the ingredients in the product as if the stew came from their own cooking. When customers pour this broth over their dog’s food their tails get wagging right away.

Has this product ever been recalled? If so, why? No 

Ingredients: Beef bone broth, beef, carrots, butternut squash, tapioca, thyme, sage.

What we love: Unlike some dog products out there, this food topper comes in the perfect seasoning bottle! This makes it easy to dust over your dog’s food. We love that this product is instant to use and mix — but doesn’t contain no-no ingredients. This topper is all about convenience. It’s also a more affordable option than other toppers on this list.

What customers say: Customers say that they prefer the easy- to- mix texture of this food topper as opposed to some of the messier, chunkier options. They also love that it’s versatile and can either sprinkle over their dog’s food or heat with liquid to make a hydrating broth. Overall, customers applaud this product’s ease of use as a meal mixer.

Has this product ever been recalled? If so, why? No

Ingredients: Beef, dehydrated beef bone broth, potato starch, dehydrated sweet potato.

What we love: If your dog is stressed or seems to have an upset tummy, this pumpkin food topper will be your new best friend. This pumpkin product comes as a powder instead of as a canned puree. You can easily adjust the portion size for your dog without any powder going to waste. To prepare, you can stir it into your dog’s food or create a paste if that’s how your doggie prefers it.

👉 Pumpkin has lots of health benefits for pups. 

What customers say: Customers say this product offers a serious relief for dogs with frequent diarrhea. In fact, some say the product almost cleared up their pup’s tummy troubles completely.  The versatility of this topper’s preparation method is key, especially given its mere three ingredients.

Has this product ever been recalled? If so, why? No

Ingredients: Organic pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, apple powders.

Dog eating kibble

📷 by zhaolong

How we made our picks

  • We reviewed popular toppers on the market — We only selected dog food toppers with the highest ratings and best customer reviews.
  • We closely investigated ingredients — We avoided toppers with raw ingredients, high sodium, high fat, and fillers. All our picks have less than eight ingredients.
  • Our vet gave us the green light — We triple-checked with our veterinarian to make sure they approved the formulas and ingredients in each topper.

Food topper 101

  • Food toppers are a handy way to get your dog to eat — Basically, they go on top of your dog’s normal food and come in the form of broths, kibbles, and powders.
  • When choosing a food topper you should avoid certain ingredients — Stay away from toppers with high fat, high carb, and high sodium toppers.
  • Remember not to give your dog too much of a good thing Follow our trusted vet’s advice on how often to add a topper to your dog’s food.

Is Fido looking at their kibbles, but refusing to take a bite? They may not like the food’s flavor or they may be feeling under the weather. Before deciding whether or not you should try a dog food topper, it’s important to get to the bottom of your doggie’s eating habits.

Common reasons why dogs won’t eat their food 

You might begin to worry if you’ve noticed your dog isn’t eating their food. It’s important to be aware of a dog’s loss of appetite because it could signal underlying health issues. But, it might not always be a serious matter. Dogs can be picky too! Dogs may stop eating for a variety of reasons:

  • They don’t like their food
  • The food is spoiled
  • They’re having dental issues like dental disease
  • Their stomach is upset
  • They’re in pain

🚨 If your dog is suddenly not eating their food like normal or has any other signs/symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea, you should visit your vet.

How food toppers can help 

There are several benefits to feeding your dog food toppers including:

  • Enticing your dog to eat
  • Hydrating your dog (if the topper comes in broth form or mixes with water)
  • Some toppers add extra nutrients to your dog’s diet. These can include vitamins, minerals, protein, fruits, veggies, omega-3 fatty acids, or fiber to your dog’s diet
  • Exciting and rewarding your dog!

👉 Before adding a new ingredient to your dog’s diet, always check with your vet first.

The 3 different types of toppers

  • Broth. Broth toppers are typically made from chicken,  beef, turkey, salmon, lamb, or other protein. As long as they’re low-sodium and fat they tend to be safe options. Some toppers come as a variety pack of different meats.
  • Powder. Food toppers can come in powdered form which sprinkles on food and mixes in easily with dog kibbles. Broths can also come as a powder which requires mixing with warm liquid. Some powders have freeze-dried meat while others do not.
  • Gravy. Gravy food toppers have the same consistency and texture as the gravy we humans eat. Gravy tends to contain a lot of carbohydrates and calories. Obese and diabetic dogs should especially avoid these types of toppers.

Choosing a food topper: What to consider  

Check the ingredients — In general, the best dog food toppers have ingredients like organic bone broth and vegetables. You should avoid toppers with high fat, high carbohydrate, and high sodium contents.

🚨Make sure to avoid any food topper ingredients with actual bones, sticking only to the broth.

Always calorie-count — Treats and supplements shouldn’t account for any more than 10% of a dog’s daily calories. This will help keep your dog at a healthy weight and prevent obesity or health conditions.

👉 Make sure you’ve followed the instructions on the packaging for the right quantities of food toppers to feed your dog depending on your dog’s size.

Does your dog have food allergies or sensitivities? — You should be especially aware of your dog’s food allergies and sensitivities if you’re considering feeding them a topper. If your dog is allergic to a certain ingredient, you should double-check the topper’s label for its ingredients.

How’s your pup’s health? — Dogs with a history of pancreatitis, obesity, or gastrointestinal disease should avoid using a food topper. These dogs tend to be on caloric-restrictive diets so they should eat toppers with caution.

Tips to encourage a picky eater

It can be hard to feed a picky dog. Besides using toppers, there are some other tips you can follow to encourage your dog to eat:

Follow a consistent feeding routine — Feed your dog the same type of food at the same time of day. Chat with your vet about the best well-balanced dog food to feed your furry friend.

Don’t leave Fido’s food out — Leaving your dog’s food out all day can actually make them want to eat their food less. This can also make your dog’s food stale, so it’s best to only leave food out when it’s time for Fido’s meal.

Add warm water to your dog’s food — Adding warm water to your dog’s food brings out its natural aromas, enticing a dog’s appetite.

Frequently asked questions 

How often should you use a food topper?

You shouldn’t use a food topper regularly or long term. Some toppers contain excess calories and could cause your dog to gain weight. Instead, you should use food toppers to temporarily fix your dog’s pickiness. In general, you should use toppers in moderation and find a dog food that your pup likes.

Are food toppers ok for puppies?

Food toppers can be ok for puppies in small quantities. Make sure to feed your puppy the correct amount according to the food topper’s label. Keep in mind that it might take puppies some time to ease into any normal eating routine so you should be patient with their diets. You should just as equally follow the instructions on the label for older and large breed dogs.

Do dog food toppers work?

Food toppers can be a great way to entice your dog to eat their food! Toppers can also have lots of extra nutritional value for dogs. If your dog is still refusing their food even with a topper, there might be something else going on. This is a sign that you should take your dog to the vet.