this post does contain affiliate links but as always all thoughts & suggestions are from my experience
Toppers for dog food are all the rage right now. Freeze-dried, nutrient enriched, grain free, enticement, all sorts of toppers are on the market right now. I haven’t been paying them much attention because I was all feed real food and you don’t need toppers. Well, luckily a friend asked me about them as a starting point to feeding their dog better food. I realized then that I was a fool. Toppers are a great way to start down a path of proper doggo nutrition. What was I not thinking?
First, What Are Dog Food Toppers
Right now freeze-dried seem to be the most popular, but anything you add can be a topper. Wither it is a homemade bone broth to a Gravy Train sauce. This is where I got stuck on my raw feeding high horse. I always thought of toppers as the Gravy Train type, all fluff, and no nutritional value, instead of the bone broth type, real whole foods packed with all the vitamins a dogmom could ask for.
Next, Why Add Toppers
Adding to your dog’s meals can entice appetite, balance a homemade meal, or add the nutritional boost your dooggo needs. They are also a great way to start experimenting with feeding real foods.
Last, What Are the Best Toppers for My Dog’s Food
Here is a rundown of topper options. I have them listed from the absolute worst to best, nutritionally speaking.
- Gravies: This everything from Alpo to bacon spray. Bacon spray? What part of the pig is that? These are filled with chemicals and low-grade ingredients. They offer no nutritional value and only achieve in make you, the human, feel good about giving your pooch a treat. Not that it is bad to feel good about spoiling your bf. It just feels better to spoil them and also know you are providing the best.
- Commercially Made Toppers: These are all the freeze-dried kibbles, moist mixers, shreds, super blends, and on, and on. They are definitely better than gravies and spray on enticements, but I still not great. They are filled with preservatives, overly processed, and usually void in the moisture your dog needs. Labeled as raw and natural. They are not. Not to mention waaaaay overpriced as far as I am concerned.
- Home Made Toppers: Now we are getting to the good stuff. If you are looking for toppers to improve your dog’s kibbles here is where you should start. You can start adding fruits & vegetables at a fraction of the cost of pre-made toppers. If you want to step it up a notch just puree them so your puppers can absorb the full nutritional value. I use an immersion blender. It was affordable, easy to buy off Amazon, takes up very little counter space, and is easy to clean. All necessities in my life. Next start adding your cooking scraps. Bits of meats that you are prepping for humans. Just leave a few bits aside and add to meals. You are now providing real nutrition and a wonderful treat. You are now a great dog parent. Just let that feeling sink in.
- Bone Broths: Here we are the very best of the best of toppers. Bone broths! I love bone broths for humans and dogs. Not to mention Pinterest, that is the place to be if you want a bone broth recipe. Here is my favorite, because it is simple. But I digress. There are great recipes out there and it is the absolute best thing you can add to your dog’s meals, so there is that.