dog food topper
Category_The Wild Times

Dog Food Toppers - It’s Okay to Add a Temporary Flavor Boost

by Andrew Ehlert

Does your dog need a little bit of motivation to eat? Many dog parents are turning to dog food toppers as a way to offer diversity to their pet’s plate, enhance palatability or soften the texture of their current complete and balanced diet, as well as to help improve their pup’s overall appetite.

It’s okay if your dog is taking a little longer to adjust, needs motivation to switch to a new food, or needs a little excitement added to their healthy diet. Toppers are a great way to keep your dog happily crunching on our kibble for years!

What Are Dog Food Toppers?

Dog food toppers, in a nutshell, are foods that are added on top of your dog’s daily complete and balanced diet to provide an added benefit. When evaluating toppers, it is important to remember that if you are feeding a nutritionally complete and balanced dog food (such as Wild Earth Complete Protein), your pup is already getting the right amount of the essential nutrients they require. This complete and balanced diet should make up 90% of their daily calories to ensure they are getting the right amount of these nutrients, leaving 10% to come from toppers and/or treats.

Did you know? A neutered, inactive 30-lb dog should consume about 700 - 800 Calories/day. So just 70 - 80 calories can come from toppers and/or treats

What Are The Benefits of Dog Food Toppers?

Dog food toppers in a nutshell are ingredients or additional foods that are added on top of your dog's daily meal. The ingredients you include as well as the amount and frequency that you add them to your dog's food will vary based on your preferences and the health of your dog.

Dog food toppers can be beneficial in a variety of different ways. They can add additional nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to your dog's daily diet that can help to improve their overall nutrition. Dog food toppers are also commonly used for dogs that are picky eaters or for dogs that struggle to eat the required amount of food for maintenance. Toppers can increase your dog's appetite and help to make the food more appetizing for them. Dog food toppers can also help to improve hydration and make your dog's kibble more appetizing.

Below are the most common benefits of using a dog food topper:

Increased Palatability

By adding additional tastes and textures, dog food toppers can make food more appetizing, and are commonly used for dogs that are picky eaters to encourage them to eat more.

Health Benefits

Although complete and balanced dog foods already contain the essential nutrients your pup needs, toppers can supplement your pup’s diet with additional nutrients such as antioxidants, carotenoids, and choline, which can help with longevity, heart health and immune system support.

Added Fiber

Many toppers can provide additional fiber to your pet. Whether your pet is experiencing loose stool or constipation, adding a topper can be helpful to return them back to normal.

Improved Hydration

Toppers can also help improve your dog’s hydration. This is especially true if they typically eat dry kibble, or are older and don’t drink as much water as they should.

Softer Kibble

Whether you have a pup with dental disease or a small dog who may not like a bigger kibble, toppers such as low sodium vegetable broth, will soften the kibble and make it easier to chew.

All in all, adding toppers to your dog’s food can not only make their food more appealing but can have additional benefits as well.

There is a wide variety of "pawsibilities" when it comes to dog food toppers, and each provides a unique benefit. Below are a few of the most recommended dog food toppers that you can try!

Warm Water or Low Sodium Vegetable Broth

If your dog is a picky eater, one of the simplest food toppers you can give them is to add some warm water or low sodium vegetable broth over your dog’s dry food. Let the food sit for about 10 minutes, or until the food softens. The warm liquid will not only help to release some stronger aromas that can make your dog more interested in the food, but it will also help to make the kibble softer and easier to eat - which makes it a great option for senior dogs and dogs with dental issues. Additionally, it will help to increase hydration.

Advantages of This Topper

  1. Softer kibble
  2. Increased aroma
  3. Improved hydration
  4. Increased palatability

Crushed Up Wild Earth Treats

At only 15 Calories per treat, our treats are the perfect healthy topper for your pooch. We use koji - a high quality, sustainable, ancient fungi superfood that contains all 10 essential amino acids for dogs - as our protein source. Our treats also contain whole grains, specifically oats, and can be crushed easily to sprinkle over their dog food. Choose from one of our three delicious flavors - Peanut Butter, Strawberry & Beet, and Banana & Cinnamon - and watch them gobble up their food!

Advantages of This Topper

  1. Increased palatability
  2. Clean ingredients
  3. Complete protein with all 10 essential amino acids
Try Wild Earth Dog Treats

Fresh Fruits & Vegetables

Fruits and veggies are great to use as dog food toppers as they not only add flavor and texture to your dog’s plate, encouraging them to eat, but they also provide nutritional benefits, which can improve your dog’s overall health. In fact, Wild Earth includes a variety of different fruits and veggies in our dog food such as chickpeas, sweet potatoes, blueberries, cranberries, pumpkin, and spinach because of the vitamins and minerals they contain. While not all fruits and vegetables are safe for dogs to eat, many can make a great addition to your dog’s diet in moderation - learn which fruits and vegetables dogs can eat here. Some favorites that you can use as toppers include apples, bananas, blueberries, carrots, broccoli, peas, sweet peppers, cucumbers, and sweet potatoes. Keep in mind that some fruits are high in calories and natural sugar, and therefore should be used in moderation.

Advantages of This Topper

  1. Health benefits
  2. Increased Palatability
  3. Added fiber & vitamins
Learn About Our Ingredients

Canned Pumpkin Puree

This superfood makes a great topper, and one commonly recommended by veterinarians! Not only is it packed with micronutrients, but it also contains high levels of soluble fiber, making it great for digestive health. Plus, pumpkin puree is easy to mix into your dog’s food. It is important not to add too much, however. For dogs with soft stool, no more than 1 tablespoon for a large/giant breed dog or 1 teaspoon for a small to medium breed dog, once or twice per day. For dogs with regular stool, no more than ½ tablespoon for a large/giant breed dog or ½ teaspoon for a small to medium breed dog, once per day.

When buying canned pumpkins, make sure you are buying 100% pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling.

Advantages of This Topper

  1. Added fiber
  2. Increased palatability
  3. Health benefits

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil can be mixed in with your dog’s food for added health benefits, but it is important not to give too much! Oils are very high in calories, and preventing obesity is one of the best ways you can keep your pet healthy. Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides which can help with cardiac health and brain function for dogs with seizures and cognitive decline.

Whether your dog is a picky eater, or you are looking to add some excitement to your dog’s diet, you should try out a healthy dog food topper with their next meal.

KIBBLE TIP: Make sure you tightly seal your Wild Earth dog food bag - just like other food products leaving kibble in an unsealed bag for long periods of time will change the taste and make it less tasty!

Other Dog Food Topper Options

These options are just a few of the possibilities when it comes to dog food toppers. Dog food toppers can be customized for your dog’s flavor preferences as well as their nutritional requirements. Each dog has a different health profile so speaking with your veterinarian or dog nutritionist can be beneficial for finding a good dog food topper for your dog’s needs.

Watch how Berry uses toppers to make mealtime for Lex, Leo & Bach endlessly exciting!

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