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How to Use Dog Food Toppers: Types & Strategies Explained

From liquids to meat to freeze-dried sprinkles, dog food toppers come in a variety of textures and flavors to enhance your dog’s meal or entice him to eat.

Written by: Sandy Robins

Last Updated on January 29, 2024 by Dogster Team

dog with food toppers

How to Use Dog Food Toppers: Types & Strategies Explained

The latest trend ruling the dog food bowl is offering your dog food variety so that meals are never boring. Adding different dog food toppers to kibble not only makes meals more interesting and gives a nice nutritional boost but also allows pet parents to feel more involved in their pet’s food preparation. And, this in turn, is a great way to enhance the human-canine bond.

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What types of dog food toppers are there?

Dog food toppers, which are sometimes also referred to as mixers, add flavor and texture to your dog’s food and are great for picky eaters. Here are the five main types of dog food toppers and top picks of each kind.

1. Broth dog food toppers.

Broths for dogs not only add flavor but can soften kibble or freeze-dried meal nuggets making them a more palatable meal. This is worth considering for senior and ill dogs and is an ideal way of adding much-needed daily hydration. Bone broth for dogs can aid in digestion, boost the immune system and support the musculoskeletal system. Choose a bone broth specifically for dogs or choose a plain bone broth without salt or onions.

  • Merrick Pet Care has three grain-free flavors of bone broths —chicken, turkey and beef, with added superfoods and spices including ginger, turmeric and cinnamon to boost flavor and nutrition. They come in convenient 7 ounce and 16-ounce pouches.
  • Brutus Bone Broth for dogs has glucosamine and chondroitin, which have been shown to quell inflammation and support hip and joint health. Check the website for serving size recommendations.
senior dog eating food on the floor
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

2. Freeze-dried dog food toppers.

Freeze dried raw chunks boost protein intake, additional flavor and provide added vitamins and nutrients. Because these are freeze-dried, they are easy to serve without any mess and make a great training treat or regular treat.

  • Nulo MedalSeries Freeze-Dried Raw Tasty Toppers are made with 80% meat, organs and bone and a special blend of raw superfoods including pumpkin, kale, broccoli and blueberries. They are quickly frozen in the manufacturing process and then gently freeze-dried to support nutrient retention and flavor. They can be added to the food bowl and also served separately as a treat.
  • Primal Pet Food Freeze-Dried Raw Toppers come in a variety of meat and veggie flavors. Store in the freezer until ready to mix into kibble and thaw before your dog consumes, or thaw in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

3. Dog food toppers in sprinkle or powder format

are a great way to ensure the mix-in penetrates throughout the food bowl. They also improve meals for finicky eaters.

TV celebrities Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness “JVN”, stars of the Netflix series Queer Eye, launched a line of dog toppers called Yummers that include a selection of sprinkle mix-ins with both functional ingredients and flavor. The various recipes are geared to promote skin and coat health, digestive health and heart health.

  • Because Animals has a line of cultured meat sprinkle dog food toppers that are made from taking the cells of live animals and culturing them until they form animal tissue or meat. Cultured meat is not plant-based and is considered 100 % real meat.
  • Bark has several types of toppers, including its Moo Moo Sprinkles — a freeze-dried raw protein boost made of beef liver that Bark says has picky-proof taste. Comes in a 4.2-oz packet. It’s line of toppers also includes the fun Pumpkin Spice Up Your Life powder, made with pumpkin, of course, plus honey, cinnamon, coconut flakes, vanilla and ginger. Sprinkle on top of your dog’s food in powder form or make it into a broth.
labarador dog eating
Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

4. Wet dog food toppers in pouches

Looking to add more protein in a meat and gravy way? Then dog food toppers that come in small pouches are for you. Just open the single-serving pouch and empty onto your dog’s kibble and mix it in. It’s easy and dogs love it.

  • Blue Buffalo has Wilderness Trail Toppers with Wild Cuts of meat served in gravy in 3-oz pouches. Choose from chicken, duck, beef or salmon.
  • Wellness Bowl Boosters fit in five shredded ingredients called Simply Shreds in a 2.8-oz pouch. Comes in four flavors: Chicken, Beef & Carrots; Chicken, Chicken Liver & Broccoli; Chicken, Wild Salmon & Pumpkin and Tuna, Beef & Carrots.
  • Stella & Chewy’s Stella’s SHREDRS focuses on protein-only, with shredded meat in a slowly simmered broth. This 2.8-oz packet of meat is boosted with vitamins and minerals. Comes in six flavors: Cage-Free Chicken, Chicken & Duck, Chicken & Turkey, Chicken & Chicken Liver, Chicken & Salmon and Beef & Chicken.

5. At-home fruit and veggies dog food toppers

In addition to store bought dog food mixers, you can add your own fresh toppers by chopping up dog-safe fruits and veggies your pooch enjoys like:

  • carrots
  • celery
  • apples
  • green beans
  • blueberries

For your dog, all meal toppers and mix-ins are a win-win as he’ll enjoy a varied menu. Just remember to add in the food topper as part of his daily calories to keep them from topping off his weight.


Featured Image Credit: Melissa L Kauffman

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