Dogster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

10 Best Dog Food Toppers in 2024: Reviews & Top Picks

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 11, 2024 by Dogster Team

10 Best Dog Food Toppers in 2024: Reviews & Top Picks

VET APPROVED

Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

cute corgi dog eating dry dog food

Providing nutritious food and treats for your canine is vital for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. High-quality meals were once a niche market, but now, premium brand companies enjoy record sales. Although high-end pet food is typically produced with fewer fillers and preservatives than discount brands, some products are too expensive for average consumers.

If you purchase a quality mid-range pet food and supplement it with a dog food topper, you can boost the nutritional value without spending a fortune. Toppers can also be substituted for treats, and some brands are healthier than low-priced dog snacks. Manufacturers produce several dog food toppers, but we found the best wet, freeze-dried, and dry products for your pup. Our reviews detail the products’ high points and disadvantages, and we included a buyer’s guide to help you choose the ideal brand.

divider-pawA Glance at Our Favorite Choices in 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Instinct Raw Boost Mixers Instinct Raw Boost Mixers
  • Made with cage-free chicken
  • No wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or colors
  • Freeze-drying process retains essential nutrients
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Cesar Simply Crafted Variety Pack Cesar Simply Crafted Variety Pack
  • Free of chemicals, fillers, artificial colors, and artificial flavors.
  • Made with chicken, vegetables, and fruit
  • Low in fat and high in moisture
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    The Honest Kitchen Bone Broth Dog Food Topper The Honest Kitchen Bone Broth Dog Food Topper
  • Made with only seven natural ingredients
  • Encourages dogs to eat dry kibble
  • Beef comes from ranch-based cattle
  • Stella & Chewy’s Super Beef Meal Mixers Stella & Chewy’s Super Beef Meal Mixers
  • High in protein from grass-fed cattle
  • Free of gluten, fillers, and preservatives
  • Made with 100% organic fruit and vegetables
  • Wellness CORE Bowl Boosters Bare Wellness CORE Bowl Boosters Bare
  • High in protein and low in fat
  • Only four ingredients
  • Made without fillers, artificial colors, or preservatives
  • The 10 Best Dog Food Toppers

    1. Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Boost Mixers Dog Food Topper – Best Overall

    Instinct Raw Boost Mixers Gut Health Recipe Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food Topper

    Topper Type: Freeze-dried raw
    Crude Protein: 36%
    Crude Fat: 30%
    Calories: 4,555 kilocalories/kilogram

    Whether your pet needs a boost of meaty flavor added to its ordinary kibble or added fiber to improve digestion, you can try Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Boost Mixers. It won our choice for the best overall dog food topper. Instinct Freeze-Dried’s raw materials lock in nutrients, unlike competitors’ dried products baked in high-temperature ovens.

    Some of Raw Boost’s ingredients include cage-free chicken, chicken heart, chicken liver, dried pumpkin, sweet potato, pumpkin seeds, and apple cider vinegar. It’s grain-free and does not contain preservatives, soy, or artificial chemicals. The manufacturer claims that adding this topper to dog food can improve digestion, maintain weight, and give your dog more vitality and energy. Although we love the high-protein topper, some customers mentioned that the product’s texture is so delicate it can crumble if it’s not handled with care.

    Pros
    • Made with cage-free chicken
    • No wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or colors
    • Freeze-drying process retains essential nutrients
    • Supplemented with natural probiotics
    Cons
    • Delicate texture can crumble

    2. Cesar Simply Crafted Variety Pack Chicken – Best Value

    Cesar Simply Crafted Variety Pack Chicken

    Topper Type: Wet
    Crude Protein: 15%
    Crude Fat: 0.2%
    Calories: 785 kilocalories/kilogram

    Dog food toppers are typically more expensive than ordinary dog treats, but we picked Cesar Simply Crafted Variety Pack as the best dog food topper for the money. Although it’s not as densely packed with protein and other nutrients as our previous pick, Cesar’s ingredients are free of unnecessary filler, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. We were impressed that the two chicken variety toppers are solely composed of chicken, fruit, and vegetables. Each portion contains 0.2% crude fat, 15% crude protein, 1.5% crude fiber, and 81% moisture.

    Cesar’s toppers provide a higher moisture content than many wet food meals, making them a great choice for dogs at risk of dehydration. Although the Simply Crafted pouches are ideal for small dogs and toy breeds, the portions are less affordable for large breed owners.

    Pros
    • Free of chemicals, fillers, artificial colors, and artificial flavors.
    • Made with chicken, vegetables, and fruit
    • Low in fat and high in moisture
    • Variety pack provides two healthy toppers
    Cons
    • Small portions

    3. The Honest Kitchen Bone Broth Beef Stew Dog Food Topper – Premium Choice

    The Honest Kitchen Bone Broth POUR OVERS Beef Stew Wet Dog Food Topper

    Topper Type: Bone broth
    Crude Protein: 5%
    Crude Fat: 2.5%
    Calories: 684 kilocalories/kilogram

    If you’ve tried several brands of premium kibble that your picky dog refused, you can use The Honest Kitchen Bone Broth POUR OVERS to liven up bland, dry food. The manufacturer uses ranch-based beef and carrots in its bone broth and makes the Beef Stew in a human-grade facility. The only ingredients are beef, bone broth, carrots, butternut squash, tapioca, thyme, and sage. The Honest Kitchen does not use chemicals to preserve its product or artificial flavors and colors.

    The broth is our premium pick, but it will last longer when you have a medium or small breed. It’s not as thick as stew gravy for human meals, but it looks more like homemade gravy than most wet pet food. The most common complaint about the broth is the packaging. Some customers had problems opening the package and sealing it to preserve the remainder.

    Pros
    • Made with only seven natural ingredients
    • Encourages dogs to eat dry kibble
    • Beef comes from ranch-based cattle
    Cons
    • Package is difficult to open

    4. Stella & Chewy’s Super Beef Meal Mixers – Best for Puppies

    Stella & Chewy's Stella's Super Beef Meal Mixers Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food Topper

    Topper Type: Freeze-dried raw
    Crude Protein: 44%
    Crude Fat: 35%
    Calories: 4,940 kilocalories/kilogram

    Several treats and raw food toppers are not suitable for young pups, but Stella and Chewy’s Super Beef Meal Mixers is safe for puppies and adults. Meal Mixer is high in protein and loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and probiotics and free of gluten, preservatives, colors, and grains. You can serve the mixer as a meal replacement or supplement to dog food.

    Some of the ingredients include beef, beef heart, beef kidney, cranberries, beets, carrots, spinach, and broccoli. The fruits and vegetables are 100% organic, and the beef comes from grass-fed cattle. Since it has 44% crude protein and 35% crude fat, we suggest reducing the amount of kibble when adding the topper. Our only complaints about the Beef Meal are that the pieces may be too large for tiny pups, and it’s a little expensive.

    Pros
    • High in protein from grass-fed cattle
    • Free of gluten, fillers, and preservatives
    • Made with 100% organic fruit and vegetables
    • Supplemented with antioxidants, vitamins, and probiotics
    Cons
    • Pieces are too large for some pups
    • Expensive

    5. Wellness CORE Bowl Boosters Bare

    Wellness CORE Bowl Boosters Bare Turkey Freeze-Dried Dog Food Mixer or Topper

    Topper Type: Freeze-dried raw
    Crude Protein: 70%
    Crude Fat: 10%
    Calories: 3,695 kilocalories/kilogram

    Whether you want to gradually introduce your pet to raw food or need a high-protein boost added to kibble, you can try Wellness CORE Bowl Boosters Bare. It has a higher crude protein content than any topper we reviewed, and it’s made without preservatives, fillers, or artificial colors. Its only ingredients are turkey, mixed tocopherols, green tea extract, and rosemary extract. Although Core is a healthy addition to any meal, the manufacturer recommends only using it as a supplement rather than a meal replacement.

    Bowl Boosters is a top seller, and pet parents appreciate the limited-ingredient recipe. However, some dogs and their owners are turned off by the topper’s pungent aroma. Other reviewers mentioned that the portion size is inconsistent.

    Pros
    • High in protein and low in fat
    • Only four ingredients
    • Made without fillers, artificial colors, or preservatives
    Cons
    • Strong smelling
    • Morsel size is inconsistent

    6. Vital Essentials Beef Freeze-Dried Raw Grain-Free Dog & Cat Food Topper

    Vital Essentials Freeze Dried Toppers for Dogs or Cats

    Topper Type: Freeze-dried raw
    Crude Protein: 40%
    Crude Fat: 23%
    Calories: 4,500 kilocalories/kilogram

    Vital Essentials Beef Freeze-Dried Raw topper is the only brand we reviewed that makes a product recommended for both dogs and cats. The protein-rich topper is made with 100% USA beef, organs, bones, vitamins, and amino acids. It does not contain artificial preservatives, fillers, gluten, or grains. Vital Essentials can be added to dry food, wet meals, or used to prepare your dog for a raw diet.

    Although cats and dogs have similar nutritional requirements, cats require more protein in their diets than dogs. It’s strange that a company makes a cat/dog topper, but cats seem to like it. While 40% crude protein is not too high when used as a dog food topper, it may be too rich for some dogs with medical conditions that require a low-protein or low-fat diet. Vital Essentials is a nutrient-dense product, but it has problems with consistency. Many pet parents complained that the freeze-dried bits were too powdery or chunky. Some mentioned that their pups disliked the flavor.

    Pros
    • Made with 100% U.S. beef
    • Free of fillers, gluten, grains
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Inconsistent texture
    • Some dogs disliked the flavor

    7. Tylee’s Freeze-Dried Mixers for Dogs

    Tylee's Freeze-Dried Mixers for Dogs

    Topper Type: Freeze-dried raw
    Crude Protein: 45%
    Crude Fat: 30%
    Calories: 4,745 kilocalories/kilogram

    Tylee’s Freeze-Dried Mixers for Dogs is made with wild-caught salmon and cage-free chicken. It does not include corn, soy, wheat, or preservatives. Cage-free chicken and wild-caught salmon are the primary protein sources, and it’s loaded with nutritious vegetables, fruit, and superfoods, including organic strawberries, organic pumpkin, organic broccoli, chia seeds, and flaxseeds.

    The freeze-dried bites can be added to meals dry or rehydrated with water for wet food. Although the mixer can be served with water, you have to wait several minutes for the topper to soften. Customers were happy with Tylee’s, and dogs seemed to love the flavor, but some complained that the price was too high for the meager 8-ounce bag.

    Pros
    • Free of fillers, corn, soy, and preservatives
    • Includes organic fruit and vegetables
    • Made with wild-caught salmon and cage-free chicken
    Cons
    • Takes several minutes to hydrate morsels
    • Expensive

    8. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Toppers Wild Cuts Variety Pack

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Toppers Wild Cuts Chicken & Beef Flavors Variety Pack Wet Dog Food

    Topper Type: Wet
    Crude Protein: 8%
    Crude Fat: 2.5 %
    Calories: 920 kilocalories/kilogram

    Blue Buffalo was one of the first producers to promote high-quality dog food, and their Wilderness Trail Topper Wild Cuts Variety Pack gives canines the option of feasting on Chunky Chicken or Beef Bites. Wild Cuts is excellent for dogs on a grain-free regimen, and it’s free of animal by-products, artificial flavors, and preservatives. It’s not as nutritionally balanced as other topper products, but wet meals are typically not as nutrient-dense as freeze-dried treats.

    Some dogs enjoy Wild Cuts, but many pet parents complained that their dogs did not like the food’s flavor, and others mentioned the topper gave their pets indigestion.

    Pros
    • Ideal for pups allergic to grains
    • Does not include by-products, preservatives, or artificial flavors
    • Features chunky chicken and beef bites toppers
    Cons
    • Not as nutritionally balanced as competitors
    • Gives some pups upset stomachs
    • Some dogs dislike the flavor

    9. Tiki Dog Aloha Petites Flavor Booster Lamb in Bisque

    Tiki Dog Born Carnivore Flavor Booster Lamb Bisque Non-GMO Wet Dog Food Topper 2024

    Topper Type: Wet
    Crude Protein: 4%
    Crude Fat: 2%
    Calories: 695 kilocalories/kilogram

    Tiki Dog Aloha Petites Flavor Booster Lamb in Bisque is a wet food topper made with lamb, lamb broth, sunflower oil, and other natural ingredients. It’s made to promote a shiny coat and healthy skin, and the topper does not contain artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. It can be served as a moisture-rich topping or as a savory treat.

    Although the broth adds flavor and nutrients to bland food, it’s not as healthy as its competitors. Most customers were happy with the topper as it convinced their pets to consume kibble. However, some dog lovers complained that too much of the product is liquid without much meat. Tiki Dog uses only eight ingredients in its recipe, but some U.S. consumers may be hesitant to buy pet food from Thailand.

    Pros
    • Lamb is the first ingredient
    • Contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
    Cons
    • Too much liquid
    • Low in protein and calories

    10. Brutus Bone Broth Beef Flavor

    Brutus Broth Bone Broth Beef Flavor Hip & Joint Human-Grade Dog Food Topper

    Topper Type: Bone broth
    Crude Protein: 1.0%
    Crude Fat: 0.0%
    Calories: 51 kilocalories/kilogram

    Brutus Bone Broth Beef Flavor is an all-natural topper that can be added to wet or dry food or frozen for a chilly treat. It’s made with human-grade ingredients such as beef broth, vegetable broth, and turmeric. The recipe does not include GMOs, dairy, soy, and gluten. It’s an excellent choice for overweight dogs that need toppers low in calories and fat.

    Brutus broth can convince dogs to eat kibble, but it does not provide much of a nutritional boost. It’s low in protein and seems mostly composed of water when you see it has 97% moisture. The primary issues with the topper are the high price and the reluctance of some dogs to eat their food once it’s covered in broth. Some pups dislike the smell and flavor.

    Pros
    • Can be frozen for use as a treat
    • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints
    Cons
    • Low in protein and calories
    • Expensive
    • Some dogs dislike the flavor and smell

    divider-paw

    Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Dog Food Topper

    You have several options when choosing a dog food topper, but which one is best for your pup? Before picking a product, you can examine a few factors that may influence your decision.

    dog eating
    Image By: dmytro Zinkevych, Shutterstock

    Options for Serving Toppers

    Premium dog food is typically more nutritious than discount brands. If you serve high-quality food to your pet, you might not need a dog food topper. A topper can add unnecessary calories to an already balanced diet depending on the type you use. However, toppers are helpful in other ways. You may have purchased top-of-the-line dog food only to find that your dog hates the flavor and rejects it.

    Throwing away a pricey bag of food is irritating and costly, but you can add a topper to see if it livens up the bland food. Bone broth and wet toppers are not as nutrient-dense as freeze-dried products, and they’re the ideal toppers to add if the kibble provides enough protein, fiber, and nutrients.

    Adding a topper can also make your dog’s meal more digestible. Dry kibble is not as easy for dogs to digest as wet meals. A wet or raw topper can improve your dog’s digestion and make the meal more appealing to your pup.

    Freeze-Dried Products

    If you want to increase the nutritional value of dog food, a freeze-dried topper is an ideal choice. Raw meat toppers are packed with high-quality protein, fat, minerals, vitamins, and probiotics. Some brands are higher in protein than most premium dog food, and topper manufacturers usually recommend reducing the amount of kibble when you add a topper. This prevents you from overfeeding your dog, and most of the time, you only have to reduce the kibble by ¼ cup or less.

    Unlike wet toppers or broth, you have to be more careful handling freeze-dried toppers. They’re made with raw meats, and you should always wash your hands thoroughly after serving them. Raw pellets can contain pathogens that give you a foodborne illness if you eat something after touching the product.

    boston terrier eating dog food
    Image By: Jaja Fekiacova, Shutterstock

    Wet Toppers

    If you have a senior dog prone to urinary infections or one that has problems drinking enough water, we suggest using a wet topper or bone broth. Wet products have high levels of moisture that can prevent dehydration, and they’re not as nutrient-dense as freeze-dried toppers.

    Adult canines typically require fewer calories than younger pups, and a wet topper will not increase the values to unhealthy levels. In comparison, a freeze-dried product may be too rich for an older dog or less active dog if it is too high in fat content.

    Bone Broths

    If you examine the broths we reviewed, you’ll notice they have fewer calories, protein, and fat than the other types. When you’re trying to get your pet to eat expensive kibble, a bone broth can improve the flavor and moisture content without altering the nutritional content. They will not give your dog a huge boost of additional protein, but the broth adds hydration and makes the food more flavorful, saving you from tossing a pricey bag of kibble.

    Elderly-dog-eating-from-a-bowl_Maggie-McManus_shutterstock
    Image By: Maggie McManus, Shutterstock

    Veterinary Advice

    Although toppers come in small portions, it’s wise to speak with a veterinarian before serving new products to your dog. The doctor may suggest using a smaller portion than the manufacturer recommends. Obesity is a significant problem for humans and pets. At least 25% to 30% of U.S. dogs are overweight, and you have to be careful how much extra you add to a premium dog food.

    divider-pawConclusion

    Our reviews examined the best dog food toppers on the market, and we hope you’ve found the right product for your best friend. We were impressed with several toppers, but our overall favorite was Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Boost Mixers. It’s protein-dense and made with cage-free chicken and wholesome vegetables like sweet potato and pumpkin. The grain-free recipe is ideal for canines with allergies. Our best value pick was Cesar Simply Crafted Variety Pack. The limited-ingredient recipes are free of fillers and preservatives, and the two chicken meals add moisture and flavor to bland kibble.


    Featured Image Credit: Anastasiya Tsiasemnikava, Shutterstock

    Get Dogster in your inbox!

    Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
    Dogster Editors Choice Badge
    Shopping Cart

    Pangolia

    © Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.